Home > Eastern Conference, NHL > Pro-Winter Classic

Pro-Winter Classic


Admit it, we all kind of saw this coming. I mean there have been rumors since March about the whereabouts of next season’s Winter Classic, we just had to wait for the official word. And now we know. The Pens and the Caps will battle it out New Years Day at Heinz field. Yes the league’s two biggest superstars will take each other on, and the league and the media are going to blow it up like it is the last game ever being played.

Some people are outraged, but not at Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. Of course not. They are upset that the Winter Classic will again be the Sidney Crosby show and that the Pens will have another shot at an Outdoor win. Why not give the opportunity to someone else? And who wants to bet that the moment the official word came out of Bettman’s mouth, someone in this world said, “Not another Crosby/Ovechkin match up!”

My Pens fan status aside, let me tell you something. While the Winter Classic does count as a regular season game, and two points do end up coming out of this contest, the Classic itself is not for your average hockey fan. It is designed to bring in the casual fan. The one that most likely went out the night before, got highly inebriated, and is looking for something to do while they nurse the hangover from hell. It’s nothing but a publicity stunt, and a damn good one at that.

In this case, who better to bring in the casual fan then the best of the best. I know everyone is sick of hearing about Sid and Ovi, but you can’t deny their talent. Someone who is not familiar with either one of them or the game of hockey in general, is going to turn on that TV and see what those two are capable of and be hooked. Damian from Pens U said it quite well.

The moral of the story is simply this. While there’s no question the NHL has taken Sidney Crosby captive and marketed him as the face of the league, they are doing so for the benefit of the sport in general. Let’s face it hockey doesn’t get the national notoriety the same way the NBA, NFL, and MLB does. In order for the NHL to prove, as it were, to the casual fan that this sport should warrant the attention of with the other sports, they need to showcase the not only the best players in the league, but the leagues best rivalry as well.

And are we really upset that its the Pens again, or are we upset that it is Crosby again? I mean if you look at it that way, what about the guys who didn’t get to play the first time around. Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t, Ty Conklin was in the net. In fact, Conklin has played in three outdoor games already (including the Heritage Classic) where was all the anger at him? Brian Campbell played in it twice, once for Buffalo and once for Chicago, how is that fair? Its not, but such is life. Your team will get their chance, providing they have what the NHL feels can draw in viewers, and then a few years later they may get that same chance again.Apparently it’s just how it works. And will you be upset with the decision then? I’m gonna go with, no.

So go ahead and whine to your buddies that your team isn’t going to be featured this year, and whine a little more that the league is shoving Sidney Crosby down your throat yet again. Wait a minute… isn’t “whining” one of those reasons fans are so against Crosby in the first place? It will never matter that Ovechkin is over-marketed as well, which is completely okay with me. If people weren’t talking about Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, something would be wrong. And if it takes the another Winter Classic to show fans not just how much of an incredible hockey team the Pens are, but how Sid The Kid can bring even more interest into the sport than he already has, well so be it. I’ll be there, and if for some crazy out of this world reason that doesn’t work out, I’ll still be tuning in.

Advertisements
  1. Linda Hamilton
    June 11, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    “It is designed to bring in the casual fan. The one that most likely went out the night before, got highly inebriated, and is looking for something to do while they nurse the hangover from hell. It’s nothing but a publicity stunt, and a damn good one at that.”

    How can you says this is an event for a casual fan? This is not just a typical game when a inebriated person is looking for something to do on New Year’s. Not like you can just stroll up to the box office and get a ticket. I am a die hard fan, flew from Florida to Boston in January and it took a lot of money and time to score tickets.

    “In fact, Conklin has played in three outdoor games already (including the Heritage Classic) where was all the anger at him?”

    Conklin has played in three outdoor game but with different teams. Not the same at the Penguins get a second chance. Same applies to Campbell.

    Bettman just care about marketing the Golden Boy and making money. They need to realize there are many talented players in the leauge. Each team should be given a chance in the Classic. If a individual player get more than one shot so be it.

    • June 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      That’s your opinion and you’re allowed to have it just like this is mine and I am allowed to have it too.

      I apologize if you think I implied that only the casual fan would watch, but it is part of the reason why these two teams may have been chosen.

      I understand the amount of money it takes for something like this. I live out of market and spend thousands a year to travel to see games and plan on spending an arm and a leg this year to attend this one.

      As far as Bettman marketing the “golden boy” and making money. That money is what keeps this league a float. And the “golden boy” you speak of is one of the greatest hockey players in the world and one who didn’t and still doesn’t ask for this.

      With every argument, there is a rebuttal, so if you don’t care for my views, which is fine, you can read Kris’s reasons for being against it.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: