The OHL is more of a community driven league than the NHL; seems most of the fans live in or near a city in the OHL and attend many games. My question is, if you were forced to move to another region which had an OHL team, would you become a fan of their team or stay a fan of yours?
I did move to Edmonton last summer. Traded in my Leafs jersey for an Oilers' Eberle one, but I'm still a die hard Colts fan. Born in Barrie, lived around the GTA and moved back there just before the Colts joined the OHL, I'll always support the Colts.
I do have WHL and QMJHL teams that I support as well (Red Deer Rebels and Saint John Sea Dogs) - have jerseys and go to their games when I'm in town - but if they ever meet the Colts in the Memorial Cup I'll be cheering for my hometown team.
I do go to a fair number of Oil Kings games (especially if Red Deer are in town) and other WHL games across the province too, but tend to go to a lot more NHL games now. It's weird, but the cost difference between Oil Kings and Oilers tickets isn't the same as the difference between OHL and NHL was in Ontario. Good Oil Kings seats cost $40, where in Barrie they were $20, and I get decent Oiler tickets for half the cost of Leaf tickets. Also, there was a lot more effort to get to a Leaf game (and auxiliary costs as well - parking/gas) than a Colts game (4 km from my old house) but here the Oil Kings/Oilers play at the same rink so the effort is exactly the same.
I always just adopt the local team. Or, a couple years just an "interesting" team, if I have the Action Pack and can follow them. I've had Kingston, St. Mike's, Barrie, Brampton, Oshawa, Ottawa, Kitchener, and Windsor as "my team" at different times. Kingston Canadians were my first team, 67's currently and probably overall #1 in the last 10 years. Totally different than how I handle my NHL favourite, for whatever reason.
I've been a Spits fan since the Warriner/Stillman draft year when I lived in Windsor for schooling. After graduating I still made the weekly trek to the old barn but as work life became more and more important and Thurs being their home dates I had to significantly cutback on the number of live games I would take in. However, Sarnia was a much more convenient destination (half the drive time and many Fri home dates) so about 4 or 5 years ago I started attending more and more of their games and have been a season ticket holder for the last 3. I cheer for Sarnia but they are not my team - spits through and through. That said I'm close enough to both that I still attend many spits games so maybe that's why the bond was never broken.
Before we got our own Major Junior A team here in Barrie, my favorite team was the Peterborough Petes, since I was 5 cause my name is Pete. I still have a soft spot for them. How on earth they failed to draft Pete Peeters is just inconceivable.
There should be an option for you would still cheer for the team you grew up with but would get behind the local team.
I generally don't like 'cop out' options of both/neither in polls, I like having to force people to choose between one or the other.
And let’s be honest, there’d have to be one. If your local team and team you called your favourite met, you’d have to cheer for SOMEONE.
The roster turnaround point is a good one. My inspiration for this thread has been the Brampton Battalion; as we all know they left due to lack of fan support but the ones they have are some of the most passionate out there. I asked many of them what happens next as far as the OHL for them; some aren’t supporting it (though mostly due to the letdown they are going through), the ones that are seem to be in consensus that they will follow North Bay for the next few years to follow the former battalion players but then after that will move on to Barrie (seems they’re at a consensus that they’d rather bathe in vomit than cheer for Mississauga). I guess I’d feel the same way as most; if I ended up in the same city as my rival, no way I’d simply say “well I’m here now, I’ll cheer for the team I’ve hated for years” but after years of turnaround, I might switch alliances.
Live in the GTA but rep the Steelheads any chance I get, only way i'd cheer for another major junior team is if I ended up moving and one was closer to me. It was different with the Majors, I felt more attached, still trying to work that feeling and commitment out with the Steelheads.
If I moved within Ontario and could still follow the OHL I'd still get every Knights game on the Action Pak..so it wouldn't matter. If I moved out of province or abroad..I'd likely be done with watching the OHL and cheer from afar. The other 19 teams could fall off the earth for all I care. Knights or nothing.