EDITORIAL: Things I Heard At The Consol Last Night, Vol.I

We are all frustrated by the Pens poor play as of late. And that frustration was breeding stupidity last night at the Consol Energy Center. I make it to about 9 or 10 games a year (until my number finally pops up on that season ticket waiting list). It seems every crowd I sit in at the CEC seems to get worse. It's way too quiet, loud for the wrong reasons, or both. The Pens played pretty badly against the Ottawa Senators, but the crowd put in an even worse performance. Here is just some of the ridiculousness I witnessed last night.

-Just as I got my ticket scanned, 3 people in the line next to me BLEW past me in their excitement to get their Icetime and giveaway Pens Pillow Thing and flew up the escalator. What the huge hurry was, I have no idea.

-When we sat down down, the guy behind us BOOED Fleury when he was shown during the pregame montage. "I hate that guy" I heard him say.

-During the anthem, random people in the lower bowl (we were in the upper bowl) were just yelling random stuff. I couldn't even make out what it was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't even a "Lets Go Pens!" C'mon people, show some respect.

-When Johnson makes his first save of the game, a relatively routine one, FleuryHater behind us tells his girlfriend, "If that was Fleury, it's 1-0 Ottawa."

-The Pens fall behind 2-0 and the crowd starts to get ugly. Drunk bald guy at the end of the row gets into it, "C'MON HIT SOMEBODY!", like the Pens aren't. The first period stats on the scoreboard minutes later that show the Pens are FAR outhitting the Sens 15-2.

-In the second period, after Johnson gets pulled after a bad goal to make it 3-0, FleuryHater comes back from a Beer Run to see Fleury in net and promptly starts BOOING him. Even his girlfriend seems embarrassed and informs him of the bad goal.

-DrunkBaldGuy is bored and starts yelling "BO-RING". FleuryHater joins him.

-DrunkBaldGuy, "THIS ISN'T A TENNIS MATCH!" Not sure what that means...

-DrunkBaldGuy to refs,"HEY REF, YOU STINK LIKE MY GRANDMA!" Now, the officiating was terrible, but I'm pretty sure that guy just insulted his grandmother. I said this to my wife sitting next to me and the old lady sitting next to her nodded her head in agreement.

-FleuryHater starts booing Gonchar, then remarks, "I hate that traitor. I'm gonna beat his ass." Sure you are, tough guy.

-Clueless lady sitting behind us, "Gonchar is SO old. Why doesn't he retire? He was never that good. He was only good, like, YEARS ago. When he was young." So...guess those 67 points in 06/07 and 65 points in 07/08 weren't too good? 14 points in the run to the Cup in 09 despite the wonky knee? Clueless.

-CluelessLady with a classic,"When did we get so bad!? We've ALWAYS been good." Where were you the six to ten years ago??

-As Richard Park dumps the puck and heads to the bench for a change, I hear, "UGHHH! PARK YOU SUCK GO BACK TO THE ISLANDERS!" Um, he was making a line change?

-Dupuis can't take a pass, the puck is bouncing and behind him, so he chips it deep. "DUPUIS?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? YOU SUCK DU-PISS!" Sigh.

-Ottawa defenseman are passing east-west in their own zone while the Pens and other Sens both change. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GET IT! GET IT!"

-Orpik gets the puck at the point. A Senator goes to one knee ready to block the shot. Another Senator stands ready to go down too. "SHOOOOOOOOOT" rains down from the crowd. This is just one instance of people yelling shoot at a dumb time during the game.

-FleuryHater's girlfriend midway through the third, "All I care about is I get to SMOKE in 11 minutes!" FleuryHater," LETS GO!" They leave. Thank the Lord.

-After the game, some drunk dude comes down to the railing and starts yelling. "REFS YOU SUCK. PENGUINS FANS SUCK. TURN THE MUSIC OFF. TURN THAT OFF. THIS IS A DISGRACE." No one is on the ice except the guys taking the goalie nets off. The refs are long gone, Pens fans are long gone. Ushers just ignore his rants. He then stumbles off muttering as he collects soggy Icetimes and beer cups off the floor for souvenirs.

This is just a sample of what I heard last night between the long awkward silences from the crowd. Listen, I know people are frustrated. I am frustrated. The team was bad. The officials were terrible. But what is happening to Pens fans? I remember chuckling at hearing the occasional dumb comment over at the Igloo, but it's become an epidemic at the Consol.

Do people have a right to boo or say stupid stuff? Of course, they (or daddy) paid for the ticket. It's sports, you can boo or cheer or whatever. But when you obviously know little or nothing about the sport and don't even TRY to learn and just hopped on the bandwagon or you're just hear to drink and cause it's "cool" to be at a Pens game, someone is gonna write about your stupidity in a blog.

This is just MY opinion. This is just me venting MY frustration at these people. Do you hear this stuff at the Consol? Share your stories if you do.

Hopefully we break out of this funk soon. Winning cures almost everything.

C'mon boys. Let's Go Pens!


Shining_Light said...

The people in front of us asked where Goligoski was. The people next to us had no clue who Tangradi was and why he was there. They were pretty much there to drink because they honestly got up every 10 minutes to get a beer and to use the restroom.

Andrea said...

The lady beside me complained about Pittsburgh sports for the majority of the game (Pens, Steelers, Pitt). Why come to the game if all you're going to do is complain the whole time and dont have faith in your team at all?

Anonymous said...

It's the same fans that went to the Igloo to watch games too so what you're saying about Consol Energy Center is pretty far fetched. The fact is the Pens are playing poor hockey at the moment and the belligerent men that drink more than they need to are going to make comments like you listed. I think it's a disgrace to all who support the Pens out there just as much as you do but the fact is that it's going to happen. It's better to be the one saying positive things about the Pens and their fans that support them through eerything rather than complaining about the ones that don't have a clue what's going on because they are drunk or they haven't watched a game since 2009. To sum it up, you're gonna have those comments if you're watching from Mellon or Consol. The change in arenas has nothing to do with it.

With much respect to another avid Pens fan,


Goose said...

Billy, my wife and I had this exact same experience. And AJ, we NEVER had this experience at games at Mellon so SHUT UP AND BUY A TICKET. It sounds like you've never even BEEN to a game before.

The Pens this year have played pretty poorly and with good reason. It's good of them to not make excuses but they do have reason. That SHOULDN'T excuse fans to turn on the team midway through a bad season. Shouldn't the young talent, new arena, committed management (unlike the pirates) and great hockey for the past few years be enough to hold the fans through the rough times? I would certainly HOPE so but as each day of #CrosbyWatch goes by it becomes more and more apparent who the real fans are and who is here because the Pens are IN?

Anyway, thanks for this post. I've been meaning to put this on MY blog but you said it perfectly.

Let's Go Pens!

Anonymous said...

More than anything, when I watch Penguins home games on tv, I'm shocked (and a little embarrassed) by how quiet it is. I really thought Pittsburgh had fully embraced the Pens, but it doesn't look or sound like it from a distance.

Still, as a Pittsburgh ex-pat living in a non-hockey town, (with an AHL team) let me say at least people are going to the games in the Burgh and have SOME knowledge. The people here barely know we have a team and are totally clueless at games. We sat in front of a couple of guys who could say nothing but, "Don't they look like a bunch of ants!?" every time the teams scrambled over the wall for a change. They had zero hockey knowledge and we had to fill them in a number of times. That's not surprising as people here haven't embraced hockey at all, but in Pittsburgh I expect better.

Anonymous said...

This is a good string going here and I can't disagree with much. I will say that a lot of the people able to afford tickets are corporate or handing off their tickets to different people every night. I wonder if that plays into all of this or is it that the Pens have been embraced, but only for status and not genuine knowledge of the game?

Anonymous said...

I remember when I went to a game last year. We were sitting all the way up and there was this one guy who would not shut up. He was yelling profanities, and there were children around. I said something to him, but of course he didn't shut his mouth. It kind of ruined my first NHL game

Disco Stu said...

The problem is that the Penguins, just like every other major sports team in this country, have begun to price out the real hockey fans, the ones who used to populate the old Mellon Arena. Now you're stuck with truly ignorant, albeit more well off, fans who started following hockey about the same time the Penguins were going to back to back Stanley Cup Finals. As far as those fans know, we should be winning every game by scores of 5 - 0. They boo Fleury not even realizing that he has more wins at his age than Martin Brodeur did, but then again they don't know who Martin Brodeur is. In fact, other than Ovechkin and any other former Penguin who is still playing, they probably couldn't name another player in the league. Many of the real fans of hockey that I know that had tickets in the lower part of Mellon have now been kicked upstairs to the Upper Bowl and those that I knew that sat in D,E and F in Mellon now have to watch from home, and now the Consol Shopping Mall is filled with a lot of know nothing band wagon jumpers who think the game is just an excuse to drink $9 beers and shout profanities.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is what it was like going to a thrashers/pens game here in atlanta.. WOW ! in pittsburgh comeon !

Anonymous said...

I have been to several Pens games in the last few years and went to TONS in the 2 years before and Sid's rookie season because they were basically giving tickets away. I have heard fans say negative things about the team and certain players but never anything like you're saying. I guess that's what happens when people who get into the game because of a team start to see things real fans have seen time and time again. Being a Pens fan is about overcoming the bad WITH the team, not losing faith when they need us most.

Anonymous said...

consol center is the epicenter of unknowledgable, early leaving fans. #consolcentercurse BRING THE IGLOO BACK

Dom D said...

Billy...it's Dom. I hear this all of the time at the CEC. Last game I was at I had Flower haters behind me. When will this stop? For me, since Max left, The Flower is my favorite player. He clearly was the team's MVP last year and I do not know why the people in Pittsburgh are so quick to want to run him out of town. God forbid if he leaves, because I do not know if those bandwagoners remember but I know all of you do...you know the days' of Caron and Aubin!!! And another thing...shit talking on Pascal....well do these idoits remember the days of Chris Beech and Rico Fata? Look if you have no clue about the game, come to the game, have fun awesome for you. However, if you are clueless DON'T YELL!!! Lastly, while at the CEC on a past trip, I heard some jackass behind me saying," Where are Sid and Letang? Big Ben gets a concusion and is back 2 weeks after! Why can't they play? Why don't we put skirts on the guys or stop like they do in Pee Wee?" Clueless...simply clueless.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean to offend anyone and I wasn't attacking the person who wrote the blog. I was just posting another perspective. I sincerely didn't mean to come off as a jerk if that's how you took it. P.S. I have bought a ticket. Multiple in fact. Haha. Sorry if you read me the wrong way.

With much respect,


Kelly said...

Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often

Anonymous said...

Everybody feel better now? ....Good, let's win some hockey!

Post a Comment

Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Favorites More Stumbleupon