I was afraid this would happen. In fact, I knew it would happen. The minute I saw previews for 36 Hours with Nicklas Lidstrom, I knew I would hear and see things about the Wings’ star that would force me to like him.
Before you think I’ve converted to a Wings’ fan, think again.
I can’t stand them.
But these human interest stories – they get me everytime!
They make me look at who the person is. Not the player. But the person.
It happened last year with the Sioux’s Matt Frattin. I can’t stand the team. And I wasn’t the president of the Matt Frattin fan club by any stretch of the imagination. But then I let myslef read stories about Frattin; about the changes he made in his life. And I ended up cheering for him. For success. For a Hobey.
It baffles me. One minute I loathe a team and any players wearing their colors. The next minute, I champion their efforts and wish them well.
Maybe it makes me a fair-weather fan of the teams I support. You may think it makes me weak and sappy.
I just don’t think either of those conclusions are correct.
It boils down to the fact that we make judgments about people (in this case, players) based on the logo they represent, the coach they are coached by, the league they skate in, and the line they play with.
We meet them. Get to know them. And see that they are human beings with families, feelings, and fears.
I kept the channel on Nicklas Lidstrom’s story. The pieces of the story he shared on television. And I let myself like him as a player, person, and parent.
I think the thing I need more of in my life is story time. Stories of players on teams I like and loathe.