Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Never Jump Into a Pile of Leaves With a Wet Sucker

I feel like we're Charlie Brown in "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" when Lucy yanks the football out from underneath him as he runs to kick it. We get some momentum going and then someone is always there to grab the ball as we go to kick it. Or puck, in this case. We just can't get ahead. I ventured on to NHL.com today to discover that the Kings have yet again passed us in the standings.


We are currently hovering entirely too close to last place in the West, parked in the 13th spot being beaten in suckiness only by the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars. Things look slightly better in the League standings where we are at 23rd and have a little space between us and last place. 7 teams to be exact. The Maple Leafs, the Senators, Blue Jackets, Stars, Islanders, Thrashers & Tampa Bay, in that order. We've only won 12 of 27 games played.

"I don't mind your dishonesty half as much as I mind your opinion of me. You must think I'm stupid." To add insult to my injuries, an article was published by a Canadian National Newspaper stating that "The Phoenix Coyotes are expected to lose between $25- and $35-million (all currency U.S.) this year and with his primary business under financial duress, owner Jerry Moyes may not be able to cover the hockey team's losses any longer." According to the article's arthur David Shoalts, that leaves the Coyotes with 3 options: Option 1: renegotiate the arena's lease with the city of Glendale to put the city in a position to cover some of the losses. Option 2: Put the franchise into bankruptcy or Option 3: Find a new owner.

But before you all start freaking out, read that article a little closer. It's pretty much all speculation. His unnamed sources say Moyes is eager to unload the team. However, one reliable source said this: "I am confident not only that hockey will be here in five years but that we will be doing well in five years," says Coyotes' governor and CEO Jeff Shumway, pointing to improved ticket and suite sales and fewer giveaways. "We run a great franchise in a great sport, a sport we love. And, we're in one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S." Another reliable source, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said "I'm not in a position to comment on Mr. Moyes' personal financial situation or the financial condition of Swift, I can confirm that we are not concerned about the Coyotes missing payroll, nor have they ever come close to missing payroll. I can also confirm that I do not expect the team to file for bankruptcy protection."

"You just want me to come running up to kick that ball so you can pull it away and see me land flat on my back and kill myself." I'm driving myself crazy reading those comments on that article. I've debated back and forth on leaving a comment telling them all to shove it. But I didn't do it... Like it would make a difference in their thinking anyway. It should be noted that any opportunity that the folks in Canada see to put this team into a bad light, they are going to take it. There's bitterness there. I have much respect for the folks in Canada but what they fail to realize is that hockey is not our national sport. Its new here. We aren't going to sell out every night. Sure, you could probably put two teams in Toronto, a team in Hamilton, another team in Winnipeg and sell out every night. That's because those cities are in CANADA! If we don't branch out, if we don't keep trying to grow an interest in hockey down South, its never going to grow and expand. Do they not want it to?

Lucy: "This time you can trust me. See, here's a signed document, testifying that I promise not to pull it away."
Charlie Brown: "It is signed, its a signed document. I guess if you have a signed document in your possession, you can't go wrong. This year I'm really gonna kick that football."
Runs. Kicks. Falls. "AHHHHHHHHHH"
Lucy: "Peculiar thing about this document, it was never notarized."


**********THIS JUST IN**********
I just read an article recently posted on the NHL website discussing the economy, how it is expected to effect the league, clubs, etc. Bettman said this when questioned about recent speculation regarding the Sabres being up for sale and moving to Canada: "The NHL will be fine," Bettman said. "We may have to focus on the way we are operating into the future, in terms of the value proposition for fans and cost controls and the like, but none of our clubs are in jeopardy. The games will be played and we are doing OK this season. Revenues will be up and there will be real growth. But, like everyone else, we need to be observant, flexible and proactive to deal with the uncertainties the future will bring."


hipcheck said...

Your entry showed how we are disappointed but we are going to keep trying and keep supporting them. We hardcore fans are here through thick and thin, although sometimes we may get very upset…we will keep coming back. It’s almost like we enjoy the pain.

Ok about those articles about the Coyotes leaving and the team not filling seats:

I think a lot of it is the relatively newness of the Coyotes. We were one of the last ones to leave Canada, so that coupled with our current financial state makes the Coyotes an easy target.

In Phoenix the Coyotes will have to earn fans. They will just get fans in Canada but here they need to prove they deserve the fans. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the Coyotes, the metro area of Phoenix offers much to do. There are a great number of sports to watch from high school football to WNBA. There are mountains to hike. There are spas galore and many more options of what to do with our time and money. The people of Phoenix have so many options to choose from and some are weighing very carefully where their money will go in this tough economic time. The Coyotes need to win and get their name out there and prove that they are worthy of people’s disposable income. They will not do that with losses like Sunday night or barely hanging on to .500.

Anonymous said...

Good read. I assume this is the same article that pissed me off the other day.
Hipcheck nailed it exactly. This isnt a "If you build it they will come" market. And while snowbirds may boost ticket sales briefly, you have to create a fan base. This takes patience, time, and proper marketing of the game. MOST importantly, it takes winning. Die hards like yourself will watch the games if they go 0-82, but the fickle masses and business folk wanna be associated with winners. There is enough people and enough youth hockey to support a team here, no question.
But ya gotta WIN
except against Vancouver
Go Yotes 78-4

Anonymous said...

ok, this is the 2nd time it has deleted my comment. I am pissed. Diva, please fix the internets............GRRRRRRRRRR

Carcillo13 said...

Everybody loves a winner... Thank you both for your comments and thoughts.

hipcheck, you really did hit the nail right on the head with this one. And Duke, I hear a lot about the fickle fans here in Phoenix who only love a winner. I wish they would come to the games and see just how much fun live NHL games can be, win or lose. What I do know though is this: The Coyotes ARE building a fan base. I am living proof. If not for my Coyotes (and specifically the Coyotes Tickets For Kids Program), I never would've even gone to my first hockey game. Hell, I never would've even thought twice about the sport. I hated sports period before I went to my first Coyotes game. Slowly but surely, the fan base is growing. It'd be a shame to toss in the towel at this point.

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