The Carolina Hurricanes played the Buffalo Sabres last night in quite an exhilarating hockey game, with the Sabres pulling out the 1-0 win. This post, however, isn’t about the game. It’s about the fans. It is quite obvious that fan bases have natural rivalries against other fan bases – LA Kings fans don’t like Anaheim Duck fans … Boston Bruin fans and Montreal Canadian fans … Philadelphia Flyer and Pittsburgh Penguin fans … Chicago Blackhawk and Detroit Red Wing fans … I can go on. The Hurricanes’ fans have their top 4 or 5 fans from other teams that they don’t particularly care for — as I’m sure there are fans from other fan bases that don’t like Hurricanes’ fans. That’s fine. Fans are fans for a reason — they’re fanatical about their team and they are passionate, sometimes to a fault. While listening to the post-game show on 99.9FM The Fan last night, I noticed the Buffalo Sabres fans in attendance at the game last night (yes, there were a ton of them), screaming and sounding as if they had just won a playoff game. I understand any win against a rival is an especially sweet win for a fan, but reacting as if they just won a playoff game? For a game played in the middle of November? Really?
In full disclosure, yes, there are times when I look at the schedule and say “Oh great, we’re playing X-team…” because I know that certain fan bases can go over the top when visiting the RBC Center. It’s unfortunate that a few bad apples spoil the bunch, but as hockey fans, we should all show respect towards each other, especially when visiting another team’s arena. Granted, being at “home” doesn’t give fans free reign to say or do whatever they want, and I don’t condone some of the things that are done or said to visiting fans that occur at home arenas throughout the league. The reason why the RBC Center gets so many visiting fans is because the tickets are much cheaper than at home arenas. All I ask is when visiting hockey fans visit the RBC Center for a Hurricanes game, please show some respect towards our fans and we’ll do the same. We’re still a relatively young fan base with new people learning and understanding the game of hockey every day. We are, however, here to stay. So stop making fun of the way people down in the south talk, stop saying that we don’t know anything about hockey, stop saying that we’re not a passionate fan base and stop calling us the Hartford Whalers. We’ve been here for 14 years and have heard it all before.
That’s all we, as fans of the game of hockey, ask.
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