Hey Ref You ****

Binghamton and its relationship with hockey is legendary. Since the early 1970’s inaugural club, the Broome Dusters, this region has embraced and loved its hockey heritage, teams and players. Beginning with the now defunct North American Hockey League and evolving into today’s higher level American Hockey League, we have much to celebrate, reminisce about and look forward to.

While most hockey traditions at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena are laudable, one in particular is not, and sets a bad example for our kids.

When a game official makes a penalty call the crowd doesn’t like, the public address operator routinely plays a popular kids song called the “Chicken Dance”. Then, in unison voices of hundreds, sometimes thousands in unison sing to the changed lyrics, “Hey Ref You Suck.” echoing around the arena for all to hear.

Families and schools impress the importance of topics such as bullying and respect for authority and then take kids to a hockey game where they can witness thousands of people screaming out to those in authority, “Hey Ref You Suck.” Should anyone be shocked and surprised when our kids mimic our behavior?

The Arena should remove this song from their repertoire and the adults who have forged this sad tradition should be ashamed.

When players square off in the middle of the ice, circling each other while they throw off their gloves in order to fight and the officials back away, watching, while the game stops and the other players get into position for the best view, before that first punch is thrown, the crowd is cheering, on its feet, screaming wildly. Should we be surprised when young kids celebrate that behavior? When finally one of the players is thrown to the ice, a gigantic, collective cheer erupts as they two men are taken away to serve their outrageously severe penalties of perhaps as much as 5 entire minutes in the penalty box, reminiscent of a “time out” for misbehaving adults.

What would be a felony assault charge off the ice and outside of the arena is a reason to celebrate and high-five each other when inside. Should we wonder why our kids are conflicted? In school, kids are threatened with expulsion for pointing their fingers to simulate a gun, bullying or showing affection. Those same kids go to a hockey game and watch men hit each other with sticks, punch each other, slam each other into the boards or onto the ice while being applauded and gaining hero status for doing so.

The culture of hockey is not going to address the fighting issue anytime soon, but we, the fans in Binghamton, can stop using a kid’s innocent dance song as a platform to tell hockey officials that they suck and begin to set a little better example, not only for our kids but for ourselves.


Little Lord Andrew

Governor Cuomo was quoted recently as saying this about conservatives;

”Who are they? Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay – if that’s who they are they have no place in the State of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

I’ll forgive the governor for his pronoun confusion with the words “who” and “what” however, speaking for myself and the conservatives I know, we understand exactly “who” we are and we know precisely “what” Cuomo is; a virtueless opportunist, no pronoun confusion here.

Plato tells us there are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain. Clearly Cuomo falls into the latter at the expense of the first two.

Cuomo’s impression of what New York State citizens should be, in his small mind, and what New Yorkers actually are, reflect two entirely opposing realities. Sadly, Cuomo’s influence and experience are limited to the five boroughs of New York City and the two counties of Long Island. While together they encompass less than 4% of the land mass of the state, nearly 60% of the state’s population resides there, mostly liberals.

Even in this turned-on-its-head world in which we live, I find it breath-taking that a sitting Governor has the temerity to say that if you believe in the sanctity of life you are ineligible to be a citizen of New York. If you adhere to a belief in the 2nd Amendment afforded to us by a strong US Constitution, you are unwelcomed as a New York citizen. Should your religious beliefs teach you that homosexual behavior is contrary to church doctrine and teaching, you are less than suitable for citizenry in the Empire State.

Mr. Cuomo is completely unsuitable to hold the office of “our” governorship. He is a servant to us, the people, yet he rules like an emperor, establishing tax-free zones and handing out taxpayer monies in a scheme and style not unlike other infamous tyrants throughout history, all drunk with the lust for power and control. Next on the agenda is legalizing marijuana and casino gambling, nicely illustrating Mr. Cuomo’s complete lack of virtue traded for a glutton’s appetite for tax revenue.

Cuomo was amazingly quick to the trigger when it came to meaningless, irresponsible and illegally legislated gun control, passed in the middle of the night, but cannot seem to find his tongue regarding fracking; not because he lacks information, but because he lacks personal integrity and character.

Those of us living in, working on and owning the other 96% of New York State that Mr. Cuomo knows little about are insulted by his glib and irresponsible comments and embarrassed by his actions as our governor. Mr. Cuomo has effectively insulated himself from scrutiny from the press, arranging carefully orchestrated events that allow him and him alone to frame the agenda. What a pathetic and sad example of a leader.

Publilius Syrus said, “He who has lost honor can lose nothing more.” I hope elections don’t count in that analysis because Mr. Cuomo is unfit for the office. He insults God-fearing, life protecting, Constitution loving New Yorkers at his own political peril.