I initially wrote this post as I watched in dismay as Carey Price was booed off the ice by some Habs fans in attendance of the first Montreal Canadiens preseason game of the year. While it’s true that Price gave up 4 goals on 8 or 9 shots (depending on whose version you read), fans of rival teams, the media and the blogosphere quickly jumped on the fact that (some) Habs fans were once again booing their own goaltender.
This is the kind of behaviour my fellow fans are known for. With the possible exception of Philadelphia sports fans, no fans in North America have a reputation for being classless quite like Montreal Canadiens fans, and quite frankly, I’m sick of being associated with that.
Of course, people who behave that way roll out the ‘I paid for my ticket and I have a right to enjoy the game the way I want’ defenses. Yeah, well, I paid for my ticket, too, buddy, and I have a right not to be embarrassed by clowns like you. Even if I weren’t at the game, all the world ever sees is people like you giving me a bad name.
A good friend of mine I sometimes go to hockey games with likes to joke around about what he’ll do when he owns the hockey team and the arena. There would be a zero-tolerance policy and a permanent ban list for anyone who engaged in certain types of behaviour.
Boo or drown out any national anthem? Here’s the money you say you paid for the ticket, get out and never set foot in this arena ever again.
Boo your own goaltender? Ban.
Throw beer at anybody? Ban.
Sing the Goodbye song before the game is actually won? Ban.
Try to fight a Bruins fans? Ban.
Heckle your fellow fans of the home team? Ban.
Be an Ottawa Senators fan? Ban.
Of course, permanent bans are fairly impossible to enforce, and refunding money and ushering out a paying customer rarely makes business sense. This kind of policy would never work in the real world, but in my friend’s fantasy world, all the banned fans would eventually be replaced by those of us who can manage to attend a sports event without acting like an asshat.
I’d pay a hell of a lot for a ticket if I knew the experience wouldn’t be ruined for me by other paying customers.
Thanks for reading.
Please check out my regular site The Active Stick for more of my Habs commentary.