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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 They like MMA too, with the Tapout shirt and way out of date barbed wire tattoo giving them away.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.
- 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?