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Are Hockey Fans the Biggest Whiners in Sport?

By May 3, 2006

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Not so long ago, the agitated sports fan had very few options when it was time to blow off steam.

A bitter and disappointed supporter could either call a sports phone-in show (where just about everyone comes off sounding mad as a hatter) or torture friends with a beer-fueled rant on how it all went wrong, who sucked and why.

But our high-tech information age provides new opportunites for sports fans to express themselves, through blogs, message boards, online chats and the like. The public conversation is no longer reserved for journalists and broadcasters. That's a good thing, but not all good. Here's a recent comment left on this blog by someone identified as "Beerme."

"All night long oilers were running Detroit players, leaving their feet to deliver checks, and NEVER failing to face wash or cross-check any Detroit player that even approached Roloson, but Schneids knocking down a player who was whacking at Legace trying to cover a puck was 'roughing'?
The Oilers played a great defensive series and found a way to win. They should be applauded for that. The fact that it included hundreds of instances of interference, roughing and charging, that were just enough to not be called should be blamed on the officiating. They did what they could get away with. I only hope that Toronto didnít make calls like the kicked-in tying goal because it was a Canadian team against an American teamÖ"

As you might have guessed, Mr. or Ms. Beerme is a Detroit fan distraught over the demise of the Red Wings. Anyone who has spent a little time on sports blogs or message boards will recognize the style: the semi-coherent cry of injustice; the dark hints of conspiracy; the convenience of anonymity.

Beerme is not an extreme example, but a fairly typical voice among hockey fans at the computer after a heart-breaking loss or controversial play. To join the online discussion is to wade through acres of delirious bluster about how the referees are screwing MY team and how dirty and insidious THE OTHER team is and how all the dark forces of the world and the NHL are aligned against MY noble heroes.

Who knew the hockey community included so many blinkered, finger-pointing whiners?

Postscript: For a more lucid view from a Detroit fan, including a more sensible assessment of the refereeing in the series, check out On the Wings


May 3, 2006 at 11:26 am
(1) David says:

I think hockey fans are just on par with other sports fans. You’ll see this across the board for any sport, not that it’s a good thing.

May 3, 2006 at 12:27 pm
(2) Shucker says:

What a lame excuse for an “article.” What??? Fans/Fanatics are emotionally tied to their teams and their thinking and judgement can be clouded? Get out!!! Yeah, right… hockey fans are the worst. Get real.

Stupidly, I fell for your ploy. I clicked on the link… with your typical blog-like title, designed to draw people in and get ‘em worked up and talking about your post.

Where you failed? You have no substance and no real point at all. You had me… and then you lost me. Lame.

May 3, 2006 at 6:46 pm
(3) Gary says:

As someone within the Hockey Business World, and also a fan of the sport. I shake my head sometimes at the perception of the true hockey fan-the average ticket buyer and the hard working guy/gal just wanting to be close to there favorite player or team. The new NHL has bought into the NFL business plan (Hush, Hush) and geared there new rules around Gambling. In general a flag in football can change the outcome of a game(score), and with the new rules penalties can now be called or not called on a whim-changing the momentum and controlling it also. The game has taken on a new phase of control from the head office down. Team growth will now depend on who wants to watch and who wants to make money. Rear ends in each seat have now taken a back seat to business. The NHLPA has spoken lenthly about this subject and was playing there cards correctly until they waivered under Goodenhows direction (example) During the lockout the NHL owners would have loved to say that small market teams would and cannot compete with larger market teams because of lack of revenues! The statement was not raised/surfaced because lets say the “players” & the NHLPA got together and decided it was in there better interest to stategically place the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Calgary Flames and let them go through to the Stanley Cup (both small market franchises). How many people actually believe the two worst teams financially speaking could make it past everybody without some help. Add your thoughts and make this thread grow, any takers?

P.S. Ottawa vs San jose this year…


November 28, 2007 at 6:19 am
(4) Dan says:

I think soccer fans are even whinier

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