Big thanks to Terry Virtue for joining us on Thursday's Spittin' Chiclets and for reminding us about the savagery above. That shit was straight outta SLAP SHOT.
Last month just happened to be the 30th Anniversary of the epic brawl between players on the Tri-City Americans and fans of the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League. Not the Thunderbirds mind you. But their fans. And our guy Terry was right smack dab in the middle of it.
It was the first game of the playoffs, full house, 12K+ going nuts. Per Terry, Tri-City Coach Rick Kozuback said something to the Seattle fans and the fans retorted in kind, resulting in a hot dog-and-beer shower for the Americans. Before you knew it, "we all thought we'd go on and take on the fans" said Virtue. Then all hell really broke loose.
Sticks swinging. Beers flying. Hot dogs wasted. No order at all or any sign of end in sight. Just straight mayhem for about 20 minutes. Per this article, the coach, Terry, and teammate Jeff Fancy all received indefinite suspensions. Five fans were ejected and four were arrested.
This quote cracked me up: “People were throwing things and hitting the players in the helmets, swearing at them, calling them Tri-Sissies and things like that,” said fan Greg Hanson of Richland, who was sitting five rows back. “For 16- to 20-year-olds to have to take that much abuse is incredible.” I don't know how one comes back from 'Tri-Sissies'.
But Coach Kozuback regretted the incident, saying that if he had it to do again, he would have pulled his team off the ice when he received his first beer shower in the first period and insisted the abusive fans be removed. Alas, he didn't and here we are talking about it 30 years later.
To catch the entire interview as well as our awesome chat with Joe Buck, here ya go: