Wednesday, April 16, 2008

oh, my...

Mike Wise, writing in today's Washington Post, describes the fan environment at last night's Flyers-Capitals playoff game with this: "The fans wore orange instead of the Capitals' red, and many of the women and children looked as if they could work security for Megadeth."

That's just fantastic.

Then there's this: "Did we mention they show fights on the video scoreboard every period here, more than most arenas show dunks in the NBA? ... Five minutes into the game, they showed a video of Philly's top brawls this past season, many involving [Riley] Cote grabbing hold of an opponents' shirt for leverage before pummeling him to the ice, which is just a swell environment for children ... They flat-out market and sell violence here, sanctioned, unbridled assaults disguised as sport. The Flyers are an instant repudiation of what Gary Bettman wanted the league to become. They are a reminder of the NHL's pugilistic past that just won't go away."

You mean, the Flyers' organ-I-zation caters to (and even encourages) that which goes "beyond the bounds of loutish fan behavior"? Who knew?

UPDATE: Here's a video of Philly fans showing off their creative collective vocabulary in reference to Capitals star Alex Ovechkin. Any chance these folks were on their way to the library?


Diaz said...

Whether right or wrong (as you seem to agree with), perhaps this is the reason the Philadelphia is always a the top of NHL players' lists of hardest arena to play in and most knowledgeable fans. This chant is certainly not good for kids, but lets be honest with ourselves: if you had tix to this game (about $90 each), the last thing you would be wanting to do is to bring a young child to the game.

Take them to a baseball game, an AHL game, an Arena game, etc., but there shouldn't be any kid walking around with a $90 ticket to any sporting event.

Frankly, there shouldn't be ANYONE that has to pay $90 for a sporting event, but thats a whole other story.

Sounds like someone in Washington just found out how real sports fans in a real sports town act. IS this any different than NYC, Detroit, or Boston?

mikesielski said...

"You mean, the Flyers' organ-I-zation caters to (and even encourages) that which goes "beyond the bounds of loutish fan behavior"? Who knew?"

That's exactly the problem with this column. It doesn't say anything new. I like and respect Wise's work, but this piece reads like it was written by someone who doesn't know enough about hockey to write anything beyond the obvious.
Just my $.02.

the life of kings said...

Sielski, you're correct that Wise says nothing new, and that he is trying to cover for his inability to understand hockey: Does he think the Flyers should let Ovechkin skate past them in the interests of promoting the sport? That's silly. But his broader point about the fans -- and the organ-I-zation's catering to their boorishness -- rings true. And in my mind, it can't be repeated enough.

Diaz, come on. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean one shouldn't want to take a child to a game. One's love for sports, after all, begins when one is young, which is also when the example of rooting for a team you love -- and doing so with some sense of decorum -- should be established. This, obviously, is a concept foreign to too many in Philly -- and in the name of "passion," no less. But tell me, what "knowledge" must one possess to spend an entire evening shouting "F*** Ovechkin?" instead of actually observing and understanding what's taking place on the ice?