Yelling “shoot it” at the top of your lungs, every 30 seconds for 60 minutes, isn’t a good idea if you’re sitting in a federal park located adjacent to an associated federal building. Likewise, it’s a really god damned annoying thing to do at a hockey game.
There isn’t an established list of rules of behavior and etiquette for going to a hockey game but there damn well should be. See, we go to a lot of hockey games. A lot. We’d go to more if the nearest team wasn’t 150(plus) miles away, but we get to as many as we can. Inevitably, at every game, some jackass behind us let’s his team know exactly what each player should be doing at any given time – as loud as they can. So we just sit there, mumbling under our breaths (and occasionally louder) about how big of a jackass the guy (or girl) is and how they have no idea what is actually happening.
Important note that needs to be made here; alcohol plays an important role in this entire column as it is consumed in mass by every obnoxious jerk at every hockey game.
That said, we feel responsible for educating the masses to the proper hockey game attendance etiquette… because that’s our job. We tell people what to do. Not in an authoritarian way, just a “seriously, you should totally…” way. We have this one friend, who we’ll call Miguel, that we can pretty much talk into doing anything. We once got this guy to ditch his job and go on a spontaneous road trip to Las Vegas. Sure he almost got fired and the whole trip completely fell apart but we got him as far as Kingman, AZ. We also talked him into a number of different costumes for various reasons. The boxers with the Trojan helmet was one of our personal favorites. The Pizza guy answering the door wasn’t real sure what to think but that may have been a result of the slashing moves Mik… we mean Miguel was making with his plastic sword while discussing payment options for the pizza said pizza delivery guy was attempting to deliver.
But that is a digression and we aren’t talking about Miguel here, we are talking about hockey.
There are things people need to know when heading out to a hockey game – both how to act and what to expect. Hockey is easily the best sport in the world, not counting jello wrestling, and we’d hate one bad experience turn a prospective new fan off of the game forever. Sounds noble right? Well, all that and we are sick and tired of dipshits ruing games for us. Especially the “shoot it” guy.
Rule #1: The Player’s Cant Hear You, So Don’t Tell Them What To Do
This is a basic rule and really applies across the board for every sport – you aren’t on the team so stop yelling at the players with your half-educated, mostly-drunken idea of what the players should do. Yeah, we’re talking about the “shoot it” guy. These players are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to play hockey and we are pretty sure they have a basic understanding of the game at this level. At least enough to know when to pass it or shoot it. Besides, they can’t hear you down there and if they could, they’d better not be paying attention to the crowd unless there is a really hot chick in the front row flashing them or something. In that instance it’s ok to be a little distracted.
The people around the “shoot it” guy are not going to be impressed with his command of the game. Never will an attractive woman think to herself “wow, that obnoxious guy two rows up and six seats over sure knows the game. He knows exactly what every player should do every time they are on the ice. I must make my way over to him so he can bang me in the family bathroom on top of the diaper change table.” Ain’t gonna happen.
Voicing your frustration with a play is fine… just not yelling your frustration. Saying to yourself, or even your two buddies on either side of you “shoot the damn puck Roenick!” is completely acceptable. There should be a one seat radius to your comments. Outside of those eight seats, no one should be able to hear your comments.
And if anyone, and we mean anyone, shouts “show us your tits” then they should get taken out back and everyone gets to kick them in the balls.
If the precious power play is fleeting away because your team is busy looking for the highlight real moment (we’re looking at you Avalanche) then by all means, yell at the team to do something – just do it with the rest of the crowd. As a crowd you can feel comfortable voicing your displeasure or approval of good or shitty plays. Not every time your team makes an offensive charge.
To Be Expected:
So if you are going to a hockey game just know that some lame-ass is going to get drunk and yell “shoot it,” or even worse “center it,” every couple minutes. It will get annoying but you really just have to block it out. As this column slowly becomes law, this will go away but for now… just try to mock them under your breath.
Rule #2: If The Team Isn’t Playing, Don’t Wear The Jersey
This one bothers us just about as much as the “shoot it” guy. Now we know that not everyone can be like us and own at least one jersey from every team, but just because you’re going to a game doesn’t mean that it is time to break out the only jersey that you have. Seriously, if you have a Red Wings jersey, do not wear it to the Coyotes game against the Ducks. Trust us, you’re not impressing anyone by wearing that jersey.
And for the record, it is also never ok to wear a hockey jersey that technically isn’t a hockey jersey. What do we mean by this? We mean the guy who wears the Mickey Mouse hockey jersey. We mean the guy we saw wearing the Bevis and Butthead jersey. Doing this just makes you look sadder than you likely already are and people will begin to question a number of things about you.
The only times it is appropriate to wear the jersey of a team that is not playing is if it a) has the name of a player who is playing that night; b) if the jersey is from a national team; or c) the jersey is a throwback jersey from when the team was a different team or in a different city. Seeing the Flames play the Stars? Then it’s ok to wear your Avalanche jersey with Alex Tanguay on it or a Canadian Olympic jersey (because 70% of the guys you are watching are from Canada). In fact, this is a really good way to earn instant cred with the true hockey fans in the crowd. If you are watching a Hurricanes game and you strut in with Hartford Whalers jersey you’ll automatically be recognized as a true fan. People will actually stop you and let you know how kick-ass you are for sporting the retro sweater. Chicks, if they are real hockey fans, will totally dig this and you might, if you are lucky enough, end up in the family bathroom with a hot chick during the second period.
Rule #3: Don’t Tuck The Jersey Into Anything
Seriously, this is just wrong and it applies to both men and chicks. On most jerseys, there are stripes or other design elements on the bottom of the jersey and those designs are put there for a reason. The stripes on the bottom of a jersey are not the line at which you know where to tuck. Guys, listen – hockey is supposed to be a fairly manly sport, but tucking your jersey is about as far from manly as you can get.
There are no exceptions to this rule. Even if the jersey goes past your knees, don’t tuck it.
Rule #4: If The Jersey Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Wear It
It’s totally cool that you have a jersey from your first hockey game when you were 20 but now that you are 45 and no longer have the same body you had when you were 20, don’t wear it. No one wants to see you, the bigger you, squeezed into a jersey that should have been retired 45 pounds ago. Just go get a new jersey.
This rule really is true for clothing in general and we wish to god… oh how we wish… that everyone realized this. The most unattractive thing on this earth is fat being squeezed out of clothing. We tried lobbying congress a couple years back to make this kinda shit illegal across the entire country but we didn’t have enough money to get a meeting with a senator.
The only exception for this, and all clothing related rules, is for hot chicks. Let’s face it, if you are a hot chick you can wear anything, or nothing, and still be hot… especially if the outfit in question is a little too small.
Rule #5: Don’t Go To A Hockey Game Expecting To See A Fight
One of the biggest, and most annoying, misconceptions about hockey is that there is a fight every game. This isn’t true and every year fights are happening even less often. So if you are going to an NHL game, don’t expect there to be a fight and don’t yell “hit him” every 10 minutes (see rule #1). Are fights exciting? Sure. Are they the best thing about hockey? Not even close.
If you are going to a minor league game… then you are going to see fights. Because of that reason, the crowd tends to be a little more… how do we say this… white trash. Yeah, those are the words we were looking for.
So there you go, the rules for going to a hockey game. Start getting familiar with these now as we finally have enough money to get a meeting with a senator and this could very well soon become law.