Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sharks vs. Blackhawks: a Battle for My Loyalty

A couple years ago I mentioned the fact that I was going to officially change my favorite hockey team from the Blackhawks to the Sharks in order to like at least one semi-local team (San Jose is two hours away from Sacramento, so I guess that counts.)

The problem with this was, at the time, one of my main reasons for switching is because Jeremy Roenick was on the Sharks. He was my favorite hockey player growing up as he (Chris Chelios and Ed Belfor) consistently made the Blackhawks pretty good. Hey! They even went to the 1996 Stanley Cup finals (only to get swept by the Penguins.) Not to mention that their team on NHL '94 for Super Nintendo was off the hook! As you can tell, I still have a loyalty to the Blackhawks (plus their logos are sweet!)

So, I now have these two teams facing off in the Western Conference Finals. I was tempted to let this play out a few different ways:

- I sit back and claim that my favorite team is whoever wins the series. It's a cheap bandwagon-jumping strategy, but one with little risk that allows me to have my "favorite" team in the Stanley Cup finals.

- I allow this to be a competition for my favorite team. This is similar to the first option, except I vow to swear undying loyalty to the winner of the series. From this day forward, I would only allow myself like the winner of this series. It adds intrigue for me, as I would be bound to this team for the rest of my life, but I'm also taking any choice away from me.

- I simply pick before the series even starts and roll with that team through thick and thin. This is a great idea, but I truly am not as familiar with all the players these days so it's a harder proposition than one would think initially.

I hear this is supposed to be a great series, so that's a good thing, but now that I've confused myself as to who my favorite team is, I don't really know what to do. I'm sure someone can come up with a creative idea as to how I should root, so let me know.


GMoney said...

Here is what I would do and have done in the past during Super Bowls in which I do not care about the outcome: don't do anything.

As soon as the first game is played, subconsciously you will choose who you want to win about three minutes into the game. Something will click in your head and will choose the side for you. And you might never figure out what it is. But it will happen. It's why I rooted for the Pats over the Panthers in the Super Bowl, the Pistons over the Lakers in '04 Finals eventhough I am a Shaq fan, and the Giants over the Angels.

Just ride it out and you will tell you who to cheer for.

Tony B. said...

That's very mysterious G$. I will take your advice and find out what my destiny is.

I cheered for all those same teams in the match ups you mentioned. Here are more fun ones:

D'Backs over Yankees in 2001.
Yankees over Marlins in 2003.
Cavs over Spurs in 2007.
Celtics over Lakers in 2008 (in retrospect, this was a horrible decision.)
Heat over Mavericks in 2006 (that was fun as I was in Vegas)
And of course I cheered for the Saints last year vs. the Colts. Screw the Colts.

Brandon said...

I have to admit, it's a pretty tough decision. The Hawks are a decent goaltender away from being the #1 team in the NHL on paper, and are the second seed in the west only because of they've struggled to be consistent at times. They're also built around a great young core of forwards and Duncan Keith could become the best defenseman in the NHL, so they should be contenders for years to come. On the flip side: Patrick Kane is a jackass with a mullet that beat up a cabbie for twenty cents, and I always find it hard to root for jerks.

The Sharks are built to win now, and have been built to win the last five or six years. We know how that worked out. Free agency is coming up for a lot of the stars, and some of them are going to have to go. If Nabakov leaves, their farm system produces great goaltending. They've only missed the playoffs one or two years since 1998, so you get consistency, even if it means consistently losing in the first or second round. Intangibles: HP Pavilion was ranked first in a survey of NHL players asking for the most intimidating place to play on the road.