Suspensions - Winter Classic - Denis Leary

VERSTEEG! has been deemed to be too awesome and must sit out one game.  Coach Q has been fined $10K too for having the luxury of coaching such a fine young man.

Us poor souls without season tickets are still waiting to hear if we have been picked for the chance to buy tickets - but Denis Leary is all good to go.. and the asshole might not even show up.  Things for Winter Classic are really starting to get going.  Work has started out in Wrigley and there's tons of material all over the internet for it.  Some it's cool.. some of it's not.

Lewis Lazare over at The Bright One gave the recent Winter Classic commercial a "C+" saying:

the 30-second effort needs far more than some fairly dull imagery of players in the locker room suiting up for a game to suggest hockey is a fast-paced, rough-and-tumble, even exciting game to watch.

and Lazare probably could not be more wrong.  I realize that this is very subjective and don't want to turn it into a "your favorite band sucks" type of argument.  But Lazare doesn't seem to me to understand the game or the excitement behind the event all that well.  I won't go all Fire Joe Morgan on you with the article - but here are my concerns with it.

  • Factual errors - "Hockey fans already have snapped up about 41,000 tickets to the game".    Sorry Lewis, but tickets haven't been put on sale to everyone yet.  Season ticket holders have theirs - I'm sure NHL sponsors have theirs - but the general public has not had their shot yet.  I'm sure once it's announced though they will be gone quick.  So unless Bettman is royally fucking us over - there are still tickets available.
    Questionable statements - "Harry Caray is heard singing his rendition of "Take Me Out To the Ball Game," which is sure to excite hordes of baseball fans -- especially those with a sense of history -- who pack Wrigley every season."  Ask any Sox fan or even a smart Cubs fan and they'll tell you that the hordes at Wrigley over the summer aren't there out of any sense of history or even because they're a baseball fan.  They're there to drink.  I don't think we'll get those same crowds too excited about a game that's (hopefully) in the freezing cold.
  • No sense of history - "But will that music in any way rouse the hockey crowd, especially those with little or no connection to Wrigley Field?"  I'm a Cubs fan, so I'm biased since I love Wrigley - but doesn't everyone have some sort of connection to Wrigley Field?  At least in a superficial way?  If you're a sports fan, Wrigley seems to me to be a place you regard with respect due to its history (Sox fans excluded).  It's a classic stadium and this commerical ties our favorite game into the history of this field.  /

The only way I could see Lazare being right is if I'm just too biased (possible) to really see where he's coming from.  Being a Hawks fan and a Cubs fan and a sports fan in general I'm already excited for the event.  That doesn't mean I'm blind to see a bullshit PR move when I see one.  To me this ad brings a great sense of history and tradition to the Classic.  Your thoughts?  Any non-Hawks fans want to comment?

In some other very cool news - Battle of California has joined up with SB Nation.