Hockey (Olympics, Panthers, NHL, and so much more)

The Olympic gold medal game USA versus Canada became the highest rated television program in Canadian history. Period. Over half the country watched. I think that’s great but ratings in the US were through the roof too, with 27.6 million people watching (more than the entire population of Canada) and the highest rated hockey game since the 1980 Winter Olympics. It was big stuff by any measure and if the NHL has a brain — oh, shit, we’re doomed — they’d use this wave of popularity and ride it to new heights.

Instead the NHL is still not getting regular coverage other than a few games on NBC here and there in the tail end of the season. DirecTV and Versus are still in a pissing match while the station stays dark, leaving NHL fans no way to watch many games from out of market teams. The story begins here but the good news is, that Sports Illustrated reports a deal should be worked out this month.

The NHL plays Russian roulette with its ratings and others play Russian roulette with chat. Josh Lowe posted this on his Facebook account, and I wasn’t going to watch. I’m not much for online chatting. I ended up watching it and it was fascinating. The video is just under six minutes and while I have no interest in the chat roulette service, the video is an interesting exercise in understanding what makes people tick. I like social experiments so the video’s worthwhile.

Still keeping with the hockey theme, I continue with another comment about the Florida Panthers team management (I use the term loosely as they couldn’t manage to claw their way out of a paper bag). As my blog readers know, I was at the Jimmy Buffett concert Saturday night . I’m a big fan and I had a blast. I mention it because, it’s quite fun and there were lots of people tailgating.

Tailgating. That’s something that a great group of Panther fans started to do a few years back. Some of those fans were and are good friends of mine. After a few games the ‘authorities’ came over and complained about the cooking saying it was not allowed according to local ordinance or something along those lines. The tailgates continued without the cooking. Then the tents and tables had to go after the ‘authorities’ complained, again because, they said, there was some local ordinance.

Honestly, that’s when I stopped going. When is a tailgate not a tailgate? Hard to say but they lost their appeal for me when it became a bunch of people standing in an open concrete parking lot. Nothing against those that enjoy it, at all. I support them, am happy for them, and still sometimes go by and say hello to them. I support fans that are trying to be fans,, especially this group because they are among the most loyal fans in the building. The team should be supporting them too. Right? Absolutely. A number of them are my friends, as I said, and I know they’re good people.

So, my question is that if they can have grilles, tables, tents, generators, and swimming pools (yes, swimming pools) at a concert, why can’t they at a game? The place was crawling with police looking for lawbreakers. It got me to thinking: what if Panthers’ Management was lying about this alleged ordinance? They have a long, long history of lying to and misinforming fans. It’s the reason they have no credibility with fans, though their heads are stuck so far in the sand they don’t realize they have less credibility than Osama Bin Laden trying to sell used cars. While I’d like to blame Yormark, I can’t do that because I’m not sure where this policy came from, though it’s got “yor marks” all over it. If you’ve ever been stopped by a cop who yells at you for speeding on “his road” you’ve got the idea with Yormark. When you talk to him, it’s “his building” even though the building belongs to the city of Sunrise.

After the concert, I was so bugged by this, I decided to do a fact check. I’m good at those. I went to the City of Sunrise website to look it up. I went to the codes and ordinances page which in turn links you to a searchable database at MuniCode — and come to find out there is no ordinance prohibiting tailgating. None. Zero. Trust me, I looked up very possible word. Tailgating is perfectly legal in the City of Sunrise.

Someone’s lying, and I’d love to know why and who. It’s not the city because it’s all there and black and white for any citizen to read. It’s a law or it’s not a law. It’s not a law. Google searches show a number of people who were harassed by security (not law enforcement) and told there was such an ordinance. This is quite interesting, to me. An on-duty police officer enforces the law but there is no such law. And the fact that the parking lot of the recent Buffett concert — like many concerts — is full of tailgaters, and police doing their jobs making sure everything is orderly is pretty visible proof of this. What I don’t understand is why does Panther management care? What’s the big deal? Same parking lot but more people and it’s okay. There’s a logical disconnect here.

So Panthers Management doesn’t want fans of our team to tailgate but it’s okay for concert goers to do it? Can anyone tell me where the logic is? This team does so many things to alienate fans, and this is one more example. If you are (or were) a tailgater at the Panthers games, maybe it’s time for you to ask some questions. Just sayin’ because you guys deserve to have fun because you’re a team asset. If you live in Sunrise, this is your tax dollars at work. Ask your commissioner, ask the mayor. It’s your legal right as a citizen to demand and get answers.

I have started something new. It’s called “Where’s George” and you enter serial numbers from your currency into your account. You optionally stamp your bill with the URL. (I’ve ordered the stamp). I was first told about this by my friend Liz and just sort of watched her with fascination but not much interest. You spend your money as usual, take it to the bank, or whatever it is you do with your money. Other people enter their bills, and you can watch your money travel around the country. Here’s a report for one bill I entered; it’s the only one I’ve entered that has a history, but I am encourage. With an account you can search by state, zip code, denomination, reserve bank and more. It’s free and I think it’ll be fun. (It’s against the rules to exchange bills with friends to increase your hit rate — it’s a real project trying to track money. So, like Seti@Home, please don’t try and scam the system.)

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