As with any sport, hockey is not just another hobby you spend a few bucks on to look cool in a jersey, get behind the glass closer to where gladiators skate on ice, and scream your lungs out with your tipsy friends while cradling beer in your taste buds.

Hockey is like a family with all kinds of drama, rivalry and weird relatives you didn’t pick from a hat but sort of got thrown in the same arena with. It’s a helluva culture where fans can be more superstitious than a wary grandmother from the Victorian era.

Look at it this way. Granny may not think twice about pouring her godawful nightcap in the Stanley cup, but hardcore fans like us will cringe and look away even if it’s the last thing we’d do on this good green Earth.

But you already know that, you say, because you’re only the best hockey fan in the world.

Well, fair enough.

Why don’t you prove it? Try to check a few items off this fan list, and see if you can really call yourself a true fan like those who’d “been there, done that.” And let’s not start with you just owning a Sidney Crosby jersey, aight?

  • For the sheer love of hockey, can you appreciate a crude rink where great matches have taken place in the same way you get pumped in state-of-the-art ice rinks?
  • Will you dare wear your team’s colors in a hostile environment, such as the home court of your team’s archenemy, without starting a fight or compromising your affinity?
  • Do you respect the sport and its fans, players and rules? Just because your team got a penalty doesn’t mean you’ll go berserk and curse at everybody. Or worse, throw stuff on ice and scream “bloodbath” like a loony. That’s blind worship, buddy, and it’s pretty stupid.
  • Have you been to hockey tournaments, big or small, here and there, including the mighty Hockey Hall of Fame in Canada?
  • Won’t you go to the dark side and not switch teams when the going gets rough for your favorite team? Can you stick with your homies and patiently wait for the next break or game or season? If there’s anything more annoying about being a true fan, it’s NOT being a true fan. After all, there are two words in sports you need to run away from with a passion – bandwagon and fair-weather.  Wait, are those three words?

If you said YES to all of these “true fan codes,” you can have the rest of your goodies and crazies. They’re yours to keep, buddy, courtesy of us true fans and the guardians of hockey.

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