A Taxonomy of Hockey Fans
Hockey fans run the gamut from super obsessives to stay-at-home devotees and everything in between. If you've spent enough time at a hockey arena, you've probably met most of the fans on this list. Which category do you fall into?
The "I Can Do It Better" Fan
This type of fan attends every minor and major league game, hurling verbal abuse from the sidelines, hoping to become the team's next coach. Never happy, seldom satisfied, these super enthusiasts think they know better — and can do better. Likely to be pointing at the goaltender with a foam finger, these fans live and breathe hockey.
The Obsessive Fan
Characterized by their burning love for the game, these supporters put a new spin (or should that be spin-o-rama?) on "fanatic." Their favorite movie is The Mighty Ducks, their ringtone is the NHL on NBC theme, and you can catch them every week at the rink clutching a shiny new program.
The Hockey Mom
Always supportive, sometimes over-zealous, the hockey mom is the cornerstone of any hockey game. She carpools; she irons jerseys; she brings snacks to practice. You can see her on the side of the rink, where she has the best view of every roll, spin, and flick.
The Casual Fan
Casual fans take an interest in NHL halfway through the season, at some point after the holidays when things start to get interesting. If they attend a game, they're usually somewhere at the back of the arena; most of the other time they catch the action from the comfort of their sofa. They'll probably ask you to explain the wild card or the difference between a minor and a major penalty.
The Irrational Fan
While most followers don't get too uptight when their team loses, these fans are quick to make excuses for a poor performance: the other team cheated, the goal crease was too slippery, the puck was the wrong size. These devotees often frequent social media, where they post their — often unpopular — opinions.
Every hockey aficionado knows fans come in all flavors, from the casual to the obsessive to the irrational. The next time you're at a game, scan the rink and you'll likely see at least one of the above.