Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Operation Believe in Tankland!

Well, as you may have realized by now, I've become a big Atlanta Thrashers fan now that I've lived in Atlanta for a few years. But it took some time. I grew up in NYC and was a big Rangers fan. I still remember where I was when the Rangers won the Cup in 1994! (Ok, even if it was just in the extra bedroom of my parents house in Roanoke, VA...I still remember being so excited but everyone was asleep so I had to be quiet!) Soon after, I started FSU in the fall of 1994 and for my birthday, I got my first hockey jersey (aka - "sweater"). It was a dark blue Rangers jersey. Up until about 2003 or so, I would wear it to Thrashers games and even root against em (which I still do the Braves, as a Mets fan...that one will NEVER change). But something happened that year. I realized how much fun the games were. The team was on the "cusp". Later on, maybe 2005, the Thrashers provided an opportunity to trade in any NHL team's jersey for a brand new Thrashers jersey. I traded my 11 year old Rangers jersey for a Thrashers jersey. You've probably seen me in it in many pictures since! And I've been a die-hard Thrashers fan since. Beginning with last season, my company actually started advertising in Philips arena, and as part of a contract they now have a suite in one corner (figures!) of the arena. Not frequently, but I've gotten to sit in the suite several times. Now this year, I've managed to (through Erica) become friends with a guy who actually works on the ice at Philips. He even gets to drive the zamboni occasionally (which apparently is a bottom feeder job that isn't as cool as it sounds). He's gotten me and some friends a bunch of free tickets. So, between him and work, I've gotten to go to A LOT of these games for FREE. With the NHL All Star Game in Atlanta this year, a couple of my friends decided to buy a season ticket package (all Saturday games) in order to have a shot at ($200) All Star Tickets. See, it all evens out. The All Star Game Weekend Festivities were worth it. And to date, I've been to all but 3 home games this season, all for good reason.

Dec 12 vs Boston - doctor's apt & parents in town

Jan 4 vs Carolina - My friend Courtney & Mike's wedding

Jan 6 vs Buffalo - My Super Bowl XLII Champion N.Y. Giants had their first playoff game at the same time as the Thrashers game. Priorities! But I haven't missed a game since.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm a big fan. About a month ago, February 15th, the Thrashers won a 10 round shootout in New Jersey. That win put them a mere 2 games over .500 and into first place in the South(L)east Division. They've one just one game since. The playoffs aren't a realistic goal anymore. Beginning with last season, the Thrashers PR department (or whoever thinks up these things) came up with the slogan "Believe in Blueland". With "Blueland" being Philips Arena. I didn't really like it at first, thought it was kinda lame. But it grew on me. I approve. Now, fast forward to current day. My thoughts are, with the playoffs out of reach, the more games they lose, the better draft pick they'll get. Introducing "Operation Believe in Tankland". Thats right. I hope the team tanks and losing as many games as possible. If they manage to finish with the worst record, they'll have the best shot at the #1 overall draft pick, where a kid named Steven Stamkos would probably help out immediately.

Now, for the bad idea segment. Last night the Thrashers attempted to have a "White-Out" at Blueland. With the idea being, everyone wears a white shirt. As you can see by the picture, there are TONS more empty seats than people in white shirts. Even better, the Thrashers were supposed to wear their white jerseys too. Well, someone forgot to tell the Colorado Avalanche (the Thrashers opponent on White-Out Night) and they just happened to forget their non-white jerseys. Oops. First of all, the whole "white-out" thing has been done. Why not have a "blue-out" aka a "smurf out"? (credit given to Divya for thinking of that one). Instead they had us all wear shirts the same color as the opponent. BRILLIANT! Well, the Thrashers lost 5-2. As if that mattered, hell, they haven't won a home game, in regulation since January 30th!

The highlight for me was this Avalanche jersey. I know its a bad picture, but the back says "Redwings Suck". The Red Wings and Avalanche have one of the best rivalries in hockey. Especially in the late 90, early 0's (did I just name it that?)

So thats about it. Does it make me a bad fan since I'm basically rooting against my favorite team the rest of the season? I don't think so. It's whats best for their future! Right?

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