If you haven’t read my post, Why Sports Are More Than Just a Game, you might want to do that before you read this.
If you didn’t watch the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against the Washington Capitals this past Monday, you missed a bunch.
To get informed, copy the link below and search it.
The gifs of what happened and everything is included in that link but here’s what happened from my view in the stands.
Alex Ovechkin decided to slash Kris Letang’s leg with a swing that was comparable to a baseball swing.
Letang understandably lost his footing and crashed into the boards. No penalty was called and I don’t know how because it was blatant slashing. It was dramatic and so obvious and yet somehow the referees still missed the call. I don’t know how but it happened.
As you can imagine, the Penguins fans in Consol Energy Center were enraged, including me. I already had a passionate hatred of Ovi before this altercation. This was just more salt in the wound.
Fans chanted “Ovi Sucks” throughout the remainder of the game including me at the full expanse of my vocal chord.
I went with my university, which offered discounted tickets, meaning some of the student body was in attendance there with me.
To my surprise, one kid on this trip asked me to calm down, as did two non-students in the row in front of me. He told me, “It is just a game.” I said no and told this kid to move to D.C. He gave me “the bird” in return.
I’m a passionate person, especially when it comes to sports. I’m a competitive person rooting for more than a team. I’m rooting for what they represent: the city of Pittsburgh.
Those who still believe sports are just a game still fail to comprehend what sports are and why fan bases become so dedicated to them.
Why do you think people buy season tickets? Do you really think it’s all just for fun and drinking? Are you really so naive that you think that’s all there is to it? Do you think people dedicate 41 nights at the arena and another 41 watching the Pens on T.V. just to “have fun and drink?” You really think that’s all that’s at stake here?
It’s about being a team and believing in something more.
It’s about believing that your city and the people in it are capable of reaching the stars.
It’s about believing there’s light at the end of the tunnel because yes, work sucked, but the Pens play tonight.
It’s about looking forward to the future and believing you have a future worth living.
It’s about defending your team like they were one of your own.
These people who were telling me to calm down were doing so after witnessing Ovechkin maliciously try to chop Letang’s leg off with a hockey stick. Asking me to calm down is asking me to calm down when my brother gets punched on the playground at school.
Asking me to calm down is asking me to help a lady off the street after a criminal sent her a right hook and ran off with her purse. Sure, I could have yelled, “Hey, he stole that lady’s purse” and chased after him, but that would excite things and might make some people uncomfortable.
Asking me to calm down is asking me to be composed when the police officers that killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner get off without any legal repercussions.
Asking me to calm down is asking me to ignore the values of respect and justice, asking me to ignore the American, no, worldwide ideal, that where there are wrongs committed, justice will be served.
Asking me to calm down is asking me to condone the actions of one Alexander Ovechkin.
I will not calm down. I will not standby when my brother gets punched on the playground.
I will not calm down. I will not be a pacifist in a world full of aggressors.
I will not calm down. I will not accept things for what they are and make no effort to change them.
I will not calm down. I will not condone the actions of one Alexander Ovechkin.
This is not the first time that this student has asked me to calm down. It is the second. This student is a poser, a fake fan, someone who doesn’t support anything. He will jump on the lazy river at Kennywood and ride it forever if he has the time. He will make no real difference in the world. He will be set on idle mode all his life because to him, there was apparently nothing wrong with Ovechkin trying to play the role of butcher. If he can sustain self-control through an action as disrespectful and malicious as that, he clearly doesn’t look at the team as a family. If he had, I’d like to believe he would have reacted, unless he truly has no soul and would be okay if the same actions occurred to his father. Something tells me if his father, mother, or sibling had been in that uniform, he would have went into a craze like I did.
There are certain areas where you should carry yourself in the most dignified manner possible. A hockey arena, or any sporting event aside from golf, is not that place. In my opinion, a sporting venue should be treated no differently than your home. You are in public, yes, but you are at home. This is your home turf.
Someone who doesn’t understand the true meaning of sports will never be viewed as a fan in my book. He will forever be a poser.
The same goes for those who root for players with no moral compass. During this same game, there were plenty of visiting Capitals fans that wore the garb of Alex Ovechkin. All I could think was:
These people support Ovechkin.
They support someone who has made a career puck-hogging.
A player that has coincidentally led the league in shots in eight of his nine years in the league, a player that was so selfish with the puck, he had a shot percentage of 8.7 in 2010! 8.7!
A player’s defense that was so bad he put up a -35 plus-minus last year, the third-worst mark in the league.
A player that has made a career of dirty play.
Yet there were fans in the stands, yelling “Cups, cups, cups” and flaunting their Ovechkin jersey’s like they were robes from the Divine Himself. They were incognizant of the event or simply didn’t care that one of their players did one of the dirtiest things in the whole game of hockey. I suppose they’d be fans of anyone with character issues or run-ins with the law as well. I don’t respect anyone who can support players like that. They’re not supporting their city. They’re supporting thugs.
In closing, understand what you’re rooting for when you come into an arena and if you’re not going to treat the team like your family, please head to the exit with the rest of the posers.