Monday, May 14, 2007

Easy Question…Just not for me

Fellow HLOG’ers, I need some clarification. I pose a question that I think is fairly easy for the majority of you to answer. The reason I ask this question, in anticipation of discussions in the comments, is because I just don’t understand. Someone (or everyone except Steph) please tell me why there’s so much hatred for the Detroit Red Wings.

When I was in 7th or 8th grade, during the playoffs I became a Red Wings fan. One of my friends gave me a hard time because he said that I should be cheering for the team closest to us, which I said was utter BS. By the time the finals rolled around and the Cup was being contended for by Detroit and New Jersey, he put aside his own rule and rooted for Jersey. That story is probably completely irrelevant, but nevertheless, that’s when I remember first becoming a supporter of Detroit. Sure, it was easy to support a team that was so damn good, but I liked them for reasons other than their winning record. (And to set the record straight, I am no bandwagoner! I hated the Oilers during their Stanley Cup glory years and I have never liked the Avalanche, most likely due to my ill feelings toward Roy.) With Lidstrom, Yzerman, and a slew of Russians, including Konstantinov (I still get teary-eyed when the broadcasts show him at the games), Kozlov, and Federov, how could you not like that group of guys? Even Vernon and Osgood, an unlikely winning pair, were easy to like. So I wonder, has Detroit ever been a team supported by non-Detroiters? Or has it only been during recent years that they have gathered a strong group of opponents?

There are a couple reasons why I think a lot of hockey fans don’t like Detroit: (a) they always seem to win and/or (b) Hasek. Are either of these reasons correct?

I’ll be honest, I can’t stand Hasek! I’ve never liked him and even though I’m rooting for the Red Wings (mostly because I can’t bare to imagine another California team making it to the Finals), I cringe every time Hasek touches the puck, shake my head at every bonehead mistake he makes, and ask myself how he has become a number one goalie. Every time he flops around and the puck just happens to glance off his leg pad I want to scream, “Have fun with Satan!”
With the exception of Hasek, I can’t understand why people hate today’s Red Wings. Please HLOG’ers and other hockey fans, enlighten me, why the hate for Detroit?


Earl Sleek said...

Winning is a huge factor, but to tell you the truth, in this series especially, I probably dislike Red Wing fans more than I dislike the franchise itself.

I dunno, it has a lot to do with entitlement. It's their series and they are the only good team, and nobody deserves to share the same ice with them, and isn't it obvious how much referees and color announcers are biased against them? Probably we're not good enough hockey fans to see it or get it.

It's their league, apparently, and the rest of us are lucky to be allowed to play in it. Classless in wins, and classless in defeat.

Now of course I am talking about a vocal minority of Detroit pride here, but I get that from so few other teams, especially out west.

On a personal note, I do hate Chelios, but that is a separate story completely.

Sherry said...

I never truly hated the Red Wings until this year. The thing is, Steve Yzerman is probably my favourite hockey player of all time. However, after he retired, I found myself with even less reason to to cheer for them. Then of course it hit me that Steve Yzerman was the only reason I even liked the Wings in the first place. The fact that they have Hasek and Chelios on their team just fuels the fire even more.

Plus I think I like the Avs. I suppose it's just not possible to like them both.

Schnookie said...

I actually used to not entirely mind the Red Wings. I mean, they had the decency to roll over for my Devs in '95, and made things even better by beating the Flyers in the '97 Cup Final. But with that Cup win something awful happened: The Apotheosis of the Detroit Red Wings. Seriously. They went from being a kind of heartless group of underachievers that you couldn't help but feel kind of sorry for to The Greatest Team Ever. At least, you'd think that based on how ESPN treated them. And therein lies the problem with the Wings, in my opinion -- the national hockey television media, such as it is, seems to think we all really, really care about them. A lot. Like, so much that we want to watch all of their games. Even their games against non-playoff teams. Sure, I hate them in part because they're good and they're not my team (and really, does a fan need any more reason than that to hate someone?), and I hate them in part because of the litany of loathsome players they have in their lineup (where to even start? Hasek? Chelios? Bertuzzi?) and I hate them in part for the reasons Earl listed above, but most of all I hate them because I'm tired of them. They're overexposed. If we could go a season where they weren't constantly on NBC and VS (note to NBC's programmers: the Colorado/Detroit rivalry has not been interesting to anyone outside of those two fanbases for at least 5 years), maybe I'd relent on them a little. Of course they'd probably still have the same slew of ugsome guys on their roster, but I can hope, right?

KMS2 said...

I like the responses. Another question: What's the deal with hating Chelios? I've been a hockey fan for roughly 17-18 years, and he's never really been on my radar. In my mind, Roenick would probably be on his level except he had to come to LA and be a complete jackass and useless waste of space and for those matters is now on my shit list. But Chelios? I have no opinion of the guy. But Earl and Schnookie, you're right, the TV media does kiss up to the Red Wings and they're getting awfully close with their treatment of the Penguins.

Schnookie said...

Aw, come on kms2... surely just being Chris Chelios is reason enough to be hated?

(I have no problem with the media overload on the Penguins because at least they're in the right -- oh, I mean "Eastern" conference. After all those years of Western Conference media overload, it's nice to have the pendulum swing back our way...)

Rinslet said...

I don't hate the Red Wings, so I can't answer it. Even when they eliminated us in 01-02, I don't know, I just don't hate them. Maybe it's because I know they're always an excellent team and everytime my team plays the Wings, you know it'd be a good game and a good challenge for my team.

B_Washington said...

I am an Avs fans, so the reasons come naturally. I also addressed how to hate this current addition of the Red (Beige) Wings in my Avs blog a couple days ago.

But I didn't like them even before the Avs came to Denver.

So while my link shows why i hate them now, 10 years ago they were easily hateable. Federov was an overated Russian Pretty boy. (okay he wasn't overrated, but I thought so). "The Grind Line" was overrated (seriously the Avs line of Yelle, Keane and whoever they put out there with them was better).

McCarty was a jackass, above average grinder who had one highlight goal (By the way McCarty's legendary pummling of Claude LeMieux was completely dirty. He leveled him in much the same way Jordan Tootoo leveled the Star this year. Not that LeMieux didn't deserve it, but McCarty was still dirty too). Chelios is a jerk. Hasek is flop.

Also I got pretty tired of the "Original six teams are the only one's worthy of the Cup" attitude that went around for a while. Since the Red Wings were the only one of those 6 teams that were good.. well it became "The Red Wings are the only real worthy champions".

How about the arrogance of calling yourself "Hockeytown"? The Russian Red army uniforms.

I have a friend out here in San Jose, someone I have only known for 6 months. I have never heard him say a negative thing about anyone, and not a negative hockey thing other than "The Sharks played bad last night".

We were talking hockey one day, and the subject turned to the Red (Beige) Wings. He says "Man I hate them, they have the most obnoxious fans out of any fans that come to the Sharks games. They are always loud rude, and classless."

Keep in ming this is 2500 miles away from Detroit, and this took no prodding by me, from the most tolerant, nicest, polite person I probably know. He just said this o his own. I don't liek saying "One teams fans are stupid" because all you need to do to find stupid fans of any team is head to their official forums, but when this friend of mine is calling them out you know it's bad.

I hope that's enough reasons ;)

(By the way I loe the blog here, Just started checking it out a week or two ago, and it alwaysdeliver's the good)

Debcapsfan said...

They win all the time.
Hasek is insane. One of my favorite Caps memories was watching him throw his blocker at Peter Bondra after he bumped him. Good times.
Their fans are so freaking fickle. You're the number one team in the West, and there are empty seats in the first two rounds because there are doubts the team can win the Cup. *eyeroll* Now they beat San Josb and everyone's back on the bandwagon.
And most importantly, they've completely screwed my Cup picks for the West. Stupid Detroit.

Jordi said...

Short answer: I'm a biter Oilers fan.

What? Not enough for you? Eff you.

Bethany said...

I hate the Red Wings because of their fans...I know most of them are fine but I believe when you come into another teams arena and call it your 'other arena' it's disrespectful to the fans and to everyone else...and when they boo people on MY team at MY arena it makes me hate the team. Also, Hasek. That's simple enough. And, as far as Chelios I love Chelios and have nothing but respect for the man.

Jocelynn said...

What b-Washington said about Wings fans at the Shark Tank is true. I hate going to games when the Sharks play the Wings 'cause half the arena is Wings fans and they tend to be arrogant.

KMS2 said...

I've always avoided attending Kings games when they play the Wings because they have a horrible track record against them. But maybe I should experience the "Detroit-fan-in-an-opponent's-arena". Maybe then I'll switch to the other side.

Heather B. said...

I don't think it's necessarily hating the current squad either (though throw me in as another Hasek hater). I think fans just get into the habit of hating a franchise. The individuals on the team fade into the background. Every once in a while I find myself realizing, "What a second - I like a lot of these guys!" about teams I've been hating forever.

And it's the winning. Nobody loves a winner.

Steph said...

Guys come on I'm going to be ashamed to show my face around here pretty soon!

american oil said...

..see Jordi's reason....

Margee said...

A big fat WORD to what everybody already said. There is a supreme overdoggishness to the Wings. Like the Yankees, the Rangers, Duke basketball, the Bulls, the Cowboys, etc. No matter how unworthy any of those teams are, they are still on the front pages. Detroit follows that same pattern.

Shan said...

I am indifferent towards the Wings. They don't have anyone remarkable on the offense. But they do have good players like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Holmstrom. Nicklas Lidstrom makes it a great team.

Personally, I like Dom, but I can see how one might dislike him. He keeps the puck out of the net at all costs using his excellent anticipation.

Shan said...

Let me add I was a Detroit fan in my early days, as I loved Fedorov.