As many of us know, NHL games are not broadcasted on sports networks like ESPN and as a result, the sport of hockey doesn't get as much attention as other sports, at least in the states. For me, I actually see this as a good thing for the sport of hockey especially for teams like our Sharks, because of the well known media bias that is carried out by national networks not only by saying nothing but good things about big name teams like the Yankees or Red Sox or big name players like Crosby or Ovechkin even when they are performing poorly, but by passing off smaller teams as "underachievers" only because of their own personal standards.
Take our Sharks for example. As many of us know, media critics have labeled us as "postseason underachievers" or "chokers" for many years, especially since we have big star players like Jumbo and Patty. The media are the ones who make these firm "expert predictions" and broadcast them on TV so that everyone watching get the expectations that the Sharks will win just because the national broadcasters say so. However, deep down, the broadcasters may know that somehow, the Sharks actually have just as much a chance of losing as they do of winning. Yet they don't acknowledge it for a few reasons and as a result, when the Sharks don't live up to THEIR expectations, they rant on and on about how the Sharks failed and after viewers (which consists of fans of rival teams or maybe fans of opposing teams that think "nobody cares about hockey in these non-traditional hockey markets") watch them spitting out these comments, they say the same thing about the Sharks and we get downgraded. They also probably think that if they get word out that the Sharks are nothing but "choke artists" who won't eventually triumph and win the Stanley Cup, then fan support will go down and their teams will take over the league. Another reason is because of arrogance; many fans of teams such as the Red Wings or Oilers may think that because San Jose is a non traditional hockey market since our city is not the place you can easily play hockey outdoors, then no one must care about them and because of that, their teams are entitled to championships whenever they say so. They couldn't be more wrong. I for one, have become a bigger fan not only of the Sharks but their sport as well, ever since I have been a fan of Team Teal (when I came up to college at San Jose State University). I am now more familiar with the sport of hockey and follow it much closer and appreciate the difficult skills of it more than I ever have of the sports I grew up with (football, baseball, etc).
To sum it all up, it is mostly the fault of media bias that our Sharks have been labeled as "chokers". Which is exactly why it is a good thing that hockey media is not dominated by national broadcasters whose only concern is ratings. They give out expectations for the Sharks to win and when they don't, it means the Sharks didn't live up to THEIR expectations, so they get to automatically give them bad names.
F**k those critics! GO SHARKS!!!!