Ok, ok, I realize that public awareness of suspicious individuals is something that the government pretty much has to promote. Granted, most of these PSAs are about as ethnically diverse as an ADT Security ad, so maybe it is good for the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to make it into the NHL. Whatever the ads look like (and God knows I got to see enough of them on the hotel menu channel in Nashville – I now know to be aware and suspicious of people leaning into trunks of taxi cabs while talking on a Bluetooth headset), it was just a matter of time before they trickled into sports arenas. They’ll premiere this year at the Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers.
While I do think it’s unfortunate that we need a PSA on being suspicious – or a PSA on how to pay attention to your surroundings and do the right thing, depending on how you look at it – I do welcome the “If You See Something, Say Something” push. The ads on billboards make me chuckle on the way home from work. See something suspicious in traffic? “Hi, 911? I saw an abandoned tarp and mattress on the side of 75 North around the South Loop. Also, some ass just cut me off.” The chances for exploiting the term “suspicious” are just so many it’s absurd. Traffic, airport, you name it – someone cuts in line in front of you? Suspicious? Nah. Did that person just tick you off? Find the nearest cop.
Can you imagine the opportunities for this in a sports venue, especially at an NHL game? You’re at a Flyers/Penguins game, and a Flyers fan says something to you that you dislike. Just report him for wanting to recreate the Van Damme movie “Sudden Death.” Someone call Marian Hossa “Maid Marian” at a Red Wings/Blackhawks game? Report them for making violent misogynist slurs. A duck gets thrown on the ice at a Anahiem/San Jose game? Report the dude for cruelty to animals (wait – ok, that one’s legit). The opportunities for fun are endless!
I do find it disappointing that this campaign isn’t co-sponsored by the Canadian government as well. They’re missing a primo chance, especially with Montreal already hopping on the bandwagon for saying something. Their response last time they “saw something” was outstanding.