Fed-up Calgary Flames fan tosses jersey on ice in act of disgust during loss (video)
The Calgary Flames, currently sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference, three points out of the 8th and final playoff spot, found themselves fighting for their postseason lives Wednesday night, taking on the current eight-seed Los Angeles Kings at the Saddledome. With a scant five games remaining heading into its tilt with the Kings, a win would have at least temporarily bolstered their rapidly diminishing playoff hopes.
What then occurred on the ice that night was a lackluster, half-hearted effort, as the Flames were shut out by the Kings 3-0. A performance that left one fan in attendance so fed-up, so disgruntled, he heaved his Flames sweater on the ice late in the third period.
Not surprisingly, the act of fan rebellion did not sit well in the locker room, nor was it well received at the instant it occurred by Flames winger Tom Kostopoulos, who threw it over the boards and slammed his stick in his own display of disgust.
In fact, Kostopoulos was so upset afterward that he refused to speak to reporters following the game. He did, however, address the media on Thursday, and while he had calmed down a bit, he remained upset and perturbed by the fan’s action, a sentiment shared by several of his fellow teammates.
From the Calgary Herald (via Pro Hockey Talk):
“I was just a bit fired up,” the Flames winger explained Thursday afternoon — he’d declined to speak with reporters post-game. “I was just upset, I was mad. He’s entitled to his opinion. He paid for the seat. I was just upset. He threw his jersey on the ice — I just didn’t like that.”
“That was a little overboard,” said Matt Stajan. “That was disrespectful to the organization. (Kostopoulos) was doing what all of us were thinking. Obviously, we’re already down in the dumps at that point in the game. I think he handled it the right way. You don’t do that to this organization . . . we’re all in it together. We’d like to think our fans are in it with us. He showed the emotion that all of us were feeling at the time, and kept it in check pretty well as well. When you see something like that, it’s a little disappointing.
“I know it’s just one fan, but it’s still a reflection of the Calgary Flames and the city of Calgary and us as an organization.”
Added Alex Tanguay: “One guy out of 20,000 . . . I’m not too worried about it. I don’t know if he was trying to hit the referee or if he was trying to do something different with it. I have no idea. I know if we go out and manage to squeeze into the playoffs, (the fans) will be there. Then maybe we can give the jersey to charity and put it to good use.’’
A reasonable person can see it both ways. While the fan’s jersey toss could be considered disrespectful, as the players quoted alluded to, it was his right to articulate his feelings of disappointment since he did pay for his seat. Still, the act of throwing a jersey on the ice might have been a bit over the top. Perhaps restricting oneself to participating in loud jeers and vociferous booing would have been the better choice.