I was just thinking about sitting here one year ago. Most of us Atlanta fans were clinging to any possible thread of hope that our team would be saved. We were busy being strung along by John Kinkade and #TheBalkan, who would somehow save our franchise.
I think we all know how that turned out.
You guys jumped in. You made us feel welcome in a place where most of us felt as if we no longer had a home. It's very strange to come to a website where you've gone for years and developed a group of friends to all of a sudden log on and your place is gone. Thanks to the fans of the Nashville Predators, we were not only accepted into the fold, but brought in with open arms. This was not just from the fans here, but the actual fans at the arena and the team itself. Not once in my eleven years as a Thrashers fan did I feel the acceptance I did from Preds fans and staff. We Thrashers fans were a pretty die hard bunch. We had to be to put up with some of the crap slinged our way. We were fans of a team whose owners really didn't care if we were fans. In fact, they would have preferred it if we weren't fans.
All of a sudden, we became part of a fanbase whose owners seemed to want us to join them. We were part of a franchise dedicated to building a winner, and not simply keeping a low salary. We joined a group that not only expected to make the playoffs (a pretty foreign concept to us) but WIN in the playoffs. I have to admit, one thing that seemed really strange to me all season was seeing fans disappointed in a win. That was really a sign to me that this group was something special; when a simple W isn't good enough.
It does my heart good to see fans of non-traditional markets stand together, because honestly, we have a huge uphill fight against us. But, we're Southerners, or at least of the Southern mindset. Like Hank Williams Jr says in "Country Boy Can Survive..."
You can't starve us out and you can't make us run.
So, on behalf of all the Catbirds, I'd like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you. Y'all were a nice bright spot in a very dark place for us. Your hospitality hasn't gone unnoticed. You guys bought the arena beers for us this year. Next season, they're on me.
I would also like to thank Preds fans. Thank you guys for not being total ****s like other teams fans we've had to face. This series was fun because of the respect between our fan bases. Not once did I see a relocation joke from you guys, or a typical "South" joke from us.
Best of luck to you guys next season. I respect your team alot.
It was good to gain so many passionate and knowledgeable fans almost overnight. I'm glad the Thrashers fans could come in and feel welcome. If you want to, consider this your new home. I don't think we're going anywhere