On Saturday, March the 29th, the Kings unveiled Ice Girls. Something that, obviously, shocked me enough to annoyance. I could not BELIEVE the Kings organization felt that was necessary to have them on the ice. The boys lost that game, yet again, and because I was tired, I just blamed the loss on those girls. Well, thankfully, this morning, the Kings decided to let the fans give their feedback on said Ice Girls. KMS2 and I both decided to toss over our two cents on the matter.
Here it is in its entirety:
Being a Kings fan for as long as I can remember, I’ve never been ashamed at anything but our placing in the standings in recent years. I think every Kings fans can attest to this fact. When Staples Center opened up, I was floored at how modern and elegant everything seemed, which was something I was very proud of. When I started to hear that other franchises had Ice Girls, I questioned why and then had a good laugh. It seemed ridiculous to me as to why a skinny girl, who I could probably break in half, was out on the ice shoveling ice and timidly asking the players to move out of the way. I don’t see anything good coming from it besides pleasing the male fans who are drunk anyway. I recently ventured to the Honda Center for the first time, and scoffed at the fact that their Ice Girls were dressed very minimally and didn’t even pick up the ice and put it into the trashcans! They STILL had men out there lifting the oh-so-heavy piles of snow. Paying these girls to do this task is demeaning to our gender, which makes up a large percentage of the viewing audience. I honestly think the Kings organization should think long and hard about what is truly important for this franchise.
I was at Staples Center on Sat., March 29th and, needless to say, my jaw dropped when I saw the Ice Girls. Even my brother questioned as to why they were out on the ice. I think the focus of this organization is one that should be geared more to getting the roster stronger and working more as a team while keeping the distractions to a minimum. This team and fans have been through enough this season and the organization should be thinking of other ways of selling out games.
I am fully aware that the Kings did not have to ask the fans what their opinions were on this matter, so I am thankful for their interest. It does show that they actually care about what the fans truly think even on seemingly trivial matters. So I’m glad that my humble opinion was read by eyes that actually hold sway within the organization.
Update @ 6PM: Like KMS, I highly respect KingsCast's opinions and after reading KMS' update, I can only say "I completely concur." I feel I am personally open to new things within this game that we all love so much, but I guess I'm a traditionalist in some aspects as well. For example, I don't mind the shootout; I think I'm okay with it because I dislike ties. Why have a contest when it's okay for it to end in a draw? There needs to be a winner! So bring on the shootouts, heart attacks and all! From the traditionalist side, I never saw girls on the ice as a tot so it shouldn't be a surprise that it was a jarring shock to me on Saturday. There was one instance where I actually felt bad for one of the girls because she had to scrape the whole front of both benches twice. She skated that whole neutral zone length constantly stopping and asking and waiting for the guys to kindly move. I shouldn't have to state the obvious that they were staring. If that were me, I'd have been COMPLETELY UNCOMFORTABLE, but at the same time, it takes a certain type of person to want that job, right?
I'm not sure either how Ice Girls equals more revenue (I'll leave that to Keith to inform me), but I also noticed something else that I had never seen before during Saturday's game. Movie previews. Using the new freaking awesome projection system that the Kings have. At first, I also jeered at it, but then I realized that the whole NHL is having issues with bringing in revenue. If this is needed, then okay, make the change. I saw that as a blatant example of generating revenue, although, if you ask me right now, I couldn't tell you what movie it was for. So are the Ice Girls going to bring in that kind of revenue, ehh, not so much (but I'm sure that's not to be expected). Will they make the casual fan take notice? Not unless they go to games since the girls only came out during commercial breaks. But how many games do casual fans go to? At the same time, I don't want to see muscular men looking ridiculous. I think the Kings Crew has done a fantastic job this season; get on the ice, scrape it, and get off. Simple.
Ok, I'll concede your point about how other franchises are trying this. But there have also been negative occurrences that involve the actual players; Henrik Lundqvist and Rick DiPietro being the two most blatant examples. Lundqvist has refused to leave his crease at times and DiPietro flipped out when an Ice Girl removed the snow in his crease that he had strategically placed. Now, could they have said, "I'm okay, you don't need to scrape my crease?" Sure, but what if they had and the girls didn't listen and just wanted to do their job? If these girls are a distraction for the players, I'm not for it. This game is about the players and hockey. Yes, these are only two players among hundreds of other players, but they are integral to their respective clubs and (like I stated earlier) I want to keep any distractions to a minimum.
I don't get the Ice Girls either. What's their appeal off the ice? Autographs? Pictures? I hate to assume, but I'm sure there's a high turnover rate on their squad (someone can correct me if I'm wrong). I personally wouldn't want to meet them. If I had to choose between an Ice Girl and Bailey. I'm going to Bailey. An Ice Girl and the Kings drummers? Kings drummers!
Chris - I think, like Ron Burgundy, "When in Rome." But seriously, I can see both of your opinions and I'm not mystified as to why you're okay with them. To answer your questions, I don't think they should be wearing over-sized t-shirts and mom-jeans or be fat and ugly. I think the job that the Kings Crew does now is fine. I don't see the need to change that aspect of the Staples Center experience. Oh, and, I love Bailey. I really do.
Bink8 - I'm glad you sent in your feedback. I highly appreciated the Kings organization for giving us that avenue with which to voice any opinions we may have had.