YOU are the 7th Man, you the fan. In a previous article, I talked about what is the 7th Man and ways that you can be one, but now I want to show how YOU have an impact on the game and what the role of the 7th man is.
How to be a 7th Man Refresher
As a little refresher, these are some of the ways I believe someone is a 7th man. And as I said, the main way is showing your support however you feel comfortable, but I wanted to know in a couple of additional ways.
- Supporting your team
- Cheering as loud as you can
- Staying until the end
- Showing your support
The Role of the 7th Man
As you may be able to tell by now, I am a big Preds fan and as much as I’ve tried not to be biased in my writing, my examples for this section have to be Preds related. Being able to witness the Nashville 7th Man firsthand has been amazing and it’s something that makes me proud to be a Nashville Predators fan.
Brooks Bratten, former Preds Content Manager & Beat Reporter wrote an article back in 2015 during the season about the Preds 7th Man and I couldn’t say it any better than he did:
The Predators are 14-2-1 at home on the campaign. No NHL club has fewer losses in their own barn (arena) this season.
Part of that success is undoubtedly courtesy of those behind the glass sporting Preds Gold, and in fact, one particular nuance may play into the club’s prosperity on Broadway more than anything else.
The standing ovations that Preds fans deliver during television timeouts are unmatched throughout the rest of the League, but the motivation it provides to those on the bench is evident in more ways than one.
“Our ‘Seventh Man’ standing ovation is more special than anything I’ve ever seen in any venue,” Predators President Sean Henry said. “I don’t know if everyone here realizes how unique it actually is. The standing ovation is supposed to happen after Pekka Rinne makes an incredible save or the Preds just kill off a 5-on-3 penalty or a game-winning goal or something like that. Our fans take it upon themselves to get in front of it and help create the environment that allows our players to attain incredible feats.”
“It’s very moving, to be honest,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “When we’re in that game mode, you don’t really pay attention too much to what the fans are saying. You’re thinking about the game, but once it’s that loud and you realize what they’re cheering for and they’re appreciating how we’re playing, you get this feeling deep down that’s like, ‘Wow, we’re doing something special here this year.’”
The Preds ended up finishing that season 6th overall, second in the division with an overall record of 47-25-10 and a home record of 28-9-4 (second-best in the league). All of that was truly because of the fans and their lively impact.
The 7th Man impact showed up big time during the Preds’ 2016-17 Stanley Cup run. That was the farthest the Preds had ever gone in the playoffs, they won the Western Conference (regular season and playoffs) and the Presidents’ Trophy. What kept the boys going and keeping the energy high were the fans, supporting the boys wherever they were.
UPCOMING: Sharing YOUR Stories
At the end of my campaign, at least the section that’s for a grade, I want to share 7th man stories that YOU have submitted over the past few weeks. If you haven’t already submitted yours or have more favorite moments, feel free to submit one here! Last week, I shared several of my favorite moments I’ve experienced over the years.
After all, I wouldn’t be doing a live campaign on this topic if weren’t for my 7th man moments and falling in love with the sport, so I wanted to show reasons why others love it as well!