During the 2007-08 Stanley Cup playoffs, uber Penguins’ fan Steven Mazefsky, like thousands of others, had a jersey customized. But unlike having Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin sewn on the back, Mazefsky had a Flyers jersey customized. With hate in his heart and apparently extra money to spend, Mazefsky had the jersey embroidered with the number 19 and the name “Fartsmell” sewn on, in an attempt to mock Flyers’ forward Scott Hartnell.
” I had this special jersey made so that I could attempt to irritate the subject of my aggravation as much as possible from my vantage point right next to the visitors’ tunnel,” Season ticket holder Mazefsky told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette blog Empty Netters. “Last year, the mission was accomplished!”
Acknowledged negatively by the Flyers’ players during the Flyers’ 4-1 series loss to the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals in2008, Mazefsky brought the jersey out again this season, in hopes to duplicate the player irritation.
However, the plan backfired and Hartnell would openly smile at the sight of ‘Fartsmell’.
“The ushers would tell me how he laughed when he saw it, and he would actually wave in the tunnel between periods of the home game, and the banter back and forth was… well, I hate to admit… FRIENDLY,” Mazefsky continued.
For Sunday’s afternoon matchup between the teams, Mazefsky decided to up the ante and acquire a curly Hartnell-like wig and matching sign. He garned even more attention from Hartnell himself. After more friendly banter, Mazefsky had the unthinkable happen.
“One of the Flyers trainers told me that Scott would love to autograph the jersey if I would like that,” he said. “I told him that this would be great, but I did not really believe it, as players NEVER sign autographs there. Never.”
After handing over his Fartsmell jersey to the enemy in the final minutes of the contest, it returned signed shortly after the game, along with Hartnell’s game-used stick.
But the real treat was what Hartnell signed. The second-year Flyer autographed the jersey, “To my biggest fan, you’re bud, Scott Fartsmell.”
“Yes, he actually signed it, ‘Fartsmell,'”, Mazefsky said.
“I have to tell you that the fact that he took the ribbing in stride, joked back, and then took the time to sign this jersey in the manner that he did, left a very lasting impression. I will not say it too loudly here, but WHAT A CLASS ACT AND GOOD SPORT! The Flyers, more than other visiting team go out of their way to take care of their fans in our arena, but to go out of their way to interact with me, given my attire and loyalties was well above the call of duty to say the least. All three trainers and equipment managers for that team were just as fun to joke around with! Best wishes, and good luck Flyers, except when you play us. And THANKS for a fun time.”