LOVED the game last night. I finally had a night of uninterrupted hockey watching where my PVR did not need to come into play. I ordered a brisket sandwich, drank a bottle of wine, and was actually able to convince my non-hockey-loving spouse to watch the game with me!
Today’s topic: Class at a hockey game. When Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face in the last seconds of the first period, there was some cheering from the stands. Twitter exploded. The words “class” and “classless” were thrown around, and once again, I felt like the journalists from up above were scolding a fan base.
Firstly, let’s just be clear about something: I am willing to wager that not a single cheering attendee actually wishes Zdeno Chara, the human being, ill.
For instance, if in crossing the De Maisonneuve bike path to get to his hotel, Chara got hit by one of those die-hard winter bikers, I don’t think people would stop in the street and cheer. The biker would likely freak out and blame the pedestrian, any cars on the scene would shake their fists at the biker, and fellow pedestrians would likely go and help Chara up and ask if he is okay. Perhaps a good-humoured remark about the Bruins / Habs rivalry would be thrown in at the end of the ordeal.
Secondly, let’s all stop pretending that the Bell Centre is Carnagie Hall. It’s a sporting arena where people come to eat dirty food, drink beer out of cans and get loud.
It’s this same understanding of context that allows me to not be angry when the home team gets booed. Was the cheering a nice thing to do? No.. not at all. But why are we so preoccupied with being nice at a hockey game? Who cares? Chara plays the role of bad guy in the theatre of the Habs / Bruins rivalry (nb: that was the cheesiest sentence I ever wrote). You boo the bad guy’s success, you cheer his decline.
Let’s all stop taking hockey so personally, with a special request to the accredited journalist: Stop scolding Habs fans. There is a least one incident a month where all of a sudden Twitter is filled with journalists telling Habs fans how to behave.
Listen, fans PAY to attend the game, you sit up in that box for free, and then get paid to write about it. Don’t get on the journalistic high-horse and tell paying customers what they can or can’t do at a game, while you gobble down your free hot-dogs and enjoy your free bottled water.
It’s a hockey game. Chill out.