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This article was published 20/11/2013 (3108 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
So much for the Pardy parody.
The Winnipeg Jets are banning any fans from showing up at tonight's game against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks wearing a helmet -- the brainchild of a local radio station to mimic the Blackhawks fan who earlier this month grabbed the helmet off Jets player Adam Pardy in Chicago.
Jets owner Mark Chipman made the announcement Wednesday at the MTS Centre to nix the "stunt," noting, "Whatever was planned was not official. It wasn't anything from us. We think it reflects poorly on the entire situation.
"It's almost absurd for us to participate in something that brought us down to the base act that caused all this."
Chipman said no fans would be allowed in the arena with a helmet.
The decision seemed heavy-handed to some fans and downright dictatorial to the radio station promoting the "Helmet Pardy."
"I guess I was surprised by the objection... because it appears to be strictly political," said Scott Armstrong, general manager and program director at 92 CITI FM. "Clearly it was more important for the Jets to show support for the Blackhawks than show support for their fans.
"We're not asking them (fans) to do anything untoward like pour beer on someone's head, like Chicago fans do."
The promotion, said Armstrong, started as a good-natured lark: a parody of the Chicago fan who on Nov. 6 snatched the helmet off the head of Pardy after the Jets defenceman had crashed through the Plexiglas. The photo of the fan, holding a beer and wearing Pardy's helmet, went viral.
Pardy's stick was also taken by a fan while another poured a beer over his head.
Pardy made light of the incident.
"When I look at the tape now, I can't help but laugh. (The helmet-stealer) was a little fired up, I'm sure," he told reporters a few days later. "It's good to see fans involved in the game, but... The picture of the guy is too funny. I can't be mad at him. Just the look on his face. It was just hilarious."
The original CITI promotion asked fans to take pictures of themselves at the Jets-Blackhawks game wearing a helmet. A draw would be made of all the photos submitted to give away concert tickets.
Armstrong said the "Helmet Pardy" promotion will continue. DJ Dave Wheeler will make an announcement involving the campaign at 7:30 a.m. today, Armstrong said. "It's not a Winnipeg Jets promotion. It's a 92 CITI promotion."
Reaction to the Jets ban was mixed.
"My initial reaction was 'Oh, man,' " said Kelly Nichols, who runs the MTSCentreChants Twitter account, referring to dejection after looking forward to seeing a sea of Jets fan in their helmets. "(But) we have a love and admiration for Chipman and True North. So you just accept it. But as a fan you say, 'Ah, that would have been fun.' "
Fellow Jets fanatic Marcus Malbasa disagreed, saying the decision reeked of "bean-counters and lawyers getting involved."
"I don't think you should be parenting this," Malbasa said. "It's just a fun poke in the ribs (to the Blackhawks). And, hey, they're the Stanley Cup champions. At least if we can't win we can have some fun."
As for possible safety concerns, Malbasa shrugged, "With the amount of people drinking, maybe they should be wearing helmets."
Chipman said the Blackhawks and NHL were professional in response to the incident.
"I can't imagine that our organization is going to take a different path."
The Chicago fan -- identified as Kevin Mize -- apologized to both the Jets and Pardy and made a donation to the True North Foundation.
Randy Turner spent much of his journalistic career on the road. A lot of roads. Dirt roads, snow-packed roads, U.S. interstates and foreign highways. In other words, he got a lot of kilometres on the odometer, if you know what we mean.