UPDATE 6/11: Obviously this was the year to be a Blackhawks fan. I will say I was happy, but I wish it had been the Pens — last year was total euphoria. I’m on my way to the parade, though — gotta see that Cup when you get a chance.
I got into a debate on Facebook a few weeks back on whether it’s OK to have a second-favorite team in any given sport. This is particularly relevant for me these days.
While the Penguins are hockey team No. 1 for me, I’ve had a bizarre second-favorite thing going for the Chicago Blackhawks since I was ten. Though I had nothing to do with Chicago until college, this random second-place fandom was due to an older kid I knew liking them and the fact that, unlike Pittsburgh, Chicago was a playable team in Blades of Steel. (At least an 8-bit, gray-and-red team called “Chicago” was playable.)
(I realize I sound like a Cubs pink-hat using some forgotten trip to a great-aunt in Skokie at age 4 to justify getting hammered at Wrigley, but I’m for real in not being bandwagon. Ask G, considering I used to drag her to games in the Bill-Wirtz-era 2000s, when the Blackhawks truly sucked.)
With the Pens eliminated two rounds ago, I’ve been hoping for a Chicago Stanley Cup. I say having a second-favorite team in sports is OK, so long as you follow these rules:
- There’s an unquestionable hierarchy of Nos. 1 and 2. You can’t go mixing things, or you’ll get in trouble if the two teams play each other. What did I do when Pittsburgh played Chicago in the 1992 Cup finals? Dropped the Chicago sympathies faster than BP’s stock price yesterday.
- Your No. 2 can’t be a historic, regional or otherwise bitter rival of No. 1. Chicago and Pittsburgh rarely play each other, so I’m good here. You can never, ever like your favorite team’s archrival. If Baltimore gave me a key to the city and renamed itself Patstackiswesomeville, I would go buy one of those window stickers with Calvin peeing on the Ravens logo and tattoo it to my face just to make sure everyone knew how I really felt. (Luckily the first one will never happen, because that would be a pretty awful tattoo. The point is, Ravens suck.)
- You can’t be elated if your No. 2 wins, just happy. Elation is saved for No. 1 only. If a No. 1 championship is “OMG AWSUM!!!1!”, then a No. 2 championship is, “Hey, alright, I like it.” No couch-burning or things like that allowed when it’s not your true favorite.
- No. 2 fandom is usually preferable if your No. 2 is in the city where you currently live. You get the benefit of a happy populace, which means happy neighbors. But per Rule No. 3, don’t think you are allowed the same enjoyment as the true natives.
- Temporary No. 2s are perfectly OK when No. 2 is playing a team you hate. The Blackhawks get to embarrass the Flyers? Double win!
So there you have it. In conclusion, I would like to say Go ‘Hawks (with no exclamation point, per Rule No. 3) and Ravens suck. Thank you.