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.