When Sports Fans Go Bad
Ever get so pissed off at a game at a fan cheering or doing things that you want to take a swing at them? I have.
Buffalo sports fans can be loud. We take a great amount of pride in this. Our boisterousness can also be taken as rudeness in other teams arenas.
I’ve seen it, and it happens in our barn too (damn Leafs fans jump to mind). You have a couple beers, you want to root for your team and sometimes it gets taken a little bit too far. It happens, it’s sports. And it’s alcohol. Mix the two and people can easily get carried away.
I’ve written before that I’ve attended lots of Bluejackets games in Columbus. I’ve been to every regular season Sabres game at Nationwide Arena and each time it seems like Sabres fans own the place. Of course we’re louder than the home team and it makes sense: the more “determined” fans are the ones who will travel to away games. The hardcore if you will.
Plus those hardcore fans feel like they have to represent and make noise in the opposing arena. I get it, and I actually like it. I love making noise myself. As a Buffalo sports fan, I’ve made a science out of being able to produce as much noise as I possibly can. (A good shout comes from the diaphragm.)
But some fans take it too far. Case in point was the last game of the 2010-2011 season, Buffalo at Columbus. During the national anthem there was a guy several rows behind us who was making fireworks sounds … during the entire anthem.
I’m usually quick tempered and loose lipped when someone is being a douche like that, but I’ve learned to restrain myself. This is one case where the guy probably deserved a tongue lashing though. He disrepected our anthem and disturbed everyone from being able to enjoy themselves early on.
Turns out he was a Sabres fan, and he proceeded to make even more of an ass of himself. At seemingly random points of the game he’d yell “SHOOT!”. Yeah, the “Shoot it” guy – seems like there’s one in every section. Because we all know that the players on the ice need to be told when to shoot and are only waiting for a knowledgeable fan in the nosebleeds to tell them when to do so.
It gets better. He would also yell “SKATE!”, because apparently the players would forget they needed to skate on the ice. Or perhaps how fast to skate.
Now, while the missus and I had a good amount of fun laughing about this guy, it certainly did distract from the game. Other Sabres fans, myself included, were well behaved and cheered at appropriate times. We got loud and went at it in “loudness contests” with the Jackets fans in alternating chants of “Let’s go Buffalo” and “Let’s go Jackets”. (Pretty sure we won.)
It was pretty fun, except for dooshy guy. We talked with many of the Jackets fans around us, said that we definitely were not with “Skate Guy” and wanted to apologize for him. I truly felt bad and wanted them to think better of Sabres fans.
Soon enough, “Skate Guy” and his girlfriend came down a few rows and sat next to me. Lovely, I thought. They had apparently bought single seats separate from each other, were looking for two seats together and kept getting kicked out of other people’s seats. We chatted a bit, but I really couldn’t stand him. He actually said he hated Bluejacket’s fans because they kicked him out of their own seats. Then he proceeded to bash them for even being at the game because of how bad their record was.
My thoughts were that the Columbus fans were amazing fans of hockey because they still pack the house despite the losing record. They’d had how many years of losing and they still have good attendance. I wanted to smack the guy, but instead just said, “Hey man, they’re enjoying the game”. Something which he didn’t seem to be doing as he was mostly complaining about things and getting too drunk to even remember the game the next day.
Luckily for us the real owners of the seats came back and “Skate Guy” took off to yell SKATE and SHOOT somewhere where we couldn’t hear him, thank Pegula.
Ultimately, I guess this post is about representing the Sabres and Western New York when we go elsewhere. Sports can get nasty, especially with people fueled by alcohol. But those other fans are just like us, they love hockey as well or they wouldn’t be there. Have fun, cheer, louder than them, and have a good time is my credo. There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in the world and we don’t need to make it worse with the way we act at sporting events.
Stay classy and LET’S GO BUFFALO!
next post: The Pominville Injury: Update