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02-06-2013, 06:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Country: United States
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As noted the TV shots behind the glass can be deceiving. I was at the game vs St. Louis and was surprised to see the empty seats watching the replay. In the 1st period I sat in row 20(?), 2nd to last in the upper bowl. It was packed up there and everybody sat in the wrong seats, you just had to sit where you could. The next night Ken Daniels said "the Joe was rockin last night..." Damn was he correct. There were droves of people making for long lines and having to inch forward as a herd trying to leave the arena. I can't remember a game that was that filled with spectators. There were a lot of 20 somethings too. They looked like newbs and it gave me the feeling that it somehow "hip" to be a hockey fan. I believe the lockout created a buzz and peaked the interest of some who may never have watched before.

This has got me thinking about who the true "fans" are. It seemed like in the upper bowl (with college priced tickets etc.) people were incessantly checking their phones, chatting, showing up halfway through the period, leaving for beer or the bathroom. Anything to not watch the game. And they all have a new crisp Zetterberg jersey, strange. In the 3rd I snuck down to the lower bowl and the folks there seemed more like hockey "fans." We watched each move intently, with the same gasps and small cheers. As a goal went in the fans erupted immediately as it was happening. They didn't need to see a replay on the jumbotron to know what was up!

Anyways "hockey town" is an odd place. There is a huge amount of bandwagon fans. Michigan has a lot of hockey players so it is somewhat ingrained in the populace. In the Detroit Metro area you will see a surprising number of RW stickers on cars, RW hats, etc. Most of the people barely watch the regular season but come playoffs they're all in. I don't think it matters how much the Wings win or lose, there will always be support for the team.

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