But what if you love the sport more than you love any team? What if you love watching the games but couldn't really care less about Corsi ratings? What if you love the sport enough to follow a foreign league and don't have that "one" team? What if you find some of the players attractive? According to the "diehards", you won't qualify as a fan, and even if you did, it'd be as second class fan. Or worse, as puck bunny (because clearly, you can't possibly be able to follow the sport for itself if you think the player is hot... duh.).
That's kinda where I am currently. I love hockey, always have. It's speed and combination of breathtaking skills and roughness is somewhat unique and I wouldn't change it to anything. But the thing is, I watched hockey before I had favourite team in Finnish league. Over the years I ended up as HIFK fan but the reason I love hockey has nothing to do with them. I simply loved to watch the game. National team could've get me out of the trouble but then those damn Russians and their awesomeness kinda screwed that... And the stats? I tried that with NHL but at the end of the day, for me it just sucks the fun out of hockey. Numbers can't tell everything and I rather rely on what I see on the ice than on paper.
I guess what I'm trying to say here, is that just because someone's behavior and ways of following the sport differs from yours, doesn't mean that they're doing it wrong. We can't all be the same way and differences should be valued - even if it means accepting different ways of loving the greatest sport on earth.