An ideal society is one that rewards effort and results rather than just fortunate circumstances. Take NHL ticket giveaways: For every gonzo contest in which a fan has to win a scavenger hunt or choke down a bunch of hot wings in record time, there's some cat at a game whose company-provided ticket stub is plucked in a raffle and wins season tickets. Ugh.
The Philadelphia Flyers, as is their blue-collar aesthetic, have decided to reward effort with Opening Night tickets — by asking fans to decimate a 15-ton ice block with their bare hands, placed in front of the Clothespin statue at 15th & Market on Monday morning.
Inside the frozen Flyers logo are 100 pucks, and one of them wins some fan two tickets to Wednesday's home opener against the Vancouver Canucks.
OK, so it's Philly, and you're expecting anything from pick-axe to a blowtorch on this thing, right? No sir; from Peter Mucha of the Inquirer, there are rules for this thing, man:
Ten people at a time were supposed to each have a minute "to use their hands to thaw the pucks out," according to the announcement.
Fans were not allowed to use anything but fingers - no keys or belt buckles, according to a Flyers representative at the scene.
Fans digging and/or pulling items out of giant blocks of ice to win stuff isn't revolutionary. The Capitals did it back in 2008 with sticks stuck in ice, like some kind of hockey Excalibur. The Carolina Hurricanes were scheduled to use 100 small "coins" inside an ice block that could be extracted by hitting it with a puck. Other teams have done similar.
The point isn't that the Flyers reinvented the ice wheel here. It's that everything ever given away to a fan should be frozen in ice, from free tickets to magnetic calendars. Because breaking ice with your fists to win stuff is awesome.