February 8, 2002

Clean It Up

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Cornell hockey fans.

I guarantee if you’ve ever been to a hockey game, especially one at Lynah, those three words conjure up some kind of memory. ECAC fans who know the fanatics from Ithaca always have some opinion on the group. If you don’t go to a school around here, then your response probably falls within one of two categories, envious or disgusted.

It’s true. A quick look at the hockey discussion board at USCHO.com will almost always include some post on fans, and inevitably Cornell fans will get dragged in. Love them or hate them, they’ve made an impression.

Last weekend however, the Faithful crossed the line and threw trash on the ice. I know better than to blame the actions of a few on the group as a whole, but we are all responsible to some extent.

I spent a sizable chunk of this week defending the actions of our crowd on the USCHO.com board — not from the despicable trash-throwing incident — but from the usual comments about our lack of civility and good taste. But at some point, this past weekend’s actions came up. As word of mouth spread like wildfire that the Cornell fans had strewn garbage all over the ice after the Harvard and Brown games, I found myself being forced to take up a different banner for this school, trying to say that we’re usually respectful, and a few people got overly excited at an otherwise great game. Most understood, but it’s still not a position I enjoyed taking.

But as the week went on, more and more accusations popped up. Stories that I’d heard before but hadn’t heard in a while. Accusations made by others against our fans that I found harder and harder to discredit. Incidents of sign ripping at Placid. Comments about the verbal and sometimes physical abuse of section O fans. The taunting of teams being blown out. Are they all exactly as others portrayed them? Well probably not, and I’ve certainly take my fair share of abuse at other arenas. Still I was upset.

Have we become hooligans?

I sit near the top of section B, I always come to the game wearing my B