Friday, August 28, 2009

Does Atlanta Have the Worst Fans? a/k/a/ douche bags on parade

Atlanta Thrashers fans have been abuzz this week due to a blog post on "The State Of Hockey News" listing Atlanta Thrashers as having the worst fans in the entire NHL.
His very scientific way of deciding this was that he went into a sports store and said he found nothing Thrashers related and the people looked at him like he was nuts. Of course you can take apart the way he came up with this. My biggest gripe is we were worse than Phoenix. REALLY?? There are some great Phoenix fans. I know this for a fact because one of my faithful followers is a die hard Yotes fan. But, they can barely get a full rally to support their team! How in the hell are we worse than Phoenix?? And the fact that they actually moved UP on his scale from last season is almost as ridiculous as him putting the Chicago Blackhawks at #2. Also ridiculous was the fact that our online presence was rated very low. Funny being that in March the NHL said we had the second busiest message board behind Vancouver and probably one of the largest blogopsheres in the league.

Atlanta is notoriously a bad sports city for all sports. The main reason is we are a city of transplants. People move here but usually keep their childhood sports affiliations. At best, they pull for Atlanta teams most of the time, but their former home team when said team comes to town. Another reason we have weak showings for sports is we have a lot to choose from. We have NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB as well as college sports. College football is a religion in the south.

Do we have the worst fans? We do have some bad ones. I've been to 5 other NHL arenas (Nashville, Raleigh, MSG, New Jersey and Philly) and noticed some differences. Early this season I started taking pictures of some of the stuff I saw at games that irritated me. Is this photo evidence we have bad fans?

These photos are done in good fun...for the most part. I've taken precautions to prevent the identities of the douche bags in the pictures from being recognized. If you see yourself in a picture, laugh it off. If you are upset, stop being a douchebag and you won't wind up in any more.

Atlanta fans come late. There are some reasonable explanations for some. Traffic is a BITCH in Atlanta. It's as bad as you've heard, no WORSE. For many it's hard to get off at 5 or 6 and make it to a 7:00 start. You have a free pass.

Funny thing though on Saturday or Sunday games, regardless of the time...people are late. It doesn't matter if the game is 7:00 or 7:30 on weeknights...people are late. For some reason Thrashers fans can't seem to make it to the game on time. And I don't mean a few minutes late. Any were from 15 minutes to beginning of the 2nd period late. I'm sure all of the people in these pictures are late due to delivering a baby, performing open heart surgery or feeding the hungry. Yeah, right. Note: Puck is in play during both photos.

Can't get her on time, get here when you can!

At least these guys have their priorities straight...they have their beer.

When you get to the game...SIT THE HELL DOWN. At least in a few of these, there was a stoppage. Atlanta fans have no idea of the concept "puck in play." Although a few of the ones Shauna and I have sat near now have a good working knowledge of it.

Why do you need to stand up to use the phone?

I'm sorry sir, you get a big thumbs down from me.

No real harm here. There was action going on, but he's not blocking any one's view. I just thought it was funny.
Yes, I'm sure you totally have a chance with them. Note the jersey.

Bananaphone? Bat phone? It's a pain in my ass phone.

Not only do they not see you, they don't give a shit. Sit the fuck down.

Cell phones have made our lives so much better, right? Easy access, convenience, and they are great for emergencies. I use my phone at hockey games. During the breaks I'll take my phone out, message my husband if he isn't there, check some texts, etc. Some people come and use their phones during the entire games.

These pictures were all taken while there was action going on. I'm sure all phone calls were life and death.



Maybe they are such big hockey fans they are checking the highlights from other hockey games...or they are checking basketball scores. FAIL.

text text text

I guess I'd want to call someone too if I had those seats. Of course I'd wait until the intermission.

Phones, getting up, flirting who knows what you'll see at a game sometimes. Sometimes it's just too bizarre to categorize.

This guy read the paper during a good portion of the game.

Okay, I know sometimes last season the games were painful to watch, but really??? (yes, he's sleeping)

These folks were listening to headphones for the whole game. Maybe an ipod? Maybe listening to the radio and our fantastic play by play guy Dan Kamal? Who knows.

The next category is kind of a slippery slope for me. I could end up being a hypocrite. Pictures at the game. Obviously I have not problems with people taking pictures, I take about 150 - 200 pictures per game myself. I never get up (unless everyone does). I don't get in people's way. I don't use a flash. I am very polite. Others are not.

It's a camera phone. Sit down, it's going to look like shit anyway.

Not really a problem. He isn't blocking a view and it's obviously a stoppage in play. I just thought it was funny in a creepy way.

Great, you and your bud are at a hockey game. Could you do that during the intermission? Hell, if you ask me during the intermission, I'll take it for you. I do that all the time for people.

So after they've arrived late, gotten up 15 times for a beer and bathroom, texted the whole game and taken poor camera phone pictures...what's next? Well they leave early of course. One of my biggest pet peeves. Yada yada beat traffic, I know. Again, there are legitimate excuses to leave early. I'm sure all of these people have them.

See ya, suckers.

Leaving early from such good seats...tragedy!

If you are going to leave early how about you DON'T do it when the action is still going?

This little guy is the douche trifecta. It's really not his fault, he's like 6. So his dad gets the credit. He's sitting on his dad's lap, wearing a hat, blocking my view AND he's on the phone. EPIC WIN in the land of FAIL.

The award for the strangest thing I've seen has to go to this lady at the Canadiens game breastfeeding her two year old. Now the breastfeeding in public argument can be argued ferociously on both sides. We Americans tend to be a little prudish when it comes to stuff like this. The main thing is the kid was like 2 and it's a hockey game! I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt, jeans and a jersey and some gloves. She was French Canadian though, so maybe it was like a balmy summer day for her.

These people could possibly be the douches of the season. They arrived with 15 minutes left in the THIRD period to some of the best seats in the house. I'm honestly surprised someone hadn't already mooched into the seats by this time. Maybe they broke down, maybe something came up, who knows. Maybe I'm just petty and was jealous of their seats. (A realistic possibility)

So yeah, I have photographic evidence that we definitely have some douche bags at Phillips Arena. I've also got other evidence.

We have a group of faithful fans that line the glass during warm ups. They have signs for everything from congratulating players on accomplishments to asking Zach Bogosian to the prom.

Of course you have yours truly on the glass with camera in hand and various signs. You can see I'm not the only one.

We have this awesome family who makes all of these signs out of wood. Later in the season they cut the middle out of Hainsey's "6" and the little boy puts his adorable face in the middle of it.

Speaking of Hainsey, he certainly is not lacking in fans.

We have smoked chicken nachos in the club section. If everyone could taste these the entire world would be Thrashers fans.

We've got fans crazy enough to travel around supporting the Thrashers even in the toughest cities. Sally Cersosima (I'm sure I murdered her name) 2008 7th Man traveled to every arena in the Eastern Conference to see them play.

Yeah, I know...the arena is empty. I'm dedicated, not crazy.

We've got the most awesome sign ever.

We have some crazy Thrashers kid fans like this little guy who wears a goalie mask to all the games. Another of my favorite kids is the little blond kid up in the 300 section. When they do the "unleash the fury" clip, he windmills his hair. He kicks total ass.

We have the old people kissing. This is an elderly couple who attends all of the games. They always put them on the kiss cam and the crowd goes nuts.

We have a parrot....wait, WTF?

More crazy Thrashers kids at warm up begging for attention and pucks. Cole rocks.

We have this guy, the Heatmeiser. Not only does he come dressed like this to all the games, it's his personal mission in life to piss off Mary St. Louis. He usually does.

One of the best things about Thrashers fans, we dominate on a road trip. This January 151 people headed over to Raleigh to see our guys play the Hurricanes. Even though we got shut out, we cheered and chanted the entire game.

During warm up we completely covered the glass on the visiting side. We chanted, sang and cheered. The players were stunned.

We had flags, horns and even a drum...until he got tossed out.

We have two road trips this season, one back to Raleigh and one to Nashville. There will be about 300 people going to Nashville. Go Thrashers!!

So yeah, we live in a shitty sports town. We are a non-traditional hockey market and the Thrashers aren't the #1 game in town. When we fill our stadium to 78% capacity (thanks for the stat Mr. State of Hockey News) we do have some douche bags. But we have great fans and every season we have more and more. We have a core group of fans that are every bit as dedicated to our team as fans you find in Montreal and Toronto. If the team starts winning and people start coming to games, we will have more and more. Basically we need some winning and some hockey etiquette lessons.

Another great way we are trying to get fans on board is the newly formed Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club. My buddy Lisa Lewis is the founder and president and has really busted her ass getting this thing up and running. If you are interested in joining, click on the link below. They are really trying to boost the presence of Thrashers fans with this club. Plus you get goodies, discounts and the chance to hang with players.

Also, another good read is the response to The State of Hockey News by Mark Bradley in the AJC. He makes some good points and uses the ugly truth to show exactly what great fans we actually are.


gg44 August 28, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

We DO have a parrot... a parrot who likes Perrin, IIRC...

Sunshine36616 August 28, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

You mean Perry? I'd rather see Perry at a game than a parrot puppet, lol.

gg44 August 28, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

I do mean Perry... it'd be pretty sweet if we could get her to a Thrashers game... Maybe she could do the anthem.

Sunshine36616 August 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM  

She'd do a better job than some of the people they have had do the anthem. Except Keith of course. Keith kicks ass. Too bad I didn't have a picture of him.

Daculafan September 1, 2009 at 1:48 PM  


Your blog kicks total ass!! this post with photo proof...and you're right..we got our share of douches...but we have some awesome as shit fans and when we get going we rock Phillips like a hurricane!!

Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

Pff typical upper, middle class privileged fag can't enjoy his stupid games. Get a fucking job you knob.


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