What’s the best way to get fans fired up for an NHL home opener?
Hold up — save your breath. Because whatever you are thinking is wrong.
Instead the answer is gigantic, inflatable balls falling from the rafters to be thrown, punched and kicked amongst fans.
The Ottawa Senators must have heard that large balls were all the rage when they planned a pregame show to remember against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night. While the music was blaring and the light show amazed audiences during the pregame, dozens of spherical injury hazards fell from the sky, striking victims that weren’t paying attention — or had just underestimated the projectiles’ size and weight.
This wasn't marketing's greatest idea. These giant beach balls are heavy… And are knocking people's beers over including mine :/ pic.twitter.com/OmnOxEKzBR
— Kevin Lee (@BringBackLee) October 4, 2018
To be honest, there really isn’t a better way for the Sens to kick off the year.
After a few questionable offseason decisions regarding one of the league’s best defencemen, the waiving of their longest tenured player to “send a message” and whatever this was, this is a perfect representation of the state of the franchise.
Honestly I’m losing track of the number of times I’ve audibly said “WTF” to Senators news.
During the contest, one magical moment was seeing the emotional reaction of Ottawa rookie Maxime Lajoie’s parents following his first NHL goal. But are we sure that his mother was crying because she was proud of her son’s accomplishment? Or was she was actually struck by one of these balls moments before Lajoie found the back of the net?
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) October 5, 2018
To be sure, because you know how kids can get when they go fishing for likes on their Instachat and Snapgrams, we put on our journalism caps and reached out for comment via direct message.
Here’s what Senators season ticket holder and sharer of the photo above, Kevin Lee said:
“I’d say they were probably closer to yoga balls than beach balls, that’d prob be the best description. It only knocked a bit of beer out of my hand tbh, so it was really no big deal.”
He added: “Given the weight of the balls and the fact people were throwing them in the air and what not, I could definitely see the potential for danger.”
Phew. It’s a relief the beer casualties were minimal — especially considering the price of a pint when you go to a professional sports game.
Adding emotional insult to physical injury, Chicago’s Patrick Kane ended the night with this disgusting backhand in overtime.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 5, 2018
In the end, maybe we didn’t receive a clear answer as to how bad this idea truly was.
But either way, it’s fair to say the Senators really dropped the ball(s) on this one.
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