Let me tell you a story. It’s one of I’ve told before, but I think expresses why I feel such vitriol and bile for the Anaheim Ducks, the Honda Center, and the whole area as a whole.
It was February of 2008. The Hawks, as young and incomplete as they were, were making something of a push for a playoff spot. So I, living in LA but drunk on Hawks fever for the first time since I was in high school, found myself some tickets and headed down the I-5 to Orange County.
We found ourselves seated to some middle-aged palooka in a leather Ducks jackets. That’s where that starts. With that leather jacket. And not that I need to tell you this, but no, he never took it off the whole game. Of course he didn’t. Before he turned his attention to us, three Hawks fans, he talked with some fellow Ducks fans he knew around the section. And the entirety of all the discussions was based on which players on the Ducks weren’t fighting enough.
Y’see, this was when the Ducks were defending Cup champs. And they also came off that year leading the league in fighting majors. To almost every Ducks fan, this was a main correlation, not that they were throwing out one of the greatest d-men of all-time for 45 minutes per night in Scott Niedermayer or Chris Pronger. Nope, to Ducks fans it was their fighting prowess and the fear it drove into other teams (funny story, the Ducks would win one playoff series over the next seven seasons with all that intimidating prowess).
Of course, he eventually turned to us, and I can’t even remember what moronic drivel he attempted to entertain us with. What I am sure of is he couldn’t name one player on the Hawks, and I’m sure that’s still true today.
Anyway, as the second period approached, he as nowhere to be found. And remained absent throughout the second. But then right before the third, he showed up again. And what we came to find out is that he had four season tickets, two on each side of the arena. That way, he would never have to sit on an end the Ducks weren’t attacking.
You’d think with Niedermayer and Pronger in tow you’d at least consider watching the Ducks play defense occasionally. Or for that money just getting two seats at center ice in a better section. No, you’d be wrong. And it was next to him I had to watch a 20-year-old Brent Seabrook lose Teemu Selanne right off the faceoff after the Hawks had pulled into within one to complete Selanne’s hat trick. I hated Teemu. This was hell.
For the rest of the night we had to listen to a group of Orange County high- or middle-schooler turn the word “suck” into two syllables so they could complete their “Blackhawks suck” chant, one the rest of the brain-injury-impersonating Honda Center faithful gleefully joined in on, not sensing the problems.
I have no doubts it’s still the same down there, filled with the same truck stop rejects that couldn’t cut it in LA proper.
Fuck the Ducks. Fuck The Honda Center. Fuck Orange County.
Game #29 Preview Suite