A New Wave of Hockey Fans

It’s no secret that this round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has brought out a strong celebrity presence. Whether it be at the games or posting a photo on social media on who they support; they’re making their love for the NHL known. During last night’s game, NBC had Carrie Underwood and Charles Barkley on during the intermission interviews. How cool is that? You have a three time Grammy winner talking about fighting in the sport – which she said she was “Okay with it.” Then you have an NBA Hall of Famer and current NBA analyst getting in on the NHL action and said the Stanley Cup playoffs “have been great.” Barkley also mentioned that the NBA playoffs have not been great…that comment was awesome for all hockey fans to hear, because it’s something we already know; NOTHING can compare to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

When I woke up this morning, I was shocked to see so many negative comments regarding the Underwood and Barkley interviews. So many fans kept saying, “Can we focus more on the actual game rather than the celebrities?” or my favorite comments, “Stick to singing, Carrie! You bandwagon fan!” I was getting so heated while reading these comments! First, you simply do not diss Carrie Underwood. I mean, if you’ve listened to her music you already know that this woman is AMAZING and you also know what this woman is capable of with a Louisville Slugger. Second, why are so many hockey fans hating on this publicity? These are the same fans who use the hashtag #PleaseLikeMySport when ESPN posts something hockey related, which is once in a blue moon.

The publicity these celebs are bringing to the sport is EXACTLY what this sport needs. The NHL is such a mess with the man who holds the Commissioner title: taking the NHL out of the Olympics, awaiting the next lockout, or next rule change. Seeing these celebs engage in the sport is the best medicine for the NHL.

I’ve always been a fan of seeing celebrities engage with hockey. Being a Red Wings fan, seeing Joey from Full House regularly sport a Wing’s shirt or jersey brought a smile to my face as a kid. Seeing Detroit natives such as Kid Rock, Eminem and Big Sean represent the Winged Wheel also brings a smile to my face. Seeing Alyssa Milano, who was on the show Charmed when I was younger, be a big hockey fan makes me proud. Heck, even NFL superstar JJ Watt is a big hockey fan and promotes the sport regularly. Those are just a handful of celebs who are hockey fans and promote the sport when they can, yet here in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, fans are having a spazz attack on Carrie Underwood supporting not only her home team but her husband (who happens to be Mike Fisher, captain of the Preds).

Hockey fans need to embrace this new wave of fans joining the sport. Here in the U.S., everyone is crazy about football, baseball and basketball. Hockey is like the red-headed step-child. This needs to change and it IS changing. Hockey is the best sport, period. I want hockey to be just as popular as the NFL one day, and with this wave of new celeb fans, maybe one day we can get there. It’s a longshot, but we live in a world where we follow the latest trends, and if big name celebrities want to make hockey the latest trend, I’m all for it.

 

Where do you stand on this topic? Do you think celebrities help or hurt the game?

Let us know what you think!

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