I have absolutely nothing but nice stuff to say about Nashville Predators fans. The times that they've come to Phiips Arena - individually or as a Cell Block 303 road trip - they've been super polite, nice, and just really really fun to sit around. Heck, they even shook hands and said "great game" after the Thrashers' beat them here this past season. Their organization's always been accomodating for Thrashers fan club road trips up there. Predators bloggers are some of the best out there, with On the Forecheck leading the way, and of course Bloguin's own Fang Faction. Their crowds have the reputation of being absolutely electric, though how much of that has to do with the cluster of honkey-tonks near the arena remains to be seen.
I've never been up there to watch a game, though I probably will be going to at least a couple this year to catch the Blues. I can't go a whole year without NHL hockey - I haven't done it since 1999, and I don't want to revert to that hockey-free BS ever again. Will I be taking advantage of the "From Thrash to Gnash" plan that the Predators have? No, because I don't want to drive four hours and get a hotel room ten times a season, nor do I want to use the gas to go see two teams play just for the hell of it. Do I think it's smart, smart marketing by the Preds? Damn skippy I do. Are blog posts like this one from Tom Callahan wooing Thrashers fans while at the same time giving a shout out to the Gwinnett Gladiators a good call? Duh.
I appreciate Callahan not using the whole "hey, come see your old team play in their new gear!" angle. I, personally, have very little desire to watch the Jets play. It's nothing personal, and I still support the players and wish them all of the best, but it's tough. I'm sure that it's akin to what the Jets fans felt after their team moved to Phoenix. How many of them were geared up to watch the 'Yotes play? I'm not mad at Winnipeg, but it still kind of hurts, and I'm sure that the game on February 25th against the Blues will be hard to watch for me.
I'm also glad that Callahan didn't mention the trade in of old Thrashers gear for new Preds gear. Sure, my t-shirts and hoodies are boxed up (and I did need a little space, not gonna lie), but I don't want to get rid of it. Jets fans and Nordiques fans wore their stuff for years. Look at Whalers fans, God bless them. Heck, I'm sure there's still some guy rocking a Colorado Rockies jersey. I know I see a good bit of Atlanta Flames stuff. The Thrashers are one of my two teams, and I'm not going to look at my stuff, go "hey, what the heck, let's get rid of this" after supporting them for eleven years. I'll be wearing my jerseys to Glads games, I'm sure, if I don't get around to buying a Gladiators jersey.
I support what Nashville's doing from a business standpoint, and honestly I know a few people are going for those ticket packages. It's not for me, though. I can't be a fan of another Central Division team regardless of how much I respect the organization - and I respect the heck out of Nashville. And I can't trade in my Thrashers stuff and just pick up another team.