It’s a question that every fan faces in the life of their sports fandom. The trade deadline has passed. Your team is out of the playoff race. There is a scarcity of high impact players in the upcoming draft past the first few picks. So, wouldn’t the team just be better off if it lost as many of the remaining games as possible? It sounds like a no-brainer in theory. But, when the puck is dropped, can you actually root against your favorite team? Can you cheer goals against your netminder? Can you get angry with each team your team scores?
If you follow me on Twitter (and if you aren’t, shame on you!), you have seen my #roadto30thplace hashtag. It’s not hard to see that I think the Florida Panthers would be better served if they had the highest possible draft pick come June. I check out what other teams who share a similar fate as the Cats and see what happens if they lose and the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche win.
Now, you should know, I HATE losing in anything. I mean, HATE. My better half always jokes that I’d barrel over my own mother if it meant winning instead losing. So, it’s not to my surprise that, when the game starts, I just can’t do it. For as much as I look at all the possible scenarios of what happens if the Panthers lose, I just can’t watch a game and root for a loss, no matter much it could help the future.
After the game, I go right back into #roadto30thplace mode. Look back at this past Tuesday, where the Panthers beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. As a Panther fan, especially if you were at the game, how could you be completely over the moon about a win against the hottest team in hockey at that time? To build a 3-0 lead, and then watch Tomas Vokoun somehow manage to keep the game tying goal out of the net was as exciting as it gets. But then, I think about how those two points might be the difference between getting a superstar in the draft, or a guy who ends up being a nice third-line winger. It’s something that I’ve yet to reconcile between my logic and my fandom. You would think that being a fan of a team that has endured a decade of futility that I’d have it down pat but, alas, I have not. I’m just hoping that in the very near future, the Panthers make the playoffs and I won’t even have to think about it. I might run over mom for that!
I’m kidding, Ma!!
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