Where hockey players show their craft, bad fans get the shaft. With our team’s season already off to a good start, show some pride by demonstrating proper fan etiquette.
Don’t flop before the puck drop
Get to the game on time, and have your tickets ready at the gate. This means they are in your hand, not in your bag or 15th pocket. The sooner you get inside, the sooner you’ll get in line for the concession stands. Once there, boost your “smile percentage”. Busy food kiosk workers will appreciate a friendly attitude, and they decide who gets the fresh nachos.
The most formal part of the game is the beginning, conveniently before anyone can have too much beer. When the national anthem is sung, all should stand and men remove their hats. Resist the temptation to take flash photography as it is not allowed in the arena.
Understand when to stand
Seated you’ll stay while the puck is in play. Hockey is a very fast sport, and blocking someone’s view for even a few seconds could make them miss an important moment. Add in line changes, and a few interruptions could leave your fellow fan wishing he stayed home. For this reason, only rise to cheer at meaningful moments. Somebody starting “the wave” does not count.
During a stoppage or in between periods, you may get up and leave your seat. Couples who stay in the stands may be caught by the kiss cam. If tonsil hockey is not your favourite version of the sport, send your kiss to the camera instead.
At our first home game we must remember to respect visiting fans. Their loyalty may be with another team, but their money stays with ours. Besides, whom else would we heckle? Yes, a little heckling is a part of the game and should be expected by players and spectators. However, avoid inappropriate remarks and be creative. “Oilers suck!” has been done before; tell us something we don’t know. Whatever you choose, avoid profanity out of respect for younger attendees.
For reasons of safety and decorum, Edmonton supporters planning to visit Rogers Arena should know never to boo the home team. However, Canucks fans observing this infraction should let it glide; fighting should be left to the experienced pros on the ice. Hockey players also good at playing hockey, so don’t bother instructing them to “SHOOT” or banging on the glass unless you want to annoy someone.
Not everyone can play like an athlete, but anyone can display good sportsmanship. Unless you want to be a “one timer”, follow these common courtesies and you’ll be welcome at any game this upcoming season!
Feature Image: Rogers Arena