NHL spectator etiquette

This is a subject that has bothered me for years. I have been attending hockey games since the age of one. My Dad used to carry me in to Hartford Whalers games until the age of three. My family had season tickets until the Whale took off to North Carolina. In 2006 my Dad and I became New York Rangers season subscribers (which is the fancy way of saying season ticket holders). In addition, I have attended games in about half of the current NHL cities. I have also been to two all-star games (Hartford in 1986 and New York in 1994). I have witnessed a lot of great games and a lot of poor games as well. Either way, you get the point, I have seen a lot of NHL hockey games.

Over my career of attending games, I have also witnessed a lot of fans misbehaving. So, what I would like to do is create a list of DO’s and DON’Ts. This list is long overdue. All of you misbehaving fans, please continue reading to spare yourself of any further embarrassment.

Here they are…

Don’t wear a jersey of a team not competing in the game you are attending. For example, don’t wear a Teemu Selanne Anaheim Ducks jersey to a Buffalo Sabres/Toronto Maple Leafs game. In addition, don’t wear an Olympic jersey in a non-Olympic year. And if you are going to wear an Olympic jersey this year, the name on the back better be playing in the game you are attending. Finally, this same rule applies for non-jersey apparel like hats, t-shirts, hoodies…

Don’t put your last name on an NHL jersey. You did not play in the show so please keep to the names on the current/past rosters.

Don’t tuck the jersey into your pants. Not even the right side of the jersey like Gretzky.

Don’t wear a Charlestown Chiefs jersey.

Don’t yell shoot when your team is on the powerplay. First of all, the players will never listen to you (a lot of times they can’t even hear you). There is a reason why they are on the ice and we are in the stands watching and there is a reason why players continue to pass the puck on the power play. They may not have an angle at the net. They may be trying to set up one specific player. They may be passing to spread the defenders out or simply get the defenders out of position. Either way, keep your mouth shut.

Don’t wear your hat during the anthem.

Don’t boo during the anthem.

Don’t block the view of the people sitting behind you. They paid to watch the game just like you, so sit down. If your team scores a goal or the entire crowd is standing then by all means get up and cheer.  In addition, don’t buy/wear a, “Cat in the Hat” style hat at the game. You will probably block the person behind you from  enjoying the game. (They actually sell those at Rangers games, cotton candy included).

Don’t buy cotton candy, for yourself, your kid, or your girlfriend/wife.

Don’t sit in someone’s seat. You paid to sit in one specific seat for the entire game. Sit there.

Do drink beer.

Don’t drink too much beer.

Don’t drink wine at a game. This goes for broads too. Drink beer.

Don’t leave early when the game is close. I do not care if your train is leaving, stay until the final buzzer.

Don’t show up late to a game. They post the time of the game on your ticket. Show up on time. Some teams even start at 7:05 just to give tardy fans an extra few minutes. No one wants to stand up and let you shimmy by to get to your seat. And if you have no other choice but to show up late, wait for a whistle to go to your seat. If you are new to the building, wait until a TV timeout so you have ample time to find your seat.

Don’t show up to an opposing building talking trash unless your team comes away with a victory (shootout wins don’t count). I have seen it too many times. Some clown shows up from Montreal and starts yapping, gets a beer poured on him and then his team loses.

Don’t pour beer on someone, unless you are a broad or you are pouring beer on an Islanders fan wearing a Potvin jersey.

Don’t bring a professional style camera to the game. If you really have to take pictures, please do so during warm-ups with a small digital camera.

Don’t bring a cow bell to a game. That is annoying.

Don’t boo one of your players. If a guy isn’t playing well, the coaching staff will let him know.

Don’t do, “the wave.”

Do enjoy the game!

Please follow this list of important DO’s and DON’Ts. Not only will you have a better time at NHL games, but you will save yourself from embarrassing situations.


2 Responses to “NHL spectator etiquette”

  1. November 30, 2009 at 3:51 PM

    Some of the jersey ones there could be forgivable; at least they don’t necessarily sink to the depths of the bad jerseys Puck Daddy & Deadspin feature. I’m with you on the rest (well, I’d really love to have a DSLR camera for games; when I do I’ll be sure not to be too obnoxious with it). Hmm, I guess I have permission to spill beer on people, but it’s too expensive at games…

    Glad to see this blog is back, BTW. I got into hockey blogs recently, as a Hawks/Bruins fan, and kept checking to see if anything was new here…

  2. December 10, 2009 at 11:07 AM

    Buddy, where do you get off?

    First, you’re posting Rangers shit on a Bruins website. The name of the website is Loge19.com. There is no loge 19 at Madison Square Garden, therefore there is no need for Rangers updates. Go to godaddy.com and pay $1 for your own domain name.

    Second, I (and I’m pretty sure anyone else that reads this) doesn’t care how many games you’ve been too. That has no bearing on your ability to gauge how people should act at games. I’m sure there are people who have gone to more games than you in every NHL city and act like complete assholes at the games, but they think it’s ok since they’ve been to so many games. Make your list, no problem with that, but don’t spout off about your attendance at games becaause no one cares.

    Third, you can ABSOLUTELY wear a Charlestown Chiefs jersey to any game you go to. There is nothing wrong with that at all. Why? That team is a fictional icon that resonates with all hockey fans. I love the guy that dresses up as a Hanson brother at Bruins games and when the camera is on him, pulls up his shirt to show a “Peyton Manning Sucks” t-shirt. The Chiefs jersey is the exception to the jersey rule.

    Fourth, before you get all hott and bothered, you’re dead-on with a lot of topics, but some are just stupid, such as:

    Don’t drink too much beer? Fuck that, if I want to get wasted at a game, I will.

    Don’t drink wine? I don’t drink wine at games, but if someone wants to who cares, it’s personal preference.

    Don’t sit in someone else’s seat? I like to enjoy maybe 5-10 minutes of the game with a friend who may be in a different section and if there are open seats around him/her, I’ll absolutely do that. I see no issue with that at all.

    Lastly, cotton candy is delicious.

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