Last weekend’s split with Xavier, which included an incredible come-from-miles-behind win on Saturday against a fast and talented Musketeers club, sparked a brushfire of sorts across the series of tubes and internets that make up the Twitter. This is the blog post about the blog post about the fans’ tweets about the fans’ chirping that sparked said five-alarm-er.
First, a Look Back at Friday Night
We stunk. 9-4 loss. Moving on …
Onto Saturday, Armed With Fans
Looking to forget the horror of a miserable Halloween weekend Friday night, the ‘Dores fired into Saturday’s warm-ups with a hopeful outlook on the ice and a crew of energized supporters in the stands. All signs pointed to a rebound game for the Commodores.
A las, dear friends and sports aficionados, it was not meant to be … at least not in the first period.
“We had bricks in our skates, again,” said sophomore defenseman Greg Kirk. “A few odd man rushes, a few snipes on their side, and boom – we were down 4-0 before we knew what hit us. It was embarrassing.”
It was at that point that two things happened to change the trajectory of the game, the weekend, and perhaps even the season. Junior center Brad Pesce stood and delivered, first in the locker room with an impassioned declaration to his teammates that, “We will win this game boys,” then again on the ice with 4 goals, 7 dangles, and 4.5 celes.
And the second spark? The emergence of Vanderbilt hockey’s “7th man,” 25 fans that have earned the collective nickname “Penalty Box Radio” on account of their Preds super-fan status and actual radio show on ESPN’s Nashville affiliate 102.5 FM. You could call them refugees from an NHL season lost, wayward hockey souls looking to feed their hockey fix with any possible ice-related competitive endeavor. While everyone would love to have pro hockey back in action, for at least the time being (and especially in those second and third periods) the Vanderbilt players and coaches alike were extremely thankful for the present situation.
“We went down 4-to-nothing real quick and things were not looking good, just a continuation of Friday,” recalled sophomore Harry “The Flow” Londoff. “But then we rode a serious wave of enthusiasm from our new friends in the stands and popped in 6 genos in the second. It was incredible!”
The final score was 9-7 Vanderbilt, a reversal of fortunes from the night before, and you would have thought that the comeback alone would have been the conclusion to the weekend’s excitement. But like all great dramas it needed an encore to the performance, and boy did the PBR team deliver that extra act with some spirited banter on Twitter focused on an incident that took place in the game that, surprisingly, no one on the Vanderbilt club even noticed.
Apparently, the PBR team’s chirping, which you might consider edgy yet par for the sport by most hockey standards, drove one of the Xavier players so crazy that he launched a few choice expletives, plus a ball of tape(!), at the fans in the stands. Said @BigBenPreds on Twitter following the game, “Anytime, the opposing team comes over and Mouths “#&#$ You” and throws stuff at you. Your doing chirping right, great win.”
If that wasn’t enough crowd engagement for you on the evening, the incident then lead to a wide-reaching retrospective article on fan cheering (and taunting) in general by “The Predatorial,” arguably the most visited Preds hockey blog on the internet.
Titled “What Sports Level Should You Start Taunting?,” Kristopher Martel dove deep with a series of questions that went far beyond the confines of the Centennial Sportsplex, Vanderbilt University, and Nashville, TN, asking, “Is it right to taunt players? Probably not. Yet, it happens, and it happens in most collegiate and professional sports. However, what about sports where the individuals have to pay to play it (or complete fundraisers to raise the money)? Or where they are of an age where itâ€™s essentially an adult taunting someone under the age of 18? Is it right then?”
Now, is it right to taunt players? Probably not. Yet, it happens, and it happens in most collegiate and professional sports. However, what about sports where the individuals have to pay to play it (or complete fundraisers to raise the money)? Or where they are of an age where itâ€™s essentially an adult taunting someone under the age of 18? Is it right then?
Keep in mind, the ‘Dores started the evening expecting a standard hockey crowd of Coach Bernstein’s lovely wife Betsy plus a smattering of Xavier parents, a challenging and largely clean game – hopefully a win for Vanderbilt, and finally a quiet coast into the remainder of the weekend sans post-game drama and debate. What they got was the exact opposite … and man is that awesome.
PBR Back In The House
The Commodores will be back in action this evening versus a tough Georgia Tech club, and so will the Penalty Box Radio faithful along with several hundred brothers from the esteemed Sigma Chi house at Vanderbilt. Game time is 10:15pm at Centennial and tickets are free so definitely come down and check out some great hockey action.
Can’t make it tonight? That’s OK because the ‘Dores play another game on Sunday versus SECHC rival the University of Georgia Ice Dawgs at 6pm CT at A-Game Sportplex in Franklin, TN.
We can’t thank our fans and supporters enough and look forward to a great weekend. Take care and looking forward to seeing you at the rink!