Thursday, May 17, 2007
Sens fans show their ugly side
Kevin at Bfloblog shares this story about a female fan wearing Sabres garb who got punched in the face at Scotiabank Place last night following the Sabres 3-2 victory. This brought back memories of my first visit there.
It was 1997, and Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs, and my brother Taras and I made the journey up there; he had gotten some awesome club tickets thanks to a contact he had at the Sabres.
As we walked towards the arena, we got the typical hoots and jeers from the tailgaters in the parking lot... all good fun and we dished out the trash right back. But one particular group of knuckleheads were especially vile and condescending, sitting on the gate of their pickup and drinking their beers. We ignored them.
Gratefully, sitting in the pricey seats we didn't take any crap and were in fact surrounded by other Sabres folks like Jay McKee's mom and Matthew Barnaby's brother, along others. The Sabres' Dixon Ward scored with, I think, 18 seconds left to stun the crowd and give Buffalo the win. Of course, we were on cloud nine, and as we exited the building, we ran into that same bunch of knuckleheads...college age or so. I walked up to them, extended my hand, and said... "gee tough loss guys, but it will be a long series may the better team win." (Little did we know then..game 7 OT.. Derek Plante...) The one dude looks me over up and down and spits a huge honker right into my palm. And then the profanities. I was going to swing a punch but decided not to. So we just walked, but not before my brother took his boot and kicked over their little hibachi grill, coals and brats spilling onto the pavement. I thought for sure this would be it, the fight would be on and we'd all be arrested, but these guys just stood there and continued hurling profanities.
It gets better... we find a Kelseys Grill in Nepean (one town away) and go in for some late night brews and appetizers. We're both wearing Sabres jerseys. The place is half empty, but the hostess says it will be a 15 minute wait. Half an hour later, and we ask when can we be seated, and the hostess summons her manager, and Mr. Snooty says that they are closed for the evening, and to please leave... dripping in sarcasm and nastiness (four other parties were seated while we were waiting and the sign on the door said the place was open till 1AM).
At this point we left, shed the Sabres garb and went to another place and got waited on pronto.
I like Ottawa, and for Pete and me it is one of our favourite USRT destinations. And I admire the passionate fans and Lyndon Slewidge is THE best anthem singer in the four major sports. But fair warning...all this myth about polite and friendly Canadians goes out the window when it comes to their Senators... the fans there become real bastards. And having seen Sabres games in both Toronto and Montreal, I would never make the same categorization in those cities.