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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Can't Fix Stupid

Apparently the comedian Ron White has a routine where he says you can fix a lot of things -- and he lists them -- but you can't fix stupid.

We'll here's an example of why my hometown NHL hockey team appeals only to those who go to games with some regularity.

The ad campaign is called "Vengeance." Reminds me of the final hockey game in "Slap Shot." So where's Ogie Oglethorpe? (I had heard several years ago that he worked at a boutique sporting goods store in NYC). Where is the foil?

Seriously, the Flyers have had 5 guys suspended for dirty hits this year, some of them pretty awful. Jesse Boulerice is no longer with the team, but Steve Downie is (both were suspended for what, 20 games apiece?), and despite the world's ultimate (and worst) homer Steve Coates's professed admiration for the kid's energy, Downie isn't what's right with NHL hockey -- he's what's wrong with it. Boys don't become men because they fight for a living or bully others or rely on brawn when they have little talent or brains. So why take your kids to something like that -- at least more than once?

The NHL isn't doing so great from what I hear on sports talk radio. I hardly heard a mention of it on ESPN Radio when it was aired in my area, and the local station in Philadelphia, WIP, hardly fields talk of it. The Eagles dominate for a good part of the year, and the Phillies fill in when they're good, and they've been pretty good for the past 3 seasons. Even the lowly 76ers, who are actually showing signs of outstanding teamwork, are getting good airplay. The Flyers? They get some, but they are not broadening their appeal.

And this bit of inspired genius won't help.

"Vengeance" is more of a tag line for WWE or monster truck shows, not for a game that wants to be established -- like NHL hockey. After all these years you would have thought that they would have learned something, but they haven't. It's hard to believe that they've taken this tact, and when I saw the ads on TV over the past couple of nights I just shook my head.

Because campaigns like this are stupid, and you can't fix stupid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure why you think only a few follow the Flyers. Their popularity has rebounded significantly this year -- I'd guess based more on their competitiveness than on the marketing campaign. I'm not a fan of fighting either, but the game transcends the increase in fisticuffs for most of us.

The brand that is hurting is the NBA. Not just in Philly, but almost everywhere outside of Detroit, Boston and the state of Texas.

5:32 PM  

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