Drop the Puck?

October 8, 2008

You have got to be kidding me. I wait all summer for the hockey season to start. I spend all this time longing for opening night, with all the hooplah and happiness, and this is what I get?

What genius thought this was a great idea? What brilliant PR person at the Philadelphia Flyers, who usually don’t put a foot wrong, didn’t realize that forcing all of their paying customers to attend what will amount to a pre-election rally for Sarah Palin is not the right thing to do? Since when is politicizing the product (in a largely Democrat city, no less) good for the brand.

Yes, I know Ed Snider is all over the Ayn Rand pseudo-philosophy. But his personal politics are his own business. His business should not be used to be political. And I don’t want to have Sarah Palin shoved down my throat.

On a night when the fans should be welcomed back and charged up to start another run for the cup, the focus will be, not on the Flyers, or their fans, but on a political candidate who’s approval/performance ratings have been falling consistently.

And if I have to hear how sexy she is by wickedly chuckling men (it started immediately) for the next three days, I’ll puke. Please don’t tell me this is a victory for feminism, when the only positive thing people have to say about a woman candidate is how cute she is. Can we have smart, please? There are plenty of women out here who are smart. Lot’s of them are smart AND cute.


This NHL Free Agent Season Not Really Wild

July 3, 2008

Minnesota Wild GM Doug Riseborough gave a succinct and illustrative look into how an organization views and prepares for free agency. The undersupply of his so-called “Elite” and “Top” players versus the demand makes so much sense, first, for how really boring and lacking in apparent impact this year’s free agency has been. But probably more importantly it can explain why free agent defensemen this week–both restricted and unrestricted–became incredibly overpaid versus their counterparts.


Going Blind in Detroit

May 10, 2008

Is Mitch Albom on crack?

A few years ago I checked out the prices of playoff tix in Detroit. Finals tickets in the lower bowl were $450 each (as a comparison, lower bowl seats in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia are $250 face, discounted to season ticket holders). Detroit, in case Mitch hasn’t noticed, is one of the most economically depressed areas of the United States. And it isn’t just the recent downturn. The greater Detroit area didn’t really participate fully in that last positive growth of the business cycle.

I have a friend who bought a house in the Detroit area a few years ago. Even three years ago he couldn’t afford to sell that house and relocate because he couldn’t get what he’d payed for it. This wasn’t after the big housing bubble. Now, with the mortgage crisis, $4 gas, and continued hard times for U.S. automakers, who sold their souls and are caught with big gas guzzling SUVs and trucks they can no longer sell enough of, things won’t be getting better in Detroit any time soon.

If the Redwings win the Stanley Cup this year (and really, they look like a team from another, more advanced hockey planet, so I think it likely they will), will anyone be able to afford to come to the parade?


Game 7 Is Not My Favorite Thing

April 22, 2008

If the Flyers are as tense as I am, there’s not much hope for them tonight. But I don’t think they are. They’re alive and kicking and ready to play tonight. I have to convince myself of this. It may require bourbon.

Why will the Flyers win tonight? Fast start. Kill the energy of the Johnny-come-lately red-clad fans and infect the Caps with the same frustration they felt in games 2 and 3.

Jeff Carter and Mike Richards will be animals. Danny Briere will take the huge fire that burns in that tiny body and score two or more. Being on the road will work to the Flyers advantage. Them against the world.

Does any of this make any sense? No of course not. But as FlySkippy said on HockeyBuzz.com today, “We are fans of the team, not of the record.” So there’s really no choice for Flyers fans but to strap in and get ready for the roller-coaster ride.


Hockey Day in Philadelphia

February 9, 2008

Today is Hockey Day in Canada, which is my favorite holiday. I love watching (thank you, NHL Center Ice) the Hockey Night in Canada crew bringing the game, and all its faces–young, old, pro, amateur, boys, and girls–to show how wonderfully rich the game makes Canada (and those of us who are hockey mad, if not Canadian).

My hockey day started with a special event courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers. As a season ticket holder, I put my name in the hat to be a so-called “Benchwarmer.” About 10 days ago I got a call from the Flyers that I’d won the lottery and would be allowed to sit on the Flyers bench during warmups for today’s Flyers game. When I mentioned I had only one seat, but would like to bring arena neighbors, they were kind enough to let me bring two.

 So today I was joined by my friend Mickey Melchiondo of Ween (site warning! occasionally inappropriate for youth) and his friend George for our adventure in benchwarming. After tromping down into the bowels of the Wachovia Center, we walked down the tunnel to the bench. We were warned to stay seated on the bench, in order to avoid being high sticked by passing players.

Read the rest of this entry »


A Strange New Team

August 7, 2005

Well, a self-imposed news blackout didn’t seem too risky in February, when I was making the reservations. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in SF on Wednesday, having spent three days with no phone, no tv, and no radio, to discover the Flyers had become a fantasy league hockey team. 

I’d been impressed with the Flyers handling of the whole lockout. They treated season ticket holders like trusted shareholders, trying to keep us informed without inflammatory shots at the union. And it helped that most of their full-time employees could be shuffled through the bigger Comcast organization, letting the customers feel that we’d be dealing with the same folks when it was all settled.  Read the rest of this entry »


Bertuzzi Aftermath

March 15, 2004

Media reaction to the Bertuzzi incident, Moore’s injury, and the NHL’s response is way off the mark.

Bertuzzi Aftermath


Sports As Business

October 27, 2002

I’m really tired of guys who are talking about the financial decisions of a team (either pro or con) saying “they’re running it like a business.” Of course they are, lemonhead, it IS a business. but a well-run business knows what its capital is worth. and it is willing to spend for value. and it realizes that you can’t make money without spending money.

 

The Chicago Blackhawks are run like a business–a very very BAD business. And the Colorado Avalanche are run like a business–a really GOOD business.


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