The 15 Most Boneheaded Fan Moments in NHL History
Hockey fans take pride in their sport.
As the redheaded stepchildren of the four major sports' fanbases, we all have a certain complex about us. We get defensive of our game when the guys on ESPN poke fun at hockey's lack of popularity.
We relish the fact that virtually every fan of the game has the same intimate knowledge of the sport that we possess. We embrace rivalry while uniting as spectators of Earth's coolest game.
But every now and then, one of us does something downright stupid, turning the spotlight from the guys on the ice to the people in the stands.
And it seems like the best of us never get the attention.
Here are hockey's 15 biggest boneheaded fan moments, as caught on film.
Panthers Fan Knows How to Make the Most of Front-Row Seats
Okay, this moment might not be described as "boneheaded," though the term is oh-so-close to being appropriate.
Nevertheless, when it comes to fans who put the spotlight on themselves, this South Beach beauty takes the cake. In fact, she has single-handedly defined a fanbase that otherwise has little to brag about.
The video shown is the censored version, but only the most naive of readers won't be able to figure out exactly how this hottie needed only one seat for herself and the twins.
Guys Gone Wild over a Souvenir
There are certain unwritten rules in sports, and few are more universal than this: when a player gives a souvenir to a crowd of fans, it always goes to the youngest, most adorable fan in the section.
Of course, sports also hold certain universal truths, and one of those is that nobody is more willing to do anything for a souvenir than any adult fan who is really close to that souvenir.
Hence, you get this idiotic moment in Anaheim, when the always-classy Scott Niedermayer initiates a brawl with the simple gesture of trying to give a little girl a hockey stick.
Hey, I know it's Scott-Friggin-Niedermayer, but is it really necessary to come to blows over the chance to snag a game-used twig?
Scott Hartnell Can't Hear You, Hulk
Fans were buzzing in the stands after some on-ice fisticuffs late in the third, and a Hulkamaniac behind the Flyers' bench found himself enjoying a little camera time while yelling at the Flyers' bench.
However, this rabid fan bit off more than he could chew in his 15 minutes of fame, as he became an instant meme as Scottie Hartnell used Hulk Hogan's own "I can't hear you!" gesture on the long-lost Bollea brother.
Many fans believe that the pane of glass between them and the players prevents total interaction, but every now and then a witty skater can break down the fourth wall and become a part of the fan experience.
Well, What Did You Think Would Happen?
That "fourth wall" isn't just for keeping players focused on the game and not the fans; it also serves as a physical separation between the Average Joes throwing back a few beers in their seats and the trained athletes on 60-minute adrenaline rushes on the ice.
Unfortunately, that separation can be breached. And in one installment of this classic Flames-Oilers rivalry, after plenty of friction between the Edmonton faithful and the Calgary bench, one moron in the front row took things a step too far.
The cocky fan dumped his drink on Flames' assistant coach Guy LaPointe, prompting a few Calgary players to retaliate by leaning over the boards and going after the fan. Sasha Lakovic is the most prominently featured in the video.
It took only a few seconds for this cheeky Oilers fan to realize his ego had written a check that his body wasn't going to be able to cash.
Fan Uses Fruit to Make Cowardly Statement
It's one thing to be an idiot and put yourself in danger. It takes a true bonehead to make a virtually anonymous offensive gesture from the crowd.
Much like the tough guys you hear using racist and homophobic slurs on XBOX Live as they hide behind their headsets, this idiot chose to make a pointless, offensive statement during a shootout last year.
Philadelphia Flyer Wayne Simmonds skated in for the shot as some reprehensible excuse for a person threw a banana onto the ice, intended as a racist action.
There are boneheaded fans who get way into the game, and then there are d-bags like this guy, who have nothing better to do with their time but make a disgusting social statement.
Leafs Fan Makes His Statement With...Waffles?
Let's transition from a despicable food-throwing moment to a hilarious one.
The banana toss had obvious unspoken implications, but Toronto's waffle-thrower chucks delicious waffles onto the ice for seemingly no reason.
NBC's Pro Hockey Talk published a statement from the culprit:
There were a few seconds left in another obviously lost Leafs game when the 27-year-old construction worker pulled out the soggy waffles he had stashed under his jersey and chucked them onto the ice of the Air Canada Centre on Thursday.
“They need to wake up and eat some breakfast,” Jack, who asked not to be identified, said in a Saturday interview, hours ahead of the Leafs meeting with Montreal. “I’m just trying to help them out with a balanced diet.”
The “diehard Leafs fan” said he didn’t throw the waffles out of disrespect to the players, explaining, “I love them, but somebody’s got to say something."
Whatever you say, bro.
Philly Fan Takes Rivalry Too Far
Philadelphia sports fans have a reputation for taking things way too far, and loose cannons like this guy are the reason why.
I attended the 2012 Winter Classic as a Flyers fan, seated next to a Rangers fan. Like 70,000 other fans at Citizens Bank Park, the Rangers fan and I were extremely cordial the whole time, enjoying the game and trading stories of our experiences as hockey fans.
But all it takes is one drunken jackass to sully the name of a whole city. This idiot, clearly unable to deal with the Flyers' loss in his inebriated state, assaulted a man in a Rangers jersey outside of a cheese steak joint.
The innocent Rangers fan went to the hospital and suffered significant injuries. And rather than enjoy a good hockey game and exchange stories with a fellow NHL fan, the attacker landed himself in jail (via NBC Philadelphia).
Bruins Unknowingly Destroy City of Vancouver
For the record, I respect the fact that Vancouver is a passionate hockey city, and I am sympathetic to the fact that the team has yet to capture a Stanley Cup in its storied history.
But when the city nearly revolted following the Game 7 loss to the Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, there was no excusing the behavior of the Vancouver mob.
Expressing displeasure is what being a sports fan is all about, but there is a place for it. Do it at home, do it within the stadium, do it at your local watering hole.
Do not take to the streets and incite a riot. Inevitably, people who had nothing to do with the Canucks losing will suffer.
This is one of my all-time favorite hockey moments.
Chicago's Steve Sullivan was bleeding from the bridge of his nose after taking an errant stick in a game against the Avalanche and a fan in the front row got behind-the-glass cocky and started taunting Sullivan.
Poor taste, but karma has a way of working these things out.
Later in the game, a Patrick Roy clearing attempted went over the boards and caught the very same fan in the side of the head, causing him to start bleeding.
Normally I would find it tasteless to see a player taunt an injured fan, but in this case, there is no sight more beautiful than seeing Sullivan skate back over to the glass and remind the fan that karma is a bit of a bitch.
She also has a sense of humor, doesn't she?
Ref May Be Blind, but Fan Gets Blindsided
We've all wanted to get an explanation from a referee about a call before. Most of us resort to booing loudly, chanting obscenities and yelling at the television.
This fan actually took the most civil route possible, and he paid the price.
Apparently in disagreement with the referee about an earlier call, this fan strolled onto the ice and calmly walked over to Bill McCreary for some answers.
Of course, going onto the ice is totally against the rules, and approaching a referee is a HUGE no-no. Linesman Ron Asselstine recognized what was happening and took action to protect his colleague.
The resulting hit is one of the nicest body checks you will ever see.
Canadiens' Fans Boo American National Anthem
Hockey is an amazing game, but it is still just a game.
Because of that, most of us can recognize the fact that on-ice rivalries should have no bearing on our feelings toward an entire nation of people. Unfortunately, during a 2008 playoff series against the Boston Bruins, that concept was lost on the people of Montreal.
Per tradition, the national anthems of both countries were sung prior to the game. During The Star-Spangled Banner, the Canadiens' fans drowned out the sound of the anthemist with a chorus of boos.
In the end, the gesture didn't hurt or threaten everyone, but it came off as totally classless. Bruins fans amazingly responded by giving the Canadian national anthem a standing ovation, a move that was totally appropriate due to the camaraderie between the nations and the fact that "O Canada!" is just a damn good song.
Panthers Fans Don't Know When to Throw Their Rats
We all know that the Red Wings are really cool because they have the Octopus tradition. And when Scott Mellanby killed a rat with his stick and then scored a pair of goals in a game later that night.
To be honest, the notion of embracing the rat symbolism strikes me as something very cool...if used appropriately. When thrown onto the ice after a playoff win, like they were this past spring, that's very cool. Or maybe even doing it when a player scores two goals, like Mellanby, that would work too.
Unfortunately, the Panthers' fans littered the ice with (mostly) toy rats each time a goal was scored in the playoffs, and that was just a bit much. It stalled the game and eventually led to a rule that the home team could get a delay of game penalty for the gesture.
In addition, as explained in the video, one person actually threw a live rat onto the ice. Just not cool, guys.
Two Minutes for Holding the Stick on Number...Row 1, Seat 6?
This one is tough to catch, hence the shoddy video.
But near the end of a Habs-Bruins playoff game, the two teams found themselves in a scrum, and somehow in the middle of it all a fan got a hold of Alexei Kovalev's stick through the glass, snatching the tool away from the befuddled Russian.
Obviously, this fan put no one in danger, but the action was unnecessarily antagonistic and downright dumb. Another fan acting like an idiot and hiding behind a pane of glass.
Philadelphia's Newest Enforcer
The Philadelphia Flyers' fans hated Tie Domi, and Tie Domi hated them right back. The tension was so high that the two sides eventually had to work out their differences with their fists.
That's right, Tie Domi went toe-to-toe with a Philadelphia Flyers fan. Not a player, a fan.
The video shows how it all happened. The fans taunted Domi, Domi splashed water on them a few times, and eventually one passionate individual charged the penalty box.
I think we all believe that the attacker assumed the glass would hold. Well, it didn't.
The bumbling die-hard fell into the box with Domi and did the only thing he could think of: go at him.
It's fair to say that Domi won the bout handily, and this fan ensured himself a spot on the list of boneheaded fans, but there is a part of me that admires him, just a little, for not simply turtling when the glass gave way.
What Were You Thinking???
How do you one-up a fan who tries to fight a player?
Try to fight a whole damn team.
During an on-ice fight between the Nordiques and Sabres, an inebriated fan tried to take matters into his own hands by climbing over the glass and getting involved in the fight.
One thing that these fans forget: even though they're on the side of the home team, the home team isn't on their side. Your favorite player doesn't want to defend you as badly as you want to defend him.
The fan found himself at the Sabres' bench, outnumbered about 15-to-1, and as luck would have it, he was directly in front of Buffalo tough guy Rob Ray.
Throwing punches to the head of this moron may not have been Ray's classiest moment, but could anyone blame him for his response? Besides, this guy doesn't seem like the type whose lifestyle is going to be affected by a little brain damage.