I’ve never done anything of this sort before, but I guess what better time than now? The Penguins are being forced into a hiatus in excess of a week due to a NKOTB concert (I know, right?) which results in me having some free time.
I have read multiple articles over the past several months that have argued whether or not the fans are truly a part of the team or not. Sure, they have the obvious arguments such as; the fans do not receive a check from the team for their services and in fact pay to go see them play and that the fans do not get credit for the wins and losses that take place on the ice. The obvious stuff aside, one thing that every article that I have read up to this point has failed to mention is that although the fans may not get paid and get credit, they do put in an immense amount of time every season following their favourite team while they pursue the most coveted trophy in all professional sports.
When you step back and take a look at what it means to be a hardcore sports fan, no matter what the sport, you realize the amount of time you put forth in following and critiquing your teams every move. Not only are there plenty of games to watch that all average at the least two-and-a-half hours of your life eighty-two times a year, but as far as hockey is concerned, there is also the Entry Draft, the Trade Deadline, the Playoffs among others that are not as significant.
When you start to do some of the math you come up with some large hours in front of the television or your computer/phone checking social media sites trying to be up-to-date on every breath your team takes during the crucial times throughout the year. Eighty-two regular season games a year averaging two-and-a-half hours is alone putting you at 205 hours not to mention overtime, shootouts, delays for goal reviews and glass repair. On top of those 205 hours; the Entry Draft is 2 days long that will chalk up another 20 hours or so of time for a fan raising our total to 225 hours. I am not even sure if we can put the Trade Deadline into an actual number seeing that it is about a month long of talks of who is going to which team and who that team is getting in return. After all of that is said and done, you then have the NHL Playoffs. The NHL Playoffs range anywhere from 4 to 28 (10-70 hours) games, depending on the production of the team you follow. By the end of season, you are looking at spending well in excess of 350 hours following the team and every move they make. In case you didn’t do the math, that’s over 2 full weeks of time tracking your team.
Getting back to my original statement, I find it hard to believe that someone who puts that much time into a team over the course of a year fails to be considered part of the team. You may not get paid and you may not get acknowledged for on-ice achievements; when it really boils down to it, we are a team of fans and without the fans; the Penguins would not be in Pittsburgh.
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