Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Stanley Cup, The Week of Champions, and I

Nationwide Arena prepares for its first NHL playoff game

John P. McConnell to Aaron Portzline

Pretty interesting comment by PMac.   I found it a thoughtful comment, and have been thinking about it a lot.  Producing a winning team is something that is on the organization.  Producing a winning environment is on....gulp...me???

Rewind history to Game 4 of our only playoff appearance.  Prior to the game, I vowed not to get cheated as a fan.  I went to that game with my swag strapped on, ready to cheer long and hard and loud no matter what happened.  That was a funny game, because when the team got behind, the crowd refused to give in, and got more pumped.  You could almost see the players kind of look at each other, say 'what the h___?', and then relax and get after it.  To pretty good results actually.

Which brings me to the Week of Champions, December 8 to December 17.

Remember the December swoon of the last 2 years?  Check out this home stand in December:
December 8 - Preds
December 10 - Stanley Cup Champion Bruins
December 12 - Stanley Cup Runner-up Canucks
December 15 - Kings
December 17 - Lightning

All playoff teams.  Maybe it's a good time for a swoon.  Or maybe it's a good time to launch a playoff run.

So, back to PMac's comments.  I get the losing part.  The hardest part about the losing is that you feel like you are getting played for a sucker.  I HATE to get played for a sucker.  All the years of 'this guy is ready to take a step' in the off season really feed into that feeling.  And you can see it in the crowd.  People kind of sit back.  Cheer some early.  Something bad happens.  The barn gets quiet  The other team knows they've 'taken the crowd out of the game'.  Over the last two years it really hasn't been that hard to take the crowd out of the game in the 'wide.

Hitch always talked about 'competitive composure' and 'dealing with adversity'.  I know for one that I haven't dealt well with adversity, nor have I shown a lot of competitive composure.  On the other hand, I think I am going to be more excited this year about Wiz's play than I was about hoping upon hope for Stralman's play to excite me.

So PMac, I am supposed to have my eyes firmly fixed on the goal.  Lord Stanley's cup.  Your job is to create an organization with that focus, and ice a team to get us there.  My job is to support the team; check ( season ticket holder), buy lots of swag (the power of the Schwartz); check, be a die hard CBJ fan so that the barn rocks no matter how bad things are going; umm, not there yet.  But I'm working on it.

But, I've got my eye on the prize.  But just cause I say I want it, doesn't mean everyone will politely step aside and hand it to me, I'll have to earn it.  So I better get me a plan going.

And the first part of my plan is to do my darnedest to make the week of champions have a playoff atmosphere.  So fans, its time to start talking about cheering even louder when things don't go right in the first 5 minutes of the game.  Having some competitive composure.  Having the crowd actually play a role in the outcome of a game.  I promise you.  It won't always work.  But there are groups like the Arch City Army who have the same goal in mind.  And it will be highly entertaining.

This can be done.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

GO JACKETS!!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post, Gallos.

    Look for me in the 5th row for the Boston game. A special purchase for a big home game!

    (And I'll be up in the cheap seats for the Tampa game. Two outta five isn't bad...)

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