How the Puck do fans choose their favorite teams?

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Jeffery Simpson (flickr/Creative Commons)

How do fans choose their favorite sports teams? According to Andy Hinds of the Atlantic, peoples’ most common reasons seem to be their family’s tradition, local team, or an “ineffable attraction to the ethos or aesthetics of a particular team.”

Or you could use my method, by simply choosing the best team in the world, the San Jose Sharks (source: me). Okay, okay, fine. For me it would fall under local team.

Let’s hear what some Cal Poly students had to say.

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Stephanie Robinson

1st year food science major

“My whole family are Blackhawks fans. We grew up watching hockey together as a family. This summer I had a Slovakian exchange student live with me. She loved hockey, so for her birthday we took her to her first Blackhawks game. We all went together as a family, and celebrated her birthday and enjoyed the sport together.”

So how are the Hawks doing now?

“I don’t know, I haven’t really kept up, but they’re going to win the Stanley cup,” said Robinson.

Typical Blackhawks fan. Robinson’s prediction may come true, though. The Chicago Blackhawks (42-18-5, 89 points) are looking good, sitting comfortably at second in the Western Conference. The “Original Six” NHL team has won six Stanley Cup Championships, the most recent in the 2014-15 season.

The red hot Blackhawks are on a seven game win streak, and 9-1-0 in their last 10. Forward Patrick Kane has 29 goals and 41 assists this season, putting him at second in the NHL in points. Kane is also the first Blackhawks’ player to net two hat tricks in three games.

The Blackhawks will next host the current Western Conference fifth place team, the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, March 9th.

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John Leone

1st year architecture engineering major

“When I was playing pee-wee hockey, some guys on my team won this essay contest. As their prize we got to practice with the Anaheim Ducks. I remember when we were scrimmaging, Corey Perry came up and checked me into the boards. I thought that was super sick.”

Slumping Ducks look to improve scoring

As mentioned above, the Ducks (33-22-10) are fifth in the Western Conference, but are having their playoff spot threatened, as they are only 5-5-0 in their last 10 games.

The Ducks are also 19th in goals per game, something they have been looking to improve as they look towards playoffs. They’re only roster change near the NHL trade deadline indicated this, as they acquired Patrick Eaves from the Dallas Stars.

His presence fills a need for the Ducks, who… have seen their once-effective power play sag to the middle of the NHL pack with just two scored while possessing a man advantage over the last 12 games,” wrote Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Before travelling to the windy city, the Ducks will host the Nashville predators on Tuesday, March 7th.
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Andrew Heim

3rd year industrial engineering major

“I love playing for Cal Poly hockey because of the team spirit. We’re all out there to be competitive and have fun. We’re trying to win games, but we have a good time doing it too.”

Cal Poly club roller hockey wheels to regionals

This past weekend at the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League’s Regional Championships, the Division I squad placed second, while Cal Poly Gold ranked among the top four of Division III.

The Division I Mustangs, with a roster filled with young blood, were on a seven game win streak going into regionals. Looking to repeat their first place run from the 2014-15 season, they made it to the finals following a 1-0 overtime victory against Arizona State University. However, the dominant UC Santa Barbara team took first place with a 7-1 victory. Chris Audi (aka “Dad”), had the only goal against the Gauchos.

“It was a bummer, but we’re looking forward to nationals,” said freshman defenseman Joe Blakewell.

With an 8-7-1 record, Cal Poly Gold ranked at fifth before entering playoffs. They upset the first place Arizona State University in a 6-3 victory to receive a bye into the semifinals of the championship, where they fell to West Valley College.

The 2017 National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships begin April 5th, in Fort Myers, Florida.

“My team, Cal Poly green, didn’t do so hot but we’re number one where it counts, our hearts,” said Heim

Delving deeper

Michael Lewis’ article in Journal of Sport & Social Issues, titled “Franchise Relocation and Fan Allegiance,” separates fans into two types.

Those with civic allegiance,

“…connect their childhood memories in a particular city with their love for the local team,” Lewis wrote. Fans with civic allegiance would say, “I’m a fan of San Jose hockey.”

Lewis defines fans with symbolic allegiance as having a “unique personal experience” with their favorite team. These are fans of the franchise itself, such as supporting a particular player.

Whatever their reason, die-hard supporters will always express their love in full. Lewis quotes one of these fans:

“I’ll give you the best example of a Hartford hockey fan’s dedication, when over 11,000 people attended a game during a blizzard that virtually shut down the entire state of Connecticut. We showed up in full when the team was good and 94 percent of us showed up when times were bad.”

Now that’s a hockey fan.

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