So, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup again a few days ago. I salute the Red Wings, the coaches and the owner on another fine win. They worked hard to get where they are and they earned it.

But, enough is enough, people. For three straight days now, the damn television has been bleeding WingNut red. I can’t even change the freaking channel without seeing or hearing about these hockey players and how they swept the play-offs.

Today, for instance, half the city of Detroit was skipping work to watch a parade. A parade! C’mon people, you’re going to risk losing your job over some hockey team and your “fanatical” devotion to a sport? It’s gotten rather absurd.

I’m tired of the hockeymania and I want it over soon. If one more person comes up to me and starts jabbering about hockey or the Red Wings, I might just have to vomit. It’s not that I hate hockey. And I certainly don’t hate the Red Wings. (In fact I was at the Red Wings/Avalanche inaugural game in Denver in 1995). What I do hate is the endless water-cooler discussions about hockey and the cheesy news specials about hockey.

The Red Wings hockeymania is very much like what people in Wisonsin refer to as PackerMania. Denounce the Packers anywhere in Wisconsin and you’re likely to find yourself alienated from society, shot at, or publicly stoned.

It bothers me immensely that so many people can get caught up in a sport. I understand their enthusiam and I understand why people want to feel as if they’re part of a “winning team” city. But, I also feel that a lot of people take their fanaticism too far.

Last year, after the Red Wings won their first Stanley Cup, two of the hockey players were seriously hurt in a car crash after a long night of drinking and partying. I’ve heard that alcohol was responsible for the crash, but I can’t confirm it, nor do I know the final ruling of it. But it makes sense that alcohol was involved. And it makes me wonder how many other people have been out drinking and partying, celebrating the Wing’s victory. After watching the crowds in downtown Detroit, I can guess that literally hundreds of thousands of people were getting drunk. The law of averages tells us that more than a few of these people are going to drive after they drink. And this, my friends, is bad news. There’s no one to point blame at for drunk driving except the people doing the drinking and driving. But, it’s hard for me to not also point some of the blame at these fan’s incessant and fanatical following.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 18, 1998 11:59 PM