The Nashville Predators have taken the state of Tennessee by storm after sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks, rolling past the St. Louis Blues, and currently holding a 2-1 series lead against Anaheim in the Western Conference Finals.
The majority of Tennessee’s population is known for their rich football traditions, but recently a new phenomenon has invaded the state of Tennessee, known as, the Nashville Predators. The last time the city of Nashville felt a buzz of this magnitude was eighteen years ago when the Titans went on an unpredictable playoff run leading to the Super Bowl.
The buzz is clearly alive in Nashville, but The Music City is not the only city in Tennessee buzzing about the playoff success of the Predators. Earlier this week, radio host, Chad Withrow of 104.5 The Zone in Nashville told his listeners, “I have a buddy who lives in East Tennessee. He called to inform me that the Sport Seasons in Knoxville had sold out of all their Predators apparel”. But, it does not end there– during the third period of Tuesday night’s game at, Bridgestone Arena the crowd began chanting, “ref you suck” which quickly grabbed the attention of Devin Walker of 92.9 ESPN (Memphis) who was in attendance for the Predators 2-1 victory over the Ducks.
There are countless people in Tennessee who’ve never acknowledged the Nashville Predators until now. Over the past few weeks those, “countless people” are jumping on the bandwagon experiencing a renewed sense of excitement.
If you scroll through Twitter or Facebook your timeline is populated with “Nashville Predators fans”. No one enjoys being around a bandwagon fan who follows every successful franchise, but in this particular case all rules and exceptions can be thrown out the window. The entire state of Tennessee should welcome every newcomer that wants to join the Preds bandwagon, and here’s why…
There are three notable cities throughout Tennessee– Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville. The city of Memphis has the Grizzlies who are the definition of mediocrity. Their fans are continually watching a middle of the pack team who can’t figure out a way to make it past the first or second round of the playoffs.
Nashville has the Titans who are on the rise, but haven’t seen the postseason in almost a decade. Leading up to this season the Predators were in similar situations like the Grizzlies, both had good teams, but both struggled to advance past the first or second round of the playoffs.
Then there is Knoxville. A city known for collecting Music City Bowl championships, losing to Vanderbilt and South Carolina to end the season, and receiving a fairy tail championship that’s made Tennessee football a nation wide mockery.
The state of Tennessee is full of disgruntled fans and deserves a breath of fresh air.
When fans can gravitate towards a team like the Nashville Predators it temporarily erases all the pangs of disappointment. Their success puts a decade of mediocrity and sports frustration in the closet and allows us to enjoy something truly phenomenal. The state of Tennessee needs to thank the Predators for elevating the level of excitement that we desperately needed.