We’re five hours from the start of the 2014 Winter Classic and I want to get a little rant out of the way so it’s not influenced by the outcome of the game, whatever that may be.
I recently described my plan for today to a non-hockey-following friend as “hanging out with 55,000 of my best friends and 55,000 asshole fans of the other team.” Okay, not all Leafs fans are assholes, but it’s the number that I have a problem with.
Red Wings fans have a rap for being conspiracy theorists but let me ask you this: How many other Winter Classic “host” teams have had to reserve half of their stadium for opposition fans?
I was in Chicago in 2009. There were a ton of Wings fans there but they didn’t give us our own sections.
The Winter Classic is a league event. The host team hands over a home date and the league does what they want with it. This time, unlike any other, they did everything they could to turn it into a neutral-site game.
Maybe that’s the new normal. Maybe Washington will be subjected to the same thing next year and it’s just coincidence that it started with the year Detroit hosted. We’ll see.