“CAN SOMEONE YELL AT ME PLEASE?!” (my experience as a visiting fan)

Heckling Muppets

I visited Denver for the first time a couple of weeks ago to visit some family, or…so I told everyone. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we visited family, but the real reason we went was because the Sharks were playing the Avalanche around that weekend. So, we decided to book our tickets for that time. Yes, we travelled with the team like a bunch of groupies. Ohmygod. I’m a groupie.

Besides it being my first trip to Denver ever, it was also my first time being in an opposing arena cheering for my team. Although, this is technically the 2nd time I’ve been in an opposing venue. The first time was when I went to a Raider/Niner game at Candlestick Park a couple of years back, but that one doesn’t count because 1) It was pre-season and 2) Niner fans are scared of Raider fans. So I didn’t really get the whole “fan from a visiting team experience” then, which I was hoping to get in Denver…

Before we even stepped in the Pepsi Center, I had a dilemma: what was I going to wear? My teal Marc-Eduoard Vlasic sweater or my black Dan Boyle t-shirt? There were pros and cons to both, but most of my apprehension lied in which article of clothing would give me the LEAST amount of grief from Avs fans. Because, you know, poor little ol’ me, I didn’t want to get yelled at.

But then I realized, uhm…yeah…actually, I do want to get yelled at. I wasn’t ashamed to be there. What’s the point in going if I wasn’t willing to engage in a little bit of trash talk? That’s all a part of the experience. I had hoped some Avs fans would boo me relentlessly as I walked into the arena. I had also hoped someone was drunk enough to yell awful obscenities at me and that another incoherent, idiotic prick would threaten to meet me in the parking lot after the game to “settle this outside”, whatever the hell this means. So the decision was decided by answering a modified version of the first question: “Which sweater/shirt will give Avs fans give me the MOST shit for?” Then it became pretty obvious. Teal Pickles it was.

Prior to the game, we ate at the restaurant in the arena. Right when we walked in, we spotted some people in bright teal sweaters already eating. While waiting at the host stand, I slyly waived at them and smiled. Then as the host walked us to our table, we walked by them and gave them hi-fives. From that point on, I already felt like it was going to be an awesome night.

We finished eating and headed into the arena. Here we go, I said to myself. A loud, conspicuous-looking bright teal sweater walking aimlessly amongst the purply-blue-ish-(uhm-what color is it?) sea of raucous Avs fans. I’d surely stand out. I was ready to take the heat. BRING. IT. ON.

— but nothing.

Ok, ok, it’s probably because we’re just walking the concourse, I told myself. Once we sit down in our seats, then the heckling will begin.

Then we found our seats, goalie view on the side where the Sharks shot twice. The arena was pretty empty, but we were also there relatively early. And surprisingly, sitting directly in front of us, were TWO Sharks fans. I scanned the crowd, and I saw a good chunk of teal spread out amongst all the seats in the arena. Sharks fans travel well, I observed. But then again, Denver is not that far from San Jose, so it’s not incredibly shocking that there were fellow fans in attendance.

Some time had passed, the game had started…and not one peep from the Avs crowd, well, none towards me at least. Even after Matt Duchene scored the first goal, I was expecting some belligerent fan to yell out some version of “IN YO’ FACE!” or something completely unrelated to the goal like “The Sharks will never win with Thornton on the team!”, which, in my experience, is a favorite phrase uttered amongst Shark haters. By the way, to those people that still say that: Seriously? That’s all you got? Step up your trash talk, princess.

My experience there was — odd. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun, especially since Patrick Marleau scored a hat trick. The first one I’ve ever seen, which was sweet. And it was cool, yet slightly nerdy that every time the Sharks had a power play, all the Sharks fans in the building would do the jaws thingamabob in sync. But the energy from Avs fans was just, blah. That’s not meant to be a snide about Avs fans because I completely understand that, granted, if they were a better team, it would probably have been more lively. And if the Avs and Sharks had any semblance of a rivalry (2010 playoff series notwithstanding), the environment would have probably been a bit more hostile.

On the flip side, I went to the Sharks game versus the Canucks last Saturday. Hostility at its finest, even if only because of last season’s bitter playoff matchup. Canucks fans like to invade the Tank. And end up with crazy stories like this (Seriously, that’s the craziest fuckin story I’ve ever read, and it’s “totally true.” Highly suggested reading.) They have no shame. Good for them. Before the game even started, while walking the concourse, two Canucks fans were walking right in front of me. They held up a sign proudly promoting “Hockey Night in Canada” on one side and saying some lame “San LO-SE Sharks” message on the other. As should have been expected, the boo birds echoed loudly, and they were being heckled relentlessly. And well, you should know me by now — I couldn’t help but join in. And then I laughed cause it was fun.

Now there’s some good friendly, non-violent hate. It does exist. It’s all part of the experience of being a visiting fan, and that’s how it should be.

So I guess you can say I’m jealous those two Canucks fans got yelled at for shamelessly representing their team in an opposing teams turf. I want that.

But here’s a heads up: If you’re a fan of none of my teams, and you see me strolling around in your team’s venue one of these days, feel free to drop some serious trash talk to me. I can handle it. It’s almost like a badge of honor. And yup, I’m pretty sure that’d be awesome.

13 thoughts on ““CAN SOMEONE YELL AT ME PLEASE?!” (my experience as a visiting fan)

  1. yu should have instigated some shit.. not a lot of fans are going to really give it to a lady unless she’s asking for it.. no guy looks good talking trash to a woman unless she’s a bitch, lol.. seriously tho. even if they got the other teams gear on.. and if ur team is kicking their teams ass. the scoreboard will keep mist firmly in their place.. unless they at s Raiders game. Our fans go HAM. they dgaf about what ur going thru or even what the score is, cuz we tougher than other teams fans. we have to be cuz out team us do damn unpredictable

    1. I was on the verge of being obnoxious, seriously though. And you’re right, most guys are afraid to talk trash to me, not because they’re afraid of me but because I’m a girl and it’s rude. Or maybe they are scared of me…whatever the case, I don’t care. I still wanna get heckled. It’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

  2. Great blog and writing. Very funny. If you really want to get yelled at by opposing fans, like you alluded to, you would have a better chance if you went to an arena where opposing fans actually showed up to.

    Or like the first comment suggested, sometimes if you want to be treated poorly, you have to treat others poorly first. First lesson of bible school.

    No but great blog, and now that Ive discovered it I will add you to my blogroll. Im just now discovering some of the other Sharks blogs on wordpress.

    1. Yeah the arena wasn’t that packed. I might have to go to LA or Chicago or Vancouver to actually get some good trash talk and fun banter…hmm I might just do it.

      And thanks for stopping by! And as a fellow Sharks fan, I’ll return the favor and subscribe to your blog too!

  3. Thanks! And sorry I put you in my links half an hour ago, but before to hit follow here. Done and done.

    Yeah those would be good places. I bet Detroit would be the best for hostility since they cant be feeling very friendly towards the Sharks right now.

    I read that story you linked to about the Canucks fans bender. Thats not really true is it? I suspended disbelief for awhile but it started sounding much more like a funny and fictional short story and less like a true one.

    First eyebrow raising moment was when he talked about drinking more alcohol than humanly possible, then topped it off by saying he also hadn’t eaten or slept in 36 hours. Fine, they drove for 15 hours, makes sense why he didn’t sleep. But why wouldn’t he have eaten? They didnt stop at a gas station? And then they were at the game for three hours, didnt eat anything there even though he hadnt eaten in 32 hours by then and must have been starving?

    Then there was the line about how he couldnt reach his friends but they had very poetically written the address of their hotel on an alcoholism awareness pamphlet.

    Then there was the line saying he ran into a women who had been listening to a police scanner, who asked if he was the boy missing the pillow case…

    It seems pretty obvious its made up, except they said its true and even had (some) pictures.

    1. While yes it’s true…the story is so incredibly ridiculous, it’s hard to believe it’s not fabricated. But when the story came out, there was nothing on deadspin nor any other outlet that I’ve read that dispelled the account. And nothing has come out since then proving that it’s false (at least nothing I’ve seen.)

      And don’t forget at the beginning of the article it stated that it was written from that guy’s own recollection, with some help from his friends, who were all extremely inebriated, as well. So parts of the story may very well be exaggerated and not exactly true.

      For what it’s worth, I’m choosing to believe it’s true. And if it’s not, well, it will forever remain the craziest “fictional” drunk, sports fan story I’ve ever read.

  4. Haha great point. Well, you are one of the few people who likes getting yelled at. Maybe that means youd be one of the few people who likes Detroit? Especially when going to Detroit would get you yelled at. It sounds like a perfect circle of enjoyment to me…

    1. I just like trash talk or at least having intelligent conversations with fans of other teams. It’s fun to me. And it’s a way better alternative than the inexcusable violence that’s been happening lately during sports events. If people would learn how to trash talk in friendly (if sometimes, heated) convos, and just leave it at that without resorting to violence, the sports world would be a better place 🙂

      I just don’t want to go to Detroit cause it’s Detroit. I don’t even think my curious desire to get heckled would make me want to go there.

    1. I talk so much shit that opposing fans should yell and get pissed at me. The fact that I’m a girl should have nothing to do with it, although it usually does. I hate our sexist society. There’s no need to act polite when I’m purposefully trying to be inflammatory. WE SHOULD ALL BE TREATED EQUALLY!

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