Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Ask Me, "What's That Red Line?"

What is the most annoying or stupidest thing you've heard someone say at a hockey game?

On a couple episodes of our podcast, Kings World Podcast (why, yes, that was a shameless plug), Connie and I have ranted about some of the atrocious comments we've heard at hockey games that have made our ears bleed. While we're still in favor of exposing people to hockey and expanding the reach of the game, sometimes we wish noobs would keep their comments to themselves. C'mon people, think before you speak!

In our next podcast episode we're going to list our top pet peeves about sitting near non-hockey fans and we would love to hear from other hockey fans too. What makes you cringe? When someone asks, "What's that red line?" Or is it when someone says, "They allow fighting?" The most recent asinine comment I heard at a Kings game was, "I'm still not sure if I'm going to be a Kings fan or a Ducks fan?" (and yes, it took every bit of self restraint not to strangle the guy next to me when those words came spewing out of his mouth.) You don't see me wondering if I'm going to be a Patriots fan or a Giants fan or asking what a strike is. Sometimes if you don't know, just keep that thought to yourself and Google the question to save yourself the embarrassment. The interwebs are a wonderful thing.

Leave your rants in the comments or send one of us an email and we'll be sure to include it in our next podcast. Because let's be honest, while screaming "Shoot!!!!" more than once per game is annoying, nothing's worse than having to hear the person behind you explain to a friend that there are 3 periods in the game, not 3 quarters.


Unknown said...

Yes, everybody in the stands should be an expert. That's how more fans get involved with this awesome sport, right?

It's not going to the game with people who are seeing it for the first time or anything.

And googling something after the game really adds to your understanding and enjoyment of what's in front of you.

SHOOOOOOOT is far worse. Those people are just learning, too, but they are know-it-alls rather than open-minded folks who would like to understand the game better.

At least the two-line pass is gone, that was rough to explain.

Kerri said...

"SHOOOOOOOOT" is not just from new learners. When pointmen don't shoot, the crowd's going to tell you to shoot. When the powerplay sucks, the crowd is going to get frustrated, and they have a right to be.

Anonymous said...

Flying V....hmmm./....

Scott Coffman said...

At a Kings game earlier this season heard a Ducks fan say to Bailey. "Shouldn't you be hibernating." Maybe if Bailey was a bear, and not a lion.

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice arrogance. I bet you're a joy to watch a game with. Does this mean that people who know more about the game than you do, and I'm sure there are many of such people, get to ridicule you at games too?

Anonymous said...

my american buddy keeps referring to the puck as a ball

erin said...

An earnest noob question doesn't bother me, but there are a lot of guys (and yes, they are all men) who have watched 10 games and think they know more about hockey than the players do.

The PK version of "Shooooot!" is "Hit somebody!" Um, please don't, 'cause you'll leave two men open.

And when someone misses a bouncing puck while skating the other direction, they say a five-year-old could do better. Really? How about you suit up and give it a try?

Then they start going on about how terrible [fill in your favorite stay-at-home defenseman here] is. Obviously, he sucks, since he hasn't scored any goals this year.

Best noob mistake story I know is from the early '90s when some friends of mine took a group trip from a local bar to a Penguins game. The game ends, and the bus to take them back to the bar isn't at the meeting point. They wait about 10 minutes in the pouring rain, and finally the bus pulls up. The driver now has a fine-looking woman with him in the front seat. And as he opens the door he explains sheepishly, "I thought hockey games had four quarters."

Anonymous said...

One time at a minor league game, a couple guys in front of me thought it was just the coolest thing that teams execute line changes on the fly. "Oh my gosh, they all go on and off at the same time! That is so cool!" Another time a defenseman leaped in the air and caught the puck to keep it in the zone. One idiot thought you couldn't do that, and next thing you know the whole crowd was booing the refs for something that is perfectly legal.

Marie said...

Cornelius, I'm talking about basic questions that are so ridiculous you can't even believe someone is asking them loudly enough that other people around them can hear it.

Scott, haha!! Hilarious! Bailey is a pretty active mascot. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of road fans yell (correct) insults at him.

RC, I'm the queen of hockey! Thanks for noticing! I suggest you read the other comments and figure out what I'm getting at. For instance, the commenter after you hit the nail on the head: someone calling the puck a ball is just plain infuriating.

Erin, I can't stand it either when guys yell ridiculous things but always think they're right on the ball. "Hit somebody", that's definitely one of my pet peeves. Great story!

Anon: no way! Although, I have been with non-hockey friends who were amazed players were allowed to do that.

Erika Zimmerman said...

I recently went to a game and was asked by the person next to me why there was one less "red" player than "black" player. The home team was on a power play. GAH!

Anonymous said...

At the Preds-Stars game back on 8 FEB, I had the misfortune to sit directly in front of a woman I like to call, "Ms. Drunken-f-bombing-never-been-to-a-hockey-game-but-I'm-gonna-be-loud-and-obnoxious Woman". When she wasn't talking on her cell phone, she was tossing out gems, like:

(at the end of the 1st period)"Is it halftime?"

(when the Stars struggled to clear the puck on a PK, she screamed) "GET IT OUT OF YOUR F***ING ENDZONE!!!"

And my personal favorite, as the Stars worked the puck around the perimeter on the PP: "Wha-...F***in' seriously? (groans) Football is SOOOO much better."

I had an aisle seat, and as she left to get yet another beer (that she clearly didn't need), I had to fight the urge to slew foot her.

Anonymous said...

Great blog ladies.. I have to say, the most annoying thing at a hockey game is the guy in the football jersey. Get your butt outta the chair, walk back into the concourse, and pick a damn sweater!!! Keep up the good words!!!!!

(Found you via the Washington Capitals insider blog)

Powderhornhockey said...

3-6 moppets usually in Boy Scout uniforms screeching FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! every time two players start to have a little dance.

When does the half time show start? Is it half time yet, all those variations.

This from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee Sads/Wolves three years ago. The looser sat behind us kept taking calls on his cell that started "Guess where I am? A Hockey game!" Then calling the newest player on the team "new guy" for three periods when he had a game sheet in his hands and the guy had been there for a month.

Finally," there are only four minutes to go, scores tied, lets leave and beat the traffic."

Powderhornhockey said...

My husband requests the followieng to be added :

"Sit down and shut Up"

Screaming obscenities and the players names of another nationalities during the national anthem. (Toledo Storm game Kelly Cup Semi's 07') To the point the anthem singer quit singing in embarrassment.

Hit EM!

Unknown said...

"Oh my gosh, they all go on and off at the same time! That is so cool!"

Actually, that IS pretty cool. On-the-fly changes are part of what makes hockey so awesome and fluid. What's another sport that does that?

My problem with "SHOOOOT" is that obviously you, up in the stands, have a much better view of whether there's an open shot at the net*.

I know it's frustrating that there's this thing that we all like and care about and know, and other people don't. I just hope when somebody asks you why the numbers are uneven, you don't just roll your eyes at them. Those same people likely know more than you do about SOMETHING, it's just they're not hockey nerds like you and I.

You get the same griping in all interests, I guess. "How can you not know what Operating System you have? LOLOLOLOL" comes to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of examples.

It just gets frustrating seeing stuff like this pop up, especially on otherwise-excellent blogs.

Anonymous said...

I once heard a guy behind me explain to his date that Icing is called because the goalie puts his arm up.

Oh, later the same game, apparently the chick noticed the banners for the retired numbers, and shockingly stated "OH WOW, did he die young or what???" about Stan Mikita.

Anonymous said...

At a Stars game early in the season, my friend once overheard:

"We should trade Mike Modano and Marty Turco and get Antii Miettenen back!"

He spent a good amount of time explaining why it was such a brilliant idea and how worthless Modano and Turco were.

He wouldn't say the same thing now, would he?

Anonymous said...

A conversation overheard at an early Everett Silvertips (WHL) game, when the trailing team pulled the goalie...

"Omigod! Where'd their goalie go?"
"I dunno, maybe he got hurt."
"Don't they have a spare?"
"I dunno, is he hurt too?"
"Omigod, BOTH of them got hurt?!"
"No, wait, look, there's two goalies, right there in the bench!"

twunty mcslore said...

I wore my Satan jersey to a game in St. Louis and some lady asked her boyfriend if I was a devil worshipper.
It's not always what people say, it's what they do. I'm on board with being irritated by cell phone calls. I text only, myself. There was a girl in front of me last year filing her nails, smacking her gum while drinking beer and carrying on a phone conversation that lasted most of the 2nd period.

Anonymous said...

this didn't bother me, I just thought it was really I was leaving a game, the guy behind me says to his friend "Hey that was fun, but you can't EVER tell anyone that I thought 'icing' was when they come out and clean the ice between the periods"!

otherwise, I too want to kill the lady who sits behind me screaming "SHOOTIT!!!" everytime one of our players TOUCH the puck...and then she bitches about how horrible the players are when they don't (yet, we are on an eight game winning streak...)

Marie said...

25superstar: You'd think she would have had some idea when the PA guy announced there was a penalty.

Big Tex: I've never actually heard someone call it 'halftime'. Awesome.

Ryan Bliss: I don't think I've noticed (Kings) fans wearing football jerseys, but probably because it's been ages since there's been a pro team in LA. I don't even like it when fans wear jerseys of a team not playing in that arena.

Powderhornhockey: ugh, loud talkative youngsters...I was at a game with my dad and a youth hockey team was sitting behind us. The little guys thought it was hilarious to shout, "You smell like cheese!! Hahahha, you're a hamburger". However, my dad didn't have much sympathy for me because apparently I used to be one of those obnoxious kids...whoops!

Cornelius: Lighten up, you're no fun.

Anon: Icing can be difficult for the noobs to understand but that is a hilarious explanation.

Dashbo: I'm so glad I didn't drop Turco from my fantasy team!

Mara: I never would have thought "pulling the goalie" would be so confusing to comprehend.

Anon: great 'icing' story.

Anonymous said...

As a Detroit Red Wings season ticket holder I have to share this comment I overheard at the game last week. this was a guy sitting two rows behind me talking to a young child about 10 "see #24, that's Probert and he is going to fight someone tonight" As we all know, #24 is Chelios, Probert hasn't played in years. I do appluad the man for bring a kid and attempting to teach but if teaching, know your subject.

christina said...

I had the "pleasure" of sitting in front of a rather greasy young businessman at a Pens game once, clearly on a date and trying to impress his lady friend with his hockey knowledge.

As such, every time contact was initiated between two players, near the boards or not...he started screaming "BOARD HIM!!!" repeatedly.

I had to resist multiple urges to 1. Turn around and tell him that boarding is, in fact, a penalty in hockey 2. Inform his lady friend that there were better ways to learn the game (and she was making an effort) or 3. punch him in the face.

Kerri said...


I think this was just suppose to be fun and not really a "let's mock people because they don't understand the current CBA agreement." Come on... Mara's story of "where's the goalie!?" is funny. I don't think any of us would really mock someone asking a legit question like "why does that team only have four people on this ice right now?" from a newcomer who doesn't understand how players get penalized in hockey. So, I understand your concern, but this wasn't meant to be malicious, it was meant to be amusing.

Also, I also understand your concern with "SHOOOOOOT," (although, same can be said for fans that boo refs for missing a call obvious from the cheap seats, but not so obvious at ground level), but as a Ranger fan who's suffered through three years of a bad powerplay, including this year which is inexcusably bad, you must forgive me, but I'm yelling "SHOOT." And it doesn't make me an uneducated fan because I do so.

Shan said...

I want to join this discussion, but I've never actually been to an NHL game. :(

However, my friend was given a stick by here former-neighbour Jason Spezza.

She said to me "It doesn't seem like a very good stick though. There's all this tape at the bottom."

Unknown said...


You're right. It's far better here, where most of the people actually do know what they're talking about, than somewhere where they don't.

I think a lot of that initial post is just seeing hockey fans falling into the same trap as computer nerds sometimes do, what with the belittling and such.

I like to think hockey fans are better than that. Which is really something, coming from a Boston fan who goes to a lot of games.


You should totally go to a game if you can swing it. You specifically said "NHL" game, so I don't know if you've been to school games or minor leagues or maybe you're from europe, but hockey games are awesome live.

Shan said...

I'm a Habs fan who lives outside Toronto. ($$$$)

I don't know if I could truly care about other leagues, even OHL which I think is pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

I am on board with Cornelius about this. How are people supposed to know about the game if they can't ask questions... seriously, if you have never watched hockey, is icing all that obvious? I don't think so, and even the case of the uneven number of players for the power play... how many other sports force one team to play with fewer players for a while? Rules are not obvious. What is more annoying are people who know nothing trying to act like they know everything, or even true "fans" of a team, who bash said team through the whole game even if they are winning. A 5-2 win for Columbus over Chicago a few years back comes to mind, when an "CBJ fan" behind me constantly talked about how the team was playing horrible, even when they were up 4-2 in the third. New fans don't bother me.