Because it’s the cup

May 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

So it’s May, 2012. A season begins a new for 16 hopefuls who battled 82 individual parts to reach that one glorious goal— the opportunity to win The Stanley Cup. The media and marketing Gods have ingested their magic dust and evoked what I’m sure they have hoped to be, a connection between the fans, the players and that emotional bond of being along for the ride. Whether it’s on the ice, at the arena, at a bar or in front of your TV to experience it all, be part of the roller coaster ride of one goal games, overtime thrillers, wins, losses to live for another series and move on to the next round.

But I ask you the Fan, do you feel this campaign, “Because it’s the Cup” touches us all on the visceral level that unites us? Does it capture what a player goes through, his team, team mates, coaching staff, ownership— what they’ve done to get here, stay here and continue here for another series?

Does it really capture our emotions? And are our emotions the same or different than that of the aforementioned? I truly believe they are very different but ultimately share a common bond— none of us could imagine (unless we’ve played at that level or close to it) the sacrifice, the grueling schedule, injuries, practice time, weight room, training facilities and sheer grit it takes to get here. And then to sustain it over another grueling two months against stiffer and stiffer competition to win 16 more games to hoist Lord Stanley’s coveted prize.

So tell me— how do you feel? I know for me, when my team wins, I want to watch the highlights again, and again and again at infinitum. I want to listen to the talk shows, log on to the various web channels and hear the spinsters talk about how good my team is. Why they have a legitimate chance THIS YEAR. I am so sky high, I could walk on air, feel good all over an proud to wear that emblem on my sleeve— even if it’s a little one. Because those who know me, know quite well I just don’t bleed orange and black on given nights. I’ve been supporting my team since their entrance into the NHL’s first expansion back in 1967 through the good years and bad. My pride brims over to hear the pundits brag about my guys and my hope grows larger with each victory. But when they loose, well now that’s a horse of a different color. I don’t want to hear anything. Don’t want to watch the lowlights, hear the analysts, listen to the sports talk show hosts or even get coach’s perspective. Because I’m actually depressed. I’m in a bad mood. My confidence is shot and my pride is wounded. All the cliches come out, the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, have to just take it one game at a time and on and on. I want nothing to do with it. I want to win and want to win now. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to go the route of the 1980 76ers, when Moses Malone predicted four, four, four— they did it in four, five four, but all in all I hate to lose and live for the next thriller, that next win.

So if you’re anything like me, and I bet there are a lot of you out there, I’m sure you can relate. Don’t you put that loss behind you after a day or two and hope springs a new with the drop of the opening faceoff  the next time they play? Aren’t you as behind them as you’ve always been? With clenched teeth and closed fists— your knees shaking and the tension building up inside you like a boiling pot of water? Don’t you live for that next goal? The great save? The two-goal lead late in the third so you can just relax even if it’s for a minute.

Can that type of campaign be created? Can some bit of logic and emotion tie us together as fans and players, owners and coaches? Can their be such a campaign that relates to each and everyone one of us?

What would you do? How would you capture the spirt, the emotion, the hope, the despair, the jubilation of it all?

A couple of my thoughts are this:

Extend 24/7 “Road to the Winter Classic” to be the same documentary for the 16 teams vying for The Stanley Cup. Good for the fan, good for the game and although it might not be the greatest for the players, would connect us to our team on such a visceral level— almost like taking a page back from yesteryear when teams played each other 8—12 times a year and didn’t wear helmets. Wasn’t there a connection to the player back then unlike today? 24/7 would go a long way in bringing our heroes into our living room. To see another side of them, a personal side of them to connect to.

And what about the campaign “There are No Words”? Doesn’t that say it all from a player’s perspective without saying anything. Can’t you connect to something like that?

What’s your thoughts?

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