Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An open letter to the PA youth hockey folks.

Rule #1 for wearing your team name on your jacket: Act like ladies and gentlemen or the whole world is going to know what little heathens you and your teammates are.

Shame on you, Allegheny Badgers of Southwest Pennsylvania. Shame on you and anyone else who might have been staying with you at the Indiana, PA, Holiday Inn over Valentine's Day weekend 2010. You are some of the worst-behaved families I have ever had the misfortune of sharing space with.

Oh, be clear - I know how to have fun. And I allow my children to be children and have fun, too. But I also know how to set and enforce boundaries and follow rules. What is so hard about clearing out of the public courtyard of a hotel and drinking and talking quietly in your rooms after 11 o'clock as the hotel posts as their rule? Why is it you couldn't be bothered to tell your little tykes to stop running up and down the hallways and slamming doors at all hours? Was it really that important to do whatever it was you were doing until 1 a.m. that kept other guests from getting a good night's sleep?

I actually enjoyed seeing and hearing the kids playing hockey in the courtyard. I can certainly appreciate your communal meals and the bond you all seem to have with each other. And really, supporting your children in any sport they love to play is a great thing. But some of the behaviors I saw in these kids (and a few parents) were deplorable. I was willing to overlook a lot until the final straw on Sunday night cemented my abhorrence for this group: you booed the constable! Really?!? You booed the constable??? For simply enforcing (AGAIN) the posted rules? Where we come from, that kind of disrespect has pretty serious consequences. For one thing, I don't think I know any adult who would have done that, and if any of our children had they would have gotten an adult's boot so far up their behind they'd choke on the laces.

I do owe you some thanks, though. For one thing, you gave me many, many opportunities to point out to my children what I consider to be unacceptable behavior. Thank you. And thank you, too, for making this past weekend such a memorable experience; it will forever be known to our family as "that weekend in PA with those obnoxious hockey players." One more: thank you for teaching me that it is always a good idea to ask when we reserve a room whether there will be any hockey teams staying there at the same time we are. If there will be, we'll politely decline the reservation and look elsewhere.

We have several friends who travel all over hell's half acre to watch their children play hockey. I don't hate youth hockey. I despise disrespect, though, and if I ever learned that any of my friends acted so inappropriately I would totally call them out on it. Especially if they were in another city and their kids were wearing jackets with our local team's name on them. Your families left an impression on us about the people of the Pittsburgh area and it isn't a good one. I doubt the folks from your hometown would appreciate knowing what terrible ambassadors you were while visiting the city of Indiana. I've never been so glad to leave a place and go home.


  1. Couldn't agree more Jen. We've dealt with similar situations when Dave's been gone and it never ceases to amaze me what some parents allow.

  2. For me, it was construction workers. The front desk wouldn't do anything about it so I called the police.

  3. Found you through TMMO, and had to share this with you... this weekend, in chicago, we shared a hotel with eleven thousand cheerleaders (ok, slight exaggeration, but they were everywhere). Sunday morning 4 girls decided to have "races" in the elevators (4 elevators in the hotel). So when people are trying to get checked out, get breakfast and get to the cheerleading competition, these 4 nitwits are causing 20 minute waits for the elevators.

    I hope they missed their competition.

  4. I figured we would not be alone in our horrible hotel experiences. Eleven thousand cheerleaders ... LOL! Liz, my husband would be in the construction worker crowd, but they work long days and are usually too tired to stay up late and bother people. :)