* One rule of writing is that you must secretly love all your characters. *
Hi. I'm bandwagonDan. That's how I'm known over at The Heckler.
I created this persona in 2008, the season before the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Back then I covered hockey games "from the perspective of a guy who knows nothing about hockey" (that was my pitch to HecklerBrad). At the end of most "bandwagon fan" articles, though, I was sure to include actual hockey tips for new fans. I'm a lifelong hockey enthusiast (though I cheated and went to Wolves games during the Blackhawks blackouts of the early 2000's). But I've been there. We all have.
The point is, hockey hasn't yet destroyed itself. The Hawks are back and absolutely melting the ice.
And I want to tell you this:
It's okay to hop on the bandwagon.
There's absolutely no shame in saying, "Whoa, wait... This thing over here is actually COOL!"
In fact, there's a lot of good in liking things. It takes brainpower to find, appreciate and love something, rather than living a life full of preconceived notions like, "Hockey? Ain't that fer Canadans?" When I think of the word 'bandwagon' sitting out in front of my persona now, it just means "person who gets excited about things."
Of course, this may lead to awkwardness like 100 red 'NIEMI' sweaters at every home game, but money was still spent and people still worked to make those. It's a memory of a damn good time.
No matter what point you hopped on, we all have June 9th, 2010.
Aren't we all constantly hopping on and off bandwagons with other things? Music: we listen and buy the album when a band rocks, we just catch it on the radio when they not-so-rock. In fact, this can be applied to TV shows (SNL?), microbreweries, friends (family?) and many other things we often, but not always, enjoy.
So stop on by, the beer is cold and the crowd is bonkers. Let's watch this team score six goals per game and grab our official Corey Crawford sweaters while they're hot.
All I ask is that when you return, you remember what the blue line is and, of course, bring with you a healthy hatred of the Vancouver Canucks.
Lets Go Hawks!