On Sunday, the Canucks announced their plans for a weekend “celebrating the passion and support of their loyal fans”, (i.e. a forgiveness campaign). According to a release, the home opening back-to-back, which sees visits from the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers, will be speckled with overtures to Canuck nation, such as $1 hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and soft drinks — the apologetic equivalent of “flowers and chocolate” for the sports fan.
As well, the first game will culminate in a “Jersey off our backs” event, merchandise will be 50% off (which is still well above cost, but whatever), and one lucky season ticket-holder will be brought to ice level to drop the puck for a ceremonial faceoff.
And if none of that moves you, perhaps the new video, titled “Something was missing”, will do the trick. The eighty-second spot, which will likely also find its way onto the Jumbotron opening night, features shots of empty streets, swings, and pub patios, and a slam poetry voiceover extolling the many virtues of Vancouver life while noting a conspicuous absence.
That absence, of course, was fans with a hockey team to cheer for. Have a gander at the video.
Well, it’s definitely an improvement on the 7th man.
But here’s the question: do you find this video as inspiring as it’s intended to be? Or does it make you feel something else? Angry? Patronized? Dirty?
Put me down for all three. My biggest issue with this video is the same issue I have with the apology letters teams are sending out, not to mention all of these other attempts to get fans to leave the lockout in the past: the NHL knows they’ll work. They always did, too. The lockout doesn’t happen if the league isn’t confident that fan loyalty can be won back with an inspiring video and some cheap food.
The NHL left. They’ve been gone for four months, and now they’re back, being sweet, saying touching things, offering cheap eats and trying to make us feel good about the fact that most of us are going to take them back without a backlash. But, while I can’t think of a backlash outside of a boycott, which only further deprives me of the thing from which I was so angry to be deprived in the first place, I don’t feel good about it.
And their attempts to touch me so soon after coming home just make me feel dirty.Tags: Patronizing team videos, The YouTubes, video