Dallas Sports Fans: The Stars Deserve Your Attention

"We gotta get more fans to come out and support those Dallas stars.
They are playing red hot. So show Some love for the stars. Go stars"

It has been a frustrating couple of days for sports fans in North Texas. The Texas Rangers found themselves just a strike away from winning the World Series before the world fell apart around them and the Dallas Cowboys are making a mockery of what should be a competitive football team. I've seen all sorts of anger and frustration from sports fans in the area and a lot of "what now" sort of attitude as fans search for a way to fulfill their sports fix.

The D/FW area is known as a "winner's town", where winning is all that matters and anything short of a championship is viewed as a failure. Witness the response to the Game 7 loss by the Rangers on Friday night, after which baseball fans were calling for all sorts of reform and change in light of a devastating loss. Nevermind that this Rangers team was the best in all of franchise history -- they didn't win it all and that just wasn't good enough.

With the Dallas Mavericks still not playing and the Cowboys in free fall, there's a void in the hearts of hardcore sports fans in the area. Rangers fans are looking for something to cling to and basketball fans need someone to root for. Based on the attitudes and responses I'm seeing from sports fans over the past few days that they are desperate for hard work, heart and most importantly -- a winning culture and attitude, which is something many Cowboys fans are missing right now.

Ladies, gentlemen, children and sports fans from all over Texas...I give you the Dallas Stars.

I understand that the Dallas area has a reputation of being a "bandwagon" or "fairweather" fan base, with thousands of sports fans ready to jump on and off the wagon for whichever team is tops at the moment. There's nothing to be done about that and generally that's the case for any metropolitan area with four major sports teams.

Instead, I want to embrace those fans. The Dallas Stars already have a hardcore fanbase that will stick through this team no matter what -- it's the casual fan, the "bandwagon" fan that matters the most and it's those fans that can turn a struggling franchise into a powerhouse in this city.

There is a long term project ahead of this organization to rebuild that "hardcore" fanbase and it's going to take a significant amount of time to do so. It's going to take dedication and marketing and a focus on rebuilding youth hockey and turning the sport once more into one that the kids love to play. This is what turned this franchise into a such a popular team in the 1990's and it's what is going to need to happen again moving forward.

In the short term, this team and this franchise needs support and it needs fans. More than anything, this team deserves the fans and it deserves the attention that right now is being given to other teams that perhaps don't require as much attention as they're receiving. 

What fans in this city need to learn about is just how fun, exciting and downright entertaining this hockey team can be. There are great personalities on the team and more importantly -- they're winning, with signs that this early-season success is not a fluke. 

The casual fan abandoned the Stars over the past few years for a number of reasons. The loss of all-time favorite Mike Modano certainly contributed, but so did the fact that the Stars have missed the postseason three years in a row. In a town with the Rangers going to the World Series and the Mavericks winning an NBA Championship, it's tough for a hockey team in Texas to compete with such accomplishments.

Yet this Stars team is right where the Rangers were just a few years ago -- on the cusp of something great. Perhaps this season, perhaps just a few years down the line, this Dallas Stars team is going to do something special in the postseason. When that happens, the bandwagon will once again fill up and the AAC will be rocking just as loud as it was during the playoffs in 2008.

For the Stars, their job is to win. It's impossible to sell this sport in Texas if the hockey isn't good and the team is losing. For the most part, the Stars have done their job over the past few years -- barely missing out on the playoffs last year by just one win.

For most of us fans, we see the progress this franchise is making and we see the excitement in the future with the caliber of prospects that Joe Nieuwendyk has been gathering and what that means for this team down the line. We know that this hockey team -- while competitive now -- is looking at some very exciting times in the not-too-distant future.

Yet for now, for this season, the Stars just need to win. With seven new players on the roster and an exciting new coach, that's exactly what they are doing. The hockey world has been shocked by the success of this team so far and right now there's no sign of the Stars slowing down. 

If Dallas sports fans are so hungry for a winning, exciting team to cheer for -- there's no better option than the Dallas Stars. The Texas Rangers enjoyed a tremendous season and many Stars fans are just as big of fans of the baseball team as well -- now that the season is over, perhaps the pain from that loss can be erased by watching some good, bone-crunching hockey.

Tell your friends. Spread the word. The tickets are the cheapest in the NHL and if you're a student, they're even cheaper. Hockey is the most fun when the arena is packed and the excitement is building as the team plays off that energy and you see the product of that big crowd right in front of you on the ice. 

The Dallas Stars are about to enter a brand new era in hockey in North Texas. A new team, new players, a new coach and a new owner is on the way. Don't be left behind when that wagon fills back up.

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