Social distancing rules don't exist when your favorite team wins a championship.
Lightning fans took to Thunder Alley to celebrate Tampa Bay's 4-2 Stanley Cup Final victory over the Stars on Monday night, and boy did they celebrate.
Who can blame them? After a years-long odyssey of playoff failure vying for that second, elusive Stanley Cup, Lightning fans finally get to enjoy a little bit of normalcy in Tampa.
Please note, though: No masks, no social distancing and not a bottle of hand sanitizer in sight. While it's understandable to see fans celebrating, the whole reason that the entirety of the Stanley Cup playoffs were played in Edmonton and Toronto bubbles was to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. So it's a bit jarring to see fans rubbing up on one another, willfully ignoring social distancing guidelines while also abandoning use of masks.
It's important to note that the City of Tampa requires people to wear masks, but only indoors — so maybe the fans get a pass here.
Cases in Florida have steadily dropped over the last month, which is a positive altogether, with Hillsborough County being one of the less stricken COVID-19 counties in the state. Who's going to let a little pandemic get in the way of a celebration?
Note to self: Check COVID 19 cases among young people in Tampa in 2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/HEx2ylq3RG— MAHSA SAEIDI, ESQ. (@MahsaWho) September 29, 2020
I love that NBC is showing the Tampa Bay Lightning watch party thing without a shred of irony.— Eric Sylvester (@esylvester6) September 29, 2020
Like, the whole reason this game is being played in EDMONTON is because we don't want people gathering together to watch hockey. But a watch party? They're like "CHECK OUT THE FANS!"
Full video of WFLA's coverage of the Stanley Cup, in which plenty more examples of this can be found:
⚡ LORD STANLEY IS COMING HOME ⚡ The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS! Fans are celebrating the Bolts 2-0 shutout against the Dallas Stars inside Amalie and outside on Thunder Alley. https://t.co/7IfLUXdjNo #GoBolts #StanleyCup https://t.co/SGgY2MabhO— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) September 29, 2020
The fans in Edmonton were clearly a bit more responsible.
THE LIGHTNING WIN THE STANLEY CUP— Juliana Nikac (@juliananikac) September 29, 2020
AND THE FANS ARE CELEBRATING IN THE STANDS pic.twitter.com/M9WzsIuILA
At least they were wearing masks.