I regret to inform you - that the showing for our tailgate/planning session was quite sad. In addition to the normal tailgaters we typically have each week - we had between 5-10 additional people show up to contribute their thoughts on what our next move as a Coalition should be.
I understand this was late notice and we all have obligations and prior commitments that sometimes cannot be changed. However - it was the unanimous opinion of those who were in attendance that if we are unable to attract more than 10 people to a simple planning session - we aren't in a position to host any sort of rally or protest at this time.
Now please don't get upset with me if you were unable to attend - I am not calling anyone out or being rude. I don't need an influx of emails explaining why you couldn't be there. I spent my morning sifting through those yesterday - I understand. We have members out of state - some even out of country. I understand that we all have lives. But I have to be realistic about this. I've been getting several requests that we do something as a group and I'm fine with handling the planning and execution of that - but I'm also getting "don't do it on this date, or at this time because I have to (fill in the blank)".
It's simply impossible to accommodate everyone's schedule. I spent the summer of 2009 in court, with typically just 2 other Coyotes fans in attendance - sometimes a few more would trickle in - and I appreciate those who made the effort. I almost lost my job over it - but I was there. Coyotes fans were always outnumbered by the Canadian media alone. It didn't matter to them that I had thousands following my Tweets from court, or thousands on a mailing list getting my updates afterwards. It didn't matter to them that people had jobs and prior obligations that kept them from coming to the court proceedings. What mattered to them were the 3 or 4 fans total who were there and the lack of support the fan base in general seemed to be showing their team.
I personally took a lot of criticism for it and myself and the two others who were always there, spent the summer being blasted in the media and combating personal attacks from those who oppose our efforts. I'm not going to organize something and then be outnumbered by Canadian media again. I don't mind the criticism or personal attacks I've endured throughout this entire ordeal - I can handle it. But I'm not willing to stand on the steps of Goldwater with 2 other fans in front of a large crowd of Canadian media who can't wait to get home and write their stories about how pathetic our fan base is.
I will continue to explore our options and if we are able to obtain the support of the team, a large local radio station, television station or some other local media outlets - then perhaps we can make this happen. For now - here's what we can continue to do:
-Write, email, tweet, or facebook this information out to the hockey faithful as well as your casual friends and family. It’s said that 1 hand written/typed letter received is like 20k people in terms of impact. Ask your contacts for just one email, phone call, retweet, or better yet, one snail mail letter, to show their support.
-Show your support and ask questions: ask questions about the Yotes and the ownership situation and why GWI gets to do this when all the sports arenas in this town are subsidized in some form, what authority GWI has to get in the way of publicly elected officials making policy.
Mathew Hulsizer and let him know just how much you appreciate his efforts and ask him to not give up on us. Tell him we believe in him and we want him to be the owner we have never had. The passionate fan owner, the guy who knows how to make things work and isn’t afraid of the hard stuff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reach out to the NHL:
They have bent over backwards to make this work (despite what many say, they could have taken the easy way out after the BK was officially launched). I don't recommend an influx of emails to them - they are already fighting and know we support them. What we can do is become more interactive via their social media sites on Twitter and Facebook. We can make sure that the Coyotes fans are being heard.
Looking for answers?
Email: Goldwater Institute (resend your letter every day if you want - maybe we’ll get an answer from someone if we are persistent enough). An area of concentration for snail mail is asking for a copy of their Schedule A of Form 8872. Tax-exempt political organizations may also be required to file Form 990, including Schedule B so you can ask for that too.
Ask why they refuse to sit down with the City of Glendale or Hulsizer and discuss their concerns. You could also try to find out what their plan is to help the thousands of people that will be put out of work by this deal falling through (these are the people they are “looking out for”).
– Bring a sign to the game and hold it up at each stoppage of play. We’ll try to have extra signs on hand at each game. We can be found before each home game out on Patio 6 about an hour to 30 minutes prior to puck drop and I can always be reached via email. Anything that shows your support of the Coyotes would be great: "we love our Coyotes", "back off our team", etc - just make sure its appropriate and "family friendly". Bring extra signs if you can, pass them around. Any additional support will be great! Be vocal, fill up the arena and let the team know we want them here. Tell people about our website and ask them to sign up and fight to keep the team here. That includes the fans of other teams that fill our arena as well. Remind them that if the Coyotes leave, they won't see their Red Wings, Blackhawks, etc anymore either. We're all hockey fans - let's get together and join forces.
If you want/need some type of template for these write-in campaign efforts please let me know. We have some excellent writers who have already volunteered and can send you a lot of talking points to use.
We're not done yet, we are still fighting for our team.. this is the part where we all stand together and give it our best shot... pray to the Hockey Gods that the Coyotes can howl in the desert forever.
Remember, it won’t just be NHL hockey that we’ll lose if the Coyotes don’t stay. Youth programs and businesses based on hockey will suffer too. Per Senator John McCain: "The point is they are going to lose a thousand jobs. A non-elected organization is going to cause it" (via The Arizona Republic).