Unconsciously, you lean forward in your seat. Your eyes focus in on the helmet-clad heads dueling intently for possession of the puck along the boards. Although your vision is blocked from the scene on the ice, you can picture the skates shifting to aid in their mission. You can hear bodies and sticks bang into the glass. Your skin feels the excitement in the air.
Suddenly, your once satisfied senses are assaulted. A repetitive sound isn’t corresponding with the battling bodies on the ice. You’re forced to pull your eyes from the game and scan the crowd for the disturbance. Not far from the action, the assailants are exposed. Glass Bangers. You fail to see who gained control of the puck as you were too consumed with images of amputating a set of annoying fists.
It is said hate is driven by ignorance. Since I hate Glass Bangers, I decided to research the evolution of these compulsive play distracters. Perhaps understanding their origins will allow me to overlook my anger and focus on the game. After many weeks of researching (Translation: A few minutes of playing make-believe in my head.), I discovered the origins of Glass Bangers are quite interesting…
Most people are aware that Albert Einstein suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, an anxiety ailment that may cause a person to have repetitive habits. Now, what people don’t know is that Mr. Einstein was a huge Joe Malone fan. He spent many years traveling in order to watch Phantom Joe play for the Quebec Bulldogs in the early 1900’s. This was kept secret as people didn’t want to taint the scholar’s reputation with the truth…he was a Wood Banger. He would pound his fists on the wooden planks of his royal gallery box each time play slowed along the boards.
Howard Hughes may be known for his film and aviation obsessions, but he was also a dedicated to the Detroit Red Wings. He was drawn to the red wings of flight. Mr. Hughes had a neurological disorder called Tourette’s Syndrome. He demanded to watch the games from the vacant fifth level while attending games at The Old Red Barn on Grand River Avenue. He liked the birds-eye view from the isolated top level. It was good he was alone, because Mr. Hughes violently paced around the empty floor, pounding his fists into the plain walls when players fought for puck control. He was a Wall Banger.
These were the earliest documentations of the infamous fist knocking disorder. The compulsion has made its way through the generations. Most recently, you can find actor Vince Vaughn suffering from the syndrome, now known as the Glass Banger.
This research (cough, storytelling, cough) has opened my eyes and soothed my frustrations. As a former special needs teacher and sister of one who lives with OCD, I will no longer pour my beer on the game distracting fans. I will simply turn to them and recite a popular southern phrase, “Bless your heart.”
*Please note the above statements are for entertainment purposes only.