Some teams you hate because you feel they've done injustice to your team. Or maybe they sent your team golfing for the year. And sometimes, you just hate a team for nothing other than the fact that they exist.
Enter the Florida Panthers.
How could I hate a team like the Panthers? What's there to hate about them? Yep, that's exactly my point.
...Actually, I take that back. I don't like Randy Moller.
I look forward to games against Montreal and Philadelphia because - no matter how much I despise those teams - I know they'll be entertaining games and that's why we're all here. But, is there anything worse than looking at the schedule and seeing FLA as the opponent?
There's nothing to get you emotionally invested in Panther hockey and the play itself doesn't exactly help. It is quite brutal at times. The story lines are boring, the team is boring and, quite frankly, having to sit through their games is a blight on my existence. In fact, after attending a Panthers game, a girl broke up with me. True story.
Maybe the fact that they're now in the Bruins division will help. Boston had a pretty good thing going with its former peers in the Northeast division. Then again, nothing remotely interesting has happened in the franchise's existence, so don't hold your breath. Right now the only vitriol toward the team should be their ruining of geographic harmony in the new Atlantic division along with co-conspirators and fellow worthless franchise Tampa Bay. Thanks a lot Florida.
The team is so bad that they've sent just six players to the All-Star game and made one playoff appearance in the past 10 years. They've also managed to win only one division title in the franchise's 20 year history which quite impressive considering a 14 season stay in the abyss that is the Southeast division. Their best player ever is Olli Jokinen for heaven's sake.
Part of that is due to a bad track record with draft picks. Most recently, they skipped on the opportunity to scoop up American Hero Seth Jones when they had the chance. Bad Americans!
Of course, the team was founded by the guy who owned Blockbuster so it's not particularly surprising that it would be a failure. As an aside, I don't know about you guys, but I think naming a team after an endangered animal probably isn't a good omen for your business, either. Tough break.
In fairness, this team is simply a reflection of the city it resides in. The Panthers, I'll remind you, aren't even in Miami, they're 40 minutes south in a city so worthless that Google tried to erase it from its maps. And do I even need to get into the cesspool that is the state of Florida?
We all know Miami isn't a hockey market. Yeah, I'm pulling that card. I mean, the most significant hockey figure in the history of the area is probably Louis Mendoza, right? That sad thing is, that's not entirely inaccurate and he didn't even know how to stop.
Then there's the fans who took an anecdote about the sad state of the team's facilities and
stole adopted it for their own use. Fortunately for the faithful, the Panthers are babies and put a stop to any kind of fun being had.
Panthers will not sell rats at pantherland. This is a result of visiting fans throwing rats on the ice during the game.— Michael R. Yormark (@PanthersYormark) April 23, 2012
Speaking of loyal fans, have you seen the Panthers' new season ticket plan? What a great deal given to the fourth worst fans in hockey (generous, if you ask me). Keep that in mind next time you make your way to a Bruins game and let the hatred flow.
While you're paying $50+ per game at the Garden, Floridians are dropping $7 to do this:
And here I was thinking that when the Lightning's fans formed a "human lightning bolt" to send the team off during the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals that was rock bottom. Boy was I wrong.
But, if it makes you feel better, this is the same fanbase that was coerced into footing the bill for a $4.2 million scoreboard after Panthers President Mike Yormark dropped this napalm:
"We're not in the position to buy one. If the scoreboard just collapses next year, which I'm sure it will, we just won't have a scoreboard.''
To put this in perspective, this is the same ownership that was once duped into investing $1 million into a porn site. They also don't take kindly to criticism...even if you only have 70 followers on Twitter. Those are three separate but equally funny stories, do read them all.