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Don’t Trust Frontrunners

Steve Gudonis

Stevie G Space

17

Sports fans can justify why they like a sports team any way they want. I have to remind myself of that fact very often, because for some reason, I cannot wrap my head around why people are fans of certain teams. Personally, the egomaniac in me likes to believe my personal reasons for liking the teams I like are the only reasons to justify fanhood. I support the Eagles, Flyers, and Iron Pigs simply based on location alone, and I do not consider myself a diehard fan of any of those teams. I am a diehard fan of Penn State football, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the New York Yankees. My reasons for liking these teams are personal, but there is a story behind each of them. Each of these stories involves myself being introduced to these teams by family at a young age. Something I pride myself in is that I have never stopped supporting my teams, and I have never jumped ship onto another team’s bandwagon after they succeed. This leads me to my overall point, and what I consider to be one of my biggest pet peeves: frontrunners. Urban Dictionary user wesman427 beautifully depicts frontrunners as “People who only support sports teams that recently win championships and then claim they liked that team all along. These people can be highly annoying, approaching them may result in increased levels of stress and aggression. Frontrunners may claim they have a relative or were born in the state where the winning team is from. Do not trust them at any cost.” As a fan, I cherish witnessing the cycle of demise, triumphs, and everything in between that my teams go through. I like to call this cycle “the ups and downs.” The “down” periods are excruciating for me. I am a perfectionist. I hate to lose just as much as I hate to see my teams lose. What gets me through these times? Loyalty, faith, and hope. Then, there’s the “ups.” After witnessing the journey, and feeling as if I’m along for the ride, there is nothing more exhilarating than watching my teams succeed. As wesman427 stated, frontrunners “only support teams that recently win championships.” That makes me a little sad. But it makes me really angry. What angers me is the demeanor that all frontrunners seem to share. They are the first to celebrate and boast when their new favorite team is successful. Essentially, the frontrunners are always on top, just like the teams they like. And the instant their current team is on the verge of going through a “down” period, they were never a fan of said team. From there, it’s on to the next team. The cycle goes on and on. It’s irritating. What’s just as irritating, is that when your team is going through a down period, the frontrunners are the first to let you know about it. True fans know when their team is going through struggles, and frontrunners are there to remind you. They tell you that the team you are truly a fan of is awful, while their team is always on top. Antics displayed by frontrunners certainly “result in increased levels of stress and aggression,” but like I stated, I am a little sad for them. I am sad for them because they do not get to experience what I get to experience as a fan. They do not have the opportunity to witness the journey, and be along for the ride of one team. They do not get to feel the indescribable high I and other fans feel when our teams are ultimately successful after living through and witnessing the down periods. Long story short, frontrunners do not know what being a true fan is all about. I can easily compare being a true fan to being a committed partner in a relationship. True fans stick by their teams through thick and thin, as do committed partners. In both cases, there is unconditional love. The thought of being a fan of another team, or seeing another person doesn’t cross their minds. Frontrunners are not committed. They establish a relationship with a team when the team looks good. But just like an uncommitted partner, when something more attractive comes their way, they are all over it. So take wesman427’s advice on frontrunners, “do not trust them at any cost.”

SPORTS

Season Wrap-Up: Emmaus Ice Hockey Steve Gudonis Sports Editor

Every team needs a leader. For the 2013-2014 Emmaus Ice Hockey team, leadership was a premium. The Hornets were headed by 12 seniors; David Bailey, Nick Capizzi, Ben Farabaugh, Kevin Foster, Matt Heffelfinger, Jeremy Hoffer, Dan Kaczor, Matthew Kugler, Nico Martel, Logan McHale, Max Rieder, and Colby Schmeltzle. These seniors have been instrumental members of the Emmaus Ice Hockey program for multiple years, and this season represented their last hurrah; a culmination of all the work they’ve put in. The Hornets started off the season strong with a 9-2 blowout victory over Northampton with a hat trick from Reider, two goals from junior Chad Lawrence, and individual goals from Heffelfinger, Hoffer, Kugler, and Schmeltzle. Additionally, junior Michael Smoker stopped 31 of 33 shots. In the Hornets’ following contest, they proved the season opener was not a fluke as they dominated Quakertown 8-1 behind two-goal performances from junior David Andrews and Capizzi. Capizzi’s two goals aided in the blowout, but his efforts in the following game proved to be far more crucial. Rieder kicked off the game against Freedom with a goal. The Hornets gave up two goals and entered the second period trailing 2-1. With :53 seconds left in regulation, Hoffer tied the game off an assist from McHale. With just one second on the clock, Capizzi scored the game winning goal, as the Hornets defeated Freedom, remaining undefeated. Following the miraculous victory, the Hornets had a week to prepare for their rival, Parkland. Emmaus came into the game as the underdogs, as Parkland came into this season winning four consecutive Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League titles. The Hornets could not keep their hot streak alive, falling to the Trojans 7-1. Following the Parkland game, the Hornets’ initial hot streak quickly turned into a cold spell. They went winless their next three games, suffering two tough losses to Phillipsburg and tying with Liberty. The Hornets then sat at 3-3-1, and were striving for momentum to shift in their favor. Emmaus snapped their winless streak, as they went on defeat Central-Beca 8-5 behind a hat trick from Wyatt Weber. This was the first of consecutive high-scoring affairs for the Hornets, as they looked to go on another hot streak. The following contest established that for the Hornets to continue to win, their seniors must continue to step up. With a pair of goals each

Senior David Bailey controls the puck against Parkland Photo courtesy of emmaussports.com from Capizzi and Hoffer, and three assists from McHale, Emmaus defeated Northampton 7-4. Now on a two-game winning streak, the Hornets’ record sat at 5-31. Their next two contests would be rematches against Quakertown and Freedom. Behind two goals from Hoffer, the Hornets defeated Quakertown, sweeping the season series. Going into the New Year, the Hornets’ record was 6-3-1. The Hornets pulled off late-game heroics to secure victory in their first contest against Freedom. The

hospitalized 20 people, among those being members of the team. The Hornet’s next contest was a blowout, as they blanked Liberty 100. Emmaus went into their rematch against Parkland with an 8-3-1 record and a five-game winning streak. The Hornets could not pull off the upset against the undefeated Trojans. In the final game of the regular season, the Hornets were victorious over Central-Beca with a final of 8-6. In the playoffs, the Hornets could not knock off Phillipsburg, ending their season, and ending the high

Senior Dan Kaczor looks to attack the puck Photo courtesy of emmaussports.com rematch was no different. Emmaus found themselves losing 0-4 in the second period. Coach John Hagen called a timeout. Following the timeout, the Hornets sparked a comeback. Within one-minute and thirty seconds, goals from Rieder, Martel, Bailey, and Heffelfinger tied the game. With the game tied 5-5, Chad Lawrence scored the game winner. Hagen believes his team “played the best they have all year.” The Hornets were scheduled for their rematch against Parkland. However, carbon monoxide levels inside Bethlehem’s Steel Ice Center

school career of their 12 seniors. Hagen was blown away by his team’s effort this season, his first year as head coach, but believes his team was a few wins away from reaching his goals. “[I] expected to contend for a championship this season,” said Hagen. “I was impressed how well we controlled games; however, we could not control and win the big games.” Lead by their seniors, the Hornets finished 8-5-1.


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