The NHL lockout stole three months of hockey, including 34 games per team, the Winter Classic, and the 2013 NHL All-Star Game; understandably, it upset many, many hockey fans. When the lockout officially ended, teams went into full fan repair mode, in an attempt to win back all those fans who were sick of players and owners squabbling over money, something both parties had a lot more of than the average fan. Now that the season has been back for a little over a month now, have the fans come back?
The answer is.... yes!
Oh, and the answer kinda is no, too.
Let me explain — unlike the other major sports leagues, the NHL and its franchises are really divided into two classes: the haves and the have-nots. Hockey-crazed fan bases, which include mostly cities in Canada and the Northeast U.S., have returned in full force, filling arenas on a nightly basis. According to ESPN.com's attendance figures, all seven teams located north of the border have 100% attendance or better so far this season. Same goes for major hockey markets including Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Detroit. Some of those have even improved from last season.
This week we’re into collectively stepping into a music time machine, the end of that-couple-that-we-thought-would-last-forever, and hockey is kind of, almost, back.
Old artists, new music
If I told you Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake were both releasing a new song, you’d probably think we were somewhere around 2004, and that the world had not yet experienced the famous Super Bowl XXVIII Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson controversy. But you’d be wrong — both artists announced yesterday that they’d be releasing new music, and the world collectively danced to "Rock Your Body" and "Survivor," because why not? Justin Timberlake linked us to a website that counts down till the release of his next single, while Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams will release their second compilation album called "Love Songs" with a new song on it . This mostly means nothing to people who weren't a huge fan of music in the mid-2000s, but for the rest of us, it’s like the music goddesses have been listening to our prayers and delivered.
According to at least one website, September 5 is Be Late for Something Day, and September 6 is Fight Procrastination Day. So you should get in one last procrastinator's hurrah on the 5th before you have to reform and actually get everything done on time. In other news, check out live events coming up in September:
Bruce Springsteen: The Boss kicks off his North American tour on September 22, with dates scheduled through December 6.
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Rush: The Toronto group is heading up a tour beginning September 7 in Manchester, NH, with dates through December 2.
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Justin Bieber: Don't worry, Beliebers, it's finally time for the Biebs to hit the road. He begins his tour September 29 in Glendale, AZ.
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Other Concerts in September:
- The American Idols Live tour ends on September 11.
- Def Leppard & Poison end their tour on September 15.
- Peter Gabriel kicks off his tour on September 16.
When in comes to sports, fans know that the regular season is just the warm-up for the playoffs, where everything gets ratcheted up to a new level. No where will that be more apparent than in Los Angeles this weekend when the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings all host home playoff games.
From May 17 through May 20, Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles will be the epicenter of sports with six postseason games taking place in that span. Normally, playoff competition in L.A. is reserved for the Lakers who have 16 championships to their name, compared to zero from the Kings and Clippers. This season has been different, though, with the Clippers and Kings shedding the losing mentality that has hounded them for years.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins are still in the thick of defending their championship (or have been eliminated, depending on when you are reading this), but one thing they will not ever be beaten at is making hilarious commercials and advertisements. The star of these ads is perhaps the most underrated mascot is sports, known simply as Bear. Name me another mascot that is funny, intimidating and lovable...YOU CAN'T!
The commercials below came out last season, so yes I am a little late to the party, but these definitely stand the test of time. I have seen them too many times to count and they never cease to make me laugh. As a casual hockey fan, it makes me want to watch more Bruins hockey games. This season the genius Bruins marketing department are back with a 70's style sitcom called "Bear & The Gang" and, once again, they are awesome.
Having said that, nothing beats the commercials from last season. Check them out and you'll find it hard not to be a Bruins fan afterwards:
This was the first one of these ads that I saw and it remains my favorite. That guy really should have known better.
Obey the Restroom Code
From a young age, people learn not to cut in line. Unfortunately for this dude, he forgot. Luckily for us, Bear reminded him.