More Than A Little Annoyed

I like Mike Richards. I do. He was the first Flyer that I knew of when I entered into the world of hockey. The only other players I knew were Wayne Gretzky (Thanks, Mighty Ducks 2) and Sidney Crosby (due to Pam’s extreme dislike of the Pens’ forward). When I started watching the Flyers play, I didn’t know any names or numbers all that well, but I could follow #18.

When Richards got traded this summer, I stared at my twitter feed in shock. I nearly cried. It was my first big, painful trade. I’d invested into this team of Flyers lead by Richards. I was sold on his captain-ing skills. It really hurt.

We’ve all had time to mend and seeing Richards at Saturday’s game, playing hard and seeming far happier than he’d been for awhile certainly helped the healing process. I might have been rooting for him at the same time rooting for the Flyers. I figured he’d always be one of my faves.

He still is, but I’m miffed at him.

Monday night on twitter, he (as @MRichie18) and Dan Carcillo (as @CarBombBoom13) had a public conversation about Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix and Philips Arena in Atlanta. It went like this: (I put it in reverse twitter feed so it’s easier to follow the conversation)

CarBombBoom13 Daniel Carcillo

Love the road. Dinner with the boys then a big match tom night at Jobing. Should b sold out for my triumphant return #coughcough #doubtful

MRichie18 Michael Richards

@CarBombBoom13 I have a feeling it’ll be “dress like a seat night” game. #sold-out

CarBombBoom13 Daniel Carcillo

@MRichie18 ah touche fine sir, nicely played! Loved gettin a chuckle out of u whenever we were in Atlanta (RIP) n I would drop that #giggle

MRichie18 Michael Richards

@CarBombBoom13 I still don’t think anyone from ATL has realized the thrashers don’t play there anymore #jets

@CarBombBoom13Daniel Carcillo

@MRichie18 u are so wise in ur young age. At least we can take solace in knowing there won’t b any backlash for those comments #thrasherswho

I’ll admit, this was pretty witty. And funny. I’m sure also that anyone from a hockey town wouldn’t think twice of this: making fun of a lack of fan base.

But I’m not from a hockey town. Last season I lived in southeast Tennessee, halfway between Nashville and Atlanta. Flyers didn’t play in Nashville last season, so I drove 2 ½ hours to stay with my brother and sister-in-law and see the Flyers play live. Took the train to the arena both times. Met Thrasher fans who wore the gear and didn’t look too harshly on me in my Flyers hoodie and shirt. We talked hockey and players and it was fun. At the actual game, it was probably 50/50 Thrasher vs. Flyer fans there. Atlanta is a city of transplants.

There were fans broken-hearted from the move to Winnipeg. I hadn’t yet got the news I was moving near Chicago, so I was crushed that I no longer had an Eastern Conference team relatively nearby to see the Flyers play twice a season. I am very happy for Winnipeg to get a team. But there were Thrasher fans.

Maybe hockey town people and Canadians don’t get it. But the above comments from Mike Richards and Dan Carcillo reeks of snobbery. It takes time and a lot of “word of mouth” to get a new franchise going. Don’t mock the fans. We (hockey fans of all kinds) should be inclusive to anyone who wants to support a team. It’s a great sport that we love and we should spread the word.

We should not mock those who don’t have the filled arena every game night. The players that play on these teams are still in the NHL. It must be hard for them to get excited in front of a not-so-full crowd. Why are we making fun?

This is a rant. I know. But as a person not born into hockey love, I appreciate every hockey fan I meet. Because we share something, a love for a really great sport. I would never mock someone who liked a less popular team, or the team itself.

So sorry, Richie and Carbomb. You’re not on my nice list this week.

  • UKFlyer

    After reading their comments I don’t personally have a big issue with it as it was said in jest. I will say they need to be more mindful of their comments when they’re made in a public forum. Slap on the wrist for these two.

    When it comes to the Thrashers move to Winnipeg I think hockey was the ultimate winner. I was really happy to see them get their team back, a place that appreciates its hockey. Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure there were many hardcore Atlanta fans and I really feel for those guy/gals but half empty arenas aren’t good for anyone.

    I watched a really good documentary by ESPN called 30for30 about this subject. It followed Baltimore’s Marching Band and the events up to and after the move of Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis. Definitely worth watching.  

    • ecnewman

      agreed about the half-empty arenas.  just didn’t much like the attitude of those two.

  • UKFlyer

    After reading their comments I don’t personally have a big issue with it as it was said in jest. I will say they need to be more mindful of their comments when they’re made in a public forum. Slap on the wrist for these two.

    When it comes to the Thrashers move to Winnipeg I think hockey was the ultimate winner. I was really happy to see them get their team back, a place that appreciates its hockey. Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure there were many hardcore Atlanta fans and I really feel for those guy/gals but half empty arenas aren’t good for anyone.

    I watched a really good documentary by ESPN called 30for30 about this subject. It followed Baltimore’s Marching Band and the events up to and after the move of Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis. Definitely worth watching.  

    • ecnewman

      agreed about the half-empty arenas.  just didn’t much like the attitude of those two.

  • UKFlyer

    After reading their comments I don’t personally have a big issue with it as it was said in jest. I will say they need to be more mindful of their comments when they’re made in a public forum. Slap on the wrist for these two.

    When it comes to the Thrashers move to Winnipeg I think hockey was the ultimate winner. I was really happy to see them get their team back, a place that appreciates its hockey. Now don’t get me wrong I’m sure there were many hardcore Atlanta fans and I really feel for those guy/gals but half empty arenas aren’t good for anyone.

    I watched a really good documentary by ESPN called 30for30 about this subject. It followed Baltimore’s Marching Band and the events up to and after the move of Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis. Definitely worth watching.  

    • ecnewman

      agreed about the half-empty arenas.  just didn’t much like the attitude of those two.