02.08.13

The Barbarism Of Islanders Fans – Doing Wonders For Literacy In The Mushnick Household

Posted in Hockey, Sports TV at 7:27 pm by

“What I saw and heard during a live sports telecast was so disgusting, so depressing,” writes the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, “that I turned off the TV and read a book.” What could’ve so sickened NewsCorp’s resident conscience of sports media? Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show? Bruno Sammartino mending fences with the WWE? No, instead it was New York Islanders fans reacting to Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby taking a puck to the face on Tuesday night.

The crowd in Nassau Coliseum instantly erupted in joy. This wasn’t the kind of gleeful, audible noise made by 10 or 20, or even 50 desensitized fools, but by hundreds, and more likely thousands. The joy was loud, long and lousy with the sickness that was inevitable, given the cumulative effects of being urged — trained — to become remorseless wise guys and group participation punks.

And when Crosby, among the most talented players in the NHL, skated off for medical treatment, those Coliseum patrons chanted, “Crosby sucks!”

On MSG, announcers Howie Rose and Butch Goring — the latter a Lady Byng Trophy winner for gentlemanly conduct while playing in the NHL — said nothing about the MSG team’s home crowd’s behavior, perhaps conditioned, if not compelled, to ignore such things.

Sad, sadder, saddest. For years, this is where our sports culture has been headed. I thought I could stomach anything, get past it. But Tuesday, for the first time, it was time. Time to shut off the TV and read a book. Never thought it ever could come to that.

Here’s a clip of the incident in question. Though you can hear an audible chant of “Crosby Sucks”, it hardly sounds like the work of thousands of paying customers. There’s an obvious reaction to Crosby’s injury, but it might be a slight stretch to call it “loud, long and lousy”, particularly as said crowd noise seems to subside about 8 seconds after Crosby went down. If Rose and Goring had little to say about the behavior of the Nassau Mausoleum mob, perhaps that’s because the audio in their headphones isn’t necessarily the same arena mix that’s going over the MSG airwaves. Even if it were, it didn’t sound as though more than a handful of persons were chanting “Crosby Sucks”.

4 Responses to “The Barbarism Of Islanders Fans – Doing Wonders For Literacy In The Mushnick Household”

  1. Matt Parten says:

    I don’t know, that reaction sounded pretty bad.

  2. GC says:

    I’m not gonna tell you it sounds nice. But it certainly doesn’t like thousands of people cheering Crosby’s injury, nor is the “Crosby Sucks” chant particularly loud or long. That anyone chose to celebrate or mock what could’ve been far worse to damage to Crosby is not something that oughta be defended or ignored. But Phil claims to know the evil intent behind thousands of Islanders fans. I don’t think his ESP — or his hearing — is nearly that good.

  3. WeWanttheFunk says:

    Does Phil watch a lot of hockey? That sounded like a healthy mix of a few drunks cheering and the rest of the 11,000 letting out a loud and animated “Ouch!” etc.
    I’d wager that if one compared the crowd reaction to a solid hit by the home team to the clip in question, it would no longer seem so bad.
    What book do you think Mushnick picked up? Can we look forward to the columnist’s coming review of 50 Shades of Gray?

  4. GC says:

    I’d like to think that if 11,000 people were really chanting “Crosby Sucks”, not only would it have been way louder, but there’s no way Rose and Goring would’ve ignored it.

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