If you've never lived in Nutmeg State, you may not understand the heartache Connecticut residents have endured. Sandwiched in between New York and Mass, Connecticut is not unlike the Jan Brady of New England. While Broadway shows occasionally come down to visit us and the Red Sox give us a day at Fenway, it's never really the same. The shows are usually hand me downs with some understudy manning the lead roles. Connecticut Day at Fenway is always against some scrub team. Truth be told, we are a state full of broken hearts.
It wasn't always like this. Hartford was once the proud home of the NHL Whalers. It was a glorious time. At one point we even had the legendary Gordie Howe playing for us. Even though the team's arena shared space with a mall (and granted Howe was 82 at the time), we loved our Whalers. When they decided to move to North Carolina in 1997, our hearts were broken. We had just lost our beloved Brooklyn Dodgers to LA. Last fall, minor league hockey attempted to mend our hearts. In a homage to the Whalers, the AHL's Hartford Wolfpack changed its name to the Connecticut Whale. They even played Brass Bonanza at the games. As much as we wanted to believe, for some fans it was not the same. Some people just couldn't hide their grief. One man would turn his heartache into violence.
The Hartford Courant reports that beloved mascot Pucky the Whale was attacked by 28 year old Kevin O'Connell as he greeted young fans in the stands. Reports indicate that O'Connell may have been egged on by his friends. After tackling Pucky, East Hartford's O'Connell tried to vainly hide in a higher section of the stands. Police quickly apprehended the subject after a group of children pointed out it was the guy with the chin goatee. As most people are aware, these types of goatees are primarily worn by major league baseball players, Billy Ray Cyrus fans, goats and time travelers from 1993. (Editors note: If you happen to have such a goatee and are larger than me, I didn't mean you. It looks great on you.)
Luckily for Mr. O'Connell, he had the effective assistance of Attorney Peter F. Oldlum. Charged with one count of second degree breach of peace, O'Connell was instructed by Judge Raymond Norko to write a letter of apology which he must submit to the Hartford Courant. He must also perform community service and write an essay on a book that was assigned to him. The defendant was also banned from attending any future events at the XL Center. An unfortunate development for Mr. O'Connell as former American idol and fellow goatee aficionado Daughtry is set to perform there. If only the judge could erase both their records.