Dispatches: Coyotes in March? Let’s not pretend

Posted on March 19th, 2007 – 8:07 AM
By Michael Rand

1grumpy.jpgWe were having a conversation with Rocket last night, and the subject turned to attending sporting events in which absolutely nothing is on the line. He was getting pretty bent out of shape about his experience at Saturday’s Coyotes/Avalanche game in Phoenix, and even though we know Rocket is curmudgeonly in general, way beyond his 31 years, we had to agree with him to a certain extent. So we invited him to revive “Dispatches,” a feature in which you, the RandBall reader, attend a sporting event in a distant place and then offer a critique/analysis of your experience. Here is what he had to say (any bold type has been added by us at moments where we thought he might be shouting, had he been speaking rather than typing):

We need to institute a new rule in pro sports. There is a serious problem and we need a real solution. The severity of the problem became clear to me when I attended Saturday’s Coyotes/Avalanche game in Phoenix. If you have a passing knowledge of hockey you know that the Coyotes are out of the playoffs. While Colorado still has a chance of making the playoffs, that particular window is closing rapidly.

It was, essentially, a game between two non-playoff teams. It was still a hard-fought and enjoyable contest. But it was what it was. Nonetheless, Coyotes management decided to go through the whole useless production. The lights were dimmed for player introductions. An excessively loud disembodied voice demanded to know if we were, “Ready for Coyotes hockey!” Every break in the action was filled with snippets of music. The scoreboard displayed the usual panoply of mindless drivel: The decibel meter imploring us to “make some noise”, the obligatory “race” of some sponsored object, and the “kiss cam.”

I understand that, if a team is in the playoff hunt, then the team will do whatever is necessary to create energy within its building. I also understand that the minor leagues need this kind of stuff because the game is only part of the attraction in that setting.

However, this is the rule: If a team is out of the playoff race, they are not allowed to go through these ridiculous motions. If you attend a home game involving a non-playoff team then you should not have to subjected to this lunacy. It should be good enough that you are going to a game under those conditions; they should not be allowed to insult you by pretending that the game is anything more than what it is. No exceptions.

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