Good morning boys and girls. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves after the game last night. I'm sure there were plenty of celebratory drinks in Chicago, along with quite a few "make myself forget I watched a hockey game tonight" beverages in Vancouver. Regardless of your alcohol intake or team allegiance, there's something I'd like to address today. The play on the ice finally turned nasty, like everyone had predicted the series would go, last night. That's just how rivalries go.
There's just a little something that bothers me. As the players got nastier on the ice, the fans got nastier both in the stands and on the interwebs. At the end of the game Canucks fans littered the ice with...well litter. Fine by me if they want to throw garbage on the ice. After all, I'm pretty sure I heard a "Refuse Sucks!" chant during the game. The other half of the suckage was on twitter.
Now, I know that a vast majority of the people who I interact with are pretty awesome. I'm not talking just Hawks fans either. There's some really nice and really funny Canucks fans who I've talked to (I literally almost peed myself when @thomasdrance said "Man I hate Dustin Bfuglien, even if he was really good in Precious."). Its the small minority that ruins it for every fan base, though. Personal attacks on people and hating on a city or an entire country based on differing opinions is absolutely ludicrous.
So where do I start here? We'll start off with the broad topics and progress into the more more specific stuff. First up is the people who for some reason saw a bunch of people on the ice playing with a little piece of rubber and came to the conclusion that they hated the entire country of Canada and wanted everyone else to declare their hatred for the Great White North. If I were to write a letter to this person, it would read: "Dear moron, 59% of the players on the current active roster of the Chicago Blackhawks are from Canada. Please remove your head from your anus." I could also go into the economic reasons, such as Canada being the largest trade partner of the United States, but I'm sure you'd all fall asleep. Point is, Canada is really cool and hating on them is hating on your own team.
Then there was the Anti-Vancouver movement. Maybe these people missed those 2 weeks in February where the NHL stopped playing. I watched as Vancouver put on an awesome show to the entire world. Even if you were in a drunken stupor for those entire 2 weeks, you must have heard what the announcers think of the city. They love travelling there and so do the players (although John Madden's wife might not be a fan of the city after those limo photos). The Economist named it the best place to live IN THE WORLD and Forbes placed it at #4 on their list. Simply stated, Vancouver = awesome and I can't wait to visit.
Now onto the most indefensible stuff. Twitter has been a great way to connect with people and get news in real time. Its a great tool, but its not perfect. People get upset and all of a sudden everyone grows a huge pair of internet balls. Its really easy to sit behind your keyboard and make personal threats at someone. Some people need to grow up. Honestly, there is not one thing that I can think of that would be acceptable grounds for a personal attack. Someone hates a player you like? Big deal. Would you like me to call the whaaaambulance? I hate Alex Burrows as a hockey player because he agitates me and the Hawks. Other people hate Burish and Eager for the same reasons. Its just opinions. If you can't live with people having a different opinion, then maybe you shouldn't be able to use the big boy internets just yet. You know who attacked anyone with a differing opinion? Hitler. Don't be Hitler.
It got to the point where Canucks fans and Blackhawks fans were bashing someone who roots for both teams (when they aren't playing each other). I know everyone gets really passionate about the game. Its one of the things that makes it so great. But why start fighting about who has the better anthem tradition? What will you accomplish through that?
Allow me to interject some words here. I'm sure there's at least one person out there thinking "well they started it." In the words of my mother (which I heard a lot growing up), "I don't care who started it. Neither one of you is in the right here." Both sides spewed hateful nonsense all night. I know most of you are good people, just please stay that way and represent your team with tact and dignity.
So now you're thinking "Well what can I say?" My answer: be funny. My #1 rule is if you can't make fun of yourself, you can't make fun of other people. I'll be the first person to make jokes about being a scrawny white kid. My favorite jokes are about Ben Eager eating glue. Be able to laugh at jokes about your own team. Be able to make jokes about the other team (like noticing that Luongo looks a hell of a lot like Borat). And keep it about hockey. Nobody will think you are tough if you threaten to fight someone over the internet.
Besides, nobody needs any more enemies than they already have. Isn't everyone talking about how business is going global and that connections are extremely important? Well, I'm making the best connections of all: hockey fans who love the same game that I do who I'm going to drink heavily with when I visit Vancouver.