Never steal game memorabilia from a child. That’s day one stuff, guys.
Of all the unwritten rules in the sports fan code of ethics, giving unto the children stands as one of the foremost.
If you’re next to a child when a foul ball lands in your mitt, you hand it to the kid. The same goes for any random sports memorabilia that ends up in your possession at the game—hockey sticks notwithstanding.
Unfortunately, one man at Tuesday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning never heard of that rule. The fan in question reached over and grabbed Max Pacioretty’s hockey stick as the Canadiens left winger attempted to pass it to two young fans near the tunnel.
Mike Foss of For The Win spotted video of the theft. An older man in a leather jacket climbed through his aisle and snagged Pacioretty’s stick as the winger held it up to the children wearing red and blue.
Fortunately, other adults in the area stopped the man before he could make off with his prize. After a bit of pointing and clarification, the man handed over the stick and crisis was averted.
On a certain level, I understand the man’s desire for a souvenir. People love game-used equipment, and as we learned in 2009, some fans will do anything for a hockey stick.
Lucky for all involved, no punches were thrown and the stick ended up with its rightful owner.
Good work, Canadiens fans. Understanding the code and enforcing it are two entirely different things.
There were regulators in the crowd on Tuesday night, and their actions helped make a young man’s day.
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