Toronto, ON There is nothing like an NHL Lockout to remind hockey fans of how much crap they take from the League and the players on a regular basis. Players, who made it their mandate to ignore any and every fan that has ever approached them for a picture or autograph, were suddenly begging and pleading for their support. The League, who has been robbing us blind for years, just assumed that we would come crawling back like a crackhead to a drug dealer – and apparently we have! However, now that the NHL season is in full swing, it seems most fans have been willing to forgive the aforementioned abuse. The real question is, how much longer will they continue to endure the usual shit?
Call-in Show Abuse
Starting off on a more minor topic, let’s discuss call-in show abuse. Say whatever you want about the people who take time out of their “busy” day to call up the “sports radio professionals” and share their two cents on all the goings on in professional hockey. Let me state on the record that I never have (and never will) call into one of those programs. That being said, the most irritating thing about sports is that a “sports opinion” doesn’t actually exist. Reporters, on-air personalities, and hockey fans alike all love to proclaim that what they think or feel is an actual fact, and if you disagree with them, then you lack intelligence.
What never ceases to amaze me, though, is when these “professionals” start attacking their callers, or making them feel stupid for calling in with their opinions of trades or whatever. It’s even more amusing when the “sports journalist guild” gangs up on fans who dare to disagree with them on Twitter. They are getting paid to have an opinion, so they are obviously smarter than you! At the end of the day, these callers and tweeters that they shit on whenever they can, also happen to be their biggest fans and supporters – something they should probably consider the next time they are cashing their paychecks. Unfortunately, as you are about to read, fan abuse runs a lot deeper than taking heat from the boys club that is mainstream media once in awhile…
Undesirable Fan Abuse
It is a measure of extreme immaturity when public figures, like writers or professional hockey players, think they are above the people who support them and, essentially, feed them. This should be clear to everyone now in light of the recent lockout, which really shone the spotlight on where that hockey related revenue was actually coming from. Unfortunately, hockey players seem to take a lot of heat if their #1 fans aren’t supermodels or famous people. So, you better think twice before you go “embarrassing” your favourite player by wearing his jersey out in public.
Let me share a tale with you from several seasons back. Now, I’m going to sound like a total bitch here, but I am only being brutally honest so that you can get a sense of what I’m talking about. There was a girl I knew mostly just as a school acquaintance, but quite often I would see her at hockey games, and we’d chat for a bit. Now, this girl was short and about 250 lbs, with a stache like George Parros (for real), and on top of it she was one of the most mean spirited people I have ever met. I don’t want to be a bitch, but she was no beauty queen inside or out. That being said, she had a huuuuuuuuge crush on the team captain, and she was/is undeniably his #1 fan.
One day, this current Carolina Hurricane asked me how I knew the girl, because (clearly) he had seen me talking with her at most of his games. After I told him that we had a couple classes together, he proceeded to tell me the following. “Ugh… She always wears my jersey and everything. It makes me want to vomit all over myself.” Yes, he said “vomit all over myself.” Nice, huh? Nothing like a slap in the face for all her years of unwavering support – goal droughts and all. So, like I said, better think twice before showering your favourite hockey player with attention. Chances are he’s judging you.
Stalker Status Abuse
Of course, being an Undesirable is a lot better than being branded a stalker, which is something pretty much any female fan becomes if she doesn’t subscribe to what is universally accepted as the behaviour of FEMALE fans. You see, female fans aren’t allowed to attend hockey games alone. Female fans aren’t allowed to travel to road arenas to see their team play. Male fans can do whatever the fuck they want, but there is definitely a double standard when it comes to the rights of the female fans.
Obviously, I take particular offense to this since I get called a stalker by pretty much everyone who can’t handle the fact that I’ve been to 62 hockey arenas and counting. I did try to reclaim the word by incorporating it into the description of this website, however, the fact remains that calling someone a stalker is a CRIMINAL allegation, and is nothing to laugh about. Stalkers hide in the bushes at your house. Stalkers send you letters in their own blood. Stalkers call you nightly and breathe heavily into the phone. Last time I checked, stalkers don’t attend hockey games, and then simply leave after the final buzzer like every other fan in the building. Yes, even without stopping to wait with the “non-stalkers” gathered at the players parking lot exit! P.S. I’ve only ever done that once. My friend was trying to get Crosby’s autograph in Pittsburgh, and I was very much intoxicated.
The stalker title is similar to the puck bunny title. If a female hockey fan doesn’t fit the mold of a typical super fan – she isn’t clad in an X-Large hockey jersey, she doesn’t bring a ridiculous sign to every game, and etc. If she doesn’t look/act like a super fan, then she’s probably up to no good, and merely attending a lot of games to try to make one of the players fall in love with her. Heaven forbid she accidentally book the same hotel as the fragile ego’d and dickless hockey player, who has bragged to his teammates that she is his stalker – you know, because he’s so fucking amazing, and not on the 3rd line or anything…
Now I can’t comment on everyone’s objectives, but I will tell you straight up why I do the things I do:
(1) If you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a traveller. To me, a six hour drive feels like reading a text message. I don’t shy away from long distances, and I love spending time in the car and on planes. Shockingly, I am also a huge hockey fan. It is only natural that I merged my two passions.
(2) I travel alone mostly because I have always been a bit of a lone wolf. I live my life without waiting for permission or approval from others to do and see the things I want to do and see. You should try it sometime. I am secure enough to do things on my own – like attending hockey games, or going to the movies, or, you know, hopping a plane to Bangkok, whatever. Another reason I travel alone is because ALL of my friends are men. MOST of them aren’t big hockey fans, and MOST of them would probably rape me in my sleep if we were to share a hotel room. That’s not a joke!!! Yeah, I can’t imagine why I travel alone either…
(3) Another common misconception, which was revealed to me recently, is that I purposely book the same hotel as the team that I’m following in order to stalk my “love interest” in the lobby. Hmm… Considering that in my 12 years worth of hockey travels, I have actually stayed at the same hotel as an NHL team maybe 5 times, I can totally see how this would be the common perception. By the way, each of those 5 times was a surprise to me. One time I didn’t even know they were there until I checked out! Of all the occasions, though, the only encounters I had with the team was the occasional random encounter in the elevator, or if some of us decided to have the buffet breakfast like regular folk. Oh, and of those 5 times, the only time I hung out in the lobby was at a (A, as in singular, one time) game in Boston. The hotel couldn’t accommodate a late check out for me, so I decided to do some studying in the nice, warm lobby instead of, you know, wandering around outside in the cold with nowhere to go. I know, I deserve to be arrested…
Anyway, whether you are considered an Undesirable fan or a stalker, one thing is definitely true. The hockey players and other professional athletes, who think they have the right to mock the people who are some of their biggest fans and supporters (next to their Mommies, of course), don’t deserve to have any fans at all. Quite frankly, what they do deserve is to be stabbed in the eye with a fork… Preferably one that is in my hand at the time.