New San Jose Sharks Fans and Hockey Etiquette

Guest Post By Aaron Sholl

The San Jose Sharks season has finally begun and I got to go to my first game this past Monday night against the Ducks. Although the Sharks didn’t win the game nor play well throughout it, the fans were a pretty raucous bunch – more so than normal. Part of it could be because the Sharks haven’t won since their season opener, but another part of it could be the new fans the Sharks and NHL have attracted this year.

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With the NBA in the beginning of their lockout and baseball wrapping up, the NHL is getting a lot more popular with the casual sports fan as it is that missing sports void in between Sundays. The NHL has the largest die-hard fans but lacks the popularity from bandwagoners. I think most of those people stick to the NBA as their third sport and the NBA is taking its fans for granted with the lockout (remember, I am talking casual NBA fans, not the die-hards). Don’t be surprised if the NHL becomes the number 3 sport in the US in place of the NBA by next season since most of those bandwagoners are moving on.

Coming back to the Sharks, these new fans need some lessons on how to watch hockey while at the San Jose Arena. Consider this the hockey etiquette rules for fans:

1. This isn’t baseball so stay in your seat and wait until a stoppage before getting up. This could be my favorite thing to yell out when people are nonchalantly getting to their seats during play. Hockey is a sport that is played whistle to whistle. Football is too, but in hockey the whistles are fewer and farther between. Stay in your seat because getting up blocks the view of every row behind you and a lot can happen in those 30 seconds it takes for you to read your ticket correctly.

2. Lean back in your seat. Same concept as the first one except this is where you are actually sitting in your seat. Due to the architecture of the seats (at least in the upper deck) being so steep in the San Jose Arena, leaning forward will block everyone’s view behind you. Instead of leaning forward to see a play, move side to side through the holes of people in front of you.

3. Ask questions and be social around you. Hockey fans and players are often the best in all of sports. I love when people ask me questions on what happened, what the whistle was blown for or what penalty was called and why. Don’t be shy; get engaged in the game and those around you!

4. Stay until the end no matter what. In hockey, 2.5 seconds is long enough to score a goal off of a faceoff with room to spare. And no, it isn’t like the NBA where the last 30 seconds takes 20 minutes either. Watch this clip of Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tie up the game and tell me your stomach wasn’t in knots in anticipation.

5. Enjoy yourself and be respectful. Remember that there are families with kids at the game so keep the profanity down a couple notches. Be creative and humorous with your heckling but also respectful of those around you. Also, if you get asked or yelled at from the person behind you to sit down or lean back, don’t stand up and faceoff with them ready to fight (yes, I have witnessed this too many times not to add that in here).

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There you have it, the five basic rules to live by when going to a Sharks game for your first time. I am sure you could think of more to add to this list, so feel free to put them in the comments. The NHL is growing so for all you hockey veterans, expect to have newbies going to games for their first time all year. Hockey is generally a game that new fans fall in love with after attending a live game. Welcome anyone new and answer any questions they might have. For all you new fans of the game going to the Shark Tank this year – have fun and don’t say I didn’t warn you about the etiquette.

Tags: San Jose Sharks

Bandwagon Fans and Round Two: Guest Post by Aaron Sholl

Today we have a very special blog post. Aaros Sholl will be our guest blogger during the San Jose Sharks run to the cup. GO SHARKS!

san jose sharks   san pedro square market resized 600

This is the time of year when people in the Bay Area that aren’t particularly Sharks fans start paying attention to the Sharks.  They usually don’t know too much about hockey in general but know that the Sharks seem to always get to the playoffs every year and “don’t win it”. This usually pisses off all of the “real” Sharks fans and season ticket holders because they are the ones who sit through the good and the bad all season long (remember early January?). We always see reports when teams start doing well and winning. Well I am here to tell you who cares?

That’s right, I love bandwagon fans. I hope they come to every game and keep asking questions about anything and everything hockey and Sharks related. I want to see them flying their Sharks flags on their car doors around town. I absolutely love running into people that ask me questions about the game or tell me “I caught the last 10 minutes of the third period last night – what a game!” It’s great when they recognize players and let everyone know that they saw them at Santana Row or out at the bars. They are real people and are not stuck up like most other professional athletes. The Sharks organization and GM Doug Wilson does a great job getting great character guys on the team and not ones that are above the team.

Okay, time to step off the soap box and talk about round two against the Red Wings.

sharks vs red wings game three   game 3 sharks vs red wings   san pedro square market resized 600

Are you kidding me, 2-0 going into Detroit…..again?!?!? This is the exact same scenario the Sharks were in last season when they went on to beat the Wings in 5 games. If Game 3 goes into overtime and the Sharks win, there may be a glitch in the Matrix. So what should we expect going into the next two games in Detroit?

Detroit is going to come out very hard in game 3. They know they need to win no matter what the cost to get back into the series since any team down 3-0 in a series is usually doomed – only 3 have ever done it in hockey (1942 Leafs over the Wings in the finals, 1975 Islanders over the Penguins in round 2, and the 2010 Flyers over the Boston Bruins in the second round).

Also, look for the Wings respond to the snow showers that everyone has been talking about this past week. The Red Wings are frustrated because the Sharks are finally playing dirty and getting under their skin. Known in the recent years for not having an enforcer on their team, the Wings will sit and wait for the referees to call something and take advantage on the powerplay. Pavelski will undoubtedly be booed inside Joe Louis as he was the one who got under Howard’s skin with the snow shower in game 1. The Detroit defenseman will punish anyone who comes close to Howard in order to send a message.

Game three is a must watch for all of you Sharks fans, bandwagon or not. This will definitely be a series changer as no one wants to go down 3-0 and will be a very hard fought game. I have a feeling the referees will be slightly stricter and call a lot more penalties on the Sharks in the next two games in order to “help” even up the series. No one wants to watch a sweep, it is too boring….except for the fans of the team doing the sweeping. This game should be intense from the first minute through the final one and don’t be surprised if any of the next two go into overtime. I would be happy if the Sharks can pull of one win in the next two games in Detroit so they would come home with a 3-1 lead. The Sharks have never swept anyone and I can’t imagine them sweeping the Wings this year, especially since the Wings swept the Coyotes in the first round!

So in short, look for the Wings to storm back and possibly win game three and then the Sharks taking game four for a 3-1 series lead with game 5 at home to wrap up.

 

Fun Fact: Niclas Wallin has 4 career playoff goals and they all happen to be game winning goals.

Tags: San Jose Sharks