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Updated May 8, 2012 - 7:04 pm

Confessions of a bandwagon Coyotes fan

I went to three Phoenix Coyotes games during the 2011-12
regular season.

I’ve been to six so far in the postseason. I plan on going
to more.

My name is Adam Green, and I’m a bandwagon fan.

It’s not that I used to dislike the Coyotes, far from it.
I would usually attend a few games a year — either as
media or a fan — and would occasionally watch games when
I found them on T.V. But I wasn’t “all about” the team or
its successes and failures, at least, not like I have been
with our other teams. The Coyotes were, in essence, an
oatmeal raisin cookie to the other Valley teams’ chocolate
chip: I wouldn’t refuse if offered, but I wouldn’t go out
of my way to get one, either.

Now, Coyotes’ faithful — and I know you exist — may hate
me. You may say I can’t appreciate the magical run the
team is on, that because I did not suffer through the
Gretzky years like yourself I am not really allowed to
bask in the joy of what is happening now.

And you know what? In a way, you’re right. But that
doesn’t matter, because I’m here now. And I’m not alone.

That tweet is further proof that the Coyotes have taken
the city by storm. Jobing.com Arena has consistently sold
out, people are wearing Coyotes gear around town, talking
about the team and gathering to watch the games. The
Coyotes are no longer a second-class citizen in Phoenix.
They are the team.

While the die-hards may not necessarily appreciate us
joining their cause, they must understand that every fan
base starts somewhere. It comes easier for some teams than
others, but sooner or later, it does come. Of those who
have jumped on the bandwagon the last few weeks, many will
still be around when the puck drops on next season. I’ll
be one of them, and it’s easy to see why.

Combine an inspiring playoff run of their own with a down
year (and uncertain future) from the Suns and the Coyotes
have an outstanding chance to grab hold of the market. Add
in the news of a likely sale of the team (that will keep
them in the Valley) and no longer are people asking “will
the Coyotes even be here next year,” but rather, “Can this
team actually win the Stanley Cup?!”

And, in a way, the whole saga, leading to “Hockey the Hard
Way” has galvanized the fans, so much that the bitter
ramblings from up north
are not only laughed at, but
rebuked. You want to take the Coyotes? Not on our watch.

These last few weeks have certainly taught me about the
intensity of playoff hockey, as every good possession and
every shot could be the difference between winning and
losing. In trying to explain it to a friend, I compared it
to having every pitch in a baseball game come with the
bases loaded and a full count, ie: you never know if the
next thing you see will be the difference in the game.

But winning, undoubtedly, is the key. There is no such
thing as a bandwagon for a bad team, so the longer this
playoff run goes on, the more Coyotes-crazy you’ll see the
Valley become. We like winners, and we have one in
Glendale. And as long as the Coyotes aren’t going
anywhere, we won’t, either.

After all, we’ve been waiting in line for Space Mountain
for an hour, we’re pot committed, we’re invested: We’re
Coyotes fans now.

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