On Monday night, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Ottawa Senators by a jaw-dropping 8-2 score, with seven different players finding the back of the net. That win stopped a four-game losing streak, and kept the 'Canes right in the middle of the Eastern Conference Metropolitan Division. But in the days since, all anybody wants to talk about is a damn ice cream cone.
During the broadcast, self-described "hardcore Hurricanes fan" Briana Arrington tweeted a video of two Carolina fans who were in the background, behind the FOX Sports South broadcast desk. While one guy in a back 'Canes jacket looked at someone's phone, a man in a Carolina-branded bobble hat calmly swiped his ice cream cone, took a quick bite, and then tried to put it back in its paper holder.
The victim of this crime, later identified as Joe Campen, told The Athletic that he'd been longtime friends with the thief, and although it wasn't tooootally staged, he also knew what was happening mid-swipe. "I was just looking at my friend’s phone ’cause he was showing me a video and this guy took my ice cream," he said. “I didn’t get to lick it yet, I had just got it so at least it was clean.”
The unauthorized licker, Weston Davis, didn't really seem to care whether he was getting a virgin cone, and he also knew that they'd be totally visible to the broadcast audience. "He was standing there behind the camera and I just thought I’d mess with him hoping maybe the camera would get a shot of it," he said.
Of course the camera did get that shot. Arrington's video has since been viewed more than 3.5 million times, and has been shared by FOX Sports South, Bleacher Report, and ESPN. The Hurricanes played it on their video board during the game. And Campen has changed his Twitter bio to "can I have my ice cream back?" (His tweet about the theft has been watched more than 6 million times. "Whoever stole my ice cream, ya moms a hoe," he wrote.)
Mike Forman, the Hurricanes' VP of Marketing and Brand Strategy has promised Campen that he can have a free ice cream the next time he's at a game—but he didn't get a response when he asked YouTuber MrBeast to "help [him] find [his] ice cream."
When he cashes in his complimentary cone, hopefully he'll hang onto it with both hands. Nobody's gonna fall for the sequel... we don't think.