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Welcome to the North/South double standard on what it means to be a “real fan.”

Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is after Columbus secured their first ever (EVER!) playoff win in game 2 despite beginning play in 2000. Understandably the arena is packed and the crowd is on fire. They’ve waited a long time for something to celebrate. Just check out some tweets!

People all over praising the intense crowd in Columbus, as they should. But you know what you don’t see a lot of? Widespread “bandwagon” labels in the negative way. You know what I mean – the way this crowd would be labeled if say, the game was in Miami. Because by the way – Columbus has consistently been in the bottom 5 in the league in average attendance roughly parking themselves under a 15K average.  But yet – they aren’t a bunch a bandwagon fans tonight. They are electric and energetic and awesome and loud and “unreal.” And welcome to the North/South fan double standard.

Admit it, if  this is a Florida Panthers playoff game even though they have consistently (up to this year) drawn better than Columbus with equally as terrible of a product on the ice, everyone will add their bandwagon jokes and “nice crowd, BUT” backhanded compliments.

But honestly I am not trying to hate on Columbus. They deserve to finally have some playoff action and it is good to see the crowd show up with all the energy. I am a firm believer that sports fans should pay for a good product (if they can afford it, of course) and not waste their money on a bad one (even if money was no object). I just hate the double standard that only southern sports fans get, even if the “bandwagon situation” isn’t unique to the south.

The ability and restraint to not waste money on a terrible product (and/or terrible owner) should be praised.

[Photo Credit: @DMaetzMedia]