The Malik Report
by George Malik on 02/11/14 at 11:51 PM ET
If you'll pardon the "thought experiment," I'm trying to shake off rust, and figured that this would be an interesting topic for discussion:
From my little corner of the world, aside from hoping to be able to exhaust myself following the Wings' ten Olympians ASAP, I find that a hockey fan's Olympic experience--at least when your team's sending representatives to multiple teams--tends to depend on the ways in which fans follow the game. What follows are examples of two ends of the hockey fan spectrum:
If you're a fan that ultimately cheers for the players' names on the back of the jersey, if you follow "your team's" former players wherever they go, and go so far as to don your team's rivals' jerseys because your players matter most, the Olympics are an intriguing and exciting means by which to find new teams to cheer for because you want your players to do well.
If you're a fan that ultimately finds himself or herself more loyal to that logo on the front of your team's jersey than you do the individual players, if you find yourself particularly pickily choosing your apparel and merchandise based upon perceived team-first loyalty or a player's longevity with your team, and you're more than willing to cut ties with a favorite player because they simply don't wear your team's jersey...
The divided loyalties, media jousting and player-on-your-team-vs-player-representing-your-nationality situation can become incredibly uncomfortable, and you may find yourself both cheering for whichever team contains the most representatives from your team while realizing that, in your heart of hearts, you'll be glad when all of this business is over.
Most of us fall in between these "types," which is a good thing--we tend to find a good balance between rooting for that player who you can't help but root for regardless of where he's playing and not falling in love with everybody that dons your team's "sweater" because you know some of 'em won't stick around--but I've at least found that the fifth Olympics in which "my Wings" and my favorite players are taking part yields a conflicted viewing experience.
In the end, I'm a "team"-type fan, however, and as such, I tend to pick the most-Wings-represented team and stick with 'em. When multiple Wings do battle, I really do cringe, and as fascinating as it is to watch dear friends become spirited opponents for two weeks, there's a part of me that enjoys watching the games and another that just wants to see everybody wearing jerseys with winged wheels on the front instead.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.