In town to play the Nationals, a few members of the San Francisco Giants took in the Lightning/Capitals game yesterday. According to a fan who was there, there was some good-natured ribbing going on with the next luxury box over, including Pat Burrell telling a screaming fan that the players on the ice can't hear you. (He would know.)
But things took a darker turn, according to this teller's tale, when Aubrey Huff, who was "chain smoking and pounding shitty beers," took it perhaps too far.
But the more beers Huff got in him, the more fired up he got. And his teammates, seeing the potential for a memorable evening, were more than happy to keep egging him on.
So Huff, who has just three hits in his last 34 at bats, apparently had plenty of energy left in the tank and was more than happy to stand up and obnoxiously cheer for Tampa – the city which he called home for six and a half seasons.
When Martin St. Louis' pass deflected off of Green and into the Caps net to give the away team a 2-1 lead, Huff reacted as if he'd scored the goal himself. He was dancing. He was screaming about Tampa sending Washington to an early playoff exit. In short, he was having the time of his life and making sure anyone within earshot knew it.
Even after my buddy Juneau moved away from him – joining me in the back row of seats in our suite – Huff continued to turn around and try to antagonize the guy.
When he finally realized that Juneau wasn't interested in his douchebaggery, Huff found another shiny object to occupy his time – getting into a verbal altercation with a Caps fan located near the other side of their suite.
When Vincent Lecavalier scored the overtime winner for Tampa, Huff lost it. He wanted anyone and everyone nearby to know how much he was enjoying the moment.
And in that moment, he didn't look like a $10-million-a-year world champion. He looked like an obnoxious drunk begging someone – anyone – to fight him. I'm glad to report that no Caps fans stooped to his level.
But wait! We received an email from another fan who was there, in a separate suite, giving another side of the story. Writes Ben, who also sent us these photos,
While in general they didn't do anything real crazy, there were some great heckling moments, most notably when a fan in the box next to them yelled at the ice, "This game is so boring I'd rather watch the Nationals beat the hell out of a crappy team," which instantly illicited a litany of responses from the Giants box with Brian Wilson loudly yelling, "Why don't you turn around and say that you fucking bitch?" and Aubrey Huff spending the rest of the period, if not the game, just basically shit talking the Caps everytime something good happened for the Lightning. Oh and for most of the first period the guys were accompanied by about half of the Capitals female dance squad, which was fine with those of us who had a great view looking up at them.
At one point Aubrey Huff and one of the other Giants - couldn't get too good a look from my vantage point - began a few minutes long back and forth with some guys sitting diagonally in front of them after one of the Caps fans had loudly alluded to the fact that the Giants had lucked into last year's world series victory. Eventually they all made nice and Aubrey even posed for a few photos with the guys, but that was only after the Caps fan had conceded, "Sorry, you're the man, sir," to him. Part of that exchange included Aubrey waving his hand sporting the very large and awesome World Series ring at the guys' section.
Anyways, here are some pictures from the game if you want them. You can see a few times when Aubrey is yelling at the guys next to them and then there's one or two where the girlfriend of the guy who'd made the 'I'd rather watch the Nats' comment leans over and apologizes to the team, presumably while her boyfriend is not around.
The plot thickens, and Huff comes off as less of an ass. I suppose the lesson here is that everyone, millionaire athlete or regular joe, can drink too much when it comes time for playoff hockey.
Meet Aubrey Huff: Tampa's Super Fan [Homer McFanboy]