Just a quick thought here…
I know Stars fans are going to hear this and feel this is a kick in the gut towards local Dallas / Fort Worth hockey fans by a player who isn’t even 12 hours removed from being a member of the Dallas Stars. But as a Canadian hockey fan who happens to root for the Stars I have one piece of advice… Oh and fans of other teams in non-traditional hockey markets may want to heed this advice as well…
Stop it. The whole “we are too a hockey town” bit. Just stop. I’m asking as a fan who likes you guys and actually wants to see hockey thrive in the south, stop doing this to yourselves…
Dallas isn’t a hockey town. It just isn’t. Not where I come from anyway.
I know you hate reading that but I’m telling you right now, embrace it. You don’t HAVE to be a hockey town.
It would be cool if the Dallas Stars had top billing in your town’s papers and led off the nightly sports segments and anywhere you looked on any random street in the city, seeing people wearing Stars gear would be the norm instead of a rare “oh hey look someone ELSE is wearing a Dallas Stars hat too!” moment.
But that doesn’t happen does it? It’s Cowboys, Rangers and then depending who is winning and who isn’t it’s Mavericks, college teams THEN maybe the Stars…
In Buffalo it’s Sabres, Bills… and that’s it. And the Bills have sucked for so long I think even people in Buffalo just treat them like a step-child.
“Oh the Bills won a game today? Good for them! So anyway about that Sabres power play last night..”
That’s what Steve Ott is talking about here. Buffalo eats and breathes Sabres hockey. A regular season win brings sunshine and laughter and a loss is almost over-scrutinized until eyes start bleeding.
That is a hint of what a hockey town is like. Dallas isn’t like that with the Stars.
But my real point here is stop freaking out every time a player or an obnoxious Canadian fan points out that your hometown really isn’t a “hockey city” as if that somehow is a reason to dismiss what hockey fans *are* there. (Which by the way *isn’t* what Steve Ott was doing…)
So what if it isn’t a hockey city?
You wouldn’t say Edmonton is a baseball town or that Indianapolis is a great baseball city or that Pittsburgh is a basketball hotbed, and I doubt people who love those sports that live in those cities would argue with you. That doesn’t mean those sports wouldn’t exist and thrive in those places because they do and it doesn’t mean those same fans aren’t as passionate about those sports because they are…
They just aren’t the be-all-end-all that hockey is in Edmonton, basketball is in Indianapolis or football (and hockey) is in Pittsburgh.
Dallas is a good home for a pro hockey team and the fans that ARE there are just as loyal and passionate as the ones in Montreal or Boston.. just perhaps far fewer in number.
There really is no shame in embracing that fact.
Stop beating yourself up that Dallas doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as a Detroit or Philly or Buffalo or any Canadian city because those reputations are earned over decades of history and Dallas has a ways to go for that rep.