Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Adults Are The Worst

There's something special about a player who honours the fans by saluting them after a successful performance. They have fed off the crowd's energy all night, listened to the fans cheer his name, and returned the favour by performing at an exceptionally high level. This interaction is unique in sports. You don't see it in performance arts, you don't see it at 99.9% of other work places, but you do see it at sporting events. It becomes even more special for the fans when the athlete gives a fan his or her stick after a big performance. However, that tide is now starting to turn thanks to a few fans taking things much further than they should when it comes to these "souvenirs" from their favorite athletes.

At first, I thought it was out-of-the-ordinary to see adults trying to take these one-of-a-kind souvenirs from kids. There are always going to be idiots in the crowd, but these adults really take the idiocy to a new level. The most egregious example of this was in Pittsburgh this season when the Buffalo Sabres came to town. As you may recall...
Trey Dopson, the young man who had the puck thieved from him, seemed pretty devastated once his puck was stolen, and it appeared that Dan Bylsma wasn't very happy either after the crowd around the older gentleman began booing and shaming him for his thievery.

"I was aware because of the response of the crowd," Bylsma said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after the game. "They were cheering for him to get it and kind of the response of the crowd is what made me know that he didn't get it. I got him a puck and I think he got a jersey after that. So maybe it was a good thing the guy stole the puck from him."

Mr. Dopson, Trey's father, said he and his wife "have always tried to teach our children not to make a big deal out of nothing," and "To overreact is not going to help anyone."

Perhaps, Mr. Dopson should have been in Madison Square Garden last night.

The New York Rangers had just finished shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes with Henrik Lundqvist being named the first star in the 33-save shutout performance. Clearly, he had a great game, and the fans cheered loudly upon his being named as first star. Lundqvist did the crowd salute and then decided to toss his stick to the fans in show of appreciation of their support.

That's where everything went sideways.

It might be time to stop throwing souvenirs to fans in the crowd with these types of reactions. That's deplorable. You're grown men and women, and this is a hockey stick. Stop for a second, look around at the kids seated anywhere in this rink, and take the stick to one of those kids who will appreciate it a million more times than you will. They idolize these men far greater than you do, and you're setting a great example for the next guy who thinks it's cool to steal a souvenir or fight over a souvenir.

I hope these men and women took a long look at themselves in the mirror whenever that opportunity arose, thought about the moments shown above, and asked, "what the hell is wrong with me?"

I know I would have.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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