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Archive for the ‘Carolina Hurricanes’ Category

Crazy bad storms roared through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky last night. Luckily, those of us in the Nashville area seemed to fare the storm pretty well.  I stayed up late (after an exceptionally long day at work) tracking the storm activity instead of keeping up with the primary results and the Predator/Hurricanes game on Versus.

While I was at work I set up to record the hockey game on my DVR. DirecTV is so cool for adding that feature. I AM UNSTOPPABLE!!! Unless, of course it’s overridden by the ladies at the house.

I was watching the storm coverage on WTVF (don’t meteorologists take some sort of glee in dangerously active weather?) confident that I wouldn’t miss the game of two of my favorites going head-to-head.  All of a sudden right after the first super cell barreled through downtown they take a call from a former employee who is at the Sommet Center. As he is on the phone he describes the actions taken by the staff at the arena and mentions the outcome of the game!?! Hello? Gimme a spoiler alert warning for Pete’s sake! I know you’re stressed out but come on. . .

I suppose I’m the kind of guy that once he hears the outcome of a game that he is taping he no longer has interest in watching that game. Even if it turns out to be good contest. For me, it’s kind of like watching the movie ‘Titanic.’  I know the thing is going to sink so what’s the point?

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Let me start by saying I am a hockey fan.  While I have some favorite teams (Predators, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs) I really do love the sport.  At the same time I understand a little bit about the business world.

I went to the Predators vs. Flames game on Saturday night with my buddy, Stuart.  There were many empty seats in the building.  Heck, there were empty sections!   We could have moved down to sit on the glass if we wanted to.  If Nashville (and by Nashville I mean regular fans and most of all local business owners) can’t fill an arena on a Saturday night against a team that has regularly gone to the Stanley Cup playoffs then we don’t deserve to have a hockey team.  And if they move I might have to uproot the Extrovert/Introvert family and head north!

Okay, I feel a little better now. I needed to get that off of my chest.

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First off, I am not a fan of the Anaheim Ducks whatsoever.  I am more of a fan of the sport of hockey than anything (and a big fan of the home team as well).  But I must say some things about the NHL playoffs that no other sport playoff series has.

Whenever I watch the playoffs and the finals no matter who wins the whole process brings a tear(s) to my eyes. Hockey is the only sport that has the hand-shaking thing.  Reminiscent of little league games it’s great to see opponents shake hands and hug (as manly as possible)after a rough series.  Especially after contentious moments.

It’s hard work and whoever ends up winning gets my respect.  One of my favorite teams to have won the cup was the Carolina Hurricanes.  I had the pleasure of working in the RBC Center and for the ‘canes before it was the RBC Center.  Always a fan even though I have since moved from Raleigh and am in Nashville and am a fan of my home team.

Congratulations to the Ducks.  And to the Predators, there’s always next year.

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Okay, it seems that every blogger in Nashville is talking about this potential purchase of the Nashville Predators by a Canadien (gasp) businessman. As a hockey fan I might as well jump on this bandwagon and say my piece (or is it peace? MTA a little help?) about the impending transaction.

To start off this post I must share an anecdote. The day I drove the Uhaul filled with our possessions I tuned in to one of the sports radio networks (I can’t remember which one) when they announced that Paul Kariya had just signed on to be a Predator. Hearing that announcement made the move from my beloved Black Mountain, North Carolina to Nashville worth it. The Elder Extroverted Holy One’s acceptance into Vanderbilt Divinity School aside I was all about living in a town with a NHL team again.

Okay, back to the topic at hand.

First of all the deal is not done.

The sale must be closed by June 30. Approval before that date from the NHL’s board of governors would be required.

Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion Ltd., who saw his recent bid to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins fall apart, said he is respectful of all the “due diligence” required before the Predators deal can close.

“This is still Craig Leipold’s franchise until the deal is completed, so for me to comment at this time on any number of topics relative to the franchise would not be appropriate,” Balsillie said in a statement.

Hoops need to be jumped through and so forth and so on. However, I am as pessimistic about the outcome as most others are.

I must say that the current predicament the Preds are in I’m going to have to blame the corporate entities here in Nashville. As the Wall Street Journal says, “In a league where teams shoot for a 65-35 split between corporate and consumer ticketholders, the Predators’ fan base is about 30% corporate and 70% consumer.”

One can’t expect the fan base in this southern town to carry the whole burden of supporting the team. It has to be the whole community, which includes the local businesses. It seems that we, as fans, have done quite a lot to support our team. Heck, the Young Extroverted One loved our experience so much that she cried when I took someone else to a game! If I could afford it I would definitely get a couple of season tickets so I can take her to every game and to support our team.

When I worked for the Carolina Hurricanes it was extremely tough to make fans out of NASCAR and ACC basketball fans. It basically took a Stanley Cup win to build a following but there was definitely a core fan base that stuck it through the whole time. Plus, it took the local Raleigh businesses to get behind them. That’s what we need here.

But I must also keep in mind that this is all about business. If the deal goes through and the lease agreements aren’t made then Balsillie can do whatever he chooses with the team. If he decides to move it to a more hockey friendly community, like anywhere in Canada, then that’s his prerogative. I love hockey, I love the Predators but this relationship can’t work if the entire community doesn’t jump in to support them as well.

If any out-of-towners would like to support the Introvert/Extrovert family’s wishes to help support the Nashville Predators with season tickets then leave a comment below with your pledges. A hockey fan representative will contact you shortly.

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