Have We All Forgotten About the NHL’s Most Famous Taunters?
For those who missed it, Rick Rypien of the Vancouver Canucks attacked a fan in Minnesota the other night after an on ice altercation with some of the Wild players.
The words ‘attacked’ or ‘assaulted’, as he is now claiming, are both dramatic overstatements. Here is the incident if you haven’t seen it yet (about 1:00 into the video):
My initial reaction was that the fan must have thrown something at him, or initiated it in some way. But he clearly did no such thing. So then he must have said something vulgar, crude, or otherwise offensive to Rypien.
In the last few days, reports have come out with the fan involved, James Engquist, claiming that all he did was applaud at Rypien’s ejection and say, “Way to be a professional.”
While pointed, and I have to say, on the money, that is hardly crossing the line. Hell, I’ve said plenty worse, though I wasn’t 3 feet from the player I was yelling at.
After thinking about this a little longer I realized, wait a minute- no Vancouver Canucks player has the right to be even a tiny bit angry at opposing teams’ fans for run-of-the-mill taunting. If you aren’t familiar with what road teams have to face should they take a penalty at Rogers Arena, have a gander at this:
How none of those players didn’t go Tie Domi on those florescent idiots I’ll never know.
In all honesty, I think those guys are hilarious. They’re jackasses, but they’re entertaining jackasses.
The bottom line is- altercations between players and fans are usually incited by the fans. This incident with Rypien does not seem to be classified as such. This fan, as he tells it, did nothing but make a comment- sarcastic but not offensive, and cheer as the villain, the part Rypien often plays as a result of his own actions, makes his exit.
The point here is that Rypien was out of line, plain and simple.
I see only one way he can reverse this savage hypocrisy: punching the Vancouver green men in their green heads.
Or, serving the suspension he will likely be handed down on Friday, and try not to be such a jackass in the future.
That should be left to the fans.
Click here for a link to my video playlist with some of the most famous NHL fan altercations in history (that I could find on YouTube).