What Makes a Fan? Soul Searching For My Identity

Do you remember what made you fall in love with your favorite NHL team?

Were you swooned by their flashy colors and fearsome logo? Were you taken to a game by your dad as youngster? Maybe you were born into tradition, or your hometown adopted a relocation or was awarded a franchise. Perhaps you saw Claude Lemiuex and Darren McCarty spearhead the most vicious rivalry in all of sports history live on television. All of us were taken on a different path, some short, some longer, to find that one team we call our own. We immerse ourselves and in essence we become a part of the team. We talk about our teams using terms such as “we” and “us”. Being a fan is more than sporting a t-shirt to a lot of us. But what about those of us who don’t have that team?

For people like me, we don’t have such a devotion. No flag to wave, banner to live under, or home to call our own. So what do we do? Who do we cheer for? Well, nobody. Or… everybody? It’s a mixed bag really. As for me, I’ve been a nomad, a drifter. I have aligned myself with three teams in my lifetime for varying reasons. but none of them stuck. No team could steal my heart the way they do for everyone else. And it made me think, “what makes a fan”? Why haven’t I found “the one’?

The Journey Begins

These questions have sparked a fire inside me to find my team. An experiment to experience epiphany in my hockey enjoying life. I have made it a personal goal to share and archive my journey to find my Favorite team. The team I will finally call my own for the rest of time. I could find a team relatively close to my home town. Or it could be a team with such a rich and diverse history. Maybe, just maybe, I could find myself backing a startup in the pacific northwest before their first players even take the ice. The road will be long, and the journey will be interesting to say the least.

Within this series, we will explore traditions, legacies, and obscure histories of various teams and their fan bases along the way to find my permanent favorite team. We will come across various enriched cultures and storied legacies within the NHL, and we will be tracking the progress of the newest team out west as well. With that, I start my journey. I take to the open road in search of my new home. I begin the soul search for my identity. Together, we are going to learn what it means, and what it takes to be a fan.


Lead Image credit: Getty Images Sport – Tom Szczerbowksi

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