I got a great email today from J.J., a passionate hockey fan in Des Moines, Iowa, who has a few thoughts on the latest publicity stunt by the Iowa Chops.
Let's just say he's not too happy about their attempts to recruit (former?) NFL star Brett Favre:
It was fun for awhile. The potential for gargantuan breaded pork loin sandwiches (a local delicacy), obese cheerleaders with barbecue sauce stains on their faces and occasionally some AHL-level hockey was tempting. Watching the blogging crowd tie themselves in knots while the River Rats, Ice Hogs and Phantoms (what the hell is that superhero guy?) got a temporary pass was some sort of fun. Even watching people who had no idea about the game complain that the Chops showed that Des Moines was a second-rate city, but the Iowa Stars and Iowa Cubs somehow indicated first-rate status was fun.
But this, this is a tragedy. This is inexcusable. This is as unbearable as watching celebrities lick the Stanley Cup. This shows a complete lack of respect for the game. Off-ice gimmicks are one thing, but to pretend that athletes are interchangeable and a slot can be offered to a football player (the vilest sport on the planet) is too much. ...
We all know he will never take the deal, but the damage is done. Before this garbage, the Iowa Chops management had shown a respect for money in their gimmicks, but not a lack of respect for the game. This Favre incident has shown that their respect for the game simply does not exist. They’ve shown to me that the game takes a back seat to the gimmicks and I’m livid. I understand it’s a business, but this affects the product and I am less likely to buy now.There's that old adage about there's no such thing as bad publicity, but I'm not sure it applies here. J.J. sounds exactly like the kind of fan hockey in Iowa needs.