Tales from the Predsmobile: Welcome to the Streets
“Welcome to the Predsmobile!”
This is how I welcome Lyft passengers into my car when they notice all the Preds swag throughout my orange Toyota Prius. For close to 8 months, I have been a Lyft driver servicing the Nashville area, but the Predsmobile was not born until after the Western Conference Finals last season. But since its birth, I have met a great collection of Predators and hockey fans alike.
Maybe you’ve seen the “Predsmobile” around town. The front hood and side doors are covered with the alternate “guitar pick” Predators logo. A windsock flies above my car, designating my car for pickups just as much as the distinct orange color and Lyft decals. When you get into my car, you are greeted with a stuffed catfish from the Preds shop, swaddled in an antenna flag that didn’t fit on the exterior. The hatchback area is covered in Preds towels that I have cared for over several years, even with some dating back as early as 2010-2011. Sometimes, jerseys will be dressed on the seats, but that was temporarily suspended because drunk or belligerent passengers may damage them. Preds stickers cover the back hatch exterior, with window chalk writings on the back glass. During the Stanley Cup Finals, I wrote “Lyft the Cup.” Right now, it’s a countdown to the home opener on October 10th. I always welcome honks and waves/fist pumps if you see me on the road–I just apologize if I initially take it as road rage.
I’ll admit, the Predsmobile initially wasn’t my idea. A good friend of mine thought it would be cool to deck out the car so that Lyft passengers could get hyped up for the Stanley Cup Finals, and he helped me get the car decorated. While driving around the downtown area, it caught the eye of the News Channel 5 team, and they ran a feature before the first Stanley Cup Finals games, with other media markets following suit. I was immediately shocked at how many people had seen and accessed it–constantly people would ask “is this the Predsmobile from the news?” Even the Lyft Nashville office reached out to me, wanting to share pictures with their team and PR staff.
But beyond some easy news spots and social media attention, the idea of the car grew to something I had never imagined, and it is the main reason I kept it contained to this day. It was a stage to talk Predators hockey all year round.
After the initial compliments on all the Preds gear, I was surprised at how many people truly wanted to discuss hockey. All through the shortest offseason for the Preds, my car was engulfed with hockey conversation: “Who do you think we’ll lose in the expansion draft?”; “If Fisher retires, who will be the new captain?”; “Will we get a banner for the Western Conference Championship?”; “Do you think we can make a run for the Cup again?” I met fans that had just moved to Nashville in the past year and decided they needed a local team to follow. Others have been in Nashville for years and got caught up in the Stanley Cup run. Some were diehard season ticket holders. All of them couldn’t stand Mike Milbury (but I’ll save that for a later post.)
On the other hand, with Lyft and other rideshares being primary transportation for tourists, I’ve met national and international hockey fans that have shown their love and hate for the Predators. From salty Blackhawks fans who think that the “sucks” chants are tasteless, to Flyers fans who donned Preds gear in protest of their rivals during the Finals, the Predators are definitely on the radar now.
I want to give a voice to all the hockey fans that come and go from my car. The trials and tribulations of Preds fans, the views of the Preds from rival fans, the person who doesn’t know what in the world all this random stuff is on my car… I want to hear all of their opinions, and if you ride with me, I welcome you to voice yours.
Nashville is amidst its biggest growth in history, and so are the Predators. The Preds are about to embark on a brand new journey as a serious hockey market, and Nashville’s on board and ready to support. The new casual fan is just as big of an importance as season ticket holders, be it from day one of the team or game one of the playoffs. This blog will be about what all fans are talking about within the confines of my car–new ticket prices, roster changes, and when the season arrives, wins/losses. As it is here at Predneck Nation, nothing is off the table, good or bad, and I hope I give some insight to the streets of Nashville when it comes to talking hockey.
I look forward to the ride, and I hope you’ll join me.
Lets Go Preds!