Being a Fan and Writing: How I Look at the Flames

A complaint I see with some regularity both here and at Flamesnation.ca is that we're too negative or pessimistic. People state that, as a fan, I should be cheering for the Flames in my posts and tweets- that I should look at the glass as half full.

I get where these people are coming from; nobody wants to read "negative" things all the time. Unfortunately- there's a line: would you rather be pandered to and read condescendingly positive articles and and utter fluff? Or do you want real analysis?

It's simple really. Yes- you can go read just straight news with no analysis or opinion, but that's hardly interesting. You read that Leland Irving has re-signed- so what? Well, if that's your attitude, that's fine. In that case simply enjoy the games and don't worry too much about the players.

Of course, if you want to simply affirm that your team is the greatest ever despite really being quite terrible, there's writers who cater to that. People who think that every single forward at the Flames development camp- yes, even Nick Larson- is a legitimate prospect with a chance to make the top six someday. There are writers who cater to that- but if you're looking for analysis and find yourself reading that- doesn't it seem a little disingenuous to you? Don't you realize that at some point things are not all ponies and ice cream and margaritas?

But then again, there's something just as terrible as the opposite view- the truly negative view. It's unsettling to read someone like Eric Francis who is apparently convinced that the Calgary Flames will do everything wrong at every single turn. 

So where does that leave me? I'm a realist. It's easy to look at my expectations on the Flames next season and views on the Regehr trade and Babchuk signings and say "What a pessimist"; doing that though is insulting to me. I form my opinions on hours of research, discussion, and studying. If you'll recall, I was probably the only person who wasn't terrified of Jay Feaster coming on as AGM just under a year ago: I looked at the real facts, not just the knee jerk reactions (i.e. "he's terrible at drafting"- no, he's just drafted very few players and the small sample size has skewed the results). I've said frequently that the Babchuk signing is good value relative to the market, but poor value for the Flames. Why? Simply put- we need a heavy minutes guy, not just someone who can score a lot in sheltered circumstances. And that's hardly an overly negative view- it's rather fair.

There's lots of reasons not to like me. But don't assume that because I'm not happy with the direction of the Flames that I'm being pessimistic for the sake of pessimism. I'm simply looking at the real picture and attempting to eliminate my bias. 

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