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Terry Frei's article on Trapnsplant Fans

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

By Terry Frei

The fans take the Blackhawks jerseys out of drawers or off hangers. The jerseys might have Jeremy Roenick's, Tony Amonte's or Chris Chelios' name and former number on the backs, because those were the most recent good ol' days. Maybe the fans don't like the new style or the price tag of the jerseys, but they know, at some point, they will update to Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews models.

Then, they head for the arena, joining friends -- even instant friends they've never met before -- who consider the Hawks and such things as Nancy Faust, Big Al's and the train ride in from Evanston to be parts of their heritage.

As they high-five following Blackhawks goals or merely walk down the concourse, they accept not only the good-natured teasing, but also brave the withering looks, the snide comments, and maybe even a spray or two of beer from other fans.

They're not in Chicago.

They're in any other NHL arena.

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

And, of course, the road team in question doesn't have to be (and usually isn't) the Blackhawks.

It plays out at virtually every NHL game, especially in the U.S., with the Red Wings, Sabres, Rangers, Flyers, Blues ? and on and on. I'm not talking about the affluent Rangers fan who still lives in New Rochelle, taking a California junket to San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim for games in late January. I'm talking about the fans who have moved to another market, often out of choice, and take great pleasure in flaunting their retained athletic loyalties to advertise that they're citizens only on the driver's licenses.

Usually, it involves a franchise with deep roots, but not always, because fan affinity simply can come from picking out a team without geography or tradition as major issues. Maybe someone is the great nephew of the Igloo's original Zamboni driver and despite never having been to Pittsburgh, always has rooted for the Penguins.

Hockey fans often are good-natured, tolerant and accepting of it.

But at what point do the fans of the "other" teams have it coming? At what point do they deserve to get grief?

Yeah, sometimes -- sometimes, not always -- the relocated fans of the "other" team might deserve it. When they cross the line to obnoxiousness. When they act as if they believe anyone who actually has deep-rooted affection for the area just fell off the turnip truck. When they act as if their new area's history didn't begin until they did the area the favor of moving there. When they come off as fans who might not even have cared as much about (fill in team name) when they lived in (fill in city) until they moved somewhere else and could flaunt their non-native status. And when they aren't smart enough to at least have an inkling that if rooting for the opposing team seems to reflect any of that, rather than simple and genuine affection for a team, they at least should be self-conscious.

That's when they have it coming.

Not the beer, but at least the disdain.

It's a gauche, lowbrow, unrealistic view, and I should be both more pragmatic and understanding of the All-American phenomenon. Embracing one team of mercenary athletes over another team of mercenary athletes is not the measure of commitment to a community. I know that. And I should know better.

It's still how I feel.

Those "visiting team" fans deserve it when they're obnoxious transplants whose retained childhood or family-roots sports loyalties are part of a more aggravating bigger-picture attitude.

That attitude can be summed up as a complete lack of sensitivity or concern about how galling it all can be to natives who in their course of everyday life are reminded at every turn that 87 percent of their metro area can seem to be made up of transplants.

We're a mobile society. I don't live in my native area, either. There's nothing "wrong" with moving somewhere, whether reluctantly for work reasons or even because you patented the greatest invention in the history of the world (the ATM card) and decided that moving into a Bel Air mansion was the way to go, and then retaining sports franchise loyalties.

But ?

It's so aggravating to have to put up with folks who act as if the history of the area, especially when it's an area those folks have chosen to move to, didn't begin until they moved there.

Believe it or not, there are some Southern California natives. A few, not many. Some of them are hockey fans who, depending on their ages, grew up on the old Western League Blades or the Triple Crown line or the arrival of The Great One. There are Colorado natives, who not only remember when Wilf Paiement and Barry Beck were the cornerstones of the original Colorado Rockies, but also when Loveland Pass and not the Eisenhower Tunnel was the major way to get to the ski areas or to the Western Slope. There are Bay Area natives whose parents debated who was better, Willie McCovey or Orlando Cepeda, and who went to Sharks games in the Cow Palace. There are Hurricanes fans in the Research Triangle or Lightning fans in the Tampa Bay region who either are natives or decided to sign on and make the emotional attachments to the teams when they arrived.

Of course, to folks in those areas, it can seem that 3.2 million folks from Detroit, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and even Buffalo have landed in their midst, and always end up in their sections in the arenas.

And I don't blame those natives for wondering:

1. How come there are 14.2 million folks who have moved from those, ahem, more traditional hockey markets to Los Angeles or Denver or San Jose or Raleigh or Tampa -- yet there seems to be about 11 (eleven, period) folks who have moved from those "newer" hockey markets to, say, Boston, Detroit or Chicago?

2. Why do folks move someplace, then spend 87 percent of their time bragging about how great the place they left was? If it's that important to them, why not move mountains, so to speak, to move back?

3. How come the transplants with retained childhood athletic loyalties don't have any idea about how aggravating they can be? This might be the most significant point of all: They're the most aggravating when their attitudes come with the kicker beliefs that their friends who dare to switch their loyalties to local teams, or have rooted for the local team or teams all along, are saps.

Absolutely, there are fans in Raleigh who root for the Hurricanes -- except for the four times they play the Rangers.

But they're in the minority.

Again: I will concede there's nothing wrong with -- and it even can add spice to a game -- having good-natured fans of the "opposing" team in the seats, and hearing the teasing go back and forth. To various extents, it's part of the dynamic at every NHL game. Twenty guys wearing the winged wheel, with only Brian Rafalski from Michigan, going against the defending Stanley Cup champions, none of them native Californians, in the Honda Center? That does not set up a test for good Orange County citizenship. This involves selecting one group of mercenaries over another, not moving to one area and refusing to pay taxes or mind the laws because it's not the area named on the birth certificate. This is sports, not life. I know that.

But: Sometimes they've got it coming.

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

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I think us transplants from actual hockey markets have the right to make fun of the local yokels all we want. I mean, they stole a bunch of teams and most of them don't even act like they know there's a franchise in their city.

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

http://www.terryfrei.com/

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or … virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

http://www.terryfrei.com/

Oh. Terry Frei is a circa-1996 web designer? Got it.

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

http://www.terryfrei.com/

Oh. Terry Frei is a circa-1996 web designer? Got it.

Hey!! 1997.

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I think us transplants from actual hockey markets have the right to make fun of the local yokels all we want. I mean, they stole a bunch of teams and most of them don't even act like they know there's a franchise in their city.

Yawn.

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As long as they're not obnoxious, transplant fans are fine by me. Hell, I live in Atlanta which is basically the capital of bandwagon/transplant/fairweather fans. Dealing with transplant fans is basically in the job description of being an Atlanta sports fan. :P

But yeah, as long as they aren't obnoxious or anything, they're cool. I remember when the Steelers fanbase basically invaded the Georgia Dome a couple of years ago...I was sitting next to, quite possibly, one of the coolest people I've ever met at a football game. He was so knowledgeable about the game, and the fact that he was a Steelers fan just spiced things up a little bit. I mean, those type of fans are cool. The ones that aren't cool are the ones that come in, brag about how their team & city is WAYYYY better than this city right here, and then when their team loses, will be the first one to take off their newly bought jersey, throw it in the trash, and get the hell out of dodge. Those are the annoying ones.

But it's all in good fun. Transplant fans are people too. Let them cheer for their team (and pay towards the revenue and tax of the other team and its city. Whose city is REALLY the winner? :P)

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I think us transplants from actual hockey markets have the right to make fun of the local yokels all we want. I mean, they stole a bunch of teams and most of them don't even act like they know there's a franchise in their city.

And this is an example of the bad kind of transplant fans who are arrogant and annoying. Way to prove Terry Frei's point!

I'm a transplant fan myself but adopted the local team once moving here. As they are now my hometown team it only makes sense to support them. And once my former team turned to a joke my hometown team quickly became my favorite. And never once did I rank the city/fans/etc of my former team above my hometown team.

Football would probably be a better example. Unlike hockey, I did not adopt the local football team. But I would never put down Bucs fans or act like Bengals fans and the city of Cincy is better than Tampa. (That would just sound silly anyway.)

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I believe if you move somewhere you should still hold allegience (sp?) to your old hometown team, however, you should also support your new local team. If you want to become part of the community that's one way to do it. Why would you move somewhere and NOT want to become part of the community? That's why I pull for Wisconsin teams AND Florida teams. Lucky for me they rarely play each other. I guess in the case of NY vs FL it's a bigger issue b/c they always play each other.

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I think us transplants from actual hockey markets have the right to make fun of the local yokels all we want. I mean, they stole a bunch of teams and most of them don't even act like they know there's a franchise in their city.

Yawn.

How can you disagree with me on this one? Aren't you from the Twin Cities? Have you already forgotten what they did to you in the 90s?

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I live in the Twin Cities now, but didn't then.

And, while franchise relocation is nasty, most "non-hockey markets" (whatever that means) that have teams did not get theirs via relocation. One such example in the article, Los Angeles, has had an NHL team for a lot longer than many of the so-called hockey markets.

It's a bogus, easy-way-out, blanket statement. So, I reiterate:

Yawn.

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I believe if you move somewhere you should still hold allegience (sp?) to your old hometown team, however, you should also support your new local team. If you want to become part of the community that's one way to do it. Why would you move somewhere and NOT want to become part of the community? That's why I pull for Wisconsin teams AND Florida teams. Lucky for me they rarely play each other. I guess in the case of NY vs FL it's a bigger issue b/c they always play each other.

What? No.

I'll take my abuse for showing up to games wearing the "wrong" jersey, thanks. Fortunately, I'm never alone. Sabres fans show up in droves. Doesn't mean we hate this place.

There are plenty of ways to become a part of one's new community. Adopting the local sports teams might be one way, but it's not necessary by any means. There are plenty of locals here that didn't adopt the team when the team got here, why should I do it just because I moved here?

Besides, my team and this team have a pretty good rivalry brewing. Cheering for both would be a conflict of interest.

Same thing with college sports. I didn't follow college sports back home, I'm not going to start now just because the ACC is king here.

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

Someone who gets paid to voice his opinions, unlike us here on this board. So yeah, that's who Terry Frei is.

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[quote name='BgMack27' post='909816' date='Monday, February

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

Someone who's written more books than you ever will.

Just because you write a book doesn't make you worth listening to, much less worth reading.

And this is coming from a guy who HAS written a book. :P

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[quote name='BgMack27' post='909816' date='Monday, February

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

Someone who's written more books than you ever will.

Just because you write a book doesn't make you worth listening to, much less worth reading.

And this is coming from a guy who HAS written a book. :P

So do tell and show us your book, author.

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So do tell and show us your book, author.

Not exactly relevant to the forum. Feel free to PM me, though.

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At what point do transplant fans deserve to get grief?

Maybe it's Raleigh or Tampa or Denver or Southern California or San Jose or Columbus or Nashville or ? virtually anywhere else. They've paid their $74 per seat or put the first claim in on the company tickets for that game the second the schedule came out.

There you are.

And, who the :censored: is Terry Frei?

Someone who gets paid to voice his opinions, unlike us here on this board. So yeah, that's who Terry Frei is.

First, what makes you so sure that's accurate? Second, who took the jam out of your donut?

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I bet Leeds is actually Terry Frei.

Or, the president of the TF Fan Club.

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I've got no problem with transplant fans... nothing wrong with living in Edmonton and still being a _____ fan. What I do think is stupid is people who will wear a Chicago jersey to an Oilers/Canucks game, or something to that extent.

Idiots.

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