Title: HOW AND WHY A FAN RUNS ON THE ICE
Date: March 31, 2014
Original Source: The Leafs Nation
Synopsis: Some goof ran on the ice at a Leafs game. I tracked that goof down and interviewed him.
We’re sure you didn’t miss it, but a fan managed to hop onto the ice at the Leafs home game against Tampa Bay on March 19. It was silly, kind of funny, and far more unique to hockey than it is to baseball.
It also raises some questions, like why someone would risk punishment to do this, how they managed to climb the glass before security could step in, and how much alcohol was involved?
Well, we managed to track down the man who ran on the ice and became pseudo-famous for a few minutes. We’ve left his name and any identifying details out, but below you’ll find the key parts of a 20-minute interview conducted last week.
As a refresher, here’s the event we’re referring to:
Where were you sitting?
We were basically right behind the net, 16 rows up in golds. I guess our eye level was right around the top of the glass. I was there with my brother, we got the tickets on Kijiji for face value, couldn’t really pass that up.
Did you plan ahead of time to run on the ice?
Not really. I mean, during the game, I did, a little bit. Originally I thought I’d wear a paper bag on my head, but (my brother) didn’t want to go with me if I did that. During the game, I guess with the drinks – I think I only had two or three at the game and one or two prior – I wasn’t drunk, like falling down drunk. I was just feeling pretty good, I guess.
So I was thinking about it, and scoped out my spot and decided if I do it, that’s where I’ve got to go. The people all around us we’re telling me “do it, do it,” so I said, well, we’ll see.
How did you get down close enough without having platinum seats?
Well I went down to the entrance to try and see, saw that I could get through, no problem. I was watching the game on the screen in the hallway and I was waiting until there were about five minutes left. So when the Leafs called that timeout, I just walked as if I was walking to my seats.
I just walked right down to the first row in platinum, because there’s a railing in front of them and I thought if I could get up on the railing, I could easily get over the glass, no problem.
But I couldn’t reach up to the railing, I actually ripped my pants a bit. So I stepped up on a guy’s chair, and I ended up in his lap, my foot slipped into his lap when I pushed off. So I looked at him and said ‘give me a hand,’ and he just kind of looked at me in shock but then he gave me a little push. At that point, the usher was coming, and I just went for it and went over.
Did the landing hurt?
No, it didn’t hurt. Because I held onto the glass and just dropped from it. And with all the adrenaline and excitement…
Did you mean to do the butt slide?
When I first got over, I stopped on front of the net. They opened the door and the one guy was waving me to come off, and that’s when I did my little dance with my cap there. Then I was running away from him in slow motion, that was my funny little strut. At that point I saw the puck there – I wish I had saw it sooner, I would have picked it up and pointed in the net, ‘put puck in net, simple.’ But I didn’t want to be out there too long and press my luck. So on the way back I saw the puck and decided to take a shot with my ass, because I figure the Leafs would probably have more luck if they shot with their asses.
So security takes you off the ice, what happened from there?
They were fine getting me off. Then I grabbed the glass door for a moment, then they got a little more forceful and I did a fist-pump. One of the guys, maybe his ego or testosterone, tried to wrench my arm up behind my back, so I pushed his arm back and kept him at bay. You can see in the video I look over to my left and tell him no need for that.
Then I was escorted into a little room that looked like a lunchroom. The cops were there, somebody from the arena, a paramedic. I was handcuffed then and spent about an hour there. Then it was off to 52 Division.
In the back of the cop car?
Yeah, it’s pretty damn small back there, too. I’ve been in there once before. It’s so small, I don’t know how they fit any large people in there.
So are you charged with anything?
I guess I’m charged, right? I was charged with mischief and obstruction, I don’t know what the obstruction part entails. I have to go to court. The max fine is $5,000 and it doesn’t mention anything about any jail time or anything like that. I don’t expect I’m even going to get that, to tell you the truth, I think I’ll get off fairly easy.
(Note: He is presently not allowed within 100m of the Air Canada Centre, though as he understands it this is only until the court date, when a long-term determination will be made.)
I guess the question most people would have is why do this?
It wasn’t an attention grabber or anything like that. I’ve been a Leafs fan forever, and they become part of your family. Some people will dispute that, but you get involved and they get into every ounce of your being. I invest more of my time into that damn team…so I kind of came to the realization that, that’s it, I’m done.
It was a conscious decision to take charge and not let things like the Maple Leafs control a part of my life, it was empowering, reclaiming that, and it was.
I have no regrets other than that there’s an usher you can see in some of the photos, he has such a dejected look on his face that I got by.
You’re done with the Leafs, then?
I’m done with the Leafs. I’m done with being angry and yelling at the TV and disrupting my kids, upsetting them. Also, now they become Leafs fans and it’s hard to watch them go through it, crying last year after game seven. I want to try and protect them from that.
If they win one, sure, I’ll be back on the bandwagon, because then it’s not going to hurt me and I might as well have my party, too, because I’ve put in my time in with them. They’re the richest team in the whole league and this is what we have to put up with, constantly? I can’t, I’m too tired.
Any other parting shots?
I want to challenge the Leafs brass. I challenge MLSE to hold a lottery where a Leafs fan could coach the Leafs for one season, unpaid, rewarded if they make it through the first round of the playoffs. It can’t be any worse, plus they would save money and get astronomical publicity (not that they need it). Or, just hire me, same deal.