Last year, the city of Cleveland ended one of the longest professional sports streaks of not winning a single championship. It was a great moment when Lebron, Kyrie, and the rest of the Cavs were able to bring a title to one of the great sports cities in America. After the Cavs won the NBA title, there was a hole left as to which sports city most deserved the ending of their championship drought.
Although many argued over which city was most deserving, no one ever talked about a whole state until recently. The whole state of Tennessee has never won a championship in professional sports. Not one single championship. Yet in the NHL, the Tennessee-based Nashville Predators, are four games away from winning Tennessee’s first professional title.
The Nashville Predators are the definition of a Cinderella team. That makes them an easy team to root for. First, they barely snuck into the playoffs with the last wildcard spot in the Western conference. In the first round, the Predators had to play against arguably the best hockey dynasty in the last ten years - the Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators, in a truly David versus Goliath fashion, swept the Chicago Blackhawks. Only in the NHL could the 8th seed sweep a 1st seed in a playoff series.
Then the Predators advanced to beat the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in both series. This put them in the Stanley Cup Finals, waiting for the winner of the Penguins and Senators series. The Predators, an 8 seed that barely made the playoffs, are now 4 games away from ending Tennessee’s championship drought.
This Predators team has fought through adversity this year to earn their spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. They are the perfect definition of a Cinderella story - an 8 seed that barely sneaks its way into the playoffs, then goes on to dominate on their way to their Western Conference title and Stanley Cup Final. It would be nice to see a whole state celebrate their first professional sports championship ever.
I want the drought to end so that Nashville can finally celebrate a championship in their home state. Even if my Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Senators in game seven, I will root for the Predators. They have had professional sports for 20 years, 52 sports seasons respectively, and the state of Tennessee deserves a championship in pro sports.
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