It’s a classic scene that has played out in hockey arenas across the world: the home team is down by a goal (or two, or three…or four) with just a few minutes left on the clock, and suddenly, fans start streaming towards the exits. It’s as predictable as the sunrise and just as disappointing. But why? Why would anyone leave a game early, especially when their team desperately needs their support?
*cough cough* I’m talking to you, Vegas! Game 2 against Edmonton? I’ve never seen fans disappear so quickly! Yikes!
Anyway, I can’t say for sure, but I have theories. Some fans just can’t handle the pressure. Maybe they’re worried about getting stuck in traffic, or they’re afraid of seeing their team lose in person. Or perhaps they really need to use the restroom.
Whatever the reason, the truth is that these fair-weather fans can’t handle the heat. They scurry out of the arena like rats on a sinking ship, leaving the die-hard fans to pick up the slack and cheer on the team until the bitter end.
But here’s the thing – leaving a game early is a rookie move. Sure, your team might be down, but anything can happen in those final minutes. Maybe they’ll score a quick goal, and suddenly the game is tied. Maybe the opposing team will get complacent and give up a few sloppy turnovers. Maybe a meteor will crash into the arena and cause a power outage, and your team will get a chance to regroup during the delay.
Okay, that last one is unlikely, but you get the point. The point is, when you leave a game early, you’re not just abandoning your team – you’re also missing out on the potential for some truly wild and wacky moments.
Imagine this: your team is down by two goals with less than a minute left. The opposing team has the puck and is trying to run out the clock. But suddenly, the puck bounces off a skate and takes a crazy bounce toward the net. Your team’s star player, who has been having a terrible game up until this point, somehow manages to corral the puck and fires it at the net. It’s a desperate shot, but it hits the post and goes in! The crowd erupts as your team pulls within one.
But wait, there’s more! The ensuing faceoff is won cleanly by your team’s center, who passes it back to the defenseman. The defenseman takes a slapshot from the point, and it’s deflected by a teammate in front of the net. The puck pops up in the air and bounces in the crease, where your team’s fourth-line grinder is waiting. He bats it out of mid-air and into the net, tying the game with just seconds left on the clock!
The arena is shaking as the crowd goes wild. You’re high-fiving strangers, drinking deliciously overpriced beer, and screaming at the top of your lungs. And you know what? Those fans who left early? They missed it. They missed one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history, all because they couldn’t handle a little bit of adversity.
So next time you’re at a game and your team is losing late, stay put. Stick it out. You never know what might happen, and you don’t want to be the fan who has to hear about it from their friends the next day. Just remember – true fans never leave early.
And curses on those that do!