So if you’ll recall, a few days ago hockey fans were approached (through myself and @Ducks54) to help John Meyer pick his favorite NHL team. Since he’s doing this in alphabetical order, you know what this means…Ducks fans – we’re up first!
We officially tackle the question, “Why be an Anaheim Ducks fan?” I’m sure John is looking for something more concrete than, “Why not?!” and I’m going to do my best to put it in perspective.
I’ve always considered Ducks fans to be a rare breed. Let’s face it, we’re special. Many of us live in an area that never sees an inch of snow, rarely sees rain, and is a stones throw from both the beach and the mountains.
Yet, we’re hockey fans. Somehow, we’ve allowed this sport from the great white north to embed its glory into our blood stream, and we gladly embrace it.
We thrive because of it. Most of us can’t live without it.
Hockey fans all over North America count down to the first puck drop of the season, and rarely miss a moment of hockey thereafter.
Being a Ducks fan is no different…it’s better.
We’re still considered a young team in the whole scheme of things. For example, we don’t have the rich history that is embedded in the Montreal Canadians. In fact, the Canadians have won more Stanley Cups than number of years the Anaheim Ducks have been in the league. We can’t compete with that type of history. Instead we embrace our own history. Our own Stanley Cup victory in 2007 – something no other California team can claim. Having reached the Finals twice in their short time in the NHL and winning one Stanley Cup is something that will remain with this franchise for an eternity.
So what makes Anaheim so special? What makes them a contender for a hockey fans love and devotion so much more prestigious than an original six?
We love our team.
Players past and present are hockey household names. Currently, the Ducks have a roster of names like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and up and coming superstar Bobby Ryan.
Don’t know who they are? You will.
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are a dominating duo. They rival some of the best guys in the league like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Malkin, only, Getzlaf and Perry play for the Ducks. Bobby Ryan is currently enjoying his sophomore season, and if it’s anything like his first year, you won’t be disappointed. From lightning fast hat tricks, to physical play along the boards, this kid has got it…and we love it.
Not to be outdone by the youngin’s are future hall of famers Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu. Here’s a bit of history on those guys…Scott Niedermayer is one of the most decorated players in the history of the game. The only player to have won every major championship from Olympic gold medals, junior championships, to an astounding 4 Stanley cups. Watching Scott Niedermayer play the game is unlike any other. He’s someone to model your future hockey-playing children after. Teemu Selanne, approaching 40 years old, still looks and plays like he’s 20. Nicknamed the Finnish Flash, he’s got the speed and stick-handling moves that will make goaltenders wish they played a different position. Not to mention, as a youngster, he lit the lamp 76 times his rookie season…a record. Saku Koivu is the epitome of heart and determination. Battling back from cancer and becoming a dominating center with Montreal for 13 years, he’s enjoying his first season in Sunny Southern California.
They’ve got tough guy and mustached man George Parros willing to defend his teammates at the drop of the gloves and Jonas Hiller, an up and coming goal tender who took every ounce of steam out of the President Trophy winning San Jose Sharks during the first round of the playoffs last season.
That’s just to name a few.
Let’s face it, there are very few places in the league where you can walk into the building wearing shorts and flip flops, and walk out 3 hours later just as comfortable as when you walked in.
Probably one of the best things about being a Ducks fan is the accessibility to the players. We’re not in your typical hockey market location. The Ducks battle for the headlines with the likes of the Lakers, the Dodgers, the Angels and College organizations like USC and UCLA. Most people couldn’t name one guy on the Anaheim Ducks’ roster.
So what’s the perk in that? All the more Ducks for you! So often the Ducks hold events, not just for their fans, but WITH them. The players arrive in their shorts and flip flops and take slap shots amongst their most faithful at Shoot for the Cure. They take on the role of waiter at the annual Dux in Tux event where they serve the fans! They play golf in the summers, they sit down to black jack games in the winter, and they graciously sign autographs for hours during Face-Off Fest for season seat holders. I can’t remember the last time any of the other sports teams around here did ANTHING like that!
Being a ducks fan is so much more than just loving the team for their hockey skills. It’s about loving the organization that loves its fans. It’s about taking pride in a group of guys who take pride in a city where the ice is a refuge from the warm nights. It’s a place where the players come to play because they want to contend, they want to win, they want to live, and they want to stay.
The best part about being a ducks fan…we’re few, we’re special, we’re faithful, we’re proud.
I’d never give up my allegiance to this team.
Wont you join us?
Fans, if you want John to become a Ducks fan, it’s simple! Just go to his site, Pick My NHL Team and vote for your Ducks! Go ahead…do it now!
(On a side/personal note…
I’m really excited that John is taking on this mission to adopt a hockey team. I’m sure that he’ll soon learn to love hockey the way many of us do, and I honestly believe that once he does…he’ll regret not getting into the game sooner. I know for myself, I look back and think…”DAMN! I missed out on some amazing moments in hockey history…if I only knew then what I know now.”
Good luck on your search John! GO HOCKEY!!!)
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