With the Bruins set to participate in the 2011 Stanton’s Cup Finale tonight, it seems like an appropriate time to extol the virtues of effectively admonishing idiotic bandwagon fans who are watching the team for the first time…as opposed to people like us, who began watching the B’s like two months earlier.
As was the case with our mid-2000s Red Sox fan brethren, the resentment is justifiable and well-founded. Use these helpful tips to foil any party-crashers who are clearly at your local pub solely because they believe being shitfaced before the conclusion of the second quarter of a hockey match won’t be frowned upon like it is in the middle of January—a time when you and I can proudly say the team was already “firmly on our radar.”
-Memorize the roster from the relevant team’s previous flirtation with a championship…or buy a smartphone in which you can look up these facts on Wikipedia at a moment’s notice while pretending to urinate in the bathroom. When you are exiting the pisser, make sure it is not obvious you have been consulting your mobile device as your buddies will be highly suspicious of your sudden revelation that you were Reggie Lemelin’s biggest fan. If you sense your cover may be blown, quickly call attention to the fact that one of your pals never even bothered to check out the rack on that 40-year-old broad in the makeshift low-cut Andy Moog jersey.
-Go on the offensive. Like baseball, hockey is filled with a bunch of obscure, confusing rules that can quickly separate the hardcore fans from the latch-ons. A preemptive strike by which you challenge others’ understanding of key concepts such as “four checking” (an attack formation named after Bobby Orr) and “more men than is legally allowable on the ice at one time” (a rule the NHL just added two years ago) will help silence the true imposters before they can even think of questioning your commitment and understanding of the sport.
-Question others’ level of heartbreak following a crushing postseason collapse. Back before the Sox won it all, the gold standard for misery was either 1986 or 2003, depending on one’s age. Boston baseball fans who can’t work themselves up into a lather of tears over the discussion of those fateful collapses quickly prove themselves unworthy. For the Bruins, last year’s epic playoff failure against the Philadelphia Flyers provides a relevant litmus test for hardcore fans trying to weed out fair-weather fans. Make sure you never sway in your position that, although you were crushed, you always Believed with a capital Bruins logo “B” even after the team blew both a 3-0 series lead…and a 3-0 Game 7 lead. Remind people that you had your own “Believe” towels printed last summer well after everyone had already moved on to soccer.
-When necessary, bring into question the offending party’s sexual orientation in analyzing why they had not become fans sooner than last week. This tactic will wound the ego deeply and your position will be immediately bolstered by their unplanned defense of their manhood or womanhood. He (or she, as it were) will likely forget there is even a game going on altogether and you can be sure other patrons will take note of their misguided attention. Note that this technique can be transferred into any number of different situations in life in which you seek a quick resolution to an argument.
-Reference random games from the regular season. For example, if the Bruins fall behind despite outplaying the Canucks in the early going, have a list of games from the regular season in which the flow was frustratingly similar. This signals your clear devotion to the team from the very beginning of it all. No, the games referenced do not have to actually resemble the current game. But the newcomers won’t have the conviction to call you out on it. If they do, just point at the back of your jersey and tell them Ray Bourque wants you to “suck it.”
-Long outwardly for the good old days. Don’t be shy about vocalizing your displeasure at having to bump elbows with “fans” who don’t exhibit the proper level of hate for French Canadians. Adopt the stance that your deceased relatives would have never tolerated the level of sportsmanship that rules the sport of hockey these days and that all Canadian hockey players, other than the Canadian hockey players presently on the Bruins, are a bunch of fairies.
Our Stanford Cup Prediction: Bruins in 7…in a shootout.