When we think of Canada, we think of maple syrup, moose, Molson’s, Bob & Doug McKenzie, Swiss Chalet and generally gracious & polite people. But such courtesy is toss aside when it comes to hockey. And just like surly sports fans around the globe, some can take a rivalry too far.
Andrew Parker was walking the streets of Calgary early Sunday morning in his Oilers jersey, when a car full of canucks clad in Flames jerseys spotted the 22-year-old & started glaring at him. The allegedly inebriated Parker then shouted to the car something to the effect of “How about those Flames!”
About four or five Flames fanatics then supposedly jumped out of their car and started pummeling Parker. The attack left Andrew with a broken nose and fractured cheek bones.
Flames president Ken King condemned the assault, saying the team would “have no interest in having any fans who’d even think of doing such a thing.” But he further brushes off suggestions that violence on the rink leads to violence between spectators, even outside the arena:
“It’s like suggesting NASCAR fans are reduced to speeding or reckless driving — it’s utterly ridiculous.”
Parker himself was shocked that he would be so severely attacked, asking, “Do they seriously think I deserved to be beaten?” But he claims that such a cowardly attack “has only made my pride for the Oilers stronger.”
However, Parker admits, “In retrospect, I shouldn’t have said anything.” And he doesn’t hold the entire Flames fan base responsible for the act of a fouled-up few, adding “I’m not going to stereotype them. It can happen anywhere.”
Michael Platt of the SUN also notes that other Oilers fans aren’t calling for any counterattacks on Calgarians. As one Edmonton supporter wrote:
“Those pylons that beat up that kid represent only a VERY small minority of Flames fans. Flames fans might be stupid, inbred, etc., But, all in all, good people.”
Once again, Canadian courtesy comes shining through. Can you imagine Raiders & Broncos fans sharing such solidarity after an apparent attack? Or Raiders & Chiefs fans? Or Raiders & Chargers fans? Or Raiders & … well, you get the idea.