“do you have ‘I just called to say I love you’?”

There are a million ways to be cruel, and I’d probably walk 500 miles even though there are fifty ways to leave a lover. Since everyone is going all John Cusack a la High Fidelity on it. I give you my Top Five Ways I Would Fix the NHL;

1. Two Words: Family sections. I propose designated family sections (with a lower ticket prices). I prefer to sit with the more fanatical fans. At times, I am known to curse loudly. I am sorry. Things happen and the only response I can muster is “goddammitsonofabitchassholemotherfucker.” Parents glare because you cursed in front of their 10 year old son who they (probably) bought a Lil Wayne CD for. This would also move the mascot to a better area (keeping them out of my line of sight) and it can be good for promotions. Pizza Hut can go crazy and hand out coupons or something. Whatever. Quarantine the cheer sticks to one area, less headaches. I am not saying all children need to be moved because I have been around parents who didn’t care that I shoot my mouth off because they do as well. But, let’s try an create a family environment with the right people who would come to hockey on a regular basis.

2. Embrace non-traditional merchandise. What do I mean by this? Your merch is boring. Spice it up. Which does not mean making it pink. Ditch that. Some of my favorite shirts aren’t official NHL shirts. Such as the Ovechkin as Che or things in the Melt Your Face Off store. I didn’t like the WHL merch, so I made my own. Have the designers on Project Runway come up with some new hoodies or something with iPod pockets. Team up for cross brand promotions with colleges. Do I have to think of everything? Also, drop the price on some of the merchandise. Which brings me to number three…

3. Volume, not mark up. You have the power to push back and change prices with vendors. I have dealt with vendor contracts before and know you are expected to move X number of cases over Y amount of time in order to get Z dollars. But, the vendors can be negotiated with. I am a believer in lowering the price to move more units. I can go to 7/11 and get nachos and a giant soda (as described by Winona Ryder in Reality Bites) for what, three bucks? Now, at a hockey game nachos run about six bucks and a soda is going to at least be three bucks. I know the economy sucks, blah blah blah. But Costco can make it work. Why can’t you? Start shaving prices, I imagine it would have a positive effect.

4. Make players more visible. I want to see more of the players, but not just the usuals either. I’d pay big money to see someone like Derek Boogaard on Live With Regis and Kelly when Jack Hanna comes out with like some python. Then we can all coo when he brings out the baby albino tiger with birth defects for Boogie to hold. I’d pay even bigger money to see the Sedins play Rock Band with Conan O’Brien. It would be a ginger explosion of sheer awesome. I miss the old NHL commercials that showed the personality of the players. I am tired of the interviews with the same questions and answers. Let’s change it up.

5. Court and love the bloggers. Not to get all Leitchian with the royal “we”. But…we do make a difference. We can make a dent in how the league is perceived. Yeah, that is a double-edged sword and whatnot. But we do this out of sheer love and joy and a lot of us make no money off of this. I am ferocious at self promotion, but my greater goal in the promotion is spreading the love of my little WHL team. I even made a few adoption badges for people to put on their site. You see what I did there? My point is, that even if you don’t care about a team a blog can make you sit up and pay attention. I really never thought about the Sabres until I read Dani’s blog. I was rather oblivious to the goings on of the Leafs until I stumbled upon numerous blogs written by talented people. The blogs are a community full of fiercely loyal cats, take us out for dinner every here and again.

Runner up/honorable mention: I call for the heads of the assholes who show up after the first period and leave before the end of the third. We don’t want your kind here. Every time someone shows up late for hockey (I let weather and children related lateness slide), I fight the urge to tar and quarter them in a public square.

A Cosby Crosby Sweatahhh!

25 thoughts on ““do you have ‘I just called to say I love you’?”

  1. Yes! A giant YES to all your suggestions, especially 2 and 4. The NHL has awesome players — some of whom have very interesting personalities and some of whom are very good looking — and more people need to see that.

  2. I agree about the pink merch. I was looking to buy my girlfriend a Tom Brady jersey yesterday (her whole family is from Wisconsin, I thought she needed a new QB to love) and all of the women’s jerseys were fucking pink. Last time I checked the Patriots didn’t wear pink, and my girlfriend watches football because she likes the sport, not because she’s some powderpuff who wants to fit in with the guys.

    In the end I bought her a kids large jersey, which was awesome because it was like $20. Down with pink merchandise.

  3. Great post! Yes yes yes, on the family section. I hate having to censor sailor mouth at hockey. And yes * infinity on the player visibility. Hockey players are just the coolest cats. Though the Sedinbots creep me TF out unless they’re being pummeled by my Wild…

    Speaking of which, what’s the run down on Justin Falk? I watched him in the MC games, but don’t feel like I got a great sense of him. Kinda hoping he has a mean streak? :)

  4. take us out for dinner every here and again

    Yeahhhh!

    Sabre fans learned never to leave a game early no matter how bad we’re losing. *shrugs* We have lots of pride. That and we tend to score mass quantities of goals in the last seconds of the third period.

  5. @ Chemmy. That is the one sorta nice part for chicks, we can get away with the kids merchandise.

    @Ms.C. Oh Falk. He is pretty legit. Sometimes he can seem a tad clumsy to me. But, here is my favorite video of him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEn6PPwfJkg It’s not the greatest quality, but he is in the white number 15. He can hit harddddd. He was suspended for that hit then it was dropped because it was ruled clean.

  6. I’m a big fan of change number 1, only I’d like to see it carried over to all sports (Roger Godell’s “Rules of Conduct” are taking us in the wrong direction) So I want to swear when something goes wrong, I paid good money to be there (hell I paid more than you’re “offended” kid did) I don’t want a dirty look cause you don’t like the way the world works.

    Actually I think the cornerstone moment for me with this rule was the last time I went to a New England Revolution match. There were two guys sitting in our section, who had thick British accents, and were speaking in British slang, and it was clear at some point that some soccer mom in our section had decided that because they were british and speaking in slang, they must be bad for the game and somehow swearing at what they saw, cause security came over and tried every trick they had to see if they weren’t supposed to be in our section. It was sad.

  7. By the way I totally agree about the family section. I hate it when I’m cheering and let a “fuck” slip and people stare like you just spiked a baby on the fifty yard line.

  8. Thanks for the Falk report. I wonder if he’s just growing into his big body still hence the clumsies. I’ve seen that video, but I’m glad to hear it’s not a one time thing. People always pull up the WJC video of Benoit Pouliot crushing someone (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBbI6qxuu5o&feature=related) as evidence that he plays physical, but in two years in the AHL, I’ve never seen him do anything like that.

    So, is Falk ready for the AHL or does he need another year in juniors? He’s old enough to come to Houston, but it didn’t look like another year in juniors would be a waste of time developmentally.

    Chemmy, I blurt out, “SHIT!” every time the other team gets a shot on goal. Every. Time. I can’t stop it without actually holding my hand over my mouth. I’ve had so many little innocent faces turning around looking at me all wide-eyed… Oh the guilt!

  9. Ms C; I think he has the enthusiasm that he could jump into the AHL. I’d like to see him in Chiefs colors one more year. But if his leaving means he gets to move up the ladder, good for him. I think he will still utilize his physical in the AHL and beyond. He is good for dropping mitts.

  10. i hate the kidz and their delicate ears, but I think you knew that already. I am 50 % potty mouth except when I am watching hockey, in which case I am 75 % potty mouth.

    The NHL does need to promote more players. It turns out that some of them actually have personalities, unlike ‘you know who’.

  11. Or at least some Barry Jive and the Uptown Five.

    @Domi: we have drunken fool sections at Chiefs games. There is the beer garden. Then the behind the crease section you can rent for parties and have a bar.

  12. @Domi, if there’s a designated family section, every other part of the arena could be the drunkard section!

    I concur with the family section, though. At HSBC, the five seats in front of our seats always bring a kid to the arena, and I always have to watch my mouth. It’s so hard not to swear at something; hockey brings the worst (or is it the best? ;D) out of me swearing-wise, and having to watch my mouth ruins it.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks that hockey players should have more coverage. I really think hockey players are some of the most down to earth athletes (with a few bad apples — I’m looking at you, Mr. Underage Drinking Staals) but they never get any coverage. Most of the segments that bring the viewers into the locker room on a teams’ parent station are always fun — they should start bringing those to big time. Especially commercials that involve a lot of players at once (see: the NHL Road Trip commercials; Orange commercials).

  13. Kudos for the family section. I really just see benefits with this one. Hockey fans (with all their spunk and vulgarity) should be allowed (and in my opinion encouraged) to be hockey fans. The mascot can be with the kiddies. And also, definitely new merch. They can be creative with their female audience (like you showed) and ditch the pink and glitter. And if they do it well, we’ll be more likely to wear intriguing t-shirts outside the arena and further be promoting our team as a result.

  14. Great reasons! Totally agree with the family section. And the NHL is just totally horrible at marketing for some odd reason. Every so often they come out with something great, but not very often.

    Oh and this, “I’d pay even bigger money to see the Sedins play Rock Band with Conan O’Brien. It would be a ginger explosion of sheer awesome.” might be the best thing I’ve ever heard! This must happen. You rock at life.

  15. I’ve finally found some sanity from a blogger. Good ideas, all, and funny. Maybe hockey isn’t doomed.

  16. One final idea. NHL FANZONE broadcasts, where 2 fans, one for each team, are in the broadcast booth for the game. They have it for the EPL on FSC and its great.

  17. haven’t seen the liveblogs, as i’m virgin to your site. i’ll be checking back in, though. Montreal fan? In Montreal?

  18. Cristo, if you are a facebooker it’s easy to keep tabs on my liveblogs that way. Since as of now they have been spur of the moment. If you swing over to I Mean We Got Guys…in the blog roll. She has our liveblogs embeded there if you want to read the insanity. When the season kicks into gear I will be more specific with when they are going down.

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