Last night my father and I followed the Wolves north on their quest for the Calder Cup. We made the drive up to Wisconsin to watch the 3rd match-up between the Chicago Wolves and the Milwaukee Admirals. At the beginning of yesterday’s game the standings were 2-0, with the Wolves winning 2 games to the Admirals 0.
No offense meant to any Wisconsinites that may be reading, but there were some seriously hostile cheese-heads at that game.
We were a few rows from the glass and sitting behind us was just the MOST obnoxious group I’ve ever experienced. These people never stopped shooting their mouths off. The arena gave away bang sticks (big inflatable plastic tubes that you hit together to make noise) and the guy directly behind me, any time I started to cheer the wolves, would start up.
bang banG baNG bANG BANG WHAP! Right on my head, he’d hit me with these damn things. It must have happened at least a dozen times. And I kept hoping my dad didn’t see. Last thing I wanted was for him to go into ‘protective’ mode and kill some jackass for hitting me with a balloon.
This same guy decided to imitate me, every time I cheered. By the end of the game I was ready to turn around and spill my drink on him, I really was.
I also noticed a difference in the style of fan cheering and arena announcing. The Admiral fans didn’t so much cheer their team as make fun of ours. Attacking different players and booing every single call the Ref made against their team, even when it was totally legitimate. And they kept yelling “Send the Wolves back to the barn!” Cause, you know… Chicago is known worldwide for its… barns.
The Wolves pull a larger crowd to their games, hands down. There were almost as many Wolves games at the game in Wisconsin last night as there were Admiral fans. And the Wolves do more for their fans. Before every game there is a 3-5 minute firework, pyrotechnic, music show. The team skates out of a giant wolf’s mouth while the paws shoot towers of flame into the sky. For the Admirals? Nothing. And I mean NOTHING. They announced the team, sang the national anthem and dropped the puck.
As for the arena announcements, they were fairly immature. At the Wolves home games, whoever scores gets the same announcement. Team, player and assists. Right after the goal, as soon as play resumes. They try to keep it even and the only thing they do differently for the home team is announce how many of the season it is for the scorer. In Milwaukee it was completely different. They would mumble something about Wolves goal and then, about 45 seconds later, mumble the person who scored.
When the Wolves got a penalty it was announced “Wolves PENALTYYYYYYYYYYYYY!” And when it was over they would say “Teams are evenly matched.” to which the Admiral fans would response “That’s debatable!”
All in all, I was rather unimpressed with the sportsmanship of the Admiral fans. Even while we were just walking to get drinks or hit the bathroom people were booing us because we had Wolves Jerseys on.
But that’s ok. We won anyways.