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!
— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) April 21, 2014
Absolutely breathtaking atmosphere at Nationwide. Almost puck-drop time Game 3. #CBJ
— Dan Kamal (@dankamal) April 21, 2014
This #CBJ crowd is awesome
— Luke Polant (@lukepolant) April 22, 2014
The crowd in #CBJ is unreal.
— Paul (@Sens_Army_) April 22, 2014
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]