Winnipeg Jets fans have gone through an emotional rollercoaster over the past two decades. 15 years were faced without a team to get them back for a 37-35-10 record in their inaugural season. Just when fans were set for the Jets second season, them and the rest of the NHL were faced with a 119-day labour lockout. All the waiting and disappointment could sway fans to give up and move on from their beloved hockey team; their tolerance was a substantial feat!
However, Jets fans have become more faithful than ever before. Wardrobes stuffed with Jets merchandise, banners and licence plates everywhere you look and always being able to pick out the Jets jersey in any crowd, highlights the hope and dedication of the fans just wanting to see their favourite team play.
The patience that Jets fans endured proves that they have what it takes to be a die-hard, hockey loving nation deserving the Jets players’ salute after the end of every home game. The fans know the value of hockey in their lives and how it feels to have it taken away from them; they won’t let the Jets get away from them any time soon.
Dedication like this for sports teams has been a long running social norm in towns such as Rider Nation in Saskatchewan. For people in Saskatchewan, football is a way of life and when the CFL season rolls around, so do the determined faces, watermelon helmets and the endless sea of green. The same can be said about Winnipeg Jets fans.
They may not be the crazy, melon-head, green jersey wearing fans that Saskatchewan are but instead have its own kind of crazy, undying love. Its love is resilient and happy but thankful for all the events that have occurred in the last two years. It won’t be long until the Jets have their own loonie and completely paint the city of Winnipeg blue and white.
For the hopeful day that the Winnipeg Jets win the Stanley Cup, it’ll be the ultimate reward for the most important member of the team – the fans.