As a team that’s been in the playoffs once in the last decade, playing in a region overrun by transplanted northerners and snowbirds, the Florida Panthers have been known to cater to visiting fan bases. Heck, at one point they allowed NBA fans from New Jersey to turn their unused tickets into Panthers seats.
With the Boston Bruins in town for a game against Tim Thomas and the Panthers on Thursday night, the expectation is that more than a few black and gold jerseys will dot the stands in Sunrise.
Of course, one assumes that Bruins fans also have an affinity for the Boston Red Sox, who play a critical Game 5 of the ALCS at the same time the B’s face Florida.
Don’t worry, conflicted Bostonians; the Panthers are here to help.
In a move that might go beyond catering to the opposing fans into outright servicing them, the Panthers are advertising their game against the Bruins with the assurance that “Red Sox vs. Tigers game to be played on TVs throughout the arena.”
There are several levels of head-meet-desk to this story, and the fact that the Panthers are going the extra mile for the enemy is potentially the least offensive aspect.
The most offensive thing about this?
That Tim Thomas vs. Tuukka Rask isn’t enough to miss the majority of a playoff baseball game to watch.
Seriously, that’s what this advertisement does: It says:
“Look, Boston fan, the product we’re offering you is obviously inferior to the thrill of playoff baseball, so we’re going to do everything we can to make sure you’re entertained while wasting your time and money on unfortunate obligation that conflicts with this television program. No, we wouldn’t do the same for, like, the series finale of ‘Lost’. And there’s literally no other entertainment venue that would offer this to a paying clientele; the local IMAX theater isn’t like, ‘Hey, and we’ll have the Sox game on near the snack stand during GRAVITY, don't you worry!’ But anything for you, dear seat-filling snowbirds. Anything for you.”
This scenario actually reminds of when I was a kid and Duke was playing Kentucky in the East Region Final of March Madness in 1992. The Nets were hosting the Golden State Warriors. As the Duke game reached its dramatic climax, legions of fans in the lower bowl started crowding around the luxury suites at the Meadowlands to watch Christian Laettner sink his famous shot.
Literally, fans had their backs turned to the NBA court and were watching a college game on television. And that was a 153-148 game on the NBA court!
So yeah, I’d be more insulted as a hockey fan than as a Panthers fan by this gambit.
OK, maybe more insulted as a human living in 2013 than anything else: Ever hear of smart phones and streaming technology? Don’t they have Wi-Fi at the BB&T Center?
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