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Flames fans are weird...and lucky
Go figure
4/23/08 - 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 bus…well, maybe Flames head coach Mike Keenan did.

Nobody 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 fans.

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 rationale opinions.

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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