Now that the lockout is over, our lives can go back to normal. The problem is, we shouldn't have had to wait this long. After the posturing and pissing contests, it took the second threat of dissolving the union to get the two sides locked in a room with a mediator. This is something that could have been done months ago, if it weren't for the ridiculous 'rules' of negotiations.
We were helpless. Innocent children in this ugly divorce. Now that the dust has settled, we deserve to be compensated for our time.
As we get ready for the shortened season, every day this week, we will be running a series of posts called 'Make Us Whole'. Each Anaheim Calling writer, plus new Ducks writer (step-Sleek) Jer from Battle of California, will write their three demands from the Ducks and/or the NHL.
(We borrowed the idea from Puck Daddy, who borrowed it from ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.)
Item #1 - Special Season Ticket Program
The Ducks have lost money with the game cancellations and will continue to lose money as apathetic Orange County residents continue to forget hockey ever existed here. One way to draw attention, get butts in the seats and start receiving revenue is to severely discount season ticket prices - at all levels - and freeze the price only for those that buy in a certain time period.
For example, say a full season seat package currently costs $2000. At special lockout 'I'm sorry' pricing, the same package now costs $1000. The special pricing is only good if you buy between Jan. 14 - Jan. 18; however, if you buy in that period your renewal cost every year is $1000.
Your season ticket prices will never go up as long as you renew each year. If a person cancels their seats bought at the special price and decides to re-purchase a year later, they'll have to pay full price.
Current season seat holders receive the same discount if they choose to renew (for 2013-2014) during the same time period. Plus, they'll receive a check for the difference between what they paid and the special pricing.
The goal is to get butts in the seats and buying the very over-priced concessions.
Item #2 - Seat in the owners box
At least two games every home-stand, there will be a drawing for a Ducks fan plus a friend to sit in the owner's box with Henry and Susan Samueli. As owners, they're half the reason we missed half the season and should suffer by listening to crazy fans scream at the ice from the lap of luxury.
Item #3 - Recognize non-mainstream media
The word 'blogger' frightens the Ducks. My only assumption is when they hear that word, they think of some guy in his mom's basement, even though we don't have basements here. Or, in my case, a girl that is more about the players than the game as a whole.
Anaheim is one of the last few remaining franchises to not recognize groups like SBNation as a legitimate sports writersl; even though, we've been credentialed by the NHL itself. I think they see us more as super fans, just looking for a free way in to the game and locker room.
It's time for them to stop worrying and start realizing how connected the fans actually are and how tired we get of the rosy PR bull. Yeah, we do complain about the team, something the MSM reporters aren't allowed to do. We've earned the right by 1) buying tickets, parking, merchandise, etc. all these years and 2) we do this out of love of the sport, not a paycheck.
The best PR move a franchise has is to connect with its fan base. SBN isn't a group of basement dwellers, waiting to go all fan-boy over Teemu Selanne. One of my favorite examples is from Nashville. My buddy Dirk, the editor at On The Forecheck, was invited to a round table sit down with Barry Trotz - during the lockout. Could you ever see me and my blonde head at the same table with Bob Murray? HA!
I would like to say that if my demands aren't met, I'll never go to another Ducks game again. I'd be lying. I'm already planning my life around a schedule that hasn't been released yet.