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12-13-2012, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
That's a problem right there, because those kids aren't becoming hockey fans: They're becoming Leafs fans. There's a big difference between the two.
So kids who grow up playing the game, emulating their favorite players ( buying the sticks, the posters wearing their idols numbers) have the same value to the league as someone who scours the box scores for their fantasy league but can't be bothered to go to games or even watch them ?

And since a mod already warned me, I'm not saying that you have lace them up to be a good fan. But if you do, you have a primal direct link to the game and an important frame of reference that you can't get from a boxscore or a book. You know what it feels like when the laces dig into your palms, you know the feeling of helplessness when you realise that a guy has a step on you before anyone else does. You know that freezing your butt ( and toes off) by leaving before sunrise to get a clean sheet of ice with no ruts is a trade you would make 10 times out of 10. This is a perspective of the game that is formed by your own experiences.

These experiences are not a prerequisite to making good fans but they are the easiest way to make lifelong fans of the sport. When you have pools of kids who spend their childhood and teens playing the game you don't have to convince them of the value of the NHL, they already know.

Much of fandom is aspirational, I don't see how this is possible if 99% of the house lacks this connection because they never had the chance to play the greatest game on gods green earth at any level.

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