The Atlanta Hawks are a good team....no scratch that, the Atlanta Hawks are an amazing basketball team and off to their best start in franchise history. But at this point in the season, this is something that we all know.
My most recent trip to a Hawks game caused me to reflect on how far the franchise has come in the past couple years. We all know that one of the big running jokes in the NBA is how the Atlanta Hawks fan base does not support the team. Well I can't really argue against this when the Hawks were the third worst team in fan attendance last season and well, let's just say that it wasn't that hard to find a seat. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that there were not that many open seats on Ticketmaster when I attended the game Sunday vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves.
I mean as a fan who has supported the team for years and as a former season ticket holder, it was just a shock and pleasant surprise to see this number of fans.
Hours later, I found myself at home relaxing and with the sole purpose of catching up with the rest of the sports news in the world and eventually found myself watching ESPN when all of a sudden I saw this gem come across on my TV.
I mean I think my jaw hit the ground after watching this. Did I just witness an Atlanta Hawks commercial on ESPN that didn't feature Lebron or another superstar athlete? Okay, times have changed here in Atlanta and it seems everyone has latched onto a new type of Atlanta Hawks that I have never had the opportunity to witness in my years as a fan.
This past weekend I began to think if there was some type of easy rule set that Hawks fans can follow now that the Atlanta seems to be on track to be a championship contending team. Well I am proud to introduce to you the official.......
Peachtree Hoops Introductory Guide to Rooting For A Contender!
1.) Hawks fans in the game threads and twitter seem to have no idea to do with their hands when they win a big game. So rule number 1 is to Keep Freaking Out! There is nothing more annoying than (For Example) Lakers fans bragging on their team even though no one was talking about them. That being said, there is always reason to keep hyping up the Hawks.
2.) Don't look at the schedule for possible wins, adjust your expectations to looking at the schedule for possible losses.
3.) Other teams now fear us when looking at the schedule, so have this in mind when speaking to other fan bases.
4.) Be willing to accept and educate new fans. We are always looking to build so that eventually Hawks fans are the ones invading other stadiums.
5.) Wear your Hawks gear with pride and if possible try to incorporate something Hawks related into your everyday wardrobe. I bought a pair of Nique socks just for work.
6.) Always expect a win even if the game is close. Trust me, with this state of mind your blood pressure will not be that bad.
7.) Fan bases of other teams now give their teams moral victories whenever they go up against the Hawks. For example, a Pistons fan may say something to the extent of "we may have lost to the best team in the East, but at least it was only by eight points."
8.) Be ready to defend your players and recent history of the team. You do not want to be associated with those that are riding the Atlanta Hawks bandwagon.
9.) If you are called a bandwagon fan, CONGRATULATIONS! You are now one of the new fans following the best team and fan base in the NBA. There are many die-hard Atlanta fans that will come to your aid now that you have joined the Atlanta Hawks Brotherhood.
10.) Don't be surprised to see your team being talked about so much on large media websites. At one point in time I would be shocked to see a Hawks article on the front page of ESPN.com or NBA.com. Now just expect it because the team is that great.
That does it for your Introductory Guide to Rooting For A Contender. This season has brought be so much joy, and I look forward to actually having multiple all-stars in the All-Star game and to the playoffs. If you have any additional rules that you feel need to be amended, then please leave them in the comment section below.