It’s not often that hockey gets a lot of burn from me, especially during football season and the MLB postseason. But the incident that took place last night when the Vancouver Canucks played the Minnesota Wild was downright ridiculous.
The Canuck were in the midst of a royal shit kicking when the team tough guy, or should I say, the team Goon, Rick Rypien absolutely lost his mind. First he sucker punches a guy in a scrum, that got him tossed. Then, before he heads to the dressing room he ragdolls a fan…Okay, slight exaggeration, he didn’t actually ragdoll the Minnesota fan, but he did grab him and put the fear of god in him, without a doubt that fan shit himself. In professional sports, players can get away with a lot, but there’s one golden way to piss off the league and piss off the owners and land yourself in a huge mess, and that is to attack a fan. It’s just something a player absolutely can’t do, the fans are paying your salary, they’re the ones who make the game you play an occupation, it’s just bad for business, plain and simple.
This incident made me think of all the classic moments when professional players have attacked fans. Across the pond this happens in soccer matches almost regularly, except, it’s the players that are in danger of rioting fans. In North America it’s a little different, as a fan, the last thing you want have happen is for you to be running your mouth and end up in a tilt with fine tuned, angry, professional athlete, like Tie Domi for example. The other classic instance that comes to mind is the Brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills, when Ron Artest and the Pacer bad boys dusted several fans in an incident that will go down in NBA infamy. The Rypien incident last night wasn’t on the level of any of the above examples, but it was bad enough.
Needless to say, Rypien has already been suspended indefinitely for his actions.