May 4, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning fans taunt Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth (30) after Lightning left wing Ryan Malone (6) scored a goal during the first period in game four of the second round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs at St. Pete Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Debate of the True Fan

How does one define a “true fan?” It has been brought to my attention that many people either claim to be a true fan or they don’t. Everyone’s definition seems to be different though.


Is a true fan one that attends every home hockey game they can? Is a true fan somebody that purchases merchandise? Can a true fan be someone that lives states away and has NEVER seen their favorite team play in person?

I think a true fan can be many different things. Some fans have the ability and the opportunity to attend games while others don’t. Just because you can’t attend the games doesn’t make you a true fan. Just because you DO attend the games doesn’t necessarily make you a true fan either. Some of you may agree, some of you may not.

I know several fans who are STHs, some attend any and every game they can, and I know fans who live states away (including myself). They support the team through thick and thin, win or lose, NO MATTER WHAT. True fans will find a way to support the team, whether it’s physically or by other means. True fans are always there.

On the other hand, I can think of “fans” who claim to be fans or what-have-you for whatever reason, but simply put: are not fans at all. There may be fans who purchase season tickets and attend every game but yet wear the opposing teams jerseys. There are fans that will still look for the negative regardless of every outcome. Some people claim to be fans but everything they say about the team is negative. There’s a difference in being downright negative and coming off as “not a true fan” than having a differing opinion and offering constructive criticism. There are positives to every situation.

You can agree or disagree with the teams moves and the things they’ve done to acquire players, but you have to understand what Steve Yzerman does is to better our team whether you like it or not. He’s not intentionally out to hurt the fans, but he wants us to win the Stanley Cup too. I’m not saying you have to support every player of the team 100%, because they’re humans and they make mistakes. But as a “true” fan, you should give every player a chance, the benefit of doubt. Try to find the positives in a certain players stats or skills. They are here for a reason. You can politely disagree with the reasoning, but don’t have to come off as a jerk about it.

For me, I never give up hope on gaining that next W. When we have a terrible loss, I always try to look for the positives and have hope our next game will be better. Regardless of the outcome of the game, the sun will rise the following day and we’re still a part of Bolts Nation.


Lora Andrews


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