After reading Julie Robenhymer’s great columns on her “fan” experiences I’ve been formulating my take on the state of respect, or lack of, that I have seen in my 30 plus years of attending sporting events at different venues around the country.
Baseball is my first love, followed closely by Hockey. I really prefer to go to hockey games for live action so maybe there’s hope for me in the future. I have experienced live events from Seattle to Miami ranging from hockey games to the US Open Tennis Championships in Queens, NY.
That being said, I have seen a substantial deterioration of respect for people in general at most events over the years. It is probably more a societal problem than a sporting problem but there is very little thought put into what someone will say or do at an event. I know these people pay for their tickets just like me and some of them appear to be spending much of their hard earned money on those eight-dollar beers. I understand that I’m getting older and maybe my perspective is changing or has changed. I also have two young daughters who I enjoy taking to the Predator hockey games on a fairly regular basis.
My main complaint is the language that is used. Maybe I’m old fashioned. But I really don’t want my daughters hearing some idiot spouting off F-Bombs every other word for two hours along with other assorted creative language. I’m not a choirboy. I expect people to have a good time. I also don’t think you should have to be in a family section. I watched two drunk guys berating a RedWings couple at game six in Nashville. I don’t mind good-natured ribbing but these two idiots went over the line.
I actually saw the two RedWing people outside and wished them good luck in their next series. They evidently came into our city from Michigan for the game and were on the phone talking to someone about their bad experience. I don’t know about your city or your team, but I don’t want mine known as being a place where you can’t go to a game without worrying about your safety, especially in Nashville where every ticket counts.
I am a Giants football fan and wore my jersey to a Giants vs. Titans game a couple years ago. It was the game where the Titans made a miracle comeback in the fourth quarter and stole the game from the Giants. I took a pretty good beating on the way out of the stadium and most of it was good natured but there were a couple of idiots who wanted to push it too far. I’m not a small man so my threat to pitch the guy over the side of the ramp calmed him down sufficiently.
How do you feel about your arena or city? I’m curious on other peoples takes on this and whether you have children and hesitate to take them to events. I think a little courtesy goes along way. I like the home field advantage, as much as the other guy but not at the expense of making people feel unsafe.