I love good use of the F-bomb. In fact, I probably use it too often. But very rarely at people and almost never at sporting events. In contrast, the four teenagers behind us at the Caps-Flyers game were F-ing this and F-ing that the entire game.
Now, I give full props to fans who harass visiting teams in a creative way. If you sit just behind the glass of the visiting bench, you almost have a responsibility to keep up the abuse. I remember one guy who didn’t stop talking all game: Nice shift, where’d you learn to skate? etc. etc. Then there was the “Scottie Scottie Scottie” taunt at a previous Caps-Flyers game, trying to get a rise out of the long-haired Hartnell. But a constant stream of “F Pronger” gets old real quick. Mind you, I wasn’t even offended – though others around me were – just annoyed and unamused.
Does the NHL need an NFL-style text program for fans to report bad behavior? Maybe for the rare occasion, we do.
Then there was the stealth Flyers fan sitting quietly in her sky blue wool winter coat, next to her husband/boyfriend wearing his Clarke Philadelphia jersey. She was quiet the entire game. Until the Flyers won the shootout at which point, she turned to the Caps fans nearby and taunted “Oh yeah! That’s right.”
What? I have no problem with fans who wear opposing team jerseys. Hey, it’s Washington. Everyone is from somewhere else, and if you want to stick to your original team, that’s fine. We’re actually more hospitable to visiting team fans than most places. I mean think about wearing a Caps jersey in Philadelphia …
But here’s the deal: wear the visiting team’s jersey, get ribbed by hometown fans, get high-fived by your fellow fans, celebrate when your team wins. But if you’re not going to “man up” as Sharon Angle would say, with a jersey, t-shirt, hat or even team colors, then please zip it when it comes to taunting. You haven’t earned the right.