In defense of the fan that leaves early

Many don’t, but some memories stay memories.

By that I mean, some experiences you hold on to for a while and some, you hold on to forever.

There is one particular specific seemingly boring memory from my childhood that I can remember in vivid detail and that is sort of a guiding principle in my life. Or at least I TRY to make it one. I don’t always succeed.

We were driving to church I remember, on a sunny morning, working our way through Oakland, probably on some “faster” [wink] “back way” of my father’s, when a woman in a nondescript car abruptly pulled in front of us and then proceeded to drive a bit oddly. Didn’t seem to know what she was doing or where she was going. Lost? Drunk? Stupid?

I was probably 10 or 12 at the time and one of us five girls piped up to scold the woman all, “Wow. She can’t drive. What a moron.” or whatever the kids were saying back then. Maybe, “Grody to the max. What a bad driver. Stick it in your ear. Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

I don’t know.

My father then said what I’ll never forget, “You notice she pulled out of the hospital parking lot? Maybe she just got bad news. Maybe she just found out she has cancer. You don’t know anyone’s story unless they tell it to you.”

Suddenly five very judgmental girls on their way to church (THE IRONY IS NOT LOST ON ME) were quiet. What if she DID just find out she was dying?! We are mean mean girls.

Why am I telling you this story? Other than my usual making it about myself?

And how am I going to tie that story into what Joe Starkey wrote in the Trib this morning?

Watch and learn.

Joe’s piece was written to lambaste fans who leave local sporting events early. I don’t know really what lambaste means, but if it means “judges them like Judge McJudgerston” then lambaste is the word I want to use.

In the piece entitled “Real Fans Don’t Leave Early,” Starkey says:

Real fans stay to the bitter end, though I acknowledge legitimate excuses (medical emergency, romance) for going home early.

I know the argument: If you pay your hard-earned money for a ticket, you have the right to do whatever you please. Agreed. Just as people who pay for concert tickets have the right to sing along, off-key, in my ear, on every song. Just as people who pay for airline tickets can push their seat back into my knees and snore like a grizzly.

That is their prerogative.

And it makes me want to punch them.

Dear Joe Starkey. Meet my father Terry David. Would you like to punch this man in the face?

No, he’s not an annoying airplane passenger. No he doesn’t sing along at concerts.

But my father, God love him, is often an “Early Leaver.”

I know. Flogging seems too good for him. Stoning maybe would be a more appropriate punishment?

He takes the young teen he mentors to games, doesn’t always stay until the end. He’s got to get the kid home by a certain time. He’s been known to leave Steelers games after the third quarter. He is a huge fan and he goes when he can, but sometimes, he’s with a grandchild who doesn’t want to stay for the whole game.

Sometimes, I think he wants to beat the traffic.

Stoning is too good for him. Beheading maybe?

When I mentioned I left the most recent Pens game after the second period, I took some flack for it. Some lighthearted, some not.

One of the readers, who is a dear and in no way on my bad side, said that the thing that bothered her was when like a man in a business suit comes in halfway through the first period and leaves halfway through the third. He doesn’t appreciate the opportunity.

But here’s my thing. Who can know THAT man’s story unless he tells it to you? Maybe he’s a lawyer who works a bazillion hours a week and he can only get away briefly for a respite? Maybe he’s not a “business man” at all. Maybe he had a job interview. Or court. Or a date that stood him up. Or a funeral. Who can know? Why assume? Why waste the energy to get mad at him unless you walk up to him and say, “Why did you arrive late and are you planning to leave early?”

When I saw Madagascar Live, Mike Rupp showed up late. Late enough to inconvenience people because we had to look around his giant body to see the show while he found his seat in the dark. Beheading is too good for Mike Rupp. Firing squad?

When you’re at the Pens game and 2,000 people leave during a time out in the third when we’re down by three goals, how are you going to determine WHICH of those 2,000 people are leaving for legitimate reasons, as determined by you, and which deserve the punch in the face? There’s no way to know. So you either ignore them and sit there with your PERSONAL choice to stay, or you sit there and seethe at the entire lot of them and fantasize about lining them up and punching them in their faces. Every one of them. Even the girl that feels suddenly like she’s going to be sick and is just trying to make it to the bathroom in time.

Granted if someone stands up in front of you in the middle of an important play and walks out, you can yell at him to SIT DOWN! And hope he doesn’t have a bladder control issue that just flared up. Then you can yell SIT DOWN AND PEE YOUR PANTS OR YOU’RE NOT A REAL FAN!

Do you see what I’m getting at here? You can’t know everyone’s story. Look how many people judged The Knitting Lady as “not a real fan” because she knits during Pens games. She shouldn’t even go to games. She’s a waste of a ticket!

We asked her her story and found out she’s a bigger fan than most of us. A real fan. A real fan who spends probably over $20,000 a year on Pens tickets and merchandise and custom-made souvenirs. A real fan who needs a way to calm herself down during the game she loves to watch.

Now when anyone on twitter spies her during a game broadcast and tweets, “Did you see the lady knitting behind the bench?! What a bitch!” you will see five or six tweets in response defending her to the person who doesn’t yet KNOW HER STORY.

People are ALWAYS going to leave early. You’re not going to stop it. There are always going to be people who need to leave or who want to leave. It’s their choice. It’s their story. You don’t know what it is. So don’t waste your energy getting mad about it.

I have to leave some sporting events early. It’s the nature of leaving children with babysitters. We say what time we’ll be home and then we have to be home at that time. “Then why bother going? Stay home!” some will say. Because I love the chance to get out of the house with my husband. To see the boys in action for as long as I can before I get back to being a parent to my children. I’m taking what I can until such a time I can take it all from beginning to end.

Sometimes, during a Pirates game, I might try to beat the traffic. So I don’t waste an hour sitting in my car and not moving. Firing squad is too good for me. Strap me to a rocket and shoot me to the moon?

And sometimes, like the time last summer, I might leave early because the Pirates are losing 20-1 and it depresses the hell out of me.

But you, you’re going to sit there until that last out is caught. And then and only then will you stand up and mentally pat yourself on the back for sticking it out.

You’re right. You are a real fan. I am not.

And believe you me, one day at the gates of heaven, behind which I see millions of people walking around with t-shirts that read “Certified Real Fan,” if I hear “Well, we’d let you in, but we’ve noticed a disturbing trend in your sporting events attendance,” I will rue the day I wrote this post as they viciously drop-kick me to hell to join the pigeons and Tom Brady.

And my dad.


  1. Margaret
    March 3, 2011 2:01 pm

    @Dude – to be 100% honest with you, the answer to your question is “No”. If I were at my niece’s dance receital and someone next to or in front of me got up to leave (regardless of whether it was a potty break or to leave for good), I would be able to handle the <10 seconds it took for them to get up and get past me. It happens. I would be much more annoyed at someone who was constantly up and down.

    And sometimes a person can't wait for the most opportune moment – when my bladder says it's time to go, it's time to go. I, personally, will wait as long as I can for the best time to get up, but sometimes it doesn't come soon enough.

  2. Kate
    March 3, 2011 2:12 pm

    I’ve been to some pretty shitty plays, and some pretty shitty movies. I have left. Guess I’m an asshole who should be shot in the face for not wanting to rip my eyes out in these crappy situations.

  3. Mary
    March 3, 2011 2:16 pm

    Sick kids and health issues aside …
    Given the chaotic nature of sporting events, I think it’s perfectly ok to leave early. Why spend an hour of your life in the parking lot if you don’t have to?

    At an artistic performance, however, I think people should either leave at intermission keep their asses in the seats until the performance is over. It’s very distracting for other audience members to have to listen to people rustling up their belongings and saying “excuse me” five times before they exit a row. My .02.

  4. Rachel
    March 3, 2011 2:18 pm

    Well said!

    I enjoy it when the people next to us & in front of us leave the Steeler game early – more room to spread out and have a better view of the field! :)

  5. Moxie Bestos
    March 3, 2011 2:25 pm

    I was at that game too, courtesy of my brother, who gave me the chance to get out of the house for a change while my hubby stayed home with our toddler. (My brother took my husband to the bad weather game two days earlier. My brother is awesome.) I wasn’t annoyed that people left early. I was annoyed at the two girls who kept getting up to get drinks. They were more and more unsteady and noisy each time they got up or came back. They were also gone for long periods of time. Does missing the action because you’re in another part of the building imbibing large quantities of alcohol make you a bad fan? What if they were in the bathroom? What if they were watching the game on some monitors outside of the seating area? What if they were hooking up with other drunk fans? They were there until the end, but they weren’t in their seats the whole time. How do they get categorized, judged, and/or excoriated?

  6. Kate
    March 3, 2011 2:28 pm

    Now I’m being told that thinking something sucks and leaving is hypocritical. Boy, can people be more worried about $4 a gallon gas? LOL

  7. Michele
    March 3, 2011 2:37 pm

    I left the Cowtown Rodeo early because I had to give myself a hormone shot during an invitro cycle. I hope Joe Starkey isnt a rodeo clown.

  8. houndogg
    March 3, 2011 2:38 pm

    arrive & leave whenever you’d like. enjoy your time there. just PLEASE be respectful of the fans that DO want to stay! wait till a GOOD break in play. not a quickie faceoff, or quickie first down. and don’t leave with the attitude that “other people are leaving, so i am too”

    be considerate, and hurry when appropriate!

  9. CrashJK
    March 3, 2011 2:50 pm

    fwiw – Starkey (and his 93.7 Fan sidekick Seibel) are pure shit as radio and sport journalists…total waste of airtime – save for the excellent Josh Miller. I love sports journalists – 99% of them where “never wases” in any organized sports, had zero talent and are all haters at heart….F’em…

    Let’s GO PENS (now with added SuperStar “A”)

  10. red pen mama
    March 3, 2011 2:54 pm

    @Kate, wait, someone is calling you a hypocrite for “thinking something sucks and leaving”? I would call that using your free will. Maybe that person needs to look up the word hypocrite?

    And let’s not get started on how much gas costs. Please.

  11. empirechick
    March 3, 2011 3:03 pm

    The Fan (93.7) stinks – the only reason those hosts are on the air is because the good ones were already working for ESPN 1250 or Fox 970 or The X. The only reason people listen is because it’s on FM. And Andrew Fillipponi? Now THERE’S a guy I’d like to punch in the face. ;-)

  12. Sara
    March 3, 2011 3:05 pm

    Hyperbole aside (and there is a whole lot of hyperbole going on here) I am definitely someone who never ever leaves early.

    I, however, do not want to punch those of you that do in the face, or put you in front of the firing squad, or blah blah blah.

    Probably 10-20% of people have legit reasons for leaving. The rest just want to “beat the traffic” and I just find that annoying. That’s all. Plain and simple. It’s just terribly distracting when thousands of people get up and leave while an event is still going on.

    You of course have every right to do that and I make no judgement on whether or not you are a true fan or not. I am aware that one can both be a true fan and an early leaver.

    I think part of it is that I just revolt against the whole rushrushrush busybusybusy mentality that everyone has these days. It’s like everyone is constantly rushing off to whatever fire needs tending next when I am just trying to stop and smell the roses for a minute.

    That’s not so bad now, is it?

  13. JenEngland
    March 3, 2011 3:05 pm

    OMG, I feel SO STRONGLY about this! I don’t understand the choice to assume someone else is a jack ass when you just don’t know anything about their story. A woman rear ended me 10 years ago, while I was driving my mother’s car, about a month after her funeral. With my daughter in the car. My first instinct was to be angry. Really Angry. But making sure my daughter was ok, and dealing with her calmed me down enough to find out she was coming from the hospital where her husband had just had open heart surgery.

    We all have minor and major disasters. Our hearts are broken in big and small ways, we face anxiety over life’s troubles, we lose friends, families and dreams. To get angry and judge someone because they leave a game early, drive poorly, or bump into you in the store is not only unkind, its hypocritical. We all have our moments and I choose to believe most of us are doing the best we can.


  14. Kathy
    March 3, 2011 3:06 pm

    Yeah, I was the Oakland A’s fan that NEVER LEFT EARLY. I stayed on opening night when the Yankees beat us 15-1 because THAT IS WHAT A REAL FAN DOES. Until the game where my fiance had explosive diahhrea. I figured that it’s was much more considerate to others (and to keep him) that we leave early. Well really, I didn’t think about you guys at all, i just thought, “he’s sick, we have to go.”

    And he’s my fiance because he knew I didn’t leave early and was going to… wait for it… wait in the bathroom until the game was over. Ewww.

    I still think that most people that leave early/come late are wasting their money and I shake my head. Sorry, I’m a judger. But I don’t get emotional about it.

    Oh, and @#8 – Tim: That’s Church. I CANNOT stand people that do that! I’ve missed homeruns and key plays because of insensitive dolts. And man, do I get emotional about that!

  15. Ug Lee
    March 3, 2011 3:09 pm

    @Kate/@red pen mama: Actually, that’s not what I said at all. What I said was in response to a friend’s Facebook post that both Kate and I responded to (which I don’t know why was carried over to this blog, but I suppose is relevant). What I said was essentially this: it’s hypocritical to say people shouldn’t judge others, but in the next breath be judging them themselves.

  16. Sara
    March 3, 2011 3:10 pm

    Oh, and btw, someone on here said that the players don’t care, but if you read the article and see the Tom Brady quote (yeah, I hate him too–let’s not go there) you’ll see that they DO notice and they DO care.

    If I was a player and saw half the stadium filing out early I would be offended, too!

  17. Butcher's Dog
    March 3, 2011 3:11 pm

    Fortunately I live too far away to pick up those sports talk shows. Not that I’d listen anyway.

    The point I tried to make about the play being timed was that if someone left it would be because the thing stunk. The only “hurt feelings” I’d worry about would be if it was a high school production. Sure, there are prima donnas, but most of the kids doing school theatre are there because they love it, are really trying their best, and deserve better than to have the second-act curtain come up on a half-empty house which had once been full. I’ve had kids perform their guts out for houses numbering 80 or so on a Wednesday night. No one left, though. Those kids, who did that as freshmen by the way, did Le Miz to packed audiences as seniors. I kind of started believing in the karma boomerrang a bit more at that point. They have become better people (the entire reason I taught in the first place) for both of those shows.

  18. Butcher's Dog
    March 3, 2011 3:15 pm

    Not to in any way belittle Kathy’s fiance’s condition, but Explosive Diahhrea would make a totally kick-ass band name. On any number of levels. Just sayin’.

  19. It's Time!
    March 3, 2011 3:19 pm

    Apples and oranges, people. Let’s do at least a little thinking here. There’s a world of difference between sporting events and rock concerts on one hand and artistic venues like concert halls and theaters on the other.

    The atmosphere of the former allows people to come and go freely, to buy food and beer, to use the restrooms, to go say hi to someone in another section.

    At Heinz Hall or the O’Reilly? It would be the height, or depth, really, of inconsideration to come and go as you please. You are directly interfering with other customers ability to partake of the event they paid to experience.

    If you fear your bladder won’t carry you through the fourth movement or the fourth act, you plan ahead out of consideration, leave during the break and hover at the back to take in as much as you can before you have to flee. All without disrespecting your fellow citizens.

    It’s really not that hard. Just requires a little kindness.

  20. houndogg
    March 3, 2011 3:21 pm

    i honestly can’t believe i’m reading people justifying bad driving to the point where they get in accidents (Kathy)! if you’re distracted… STAY OFF THE ROAD!!!

  21. It's Time!
    March 3, 2011 3:23 pm

    I was at the Shakespeare competition with all these brave middle and high schoolers taking their turn, and even though there was adequate time to move between each of the 25 or 30 competitors, a mom — a mom! — got up just as some poor young girl started her monologue and lumbered across all these knees to exit — at the front of the hall! next to the stage!! — when she could have done so without destroying the kid’s concentration, just 15 seconds before.

    I’m sorry, but that’s rude and idiotic. Yes, I feel perfectly fine with passing judgement. The kid (not mine, thank God) should have gotten a do-over.

  22. H
    March 3, 2011 3:31 pm

    Wow, amazing that so many Pittsburghers don’t know that the Steelers and Pitt football only play 3 quarters, the Pens only play 2 periods, the Pirates only play 6 1/2 innings and Pitt basketball doesn’t play beyond 10 minutes in the 2nd half. At least, that’s what you would think looking at the empty seats towards the end of the games.

  23. red pen mama
    March 3, 2011 3:41 pm

    @ug lee, gotcha. hope there are no hard feelings.

  24. red pen mama
    March 3, 2011 3:47 pm

    @It’s Time, I went to my kindergartener’s Christmas show, which was a slow form of torture. I was appalled that other parents of other kids packed up their children when their segment was over and walked out in the middle of the other grades’ performances. I thought that was rude, and as the whole program was about an hour, unnecessary IMO. However, at my niece’s dance recital, which took well over two hours, I was a little glad that I had a restless toddler as an excuse to leave (in between dance numbers) the crowded auditorium.

    I think everyone has his/her own stories, opinions, and views. And I also agree that we should all try very hard to not judge. It’s just very hard, and it’s good to have a reminder, as Ginny has in her dad’s story.

  25. Nancy
    March 3, 2011 4:21 pm

    I haven’t read the other comments yet, but I just want to thank you for this post. It extends to so much more than just leaving games early. As a mom of a child on the autism spectrum, I have been the recipient of many a glare. And I’ve learned that you can never really know what is going on in someone else’s life. We all need to just cut each other some slack and realize that most of us are doing the best we can with the cards we’re dealt. I know I have become a lot more tolerant and patient since his diagnosis – I sometimes wonder if my son was chosen for me because I had some lessons to learn. If so, it’s working. He is an amazing teacher, and my life is so much more full with him in it. :)

  26. Margaret
    March 3, 2011 4:23 pm

    @hounddog – I agree that no one should drive while knowingly distracted, but sometimes people don’t realize what’s running through their heads is affecting what they do and how they do it until it’s too late.

    And if someone is given some sort of shocking news, the person who told them should make sure they get home safely. BUT, that’s easier said than done. Doc tells you you have terminal cancer – you say you’re good to go home and who is he/she to stop you??

  27. Michelle
    March 3, 2011 4:28 pm

    Wanted to add… With 100% disclosure here, I am one of those people that get really agitated when others leave early. When I found out my cousins (who have half season tickets) leave every single game early to “beat the traffic” I wanted to file some sort of grievance that they should have their tickets revoked and given to me. Kidding, sort of.

    I don’t think the line is necessarily drawn between “REAL fan” and not a fan. I think it’s probably more fair to say that there are those that are very, very passionate about the game itself and don’t like to miss a play – stay til the end, watch frequently on TV, etc – and there are those that cheer on the Pens, enjoy a game, hope they win, but don’t mind missing action. I certainly fall into the former category. I couldn’t fathom leaving a game before the end unless there was an emergency.

    While I appreciate and respect your argument and the underlying message you are trying to send, I don’t think it’s realistic to think that every single person streaming out of a game in the 3rd period have some sort of emergency to deal with. Some, maybe, but certainly not all. I guess I just don’t understand at all why you would bother to travel downtown, pay to park, all to leave 10 minutes early to “beat traffic”?? The whole leaving after the 2nd period thing doesn’t even bother me as much, but trying to save 10 minutes at the end of the game?? The sports and hockey fanatic in me just doesn’t get it, at all. And the whole “well it can get late, sports are unpredictable, etc.”?? Hockey games, save for OT or the spectacle on Long Island, are almost always, on the nose, two and a half hours long.

    That being said, thank you to everyone in front of me who left the New York Islanders game early on February 2nd – I had a perfectly unobstructed view of Brent Johnson punching DiPietro.

  28. Margaret
    March 3, 2011 4:33 pm

    @Sara – I’m the one who said that players don’t care and what I meant is that they’re not going to miss a handful of people who get up and leave. And I suspect that if “half the stadium” is picking up and leaving early, it’s a sucky game for the fans of whomever the Patriots were demolishing that weekend. I doubt gobs of Patriots fans are fleeing the stadium – they probably stick around to watch the final nail in the coffin. So, fans leaving the stadium really shouldn’t bother Tom Brady – they’re probably not there to see him anyway.

  29. Margaret
    March 3, 2011 4:42 pm

    And if Tom Brady is the only sports figure you can reference that doesn’t like when fans leave early, I’ll stick with my original claim :)

  30. Ug Lee
    March 3, 2011 4:44 pm

    @red pen None at all :)

  31. Sara
    March 3, 2011 4:46 pm

    I don’t think what most people object to is just a handful of people leaving.

    Just about every sporting event I’ve been to (close or not close, score-wise) has far more than a handful of people streaming towards the exits when there’s a few minutes left. I think if it was just a handful I doubt most people would take issue with it.

  32. Sara
    March 3, 2011 4:47 pm

    And no, I am not going to start Googling to see if I can find other players quoted on the matter…I am merely saying it would be discouraging to me to see the exodus at the end of every game if I am (presumably) playing my heart out.

  33. Dan (Not Onorato)
    March 3, 2011 4:55 pm

    I agree…if you dont know the situation you shouldnt comment.

    Its this simple…its YOUR ticket….use it at YOUR disgression. You show up halfway through the first period and then leave through the 3rd? thats your prerogative (Insert awkward Bobby Brown dance moves here).

    I agree though if you do decide to leave early, leave when theres a stoppage in play. But otherwise Good. Day.

  34. unsatisfied
    March 3, 2011 5:06 pm

    I think that the bigger complaint should be against people who get up in front of me WHILE THE GAME IS GOING ON and block my view.

    I didn’t pay good coin to watch you.

    if you have to go pee, leave, whatever….wait til a break in the action.

    I’m out.

  35. Burgh Baby
    March 3, 2011 5:11 pm

    1. Excluding a couple of Pirates games last summer (let’s be honest, those don’t count), I have never left a game early. Ever. Nor have I gotten up to go to the bathroom or get a drink or walk around or anything during a Pens, Steelers, or Pacers game. I’m too much of a cheap ass to miss even one second when I’ve shelled out a lot of cash to see the game.

    2. Just because I don’t want to miss a second doesn’t mean I care if you’re OK with missing half of a game while you run back and forth fetching beer, if you prefer to avoid massive traffic, or if you just are the kind of person who doesn’t care if you miss something. Your money. Do what you want.

    3. The part that bothers me most about those who get their panties in a wad when someone leaves early is that they seem to think that because they are staying to watch the entire game, they are somehow more deserving of that ticket. Frankly, I could probably fill a stadium with people with people who are “better” fans or more deserving or whatever than the people who are there. There is always someone who has dedicated more of their time to a team, given more of their money to a team, has done more charity work, is closer to breathing their last breath and therefore running out of time for such opportunities, etc. Fortunately or unfortunately, the people who get tickets are the ones who have the financial means (or choose to use their means in that way) or just plain luck out that day. Good for them! I sincerely hope that everyone who goes to a professional sporting event has a great time, no matter how they may decide to define “great.”

    Just don’t yell, “Shooooot the puck,” all through the game. Now THAT drives me crazy.

  36. bluzdude
    March 3, 2011 5:13 pm

    While I prefer to stay to the end of a game, I don’t think it’s any big deal to duck out early if the outcome is not in doubt. 10 minutes (of real time) before the last whistle can make all the difference in the world regarding avoiding idling in the parking lot for 45 minutes.

    Perhaps if people didn’t hug the bumper of the car in front of them so no one can ever ever ever pull out, it wouldn’t be so much of a CF at the end of the game.

  37. bluzdude
    March 3, 2011 5:15 pm

    Oh, and there should be a special dispensation for people leaving Buccos games early. There IS only so much abuse a person should have to take.

  38. Elizabeth
    March 3, 2011 5:21 pm

    Beautifully put Ginny. My ticket, my experience, my right to leave when i need to, and you’ll never convince me that I’m less of a fan because of it. Disagree? keep your eyes on the game and chill out.

  39. Heather
    March 3, 2011 5:36 pm

    Wow. What a true first world problem we have here.

    I’d suggest that those feeling overly emotional about this instead convert that energy to counting their blessings, and redirect that hatred toward the pedophiles and murderers of this world.

    I freely admit to judging petty people, pretty much regardless of what causes them to be petty.

  40. Michelle
    March 3, 2011 6:05 pm

    @Heather – Whoa, I don’t think anyone who considers the 3rd period mass exodus a pet peeve (myself included) has expressed HATRED for those that do it. That’s a pretty strong word, and not one I want associated with my feelings on the matter. Yes, I find it annoying but would never express hatred because of it.

  41. Sooska
    March 3, 2011 7:28 pm

    Pittsburghers leave everything early – good reason or not. They even do it at the theater or symphony.
    My husband always wants to leave if things are in hand, or out of hand. I refuse to leave early.

    I think it is hilarious when (and I have witnessed this) at Pens games, droves of people leave and a rally begins when the early-leavers are in the parking lot and can hear the roaring. Serves them all right. You cannot beat traffic in Pittsburgh.

  42. Ginny's Dad
    March 3, 2011 8:20 pm

    I think Mr. Starkey is hunting for me. MarQuice (my mentee) and I attended the Duquesne- St. Bonaventure game last night and left with 5.3 secs left and the Dukes leading by 4 or 5 points and a Duke player at the free throw line. I would have stayed until the end but MarQuice was tired and wanted to leave in order to beat the crowd. He was up at 6:30am and had a long day at school. How rude of him to force me to leave early.

  43. redram1
    March 3, 2011 8:21 pm

    The “True Fans” who bitch about those that leave early are the ones who get up and head to the concession stand before the period is over to beat the rush. They’re also the same ilk that has fits over their self imagined “Jersey Fouls”. You know, the one where someone spends their own hard earned money for a jersey and has the audacity to have THEIR OWN NAME put on the back rather than a player who won’t be with the team in a few years. What gall over $200 bucks!

  44. Heather
    March 3, 2011 9:50 pm

    @Michelle – Sorry, should have clarified. I was referring to Joe Starkey wanting to punch people in the face. I think there are more deserving punches to be thrown.

  45. Beky
    March 3, 2011 10:49 pm

    My dad died of cancer in 2009. We didn’t expect his death the day it happened. It was a complete shock and was very sudden. Afterwards we gathered the balloons and flowers friends had sent earlier that week and headed home. As we left the hospital, the elevator door opened and a woman waiting to get in the elevator laughed and said we looked like we were coming from a party. I was too stunnned to punch her in the mouth or make a rude remark to her. Now I try not to judge her as an insensitive moron even though the comment still stings a bit. Leaving a sporting event or any event before the end is insignificant. You never know what people are going through.

  46. CarolineFB
    March 3, 2011 11:06 pm

    I don’t understand why this is a “thing.” Who cares?

  47. CarolineFB
    March 3, 2011 11:07 pm

    Come when you want, leave when you want. Just don’t block my view or talk in my ear. Get off my lawn.

  48. Max
    March 4, 2011 12:32 am

    And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  49. big chuck
    March 4, 2011 2:41 pm

    couldnt agree more, when i go to pens games i often leave early, i wish i could stay the entire game but when your up at 5 30 every morning and work 6 days a week sometimes sleep is slightly more important. would it be right of me to mutter to fans as i leave ” your poeple need to get jobs?””

  50. Kayaker
    March 6, 2011 8:49 pm

    Wow, who really cares what other people do in an arena, or why? I go I get my cardiac inducing food and I watch the game. I see other people in motion but for the most part I’m watching the game. I don’t give a second thought about where they are going or why.
    Now when their behavior impeeds my ability to enjoy a game yeah I have a problem. I sat with 2 teen girls behind me carrying on a full fledged conversation the entire game. I would have loved it if they left at the half. I guess the upside is they spent $$ in the local economy for paid parking, cardiac inducing food, the ticket.
    At least the tickets are being sold.