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The Price of Admission

14 March 2014

The game… ugh. That was just garbage. And now my own words from this afternoon have me all freaked out. The game’s irrelevant right now. I’m all fired up for a different reason.

I pay the same amount of money as everyone else in my section to attend Bulldog games, as do the three other people who with with me. We are loud, we have fun, we are silly, and as a side effect, we sometimes annoy people. We’re not screaming obscenities. We would love other fans to join in, make noise, and cheer for the team. Especially because the arena’s a morgue because the students are on spring break. (Hint, maybe $1 student tickets would bring in a few more.)

I do not appreciate being treated like an opposing fan in my own team’s arena. I don’t devote time and money to UMD athletics so that someone can swear at me because they barge on down to their seats when the puck is in play. I don’t cheer and have a good time with my friends so that someone can stand up and scream at us while the game is going on, telling us we’re not cute, we’re not clever, and we need to go back to the student section.

A lot of the issues we come across could be mitigated if AMSoil Arena had enough ushers to position one at the top of every row. If that seems like overkill for 8 rows of people in the upper deck, I assure you it is not. There are people constantly coming and going, standing in the aisles and looking at their ticket in confusion while the game goes on, climbing over 16 people in their row while the game goes on, tween girls darting in and out to talk to their friends. This even sometimes goes on during the 13 seconds of time we actually have an usher at the top of the row, because some of the ushers are too passive to intervene. This results in us policing the aisle ourselves, which we really should not have to do, and results in confrontations from fans who are angry we… want to watch the game. The athletic department did make STOP/GO signs for the ushers to hold (a suggestion I believe came from Biddy and Dan), which is a great start, but the signs don’t do much good if they’re in the hands of an usher seven sections away.

While we couldn’t get an usher to patrol our section if our row was on fire, we DID get a cop standing behind us for the third period! Thanks, UMD Athletics. I appreciate the respect. I am glad all the money I spend on tickets, concessions, jerseys, UMD gear, and TUITION; the time I spend writing about Bulldog hockey when our beat writer barely does; the miles I’ve driven to home and away games and the businesses in Canal Park I’ve patronized; and the time and money spent by the rest of my family and friends in the same fashion have resulted in a cop standing behind me, monitoring me, because I’m cheering too loud. And if I’m not proactive about the situation, could possibly result in further harassment by UMD staff. I know it’s happened before: some old codger complains about a too loud fan, and suddenly that fan has to move.

I will not renew my season tickets, not spend another dime on UMD Athletics, and shutter this blog if there are any further consequences from this one complete jackwagon standing up during play, turning around, and screaming insults at us multiple times simply for cheering for our team. In the end that will probably hurt me 1000 times more than it would ever hurt UMD Athletics, because I devote way, way too much of my own resources to sports, but I’m not going to go quietly, and it’s not going to reflect well on tUMD. That’s not a threat, just something I’d feel was necessary, and also it’s not a threat because I’m hardly intimidating or powerful.

I don’t anticipate that will happen. tUMD’s athletic director and a friend in the arena staff are supportive, other people in our section are supportive, other fans and staff are supportive, I sincerely doubt there will be any real consequences from this incident (other than a rage-stroke from the gentleman in question), but I do know other fans who have been made to feel unwelcome by arena staff and UMD athletics staff, simply for being loud and wild and crazy about Bulldog hockey.

If you’ve read this far, all you have to take from this is: cheer louder, cheer harder, get crazy, and support your team. The more people who go ape over Bulldog hockey, the less power people like the ones we encountered tonight will have. No one can get mad at four fans for being loud, if the whole arena is being loud. I’m as devoted to Bulldog hockey as ever, and I am not going to let one delusional curmudgeon and a bunch of clueless idiots who can’t read a ticket or practice common sense ruin things for me.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand scene.

PS win tomorrow + Sunday you guys ok?

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