Letters

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

A letter writer decries the bad behaviour of some Ticat fans after the Labour Day Classic.

By Letter to the Editor
Published September 13, 2010

Reading about the recent issues with the renovation of Ivor Wynne Stadium or the new construction of another stadium, and where to put that field and who exactly is pulling the strings in the whole disastrous puzzle has been, well, entertaining and frustrating.

I was firmly situated with Camp Harbourfront. With or without the TiCats, the Harbourfront seemed to me to make the most sense. My certainty is wavering on any location, however.

A few excerpts regarding the Labour Day Classic football game from the Opinion page of The Spectator, Sept. 10: "Not only were they drinking to excess, they were smoking what appeared to me to be crack cocaine...", the writer refers to the people in front of her near the sidelines, the expensive seats, no question.

Add this in another letter: "... no less than 20 males, adults and children, using the Prince of Wales school - that my children would return to the next day - as a giant public urinal".

Finally, going back to the original author, now referring to people other than the apparent crack smokers: "The final straw came when a drunken Ticat fan deliberately peed on me...".

One expects a raucous, fun, rowdy crowd for professional sports games, but you can have fun without being disrespectful, rude and obnoxious.

Peeing on people and property? This is why we can't have nice things, Hamilton.

Jackie Arlen
Hamilton, ON

We welcome feedback from our readers and invite you to send a letter to the editor. Please read our submissions policy for details.

23 Comments

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By d.knox (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 08:32:13

This isn't a Tiger-Cat fan phenomenon either. Last year, McMaster spearheaded a big push to give a high profile to their Homecoming game. At first it seemed nice. There were numerous signs on lawns which I recall were provided by the McMaster Alumni Association.

I speculated that they were involved as a long-term plan to generate donation funds by giving people an American homecoming weekend experience. Mac's website states that "Affinity reunions, a gathering of alumni based on their involvement with a particular group or common connection, also take place on Homecoming Weekend." It certainly seemed like a good way to give graduates warm-fuzzy feelings to encourage donations.

This football game did seem to turn into a much bigger event and drinking started early in the morning. It kept going right up to the game, which is where the peeing came in. Dozens of students walking up Sterling were stopping to urinate in people's hedges, though the girls had a preference for the little copse of trees in the little parkette at Oakwood Place. The next latrine was the ravine and the final stop that I could see was the shrubs just at the entrance to McMaster itself. Wow. The best and the brightest.

Maybe it has something to do with football...

Comment edited by d.knox on 2010-09-13 07:33:21

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 08:39:27

Could be worse. If the stadium was on the East Mountain, the drunken a**holes could of gotten into cars and smashed into people's houses instead of just peeing on them.

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By Tybalt (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 09:29:36

Give them all a break... if they don't urinate they might all get uromysitisis poisoning and die...

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By Weenie (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 09:48:13

I was driving downtown a few months ago and a male adult was urinating against the wall of a building right across from the old Tivoli. I honked and yelled at him but only got the magic finger thrust in the air as he continued to pee.

But this was downtown where hobos and junkies inhabit our streets as opposed to those well-heeled enough to buy tickets to a sporting event!

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By Grande (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:16:28

Does that story seem just a little suspicious to anyone else? I've never seen someone attempt to relieve themselves on an elderly woman, nor do I believe someone would be smoking crack in the front row with the amount of security around.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:17:59

Am I the only one seeing a common denominator through all of these stories? The term 'drunk' appears over and over. Many Ticat fans walk into the stadium as polite young men and 3 quarters of football and several trips to the concession later they become idiots who think the world is their toilet.

These stories are good reminders for those who hope for NFL style tailgating to come to Canada. 3/4 of the fans arrive at the stadium drunk in those cities.

And by the way, I've seen this behaviour in every city I've ever been in. Don't blame the drunks for why 'Hamilton can't have nice things'.

Comment edited by jason on 2010-09-13 09:27:16

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:27:22

I have to admit, this all sounds a little sensational. I've lived downtown for years and never seen anything like this.

As for public urination, it's just going to happen. It happens everywhere and Hamilton is no worse than anywhere else I've been. The only real solution is giving people toilets. And when you're attracting a crowd of thousands and pumping them full of diuretics (cola and beer), they're going to need a lot of toilets.

The washrooms may be for customers only, but the alleyway's open to everyone.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:38:27

There was also only 2 porta-potties at Scott Park field. The lot was full at 9am on Labour Day, and when game time grew closer, the lineups to use the jon were large, resulting on people urinating on Scott Park. Probably fitting as though it's beeing sitting there for almost 10 years; vacant and full of asbestos.

I agree, those stories did seem 'timely'.

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By Hopeful (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:43:29

This issue arises in almost every successful entertainment district where alcohol is served. However, some places have the foresight to deal with it pro-actively. Type "public urinals" into Google Images and see what you come up with. Perhaps a large part of the problem is the lack of alternatives when folks are faced with "the need to wee." P.S. Provision of this sort of facility should be the mandated responsibility of the event holder --- the same as providing porta-potties is for anyone hosting a street or park based festival.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:47:17

nor do I believe someone would be smoking crack in the front row with the amount of security around

One would think not. But at the McMaster pyjama parade last week, I was standing on the sidewalk on Sterling Street with at least a dozen cops easily visible (on horse, foot, bike, motorcycle and squad car) ... while pot smoke wafted out from the lawn behind me.

About five minutes later, it appeared that the situation was quietly dealt with.

Which is not to say that the cops ignore public drug use, just that you would be surprised what people somehow think they can get away with.

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-09-13 09:48:48

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By DoItRight (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 11:08:42

Hamilton just needs more public washrooms, even more for public events, so that not to put people in embarrassing situations. Does thet need much thinking to plan basic things like this ? Show that you care first to get respect then.
Can be as simple as paying local businesses to allow access to their washrooms with the notes in their store windows that the clean washrooms are open to the public on public events days.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted September 13, 2010 at 11:35:11

Can be as simple as paying local businesses to allow access to their washrooms with the notes in their store windows that the clean washrooms are open to the public on public events days.

That could be part of it, but I've seen guys pissing in bushes on campus not 50 yards from a building with a washroom. I have the feeling that it's not merely a lack of proper facilities motivating them ... it's also the transgressive thrill of pissing in public. It's part of the persona of drunken good times. Which is not an excuse, of course, just an attempt at explanation.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 11:47:27

I have to admit I've been guilty at sporting events, in the past, of urinating in public, everyone was doing it and it's just so convenient. Never on people though, that is unacceptable and rude.

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By DoItRight (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 12:23:41

"everyone was doing it and it's just so convenient"

It's disgusting. Real Hamilton Fan would not do that ever.
But you disrespect yourself more than this city.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 13:19:23

That could be part of it, but I've seen guys pissing in bushes on campus not 50 yards from a building with a washroom. I have the feeling that it's not merely a lack of proper facilities motivating them ... it's also the transgressive thrill of pissing in public. It's part of the persona of drunken good times.

A couple of years ago, I saw a copy of a letter from the head of the McMaster Student Union at the time, addressed to the heads of the neighbourhood association and BIA. He defended students who were urinating and defecating on residents' homes saying that they were doing it as an act of protest because they were 'disenfranchised'.

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By AnneMariePavlov (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 13:33:03

It's a pissing contest at the macro level and at the micro level!

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 13:35:50

they were 'disenfranchised'.

Maybe it was a typo and the MSU head meant to write they were "pissenfranchised".

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By DoItRight (anonymous) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 15:27:00

One of the effective property management point is to keep the property well lit and well looking, as the dark and poorely maintained places tend to attract abusers.

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By kevin (registered) | Posted September 13, 2010 at 18:45:12

I didn't believe it all, either. I've been to plenty of Ti Cat and Bulldog games and I've never seen crack, excessive verbal abuse, or anyone peeing in the stands. It's always been fun. It seems surreal all those things happened on her first and only time at Ivor Wynn. There are always a lot of police at Ti Cat games and they make themselves effectively visible.

April of this year, a rowdy Phillies fan vomited on a off duty cop and his daughter at a baseball game. If I could post a link to the story I would, but don't know how. Anyway, it's worth tracking down; the vomit king has a wicked shiner in his mug shot.

I imagine if a guy urinated on a 61 year old woman at IW, someone would have done something.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2010 at 00:31:27

Public urination is as much a part of a swingin' drunken time as fisticuffs or sleeping with someone you shouldn't. Which is to say, they sound like a very good idea at the time, and look utterly stupid to people who aren't involved.

When people are peeing with their kids, it's usually more of an "emergency" type thing. And honestly, it rarely stinks up a place or kills plants until it becomes a pattern. And where it does, there's ways to tackle it.

And people smoking a joint in public? I can believe it. Even tripping out on mushrooms or doing a line to help "enjoy the game. But people 'smokin' tha rock' in public is rare even in the Lower East Side of Vancouver. I see people high on crack/meth all the time, and hookers pretty much daily, but have NEVER seen people publicly smoking crack in Hamilton. Not to say it didn't happen (which it probably didn't), just that it sure isn't common.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted September 14, 2010 at 15:12:22

I see people high on crack/meth all the time, and hookers pretty much daily, but have NEVER seen people publicly smoking crack in Hamilton. - Undustrial

I live right by IW, I have twice seen people smoking crack (or perhaps meth) in a car at the Cannon/Melrose stoplight (people in the backseat smoking off of tinfoil). So it could have happened.

How did she know it was crack is my question? Was it just an assumption???

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 14, 2010 at 22:29:40

For every real issue with a crackhead I witness, I hear several indignant rants by people who clearly couldn't tell a crackhead from a French Poodle. Just because someone is dirty or tired doesn't mean they're addicted to hard drugs - some people just work for a living.

Smoking in a car wouldn't surprise me. But light up anywhere a crowd can see/approach you and you're likely to have a lot of new friends. People will do anything for free crack.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 15, 2010 at 04:54:11

Funny thing. A letter to Ed. in the Saturday Spec. in response to the original letter blamed,'people in the cheap seats, who walked to the game' for the urination & rowdyness.

That letter was from someone in ...Stoney Creek. :O (No surprise there..sadly. It almost seemed like a 'put up job'.)

Here's another reason why we can't have nice things. Buck nekkid self interests, sour grapes, & constant bickering, area rated snobbery, & an open ended sense of entitlement among many of our citizens.

If security can't keep things under control at Ivor Wynn, how will they do it in a stadium many times that size? Will we all need to take 'a posse' to an event?

Ooooooooh Hamilton. :(

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