For fun and information, I have a light hearted post right now. For those mainly who are interested in professional sports of any variety. If you are interested in a sport, do you feel persuaded or obligated to cheer and root for a team that is in or near your community?
I follow the National Hockey League, and my favourite team is New York Rangers. I do get hassled about this from friends and family. Since we live about 1 hour west of Toronto, Ontario, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, whom I have NEVER cheered for and so many others in this area do. Even before I started to cheer for NYR in the days of the original six teams, I cheered for Boston or Chicago, who I still do like as well.
Many ask why NYR? This all started back in 1962-63 (probably many readers were not even born yet or not interested in hockey. At that time our city, Kitchener, had a team here for two years in the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL), that was affiliated with the Rangers. That team only lasted a couple of years but had future NHL super stars on it, such as Rod Gilbert, Jean Ratelle, Red Bownass, Jim Neilson and many more, including Don Cherry. I followed the careers of these players, so it was natural to follow the Rangers.
Once the EPHL folded, we got a Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) Jr. A team in town, also associated with NYR at that time. This was great hockey, also with future NHL stars, as these players were only 16-19 years old when here. Some of the players who passed through Kitchener during the early years were Larry Robinson, Dave and Don Maloney, Scott Stevens, Walt Tkaczuk, Al MacInnis, Don Edwards, Paul Coffee, Bill Barber, Doug Risebrough and many more. After the early Jr. A years the format changed, with the draft replacing the sponsorships. Anyway I continued to follow each player, but mostly the Rangers.
So, back to the original, if it is still remembered, what are thoughts, or does anyone else cheer for teams that are not close to home, if there is a team close by.
Thanks, I still will not be persuaded to change though. 🙂