An incredibly obnoxious list of my own personal, EIHL-related pet peeves.
In no particular order…
1: Challenge Cup group games
I just can’t get excited about them. Having potential dead rubber games so near to the start of the season is such a buzz-kill. I’m picking on the group stages here – in truth, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the entire competition scrapped to make-way for a proper playoff series. Not to mention the utter farce of teams picking their opposition. Via live stream. On facebook. In the most cringeworthy fashion possible. The less said about the most recent debacle, the better.
2: Puck bunnies masquerading as adult men
Puck bunnies in general are an absolute annoyance (if not a spectacle to laugh at during most post-game awards). But I’ve never seen grown men swoon over professional athletes in the same way as EIHL fans. Taking pictures of players cars, suggesting player names on cars to aid their stalking efforts, claiming ownership over players and behaving like a victim of heinous, spousal adultery when a player departs… STOP IT!
3: Fans @ing players in twitter showdowns
If these were in rank-order, this would potentially be number 1. Do you really think (insert player name) gives a hoot about you defending him against an opposition fan calling him a useless donkey with the coordination of a new-born giraffe on twitter? I can categorically tell you that he does not… Except Zack Fitzgerald. He might be grateful or even respond if he’s had a bad game the night before.
4: Knitters in the stands
Usually the spouses of/sat next to the people described under number 8 of this incredibly obnoxious list. They don’t watch the game, they look up from their knitting only to shoot disapproving looks and shake their heads regularly at you if you dare to smile too loudly or sip too aggressively on your alcoholic beverage. If you’ve never had the displeasure of sitting next to one of these avid crafters, beware! Their aggressive knitting elbows could knock your pint mid-sip on occasion – this could be accidental, but my instincts tell me that it’s a deliberate sabotage, providing an opportunity for the number 8’s sat next to them to call you a drunk, lager-guzzeling hooligan, only here to spill beer all over the place and ruin their evening.
5: The Elite League “Banter” Facebook page
The last rung of the ladder en-route to the cess pit of the EIHL online community (see next item for actual cess pit). Don’t think I’ve ever found a single instance (and there are many) of cone related humour on there actually funny. Admittedly I’ve rejoined the page 3 times, but my most recent stint of avoidance has lasted about 6 months #GoMe.
6: The Inferno
This really is the ultimate cess pit of the EIHL online community. 99.9% populated by a niche crowd of entitled Devils lifers, quick to insult you if you haven’t been a devils fan for the full 30+ years – Even if you weren’t born 30 years ago (true story). You’ll find all sorts of hilarious/infuriating suggestions and statements contained within. Eg. Banning alcohol from the arena. People threatening to jack in their lifer status over a 4pm face off on 4-ish Sundays throughout one season – LOL. Personal vendettas against players that last for SEASONS. Constant catastrophising – LORDO OUT, sack Bryce Reddick (that’s been going on for a while), Hotham is rubbish – too many turn overs. Ben Bowns is rubbish – we need an upgrade (usually after one game or one mistake). Let’s approach William Nylander to sign in Cardiff – I’m sure the Devils owners can stretch to match that 8mil AAV that the leafs have been holding out on. The list really is endless. I hate it and they definitely hate me! Fortunately not representative of the entire Devils fanbase. If you fancy a cheap laugh, visit http://www.the-inferno.co.uk. You will not be disappointed.
7: Biased commentating
There are several webcasts around the league that I rarely buy because the commentating is just so unashamedly biased. I’m sure they realise that the majority of observers are away fans – they just don’t care! On a side note, why does the ice at the SSE always look so green/blue on the webcast? Genuine question.
8: Fans complaining about other fans having fun
Number 4’s trusty companion! Always complaining about other fans having a good time. They particularly hate new comers to the game “They’re too drunk, too loud, talking too much, asking too many questions, what is the point in that flag – IT MEANS NOTHING”. Number 8’s are the people suggesting that beer be banned from the arena. Number 8’s are also the people found smuggling in flasks of tea, cucumber/cheese sandwiches and complaining about the price of food/drink in arenas around the league.
I’m sure he is a stellar guy in real life, but his twitter persona is reminiscent of Wheeler at his absolute worst. He’ll take offence at everything, he’ll argue with you over nothing, and when the arguing becomes so irritating that you just mute it/delete the tweet, he’s already pre-empted himself being that annoying that he’s taken a screenshot of the argument to continue arguing with himself on his own feed. One moment he is slating the Steelers to the ground, the next he is brown-nosing Simms so intensely that the entertainment factor created by the conflict between he and his own club is not even worth the follow anymore.