Stop Throwing Your Damn Jerseys On The Ice.


Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Shown above: Appropriate fan behavior after a loss, but more on the in a minute. This post will begin, as every post should begin, with pizza.

Pizza is a fantastic thing in moderation. When you get to have it say, once every couple of weeks, it’s a well deserved reward, something to look forward to, a treat to be savored. But when it’s consumed every other day, it gets old fast, and is down right unhealthy. The NHL is plagued by such an overindulgence, not in the form of pizza (thank god) but in jerseys being thrown on the ice. And it needs to stop immediately.

This used to be somewhat of a rare occurrence. The only one in recent memory I can think of is a frustrated Oilers fan throwing his jersey on the ice after a blowout loss towards the end of a terrible season last year, much to the chagrin of newly acquired goalie Ben Scrivens:

The fan that did this was unique. A first of its kind in recent history. He was taking a stand, sending a message, saying that the team had given him a jersey to wear and he was so angry at their performance and lack of commitment to change that he would rather they have it back than continue to wear it. It was fresh. It was different. It was a sign of how bad things had gotten.

Then the 2014-2015 season got underway and so far we’ve seen another Oilers fan throw his jersey on the ice (after one damn game, mind you)…

Then we had another Oiler’s fan toss his sweater on the ice, this time forgetting to take his phone out (sure it’s a phone case but I’m a blogger not a journalist and ‘phone’ is way more interesting)…

And now the phenomenon has traveled to Toronto, where this fan at least held off until game two to toss his jersey on the ice…

Maybe it’s a Canadian thing and I just won’t understand. Maybe I have to go through the pain of a team being awful to understand what it’s like to want to express your frustration so badly you throw away something that costs you hundreds of dollars. Or maybe this is all just stupid and needs to stop.

When the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Thrashers fans were angry. They decided to voice their opinion to the NHL by throwing Thrashers jerseys on the ice in Nashville when the Jets came to town. Not one or two, but a dozen of them. That was awesome. That was a coordinated movement of fans collectively expressing their disappointment and pain of having their heart and soul taken away from them. Although I’m sure the Predators weren’t too happy with it, that might be the one time throwing jerseys on the ice was appropriate. To tell the NHL you’re so mad and hurt by what they did, you’d rather throw the jersey back at them than hold on to the nostalgia.

Throwing your jersey on the ice after losing one or two games in the season, however, is childish. Actually, I think a child throwing a temper tantrum would have sense not to discard something so valuable. No, this move is made by someone far more desperate for attention. Someone that wants to do something and tell his or her buddies “hey, look at this jackassery! Yeah, that was me!” If you want to express your anger at how a team is doing, that’s what social media is for, or call-in sports talk radio shows. If you’re particularly ignorant, do what I did and start blogging!

“Man, you can’t judge these fans, you haven’t had to suffer like them with your four Stanley Cups in your life and 23 straight playoff appearances and…” Forget that, I’m judging and I’m judging hard.

When your team loses, you don’t act out like a baby that didn’t get his way. You take it in stride, walk back to your car and say ‘oh well, maybe next time, it was still fun.” If you can’t handle your team losing, I’ve got news for you. The world of sports is rough. Maybe stick with Disney movies or tween romance novels where the good guy always wins. Sports aren’t going to be like that, especially in hockey.

There remains only a few select things appropriate to throw on the ice. Chuck-a-pucks, teddy bears, and hats. All of course with an appropriate time and place. And how could we forget the octopus? Also with the appropriate time and place as well. Throwing something like this disrupts the game, and makes everything stop so we can all look at you and what you did. At a live game, no one is there to see what you did. They’re there to see what the team did. Sit down, shut up, and let them play.