I admit it. I’m not a truey.
By that I mean I’m not a true Nashville Predators fan.
I guess I could best be classified as a fair weather fan, someone who is quick to jump on the Zamboni since the Preds have gained momentum and reached the Stanley Cup finals. Outside of this playoff run, I’m lost in the wilderness when it comes to supporting the Preds the rest of the year.
It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that there’s no way I can exert the level of commitment required to be a hockey fan.
The one great thing you can say about football season, whether you like the sport or not, is it has an end. It more or less starts in September and is largely over by the end of the year. It’s a nice, tidy and compact season.
Hockey is a sport to follow for all the folks who like bottomless fries at Red Robin. Hockey never seems to end.
Fortunately, to borrow phrasing from our friend Yoda, at the end we are. So allow me to jump on the Predator power play and enjoy this excitement.
I may not have been in attendance seven years ago when the Predators lost on a fluke goal in OT to some team from up north, but I can join the pandemonium now. I can buy a Preds T-shirt and wear it with pride.
While I make fun of myself for not being a diehard hockey fan, it’s all the people like me who have made this run so notable. What has brought so much energy to Nashville are all the folks who don’t normally follow the team. They are filling Nashville parks and Broadway bars with giant watch parties to see the team play.
I was in Nashville the night before the Predators clinched the Western Conference championship and the entire downtown area looked like the team’s pro shop had exploded. Everywhere you looked there were posters, shirts, keychains, bottle openers, and bumper stickers all splattered with the Predator logo. If you could scratch your back with it, or stick it in your mouth, it could be painted yellow and sold as Predator merchandise.
This Stanly Cup run been a huge slingshot for Nashville, the nation’s newest “it city” which has become the Las Vegas of the South. The great thing is, like me, you don’t have to know anything about hockey to imbibe in these good times.
Just say, “That Pekka Rinne is really playing great in goal” and that should get you through enough of the conversation until you can change the subject to something else like Tom Petty.
Go Preds! Here’s hoping you bring the Stanley Cup to Tennessee.