Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Who's The Animal Here?

There is something about mascots that simply brings a smile to one's face. Sure, they're up to mischief and generally causing all sorts of playful laughs, but they are a major part of a team's identity, especially when dealing with children. It's almost impossible to hate a mascot unless he has some sort of vendetta against a fan or commits a humiliating act on a fan, so trying to make sense of what happened in Victoria, BC on Saturday at the WHL's Victoria Royals game is impossible. Watching the video below brings a sickening feeling over me as we need to remember that there's a person playing Marty the Marmot inside the costume.

During the second period intermission of the game between the Royals and the Red Deer Rebels on Saturday afternoon at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, there was one of those goofy games that fans participate in for what usually results in a t-shirt or some other prize. It's not like they're giving away cars or luxurious vacations for human bowling contests.

So when fans were called down to ice-level for a musical chairs contest in Victoria, everyone expected a winner, maybe a few laughs, but not an unprovoked assault on Marty the Marmot. And that's what we got. Here's the video, and, as my disclaimer, be aware that this may be disturbing for some viewers.
Yeah, you witnessed one of the most disgusting acts committed by a fan I've ever seen. In no way, shape, or form should Marty the Marmot have even touched, let alone driven into the ice like he was by this insane person. I'm actually angry after having watched this video again. If players are to jump to a fallen teammates' aid, I would have loved to have seen someone pummel this guy. But my wishes aside, there's more to this story.

It is reported that the arena security crew dealt with this idiot as he left the ice under a torrent of boos from the crowd. How they dealt with him is uncertain as no reports have exactly what happened to him after his moment of pure stupidity had passed, but I'm going to venture a guess and say that they had a few questions for him.

Victoria police have identified the jerk and are considering assault charges. "From what we've seen, I'd say charges are likely to be recommended," Constable Mike Russell said. "Officers have talked to many witnesses. Certainly there's a fair few since there were a couple thousand people there."

Look, we've seen one assault this week when Emery attacked Holtby, and the powers-that-be sat there and did nothing. To allow this to happen to an innocent kid inside a marmot costume who deserved nothing like this to happen to him as he stood on the ice minding his own business with no consequences would be criminal on the part of the police.

The Victoria Royals have posted updated on Marty, and it appears that he'll be ok. As posted on Marty's Facebook page, "We're pleased to report that Marty the Marmot is doing just fine, and is looking forward to being back in action Wednesday vs Edmonton!" Investigators into the incident have yet to speak to Marty's alter-ego, so we'll have to wait to see what comes of that, but this should be a no-brainer in charging this guy with assault. Had he done this to a stranger on the street, he'd be looking at some sort of criminal complaint. Just because Marty is a mascot doesn't mean the guy inside the suit didn't feel any pain while being slammed to the ice.

And the reason Marty was slammed to the ice by our hero-of-the-week? For sliding a chair towards a woman who was involved in the game of musical chairs and away from the idiotic fan. Because slamming a lovable mascot to the ice is the appropriate response in a children's game played by adults for fun that will result in the winner getting a Royals-branded t-shirt. Right?

Remind me again: who is the animal on the ice? I can only hope that this fellow is not a father nor works with children. That kind of reaction towards a mascot over a fun game that means nothing in the overall scheme of the world is borderline psychotic.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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