Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's gripe

I read in today's sports section that fans will be booing Jaromir Jagr every time he touches the puck tonight in the opening game of the NHL playoff series between the Penguins and the Rangers. Jagr is, of course, the longtime Penguins player who helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup, then later moved on to other teams and bigger paychecks.

Just to make things clear: Real hockey fans won't be booing Jagr. The people doing the booing are not lovers of the sport but simply people who bought tickets and people who, apparently, were born yesterday.

Jagr came to Pittsburgh as a teenager and put in the best years of his career here. Eventually, as happens with just about every professional sports star, it was time to move on to another team, and to megamillions.

The real hockey fans, the ones who follow the game and love the sport, won't be booing tonight. They'll have a different sensation when they see Jagr's stick touch the puck. They'll recall the thrill of playoff hockey of the past, when Jagr's incredible speed and game-winning goals had fans blowing the top off the Arena.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, didn't know I need permissionf rom the GOE before I can cheeer or boo at a hockey game. Any hockey lover who pays the outrageous price of a ticket has the right to boo. And I don't think anyone will be thinking of Jagr as anything but the enemy tonight. It's not like this is his first trip back to Pittsburgh since the Cup days, so let's forget about the sappy nostalgia stuff. The guy hasn't played for the Penguins in seven years.

Park Burroughs said...

Yes, you pay the ticket price and you are free to boo, and free to paint your face and take off your shirt at football games and free to barf your beer over the railing. Thanks for your comment that so clearly illustrates my point.

Harry Funk said...

And folks who attend Steelers games are free to start drinking at 6 a.m., then to be inebriated enough jump out of their seats screaming and yelling every time anything happens on the field.

I've been stationed behind some of them, ruing the fact that I paid a lot of money for the right to have my vision obscured ad nauseum.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the typical high and mighty talk from Park and the gang. Amazing how someone arguing that they have a right to boo becomes them being drunk and acting out. Learn to read what the person said, rather than exaggerate to make your elitist comments.
Consider would it be fair to make fun of your wine drinking, NPR listening self as out of touch.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

Boo to you, you ass.

BURGH08 said...

A couple things here:

* Though I'm not a fan of 'booing' anyone regardless of game, I don't think it's fair to lump them in with the drunks or face painters. Plenty of people boo sober and choose to voice their opinions that way.

* Though I don't boo and appreciate Jagr's time here, I sure as hell won't be having a 'different sensation' or 'thrill' when Jagr touches the puck as an opponent. I want to see him pounded, defended, and have as little success as any other opponent.

* Everyone has their opinion on what a 'real hockey fan' is, but by that definition should people be judged as 'real baseball fans' for the way they treat Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how those that look down at the average fan immediately turn to the insults they condemn when confronted with their own hypocrisy.
But it is always welcome for your to express yourself freely and thank you for the unfriendly comment.

Park Burroughs said...

If I had been lucky enough to have tickets to the Pens-Rangers games, I wouldn't be thrilled every time Jagr touched the puck, either. But I would remember being thrilled, and so I wouldn't be booing him. As a Pens fan,I wouldn't be cheering when he scored, either. He's on the other side, now.
Jagr, and for that matter, Barry Bonds, are not murdering terrorists; they are opponents playing a game that despite everything still retains a little class.
I save my boos for the opponent who hacks and boards and takes cheap shots, or who whines to the referee incessantly.

Anonymous said...

Paying for a ticket doesn't give you "the right" to anything other than getting into the event. It does not give you the right to swear every other word when there are kids around, to spill drinks on the people in front of you or to stand throughout the event, blocking the view of the people behind you -- who also paid -- andwho want to stay seated. All of these things have happened to me on more than one occasion. In one memorable circumstance, the woman standing on her chair in front of me told me, when I asked her to at least get down off the chair, "I paid for a seat and I'm standing!" How can you argue with logic like that.

OK--so booing isn't being and ass. But please don't try to defend "your right" to boo by saying you paid for it. That's just one more example of the sense of entitlement that is making life in American less pleasant everyday.

Brant said...

I determined years ago that when it comes to most sporting events, I much prefer to watch them at home, rather than be forced to listen to look-at-me know-it-alls who are frequently drunk and highly obnoxious. That decision was reinforced last year when I attended a Bengals-Patriots game in Cincinnati, where my father-in-law has season tickets. Despite the enjoyment of watching some great athletes live and in person, and savoring some excellent sausage sandwiches, we were surrounded by, to put it kindly, jackasses and buffoons. I'm also reminded of the time I attended the last football game that Jim Garry coached at Fort Cherry. My son and I sat in the Fort Cherry fan section and had the misfortune of being directly in front of a person who can only be described as an a-hole. He constantly, at about 100 decibels, criticized the moves made by the Fort Cherry coaching staff. Never mind that Jim Garry and his staff had forgotten more about football than this dipstick had ever known. I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comment that there is a growing sense of entitlement among people who are bound and determined to do whatever they want, no matter how it affects others. And there's also less and less common courtesy displayed in our society. We are surrounded by people whose credo seems to be, "F you. It's all about ME!"

Anonymous said...

I agree about that, it's funny how many coaches are in the stands.

I personally share season tickets for the Steelers, and I attend one game a year. That's about all I can stand as it seems there is that 'rock concert' mentality at them. Again though, booing and being profane/drunk/obstructing other's view of the field are not the same thing.

I found it interesting that more than one media member on the talk shows last night actually DEFENDED the fans right to boo Jagr, and cite examples of his final years here as their 'right'. Not that their opinion matters more than anyone else's, but I was surprised by that.

P.S. I never booed Barry Bonds, but if wishing a ball to slighly graze his doubled in sized head makes me classless?

Guilty as charged.

BURGH08 (not sure why this thing doesn't log on consistently)

Brant said...

Park,
Sorry about forgetting to congratulate you. I think you're now one ahead of me in being called an elitist. Still haven't figured that out. Maybe our friend, who chooses to remain "anonymous," would like to say, specifically, what makes you an elitist. Maybe it's the fact that we can form coherent sentences in our native language.

Anonymous said...

Booooooooooo!