Friday, January 16, 2009

Moribund no more!

Not too terribly long ago, I was mourning what had appeared to be the permanent demise of a once popular NHL franchise.



Oh my, has that changed. A good friend of mine gave me a pair of his season tickets, and I went to the game Wednesday night. What a difference from last visit. A full house of very fired up fans, a team full of speedy and skilled players who worked their butts off. They won 4-1 in a very entertaining game (kudos to the fan sitting behind me who urged the Hawks to "Hit 'em. Hit 'em again! Hit 'em harder! Take your skate off and stab him with it!!").

I realize that the change in ownership (from father Wirtz to son Wirtz) is probably the single biggest factor in the turn around [now home games can be seen on TV, a new GM, etc] but I wonder how it could have happened so fast. My only experience in the total rebuilding of an organization was joining the Army National Guard in March 1985 - we were just finishing the last throes of the Carter years...

Anyone have any insight into how you can so quickly turn something around, in what seemed like a death-spin downward?

4 Comments:

Blogger Patrick said...

Well, you pretty much hit the highlights. Turning it from a cash business where players were paid wages like the vendors and Zamboni driver, to a 21st century iteration of a proud and storied franchise where success is valued at least as highly as profit. Embracing the fans through television can't be underestimated, either.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Major (P) John said...

TV is the most valuable for reaching out to new fans, or getting current fans to show others (their kids, etc) what this team they like is all about - but so sudden an impact was surprising.

Maybe because the Bulls are awful, it makes for something more compelling to watch...

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the people who don't have the money to go to a game, seeing it on TV keeps you interested and feeling part of it. You need some kind of connection to support the team.

Kath

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As The Monarch's henchmen said "We suck. Why do we suck, and how can we stop sucking?"

The Wings went through that same era of sucking, and then sucking harder. You need leadership, you need talented people, and you need esprit de corps.

Esprit de corps is the one thing that, all else being equal, makes for winning.

-Mikey NTH

5:40 PM  

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