Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canadian fans

I love this piece in the Star: complete with photo.

There's a kind of noisy, largely male Canadian fan who is traditionally more of a hockey fan than anything else. No shirt, letters among a group of guys to spell a word, you get the idea. At the Vancouver Olympics, they were everywhere, even watching curling which was probably new to a few of them. They've been great at singing the anthem, and leading more or less appropriate cheers. When they were criticized for being too loud for curling, they cooled it a bit--at least when the Canadians were delivering rocks. For some people, these guys pretty much always represent a threat to law and order, but I think it's better to see them as determined to have a good time more or less within the rules.

I went with my son to a Blue Jays game a couple of years ago. A young guy a few rows down was rallying all the Jays support he could muster. He led us all in the wave. Let's face it, he was a couple of beers to the good. At one point he taunted opposing fans (it was an unusual game against the Cubs) in a somewhat insulting and profane manner. So security removed him. Ben and I both found this a bit excessive--he hadn't really hurt anyone, or even started a fight. Who would lead us?

My then director had a similar experience. A group of guys had their bare chests spelling out JAYS, and the guy with A was removed with very little provocation. The effect was spoiled by party-poopers.

Once during one of my bus rides home in the dark, a young man got on and again, let's face it, he'd had a few. Remarkably, he had one beer on him to which he helped himself, and as if to show his generosity, he offered me one--a can of Guinness. I politely refused, and he settled in. Within a few minutes, he was gesturing to a guy across the aisle, who had put his feet up on the seat or something. "Look at that," my new friend said, "No fuckin' respect."

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