Let’s make sure that the pucks (or baseballs, etc.) that athletes intend to go to specific children don’t get redistributed to other children by overzealous adults.
On Sunday, a sweet precious angel and Washington Capitals superfan sitting just behind the glass at the Capitals’ game against the Columbus Blue Jackets made the rounds on social media as she tried to accept a puck from Brett Connolly.
But her quest was almost ruined by a man sitting in the row behind her who kept giving the pucks to the two little boys seated on either side of her.
Many people assumed that the man behind her was her father and/or the boys on either side of her were her brothers — possibly in a subconscious attempt to excuse this man’s behavior.
But that is not the case, folks!
As you can see, Connolly couldn’t resist the lethal cuteness of this little blonde-haired cherub banging on the glass as the team warmed up, and so he went to retrieve a puck to give to her.
You, me and everyone in that general vicinity can clearly see that puck was intended for the little girl. Connolly taps his stick right at her to indicate that she is the rightful recipient of this hallowed piece of sports memorabilia.
But, as is a defining feature of children, the girl is also small. So small that she is not able to catch the puck after Connolly tosses it over the glass before the man seated behind her — the grown man — snatches it out of the air and hands it to the boy sitting to her right (our left).
What the hell, dude?
As is to be expected, the girl is crushed. Absolutely heartbroken. That was her puck!
Well, Connolly sees her face, retrieves another puck and, once again, tosses it over the glass.
And this guy, THIS GUY, grabs it out of the air once again and hands it to the little boy seated just to the left of the little girl.
As this saga played out on Twitter, many people chimed in with their interpretations. Maybe the man was the three kids’ father, and wanted to make sure all three of his children would receive a puck. Or maybe the kids weren’t related, but this man assumed that if he gave the first two pucks to the boys, Connolly would be forced to return with a third puck for the girl.
Well, guess what? That man is not the little girl’s father, and the three children aren’t related at all. How do we know? Families of the children wrote in to Deadspin to give some background about the situation.
What did we learn? Well, for one, the girl is an only child, and none of those men are her father. Her actual father, who no doubt would have had some words for this man continually stealing his daughter’s rightful pucks, was seated seven rows back. The parents have sent their children down to the front row to enjoy warm-ups.
(OH, and BY THE WAY — the little girl is a hockey player in her local mites league! Good choice, Connolly.)
Now, are you ready for this? The father of the boy who received the second puck wrote in, as well, to say that he and his wife were also seated a few rows back. And that girl in the knit cap sitting next to that boy? She’s his sister, and she didn’t get a puck! By trying to distribute the pucks, this man ended up creating more tension by leaving a sibling out — so why not just let Connolly give the puck to whom he intended?
Furthermore, what if Connolly had stopped coming back after that first puck? Then this poor little girl would have gone home with knowing despite knowing the first puck was supposed to be hers.
So take that as a lesson, man who couldn’t help interfering in what should have been a sweet moment between Connolly and his young fan. By trying to spread the haul among many children, you created a situation in which one sibling got one while the other didn’t.
If adults would just ensure that the memorabilia of note made it to the child to whom the athlete intended it to go, that would be great. Thanks.