Tuesday, September 7, 2010

People of Blueland: Opposing Fans

In today’s “People of Blueland” we look at opposing teams’ fans. In Atlanta, we get a lot of opposing teams' fans. Most of the time, they actually live there. Atlanta is a transient city and very few people are actually “from” Atlanta. It is also home to the busiest airport in the world, so it’s relatively easy to fly in for a game. The weather here is also pretty decent. So let’s say you are in Buffalo during December, a flight to Atlanta to watch the Sabres where it is 60 degrees is very appealing. So you have your die hard transplants who will always cheer for their team no matter where they live. You have the visiting fans who came to the city to watch the game. Then, you have the worst, the bandwagon fans. These guys usually surface after a team wins a cup or have a good run of a season. In the 2008-09 season, we were over run with Wings fans. A lot of those could be transplants, I know I’d leave Detroit if I lived there. This season, it was the Pens. The band wagon fans are easily spotted as they are wearing a shiny new Sidney Crosby jersey and can’t name any other Pens if his life depended on it.

There ARE some pretty hard core Pen fans though, or at least ones with snazzy costumes!

I don’t mind most opposing fans. I’ve been the opposing fan! I think everyone should be the opposing fan at one time or another, it’s fun.Whether you are by yourself

Or with a group, you can be sure of a few things

The home team’s mascot is going to give you hell.

The home team's fans are going to give you hell, hopefully just some good natured smack talk.

And someone is going to be on kiss cam.

Another cool thing about opposing fans is you definitely stand out to your team on a road trip

Surprisingly, we get a lot of Montreal fans in Phillips. I know a large group were from Cirque du Soleil, not sure about the others.

For the most part, they are well behaved. They take the heat from Thrash.

They stand and cheer for their team when they score.

I've never had a bad run-in with a Habs fan, so I've got no complaints.

Though I had a nasty run in with an Oilers fan at the post game show once, most of the Canadian teams have decent fans that visit Phillips Arena. Here a Leafs fan gets into it with Thrash.

We see a few Carolina fans from time to time, usually after our big road trip. It's only a six hour drive.

Not all teams’ fans are good. I’ve asked security and some of the ushers what teams have the worst fans and they said hands down, teams from New York as well as Philly.

Philly should come as no surprise. They are proud of their status as “The NHL’s most intimidating fans.” When they are winning, they can be super obnoxious. When they are losing, they can also be super obnoxious.

The Rangers fans definitely have that NYC attitude. Usually they flip off the kiss cam, but these guys were awesome and went with it having a good time.

Then there are the worst…and we all know it…Buffalo. If you are from Buffalo you either a. know your fans are assholes and have no problem with that; b. make excuses about “sports are all we have”; c. ARE one of the assholes and your in denial. Don’t let those friendly smiling faces fool you!

They can be nasty! In a previous season there was a Sabres game where several fights broke out, beer got poured on a kid and there was even an arrest or two. On a personal note, I sat by the nastiest most horrible fan I’ve ever met. He was intoxicated and just being a complete ass because we were beating the Sabres. “Why do they even have hockey here?” “Look at that shit, typical for Atlanta.” “This place sucks.” Then he starts talking about Michael Vick…MICHAEL VICK! Fortunately he left after the 1st period. I’ve started drinking at Sabres games just so I can deal with the fans.

This lovely young lady actually got into a verbal altercation with someone at my table at the post game show. The person at my table was giving her hell about coming into a Thrashers area with a Buffalo sign, as can be expected. Nothing bad, just “Go home, Buffalo” type stuff. This fan says “Why don’t you eat another doughnut you fat bitch. Eat another doughnut.” WOW! They got into it a bit more and the lady left. I yelled “Stay classy!”

This guy has really never done anything wrong to me, I just like his snuggly Buffalo he brings to all of the games.

Opposing fans do something else good for Atlanta...they fill seats!

If you follow the rules, being an opposing fan or having opposing fans is great.
Support your team. When they score, jump up and celebrate. Then sit the hell down.
Don’t be a douche bag. That’s a good general rule for all fans.
Don’t flip off the kiss cam.

So, got any rules you’d like to add?


ATLANTA HOCKEY PICTURES September 9, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

Ive got a rule, if you are an opposing fan tell your team "DONT LOSE, BECAUSE A 6 HOUR TRIP HOME SUCKS ! ". A bus ride that should take 4 hours but in the snow turns into 6 hours feels like 12 hours after you lose. Also I guess this goes for every a-hole fan, sit down no one cares if you are on a phone looking for a friend, there is a reason they arent sitting with you because you are a douche !

ATLANTA HOCKEY PICTURES September 10, 2010 at 8:31 PM  

ha ha, the last photo is like a were's waldo for greg and tina lampton.

Sunshine36616 September 11, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

It took me a second, but I found them. David is in that picture, too!


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