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The Pensblog Guide To Hockey Fans

 
 
 
Hockey fans.
 
They're passionate, knowledgable, dedicated and vocal. You've probably been standing in a bar or an arena and felt a great sense of community when celebrating your favorite team scoring a goal. There's nothing quite like turning to a complete stranger and high fiving them in a shared moment of happiness.

 

Of course, not all fans are that easy to get along with.

 

You'll always find people, whether they cheer for your team or for a rival, that are just plain annoying.
You'd rather slam your hand with a hammer than get into a hockey discussion with those fans.

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It's downright frustrating.

 

That's right. There are many different kinds of hockey fans.

 

Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced world it's often difficult to tell the different types of fans apart.

 
That's where we come in.
 
Today we present to you The Pensblog Guide to Hockey Fans.
 
 
 
The Penguins Bandwagon Fan
 
We're going to start with a touchy one right off the bat.
 
 
We've all seen this fan. Without a doubt he owns a Crosby or Malkin jersey. It probably still has the tags on it.
 
 
This fan had never owned another piece of Penguins merchandise, but he spent two pay checks on black and gold during the Cup run. These fans claim that the Pens are their favorite team, but they didn't even know the Igloo was a hockey arena until 2008.
 
 

These are the same people that head for a bridge as soon as the Penguins go on a losing streak.

 

They think the NHL season begins in May, because they've never paid attention to hockey before that point.

 

They likely also cheer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers right now, but that will change on a yearly basis.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
Mention the names Konstantin Koltsov, Zarley Zalapski or Robert Dome and watch them stare at you in confusion.
Also, when you mention the Murphy dump to this person, he or she thinks you're talking about some guy name Murphy taking a huge dump.
 
 
The Capitals Bandwagon Fan
 
 

In many ways this fan is very similar to the Penguins bandwagon fan.

 

They probably didn't know Washington had an NHL team until a few years ago.

 

But now that they know, they're diehards.

 

They "Rock the Red" whenever they get the chance and can't enjoy anything unless it's accompanied by sirens and airhorns.

 

They spend their time talking about Ovechkin's passion and they think Mike Green deserves to win the Norris.

 

Every year.

 
 
They put together witty campaigns to hand out pacifiers at Penguins games, think individual awards are all that matters in hockey and have never watched a game past mid-May.
 
 
How to identify this fan:
 
They're covered head-to-toe in red and they believe Ovechkin's passion cures cancer.
On that note, to these fans, red Ovechkin jerseys are the only jerseys the Capitals sell.
They're not sure what icing is, but know that Ovechkin does it better than anyone else in the world.
Also, they only pay attention to the Capitals when A.O. does something that someone in the NFL would do.
 
Repeat examples would be the Mottram brothers, Chris Cooley, etc.
 
 
The Flyers Fan
 

 

They'd rather watch a fight than a win.

 

The score doesn't matter as long as someone gets hurt.

 

They strongly believe that it's not a hockey game unless someone loses some teeth or breaks a bone.

 

 

They also believe that the National Hockey League has it out for them.

 

Every penalty Philadelphia gets is because Gary Bettman hates the Flyers. They know their team would win the Cup each year if the league didn't have those stupid rules that prevent things like slashing, biting and on ice murder.

 

 

They feed off of the blood of the innocent while simultaneously asking "Why Not Us?

 
flyersflyers2
 
They really like orange.
 
How to identify this fan:
No matter what the question is, their response is "Crosby Sucks."
 
And their women are hot:
 
 
 
The "Listens to Every Rumor on the Internet" Guy
 
This fan takes every single piece of hearsay as the truth.
If someone he follows on Twitter writes about a trade rumor, this fan believes it.
If he even hears about a brief argument that may have taken place in some NHL locker room, he's sold on the idea as fact.
 

No matter how ridiculous the rumor, this fan takes it as gospel.

 

Are the Penguins looking to trade Sidney Crosby?

 

A website once said so, so it's gotta be true.

 

Is there a deal in the works that will send Chris Conner, Wade Brookbank and a third round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk?

 

Of course there is.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
They'll believe anything you say.
It won't take any effort to convince them the word is flat and the sky is green.
This person visits Eklund's site for their fix.
To them, this is same high that drug users experience when they find a pile of coke.
 

The "We Need to Make a Trade" Guy
 
tradestaal
 

Penguins fans know this person as "Trade Staal" but every team has these fans.

 

Whether it's a goaltender letting in bad goal, a superstar in a slump or a player missing an empty net, the solution is the same: Make a trade and make one fast.

 

This fan also feels that trades are so easily made and so readily available that they should be done on a daily basis.

 

The "Winger for Crosby" fans fit into this group.

 

They don't understand why teams don't regularly shake up their line-ups and disrupt team chemistry.

 

If a deal works on NHL 10, it also works in the real world.

 

There is no salary cap in this fan's mind and he or she believes that every team is constantly willing to trade players based on a two-game slump.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
Offer him or her a portion of your lunch in exchange for their dessert.
They'll be so happy that a trade has been offered that they'll jump all over it.
 

The "Crosby Basher"
 
crosbycry
 
You would think that this person is the same as the Capitals Fan or the Flyers Fan, and sometimes you'd be right.
But, don't let your guard down so easily. There are Crosby Bashers in every fanbase.
This is possibly the largest group of fans in hockey.
 
crosbysucks
 

And they're insanely witty. Your first encounter with a Crosby Basher will likely start with some good natured joking about how his lips are really, really big or how his playoff beard looks funny.

 

Then, if you engage them, you'll have to deal with the full brunt of their hilarious, scathing wit.

 

They'll call him "Cindy" or "Crysby." They'll make a joke about diving and provide you with some evidence from 2005 to back up their point.

 

They may even call him "Rosby" and question is leadership skills.

 
crosbydiver
 

And don't even think about trying to fight back. They will quickly point to a player on their own team that is simply better that "Cindy Crysby" in every way imaginable.

 

Then, when you're still reeling from their razor sharp wit and stunning intelligence, they'll pull out their trump card:
Gary Bettman loves him.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
Head to any arena that the Pens are playing in. You'll find one.
Usually they will have spent money to put an insulting Crosby reference on their favorite team's jersey.
 
 
Note, unlike the above example, most "Crosby Bashers" will quickly point out that Evgeni Malkin is a player they respect.
They'll then mention that "Crosby isn't even the best player on his team."
 
 
The "Know-It-All"
 

This guy could easily coach an NHL hockey team.

 

He could also be a general manager and should probably be playing in the NHL right now.

 

The reason why he doesn't abandon his office job and and take up one of these positions is still being investigated.

 

Maybe he really likes cubicles.

 

 

That doesn't really matter anyway, because this guy can fix whatever problems your hockey team has; if only more NHL franchises would listen to him.

 

He knows exactly what line combinations a team should be using. He knows who to sit and who to dress for any given game.

 

And, when the time comes, he knows how to make a blockbuster trade at the drop of a hat.

 

He's probably been in a NHL locker room before, because he understands every aspect of team chemistry and leadership.

 

He likely played hockey in high school and coached a kids' hockey team for two games in 2007.

 

He's currently ranked third in your office fantasy pool, but he thinks that's stupid anyway.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
They will make themselves known to you. Without an audience to listen to their playing strategies and coaching tips, they will shrivel up and die.
If the "Know-It-All" near you is screaming his head off about the intricate details of every play in a hockey game, you may be talking to Pierre McGuire.
 
 
The Righteous Canadian Fan
 
Everything good about hockey came from Canada.
Everything bad about it came from the United States.
Russia and Europe have kind of just sat on the sidelines, contributing nothing.
This is the Righteous Canadian Fan.
 
canadian

 

At the drop of a hat he'll be able to tell you that 52% of NHL players are Canadian and that the six Canadian franchises make up one third of the NHL's revenue.

 

Hockey Night in Canada is his church and Don Cherry is his pastor.

 

And he will preach the Gospel of Cherry whenever possible.

 

Russians are soft. Europeans whine. The league needs more "Good Canadian Kids."

 
doncherrycostume
 

This is the same fan that believes moving a franchise to Canada is the universal solution to that team's problems.

 

The Phoenix Coyotes would almost instantly win the Cup if they were in Hamilton or Winnipeg and Gary Bettman hates Canada because he won't allow them to move. There is no other conceivable reason.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
Mention something about wearing a visor and watch the ensuing tirade.
Resist the urge to tell them that Sidney Crosby, Jarome Ignila and Rick Nash all wear visors.
 
You could also mention the FoxTrax glowing puck and wait the anti-American rant that will surely come.
Everything American ruins hockey.
 
 
The World Championship Guy
 

This fan can be seen in all sports. This is the person that pretends they were alive when their team won a championship in 1936.

 

If you weren't alive, can you reall claim to be a part of a championship?

 

This is what bothers us about Red Wing fans born in 1970. You've only seen one more Stanley Cup than Penguin fans born in 1980.

 

It is good to embrace your team's history, but if you didn't sweat it out, then it's not yours. These fans are also quick to point out how difficult it must have been for their favorite franchise to compete with a combined total of five other teams for the majority of their championships.  To them, beating five teams is just as hard as beating 29.


How to identify this fan:
 
They claim their team's rich history, but they weren't even alive the last time they won something.
These traits can also be seen in Steeler fans born after 1979.
 
 
The Eurotrash Group
 
eurotrashfans
 
Sunglasses, spiked hair and silk shirts. Some people would confuse these fans with douchebags, but you'll know the difference when you hear them talk. They only drink imported beer, listen to techno music, criticize the North American brand of hockey and think every game should be played on an international ice surface with sponsors plastered on every inch of a team's jersey.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
Visit Montreal.


Puck Bunnies
 
 
This fan is immediately identifiable by her pink shirt or jersey.
She will almost always a sign calling out to her favorite player.
 
puckbunnies
 

Her signs will likely feature glitter. So will her eyes.

 

 

Penguins puck bunnies know precisely five players on the team: Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Letang and Fleury. They will always rank them according to relative dreaminess.

 

During pre-game warmups, they rush down to the glass, convinced that Jordan Staal will be plowing their sod that night if only they can make eye contact.

 
 
Please do not make the mistake that all female hockey fans are puck bunnies.
Doing so will probably get you kicked in the balls.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
If she emits a piercing shriek that leaves your ears bleeding every time the PA guy says "Sidney Crosby", you're sitting next to a Puck Bunny.
 
marrymesidney
 

Cell Phone/Blackberry Guy
 
 
To this fan, what happens on the ice doesn't really matter. Sure, they could focus on the game taking place in front of them, or they could spend their time telling their friends at home that they're at a hockey game. Sometimes these fans take things one step further and they don't even talk about the game. A true "cell phone guy" finds much more enjoyment talking about his girlfriend, the restaurant he went to last night, the new shoes he bought or the club he's going to on the weekend.
 
This fan is only beaten by "Blackberry guy."
"Blackberry Guy" can't even be bothered to look at the game, let alone listen to it.
He makes five stock trades every shift and spends the third period emailing his co-workers.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
He is most commonly found in Toronto and sometimes New York City.
Most hardcore "Blackberry guys" don't even pay for their tickets. They usually receive them for free from a client or the financial services company they work for.
 

Jersey Foul Guy
 
This is a contentious one to some people.
Many believe that if you're spending your own money on a jersey, you can write whatever you want on it, whether it be your own name or the name of a player that never wore that style of jersey.
These same people usually don't care about how "authentic" a jersey is, since real NHL jerseys are stupidly expensive anyway.
 
However, there are some jersey fouls that are universally condemned:
 
 
vancouver 040

 

Outside of the ridiculous, embarassing jersey fouls, there are a few other types that are more debatable to some people:

 
 

1) The guy who's perfectly aware that "Orpik" is spelled "Opkir" on the back of his jersey, but it was twelve bucks on eBay, so who cares?

 
 

2) The guy who has no idea why you're giving him that sideways look as he parades around in his genuine Sidney Crosby jersey featuring the 90s pigeon and a 1991 Stanley Cup patch. Here there is strong overlap with the bandwagon crowd.

 

3) Those will happily wear a Canucks jersey to a Penguins/Flyers game or a Steelers jersey to the Igloo.

 
How to identify this fan:
 
 

League Conspiracy Fan
 
 
This fan truly believes that the NHL is like professional wrestling, except more fixed. Every penalty called against his team is unfair. Every disallowed goal is part of a grand plan to punish his favorite players. Whenever a player on his team falls to the ice, he screams for a penalty and complains how unfair the league is when he doesn't get one. Even icing should be booed if it happens against his team.
 
The entire NHL, its sponsors, the NHLPA, the league's general managers and owners and all the referees are working alongside Gary Bettman to make Sidney Crosby successful.
 
In this fan's eyes his team never does anything wrong and if the NHL would just play fair he'd see the Stanley Cup paraded through his town each year.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
Many of these fans can also be classified into the "Flyers Fan" group listed above, but they also hail from Canada, Washington and anywhere else Sidney Crosby doesn't play professional hockey for a living.
 
 
The Original Six Fan
 
 
To this fan, everything about hockey that developed after 1950 is suspect. If you take this guy at his word, modern goaltenders are soft because they wear masks and no player should ever wear a helmet, let alone a visor. He views the two-line pass as a dangerous innovation and believes that even the first league expansion was a suspect move.
He still insists on referring to the Hurricanes and Coyotes as the Whalers and Jets and will forever consider them members of the WHA.
 
Mention the shootout to him and prepare for a tidal wave of spittle interspersed with "arbitrary skills competition" screamed over and over and over again.
 
No other team in the history of hockey can compare to an Original Six team. Regardless of how well these "new" teams are doing at the moment, this fan is steeped in tradition and he will refuse to admit that anything post-1967 could possibly be any good.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
Take him to an Atlanta Thrashers/Columbus Blue Jackets game and watch him stare in confusion at the ice surface.
After a little while he will ask why Gordie Howe isn't playing tonight.
 

Somebody's Girlfriend
 
This girl doesn't want to be at the game. You can see it on her face. Her boyfriend, of course, is completely oblivious to that fact. None of his buddies were available tonight and he had great tickets, so he dragged his girlfriend along. He probably promised her that it would be fun and said he would explain everything to her as it happened. Of course that didn't take place.
So now she's confused and bored and cold.
He doesn't care though. He's too busy pounding the glass and shoving his painted face in front of strangers, so now she's also embarassed and completely turned off.
 
 
How to identify this fan:
 
It's easy. She'll be sneaking toward the arena exit by the second period.
 
 
Leaving Early to Beat Traffic Guy
 
 
To this fan, anything that takes place on the ice is secondary to how long it will take to leave the arena parking lot. Once the clock starts to tick down, the real game begins and this game is all about getting the hell of out the building as soon as possible.
For some reason this fan is at a hockey game, but desperately wants to leave it.
After all, we all know that nothing important ever happens after the 18 minute mark of the third period. The final two minutes of a hockey game is never, ever exciting.
 
 
How to identify this fan:
 
These fans typically blend in quite well.
Until the final few minutes of the game, they seem just like any other fan. However, if you wait too long to look for them, they'll be gone.
The clock hitting 0:00 is like Kryptonite to them. They have to get away before this terrible event happens.
 

Guy Who Runs a Blog
 
 

It's Saturday night and, while everyone else he knows is out somewhere, he's frantically writing a recap of the latest hockey game.

 

It doesn't matter that only three people will read it, it has to be done and it has to be good.

 
This is the Internet afterall. It's serious business.
This fan may have wanted to be a journalist at some point, but he probably failed at that. He might be writing a blog to make himself feel good or with the hope of becoming famous. Whatever the reason, you'll find him behind his computer almost 100% of the time.
 
How to identify this fan:
 
Some of these fans are "know-it-alls" or "we need to make a trade guys."
Some of them are bandwagoners that will stop writing the moment their team loses three games in a row.
A good way to find the "guy who writes a blog" fan is to expose them to direct sunlight. They'll likely run inside, cursing "that hideous ball of light in the sky." Then they'll blog about it.
 
 
 
So there you have it: a complete guide to hockey fans.
We hope you've learned something today and that you will be better prepared to deal with hockey fans of all kinds in the future.
After all, knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle.
 
Go Pens.
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