I tried holding my tongue, but I felt the need to say something. Recently I attended two Wetaskiwin Icemen hockey games, and after allowing myself to sit through that “mayhem,” I am ashamed to say I am from Wetaskiwin.
The players, coaches, and fans give Wetaskiwin a terrible name and no doubt leave a bad taste in other town’s mouths. The non-stop, foul bickering that comes from not only the bench, but from the stands is enough to make you think twice about walking to your car alone if you happen to be from the opposing team.
I am an avid hockey fan and have spent much time at NHL games, as well as minor league and while there is a lot of banter going on, you are never left feeling “dirty”, and while some players may end up getting physical, they show a great respect for not only the game, but the other players. I am pained to see these young men, who are just entering the work force and about to become important members of our society, treating others in such a manner, and thinking it is completely acceptable!
I heard numerous comments from the out of town teams fans, mostly surrounding the “red-neck”, “disrespecting” comments of the Wetaskiwin fans, and I have to completely agree with them. It is a shame our youth are being coached, and encouraged by the fans to act in such a way that they are more focused on intimidating other teams than showing what skills they have on the ice.
Wetaskiwin is a great team and could be even more so if they had some true leadership in what respect, and hard work can get you. Those boys can be so much more than what the Wetaskiwin Icemen are gearing them up to be.