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The images in this gallery capture what is perhaps the most annoying trend in sports away from the field of play: fans thinking so little of the game unfolding before them that they?d rather be consumed by mall gossip on their cell phones. If you thought a hockey game makes for a fun evening away from what amounts to a hum-drum everyday existence for so many, you?d of course be wrong since too many fans these days feel compelled to tap out every pigeon dropping of a thought in the form of a text message while the Leafs squander another scoring chance.

I mean, a real fan would run through a wall to get front-row seats at a Leafs game, but in an age of cell phones, where even squeegee kids have Blackberries, the game becomes little else but an afterthought to those casual fans. I get the distinct feeling that these texting fans would be less secure without their mobile devices than Linus without his blankie.

What this shows I s?pose is that ours is a culture really bad at tuning out distractions ? it?s so bad that if you hear the ice maker make ice, pretty soon hundreds of people will know about it thanks to your tweet.

Look, if there?s one thing that millionaire hockey players deserve it?s your attention. So my message to these fans is quit being boorish hams and just watch the game, would ya !

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