It is an age-old question that has plagued us for centuries. In one corner, you have the fans, who claim that as long as they’re paying for a ticket, they have the right to do whatever they want. If they want to heckle, heckle they will. If they want to throw peanuts at players until they turn around, they’ll do that, too (until security throws them out).
In the other corner, though, you have the players, who seem to constantly revert to one stance: They don’t come into your workplace and heckle you while you try to do your job, so why should you do the same to them?
Despite the season from hell that is currently afflicting Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman, many within the Bruins organization believe that the treatment he’s getting from fans is a little excessive. Yes, Wideman does boast a pretty abominable minus-15 rating (entering play Saturday), and yes, he is on pace to post his lowest points total since 2006-07, but still, it can’t be fun to hear a constant chorus of boos every time the puck touches his stick.
During the first period of Thursday’s eventual 3-1 win over Buffalo, a Wideman turnover led to Buffalo’s go-ahead goal midway through the first period. Cue the boo birds – who quickly changed their tunes in the third period, when it was Wideman’s lamp lighter that put Boston on top 2-1 and served as the game-winner. The boos turned to cheers, and everyone went home happy.
Well, not exactly. NESN Bruins analyst Mike Milbury and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli have some choice words for the fans who refuse to give it a rest whenever the embattled defenseman is on the ice.
In other news, Doc Rivers puts Nate Robinson’s lack of playing time in simple terms, David Ortiz expounds upon his slow start during the first two games of the season and Chad Ochocinco isn’t scared of a little drug testing.
"They’re booing him every time he touches the puck. They're doing him and themselves a disservice. … They need to sit down and shut up.”
–NESN Bruins analyst Mike Milbury, during Boston’s 3-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday
"Tim Thomas has been booed too. These guys are world-class players. They're not having years as good as expected, for whatever reason. But I don't like when guys are singled out. Tim's won a Vezina. He was on the Olympic team. Wides was a candidate for the Canadian Olympic team. He had a hell of a year last year. It's everybody's fault we're not playing to expectations. But it pains me when they get booed."
–Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, on Boston.com, regarding the lack of fan support for some players
"[Tony Allen] deserved it. It's just like in your business — if you write crappy articles long enough, somebody will replace you. You know what I mean? This is no different. When a guy does a job better than someone else, the other guy plays. It's not a conspiracy or anything, it's just a way of life.”
–Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, on NESN.com, on Tony Allen’s sudden surge in minutes
"#random I have randomly been selected for the drug testing policy today for the NFL, they ain't gonna find nothing but McDonalds n redbull"
–Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, via Twitter
"Good. You guys wait till [expletive] happens, then you can talk [expletive]. Two [expletive] games, and already you [expletives] are going crazy. What's up with that, man? [Expletive]. [Expletive] 160 games left. That's a [expletive]. One of you [expletives] got to go ahead and hit for me."
–Red Sox DH David Ortiz, on ESPN.com, on his “slow start”
"I look at these games as a high-level practice. If we don't win, it doesn't really matter."
–Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown, in The Associated Press, on the remainder of games on the schedule until the playoffs
"I don't know about inspirational or sentimental. But I'm going to play him because the other guys want to see him play tonight. So I'm going to give him some run, and hopefully, he plays well."
–Doc Rivers, on Boston.com, on giving Nate Robinson playing time against his former team, the Knicks
"I'm sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers. We play by all the rules, and there doesn't seem to be any complaints when teams such as the Brewers receive hundreds of millions of dollars that they get from us in revenue sharing the last few years. Take some of that money that you get from us and use that to sign your players.”
–Yankees president Randy Levine, on ESPN.com, responding to complaints by Brewers owner Mark Attanasio that the playing field is not level because New York’s budget is so big
"I covered Pedro when he was with the Mets. After his first season was over, he handed out business cards to the beat writers with his cell phone number in case we needed to contact him. They said, ‘Pedro J. Martinez, Right-handed pitcher.’"
–Peter Abraham, via Twitter, on former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez
–Giants backup Eugenio Velez, in the AP, after noticing that his jersey spelled out San Francicso
"Sign! Sign with us!"
–Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, in the AP, encouraging Jason Taylor to sign with New York
"I'm not sure I know what to say. I'm in a little bit of shock. … I'm as surprised as anyone."
–Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips, in the AP, on men’s basketball head coach Oliver Purnell’s abrupt departure to take a job at DePaul
"It was something of an embarrassing loss. Never did I anticipate we'd give up 16 runs on opening day, not in my wildest dreams."
–Cubs manager Lou Piniella, in the AP, after Chicago’s 16-5 loss to Atlanta on opening day