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"Hockeybuzz Stars blogger"
Ft Worth, TX • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
j_lile@hotmail.com

'Sorry' Stars Fans

Posted 12:40 AM ET | Comments 9
3-2 Calgary

When I decided to start trying to give the Stars a little more coverage a week ago I wondered why they don't get more coverage. I don't know if anyone reads this, and I don't really assume that this is some landmark effort to cover the Stars on a wide scale, or that it is even worthy of a large readership. The idea for this relatively small coverage came out of the frustration of the Stars being ignored by the local, national, and hockey media. I attended tonight's game, and for the first time it's clear to me: the Stars have sorry fans now. Maybe I was a naive teenager, but I remember Reunion Arena jumping for Stars games. I remember yellow humidifier tubes running along the concourse to help the bad ice situation improve while people just ignored them. I remember times, most importantly, when Dallas had HOCKEY fans at the game. The boring game the Stars played before midway through this season, combined with the corporate sellout of the lower bowl, the alienation of season ticket holders that got moved from nice seats in Reunion to nosebleeds in the AAC, and the ridiculous gimmicks the Stars are employing to bring fans in just make for a piss pour hockey atmosphere. Do we need ice girls carrying a shovel, a dustpan, and a squeegy around the ice? Do we need a mediocre live band outside the arena? Kiss cam, really? It all makes for a bad hockey experience, and it lures people into the game that aren't hockey fans. I suppose this is the way sports are going, but the Stars take for granted that this area hasn't grown up with hockey. I understand the need to bring new fans in, but gimmicks aren't the way to do it. The product will sell itself if they would just let the product sell itself. A lot of the current fanbase is comprised of non-hockey fans. Tonight proved that. With 3 minutes left Jarome Iginla scored to put Calgary up 3-2, and probably 30% of the paid attendees left. Thats when the home team needs the crowd. The Stars may as well play 82 road games with as many sorry fans as that.

Forward Lines:
1. Morrow/Ribiero/Miettinen
2.Jokinen/Hagman/Lehtinen
3.Ott/Modano/Eriksson
4. Barch/Halpern/Lundqvist
D Pairings
1. Norstrom/Niskanen
2. Grossman/Robidas
3. Daley/Fistric
G
Turco

Player of the Game: Alex Tanguay. The dude was all over the place tonight, and really burned Mike Modano for the 2nd goal of the game. Scored 2.


Recap: There really isn't a whole lot to say about this game. Dave Tippett basically summed it up when he said not everybody was on board in the game. The top line was mediocre tonight, the passing wasn't crisp, and the Stars just seemed to lack that drive tonight. You can't win 'em all.
Jarome Iginla and Steve Ott led off the game with a small scrap which should've set the tone. Sadly it didn't which left the crowd in for a relatively passionless sloppy game. Two plays really decided the game. Early in the second period Dallas was within an inch of going up 2-1, when Cory Sarich saved a goal. The puck made its way up to Alex Tanguay who took Modano to hockey camp and just burned him at the blueline. He followed the move up with a wicked shot over Turco's blocker.
Play #2 came off the stick of Jarome Iginla with 3 minutes left in the game. For some reason Nik Grossman felt it would be wise to leave Iginla alone in the slot. When he tried to over compensate for this he screened Turco completely. Theres no way Turco ever saw the shot. Rookie mistakes like that are why I'd like the team to pick up a veteran defender at the deadline. Sloppy play up front is why I still think they could use another scorer. It's a shame the team couldn't put up a better effort. Maybe it would have kept more than 70% of the crowd in the game until the end.
Filed Under:   Dallas   Stars   Calgary   Flames   Tanguay  
February 21, 2008 10:03 AM ET | Delete
I can feel for you as a Nashville fan. The coverage of our sport in the south is pretty sad. I'm surprised that Dallas is having lackluster support, I thought they had been the shining example of hockey in the south. While gimmicks may seem hokey, they can lure people in and if the on-ice product is good then it can hook people. I know that's what worked for me as a kid 10 years ago - Nashville's 'production' is excellent with their video clips, contests, live band between periods, etc. Our fans aren't always the best but they're growing.Hang in there, while I absolutely despise your team all of Nashville can sympathize with your situation to one degree or another.
February 21, 2008 11:34 AM ET | Delete
ice girls, kiss cam, corporate sell-off of lower bowl... oh wait, sounds like a Flames game!you're not alone brother, flames crowds are not nearly what they used to be even last season... too many suits and families. if its not saturday, its not happening.
February 21, 2008 2:39 PM ET | Delete
I pretty much agree Texhorns02, gimmicks can be really stupid...however I also agree with Arwilson529 that they will bring in fans, regardless of them being hockey fans or not. I think the big problem is that more people need to be educated about hockey - they need to understand it before they can appreciate it. I don't know how this is done but I think it would make a big difference in many struggling American cities. Best of luck down the stretch!
February 21, 2008 4:08 PM ET | Delete
If its any consolation, I was "chatting" with a Rangers fan, you know a supposed 'hub' of hockey in the US. The Rangers games rarely make the first few pages of the sports section, grouped next to high school basketball. Honestly, I am glad hockey has grown but I think allot of the blame needs to lie in the way the game is promoted from a LEAGUE standpoint... Bettman is a pencil pusher who (before his tenure) knew little about the game. The league is screaming for someone to steer the ship who has not only a strong business sense but has the marketing prowress to think outside the box. Hockey is life in Canada because its a great game. Will hockey ever pass the NFL, MLB or even NASCAR in the south probably not but given the right person in the job it would be a hell of allot easier for individual teams to not only promote but to introduce the game to a wider audience... food for thought.
February 21, 2008 4:18 PM ET | Delete
I understand the role the gimmicks can have in bringing people in, but it still kills the atmosphere in the arena. Especially here where people don't grow up with hockey and the atmosphere that goes along with it, the people that are brought in with the gimmicks don't get a feel for how it's supposed to be. It kinda sucks.
February 22, 2008 10:53 AM ET | Delete
The Stars just must not put on good gimmicks then, lol. Nashville's presentation helps bring people in and keep 'em in, and exposes them more to the game so they can learn it. I started coming because it was fun all around even though I didn't know much about the game, but the continual exposure led to me understand it far better. So I would at least conclude on experience that the Stars' show just sucks (don't feel bad, St. Louis wasn't that impressive when I went there!)But Geta02 is right. We need a better all around marketing structure. Advertising just when NHL games are going on is about as pointless a marketing campaign as I've ever seen. The league needs a shakeup from the top down.
February 22, 2008 3:10 PM ET | Delete
I completely agree that we need better marketing in the NHL. The problem as I see it is that what is being marketed isn't hockey. The Stars' gimmicks' revolve around ice girls, 2 extra zambonis on the ice (some party zamboni with ice girls on it, and some race trac zamboni that speeds around the ice), and a ton of techno. What are they trying to market? What does this have to do with hockey? They put commercials on TV advertising the games, but they really don't advertise otherwise.I understand what you mean about coming into the game and learning it, but the problem for Dallas is also that most of the lower bowl is sold to rich people/corporations that don't show up. So the atmosphere is the American Airlines Center is bad more for that than any other reason. I'm all for as many people supporting the Stars as possible, don't get me wrong, but the people the Stars are bringing in aren't staying to support the team. They have sold themselves out to the rich, just like Tom Hicks' Rangers, and for whatever reason these people aren't staying and supporting the team. I have no data to support this, but every game I go to it seems like the upper deck has a lot more people in it than the lower deck.
February 22, 2008 9:27 PM ET | Delete
hang in there texhorns02.it is important that every nhl team is representing on this website.every fan who cant get in the lower bowl needs people like you representing them here.keep the faith believe me as a preds fan we feel what your going through.
February 22, 2008 10:47 PM ET | Delete
Well thank you
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