Blog Entry

Defending the Alcoholics

Posted on: December 23, 2010 5:35 pm
Like 16,000 others from the Philadelphia area, I had the pleasure of attending the last Flyers home game before the holidays.
And I mean pleasure with the most sarcasm possible.

The Philadelphia Flyers, for those who don't know, currently sit atop the NHL in points with 49, one above division rival Pittsburgh Penguins. Since their late-season charge in the 2009-10 season and a Stanley Cup Finals berth, the Flyers have been one of the best teams (and at points THE best) in the NHL. Their 10-2-3 road record makes them a force even away from the confines of the Wells Fargo Arena. Offensively, they have so many weapons: Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Ville Leino, Claude Giroux, Nikolay Zherdev (when he's on his game), Scott Hartnell's assist work. Defensively, they are strong: Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, and the tandem of Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher. Except for their checking line and 3rd defensive pairing, there aren't many weaknesses. So when the team comes home, fans should expect top performances against every team.

Fans should expect. Doesn't mean it happens.

When it doesn't we learn the wonders of alcohol. The Flyers had a pitiful lost Monday to the Florida Panthers 5-0, where nothing went right except for the weakest lines. Play was sloppy, no hustle, bad possessions, not capitalizing on opportunities. Pitiful is being nice. Fans during any sport start to get a little tipsy during the course of any game. Those who go to games know it's never pretty when a team is losing, especially to a Panthers team that's last in the Southeast division.

I was sitting in the upper section of the Wells Fargo Arena with my mom as a Christmas present to the both of us. Usually it's my dad and I, so this was a nice change. We sat shoulder-to-shoulder waiting for our nosebleeds to start, excited to see a game after being in the tundra of central New York for half a year. The game was doomed early on, when they gave up two easy goals in the first period, and the team looked as if they just didn't care. Some of the groups of college and recently graduated people were already drinking a lot before the collapse, and the poor play made it worse.

To my right were a group of about seven or eight guys pretty much gone by the third period. One of the bunch started off the game quiet, then as more alcohol went in, the talking increased. To the point where I don't think he could actually stop. Now, my mom wasn't happy with it because of the constant cursing, but it didn't bother me. It did, however, bother one guy sitting behind me with his (I assume) girlfriend. He was quiet all during the game. I wouldn't have even known they were there if his girlfriend didn't drop her phone under my seat. Yet, when the drunkerds start saying things like how they would be better if they had kept Geoffrey Lupul and the team plays down to their opponents, the guy with his girlfriend quietly fired back. I'd hear "stop knocking the Flyers" and "you don't know what you're talking about" loud enough so they could hear it but quiet enough that it wasn't getting him noticed. After every comment, he would make his quiet rebuke and continue to try to watch the game.

First, anyone who's been to college or a bar knows how drunk people function...or lack of function. They don't make sense. They cannot stop talking or act out of line. Most of the time, they don't realize what they do. So, holding someone personally responsible for their comments while intoxicated seems a little silly. Second, when you go to a professional and even college sporting event, you should expect there to be intoxicated people that could possibly disrupt your game experience. Finally, if you really have that much of a problem with people making comments about your team, you should either learn to deal with it or just not go to places like arenas if you cannot take the heckling. It must not be an environment that suits you.

Now, am I condoning bad behavior while intoxicated? No. Am I saying high levels of alcohol is okay? No. Am I opposed to the high availability of alcohol at sporting events? Yeah, it'd be nice to see it reduced for the good of everyone around the drunkerds. But if you're going to an event that has available alcohol, you HAVE to expect this kind of acting. Like I said, if you're not happy with it, then watch the game somewhere else.

Normally, I don't defend the drunkerds, but when you go to a game, you should be prepared. Especially when a team performs very poorly.


Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 11:53 am

Defending the Alcoholics

You should consider that a mild experience at a Flyers game.  I've been to plenty and I've seen some raucus stuff, mostly it had to with visiting fans who like to wear a Rangers jersey; a big no-no when coming to see a Flyers-Rangers game.  However, I see what you're saying, and unfortunately there are fans who when they've had a beer or ten too many like to make their opinions heard, no matter who's around them.  Even if their opinion or witty remarks are not valid, they don't care who's around, so they'll say anything to bring attention their drunk stupidness.  Sometimes it's funny, but most times it's borderline, for lack of a better word, retarded.  But I've also seen games on the road and other fans from other teams are the same way.  It is what it is.  As for not selling alcohol at the games, be realistic, it would be like not selling popcorn at a movie theater. 

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2011 10:06 am

Defending the Alcoholics

I'm 34 and I have been going to sporting events my entire life.  Yes I have partaken in the occasional beer, mostly at outrageous prices.  Unfortunately, the alcohol sales arent going anywhere, they generate revenue for the staduims and pay the players salaries.  However, I have seen a disturbing trend lately.  I have been going to Blue Jays games my whole life and it is my favorite sport, living iin Canada, I get alot of grief for it.  The Jays home opener is always a fun event and exciting as the season gets away, however, the opener sell out which is great but it seems it's full of punk kids who see he event as a booze fest and they arent baseball fans at all.  Witnessed by the attendence the next night when there is less then half! of the people from the opener.  Now I always get pissed off, because if half of these idiots were real ball fans we would have more support for the Jays.  Two years ago because of all the fights and overservice of beer, the Rogers Centre actually lost there liquor licence for a couple of games, and it was actually nice to see, there more more families and kids at the game then ever, no doubtledly because they knew they could have a good time and not have to worry about drunken idiots.

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2011 8:12 am

Defending the Alcoholics

That`s funny.Poor devil dosen`t realize that the western "civilized" world is addicted to recreational drugs,alcohol and nicotine being the leagal leaders.I used to love partying too,so i quit for a year,just to make sure i could.Twenty eight years ago.Never bothered to start again once i realized i was having more fun,NOT being intoxicated.Didn`t miss the hangovers one bit either lol Remove all alcohol from sporting events and locations where alcohol is served,and those places will die.Quickly.Alcoholism supports them all,and drug taxes support your governments.Both literally kill ( I`ve had tonsilar cancer.It`s caused by BOTH alcohol and smoke) I`d already quit drinking and smoking as i said,but to late.The damage had been done.All young men are "invinceable",and,it`ll "never happen to me".I sit here with no taste buds,mouth and throat on fire,no saliva glands left,all destroyed by chemo and radiation.And the girls in bikinis just keep on comming at me on tv telling me how wonderfull drugs are for me. Funny world huh ? Undecided

Since: Dec 13, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2011 7:20 am

Defending the Alcoholics

But we ARE NOT going to a bar, but a sporting event...STOP SELLING ALCOHOL at sports events...

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 24, 2010 4:44 pm

Defending the Alcoholics

First of all I agree with what you are saying it is a fact. I coach Legion Baseball and we go to tournaments to the Denver area it is exactly the same thing at Rockies games. I used to be a season ticket holder for my beloved Broncos but year in and year out the very same folks would start the game out in a nice polite way but by half time they were well on their way to oblivion by the 4th quarter it was down right painful to be sitting there. Needless to say I no longer go to Denver Broncos games and only take my teams to day games for the Colorado Rockies.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or