Ladies and gentlemen, pictured above is Paul Devorski, and he is now my favorite referee ever. As a ref, he generally lives his life and plies his trade working in the NHL referee far from spotlight – hey, they can’t all be Ed Hochulis – save for the inebriated, belligerent fan or two who will mock and ridicule him at ever turn any time he makes a call which goes against their team. Such an event allegedly occurred last night in Ohio during the Columbus Blue Jackets-Minnesota Wild tilt. A group of fans in Section 109 of Nationwide Arena, upset over a perceived blown call, began letting Devorski have it. What they claim they received in response was a delightful little serving of snarky comeuppance.
Roughly 15 fans seated in or around the area sent emails or Twitter messages to The Dispatch shortly after the incident. One of them, Ritter Hoy, who was seated in the middle of the fifth row up from the glass, agreed to be interviewed by The Dispatch.
“Two guys in front of us started giving the refs (grief) after they clearly missed a call,” Hoy said. “Happens at every game, right?
“Well, the No. 10 official put his fingers up and rubbed his eyes and made a crying face, like ‘what are you going to do, cry?’ They started giving him more (grief) and he put his middle finger up to his chin and acted like he was scratching his face. It was very, very blatant. The whole section saw it and went crazy.”
“I have to say the guys who were two rows in front of us were kind of provoking him,” Hoy said. “They were pretty much provoking him. But he has to be used to that kind of stuff, right? He can’t go there, can he? – The Columbus Dispatch (via Puck Daddy)
Oh, go there he did, Mr. Hoy. And God bless him for it. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens all the time when a heckler tries to crack wise during a comedy show. Be prepared for a snarky comeback. Except for at Dane Cook shows. No one showing up for one of those abominations is smart enough to crack wise about anything, let alone Dane Cook coming up with anything snarky to say.