Billboards On Skates? Not A Fan

Eli Manning, the Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New York Giants, has a bit of a dilemma. See, the team he plays for…the one that pays his salary… went and sold ad space on their practice jerseys to Timex. Problem is… Eli endorses Citizen watches.

So what’s Manning going to do about this situation? Well, according to Darren Rovell of CNBC

“Manning’s jersey has the patch on it and news crews might be able to film the small patch – 3½ inches by 4½ inches – from afar, but for this practice and all future practices, Manning is not expected to give Timex much love due to his conflict of interest. We’re told Manning will do interviews before practice in a t-shirt and will take off his pads for any interviews after practice”.

Well…I guess that takes care of that, huh?

Now, what does any of this have to do with the Thrashers and/or the NHL? Well, I’m glad you asked me that my friend.

Reading this story reminded me of a particular topic that has circled around the hockey world for some time now. It’s the one about possibly granting corporate sponsors the ability to place their logos on NHL team jerseys. If this is allowed, it would help generate more revenue for the teams and the league. It would also, in my opinion, simply pollute some of the greatest jerseys in professional sports.

Certainly, this isn’t a new idea as European hockey and soccer leagues allow such advertisement on the uniforms of their teams. Depending on the sport and the league, you could see jerseys with a single, large logo of a sponsor on the front of the uniform…or a smattering of smaller logos scattered all over it.

Needless to say…I’m not a fan of the idea.

(AP modified photo)

Don't we get enough of this alongside our interstate highways? (AP modified photo)

Obviously, corporate sponsorships are a necessary aspect of professional sports and the placement of product ads can be found all over the place. From the naming of arenas and stadiums…to ads on the boards and hanging from inside of them…to the word “official” stamped on everything from the teams airline to jock-itch powder…franchises in each league generate a lot of dough by selling space for advertisement. And certainly these ads help bring enough money for the teams and offset ticket prices and run the business end of the organization. So I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a place for logos, ads and sponsorships.

TV…fine.

Radio…no problem.

Billboards along I-75…blocks the natural scenary, but OK.

Internet sites…hey, it keeps the surfing the net free of charge, right?

Like I said, advertisement is fine in it’s place. But what I am asking…hoping… is that such a place not be located on the jerseys. That’s all. The last thing in the world I want to see is the ice surface at Philips Arena looking more like a mini NASCAR track than an NHL hockey game.

I was in a sports store the other day looking at soccer…I mean, football… jerseys from teams in England and Germany. there isn’t a one of them that isn’t displaying some type of corporate logo on the front of the jersey. I couldn’t help but wonder if the fans that bought and wore the shirts were supporting, say, Manchester United or AIG…just sayin’.

That plus the Manning story kinda got me thinking about how a Thrashers uni would look with…oh, I don’t know…a big Coca-Cola or Home Depot or Delta or maybe even UPS logo plastered on the front as the team’s crest. Then, of course, the Thrashers logo would be relegated to a small patch on the shoulder.

In a word…yeck!

See…I like Home Depot, dropped many-a-coin there since becoming a homeowner. I fly Delta whenever I travel…never had a problem with the airline. I enjoy the occasional Coca-Cola and I use UPS whenever I need to send a package.

Again…I like those companies.

But I am a fanatic of the Atlanta Thrashers. And that’s the logo I want to see on the front when watching them play. And when I buy a new jersey, I want the logo of my team to be on display, not necessarily some product or service that I may or may not use…or may or may not even like.

Besides, I think it’d just look tacky as hell…but that’s just me.

Now, I honestly don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to think that we’ll soon see the day when a small logo could be added to NHL jerseys for a corporate sponsor…much like the Kroger patch on those worn by the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. I suppose it’s inevitable…where there is a dollar to be made, a dollar will indeed be made…whether I, or anyone else for that matter, like it or not.

I hope it doesn’t, but if and when such a day should ever come, I hope the league officials will temper their enthusiasm and desire for the extra money that could be generated by advertisement with the wisdom and foresight of not allowing the sport to degenerate into nothing more than “Ads on Ice and turn the players into ”Billboards on Skates”.

216 comments Add your comment

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
1:55 pm

Hokie — The point wasn’t about Belfour’s off ice problems, it was about how nice it would be for a qualified individual such as Belfour should be brought in to coach/consult with Atlanta’s goalies. I don’t care if it was Belfour, Roy, or any other people you can scrounge up from the long list of a-hole goalies…so long as they’re a qualified individual who will focus on improving the game of Lehtonen and Pavelec (and future goalies), I’m happy. Weeks isn’t getting it done, in my opinion.

EOB — I understand your points, but with all of that being said Buffalo is still in the bottom 10 in team salary over the last three years. Where is all of that revenue going, if not towards the team?

You’re arguing the merits of the Buffalo fans, and I’m simply saying that the ownership group(s) have projected “cheap” for the last few years. With all of those dedicated fans Buffalo has not won a Stanley Cup, yet ownership hasn’t committed more to winning one. Clearly the Buffalo owner(s) are content with being good but not the best.

Buffalo has a rich tradition on their side, which you are arguing (and I’m not denying), but what I’m saying is for the past 3 years Buffalo has been an above average team with a below average payroll, and ownership doesn’t seem to mind.

To me it’s a “problem” when a tradition rich hockey market penny-pinches despite the appearance that the team is in a strong hockey market. As I said it’s either fans enabling the ownership by paying full price for half price commitment, or the market is weaker than it appears to us fans (the people on the outside).

Despite the Nielsen ratings and your recital of the past three ownership groups (no offense, I don’t really care about them), I still have the admitted misconception about Buffalo. Buffalo has fans that will go to the ends of the nation to annoy the hell out of the home team fans, but for all of that dedication to their team the ownership group seems content riding the round 1-3 playoff revenue every year all the way to the bank.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
2:07 pm

June 95 for me

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
2:14 pm

“the market is weaker than it appears to us fans (the people on the outside)………Buffalo has fans that will go to the ends of the nation to annoy the hell out of the home team fans”

Now it all makes sense. You’re upset because some Buffalo fans were able to cheer louder than you were at a game so you will retaliate by saying they are a weak market.

People this is hockey. We aren’t watching figure skating and if someone screams at one of our players, there is nothing stopping us from screaming louder. Philips Arena seats 18 thousand. If a couple of hundred of them cheer for the opposing team we should be able to drown them out. But don’t complain that their fans are annoying because they cheer louder.

If they are louder than us in Philips then shame on us.

Alan

August 6th, 2009
2:39 pm

Now it all makes sense. You’re upset because some Buffalo fans were able to cheer louder than you were at a game so you will retaliate by saying they are a weak market.

Sense. You’re not making any.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
2:42 pm

ranallo… understood… if Lehtonen would just pay attention to Moose’s conditioning, we’d be fine.

As far as “in game” focus… yeah, not sure what the answer is.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
2:44 pm

Oh, by the way… my last post was brought to you in part by… “The Moose Unplugged”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynVw7qC-44U

Viking

August 6th, 2009
3:11 pm

Back in the day, my Swedish home team Färjestad was closely associated with the local coffee brand, which had purple with yellow accents as their colors. The players and even the arena was purple and yellow! At the time, the ads were pretty subdued. Everyone was happy. But one year a bank managed to cameleonize the players into something green and white with an oak tree adorning the outfit – to the displeasure of many fans. However, later we were back to coffee and everyone was happy again! Nowadays they are wearing green…

Here is a fight between Sheldon Souray (in Löfbergs coffee colors) and Niklas Kronwall: (Click on the picture to start the movie)

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://habsinsideout.com/files/hio/img/farjestad.jpg&imgrefurl=http://habsinsideout.com/2007/07/they_miss_souray_in_sweden_too&usg=__pslqVpeBr51RPm6cDitq-ccmDSw=&h=937&w=650&sz=197&hl=en&start=5&um=1&tbnid=K0sYDX-4It5vIM:&tbnh=148&tbnw=103&prev=/images%3Fq%3Df%25C3%25A4rjestad%2Bhockey%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26um%3D1

If dress ads would help reducing ticket prices and get us couple of good players, I would put up with the ads. As long as they are restricted and be in harmony with the rest of the design.

R. Stroz

August 6th, 2009
3:17 pm

GaVaHokie – Great link on the Moose machine.

I need to buy one of those machines for protection while walking in downtown Atlanta after games.

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
3:50 pm

I need to buy one of those machines for protection while walking in downtown Atlanta after games.

I need one to keep the neighborhood cats from crapping in our garden and flower beds.

lee

August 6th, 2009
3:51 pm

very good points rannallo!

GaVaHokie

August 6th, 2009
4:25 pm

Okay… since there isn’t much to talk about, here’s something to ponder over. I was just noticing that Vancouver re-upped with former-Thrasher property, Guilleume Desbiens.

I was looking at his career stats… look what moving away from Chicago/Gwinnett to another system in Manitoba did to his stats.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=3550

He didn’t even play a full season with Chicago/Gwinnett combined, so there must have been some “scratches”.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it makes you ponder how a big physical RWer might fair in an Anderson offensive system.

A27

August 6th, 2009
4:35 pm

The Hell with Buffablow and there stupid fans. Hated them in Hartford and even hate them more down here. They act like they won the Stanley Cup and can talk all kinds of crap. But in truth the Sabres are like the Bills chokers. The only fans that I dont mind taking a ribbing from at Phillips are Wings, Devils, Tampa, fans, atleast there are not as moronic and as annoying. Oh and WBF and the rest of the posters from the upstate New York region, this is not a jab at you guys you seem cool. Its more directed to the tards that show up at Thrasher games. Plus my wife and inlaws are all from ROTchester and I never hear the end of it from them about the BananaSlugs and the Bills… Anyway back to Thrasher hockey. Hope we can get MM and I dont mind Ads on jeresys. Sorry for my rant.

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
4:46 pm

A27, all we have to do is yell louder and the problem is solved. Given our numbers and the fact that a lot of transplants have converted to the Thrashers, I don’t think it will be a problem. I can’t imagine a couple of hundred away team fans outcheering the home crowd at a football game in Athens, so why does it happen in Philips?

rightshot

August 6th, 2009
4:47 pm

How weird would it be to have both a Viagra ad and an ad for a pregnancy test together on the jersey. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, “The team is working hard and getting results.”

Alan

August 6th, 2009
4:50 pm

Things that make you go “Hmm”:

According to one of the country’s top sociologists, interest in the National Hockey League has been declining over the past two decades, with the game’s largest proportion of fan losses occurring among teenagers. The University of Lethbridge’s Reginald Bibby says his findings debunk the myth of “hockey-mad” Canadians, and call into question the game’s endurance as our national winter sport.

(This post sponsored by Bubba’s Waffles and Fish Bait)

R. Stroz

August 6th, 2009
5:15 pm

rightshot – That’s a good one.

Along the same lines, that would give the Thrasher management mantra of incremental progress new meaning.

Darren Eliot

August 6th, 2009
5:30 pm

The Thrashers are moving in the right direction.

(This message brought to you by the makers of Viagra)

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
5:47 pm

Hokie — I noticed Desbiens got re-signed too, thought I’d leave it alone. But, since you bring it up, I’m still a bit disappointed he wasn’t re-signed. Desbiens is a scrapper, plain and simple, but apparently Manitoba was able to tap into his ability to put points on the board. I don’t expect him to be anything more than a fourth line winger, but a fourth liner who can play in the crease and fight like Desbiens does…that’s rough.

EOB — Seriously?? This was a conversation, not a pissing contest.

Brendan

August 6th, 2009
5:51 pm

You WNY transplants got here just in time to see Atlanta’s only major professional sports championship. They say “timing is everything!” Lots of Buffalo conversation lately. My $0.02, I don’t know what the truth is. But my snooping on Golisano tells me … they guy’s got untold financial resources. Why the HECK aren’t they spending to the MAX CAP limit? Especially since you Sabre fans are reporting massive “sellouts” and “waiting lists” for Season tickets. Something doesn’t add up. I have ZERO DOUBT that Buffalo hockey fans are super knowledgeable and are of the “die-hard” variety. So, to hear there’s a waiting list for Season Tix doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. But … if the arena’s soldout, and the owner is a billionaire, why doesn’t the team have a MAXED cap? Follow up question, why does the Buffalo market “seem,” (heavy emphasis on SEEM,) to have trouble retaining players?

Before someone chimes in to say there’s nothing to do in Buffalo. That’s false. Even past Niagara Falls, which, if done properly, takes three days, in and out itself, there are other things to do in Buffalo and Western New York. If I’m a Canadian hockey player, why WOULDN’T I want to come to Buffalo? It’s a stone’s throw from the border. Without having to sell your house, you could manage to play for Toronto in your UFA years. It’s probably a little charter flight from Buffalo into Pearson Int’l, in Toronto, to connect to any other major Canadian City? I repeat, if you’re a Canadian, used to cold weather and snow, why wouldn’t you come to play in Buffalo? Unless the answer is … because the ownership isn’t committed to player retention? It doesn’t make sense. People in Buffalo support that team. If the arena is soldout, it’s getting the MAXIMUM REVENUE that it can, barring raising prices. The owner is a frekkin billionaire. What’s the hold-up? Why did BOTH Drury and Briere leave??? That’s insane. One of them has to stay. I don’t care which one. But one of them DOES. I think they should have kept J.P. Dumont and Mike Grier, too. Why do these guys get away? They weren’t Tier I guys, demanding the moon and stars. McKee, fine. Let him go. He asked for too much, anyway. Campbell? Sure Campbell is ridiculously overpaid. But I have to wonder what was going on in the offseason of his contract year? Why wasn’t a proactive contract tendered? And if not then, why not by Christmas, at the latest? I think, with no proof, that Campbell could have been had for $5 million a year, for as long as Buffalo wanted him, had they jumped all over him EARLY. Again, this doesn’t add up. Players want $7 million off the Sabres, for some reason. Drury, Briere, Campbell, even Vanek, got their “$7 million cap hit salaries.” I don’t blame Buffalo for exercising prudence with how it spends its money. That’s fine. Every good organization should. But why do players get away from the Sabres? There’s got to be a reason, no? It’s something. What ISSS that “something?” Is is a “lack of vision?” I wouldn’t think that. GM Darcy Regier is a good GM. Is it “lack of financing?” Billionaire ownership. I doubt it’s that. Is it a “lack of commitment” towards pursuing the Cup? Shrugs. I don’t know. I’ll put that in the “maybe” category. Why … do … players … leave Buffalo? Is it that, they don’t think they’ll get the money when they hit UFA status? If so, that’s a problem. It speaks to “commitment.” And “vision.” And “ownership.”

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 6th, 2009
5:53 pm

Hokie — I assume you differentiated my “re-signed” between Vancouver (former) and Atlanta (latter).

Brendan

August 6th, 2009
6:14 pm

Sara, I think you’re right. The advertising revenue would far exceed any jersey sales losses, due to corporate logos on them. But my cynical side tells me, that someone in a position of authority would step up to say, “I have an idea. The jerseys sold to the public shall NOT contain the corporate logos; this way … they’ll actually buy them.” Hey, who would want to miss out on revenue? The game sweaters would have the corporate logos. This way, the most revenue that could be generated would be generated.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
6:35 pm

Ranallo-I agree with your comments on Buffalo being cheap-they are. Not so sure I agree with the annoying fans comment; not that I am partial, I just don’t think it is accurate. But I respect your opinion.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
6:39 pm

A27 thanks for your thoughts, hoping you won’t be such a doink on your next post. Go Thrashers

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
8:48 pm

Brendan, you hit the nail on the head. Buffalo is very attractive for NHL players & coaches. That’s why on 1 street in a particular Buffalo suburb Scotty Bowman, John Muckler & Daryl Sittler all live next to each other. Someone else lives on it and joked “his” neighborhood won XX Stanley Cups (the joke being that he didn’t win any of them, everyone else did). A couple of my buddies from high school live up the street from Rick Dudley (so be careful what you say about us Buffalo transplants).

Anyways, Golisano is a very good businessman, many believe he has visions of turning a hefty profit more than winning a Cup. On another blog, and I can’t tell you where, but I did a rundown of all the players the Sabres let go. With the exception of 1 or 2, all were overpaid free agents and almost all were busts on their next team. So Buffalo was smart in that sense. As well, they did hold onto some expensive guys which doesn’t get mentioned as much. So there’s that argument also.

In the end, Golisano just went to back-to-back conference finals and he probably has 1 more year before he has to cut the purse strings loose again. Unless of course they make the playoffs this year. Also, they have some young studs coming up that can make things interesting and their core players are pretty much in their 20’s still. Roy, Vanek, Pominville, Miller, Stafford, Connolly are all young and are all signed long-term.

ranallo10 (in AT) I am sorry for the pissing match but I am so sick of people here complaining about loud Buffalo fans. If only I can get Philips to be as loud as that high school football game I went to down here it wouldn’t be an issue. If Thrashers fans don’t like loud Sabres fans then they should easily get drowned out.

World Be Free

August 6th, 2009
9:23 pm

Everyone should be happy that visiting fans frequent Thrashers’ games, regardless of the team. We need to build the fan base to the point that there won’t be any seats left for visiting team’s fans.

The Earl of Bud

August 6th, 2009
9:35 pm

World Be Free, keep in mind too that those visiting fans are buying tickets, beer & hot dogs that will go to help us signing Kovalchuk. To paraphrase someone else here (“If someone gave me the choice between the Atlanta Red Bulls or the Kitchener Thrashers, I’d pick Red Bulls immediately.”): If someone gave me the choice between the Atlanta Thrashers with a few visiting fans or the Kitchener Thrashers, I’d pick the visiting fans immediately. Sorry ranallo10 (in AT), I had to say it. And as you say WBF, our base should be big enough that we don’t have to worry about them.

Get The Puck Out

August 6th, 2009
10:37 pm

I don’t mind yellin from an opposing fan. That’s just passion for thier team. It’s the drunks mindless dribble that really gets under my skin. If i bring my family to a game i want them to enjoy it to the fullest. Not listen to someone spit and slobber, spill beer, etc, etc. Not only do you listen to this but you have to worry about gettin mugged or worse when you leave. I’ve had really good times at games but i’ve also had inconsiderate people make a game i love not so much fun.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 7th, 2009
5:07 am

WBF — I don’t think ALL Buffalo fans are annoying or obnoxious, I was singling out those that are. Get The Puck Out gave a few examples of those that I do consider to be more of a nuisance than a hockey fan.

Every team has such fans, unfortunately the quantity and voracity of the ones from Buffalo leaves an indelible mark in my brain which forces me to rank those fans high on the list of obnoxious NHL fans. Though, I’d say Philadelphia fans take the cake.

got a dollar?

August 7th, 2009
5:58 am

r stroz: you can hire a homeless man to escort to your car for a dollar.

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
6:22 am

Ranallo-no problem, you always have good opinions so I can buy this one.

I have to say, Leaf fans are the worst fans because they are obsessed with their team. Toronto talks hockey 24-7, 365 days a year. They haven’t won the Cup in 42 years, which for them is like not having sex for 42 years.

Toronto is the only team that sells out every game for a lousy team, which is what they were the entire time Harold Ballard owned them. Ballard would be the first to admit that, Pal Hal didn’t care of the Leafs won, people still bought tickets and stood in line.

Happy Friday folks-Braves blew it again!

World Be Free

August 7th, 2009
6:27 am

Get The Put Out-if this stuff bothers you (as it does me), then you obviously have never been to a hockey game in the old Boston Garden or Philly Spectrum. Toss in Rich Stdium (AKA Ralph Wilson Stadium) or the Meadowlands, anywhere near the end zones. I would not take my family anywhere near those places.

I really haven’t found any Thrashers’ games to be too bad when it comes to drunks. Maybe I have been lucky.

All I can say is that I am ready for the season to start today!

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
8:02 am

I believe everyone in Philips Arena was a fan of another team before the Thrashers came to town… the trick is getting fans to shed their “other” jerseys for a permanent Thrashers jersey.

I gave up my Red Wings jersey in ‘02-’03 when Kozlov came to the team.

I would guess about 50% of the people on this message board switch out their Thrasher jersey once or twice a year for Buffalo, Philly, Detroit, Rangers, Islanders, etc… and that’s being modest.

I just find it disgusting that someone who cheers for the Thrashers all year would put on a Rangers jersey, turn to a Thrashers fan in the stands and say “hell yeah, we’re kicking your ass tonight”.

DWTOO

August 7th, 2009
8:35 am

Good Point Hokie – Most Thrahser fans are transplants who started as fans of their original home town team. I started out that way – until the second ever Thrasher game – a 7 – 0 pasting by the Red Wings. The way the Detroit fans acted that night you’d have thought they won the Cup. At that point I had the revelation – “You don’t want to act the jack@#$ they are”. So now the original team is second and I bleed BLUE!

Think we’ll always have that problem in Atlanta tho’ – look at Braves, Falcons, etc. Whenever a rust belt team comes to town the crowd is always full of their fans. If things are so great in Chicago, NY, Pitt, Buffalo, Philly – MOVE BACK. You live here now, this is your home, these are our teams.

Lewis Grizzard had a wonderful line for those who insisted their hometown was better: Delta’s ready when you are!

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
8:49 am

I grew up in Philadelphia, I am still a fan of the Phillies, Flyers, Eagles and 76er’s. But I live in Statesboro Georgia now. I am a Thrasher, Brave, Falcon and Hawks fan FIRST. I would never disrespect my Atlanta teams by wearing Philly stuff to any game. Can’t wait for the puck to drop!!!!

Tom

August 7th, 2009
9:28 am

Why are there so many Buffalo fans in Atlanta? It is all in the numbers:

Buffalo 1950 — 580,132
Buffalo 2008 — 276,059

Atlanta 1950 — 331,314 Region — 997,666
Atlanta 2007 — 519,145 Region — 5,626,400

In Buffalo you have the die hards. They are long time residents who have never cheered for another team. All they know is Buffalo sports and it is a generational glue that helps hold people together in a very bleak city.

In Atlanta we have come from all over. The fans of the Thrashers are first generation. We do not have the long time history and odds are have been fans of other teams before we arrived here and CHANGED our allegiances.

So the passion we see from Sabres fans is partially for the team, but it is also a homecoming for the former Buffalo residents who have migrated to a better life but miss their home. The results are tribal and more passionate that most and it is purely understandable. They are back with people they share a common history with.

(Disclaimer, I married a girl from Buffalo and visit her family regularly in the city. I actually like the city. )

(This post sponsored by Delta Air Lines. We have 5 nonstop flights to Buffalo daily on full sized jets. Check our website for details and remember to book ahead for extra savings when visiting the Western New York region. Delta Air Lines and Northwest, the World’s Largest Airline. )

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
10:08 am

Most of you seem rational. Only 1 post here describes enemy fans as running through Philips Arena looking for wheelchairs to tip over. I just don’t see that happening so let’s not exaggerate. On that note, no sports game in my life was ever worse than my first or second year here and the Omni was imploded but Philips not built yet. So the Hawks were playing in the Dome that year. They made the playoffs and played the Knicks. $#@% even ESPN said on Sportscenter that it was a home game for the Knicks. I have never heard a home stadium get that loud let alone an away teams’ fans, and keep in mind this was the Dome. Worst. Game. Ever. But they bought a ticket and had a right to yell as loud as they wanted and I never felt threatened.

I am a Thrasher fan first (I hope you can tell by my posts) even though I still follow the Sabres. But I just can’t get into the Falcons the way I watch the Bills. And I don’t claim to be a Falcons fan either so I hope that makes it ok.

This post brought to you by Ted’s Hot Dogs, The Anchor Bar, La Nova Pizza, Gennesee Cream Ale, Charlie the Butcher, the Maid of the Mist and anyone selling sponge candy.

Smoothie

August 7th, 2009
10:13 am

Tom – great post! Well done sir, well done!

DWTOO & dwayne – I could not agree more. I grew up a Sabres and Bills fan, but I am die-hard Thrashers and Falcons now because I have an attachment to the city and of course the team because of players like Kovy, Moose, Kozlov etc.

Of course, I did not grow up in Buffalo or WNY, my dad did. But the attachment I had was through my father. Now, it’s all about the connection with the “hometown” team and fans.

I can understand why Sabres and Wings fans love to unite as a group when their real hometown team comes to town. I will not begrudge them their allegiance because we need their support the other 39 or 40 nights a year.

However, I just can’t love the Sabres anymore because 1) my connection with ATL and THIS team is so much stronger and 2) too many Sabres fans act as though hockey fandom is their natural birthright and that arrogance is what offends a lot of “Thrashers first” fans.

Hu Flung Poo

August 7th, 2009
10:17 am

Herro! I rub the Frashers. Dey skate pretty. I see Errin Anndrews video and make me happy #1 fan.

(these comments brought to you by Who Flung Poo Inc. a Yun Poon Tang subsidiary)

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
10:30 am

Hu Flung Poo…you funny haha, not funny queer…..

Alan

August 7th, 2009
10:31 am

If I went on about the Red Wings as much as the Buffalo Contingent™ goes on about the Sabres, I would be strung up and hanged from the rafters at Philips.

(Brought to you by China Palace XCVIII! Now serving General Meow’s Kitten!)

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
10:52 am

Brendan, since you asked about Buffalo’s player retention, or lack of, this article might be another clue. Although I disagree on Spacek (and Antropov) 2 of the top 5 overpaid free agents this summer are former Sabres. Should they overpay to retain? That has been the case with a lot of the other guys that have left town.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27453-Screen-Shots-Worst-UFA-signings-of-2009.html

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
11:04 am

All the “Contingents” typically shut up when they get their asses handed to them by the Thrashers… we just need that to happen on a regular basis to where it’s an embarrassment to wear any other jersey besides an Atlanta one.

For the longest time, the Thrashers were merely a team for northern hockey fans to get their “fix” of hockey… I’ve said on numerous occasions that I believed that was the early business strategy.

Build a winner, and the “contingents” should slowly fade away.

ranallo10 (in AT)

August 7th, 2009
11:14 am

There has been a surprising amount of leniency for the Buffalo discussions. I agree that had it been a Detroit discussion the Not-So-Dynamic Duo would’ve been here to stamp out that conversation after the first few posts.

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
11:26 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here? None of the “contingents” are saying that Buffalo is the greatest team and we are all saying that they have problems due to a cheap owner. Most of all, we are all Thrashers fans first and I can clearly say the “contingents” have made far more posts about the Thrashers. It’s summer time and we can only talk about Zherdev coming to Atlanta for so long before it gets old and if we talk about hockey long enough eventually we are going to drift into talks from around the league. Moreso, what happens with some of these other teams can effect the Thrashers. Keep in mind some of us “contingents” have posted links about Jason Williams going to Detroit.

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Alan

August 7th, 2009
11:37 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here?

I could point you to a particular post where I mentioned the Hudler situation (a situation, mind you, that could have implications on every NHL team) and got berated for it; However, I have the feeling that you know exactly what I’m talking about.

What I learned? There’s everything wrong with talking about another NHL team.

Talk Sabres on the Buffalo blogs.

GaVaHokie

August 7th, 2009
11:55 am

What’s wrong with talking about another team here?

It’s summer free agency… I don’t see any problem talking about other teams. It’s pretty much open season. Who’s making what moves? What moves do you like? etc.

Once the puck drops though… ;)

Dwayne

August 7th, 2009
12:12 pm

ok then, i wanna talk about Mike Vick….not

The Earl of Bud

August 7th, 2009
1:10 pm

Alan, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you have a problem with some other posters, take it up with them, not me or any other members of “the contingent”.

Dwayne, if Mike Vick can lace ‘em up, by all means lets talk about him. Can he put the dog biscuit in the basket?

GaVaHokie, thanks while we don’t always share the same opinions you always seem to have some good hockey input.

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Rawhide

August 7th, 2009
1:15 pm

Sidney Crosby will be celebrating his birthday today by bringing the Stanley Cup to his hometown.

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Brendan

August 7th, 2009
1:23 pm

EOB, I cannot deny that some, several, maybe even “many” of the Sabres discarded, got OVERPAID to play elsewhere, in unrestricted free agency. That is, “situation normal.” GM’s almost always wind up paying through the nose for free market talent.

But my point is … why do they slip away? Before you say, “Because they’re not WORTH $7 million,” and be right about it, consider this: “Why weren’t these players LOCKED UP, PROACTIVELY, when the opportunity first presented itself, at a discount?” Therein, to me, seems to lie the issue. Why does Buffalo see these players reach the point of “no return?”

I was tempted to say, “let or allow,” but that’s not the correct word. Obviously, the players hold the cards, in terms of pending UFA status. If they want to leave Buffalo, nothing can PREVENT it. Hossa was bound and determined to leave Atlanta, for example. That’s the player’s right. But with billionaire ownership, and a very capable GM in Regier, I cannot UNDERSTAND, for the life of me, why Buffalo didn’t approach Campbell, Drury, Briere, Dumont, etc., etc., etc., when they could be signed for cheaper, during the offseason?

Obviously, my whole post is speculative, but I do have to wonder if Drury, Briere, and Campbell couldn’t ALL have been locked up for $5 million, on July 1, of the final year of their respective contracts? Again, this speaks to “intent.” It speaks to “vision.” It speaks to “ownership.” Something is wrong. Why do players … want to leave … the Buffalo Sabre organization? Maybe it’s Larry Quinn? I don’t know who he is, truthfully. Who gave Larry Quinn any authority? If it was Golisano, then Golisano needs to wake up. Buffalo has an excellent coach in Lindy Ruff. That’s my opinion. I welcome other viewpoints on that. I also think Darcy Regier is a very good GM. I welcome counter viewpoints on that, as well. I’d call Regier, “upper echelon.” So, I hardly think Golisano needs to clean house there. But if there’s some “meddling middle management” preventing Regier from doing his job, it should be removed. HUGE SPECULATION NOW, but I’d wager that Regier tried to re-sign Drury, Briere, Dumont, Campbell … and hit a brick wall with ownership. If that’s true, and I have no way of truly knowing that, then that’s what’s wrong. Let the GM … manage the team. That’s what he get PAID FOR! “Oversight” of the team is the purview of the GM. Get out of the way, and let Regier manage, is what I’d tell Golisano. I’d say to him, “Mr. Golisano, sir. It’s your job to fork over the money. That’s all you really have to do. After that, you leave the rest to Darcy Regier. If you don’t like the results, fire him. If you don’t trust his judgement with YOUR MONEY, fire him. But don’t PREVENT him from doing his job. Enable him. He needs money for PROACTIVE contracts to maintain team chemistry and the continuity of roster, and ‘team vision.’ That’s what I think you should do. Obviously, you were on the right path in 2006 and 2007. Get back on it. If Larry Quinn is the problem, fire him!”