In lieu of the proposed Jan. 28 protest, I thought I'd share my vision for how to best grab the ownership's attention.
I think the best place to protest is right from our couches. While I'm considering joining the "protest" this Saturday because I'm fully behind the general principle, I think there's a far more effective way of going about things. What I propose is Blue Jacket bloggers and Jacket fans together to put the word out for a month or so to anyone who will listen to simply not attend a designated Jackets game sometime in late Feb/early March.
Imagine a PR build up gaining steam over the course of an entire month instead of just a few days. Think of 30 days of putting the word out via CBJ blogs, Jacket Backers, Facebook, Twitter, E-mail and hopefully getting the attention of the Dispatch and the Other Paper. I'd even go so far as to say we might even generate a little national buzz via Puck Daddy and maybe even a footnote mention from the likes of ESPN if we played our cards right.
If we hit enough of the right notes, I suspect we could get attendance to be as low as 5-6k, if not lower. A massive, empty cave with empty, blue chairs silently watching the game would grab the brass' attention. Imagine the place sounding more like a routine practice than an actual NHL regular season game. That, coupled with equally quiet beer stands and cash registers, would be a statement. Emphatically showing them what will inevitably lay ahead attendance wise in the coming years if things keep going at this rate would be a statement.
As much as it pains me to suggest this, I'd encourage people to not even go near the Arena District that night. While it would hurt profits in that area for one day, if these losing ways continue under the current and failed leadership, business will be a lot worse over long periods of time in the coming years. I would suspect business owners themselves might become a little more vocal in support of change if their wallets get a little lighter on what would have been a relatively busy night.
Every purchase or transaction we make is essentially a vote that people and businesses watch more closely than we think or realize. In the spirit of an election year, we should vote "No" to the current team president, general manager and general state of affairs.
Obviously not everyone is going to agree with this. Some might be of the mind that, "Just because their jobs are safe for now doesn't mean the dramatic change we feel we need is in order isn't on the horizon. We just need to wait." The sad truth is, we've been told to wait and have obliged many a time. Ten years from the team president and five years from the GM and the results they've accrued is more than enough of a sample size to insist upon their removal.
It's drastic, yes. Maybe it's even a little too far reaching, but decisions that have been made over the course of time and this season by the organization have forced our hand. If the head shed isn't going to hold this team and its leaders to a high standard, its incumbent upon the fans to do so in whatever ways they can. We've patiently played the wait and hope card for over a decade, but we've lost out the vast majority of the time.
Ideally, if something like this were to gain enough steam, there might be dramatic, but clearly necessary, change with the current leadership before whatever game we try to essentially boycott.
If the current leadership were yielding the same kind of results for Worthington Industries and the like, they would have been gone a long time ago. While our team isn't anything resembling a Fortune 500 company, we need to hold the powers that be to some kind of a standard if we want and ever expect to see a consistent winner and a worthy product on the ice. I love this team and this city too much to let it be content with mediocrity at best.
If enough of you out there are behind this, I'll lend whatever efforts I can to putting the word out about "You Don't Gotta See it Live!" night.