Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Random Thoughts a Few Days Before Opening Night

*I have nothing against Seven Mary Three. In fact, until last week I couldn't tell you the last time I had a thought about them. But I do know their big hit is "Cumbersome." And that song's chorus declares, "I have become cumbersome to this world." So, all I'm saying is that they're not exactly the first band I'd want to charge up the opening night crowd if I owned a hockey team. But I don't own a hockey team. Charles Wang does. And so, get ready to rock to the sounds of Seven Mary Three, Islanders fans! And Seven Mary Three, get ready for a steady mix of hardcore apathy and unrelenting verbal abuse from the Coliseum faithful!

*There is no place of commerce more baffling than the NHL Store in NYC. First, it is almost impossible to buy a T-shirt in the store that costs less than $40, which is a hearty, Hollwegian check from behind on Joe Six-Pack (wink). Second, there is that monumentally stupid area devoted to Reebok sneakers. I understand that it is officially "The NHL Store Powered by Reebok," but, really, who's coming to the NHL Store to buy a pair of sneakers? Couldn't that space be better used? And that brings me to my next point: how is it possible that the official store of the National Hockey League does not have a constant supply of winter hats in stock? Granted, we are not yet officially in wool hat weather, but, last I heard, hockey's a cold-weather sport. So wouldn't it make sense to have, you know, a few winter hats available for hockey fans? Is that a crazy idea? There isn't one in the whole store. Unbelievable. Finally, the NHL Store is having a big party to kick the season off. And what's the best time to have that party so that hard-working hockey fans can attend? That's right, Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Perfect. Also, I was in there tonight and there was absolutely no indication that there'd be any sort of party on Friday. Good job with the advance promo. What a waste.

*Speaking of wastes, Sirius is currently airing a commercial urging Sirius subscribers to get the new "Best of XM" package that features Captain Excitement Gary Bettman pushing the NHL on XM and highlighting his own weekly show as a reason to add the channel. I can't think of a worse marketing campaign.

*Kudos to the Islanders off-ice team yet again for their wide variety of ticket packages available this year. I do take issue, however, with the Victory Plan, a four-game package in which you get one free game for each Islanders win, thus potentially making it an eight-game package. In theory, a great idea. In practice, it finds a way to make me even angrier at the Islanders for losing. Now, when (OK, OK, if) they lose, they're kind of stealing money from me. That'll perk me up while I'm taking the bus to the train to another train to my apartment in my two-hour-plus odyssey from the Coliseum to Jersey City. Thanks, guys! I have been patiently waiting for an addendum to the Victory Plan that would ensure my involvement. I would be willing to buy into a plan, where, if the Islanders lose, I get a free room at the Marriott, Charles Wang calls in to work for me, and one or two Ice Girls visit for a postgame cheer-up session. Just an idea.

*Mitch Fritz starts the season in Bridgeport. Connecticut, here I come!

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