Friday, June 19, 2009

Gimmicks Gone Wild

We all know about the 2010 Winter Classic all but certainly going to Boston's Fenway Park with the Bruins taking on either the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers. However, there seems to be not so much competition for the site, but a partner for the site as EJ Hradek first broke that the Calgary Flames could be playing a Winter Classic game at McMahon Stadium against another Canadian team.

First, I'll get my hopes up that this is true and that living in Calgary may pay off in this instance. If this does happen, you can bet I'll be trying to get some kind of entry into this, whether it be for press credentials or overpaying for a ticket, but somehow-- I'll try to get into this game.

Now, with that out of the way-- I have to say that this may be pushing the envelope of making this gimmick tolerable. The magic about the Winter Classic is that it's something that is/was exclusive to one game and two teams. If you try to throw a second game in there, doesn't it take away from the prestige of the whole thing?? You would think that if the NHL wanted to show off the game and make it special-- why can't you keep it at one game?? I know that this could be the ploy to not exclude the Canadians to this whole thing since there hasn't been an outdoor game in Canada since the Heritage Classic in 2003. Add this to the Montreal Canadiens saying they want an outdoor game-- this could be a disaster for the uniqueness of the game format.

Plus, while a game in Calgary could be nice-- the problem is that it could be anywhere from -40c/f or +14c/57f in these crazy weather times in Calgary-- it snows in June here for pete's sake. Of course, the former is more likely, which could turn into a bad thing for fans and players alike....because that's damn cold, I don't care how tough you are. I know a lot of players weren't too pleased when they had to play in Edmonton in those freezing temperatures. The case could be the same with this ordeal, if the weather is just right. Sure, it just adds to the tradition of the thing, but still-- there's a line you don't need to cross when it comes to player's health so they don't get some kind of hypothermia. Sure, that's an extreme, but should not be discounted.

If you try to overuse a gimmick, it will grow stale, it will get old, and it will not be as profitable anymore. Sure, everyone wants to see and play in an outdoor game, but if you overdo it, you'll get sick of it and want them to stop it. It's just nature of the beast and something that goes with anything in this world. The NHL needs to take heed and realize that maybe you can get too much of a good thing.

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