Things people yelled at me while I was cheering for the Pirates at the Pirates/Yankees game at Yankee Stadium this weekend:
- “Sit down!”
- “Pirates suck!”
- “It’s not 1960 anymore!”
- “Be quiet!”
- “Can you even name the mayor of Pittsburgh?” [I did]
Things people yelled at me while I was cheering for the Penguins at the Penguins/Rangers game at Madison Square Garden in March:
- “Sit down, faggot!”
- “Penguins suck and you’re a fag!”
- “You’re a bigger faggot than Sidney Crosby!”
- “Crosby’s a homo!” (clap, clap, clap clap clap) [started a cheer]
- “Look, that guy and his daughter just got up and left because you were being such a f***ing faggot!”
The Anaheim Ducks have taken a lot of criticism from the press and fellow hockey fans for their dirty play and various character issues. Nonetheless, the Ducks are Stanley Cup champions, and rather than add some fuel to the controversial fire, I will issue this honest, heartfelt, and completely non-sarcastic congratulations to the team.
Way to go, Ducks! Thank god the Stanley Cup isn’t headed to Ottawa – it’s going to southern California, where it truly belongs and will be appreciated. Sure, a lot of people are blasting Chris Pronger for taking cheap shots at players, but every replay of Pronger’s hits showed that he was clearly just holding up or trying to get out of someone’s way, and not deliberately attempting to injure or possibly cause lasting spinal damage to other human beings. Pronger is one of the game’s true gentlemen, and he will likely be met with rousing, appreciative cheers every time he travels to Ottawa, Detroit, or Edmonton.
I’m also glad no one made an issue out of Senators Captain Daniel Alfredsson allegedly shooting a puck at Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer to try to injure him. Yes, Alfredsson is a professional hockey player, but hockey players usually don’t decide where they shoot pucks, pucks just sort of fly off peoples’ sticks randomly, and these sort of things happen all the time. Fortunately, Niedermayer shrugged it off, proving once again that he’s a really colorful character who just oozes enthusiasm and charm. This year’s Ducks were almost as exciting to watch as Niedermayer’s New Jersey Devils, who won three Cups with their flamboyant, offense-first style.
Surely, this legendary, captivating five-game series will begin a rebirth of hockey’s mainstream popularity here in the US. It’s only a matter of time before Ryan Getzlaf and Francois Beauchemin are household names, so watch out, NFL! Your sport’s draft isn’t going to continually double the ratings of the NHL’s championship series for much longer!
Oh, also, Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s pads are really really small and legal.
In one of the funniest sports stories I’ve heard in a while (big upz to Deadspin for the tip), a man named Gigi Becali (presumably a Mel Brooks character), owner of a Romanian soccer team and currently second in the polls to become Romania’s next president, has decided that only hymns and religious music can be played in his team’s home stadium in order to cut down on rowdy play and hooliganism. Says Becali:
“(I will play) only religious songs before the matches, because I’m the one who pays and this is the way I like it… I will take out the song …. ‘We will rock you’. Why play that song? So the players kill each other? Whoever wants (to hear) devil’s music should not come to my stadium.”
Furthermore, players will be fined for having “sad faces,” and will be forced to pay upwards of 30,000 euros if they come off the field looking upset. I’m not sure I need to say much more about this news, mostly because it’s already such a joke, but also because I can’t completely sort out all of my feelings about it. Here are three thoughts.
1) As dumb as this policy seems to me, if a U.S. politician owned a sports franchise and instituted a similar rule, and if they too had the moral defensibility of trying to cut down on fan violence and injuries, would Americans still vote for that person? Obviously Becali feels like it’s helping his political cause in Romania, and I’m not so sure it would totally kill someone’s chances in the U.S. either. Is that a weird thought, or maybe I’m just wrong?
2) If you pumped religious music into Lincoln Financial Field before an Eagles/Cowboys game, or into Fenway Park before a Yanks/Sox game, or into, say, a soccer stadium packed full of rowdy European soccer hooligans, don’t you think the crowds would get a whole, whole lot angrier? Or am I just really out of touch with Romanian pro sports?
3) The song “We Will Rock You” equals The Devil.