Ottawa Senators fan in American Midwest sometimes wonders why he bothers
Woeful tweet from frustrated fan thousands of kilometres away catches on with locals
In 2007, 11-year-old Kale Baire was in front of the television, flipping through the channels in his hometown of Ashland, Kan. — population: 900 or so — hoping to watch some bull-riding.
But the bull-riding channel in the small Kansas town was showing an NHL game instead, a quarter-final between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins. And because he'd never heard of them before, he decided to root for Ottawa.
His new favourite team lost that night, but thus began Baire's 15-year journey of triumph and heartbreak (mostly heartbreak) cheering on the Ottawa Senators.
Sometimes he regrets it.
On Monday, just before the trade deadline, Baire took to Twitter to lament his decision to cheer on the Sens, all the way from his current home in Wichita, Kan.
It got the attention of some sympathetic local Sens fans, as well as CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.
"The Ottawa Senators obviously aren't a great team right now, but if you look back over the last 15 years that I've been rooting [for them], there have been some fantastic years," he told the show Tuesday.
He cited then rookie goalie Andrew Hammond's "hamburglar" run in 2014-15, the (unsuccessful) 2017 playoff bid, and the tail end of the "Pizza Line" of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.
"You can relate the team to so many great feelings. And now I relate it to the joy of complaining online with a bunch of other people on Twitter."
LISTEN | Ottawa Morning's full interview with Baire:
Other Sens fans react to Baire's pain
Here's some of the reaction to Baire's woeful tweet.
I didn't know there were fans from outside of the Ottawa area. You might be the one. Our Neo. Can you see any 1s or 0s that could help this team?—@gemmilltron
I'm an hour out of Ottawa and I feel I made the same error 🤦🏻♂️—@thekeyholespy
Could have done worse. Imagine the heartbreak if you had chosen the Leafs!!—@JohnMacPhail10
Thank you for sharing in our suffering. You may have been seen as a fairweather fan in 2007, but you have proven your heart over the past 15 years.—@DForsterSensFan
CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning