Last night, I watched the Caps/Penguins game from a friend's basement while my 4 season tickets were being used by... someone. I sold my ticketson the Caps' Ticketmaster Ticket Exchange site to someone willing to pay for them. Every time I use that site, I worry that my tickets will be going to an opposing team's fans and that they will terrorize my season ticket-holder neighbors (and thus, begin to hate me). It honestly worries me, every time.
This morning, I head on over to one of my favorite blogs, On Frozen Blog, and find a rant against selling tickets to the "devil-enemy". Ok, it was written by the intern, but the words still stung.
The Caps make serious money off the Ticketmaster fees associated with re-selling Season Ticket Holder tickets at a mark-up. The practice is part of the STH sales pitch: based on the face values of the tickets alone, the price of a season ticket package could easliy turn you a profit. How is it my fault if, by using the Caps-endorced site, my tickets end up in the hands of an opposing teams' fan?
Thanks to the birth of my first child, I've given my fair share of tickts this season to friends and family. I love that I can do that. I also love that I can bring my 3 month old to a game and not fear for him. But for certain games, I'm glad I have the option to not subject the little guy to deafening noise levels. Last night's game was one of those games.
One of my fellow STHs is from Pittsburgh and will root for the Penguins if we meet them again in the playoffs. That is his right. He roots for the Caps, loudly and proudly, every other game. At the end of the night, I'll share a beer with him regardless of the score. We both decided to sell last night's tickets to whoever wanted them. It might have been a Caps fan or a Pens fan, or someone douche in a suit who constantly asks who Ovechkin is.
In other cities, home fans invite other teams' fans into the battle. Both sides trade insults, finger points, or friendly banter. But in the end, like the game of hockey, it almost always ends in a handshake or a beer. Caps fans? We taunt, berate, and swear when we're winning. When we're losing, we get bitter, quiet and ref-blamey. We can't take the taunting back. We're offended that these outside fans are in our building. Other teams' fans consider us a bit of a joke. Sometimes, we deserve it. Yes, it's the Penguins. But Caps fans do this stuff at every home game.
Penguins fans will find a way to get tickets. So will Rangers fans and Flyers fans. It's OK. Look around next time instead of staring in anger at the Pens fan in front of you the whole game... the rea of red looks a whole lot bigger when you see how small the pockets of black and sky blue look in comparison. Stop hating other teams more than you love your own.
Until us Caps fans can reach a level of Hockey Fandom that more closely resembles the game of hockey its self, especially among the band-wagon fans, we're just a bunch of complainers.