TAMPA, FL - MAY 3: The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a victory against the Washington Capitals in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the St. Pete Times Forum on May 3, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

An Ode to Fair-Weather Fans. Not.

If you’ve read my bio (and why haven’t you?), you know I’m not happy about fair-weather fans.  You know who you are.  You claim to be big-time Tampa Bay Lightning fans, down to the sweaters and season tickets.  You know the names of the players; nay, you know the nicknames, maybe even their birthdays (BTW, happy birthday to Nate!  And congrats on your wedding!)

Anyway, you carry on like everything’s great, until “your” team comes to town.  And it’s not the Bolts.  GASP!

Shame.  Two-faced shame on you.

You can’t be a true fan if you cave in and support the team we are playing AGAINST.  And wear THEIR sweater.  IN OUR HOUSE!

I understand loyalty to a team you grew up with then moved away from (Go Blackhawks! Okay, I didn’t grow up in Chicago but I married someone who did, so…)  I understand the fondness for favorite players that get traded unexpectedly (Bye Cory-sniff!!) and maybe those expectedly but still are happy for their following success (miss you, Smitty!)

But you’re a Bolts fan, first and foremost!  Wear the Bolts sweater!  Cheer for our team!  Curse the other team!  Come on–BE THE THUNDER!!

And while I’m at it, true fans stay till the end of the game.  The players do; why don’t you? We don’t wimp out early trying to miss traffic.  (Although I do appreciate the ease of popping up on the Crosstown when all you half-fans leave early.)  Anything can happen in the last minutes and/or even seconds of the game.  How about overtime?  (Great game-winner, Killorn!)

Why would you be willing to miss all that excitement?

Be there to cheer for our win!  Be there to boo when they name the 3 stars of the game and one is from the other team!  Be there when our team salutes its fans.

Be there.

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