Question: How do you pick your favorite player?

Always kind of curious about this, as I’ve come into liking my favorite players in a few different ways.  I’ve come up with a few ways that people seem to decide on a guy, see if any of these types fit you:

  1. The best player on your favorite team:  You probably like Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek.  It’s a great feeling to be watching someone who is going for a major trophy, or is starring in commercials, though some people will label you as a bandwagonner.
  2. Heart and soul guys:  You probably like Paul Gaustad or Mike Grier.  You know that goal scorers come and go, but the real glue of a team are the guys who bang bodies, go to the net, kill penalties, wear letters.  They might have gray in their beards.  These fans will talk about a player for years after they are gone, even if they only spent a year or two in town (say, Guerin in Pittsburgh).
  3. Eligible Bachelors:  I get the feeling that the younger puck bunnies go for (ugh) Derek Roy or Jason Pominville, while the non-teenager ones are more about the graybeard heart and soul guys mentioned above.  They have signs (and sometimes wear wedding dresses) for their favorites.  There may be some hockey knowledge, but it’s more about the guys.
  4. Fighters:  Most likely a fan of George Laraque, or Colton Orr, or even better, a fighter from the 70s or 80s that they obsess about.  They like MMA too, with the Tapout shirt and way out of date barbed wire tattoo giving them away.  Often these fans are unaware or at least uninterested in other aspects of hockey.
  5. Pity Party:  You like Drew Stafford, or Patrick Lalime.  Sometimes you just take a liking to the guy that’s getting kicked while he’s down.  You might very well do a doubletake if you see someone wearing their jersey.  Maybe this fan followed the player in college, or watched them tear up the AHL, and haven’t forgotten the glory days.

I think that covers most situations.  Any disagreements?  Another category I missed?

9 Replies to “Question: How do you pick your favorite player?”

  1. I picked Lydman after Dumont left when I found out his favorite band was Slayer. Being metal as eff isn’t a typical criteria, but it worked for me. It helped that he could dole out big hits and played the penalty kill like a boss.

  2. Maybe the flashiest players. Guys like Max and Connolly who, with their speed or skill, get the crowd going and appear to be about to make things happen. While maybe not the best player on their team, they demand attention.

  3. I wonder if there is a difference between how you notice a player, and why you consider yourself a fan of them? I ‘noticed’ Teppo Numminen because my son thought his name was hilarious, but I came to really like him as a player. Great story, you know? hmm.

  4. I like Kaleta for a variety of reasons. I don’t think I’d like him nearly as much if he were a pure fighter. I have a soft spot for pests anyway, but he can also score a little, fight and is a heart and soul guy if you watch him closely during a game. So that’s why he’s one of my favorites.

  5. This is a fun post! The only other category that I think should be one there is kind the Nonconformist. I think a lot of people pick the best player who is not already a fan favorite. (This might be more of a jersey selection thing now that I think about it.) Every Sabres fan is a Ryan Miller fan (except the nutso ones), but I think a lot of people would shy away from him as a favorite just because he’s so popular. Goose is definitely my favorite player (I’m a heart and soul girl), but if I were a jersey wearer I probably would have gone with Lydman. He’s a respectable choice, I did genuinely like him, and I wouldn’t be one of 12,000 people in a Gaustad jersey.

  6. That is an EXCELLENT category, Kate. I know I’ve done that when choosing favorite teams or players at times. My brother decided to start following Peyton Manning and the Colts, just because nobody outside of Indy (and the usual frontrunners who swap allegiances every few years) could stand him.

  7. There are always the indie fans who pick a unique player, such as the departed Andrew Peters, Henrik Tallinder, and Adam Mair, or say Cody McCormick or the recently acquired Shaone Morrisonn.

    1. Yeah, I think that follows with Kate’s ‘non-conformist’ group there. With a little ‘heart and soul’ guy mixed in to varying degrees. If Morrisonn blocks shots with his melon and drops the gloves with Chris Neil, he’ll be loved forever, as a for instance…

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