Nashville Predators on the Prowl to the Stanley Cup Finals

Risen Staff, Tammy Hyler shares her excitement about the Nashville Predators and the heart of the team that she has experienced as a fan.

I’m Tammy Hyler and have been a proud country music songwriter citizen of Nashville Tennessee for over 20 years. My heart is always bursting about my hometown.  I nicknamed it a long time ago the “the best big city with small town charm” and knew the greatest place to live, best kept secret, would get out at some point.   But, I’ve never been more proud to be a Nashville citizen, oops I mean Smashville (nickname for Nashville Predators fans) citizen, than now because… I’m a diehard Nashville Predators fan! Oh, did I mention WE’RE IN THE STANLEY CUP FINALS?! WOOOOHOOOOO!! We aren’t just Music City any more folks, we’re a hockey town! Can I hear an Amen?!!

Keith Urban singing National Anthem

The “best kept” secret got out big time! The national media is gushing about Nashville Predator fans being the best fans in the world.  I can truly speak on this because my fiancé Jeff and I are Smashville season ticket holders on the glass, and on any given televised game night, you’ll see us over Pekka Rinne’s left shoulder, 1st and 3rd periods.

I can go on and on about our boys and the “heart” this team has. Shall we start with how we almost lost our team not long ago due to low attendance, and the players themselves stepped up by buying tickets to save their team? Heart. Then, slowly but surely, a new ownership group built the team to garner consistently sold out games this season and last. Heart. Then, being the last team to join the playoffs, 16th out of 16, and winning the Western Conference. Heart.

And then, going into game five of the Conference finals with our captain, Mike Fisher, first line centerman, Ryan Johansen, and hot shot rookie Kevin Fiala, all out with injuries, and still winning the Western Conference Championship. Heart.

Charles Barkley with PK Subban

This team is like Seabiscuit finding that new gear every time they needed it!

Then there are the fans, affectionately known as “The Seventh Man.” The biggest sports media journalists in the world have all been tweeting, in all their years of covering Stanley Cup playoffs, that they’ve never seen anything like the Predators’ fan support. 50,000 gold jerseys fill Nashville’s infamous Broadway down to the river just for the watch parties. The experience inside the arena is nothing like you’ve ever seen or heard before. I’ve heard reports that the NHL decibel record in Bridgstone arena has been broken several times. Every time they interview one of the opposing team members about playing at Bridgestone they mention the fans as a major factor. The opposing players also always seem to mention that

John and Martina McBride with Wayne Gretzsky

“annoying song” every time the Predators score a goal! I know now, leaving the games with no voice each week, it is well worth it. The Predators are always so gracious and grateful about the fans in the media! There’s a lot of love going on here in this team/fans relationship. It reminds me of the scene in Jerry McGuire when The Cush sees Jerry and Rod Tidwell hugging and says to his agent Bob Sugar “Why don’t we have that?”  No wonder the Penguins are so cranky! With our well-known cheers and chants including the Predators version of Tim McGraw’s I Like It I Love It sing-a-long when we score a goal, to the famous taunting

Bothers Osborne

of the opposing goalie with “it’s all your fault, it’s all your fault,” it’s just pure hockey/audience participation fun! At least the Predators keep the roughness in the cheers and chants, and not in slamming peoples’ heads repeatedly to the ice like some others. It’s like Christmas every playoff game for the fans to see whom the surprise, massive country superstar is to sing the national anthem! You have to admit, Nashville knows how to throw down when it comes to a party, and with The Stanley Cup Finals game 6, 2017 CMAfest, and not to mention Bonaroo just down the road, we are for sure, the biggest party in the universe this weekend!!


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