In Laxphilly, and Edge of Philly Sports Networks’ continuing series of one on one’s, Gary Groob brings back a guest who has been with us previously, but was so popular with his stories that we have brought him back by “popular demand”.
Travis Pilon does what every fan dreams about doing. Travis sits beside the visitors penalty box and chirps the opposing players when they gets a penalties. Over the years, Travis has been part of some rather funny events.
Let’s go one on one with Travis Pilon…
GG – How did you get interested in Lacrosse?
TP – When I was in grade 8 (I believe) we were assigned topics to do a report on, I was given lacrosse. At the time I didn’t know anything about the game, but after that report it caught my attention. I was catching random games here and there when they’d come on tv, but never really heard of any lacrosse programs in my area until in my teens. So I guess, long story short, that report introduced me to lacrosse. However, I never became the die-hard that I am now until the Rush made the move from Edmonton to Saskatoon.
GG – Have you been beside the visitor’s penalty box since the Rush moved to Saskatoon?
TP – No, the first season I bounced around Sasktel Center and never had the same seats twice. It wasn’t until the next season that myself and a group of friends bought season tickets and completely lucked out by getting the seats down by the glass beside the penalty box.
GG – Was it by accident or by plan that you realized you were able to get reactions of the players chirping them while in the box?
TP – I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t kind of planned. When we got our season tickets, I was instantly trying to claim the seat right beside the penalty box, because I’ve always been a mouth piece and know how to get under people’s skin.
GG – What is the usual reaction from the players?
TP – I wouldn’t say there is a “usual” per say, everyone’s different. Sometimes it ends up in chirping back and forth. Some of the guys enjoy having a chat to kill the time and we end up just having a conversation. Some ignore me (or try), some empty a water bottle or two on me….Good times. Every penalty starts off with a jab or two but I never really know which way it’s gonna go from the start.
GG – Describe the most hilarious event at the penalty box?
TP – That’s a tough question, there’s been many. There’s “dancing”, nipple rubbing, attempted twerks, spraying of water bottles, solid back and forth banter, awkward selfies, and when these memories pop up on my timeline (on Facebook) or get sent to me, I laugh just as hard looking back on them as I did the time they happened. It seems every game is something different.
GG – Has it ever got out of hand and the player really became upset or irate?
TP – A time or two, yes. I wouldn’t say it’s ever gotten out of hand, but some of the fellas get worked up wayyyyyy more than others. I won’t name drop but there was a time with an opposing player where I honestly thought he was gonna grab me around the glass and feed me my teeth for a snack. He’d taken a bad penalty at a stupid time and I was there to remind him about it (every couple of seconds until we scored). He didn’t take too kindly to it, let me know that he didnt care, and that he’d go out there and take another penalty just to prove it. He ended up doing just that, because he wasn’t exactly done telling me where to go and how to get there (Keep in mind the language is quite a bit different down there, but you get the idea). In closing, it was a game his team needed to win and didn’t, because he was too busy proving to me that he didn’t care.
GG – Who is your favourite player to chirp?
TP – There’s a few, I’d probably have to say Dane Dobbie is my favorite though. First of all, when he’s sitting beside me it guarantees he’s not out there scoring, and I just find him rather easy to chirp. Shawn Evans is a close second, he tends to get a “Wee bit” pissed off.
GG – How does security react to your chirping at the box? Have you had problems?
TP – Hahaha I don’t know if I should answer this, I think I’m finally in some of their good books. Nah, but for real, yeah I’ve had my issues at times. I’ve missed almost half a game before just trying to get on the same page (I’m “difficult” at times, I’m sure). I do get their side of things though, they have a job to do and they can’t hear what I’m saying or necessarily know if it’ll become an escalated situation. I joke around that there’s probably someone delegated to solely watching me every game. That’s more so a thing of the past, everything seems to be good now.
We want to take this time to thank Travis Pilon for taking the time to share some of his stories, and experiences sitting at the penalty box. I’m sure we will have him back with even more hilarious incidents, and anecdotes from his game day experiences in the future.
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.