Embracing the Hate by @kjcmalakai - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

The Latest

Post Top Ad

Friday, September 19, 2014

Embracing the Hate by @kjcmalakai

Yeah, seeing images like this one hasn't gotten old yet...
     It shouldn't come as a galloping shock to anyone that has a pulse on the NHL and it's fanbases that the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise is not well liked.  A simple search on the internet of "most hated NHL franchises" populates with several links to sites that consistently rank the Pens in the top five most hated in the NHL.  We should all be pretty familiar with the myriad of reasons that other teams' fans have such vitriol toward our beloved hockey team, and I'm sure we're never tired of hearing them:

"Worst fan base in the league. They absolutely have no clue what they are talking about and lead the league in fans yelling "shoot" during the power play. Worst."

"Whiners... Especially that punk Crosby." 

" In 2003, they had the lowest attendance count for games. All penguins fans are therefore bandwagon fans."

"They're dirty and they whine, and yet they're the sweethearts of the league... What's not to hate?"

"Such hardcore fans who seem to forget that were almost relocated to Kansas City... Lemieux is the biggest hypocrite in the league... Matt Cook, Ulf Samuelsson, and Sidney Crosby not shaking hands..."

"Pens fans refuse to educate themselves about other teams in the league. That's how you get statements like, "Chris Kunitz is an allstar."

     I think that the Penguins being this disliked is fantastic for two very different reasons.  First of all, it means that the team is relevant on a national level.  Along these same lines, it means that the Pens have been winning a lot of games,  Since the 2006-2007 season, the Penguins have made the playoffs every year and haven't finished lower than 2nd in their division.  It is this kind of success that breeds hate, especially when said success began with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin playing together for the first time creating a glutton of talent that fans of other teams wish that they had.  The disdain toward the team most likely originated, however, when the Penguins won the 2005 draft lottery and the rights to draft Crosby.  Conspiracy theories that the lottery had been rigged to save the franchise ran rampant.  Considering that most of the lists of the top five most hated NHL franchises often include the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks, all original six teams, the Penguins are in the company of teams that each have nearly 100 years of existence and time to build up league-wide hatred (the other team that most commonly appears is the Philadelphia Flyers, for obvious reasons) which is a big indication of recent success for the Penguins.

     The second reason I feel that the hatred toward the Penguins is a good thing is a little more abstract than just that the team wins a lot.  It is a gift that the team (and it's fanbase) is so disliked.  This means that nationally there is nothing to be done to further tarnish the opinion of the team, so let's just build on it.  Other fans think that Crosby is a whiny diver?  Here's another Art Ross and Hart Memorial Trophy for you.  Other fans think that the Pens are dirty?   Here's some Steve Downie and possibly Dan Carcillo for you.  Other fans think that the fans of the Penguins are no-knowledge band wagoners?  Here's another sellout at Consol yelling "shoot the puck" during another league leading power play for you.  Enjoy it.  Have fun with it.  It is not very often when a team has been able to sustain success over the long-term like the Penguins have and as long as 87 and 71 are playing up the middle, the rest of the NHL can hate my team as much as it wants.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad