Friday, March 16, 2007

Fanless Joe

After having a heart attack from watching the Badgers get lucky against a No. 15 seed in the NCAA basketball tournament, I decided to flip on over to FSN so I could feel bad for myself about not being at Joe Louis Arena this year.

The familiar sight made me feel a little bit better about being in Marquette, watching college basketball all day and cursing team that I would have bet on had gambling been legal.

Here are the things I do miss about not being at the Joe this week:
- Greektown Gyros
- Missing class 2005 CCHA Super 6 opening game
- The RenCen (GM Renaissance Center)
- Fox Theatre
- CCHA open bar party

What I don't miss:
- Michigan fans
- Hangovers
- Paying for wireless at the Ren Cen
- An empty Joe for early games

The empty Joe Louis Arena for today's ND-LSSU is nothing new for the CCHA. In fact, you can throw this in as a CCHA Championship weekend tradition.

The league went from the Super 6 format to today's format because Thursday's early game was always played before an empty bowl of seats. The picture above is a shot of The Joe from the press box prior to the start of the NMU-UAF game in 2005, played at 4:05 p.m. on a Thursday.

This current format was supposed to eliminate that problem but apparently the league has forgotten that unlike those of us in hockey world, the real world is all still working at 4 p.m. on a Friday.

Part of the blame for the lack of attendance for Game 1 today can be attributed to two small fan bases that do not travel well. They are also both a bit of a drive from Detroit. NMU and Miami did not draw very well last season, though NMU fans had planned to be in Detroit all season and they always travel well.

The league needs to start playing these games later in the evening. While this would make it a late night, and cut into the open bar party at the RenCen, it would provide fans a better chance to make the games.

The CCHA Championships are supposed to be a showcase for the league. It is supposed to be a special event for the players, coaches, fans and everyone involved with the programs. The week is supposed to be an award for the people associated with those teams.

An empty arena truly tarnishes the league and the experience.
Side note: How many CCHA fans do you think the Fox Theatre draws from showing that damn Celtic Women promo over and over. I think they'll have better luck with Diego's Acid Flashback.

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