At Duke they have the Cameron Crazies. Mizzou has The Antlers. The Cleveland Browns' Dog Pound has long been revered and feared. All of these fan sections are packed with crazy fans who will do anything to pump up the crowd and the team they are supporting.
A few tears ago, inspired by the raucous crowds that packed the rink for the Frozen Four here in St. Louis, the Blues toyed with bringing in the SLU Pep Band to help pump up the crowd for certain games. It was an interesting idea, but it had mixed results.
Now, spearheaded by a couple of the ticket Account Execs in the Blues' front office, I think they've finally hit on an idea that incorporates the idea of packing one section full of 150-200 crazy Blues fans who will be expected to stand, scream, chant and otherwise act like complete lunatics throughout the game. There are a few reasons why I think this idea is set up better to succeed, including:
- One section at center ice is dedicated to this group. There won't be any families in the section who will be upset by a massive standing, screaming crowd that keeps their kids from enjoying the game.
- Similarly, there won't be any fans from the other team allowed into the section, so no run-ins with mouthy Blackhawk fans or know-nothing Red Wing idiots.
- Members of this fan club, known as Bluenatics, will have a special meeting room inside the DrinkScotch where they can meet, organize and get fired up for an hour before the game.
- The tickets are about the cheapest way to get into a game. They are $20 and the first people who call get the closest seats. But I gotta think that if you're anywhere in the section, you're in for a party.
- The tickets come with a Bluenatics t-shirt to help set the group apart. Additional bonus: the shirts are pretty cool (it's easy to screw up crossed hockey sticks, these did not).
Here's the long and the short of it: I love this idea. As I told the guys who put it together, I'm probably not the right guy to be in this section. As people who have sat next to me can attest, too often I go nearly catatonic as I watch the game - too focused to be social, let alone a screaming maniac. But I know those people are out there and I'd love to have a section like this in our rink.
If this section catches on and works, this could be the only group like it in the NHL. If they can be creative enough and fun enough, they can create a whole atmosphere in the rink during games that just doen't exist right now. As a Mizzou guy, I loved watching the Antlers going crazy throughout games. I'd love to see the same thing happen here at our games.
Download the official Bluenatics flyer here if you're interested (and tell me you're not interested).
You may be asking why I'm supporting this, as I don't tend to get pulled in by these team-sponsored type of promotions. For starters, as I mentioned above, I really love this idea. I'm probably not the right guy for the job, but I hope a bunch of you are. Second, one of the guys behind this is my season ticket rep and I think this guy has really got his finger on the pulse of what fans want at the games and has a seriously great idea for helping to create a home-ice advantage for our team. Clearly they could use it.
The first game that this program will be in effect is March 7 against the Blue Jackets. Let's make this thing go. Here are three easy steps:
- Download the flyer above so you get the full effect of what is going to happen.
- Call Jeff Lesser at 314-589-5962 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him you want to be a Bluenatic.
- Tell them Game Time sent you. I'm pretty sure you'll get a better seat that way.
And just in case your spider sense is tingling, I'm not getting any kind of kickback for posting this or for your participation.
What do you say, Game Time people? Ready to be a Bluenatic?