Angry Alexis: Lightning Fans’ Inferiority Complex Needs To Stop
You may have noticed that there haven’t been that many Angry Alexis columns so far this season. The truth is it’s difficult to work up quality rage when your team is playing well enough to be at the top of the league. This has absolutely nothing to do with the product on the ice and a lot to do with the fans in the stands. (Photo/Alexis Boucher)
After sweeping the season series with the Rangers last night a lot of people shared screen shots of the Bolts’ position in the standings (including me). That’s great. The comments…“and they say hockey doesn’t work in Florida” that accompanied them? Not so much. The Lightning aren’t a fledgling expansion team anymore and fans need to stop acting like they are.
This is the 22nd year of the Lightning’s existence. There have been more than a few growing pains but they have matured. Yes, Tampa Bay is a non-traditional market. Mainstream hockey media may not pay as much attention to what happens in the Sunshine State but the same could be said for a lot of other hockey clubs. There are 30 teams and only so much TV time available. It’s better as it is. The Toronto Maple Leafs get a ton of attention from the media and look at what a circus that can be.
There seems to be a huge preoccupation with needing the media’s approval to validate what is happening here. Fans of some of the NHL’s elite teams don’t have this complex but Lightning fandom is rife with it. When does that stop? Right now some fans’ knee jerk reactions is to make an issue of geography. They would be better served tapping into some of the swagger that the team has on the ice. They keep working and keep winning. Yeah they’re in Florida. They’re also at the top of the standings.
The facts are there. The Lightning have a great young team that has the potential to be good for a long time. They have management that has carefully crafted a great team and revamped their minor league system. There is a great owner at the helm who is active in the building and the community. They are experiencing success that is unmatched by other professional teams in the Tampa Bay region. Instead of constantly looking for approval from media and fans up north we should be confident in what we have.
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