November 1, 2007

Faux Fandom at Lynah Rink

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There are a lot of things in this world that I don’t know. I have no idea what items are eligible for compost in the Ivy Room. I don’t know what executive keeps green-lighting films starring Milla Jovovich. I really have no clue why anyone would want to watch MTV’s new show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (although I watch The Real World and The Hills religiously). But I do know one thing — how to act as a fan at Lynah Rink. I will be covering the team this year, but I had season tickets last season, and I saw many horrible things occurring at Lynah, mostly by people who have no clue how to act at a Cornell hockey game. So I propose a series of rules to curb this faux fandom.

Rule 1: Dress Appropriately
You don’t have to wear your Lynah Faithful shirt every single game, but either a red shirt or a Cornell shirt would really be a nice touch. Under no circumstances should you dress in going-out clothes to a hockey game. Most parties start after 10:00 p.m. or 10:30 p.m., and most hockey games end at around 9:30 p.m. That gives you plenty of time to go home, change, go out and still awkwardly be the first person there. If you want to wear a slutty outfit to a Cornell hockey game, you not only don’t support the team, but you also will be really cold.

Rule 2: Get there on time
I have a few friends who are egregious violators of this tenet, but this is still very important. If you have season tickets but have never been around to see what happens before the national anthem, you might have a problem. Being occasionally late is not a problem, but try to get there before 7:15 p.m. at the latest. Unless you are watching a repeat of Boy Meets World at home, I’m sure there is nothing more important going on in your life than a Cornell hockey game.

Rule 3: Learn the basic rules of
You don’t need to know as much as Don Cherry or be able to name the entire roster of the 1973-74 Atlanta Flames, but try to learn the basic tenets of the sport. Last year, during a delayed penalty for the opposing team in the second period, the kid sitting behind me screamed, “Why are they pulling their goalie? Is the coach high?” Yeah, I’m sure every opposing coach tokes up before the game with Ricky Williams. Learn the rules before you say something stupid.

Rule 4: Know the chants
There are not many of them, and they are not that hard to learn. When someone goes to the penalty box, for example, the correct chant is “See ya, a—hole, you goon!” It isn’t “you lose,” “typhoon,” “goodnight moon,” “Blue Lagoon” or “(Goo Goo Dolls’s) Black Balloon.”

Rule 5: Don’t boo the refs unless they deserve it
I used to be a little league baseball umpire, so I am kind of sensitive to this. Booing the refs doesn’t accomplish anything except pissing them off. Usually, the refs do a decent job, so give them a break unless they actually screw up. Believe it or not, Cornell sometimes actually commits a penalty, and sometimes the opposing team checks a Red player and it is not a penalty. Trust me.

Rule 6: Don’t make random hockey references unless you know what you’re talking about
One of my friends who knows a ton about hockey once got into an argument with an uninformed fan about whether or not international rinks are bigger or smaller than U.S. rinks. Let’s just say my friend was right. It just takes away from everyone’s enjoyment of the game if you don’t know the difference between Thomas Vanek and Lord Voldemort.

Rule 7: Don’t encourage the band to play the ‘Hey Song’ more than twice a game
I’m starting a crusade against the “Hey Song,” otherwise known as “Rock and Roll, Part II” by Gary Glitter. The band plays this song way too much and I’m making it my mission to stop it. I’m like enterprising reporter Veronica Guerin, except hopefully without getting murdered by Irish drug dealers. If the band plays it more than twice, I encourage everyone not to participate. And make sure not to sing more than two verses each time.

Rule 8: Don’t throw anything on the ice unless it is a newspaper
Last year, after Cornell lost an overtime game to Quinnipiac in the ECAC Hockey League tournament, many fans threw garbage on the ice. This is perhaps the least classy thing that fans can possibly do. It gives Cornell fans a bad name and there is just no reason for it. As a corollary, please be careful with a beach ball if you feel the need to hit it around. Don’t let it go onto the ice. Beach balls would be fun if we were five years old and actually in a warm climate, but I hope everyone has a long enough attention span to pay attention to a game without a beach ball. In addition, hitting a beach ball is a slippery slope because the next step after beach balls is the wave. And I’d rather have Dick Enberg and Tim McCarver narrate every moment of my life than have that happen.