Most of these are specifically hockey-related but I have no doubt that the basic concept of each one can be applied to any professional sport, anywhere in the world. Most of these also have to do with the fact that I wholly despise how commercial and corporate professional sporting events are, and the shit end of the stick that the “real” fans are handed in return. (Translation: I can’t afford season tickets or lower bowl seats so fuck you.)
The Away Fans from Hell
I finally got my first taste of being a dreaded ‘Away Fan’ down in Oakland where I was one of maybe 26 fans cheering for the Celtics as they played against the Warriors. And I’ll tell you, it’s rough. You get overwhelmed by the amount of animosity towards your team, so you begin to overcompensate by going back and forth about random statistics with the closest home team fan beside you and obnoxiously cheering whenever you can, in case someone happened to not see your Celtics shirt which happened to perfectly complement your green Nike SB dunks. But at the end of the game, no matter the outcome, you shake hands with a few people, congratulate them on their win or gracefully accept yours.
The point where this crosses the line is usually somewhere around Stadium Beer #5. The reality is that you’re outnumbered and, quite frankly, pretty irrelevant to everyone else in attendance except for their burning desire to kick you down the stairs. Fact is: You’re still in somebody else’s house. It’s going to a house party and spilling a bit of red wine on the carpet vs. taking off your pants and passing out in the master bedroom.
The Front Row Attention Whores
These are the dudes who lucked out and managed to score seats in the first five rows at a hockey game. There’s no doubting their loyalty or their interest in hockey, they are EX-CI-TED. But because they watch so much hockey, they know exactly where the puck needs to be for them to be on TV. And instead of taking advantage of this once or twice and waving when the puck is near their section, they do it every chance they get. Honestly, this probably annoys me more at home as I’m watching it happen then it does when I’m actually at the game.
The Premature Evacuators
At the bare minimum, you or someone you know paid at least $200 for you to be present at this game. There is a two goal difference between the teams, 3rd period, a minute and a half left. And you are LEAVING! You are straight up walking out of the arena like you’re good, you’ve been entertained enough this evening.
You don’t need closure? You don’t need to know who actually wins the game for when all your co-workers ask how it was the next day? Have you ever even WATCHED hockey? Do you not know the pure Spartan madness that happens in the last two minutes of a close game? Goalies are pulled! Bodies are flying!! Wild shots are taken and highlight-worthy saves are made!!!
But no. You’re on some “Oh Stephen honey, let’s just get out of here so we can beat the traffic.”
GTFOH. Just get out! I will jump my happy ass down into your seats and watch the end of this game.
The Sea of Red (and blue)
I may be on a bit of a soap box with this one, but as an avid sports fan I just can’t understand people who show up to a game looking like they’re in a board meeting. I know that jerseys are expensive, believe me I know, but you know what’s even more expensive? The two lower bowl seats that you and your boss are taking up looking like douchebags, while all the real fans are stuck in the Sport Check section suffering from vertigo and nosebleeds. Am I just salty because I can’t afford these seats myself?! Absolutely. But do these people not feel out of place? Like they’ve shown up to a party they weren’t really invited to?
Maybe the solution is for all the corporate giants who give these tickets away like Halloween candy to also give the lucky recipients a jersey to wear, or for the stadium/arena to give away free t-shirts in the appropriate colour. At the same time, I could always stop being such a whiny bitch and just watch the game. Go Flames.
I do, however, love this type of person at sporting events: The fans that are so drunk and proud of their team that they have the irresistible urge to let it be known via graffiti in the arena bathroom, but also have the mental capacity to realize they’re an idiot.