Friday, December 17, 2010

Change needed?

Ok (Preds) Fans and Neighbors,
I am pretty sure by now that my love for the Nashville Predators is pretty obvious, and with the New Year fast-approaching, I have decided to make a career change my first priority. I will no longer be forced to choose between sanity and madness.
Until an opening comes about in Nashville at the Pro-Shop I will be lobbying for the Manager's position, in a not so subtle way... through the use of my Blog, Twitter, & possibly Facebook ( I have to block my current boss from reading it there though, might not appear there for a while)
Here are my qualifications, my shortened resume if you will:
4 year degree in Merchandising from the University of Memphis with a minor in Marketing, 15 years ofon the job experience, of which 5 are as a Store Manager of a large corporate retail store. My current store is constantly monitored and visited by Corporate employees, including the President and CEO of the Company who lives 5 miles down the road. I am the youngest Manager in the history of the highest volume store in the District, with pressure to perform at exceptionally high levels daily in not only Sales, but also Customer Service. My title of Store Manger is mis-leading, as I must also be a salesperson who creates excitement and demonstrates a commitment to excellence for our customers to return. In our last huge visit in October, every VP of every division in the company spent an hour in my store, yielding top marks and repeat comments that I could "sell ice to Eskimos". ( I convinced them each to buy products in our store, something that they usually do not do) This is not the first time that I have been told this, but it was the first time that 30+ corporate execs relayed it to me at the same time. My job is great, but selling shoes is not a passion of mine. There is only so much creativity that can be put in to the day to day operations of a Corporately run store. My hands are tied when it comes to the look and set-up, as I am not paid the "Big-bucks" to make those types of decisions. I am also forbidden to use any type of Social Media, or other such advertising to bring customers to the store. Makes it tough to change the face of a company known in the past for CHEAP, basic shoes, into a modern, fashion-concious entity.
So, enough about the current job.....
Here's my plan to take over the Preds Pro-Shop:
I want to show what the Shop could do with a little salesmanship, as in show the "Powers that Be" how many items they could sell just by getting their audience excited about things. Take for example my #PredsSnuggie campaign on Twitter. I firmly believe that there would still be a huge number of those socially-outcast slankets (blanket with sleeves) still gathering dust in the shelves, if it weren't for a single day of tweets started by a simple request by me, followed by a deluge of Retweets, the creation of a hashtag, and a certain "insider" who helped me get one although the Shop was closed the day I came to town. Some Twitter friends began telling me that they would NEVER own a SNUGGIE, that they were hideous, and could not believe that I wanted one. One friend in particular seems to have changed her mind, admitting that she could use one in her frigid office to keep her arms warm.....Here's a link to the #PredsSnuggie hashtag conversations... (I'm telling you... "Ice to Eskimos").....
This is just the first of my ideas to help our dear, sweet Pro-Shop out. Next is a contest involving jersey tees and the Hockey-Tonk Angels keep an eye out for it in the next week or so. Thanks for reading..... forward to anyone who may find it interesting.....
Go Preds!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No Pink In The Rink

I want to clear something up with regards to our newly founded Facebook page and Twitter account:
First, I would like to say, I am not against pink jerseys for Women IF they are part of a project for the Hockey Fights Cancer month in October. I own a pink jersey (not the glitter one) BUT I made it a point to get an official jersey first. Of course, in my size, the only option I had at that time was to get a Child's L/XL unless I wanted to swim in my Men's Small jersey. That pink jersey hasn't seen the light of day for quite some time, I will wear it in October though, in support of my incredible Mother-in-law who is a 2 time Cancer survivor (Breast & Lymphoma).
The support our Facebook page has received in the past two days has been overwhelming. Thank you all for your support and discussion topics. I hope that the NHL can see that we female fans are not all PUCKBUNNIES, or in dire need of a be-dazzled, belly-baring, or glitter embellished merchandise to support our favorite team. We as women would spend WAY more on merchandise than men would because we would buy for our guys, significant others, and children. If only there were more options.
I do understand that there are women out there that LOVE this merchandise. This is FINE. More than acceptable, I need them to spend that money and support our teams. The problem I have is that the NHL only seems to cater to that demographic. As far as I can tell, when I go to Hockey games, I see waaaaaaay more ladies looking for REAL TEAM COLORS & REAL TEAM LOGOS in the Pro Shop. I do not see most of my female friends/ fans searching out sequins, jewels, and other such embellishments..... in fact, I usually see these items go to the 50% off rack near the end of the season. For a few of us on the petite side, we keep sneaking over to the men's section, hoping to find a SMALL, trying to make it work. IT NEVER DOES. The Men's fit is way too boxy, whether you are a small or XXL. We have curves, plain and simple. We need a cut that is flattering, YES we want to wear what the guys wear, just tailored to us!
The NHL needs to realize that we are a huge, viable, and SUSTAINABLE demographic for them. I know personally that my household spends a ton of money to support OUR favorite team, The Nashville Predators, and would spend more if I had options. Hubby can get away with just about anything in the store, but the Women's selection is ATROCIOUS.
Please NHL. Please listen to us. We are tired of this situation. Really tired. We don't need a $300.00 logo purse, be-jeweled tube tops, thongs with "Hockey Ho" on them, or glitter jerseys. These items have to be costing you a lot to produce and will sit on racks or in your storage for the season til you mark them down. I am willing to bet that some fringe fans WILL buy this merchandise, but that is probably the only item they will buy. Give me REAL LOGOS, REAL TEAM COLORS, and NO GLITTER, and I can promise you that I will purchase more. A LOT more. TRUST me....
Please follow us on Twitter for more updates, and see the community we are building.
@NoPinkInTheRink (official account for FB page)
@TigerPredsChick @Predsaddict @RachelAddison @ReinaDeLaIsla

Thank you also to our bloggers that are helping spread the word:
@Forechecker @PredsOnTheGlass @DiamondHockey @Cellblock303
we really appreciate it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

~Top Five reasons I LOVE Hockey~

I have been thinking long and hard about this whole "5 things I love about Hockey" thing, and it has been tough to come up with JUST five reasons..... Plus, when I tried to put them in order of importance, I couldn't. Then, just as the feeling of defeat was about to take over, my brain unlocked, and Eureka! The idea came to me as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. I'm not supposed to say the top five things I LOVE about Hockey, instead:
Here are my top 5 reasons to LOATHE Hockey:
Don't freak out, loyal followers, I haven't abandoned my beloved sport, just thought I would take a new twist on what everyone else was doing....

Here they are: My top 5 reasons why I loathe Hockey:

5. PUCK BUNNIES- We all know who they are and what they are about, as a female fan I hate that some people mistake me for one.... at least until they have spoken to me, then they find out how much passion I have for the game.

4. Limited availability of Merchandise. It seems like there are maybe 5-10 styles of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats available for purchase, and for those of us who aren't lucky enough to live in a "Real Hockey city" have even more limited choices to purchase. Even with the Internet it's VERY difficult to find something good-looking and new to add to the collection.

3. Having to buy a "special" package in order to see hockey games on my T.V. when I cannot BE at the game. In addition to being a partial season ticket holder (and paying MUCH MUCH MUCH too much money on those tickets, the gas money to and from those games, a Prius to avoid going broke because of the gas, and my need for Chipotle tacos and salsa before the game, I have to spend an additional arm and a leg just to see a Hockey game that features a team other than the Penguins or Capitals.....

2. The Lack of Respect for "Small Market" teams. Seems like the beginning of Hockey season also brings the new rumors of expansion teams losing so much money that they are going to move within the next season to a city that would "Support them more". Boo to that. As a Preds fan, I have been through what the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, and Islanders (and others) are currently fighting. Just because these teams are not in "Traditional Hockey towns" does not mean that they do not have loyal and dedicated fans. Maybe the teams need some help with marketing, hmmm.... maybe they should talk to me.

AND NOW- My top reason that I loathe Hockey.....
wait for it.......

wait for it........

wait for it........


Yep, that's right. The same thing I say all the time. I live too far away from my passion. My month has to be planned out in advance, my car has to be fuel efficient, budgets have to be created, dogs have to have a baby-sitter, and sacrifices have to be made. It's all worth it in the end though, the long drive seems a little shorter after a win, and the community of friends that I have built and hope to maintain is mind-blowing.

One day I hope to live in my favorite NHL city (Nashville) and work for the team who has my heart. Maybe someday soon.......

So that's it, that's my Top 5 reasons I loathe Hockey. Really though, these are minor in the grand scheme of things, let's be honest, I LOVE HOCKEY, and really nothing could ever change that.
Counting down the days until Training Camp.....

Friday, January 8, 2010

How SWEDE it is!

Usually I do not write about any one player, but let me ask you a question:

Are you as completely fascinated with Patric Hornqvist as I am? Last year, he was something special, but THIS YEAR he has really come in to his own. This 23 year old Swede has slowly wormed his way in to my heart since the pre-season with his rough and tumble style, and I honestly didn't think that was possible. You see, there's this "thing" about goalies that has always gotten my attention. It started with Vokoun, has moved on to Rinne, along with Khabibulin, no real reason behind it, but maybe they are the "bad boys" of the sport, always willing to throw themselves in front of a frozen weapon.... don't know, but I digress, back to the article at hand. Patric Hornqvist has become one of my favorite players to watch.

As the Predator's LEADING GOAL SCORER.... That's right, Mr. Last Pick of the 2005 draft, has 16 goals, 10 assists and a PLUS 10 rating so far this season (even while taking penalties for his gritty style) While, on any other team he wouldn't be a stand out with those kinds of stats, he has more goals since December 14th than Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks. Yes, you read THAT right, more goals than Patrick Kane in that period. (as of 1.7.10)

He is a nuisance for goaltenders, defenders try to target him while failing miserably, and coaches are unsure of how to tame him. When Horny (his nickname, I swear) is on the ice, you can feel the energy level go up especially in the top line, maybe his youth has woken the older players from their hibernation? That feels like a rant that would be better saved for another time.....

Anyways, back to Praising Patric....

Every time he is in the paint, you feel as though he can score as long as the puck is sent his way.... When was the last time anyone was able to say that about a Predator player?

Recently, Horny was named to the Swedish Olympic roster, and according to the post-game interview on January 5th V.S. the Flames, he is completely honored to be a part of it. He will be among some of Hockey's elite, including Forsberg, the Sedin brothers, Lidstrom, Ohlund, and many others. If he plays in that tournament like he does in every game here in Nashville, then the defending champs will be hard to beat.

Watching the game from last night against the Hurricanes solidified my love for the Swede.... After all, how many players can get 6 minutes of penalties in the first period and end up with 2 goals? Reading his post-game interview from the Predator's website, the quote that stood out the most was about his style of play in the crease, he said: "Yeah, that is my role there and I’m not going to change it. I’m going to be in the front and I’m going to be hard to play against every night." I LOVE THAT!!! His passion for the game and his play are really starting to make a case for a Hornqvist personalized jersey, instead of a RINNE... didn't think THAT was possible!

All in all, this season has really started to shape up for the Predators, and Hornqvist is not the only one who has contributed to the recent wins, but he has been a HUGE factor for the team. Let's just hope that continues, which when watching him play, I can't imagine it not.....

Flames at Predators 1.5.10

The Hockey Gods are cruel....
When good things happen before a game for me, the Preds are left in my karmic wake.

Why?, You ask....

Well: I arrived in the front of the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Nashville around 3:30 PM to find that the Calgary Flames bus was waiting out front, this was a GREAT sign, as I was hoping to autograph hound them before they made their way to the Sommet Center for their pre-game warm-ups......
The freezing temps would not discourage me from my endeavour. As an autograph hound, the team as a whole is not my goal, no greed in my vocabulary, there are a few players on each team that catch my attention and that is who gets to put paint on puck. In this case, it was Jarome Iginla, Mikka Kiprusoff, Jay Bouwmeester, and Olli more was on that list, but because of recent issues, there was no holding of breath for him to have traveled much less be willing to sign for me. Seeing the team begin to filter from the lobby to the bus and placing their belongings on it, my stomach lurched realizing that this day was gonna be a great one for me. All of the aforementioned players signed, and my mystery player (Dion Phaneuf) came striding along more than willing to sign and even THANKED ME for asking for his auto!!!! Admittedly, some may have labeled me as "Fan Girl" when I realized that Dion was headed right for us, but what do I care? I probably will never see him again, and if I do, he won't remember me!

Off to dinner at Chipotle...... THEN:

Around 6:00 the doors opened to the Sommet Center, the crowd rushed in out of the cold, and on a tip from a fellow "Tweep" I headed straight for the already crowded Pro Shop to retrieve my beloved Women's fit Third Jersey and purchase it. Placing that Black and Blue beauty on my back, looking at the perfect fit, and ripping the tag off for the cashier took mere seconds.... Victory!!! So proud.... so happy to be a season ticket holder and get that 20% off too! Wow, this night was really going well..... the smooth ride from Memphis, the free parking, a successful hounding trip, and the purchase of my Third was making for a great day in Music City... Seriously, what could go wrong?

Warm-ups are a tradition..... I head down there, take tons of pictures, and my presence makes the team really work hard....hahahahahaha... made myself laugh with that one.... Really, just like seeing my boys up close and personal before the game, and send some good thoughts their way. The horn sounded, and I solemly made my way up the stairs kicking myself for not upgrading those tickets to lower bowl, took one last look at the silent auction table, and was asked where our seats were for the game, told the guy running the table, and he handed me a pair of tickets for section 120. I was FLOORED!

This is where the night turns tragic. The game started, the Flames scored first, Preds had no momentum, and lost the game because I had a good day....... I take personal responsibility for it PREDS fans.... It was me. So sorry. I will never do it again. ;)
(not true.... don't hold me to it) The next opportunity to hound and get free stuff, I will not be the one to turn it down. That would just be silly!