May 31, 2002

"Once they saw us, it didn't matter. They recognized us anyway, and they were ruthless.: I've been around the league in playoff situations -- Los Angeles, Utah, Sacramento and Seattle. Fans are fanatic. I understand that. But this was different. This was a lot of hatred -- a lot of hatred. The biggest thing that bothered me was going after a 3-year-old." -Joumana Kidd, on the vile behavior of some Boston fans in Game 4. To be fair, some Nets fans did something equally horrible, holding a sign in Game 5 which read: "Will Somebody Stab Paul Pierce?" (In case you didn't know, Pierce was almost fatally stabbed in a night club about a year ago) And what was with the crazed, beer swilling Carolina woman who was berating Maple Leaf Corey Cross while he was in the penalty box during that playoff's Game 5?

The first two examples border on criminal intimidation, in my opinion. I know where I go to watch hockey, the ushers would never stand for the behavior in Boston, New Jersey, or Carolina. Shouldn't these venues hold their fans to a higher standard than this? And just what the hell is wrong with these goon fans?

posted by insomnyuk to culture at 12:21 PM - 11 comments

Reference.

posted by insomnyuk at 12:29 PM on May 31

There's a fine line between what is and is not acceptable at a sports event. My personal belief is that if you are seated in an appropriate place (nosebleeds at a hockey game or the bleachers at a Yankees game) you can yell whatever you want to the players, within reason. Heckling players is part of the fun of going to games. Professional athletes are generally pretty thick-skinned, and I'm sure they couldn't care less about what a some chump like me in the nosebleeds thinks anyway. You have to draw the line at physical threats or physical actions, though. And for for God's sake, leave the families out of this.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:28 PM on May 31

Of course, Joumana Kidd doesn't even have to leave home to be abused. I'm not implying that she deserves the verbal abuse, but there's something awfully ironic about Jason complaining that fans are heckling his wife when he pops her in the face at home.

posted by jmpeterson at 02:00 PM on May 31

And that harassment from the Carolina woman was awful. She's lucky the glass held up. I would have like to see something like what happened to that construction worker and Tie Domi.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:28 PM on May 31

I don't think it's as big of problem as people make it out to be. These assholes make up a small number of the fans that come to see the event. There should be a no tolerance policy with them though, as soon as something like this is spotted, they should be removed from the stadium and have their money refunded. Even with season ticket holders.

posted by corpse at 02:47 PM on May 31

Corpse: "There should be a no tolerance policy with them though, as soon as something like this is spotted, they should be removed from the stadium and have their money refunded."

posted by jmpeterson at 03:20 PM on May 31

By the far one of the worst offenders in demented fandom was Gunther Parche, the German man who stabbed Monica Seles in the back to help Steffi Graf (who was beginning to see her tennis dominance crumble). Almost equally as offensive was Steffi's refusal to acknowledge that her success afterwards was in large part due to the absence of Monica. Regarding disgraceful fandom, there is a fine line between being passionate about a team or athlete and living vicariously through a team or athlete (or, maybe more accurately, between drinking Coke and drinking one too many Budweisers).

posted by jacknose at 03:42 PM on May 31

". . . that her success afterwards was in large part due to the absence of Monica." So saith Senator Hillary. (Sorry, I couldn't refuse.)

posted by jacknose at 03:47 PM on May 31

And what was with the crazed, beer swilling Carolina woman who was berating Maple Leaf Corey Cross while he was in the penalty box during that playoff's Game 5? Watch what you say about my mother, pal.

posted by rcade at 04:38 PM on May 31

Give me a break. Jason beats his wife and then he can't take it when somebody reminds him he's a wifebeater? Are wifebeaters now a politically correct protected class? Any feminist sports fans out there care to weigh in?

Two years ago when Kidd came back from his self-imposed "suspension" with the Phoenix Suns, his first game back was in Boston. And the crowd booed him every time he touched the ball.

Honestly, when you play in another team's gym, you are the enemy. You should expect to be treated as such. And let's be serious, no one would know who Joumana and TJ Kidd are if Jason hadn't gone of his way to parade them around the media in an attempt to restore his image.

Paul Pierce did nothing, he was stabbed. If any fan is out of line, it's the one with the sign that suggested that someone stab Pierce. Pierce's response? They can say whatever they want as long as they keep it in the stands.

posted by Conquistador at 11:58 PM on May 31

I had no idea Celtics fans were such feminists, Conquistador. Somehow, I think if Kidd was traded to the Celtics after this season, there wouldn't be a peep out of the fans about the domestic violence incident. As for Kidd's family, it's cheesy to blame him for their abuse because they have been covered by the media. The reason fans torment relatives of the players is because some of our fellow sports fans are clueless lowlifes. Let's not make it worse by excusing their behavior.

posted by rcade at 07:00 AM on June 01

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