Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ghosts of Halloweens Past

UAA Seawolves hockey home games on past Halloween weekends have typically been the worst attended series of season.  For whatever reason, Halloween partying is a big deal in this town.  Once when querying some friends about some plans that needed to be made in advance they pretentiously told me, "Winter is our busy season, we have lots of important social obligations."  I rolled my eyes hearing it put that way to me.

What they really meant of course was, "Well ... maybe we'll do that with you guys, maybe we won't." Ultimately of course, the plans never emerged.  But there is some truth in it for Anchorage folks.  The summer is for getting out of town and doing all the fishing/camping and other outdoor weekend stuff.  Halloween is typically the first social opportunity for a party.

So I'm thrilled that the Seawolves are on the road instead of at home this weekend.  I don't want to sit in a grossly underfilled Sullivan Arena knowing that there are adult hockey fans who would rather be dressed up like pirates (pastafarians unite! all hail his noodly appendage!) at some house party rather than supporting the team.  Instead, it appears that the Seawolves will be playing in front of a half-empty Mariucci Arena.

See ... it's the beginning of winter in Minneapolis too.  Gopher hockey fans have their pretentious "important social obligations" too.  Additionally though, the Gopher football team is playing Michigan State on Saturday and as you're probably aware, the whole town's genitals are still tingly with Brett Farve's choice to unretire and play for the Vikings.  They're on TV Sunday versus the Favor's former team the Green Bay Packers at the same time the Seawolves and Gophers drop the puck.

So between the house parties, costume contests at local bars, a Saturday Big 10 football game and a locally compelling NFL matchup, the Gophers might be lucky if they put 12,000 butts in the seats this weekend versus their usual 20,000.  Thank the hockey scheduling gods for all that.  Better them than us.  A big Gopher crowd in the John can spur their team on.  The fewer the better as far as I'm concerned.  Our guys know how to excite empty seats, right?  The quieter they can make whatever fans do show up should benefit them.

And oh yeah (not that you care), the "jump break" feature creates havoc with some unknown bit of html code in my blog template.  So rather than manually dig through html code trying to figure out how to rectify it, I'll have to pass on that for now.  I read that the Google Blogger folks are working on it. The picture above is again thanks to "dude" from UAA's USCHO contingent.  Thank the latest version of Blogger for allowing me to make it bigger than in the past.  Click on it for the full sized version.  It's good quality.  Thanks "dude".


Suze said...

I thought the Mary-Oochi only held around 10,000 fans?

Anonymous said...

All the best to the seawolves this weekend, first road trip for the new freshman. Game on tv, bright lites, exciting for the new players, the upperclassman will provide great leadership. They know it is a important weekend, but let the new players enjoy the excitement. A split would be great, a sweep would put uaa on the map and build confidence.
This team has the talent, all the best.


Anonymous said...

Suze Fan said...
the John only seats about 10,000 people.

Donald Dunlop said...

2 games times 10,000 = the 20,000 I was referring to.

A sweep would certainly be nice. But don't count on it putting the team "on the map" in any sort of way.

The Gophers haven't played well already. So if the Seawolves beat them twice and it would still be easy for many to write it off to the Gopher's playing poorly or whatever. Reluctance to give our guys credit is what you're most likely to see

Get more than 2 points against the Gophers and sweep DU when they come up here and that'll perhaps be a different story. Follow that up with points against Wisconsin in Madison ... then they'll get some recognition as a team.

One step at a time. I have to constantly remind myself to take it that way. One step at a time.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Duirng the ref's timeouts I'll be checking the ass pounding my Vikings will be giving to the Packers(with or without Favre). I gotta a busy Sunday to deal with!

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

My thoughts exactly Suze on Clarky

Anonymous said...

Seawolves need to address their faceoff percentage. We don't need to be giving the opposition the puck off of every draw. It does come back to burn you. Anyway, I'll be at the John proudly sporting my Seawolves cap!

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Thanks Anon, I forgot to bring that up. Genoway, was like 15 of 22. Unaccpectable, but later in the year our center's will eventaully get up to around .500, cause we've got inexperinced C's.

Hoping that our forecheck, hitting, and cycling will continue to make up for our ?.400? winning percentage.

A Seawolves Fanatic said...

Hmmmmmmmm, kinda suprised by this(and yes it's sorta relevant to this Halloween weekend):

How the hell is Vegas in top 30 of anything good????

Anonymous said...

Questions for anyone involved with the UAA Blueliner's Club :)

1) How active is the current Blueliners organization?

2) How often do they hold meetings?

3) Where are the meetings generally held? (I'd like to attend one :) )

4) Since Derek Donald accepted the PR position with UAA, has he expressed any interest in sitting in on a Blueliner's meeting? I realize he's the PR guy for all UAA sports, but I'm curious if he's touched base with the Blueliners Club?

- -

I'm not familiar with all that the Blueliners do and to be honest, the only time I really hear much about them is when Kurt Haider gives them a shout out during a game.

And here's a misconception about them that I probably have.

I've heard that while the Blueliners organize various Meet & Greets and similar functions, that when it comes to providing input on the arena's attendance woes, the UAA staff haven't exactly opened the suggestion box in anticipation of new ideas.

Is that a bogus rink rumor? Or is that the way it's actually been in the past?

One reason I'm pondering all of this (besides being sick of seeing our team play in front of so many empty seats) goes back to to question #4.

Years ago when Derek was an executive with the (then) Anchorage Aces (back when their attendance was lagging among other things), he organized monthly meetings where he invited the public to attend, submit suggestions, and discuss possible solutions with Derek and other Aces staff members.

Thinking about how much he valued the input from "John Q. HockeyFan" made me wonder about the Blueliners Club.

If it's true that in the past UAA hasn't been overly enthusiastic about the Blueliners offering up suggestions - maybe with Donald in the PR position, that will change?

If there's an upcoming Blueliner's meeting and Donald hasn't said anything about attending, I'll bet you a Pound Dog with the works that he'd attend if invited.

Any thoughts? Thanks!


Donald Dunlop said...

The old Blueliner Booster Club has been folded (as have other UAA booster clubs) into the new Seawolf Athletic Association.

I have no doubt that Derek Donald works with them on some level. I'm not a "booster" so I generally don't get any of their materials.

I have it on my list to interview Derek about his new role etc but after putting it off earlier in the season I haven't gotten back to it.

I'll try to rectify that soon but in the interim I'd encourage you that anybody and everybody I've communicated with involved with Seawolves Hockey at any level has been friendly, informative and honest; they've all seemed genuinely interested and concerned with any and all issues.

Try emailing Richard Leary @ to start. I believe he is the Hockey representative in the new Seawolf Athletic Association.

Suze said...

We are boosters but are not on the board. I think the board meets every other Tuesday (?) at 6 pm on campus. Someone correct me if that is wrong, or has changed.

UAASeawolvesfan could shed some more light on this.

UAA has done a lot of things to improve attendance, but many of their ideas haven't panned out.

Did you see the corner section full of highschool kids at the Saturday game? If highschool coaches provide their varsity sports rosters to UAA, their athletes get in (free I believe). Many of the coaches have done this. I hope this is a sign of good things to come. It's nice to see some rowdy highschoolers at the games, and it was great to see that entire section FULL.

Students get fliers and emails reminding them of the games, but don't go. They already get free admission, free parking, what more can the U do? Derek has instituted a contest for the students who attend the most sporting events (win tickets to Hawaii I believe).

I was told that the booster meetings are open to the public, and if you have any good ideas about how to improve attendance, I would say go and give your input!

Anonymous said...

Predictions for the weekend,
5 to 3 friday, clarkie 2 goals and 1 assist. Bryce plays fantastic friday. Defence hammers minnesota's small forwards.
A day's rest saturday, will do wonders for the team. Especially with all the travel they do.
Happy Halloween guys.

Enjoy your first road trip, play 60 minutes like last saturday.


Anonymous said...

The autogragh session with the entire team after the game Saturday was awesome. I think it was set up by Derek and the alumni club

Anonymous said...

I didn't even know there was an autograph session? Was it announced?

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