Yes, I am a new fan. Yes, I didn’t pay attention to the Washington Capitals until 2007. Yes, I became a fan when the Washington Capitals were getting good. Yes, I didn’t become absolutely, totally, and completely a fan until the latter half of last season. Being a new fan doesn’t automatically make you a bandwagoner.
There’s a big difference between new fans and bandwagoners. Bandwagoners like it because it’s popular. They couldn’t care less about the game or the team or the players; they like it because it’s “cool”. New fans are just that – new. Being new to the Washington Capitals does not make me any less of a diehard fan. Bandwagoners cannot name players beyond the stars, or know the stats, or carry on conversations about the game or other teams, simply because they do not care. They abandon the team once they begin to do poorly, and more than likely, they’ll be gone by the off-season.
But new fans – new fans grow. They may start off as ignorant, but they transform into indistinguishable knowledgeable, diehard fans. They learn the entire roster, they learn about the stats, they learn to carry on conversations about the game or other teams, simply because they do care. Half the time, you wouldn’t know they’re not from the “lean years” unless they tell you.
And, is it really such a bad thing that the Caps sell out the Verizon Center? That away team’s ticket sales go up when the Caps come to town? That more and more people are wearing Caps shirts, going to Caps practices, supporting the Caps? Because if you think it’s bad for the boys to be having so much success, then maybe you’re the bad fan, not the new ones.
So yes, I am a new fan. Hate me if you want, but know that I love this team just as much as you do.