Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fans at lights-out game between Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils deserved better treatment

Say this for the fans who endured the 102-minute delay of Friday's game between the Lightning and Devils: They were pretty well-behaved considering they literally were kept in the dark.

Yes, there were moments things got testy while waiting for lights at one end of Newark's Prudential Center to come back to life. There were boos for new songs heard on the P.A. system because they signaled the continued limbo.

And besides the odd cup of soda or water bottle, not much was thrown onto the ice when the game was suspended with 9:12 left in the second period and Tampa Bay ahead 3-0.

Remember, these are the fans who perfected the surprisingly funny pregame ritual of chanting during opposing lineup introductions that each player (stinks). So give them credit; what (stunk) was how they were treated.

The only announcement made during the delay was that players had gone to the locker rooms and would return when the lights were fixed. Hey, thanks, we thought they were going for pizza.

How about some actual information? Would it have hurt to say, "We have a problem with a circuit breaker. We're doing our best to get it fixed. We don't know how long it will take." How about an update now and then? A voucher for a free soda? An apology for the inconvenience? Thanking fans just once for their patience was inadequate.

That the game was being suspended wasn't even immediately acknowledged, which led to this scene: sticks being carried off benches and goal nets being taken off the ice while half the remaining fans headed for the exits and the other half sat and watched, hoping someone would tell them something, anything. Several minutes later came the announcement the game was suspended. So, that's two announcements in more than 102 minutes, neither of which was worth much.

Saturday, the Devils said all ticket holders can get a free ticket for a future game. But fans who paid good money to see 31 minutes of hockey Friday and sit in semidarkness for almost two hours deserved better on that night. They deserved as much courtesy as they showed the Devils.

Fans at lights-out game between Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils deserved better treatment 01/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 9, 2010 9:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Former closer Sergio Romo acquired from Dodgers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays made a move to help the bullpen Saturday night when they acquired RHP Sergio Romo, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Dodgers.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 7, 2017.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. backs wife's "not worth risk'' opinion on Daytona

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Saturday defended his wife's Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she believed she had to speak out and upset some of his fans.

    Amy Earnhardt worries about Dale Jr.’s concussions.