Monday, May 12, 2008

The Middle Finger: Red Wings Fans

The thing that makes sports great is the playoffs. It doesn't matter what sport it is, when the chance at a title is on the line, there is nothing more exciting. Many times, cities rally behind their team full throttle because they realize that this opportunity might not come again. They embrace it. Because like Jake Taylor said in Major League, for some of them, it's their last shot and for the others, it could be their only shot. Take a look at the Rockies last year for example. They turned a franchise that was 4th billing in the city of Denver into the month of "Rocktober". Corny, yes, but still pretty cool. It was nice to see. But not all cities back their teams when it comes to postseason glory. Hell, we have one city who's favorite team is in the conference finals yet no one is going to the games. And that's just pathetic. There is no excuse for NOT jumping on the bandwagon. Especially when your team is finally living up to the expectations placed upon it.

This week's Middle Finger goes to the hypocritical assholes known as Detroit Red Wings fans (yep, a hockey post!).

Let's give you the backstory for this one from the way that I understand it (I know that Drew will be along in a little bit to clarify anyway). This past weekend, the Red Wings hosted the Stars in the Western Conference finals. For a team that has underachieved in the playoffs like the Wings have over the past 5+ years, you would think that the fine citizens of Wayne County would be jacked. Well, think again. Neither game this past weekend sold out. So much for HockeyTown USA, right?

So what does this mean? Is one of the last bastions of American hockey mania dying? I'm not sure and I am in no way qualified to answer that (eventhough my penchant for watching Blue Jackets games and constantly muttering "these guys suck" would beg to differ). The only conclusion that I can deduce from this is that Red Wings fans are now morphing into Atlanta Braves fans and they don't even realize it. The Braves are so used to playing in October that the novelty of the event has worn off and people stay home as opposed to packing the stadium. In 2003, in the divisional series against the Cubs, annoying Chicagoans absolutely took over Turner Field. So is the same thing happening in MoTown? It's tough to say really, but I'd bet that Ted Turner chucking a few octopi out on the ice would get some asses back in the seats.

The funny thing about this is the excuse that Red Wings management is making. According to the Wings brass, who is responsible for the dwindling home attendance??? THE ECONOMY!!! That is such a bullshit cop-out excuse. And you want to know why, because the Tigers sold out for their weekend series with the Yankees going on at the same time and damn near reached capacity in the mid-week tilt against the Red Sox. Now I know what you're thinking, "well, it's the Sox and Yanks coming to town, of course we want to see them play". And that's all fine and good until you realize that not far away, the team that is the most beloved in the city is playing in the conference fucking finals. The region's economic struggles aren't an issue for the baseball team. Yet hockey, who you would think have more affluent fans anyway, can't pack a smaller venue. That doesn't make sense. It screams loss of interest, not lack of funds.

It really boggles the mind that Detroitians(?) aren't showing up for this team. We all know that for almost every area in the country, hockey is horrible. But that isn't the case in Detroit. So what does this say about Wings fans then? Well, for a group of fans that think that they are some of the best fans in the world, it shows how hypocritical that they truly are. Do you think you'd be able to walk up and get tickets for a playoff game at Fenway? A Lakers game? Any Canadian arena for hockey? Of course not, because they have true fans.

So enjoy your Middle Finger this week, Red Wings fans. As your punishment, you have to sit next to Ted Turner for an entire season of Atlanta Braves baseball and drink out of Justin Verlander's spitoon. Please, I beg you, start selling out The Joe. I don't want to hear Don Cherry call you out on Sportscenter again, you Detroit Rednecks. Unless you really want to be labeled as the NHL's version of the Braves?


glick said...

You are correct on this issue. When i went to the Tigers game on thursday, They where scalping tickets for $50 to the wings. You should have seen how many people had wings jersey's at the tigers game. It was pretty funny. People where actually turning down cheap playoff tickets, to go to the tigers game. The Tigers are horrible, I just don't get it. It's the playoffs. The Detroit trash really know how to kill a good thing.

GMoney said...

Glick, you are wise.

Anonymous said...

You might want to get your facts straight first.

A.) Both games were sell outs...check the box scores. They both show attendance of 20,066, which is 100% full. I guess they could be lying about this, but I looked at ticketmaster for tickets on Saturday and there were none available.

B.) From what I understand there were some open seats on Thursday which means people didn't show....which isn't cool. Saturday was packed and the atmosphere was great.

C.) When tickets aren't sold I put all of the blame on Wings management. For this series standing room tickets are $ 90...that's pretty ridiculous.

D.) Wings fans are really into this team now. For April the Red Wings page on the Detroit Free Press website had the most hits of any page on the site....two times as many as the Pistons page. TV Ratings are also up 34% from last year.

E.) If some people aren't showing up, it's a shame because this team is amazing right now. Lidstrom says it's the best team he's ever played on, which is amazing when you consider some of the teams we had when there was no salary cap. Going for 10 post-season wins in a row tomorrow...


J Beanie said...

Are the Whalers still in the playoffs?

Anonymous said...

Thats like asking if the Redskins are in the playoffs. Know thats funny.

Anonymous said...

I was happy to see you had a hockey post, unfortunately it wasn't what I was hoping for. The Wings are without a doubt, the best team in hockey. Every game has been a free clinic for the other team. It was great out here when the Avs got swept in 4. The guys I work with were in awe at how good the Wings were, and they are huge Avs fans. You must not have seen that series, because the Detroit fans were representing 1400 miles away.

Good to see ol' Glick contributing


J Beanie said...

How about the Jets? They still around?

Anonymous said...

I don't usually comment because I like your blogmanship, but this is a horrible post.

First, you cannot compare the baseball post-season with hockey playoffs. Sixteen teams make the playoffs in hockey, but only eight in baseball. Therefore, no one cares about the first round of hockey anyway because half the teams don't even belong in the playoffs.

Second, Bachman...please name the 2005 Stanley Cup champion for me. That's right, there isn't one. When a sport locks out and has a strike for an entire year, the fans will turn their backs on the sport. Screw you Gary Bettman! Plus, the NHL lost their deal with ESPN, so now we have to watch the damn games on Versus, which blows. I hate listening to Canadians, they are NOT smart!

Third, I'm a huge Red Wings fan, but this conference finals matchup against the Stars is horrible. The Stars goalie is 2-14-5 against the Red Wings. Everyone knows the Red Wings are going to steamroll the you really want to pay over $100 to watch games that will not even be exciting?

Fourth, hockey is a Canadian sport. I don't think it will ever be as popular as baseball, our so called American past time. I can't really blame people for wanting to watch the Tigers dominate the Yankees (who suck by the way). The Red Wings make the playoffs every year, but it had been since the 1960's for the last time we swept the Yankees in the Bronx...and should have swept them again.



GMoney said...

Drew, I heard Don Cherry call out Wings fans on Sportscenter...they are not showing up even when they HAVE tickets.

Beanie, knock it off, go back to dreaming about Bron giving KG a facial.

I'll be rooting for Pittsburgh in the Finals.

anon, the Skins have been in the playoffs twice in the last 3 years so I don't know what you're implying.

GMoney said...

GSaul, I've never claimed to be a hockey expert. I'm just saying, it seems crappy that Wings fans aren't showing up for what Drew says is the best Wings team in ages. Even Glick commented on the ticket situation.

Did the NHL/TV situation have any impact on the Wings at all? Seems like their fans were going to watch anyway. And the lockout should have no impact at all as far as the attendance at The Joe for the 2008 Conference Finals.

Tony B. said...

I don't know much about hockey, but I do know that Northern California is still getting over Sharks-fever. They sold out every playoff game and got the highest cable rating for any Bay Area sporting event during their last game with the Stars.

You might say, "Well, there's nothing else to watch because all the rest of the teams around here suck." But last time I checked, the Warriors almost made the playoffs and the A's have a better record than the Tigers. This was a case of hockey grabbing tons of attention in an area that is not really known for liking hockey.

J Beanie said...

The Nordiques are still in it, right?

(G$, calling me out only makes me want to do it more.)

As much as I hate everything Pittsburgh related, for some reason I don't hate the Penguins. It's either because I loved the name Mario or I loved the penguins at Sea World when I was a kid. I picked them to win the Cup at work and I hope they still do. Screw all things Detroit.

GMoney said...

I would become a HUGE Pens fan if they were owned by Wario Lemieux.

rstiles said...

Where's the Pete Rose photo?

Anonymous said...


I don't get your blogged this...

"Neither game this past weekend sold out. "

That's flat out false.

I also don't give a damn what Don Cherry says. He has a hard on against the Wings right now because we are just steamrolling the NHL with a European roster and system. This isn't the Canadian way and he's grasping at straws to keep harping up that it is the wrong way. He thinks that if he bitches that fans aren't showing up then it shows that this style of hockey isn't fun to watch.

Fuck Him.

I'm excited for Stanley Cup # 11.


Anonymous said...

Bach-- I am completely with you on this one. I don't care if the Wings are playing the Toledo Storm in the second game of the regular season, if your nickname is should at least come close to filling a stadium (it wasn't even close either by the way). It is actually worse to have a ticket and not go the damn thing. A good excuse would have been to save some money and spend it on the finals......but that's not what they did. They decided they would rather eat the 80$ than watch this conference final game. HOCKEYTOWN??


J Beanie said...

Is a hockey column really generating this much response? Who said hockey is dead?!?! I haven't seen this much passion about hockey since the last game of NHL '94 I played.

Go North Stars!!!

GMoney said...

Drew, I'll take your word for it that they sold out. I get it. But as Boz said, that makes it even worse that "fans" aren't going.

Beanie is right, the NHL is alive and well and this blog is the catalyst for it's renaissance!!!

Tony B. said...

@ beanie - NHL '94 was (still is?) the shit!

stonybrown said...


I'm surprised I haven't seen a Cleveland Barons reference from you here.

Anonymous said...

G$....I agree that it is worse to have a ticket and not show. Only excuse I could think of for that is it's obvious that the majority are corporate season tickets that weren't used. No blue collar person is going to spend that much for a ticket and not use it. Why these tickets weren't given away then is beyond me though.

It's going to be HUGE for the NHL if it's a Detroit/Pittsburgh Finals. They couldn't ask for anything better and it would get decent ratings as the sports world would pump up the Crosby versus Red Wings match-up.


World of Isaac said...

gmoney, you're way off on this post buddy....

I live in the D...they are outpricing people something fierce and its turned some fans away....the seats that are usually empty are from corporations who buy up seats and can't give them to anybody...

there are still diehards in Detroit...I was at a bar last night watching the game and it was packed with Red Wings supporters

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sebast Here, I like this get-up I could definitely get involved here.

Anonymous said...

This is fifty percent entertaining. But then once more I am extremely high right now