Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cold Water on Winter Classic, and I Don't Mean Bud Light

Not that it becomes me to be the wet blanket when most are excited about something, (I’m far too skinny to be a blanket.) but there are aspects to the upcoming Winter Classic at Wrigley that make me a little urpy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exhilarating to see that the Hawks have come so far in such a short time that the NHL would want to grant us its showcase event to highlight that. There is no doubt it will be an occasion most will talk about for years. And the opportunity for the Hawks to announce their return to prominence on the ice on national TV against our biggest rivals who just happen to be holding the world’s most prized beer mug is obviously a prospect that is drool-worthy. But not everything syncs up for me.

Firstly, it would seem our most dedicated fans are going to be the ones screwed most by the location. Sure, everyone’s going to want to be at this. But they’ll all be fighting for the right to freeze their ass off in order to not see much. The sightlines are going to be downright awful. There isn’t one layout I can think of that will provide even most of the 40,000 with a view of anything happening on the ice, except if they move one end as close to home plate as they can and even then those toward the outfield won’t get much of a look in. This is a plus as it’ll be harder for the mouth breathers from the Motor City to toss any mollusks on the ice, and they’ll land mostly in left field. Anyone who’s seen Soriano play defense would be used to the sight of something clumsily flapping around out there.

Secondly, the ticket situation. Does anyone in their right mind trust Bettman to get anything right? Don’t be shocked if not every season ticket holder gets in, and partial season ticket holders are 50-50 at best. And why do Red Wing season ticket holders get a shot at all? I understand Penguin fans got one last year, but Ralph Wilson Stadium holds 80,000 people. If I don’t miss my calculations, that’s twice as much as Wrigley. What can Red Wing fans add, other than a curious odor? Expect more fights than usual on New Year’s Eve with these fuckers crawling around.

Lastly, this is a great event that draws attention to the NHL, which is so badly needed even teenage girls would blush. But after last year’s the powers that be made all the right noises about not wanting to overdo it. Well, that went out the window, didn’t it? You can be sure there will be another one the following season in the New Yankee Stadium, and then Toronto or Montreal or the Bruins will be clamoring for their own. This will be yet another idea Bettman drives into the ground for the NHL. It seems to be what he does best.\

All that being said, I’ll still find my way into Wrigley on Jan. 1, and love every minute of it. If I remember any of them.


hipcheck said...

I saw a picture the other day of the set up, looks like the rink will be in the outfield. I don't think a baseball field is the best setup for hockey. But I will tune in to see how it turns out.

And I think hawks sth should get first choice at tickets over the dead things. Their fans are just way too obnoxious!

Matthew K. said...

From what I've read that set up was just quickly put together - that's not necessarily how the rink will be set on the field. I hope they can figure out a good way to put it together.

Forklift said...

The setup they showed is probably going to offer the best sightlines for the people in the stands. Not that the stands matter, this is a made-for-TV event.
I'm considering a rooftop, or the beer will flow freely in my humble abode.