All I need to know about being a hockey fan, I learned at RIT

Twelve years ago, I decided to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology for several reasons, none of which had anything to do with sports. As college often goes, however, you get an education that surpasses just what’s in your degree program.

RIT had a top Division III hockey team in those days that has since moved into Division I. They also have rabid fan base called the Corner Crew. The Corner Crew serves as professor for the uninitiated sports fan, as I was when I got there. One season of RIT hockey teaches you everything you need to know about being a hockey fan:

  1. Ripping on the opposing team is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
  2. Putting down your own team is never allowed.
  3. You never cheer for injuries, regardless of who is injured.
  4. Driving the zamboni is another one of those jobs you can dream about, but will never get. Like being an astronaut.
  5. You don’t need to drink to have a good time.

There was no alcohol served at RIT hockey games, and the rink on any given night was more enthusiastic than any Sabres game I’ve ever been to. That’s why I can’t understand all the controversy around the Sabres taking away beer from the party on the plaza. At what point does enjoying a sporting event require the addition of alcohol? I’ve been to two Bills games in the past two years, and I just don’t find it that enjoyable. Half the game is spent watching to see if there’s going to be a fight in the next row, or watching someone get hauled out by security. I’ve always liked the fact that the Sabres games have a completely different atmosphere than Bills games, and I really don’t want to see tailgating become part of hockey. If you need alcohol to watch a hockey game, what’s wrong with heading to one of the nearby bars? I’m sure Pearl Street would love the additional business.

Anyways… I may or may not get down there to participate in one of the parties, but whether or not they’re serving alcohol certainly wouldn’t be the dealmaker/breaker for me. I think the three drink limit is a decent compromise, I just don’t see why the Sabres organization had to compromise on it at all.

And now for your viewing enjoyment… STU!

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