OK we got something on our mind that we want to let off some steam about. Because this is not Ranger related then this might be one of those days where you stop here and come back when the subject matter is totally Rangers.
We used to enjoy reading the "Puck Daddy" over at Yahoo but sadly as time has gone on that good hockey reporting has been replaced by features that divide, that trash other teams or in his latest make us wonder if his goal is to simply ruffle feathers to draw attention to himself.
It worked because while it got our attention it also bothered us because we have seen a pattern develop from the "Puck Daddy". It is a pattern of suggesting that the NHL market itself toward specific groups first due to color and in the latest religion.
The "Puck Daddy" AKA Greg Wyshynski used his latest article to ask if the NHL should be using deeply religious Christian Athletes like Joe Sakic or Jarome Iginla as marketing tools to attract a wider fan base.
Here is our answer: A person's religious beliefs, their color, their background and even their sexual orientation does not matter. It is a private issue as what is more important is what kind of person NHL players are overall.
Marketing someone's faith is to attract fans is a disgusting idea, it reeks of alienating those who are not of that faith and could send the very wrong message that the NHL is only for those who believe in that specific faith.
We are Jewish so how should we react if we see the NHL marketing players to a select group of Christians or Muslims fans? At last check we do not even think there is even one single Jewish player in the NHL. What will be next then; maybe market Dubinsky for Polish fans, Jagr for Slavic fans, and Sean Avery for the freaks, geeks and Olson twins?
Why in 2008 are people still trying to divide instead of working towards coming together pisses us off royally? You want to know what we care about when it comes to a player? Whether or not that player is someone who is a good person at heart, will that player show up and give us fans their very best every night and will that player help his team win.
In our eyes, we would not care if a player was a gay green colored midget with one eye and no arms or legs, speaking gibberish, worshiping a bullfrog named Maurice as their God while wearing dresses in public and never showering. All we want to know is will he (or she) lead the Rangers back to the Stanley Cup?
If they do then we bet Ranger fans will overlook all that other stuff because it will mean Ranger fans will have a parade to attend. Heck we think is they are a hard working blue collar player then Ranger fans will be buying the merchandise left and right. Why do people have to pull this kind of stuff in 2008 is our bigger question?
See when you try to market to just one group based upon one specific criteria then you risk sending a message that those who are not of that group are not welcome. Give Iginla this choice: which means more to him: to be known simply as an NHL player, as NHL player of color or as a Christian NHL player or be known as an overall good person?
We bet that Iginla who is a truly great person would rather be known as a good person. The things Iginla has done for others is not because of his color or his faith but because of the size of his heart. That we believe is the best marketing tool the NHL has to offer.
We as a society will know that we are finally growing when we do not notice what color a player is, when we do not care who he (or she) worships, whether they are gay or straight. What we should care about is what kind of person they are.
The NFL has their prayer circles but at the same time they also have a very large police blotter for their players as well. Does that mean the NFL should consider marketing their game towards the Mafia or Street Gangs?
Ask the cancer patients who Nigel Dawes raised money for when he cut his hair off at center ice as a member of the Kootenay Ice if they cared what color he is? How about today as a Ranger ask those kids he visits in the hospitals and schools if they even notice what color his skin is?
Do we even care who Adam Graves worships or do we care more about the great deeds he has done for others? Would all the great things Gravy has done for all people mean less if it turned out he worships hamsters?
Who you worship is your business, if a player chooses to share his faith with others on his own time then there is no problem there. That is a personal choice and we have never seen a player use it as a marketing tool to further themselves or their beliefs.
More power to a player who has faith and a belief in a power greater than himself. But more power to a player who has a kind heart and gives to others without asking who they believe in, looks at their color or background or anything else.
If anything the NHL needs to market the beauty of plays by their players, the outstanding goals, passes and saves. The NHL should be showing the world the talents of those who lace on those skates.
As hockey fans how many times have we marveled at a player "so and so" made? Whether it is a Russian named Alex, a Canadian named Crosby, an American named Modano or a Swede named Lundqvist, it is their play that should be marketed not silly ads like how a player trades insults with another.
We think the NHL should be marketing to attract all fans of all backgrounds not targeting any one specific group. Marketing towards any one specific group will risk alienating other groups and the NHL needs every fan they can get.
Even those who worship bullfrogs named Maurice.
4 hours ago