Leave it to Greater Sudbury to one up Sault Ste. Marie again.
Only this time, it's for something not to be proud about.
Last week, I wrote a column about a few loud mouth, foul-language using fans from Sault Ste. Marie and to a lesser extent Sudbury.
Overall, it was a shout out to shut up all big mouth fans everywhere in every sport where there are children present trying to enjoy the experience with their families.
Saturday night at the conclusion of the Sudbury Wolves-Barrie Colts playoff game, Sudbury fans took the obnoxious fan routine to another disgraceful level.
The game ended in a bit of a mini brawl that saw both benches clear and several scraps ensue.
Once the brawl had been broken up and relative calm restored, the Barrie players started exiting the ice surface and were pelted with garbage thrown by upset Sudbury fans. Plastic bottles and crumpled up food wrappers bounced off the Barrie players.
There was also an assortment of fans voicing their negative thoughts through the use of vulgar language to the Colts.
And yes there were children witnessing these disgraceful acts.
It was a shameful display by these select local hockey fans and a black eye on the overall reputation our city has.
In my opinion the fans hurling trash should be flogged in public for their disrespectful behaviour and bad example setting. It's one thing to hurl vulgar insults, it's another thing to hurl physical objects. It is dangerous to other fans. What if a plastic bottle hit a kid in the eye? I hope I never see that kind of display by Sudbury fans again.
Last week's column definitely sparked a fire. Everywhere I went people were coming up to me and sparking up a conversation about rude and unruly fans in sports facilities everywhere.
The column generated a great deal of response from people in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and a few other places in Northern Ontario, such as Kapuskasing.
I got the most phone calls and e-mails ever from one column over last week's rant.
The overwhelming majority of the people were glad someone tried to raise a reasoning voice above all the foul language and insults that have become so common at minor hockey games, and many other sports as well.
It made me realize the majority of people are sick and tired of it as well.
There was a couple of phone messages I got that were negative.
One woman called and stated I was a big suck. This person had come to the conclusion I had written the column because Sault Ste. Marie had beat Sudbury in a hockey game. Within a few sentences of her message I could tell she was straight out of a cuckoo clock as she simply resorted to calling me names — she's probably one of the loud mouth fans I'm trying to get kicked out of sports games.
People like that just don't get it. Anyone upset over the column, which also criticized Sudbury trash talking fans, and all foul mouthed fans in general, is clearly one of those idiotic people who ruin sports events for kids and families with their big mouths and ridiculous behaviour.
She went on and on about a bunch of nonsense. I only listened to her message because I wanted to hear if she would leave a call back number. She never did.
And yes I realize Sudbury has its fair share of loose-lipped fans and now, loose armed fans who like to throw debris around.
This brings me to the point.
Last week's column wasn't the first time I wrote about the negative impact unruly fans have in minor sports, especially hockey.
It will not be the last time either. So anyone who had a problem with last week's column better get use to it because I am not going to let it go quietly.
I figure the best way to fight fire is with fire.
Maybe I should take pictures and videos of these loud mouth fans and do a disgraceful fan of the week contest where I highlight the biggest and loudest jerk from sporting events.
I'm thrilled the column sparked such a passionate outburst of support and non-support. I hope this one does as well.
It shows people care about this touchy subject that needs to be addressed once and for all.
Scott Haddow is the sports reporter for the Sudbury Star. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 674-5271, ext. 249.