Nice article GC, as usual!
I'm a bit of a nutjob at games (within reason - no animals or small children are hurt in the process). Me and my cowbell cheer HARD. But here's why I don't seem to ruffle feathers....I try to befriend those around me pre-game so they're guilted into accepting my behavior. I'm already one of the family by the time my eruption of cheers is unleashed, so they just roll with it. They actually join in at times. I had a very conservative Asian fellow in a suit with his two young children behind me a few games ago and it was tense at first....opera claps and upright postures for all. But I high fived him at the first goal, got him singing along with some of the songs and, by the end, he was walking on the wild side with me.
So it's all about approach...if you see someone sneering, talk to them. Ask if they're bothered by your cheering and, if they are, try to get them laughing and having fun WITH you then they'll be more inclined to ignore things. But if you take an "in your face" attitude, it usually isn't readily accepted or welcomed.
Sure, you'll always have that one idiot who wants to take a nap. Or, in my case, Colorado fans behind you (me) who yell "SIT DOWN" during Lu's final, winning save in a shoot out. Really? No.
It's about compromise and meeting in the middle. Respecting those around you and trying to encourage vs argue with them. Most people have a soft side and if you work on that, it's usually more successful than simply making your stand.
I don't get being asked to sit down with no one behind you....there may be more to this. Were they spilling beer on the people in front of them? I've had that happen, and it ain't cool. Messy drinkers are not good cheerleaders, even if they think they are.
But instead of fighting to be heard I think it's a matter of convincing others that we should be. It's a hockey rink for crying out loud.
Deb the Homer Cheerleader.
(Great article, GC...always love your stuff)
Haha, you go Deb, you show 'em.
Yeah, having cheered in the Southside for years and also having been to lots of Canucks games over the years, I never understand why security kicks people out for cheering and enthusiasm.
There has been research done about the Whitecaps, and statistically, the Whitecaps score more goals when attacking in the South end, and also give up fewer goals when defending in the South end. People who don't think the players get energy and a mental boost from their fans just don't understand. As an athlete, I remember playing in some big games with a lot of fans cheering. It pumps you up, and gives you just that extra little juice to hit harder, run/skate faster, just do things at a higher level of intensity.
The way the Whitecaps like to think of it, is that BC Place (Bell Pitch) is like a fortress. You come into our home, we're not going to make it easy for you. It doesn't need to be profane or vulgar (we've been phasing out some of the more offensive songs, like the "your goalie is a pedophile" song, lol), but loud and unified.
It just takes time. The Southeast corner of the stadium has slowly joined in to a lot of the easier and simpler cheers and slowly the cheering section is creeping down the East side. They join right in when the Southsiders do the "East Side, on your feet, said East Side on your feet, hey, hey!", and it's pretty cool. That gets more or less the entire Southeast part of the stadium on their feet and cheering and clapping, which then transitions into the "clap, clap, Whitecaps" cheer.
I don't know, I don't think that level of fan interaction and unified cheering has ever been or will ever be a thing for hockey in North America, but at least the building could be loud. Just look at places like the United Center (Chicago). That place is LOUD and intimidating to play in. In Nashville (non-traditional hockey market with an internal fixed cap) the fans stand for crying out loud. And we're supposed to be a hockey-crazed Canadian market?
Sure doesn't seem that way sometimes.