Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Iced Girls

Yes, we saw this and quite frankly have been alternately amazed and amused by the whole sordid spectacle. What you see there now is NOT what was originally posted. Originally, they were only looking for females. Females "in great physical shape" Google Cache reminds that these females also needed to have a "a lean athletic figure. [Because] Uniforms consist of half tops, skirts, shorts and pants, so being physically fit and toned is necessary."

Now, our opinions on this matter are well known and do not need to be repeated. We were honing our photoshop skills (and would have taken the pictures ourselves thank you very much to avoid copyright claims) but what happened to this whole thing would have been down right comical if it wasn't so sad.

First Ted "defended" the idea by throwing the sponsor under the bus. (We're sure whoever these guys are were very happy about that.) Though we along with many other people didn't buy it for a second. #1. Ticket prices went up but so have the number season ticket holders. When the Caps traded for and then signed Jagr, there was no mention of starting a "Spirit Squad" to compensate for the additional payroll. It was just a ticket price hike. #2. We thought the NHL was awash in revenue and the league along with the franchises fortunes were going up, up, up??? #3. If this is about about raising $$$$$ to pay the player's salaries (which is by far the biggest expense) why are the "performers" themselves drawing a salary??? Call us crazy, but won't the salaries for the "performers" cut into the desperately needed $$$$$ to pay Tomas Fleischmann and John "Coach's Pet" Erskine Bowles a combined $1.275 million to sit in the press box/waste ice time? Not only would getting rid of those two players save $$$$$ but it would also increase the entertainment value of the games because we wouldn't have to watch them stink up the joint.

When lame excuse #1 failed to quiet the masses, wholesale changes to the scheme were made. Men were now invited to try out and women were no longer explicitly required to have "a lean athletic figure." The uniforms no longer consisted of "half tops, skirts, shorts and pants" and it was explicitly stated that the Ice Kids and Mites of Ice programs would continue (We're still trying to figure out why people thought Mites on Ice was endangered by this bad idea). Ted then claimed they were just trying to put the entertainment team on steroids and we didn't know what we were talking about when complaining about Ice Girls.

One thing we still don't understand though. Why if this is NOT a dance squad are the members required to learn dance...er... sideline routines? Though, they are still drawing a paycheck and this is an example of a "professionally designed long-sleeve shirt and pants"...

Of course, we remember when Dishonest Abe and La Soose tried to import the "Amtrak DC Scream Team" to Caps and Bullets games in the mid 1990's. It didn't go over very well and barely lasted one season only because the contracts had been signed and the performers/entertainers were going to get paid anyway.

But what really amazes us is that for a guy like Ted who wants to be universally loved and adored (why else would he seek to manipulate Google searches of himself?) he has a serious stubborn streak about him. Despite continuing protestations of long-time Caps fans, he refuses to get rid of the stupid goal horn and return the Caps back to their roots of just a siren for goals (which would make them unique once again). However complaints about "violent videos on the scoreboard" and "Rock-N-Roll Part II" from parents got both of those deep-sixed.

So good luck figuring out what Ted is or isn't going to do next if you complain. It isn't as if there hasn't been a precedent for Ted floating out a trial balloon and quickly deciding to reverse course when it doesn't meet the reception he was looking for. Remember the ill-fated Tommy Hilfiger Uniforms? After getting over like a lead balloon, Ted denied the leak and the whole concept in spite of that fact that he went as far as to trademark the logo. Now we've seen the same thing again with the Spirit Squad.

One thing is for sure, when Ted first floated the trial balloon, his mind was made up to bring this to D.C. come Hades or High Water. According to our vast network of spies and informants, Ted was ready to run with this last year but decided to delay it for another year "for further consideration" (english translation = needed more time to sell it to a fanbase that clearly didn't want it). So now they're here and they may or may not stay but that is beside the point. The fan reaction to them will be interesting to say the least but considering the clumsy way they have been born, they will have a long uphill battle to gain any kind of acceptance from the fans. I hope the sponsor is writing a big enough check because this now sounds like it could be an older version of the awkward "Mistakes Mayhem" squad.

But at the end of the day, like Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins, this is Ted Leonsis' team. He can do with it whatever he wants and there's really nothing us rabble can do about it. We'd have more respect for Ted if he came clean about this stuff because all the backpedaling and spinning about this had to have given him vertigo. It certainly made us dizzy.

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