For anyone who does not appreciate my one-day diversion from 100% Canes hockey, 100% of the time, please feel free to skip to the bottom, below the divider, where you will find a few Hurricanes notes.
Wednesday is a big day for North Carolina FC and North Carolina Courage soccer
Last week, I switched over the banner on the Canes and Coffee Twitter handle to a #919toMLS banner in support of the Major League Soccer (MLS) visit to Raleigh this week as they consider North Carolina FC’s application to receive an MLS team.
Wednesday is a huge day for North Carolina FC with a rally in downtown Raleigh for the team and its MLS bid. Especially if you are in downtown Raleigh and free around 4pm, I encourage you to do a good deep for a soccer brothers and sisters and participate in the North Carolina FC rally.
Important disclaimer on everyone choosing his/her fandom
At the most basic level, I think everyone should be a fan of whatever he/she chooses, at whatever level of commitment he/chooses and in whatever way he/she enjoys. At the end of the day, sports are fun and entertainment, so it is not for one person to tell another what the right way is.
So from the angle of sharing my thoughts but fofonot telling other people what they should think, here are a couple reasons that Carolina Hurricanes consider trying and possibly supporting North Carolina FC and North Carolina Courage soccer if they have not already.
It’s fun (in my opinion)
At the end of the day, no one is going to support a sports team because of some rationale for why it makes sense. Sports are entertainment for fun. After many years away from the old Railhawks, my family and I returned this summer to Wake Med in Cary and enjoyed it. Outdoor sports under the lights have a fun vibe to them and the tailgating crowd from PNC Arena will fit right in pre-game.
I cannot tell other people what they will or will not enjoy sports-wise, but if you have not been to a North Carolina FC (or formerly Railhawks) game in a long time or maybe ever, you owe it to yourself to make the modest time and financial investment to at least give it a try. Worst case is that you get credit for trying something new and expanding your horizons. Best case, you find a team to transition to when hockey season ends.
It has the potential to be a great mutually beneficial relationship
The timing is interesting in that both teams could use more fans right now. The North Carolina FC is working to make an impression for its MLS bid and provide evidence that the team will be able to sell tickets at an MLS level. And after a playoff dry spell, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a situation where the franchise needs to either rebuild its core fan base.
Especially with the seasons mostly sitting opposite each other calendar-wise, the potential is significant for the North Carolina FC fans to support the Hurricanes and vice versa. Per my disclaimer, we do not all need to be die-hard fans to be a positive part of the fan base. Being a passionate Hurricanes fan who knows far more than anyone should about our hockey team is (in my biased opinion) something to be proud of, but it does not make you better than a casual fan who comes to a couple games per year and might not realize that Eric Staal has been traded or might not yet know who Sebastian Aho is. And we as a hockey community need to welcome and embrace casual fans. And I am sure the same is true for our soccer neighbors.
In great sports cities, teams feed either other rather than competing
In great sports cities, teams thrive at least in part because of each other and the spirit and energy that carries from one team and season to the next. No doubt there is some element of people having a limited amount of discretionary income and free time such that there are choices to be made with how to spend that money, but I think the idea that teams could be detrimental to each other is a misconception. Discretionary income and free time for sports competes with a myriad of other non-sports entertainment choices. At a basic level, North Carolina FC is not competing with the Hurricanes but rather with whatever else Hurricanes would have spent that money on in the off-season, and vice versa.
Here is my optional challenge to Carolina Hurricanes fans
1) If you are on social media, invest 30-60 seconds today favoriting, retweeting, sharing, etc. a few North Carolina FC posts today. It costs you nothing and helps our neighbors.
2) If you have not already, go to one North Carolina FC or North Carolina Courage game this summer.
3) If you can make it to downtown Raleigh late afternoon on Wednesday, do a good deed and participate in the North Carolina FC rally.
A couple Hurricanes notes in rapid fire fashion
–Jeff Gravley from WRAL provided another short update on the potential sale of the Hurricanes saying in the newscast that “The Carolina Hurricanes and the Greenberg Sports Group are in the final stages of a business deal.” I recommend Jeff Gravley as a follow on Twitter to track the process.
–Per Cory Pronman from ESPN as reported on Twitter, Hurricanes prospect Martin Necas left his U20 game with the Czech Republic early with an apparent injury.
–Justin Williams met with the media on Monday without any big news in terms of letters on jerseys or team sales. Bob Wage from Canes Edge wrote a good recap of the event with a few quotes.
Go North Carolina FC and Carolina Courage!