| Flames fans are weird...and
- By Mike Lee
What's the deal with Calgarians? Just moments from
getting bumped from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round, all you hear
from them is logic and reason. Bantering on and on about how subtle tweaks here
and there, or how they were grateful for the performance their team
demonstrated in the playoffs. Weird, I tell you.
If I were a Calgary
Flames fan, I'd be throwing chairs. This is sports we're talking about. Where
grown men are allowed to throw chairs. OK, maybe only Bobby Knight can get away
with that, but you get my point.
I tuned into Calgary's "Overtime
Show" on the Fan960 (via the internet), after the Sharks took Game 7 on Tuesday
night to get a taste of Canadian bitterness. If hockey is Canada's sport, I
wanted to hear honest to goodness Canadians react to a Canadian team being
eliminated. I was expecting venom and vinegar.
What I got was
rationale opinion on how the Flames can improve next year. How certain players,
like Jerome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf, played well in the series, and how players
like Miikka Kiprusoff did not. But nobody threw Kiprusoff under the
well, maybe Flames head coach Mike Keenan did.
screamed for Kiprusoff's head on a platter. Nobody demanded that Keenan or GM
Darryl Sutter be run out of town. These folks were all calm, collected and darn
right rationale. Really weird, I tell you.
Now, I'm not trying to say
that Calgary has a love affair with its hockey team, but Flames fans are
passionate and they know how to support the home team. When the regular season
ended and the playoff seedings had been decided, I cringed at the thought of
having to face the Flames in the first round.
Most of that had to do
with the fact that the Flames have a quality hockey team, AND they had a little
history on their side, lest we forget the 2004 Western Conference Finals. There
was also another factor in my trepidation in having to face the Flames. Their
We all remembered the sea of red 4 years ago, and this series
was no different. The Saddledome is a tough building to play in as a visitor,
because the sea of red adds that extra obstacle.
One thing was certain. Playing in Calgary was not
going to be easy. San Jose lost 2 of 3 in Alberta during the series, which is a
testament to the difficulty of playing in the building.
So as Flames
fans called into their local post game show on Tuesday night, they thanked
their team for a great run, albeit short, and said they couldn't wait to see
the boys start another run in October.
The second thing that dawned on
me as I sat listening to all these weird people put positive spins on being a
Flames fan, was that they actually had a call in show to share these civil and
Flames fans actually have a radio station that
commits air time to the opinions of the casual hockey fan. What a novel idea!
The host dropped the name of some pipe fitting business every 5 minutes or so,
as a subtle reminder that THERE ARE BUSINESSES WILLING TO SPONSOR THESE TYPE OF
SHOWS. Go figure.
KFOX used to have a post game show for a number of
years, but that went by the way side when the Sharks started to actually put
contending teams on the ice. Isn't this the BEST time to go after sponsors for
a shot like this?
Calgarians are lucky to have such a show. Of course,
it's those weird fans who support their team unconditionally (along with that
pipe fitter I'll bet), which allows shows like that to exist. Perhaps Sharks
fans will be so lucky again in the near future.
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