Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Hooligan: I’ve got a bone to pick

I’m going to complain, and I hope you enjoy it. When I first decided to go to the University of Maine for college, everyone who lived in Maine or visited Maine or knew anything about the school never failed to inform me that the hockey games were the talk of the town. I was told stories of the lines reaching the mall and having to arrive hours in advance if I wanted a semi-decent seat, or any seat, for that matter.

Well, in my first year, I was depressed and never left my room. The second year, I started going and met a group of friends to go to the games with. I remember commenting on how empty the stadium was and hearing how, the year before, we were at the bottom of the table. Likewise, how lame some of the cheers and chants were, having come from a school that had a pretty extensive history with winning and fun chants. 

An upside of the games, though, was seeing the familiar faces around us, the regulars who dedicated their time to support, for an honest description, a lackluster team but were alongside them when they began their ascent to the top. 

As the season went on, our team started winning and climbed the table. The seats around us began to fill in. We watched as the stadium physically changed towards the end of the season, and when this year’s season began, we were presented with a new Alfond. We were excited to see where this year would take us, as we knew it would be a race to the top. 

But, some things have happened that, instead of creating a new atmosphere of success and glory, have made us angry and embarrassed.

In the first game of the season, we were introduced to this new addition to the student section, the Maineiacs. For $10, you can be the proud owner of a cheaply made t-shirt that is effectively a fast past into the stadium. So, while people are waiting in the cold for two to three hours, you can stroll up to the line when doors open and get in first. Now, there are two perspectives. The Maineiacs see it as a perfect opportunity. The rest of us see it as a big capitalist fuck you. All I hear are complaints about the concept. It’s like this new thing that happens at airports, where someone, when you pay an absurd amount of money, SAVES YOUR SPOT AT TSA, which to anyone who has flown in a major airport has to arrive two to three hours ahead of time to get through that line. If you know this, you understand how frustrating it is. If you don’t, just wait. What happens if a lot of people purchase the shirt and effectively make the student section no longer free because they have to pay for a shirt? One of the greatest perks of being a student is free entry into games and events. Why spoil that just to get into the game first?

If you’re going to go to the student section, learn the chants and the cheers. It makes the section a lot more fun when a lot of people are dancing and cheering rather than doing nothing and sitting on their phones. Yes, it is a social event, but one where you engage with everything around you. Of course, it is your choice to do whatever you want at hockey games, but with the atmosphere and the people playing the sport, the whole experience is worthwhile if there is engagement. Athletes perform better when their audience is supportive and provides motivation. It hypes them up and makes the game worth playing. I don’t know where the Seven Nations Army chant came from, but it’s kind of dumb and unoriginal.

There’s a new crowd in town that thinks they own the place. What comes with success? More people. It is great to see the Alfond reach maximum capacity three games in a row when it is something that hasn’t been seen in a while. Season attendees are excited to see the old Alfond return to UMaine. Naturally, it comes with students who want to join in on the fun and watch as their fellow classmates battle it out on the ice. It is one thing when they come and make an effort to learn the ropes of the arena, but being assholes is unacceptable. Yelling “Fuck BC” during the color guard, throwing trash onto the ice, banging the expensive new electronic advertisement signs denying season ticket holders their seats, or giving them a hard time getting to their seats. Likewise, getting upset when people sit in their section that they sat in once when those people have been there for the season up to that point and claim it as their own and be dicks when those people are saving spots for their friends so that their friends can sit there instead. “Damn, bro, that sucks” is worth a punch in the face if you want to go there. You know, instead of being big shot tools, be happy to be with fellow fans instead of creating unnecessary turf wars. There are ways around it, but unless that’s not something that wants to be done, then let your decisions decide your fate, bitch. 

So much has been taken away from us at UMaine: Maine Day is on trial, and Bumstock is something we will never know; don’t let this be another thing we must worry about. The school is already in a rural area with little to do unless you have a car. This is something that we look forward to. Treat it kindly.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...