Green with Envy??

Posted: May 4, 2011 in NHL

Today the NHL banned the “green men” from touching the glass of the visiting teams penalty box at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver during Canucks home games and I for one think this is absurd. The ruling handed down by the NHL was quoted as follows “they’re no longer allowed to touch the penalty box glass or perform handstands to distract the visiting team’s players.” I’m sorry did someone lose an eye during their time in the penalty box? Was someone’s little feelings hurt? This is another example of Gary Bettman and his mission to change the NHL’s full title to No Humour League.

Detroit was the start of these no fun rules when they threatened to fine Detroit Red Wings zamboni driver Al Sobotka $10,000 if he twirled/swung the ocotpus as he removed it from the ice, which is tradition. I’m sorry, was he hurting someone? Was he insulting anyone? No he was not, the octopus was already dead so it wasn’t inhumane and small traditions like this make sports great. Throwing the hats on the ice is a huge time delay when a hat trick is scored and yet that is openly allowed still, so why the double standard? There was word that the slime left from the octopus damages the surface of the ice after it is removed. However something tells me that either the minimal amount left and the sharpness of NHL skates (which slice players faces easily upon even the slighest contact) have any effect on the game whatsoever.

More importantly though this is character that is being limited and identity prevention. The Canucks have now become synonymous with these “green men” hanging out beside the visitors penalty box, doing stunts, banging on the glass, doing handstands up against the side to taunt opposing teams players. Where is the harm? They’re not swearing, insulting them or doing anything illegal. What about when players are in the corners and fans bang on the glass emphatically is that banned too? You’d have toif you want to promote fairness of the rules, everyone can hit the glass or no one. Now getting to the caricatures that they had specific to the visiting team. Vince Vaughin in a Canuck’s jersey was funny, same with Carrie Underwood. Fans at San Diego State baskteball home games littered the student section with billboard head shots of tons of random celebrities (below) and that only added to the positive fan experience enjoyed by all.

Mr. Bettman, please don’t limit the fun fans bring to the league, your sport is already #4 on the major sports list in North America. The fans were bringing their own identity the arena and it added something to the experience. Fan expression is a part of professional sports and to silence it is like silencing peoples freedom of speech. As long as no one is hurt (unlike the Tie Domi water bottle incident) then let it go! I believe in green and I believe in the NHL, do the right thing and let them cheer!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s