It’s Only November… and I’m Almost Burnt Out on Hockey
Canes fam, we need to talk.
Some of you did not read Derek’s piece about taking a step away from the ledge.
It’s losses like the one against the Rangers that show bad sections of this fandom. And we need to talk about it.
When I first started going to Canes games, I was amazed by the kindness of the fans. I soon realized becoming a Caniac was not just joining a “fandom” but joining a family, one that was fiercely passionate but supportive.
That’s still the case, but it’s turning darker in some aspects. I mean, after all, families go through highs and lows too. I’ve lived through the bad years with all of you. I remember how fun the last playoff run was, and I too desperately want to experience that again. And I still think that could happen, since this division is such a toss-up (seriously, you can keep watching the standings until April… because at least one of these teams is squeaking in right at the end of the regular season).
But some of you, Canes fam, are making hockey not so fun. Or at least, not making this fandom fun. And it needs to be addressed.
You are all aware of the problems this team has faced in recent years. Depth woes, goalie troubles… we’ve seen it all.
Your frustration does not, has not, and never will give you a pass for saying and posting some of the things you do toward your fellow fans, the players and coaches, and their families.
Over the past year or so, some of you have called each other hateful names on social media, as well as posted very inappropriate or hateful things toward players and their families.
You’re mad… at the team, at any fellow fans trying to keep a glimmer of hope in this season, at coaches, at management for not making the moves you wrote on Twitter about…
~A little side note: I am not management, a coach, or a player… please quit jumping in my mentions telling me what the team needs to do. We’re watching the same team, but I have has little power as you do here.~
Those of you I’m addressing, the ones that do not consider how many goalies or coaches (or gee, overall players… check any roster from the past five or so seasons) this team has gone through in almost a decade… take a step away from the ledge.
Those of you that do not care about and, frankly, set out to crush the opinions of other fans but insist yours still be heard… take another step back.
Those that are scoreboard watching and convinced the team is already out of the playoffs despite it being November… take a step back, and check the Metropolitan Division points totals.
Those of you that are shouting obscene things at the players and families… take five steps back, and I would advise you to check out of social media for a bit.
I cannot control what you can and can’t post on social media. I can, however, tell you that this is not the Canes fam I know and love. You can call out overreactions and hypocrisy in your fellow fans without attacking them, and can also be displeased with your team’s performance without ranting like a tyrant. You can and should avoid personal attacks, because that’s just a bad thing to do overall.
I can also promise you that the team’s performance (or “mediocrity,” as some of you say) is not a direct result of the fans’ positivity or negativity. Yes, the team plays better in front of a full and supportive house. Yes, fans have a right not to come if the team loses. But their play is not a result of your superstitions, Twitter rants, or Facebook comments.
~Another side note: this fanbase is not fine with mediocrity. In fact, it’s probably more obsessed with not accepting a mediocre product.~
The Canes fam I know is full of love. It is supportive of its fellow fans, and yet is still full of die-hard hockey fans… the fans that are there for the good and the bad, celebrate louder than any other team, but express frustration in a reasonable way because they realize that we have zero control over what the team does.
Frustration is normal in fandoms, as is positivity. Just because you feel one more than the other doesn’t mean you don’t all deserve to be heard. But just think through what you say before you post… so you don’t regret it later.
Be realistic about some of your complaints. Don’t instantly jump on trade/ firing bandwagons after one or two bad performances by a player or the team. It’s an 82(+) game season, and it’s only November. Barely 20 games in, and I’ll point you toward the latest Find the Jam if you really want to see how this team is doing on paper. Be frustrated, but don’t feel like the world is ending and the teams has to be burned down and rebuilt after every loss.
The players, coaches, etc. provide you with entertainment, but they also have lives outside of the sport. Do not attack them or their families. Do not lecture them on how the game should be played or what they should do to be better. Just remember, if you could have a job in professional sports, you would.
I’m not saying accept mediocrity. I’m not saying don’t be frustrated. I’m just reiterating what Derek said, because it needs to be said again: take a giant step back off the ledge.
We’re stuck with each other until at least April… let’s not burn each other out yet.
And besides… at least we aren’t the Oilers or Canadiens?