Sometimes One Shouldn’t Even If One Can
Good morning to you. To be as open and upfront as possible, be aware this post will be harsh, course and without reservation what likely will be considered cold and hard. It’s not because I have intention of such, it’s because I’m expressing myself knowing full well that perception and understanding varies to such a degree that this post will be received by some as hurtful. There hasn’t been a time in at least 15 years that I haven’t considered others feelings before expressing myself. It isn’t my thing to say or do things that I know have good odds of hurting another person. In this case, however, I simply know there will be a reader taking in this post who will feel certain emotions. Those emotions may not be pleasant. It’s important to me that you understand this before continuing on reading this post. I like people. It’s because of this the time spent typing this paragragh was taken.
Over the span of my life thus far, the amount of human interaction I’ve had is extensive, to day the least. It’s pretty great if I think about it for any length of time. I really do like people. I like all sorts of people. People from place to place are widely diverse, but they all have one thing in common; they are all humans. Not one single shred of anything resembling empirical evidence has yet to prove me wrong on that count. Some people have spent more time in life in my life than others. Some people I’ve known in different way from some others. On the whole, it really has been great. When seen on something other than the whole, the word “great” is not applicable in my mind.
To set one record straight right from the start; unless you are a hockey team that pays me to work for you, you (as in almost everyone else, everywhere upon the face of the Earth) have not one, single right to decide or impose your thoughts on which NHL team I support. You don’t. It doesn’t matter if you have been a fan of the Lightning since 1992 or if you have been a fan of the Capitals since 1974. I’m not you. You are not me. There’s nothing written anywhere in any document that gives you that right. If there is, the burden of proof lies on you, and until it’s supplied and you can clearly show me that your brand of hockey love is the only brand of hockey love, you have no right.
Having stated that, I will affirm with absolute resolve that the NHL team I give my full, season long, game in and game out support is the Tampa Bay Lightning. I love ALL hockey. Everywhere. I rooted for the Capitals in the 2012 playoffs with the same energy I rooted for the Tampa Bay Lightning all season long. Again, the burden of proof lies upon you, not me, to prove that statement wrong. It can’t be done, but try of you must. I’ve had at least 15 more years of NHL hockey love experience than many Bolts fans. Why? Because there wasn’t an NHL team in Tampa Bay for as long as there have been some other NHL teams. There are no laws of either human or divine creation that gives a single human any power of any kind to dictate what a “true” fan of anything is to any other human.
I don’t call people “bandwagon” fans, because I don’t have that right. I don’t think more or less of any human who expresses a genuine love of the game of hockey. Here’s where my teeth will begin to show, so prepare for some written “snarl”, okay. The qualifying phrase in that last sentence is “a genuine love of the game”. Defining what that is can be tricky and I’ll not presume to have a definitive lock on it’s true, complete meaning. Neither do you. What is true of “genuine love of the game” for all those displaying all the tell-tale signs of such, is that we all see the game. “THE GAME” bears repeating, because that is the point. We don’t see most of the in game entertainment, because we are always focused on THE GAME. We don’t want to talk about the kiss-cam if that puck is in play. We don’t care if we have to pee if the puck is in play. We are right there, through every single skate stride, every single hit, every single look on every single face we see playing THE GAME on the ice.
If that doesn’t describe you; I certainly have no right to think anything about how you feel about hockey. On exactly the same surface, you have no right to expect me to stand up in an arena and shout “who cares” when the other team’s scorerer’s name is announced on the PA. That’s what YOU, not ME, feel is how to experience a hockey game. Usually, when fans are busy trying to see if the mascot is going to give them a free t-shirt or toss them a burito, the puck is on the ice and I care so little about all the lights, sounds, flying buritos, free t-shirts and general hoopla going on around me, I might end up being THAT fan one day who gets smacked right in the head with food tossed to me by a person in a costume. When I’m at a hockey game, there is nothing but the hockey game.
Sometimes, I’m so focused on the ice, the puck and the play, I don’t hear anything but the sounds of the game that come from inside the glass. Everything else simply does not exist around me. This only happens when I attend games by myself. I care deeply about the game and I care that newer fans of the game have questions. If they ask me anything about the game while that puck is in play, I do my best to give them the answer to the questions and maintain focus on the game. I’ve become very good at doing both over the years, but know full well total focus gets sacrificed when I talk about the game during a game. I absolutely love talking about the game during the game, don’t get me wrong. I could do that until the sun implodes and all life as we know it today is long gone. I could make Marty Biron seem like the quiet one. I love newer hockey fans who are interested in the game and have questions. I love it even more when I get to be the one to help them understand the game. It’s the epitome of hockey love for me. Why? Because the more hockey lovers in the world, the better.
This paragraph is directed to Washington Capitals fans. I was only 2 years old for the 1974 season and thankfully, I did not have endure that season. If you did experience and remember that season, then you’re older than me in physical years. I give you kudos for making it through, but my birthdate being different from your birthdate doesn’t give you total domain over everyone younger. It gets you my respect if you are still the same dedicated Capitals fan since the inaugural season. It gives you the right to say you are committed. There is NO Capitals fan who can inject their idea of what kind of fan I have been. You never could and you still can’t. I am good with the Hockey Gods on exactly the exent of my full participation in “doing my part to build America’s Hockey Capitol.” The Hockey Gods know and that is all that matters.
This paragraph is dedicated to the Washington Capitals fans who have sent me death threats via e-mail, made public comments via social media, interacted with me in a public venue (such as the Verizon Center) in uncivil, innapropriate, foul, threatening, harassing and otherwise unsavory ways. If you run across this and you have put thoughts of this variety in text anywhere, I’m doing you the courtesy of informing you to get the best lawyer you can afford. If you were one of the Caps fans who attended the Capitals versus Lightning game on January 13, 2012 and you were in the lower-level between Sections 101 and 104, you may want to take the time to think about things you said to the female Tampa Bay Lightning fan wearing the Marin St. Louis #26 shirt. If you do think about it and you’re getting the sense that you may have been one of the many who made verbal comments to me, it’s already too late for you.
I have been to many opposing team’s barns wearing my team’s jersey. I’ve been chirped, yelled at, called many unfamily friendly things and once even, in Philly, had to get a police officer to make to get the “ticket taker” to take my ticket and let me into the game. I know what giving someone a hard time is for sure. I’m a master at chirping, especially any time I’ve been defending nets. I expect to be in hostile territory and I expect fans to be unfriendly to invaders of their territory. Now, in the 2010-1012 season, an entire arena of New Jersey fans and employees proved that NOT EVERY TEAM’S FANS FEEL THE NEED TO TREAT INVADING FANS POORLY. AGAIN AND ALWAYS, I LOVE EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN AND AROUND THE PRUDENTIAL CENTER FOR THAT. PURE HOCKEY HAPPINESS FOR THAT ONE FROM ME.
In my experience, the New Jersey Devils fans and employees seem to the exception to the rule so far, but I for one don’t want any of them to go changing. There’s a reason I support the New Jersey Devils that goes beyond Marty Brodeur and Lou (who I trust too). It’s a hockey love thing. If the Devils aren’t playing the Bolts or otherwise playing games that directly affect the Bolts, I too run with Devils. In fact, if the Capitals would have managed to beat the New York Rangers in Round 2 and I had to chose between rooting for the Caps and rooting for the Devs, there would not have been easier decision in terms of last season’s playoffs I could have made. The Devils and their fans earned my support and they would have gotten it in it’s full, hockey love glory. They got my support just the same anyway. I’m proud of the Devils and I’m happy for the fans who got hit pretty hard the season before. Good for them.
My point is sharp. There will be litigation Caps fans. Now, before I go further, let me thank the Capitals fans who are good, dedicated, positive, hockey lovers who HAVE NOT acted in ways indicating they feel entitled through some right of DC to do illegal, crass, bullying things as Caps fans. One of my favorite blogs to check-in on is Russian Machine Never Breaks. They love their hockey team, but they aren’t unaware that there is humor, levity, other opinions, other teams and I’ve always appreciated what they do since they started. I let them know they are appreciated. For the large majority of people who make the trek to see the Capitals play, you may not feel that you have to act like human beings in a public place simply because you are wearing red, but I’m just the kind of human being who has no reservations about stirring up a shit-storm that will teach you how to act in public if it takes my last, dying breath.
No hockey fan anywhere has the right to talk about your “dick” in a public place. You aren’t in the locker rooms with the teams. You are OUTSIDE THE GLASS. What happens inside the glass does not extend outside the glass. NO ONE can prove me wrong. Just because it can, does not mean it should. Well, I’ve decided to step-up and make that point. My point will be made. I don’t make idol threats. They are a waste of time. It may have escaped your attention, but there is no NHL arena that requires those in attendance to be over 18. I have a mouth that could make soldiers not only blush, but cry. There’s proof. I can hold my own in almost every situation (except who can be the nastiest just because they can contests – I always lose by forfeit). It’s not because one of you talked about Marty St. Louis and me being the “right height for cocksucking”, which is worthy of a civil suit all by itself on my part. Marty can take care of himself and I’m sure he’s heard some things in his day, so I’m not feeling any need to be protective of him. I do believe when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he won’t give crap what you said Caps fan. It’s not because I am a woman and you said something sexually oriented to me. I was the better person. I didn’t say “you know, you’re dad said the same thing to me last night when he was begging me for a golden shower. Does everyone in your family like water sports?” The reason I did not return fire is EXACTLY THE REASON YOU WILL LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR YAPS THE HARD WAY. There ARE CHILDREN AT HOCKEY GAMES. I RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN EVEN IF YOU DO NOT. YOU WILL LEARN.
If you want to disrespect women at hockey games, this particular woman will happily exchange locker room talk. I do not offend easily and work under the operating conditions as such; if you dish it out, be prepared to take it. The reason I’ve locked the cross-hairs on this issue is because YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TEACH YOUR LITTLE GIRLS THAT THEY MUST ENDURE THAT HORSESHIT IN ORDER TO LOVE AND ATTEND HOCKEY GAMES. YOU ALSO DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TEACH CHILDREN THAT THE WORDS “FAGGOT” “CUNT” “PUSSY” AND OTHER ASSORTED PHRASES ARE OKAY TO SAY AT ANY TIME, ANYWHERE, FOR ANY REASON.
I’ll take a bullet and torture to make sure it is clearly understood that just because you are at a hockey game, does not mean you have walked into a place where you can do and say anything you want. If there were no kids around to witness your display, you have received a spectacular display of fiflth coming out of me. There were children and I care. This will happen. I have got A LOT of people by the short and curlies and there is not one single thing any of them can do about it. YOU F’ED WITH THE WRONG HOCKEY FAN. You did those things when I was wearing a Caps jersey as well, so don’t even think about dragging my hockey team into this. The entity that has become the Washington Capitals was unsavory before I walked into the Verizon Center to enjoy a Tampa Bay Lightning game. There will be no legal defense for you called the “but she made me do it because she wasn’t wearing red.”
It’s all recorded. Every disgusting word. I’ve done my homework. You will have to spend many years appealing the Supreme Court to prove that you have a right to privacy when you are a fan in a public place, especially considering you should also expect media to be recording the entire event.
This will happen. Prepare yourselves. Enough is enough. I’m THAT kind of bitch, cunt, asshole. You got it. You don’t teach kids that hockey is about disrespect when I’m around. I WILL END MYSELF TEACHING YOU THAT SO LOOK THE FUCK OUT.
I want nothing else from life but to see kids everywhere having at least the opportunity, to see, appreciate and at least try hockey. The very last thing I want is for them to think the game is about disrespect. NOT ON MY WATCH. YOU WANT TO SEE “GOALIE CRAZY”, you won’t like it much.
Tampa Bay Lightning fans, you don’t have to like me. You don’t have to accept me. You can call me whatever name you want. You can feel as though I’m not really a fan or that I jumped upon your bandwagon. I don’t have the right to tell you how to view me. The one and only thing I can do is love my hockey team. No matter what. Win or lose. I work that way. They get my support through the worst and the best for as long as both they and I exist. Steve Yzerman could personally tell me I can’t be a fan of the Tampa Bay Lightning and I’d have to say “locker room” things to the Captain that basically expressed the fact that he doesn’t the right to tell me what team I support either. I certainly hope I never, ever have to say “locker room” things to Steve Yzerman. I’d feel bad afterward I bet.
There is other information that some of you who believe you have the right to say to people in public places may want to take into consideration as well. Do you suppose it’s possible that law enforcement officers, federal employees and or other types of undercover operatives might just attend hockey games? You have to think, it’s not impossible right? I mean, you never know. That’s why they are called “undercover” I’m guessing. They blend in exactly as they should if they are good at their jobs I imagine. This brings me to another question. If that scenerio is possible, then it should also be possible that recording devices you cannot see are legally also in a public building such as the Verizon Center?
I love my hockey team. No one can touch that. You have no right.
Go Bolts! Goalies rule – get used to it.
peace – mia – firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @creasesinger
I have absolutely nothing to lose. What is life if hockey becomes something I can’t love? Never underestimate love.