School Promo: Skip School, Watch Hockey
The big what for at the local hockey arena this Wednesday afternoon was exactly that, a big what for.
How dare the Ontario Hockey League and home team Mississauga St-Michael’s Majors schedule a school-daze matinee promotion smack dab in the middle of a busy work week?
The Ontario Hockey League is one third of the multi-divisional Canadian Hockey League (Lampooned by comedian Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report) and is contested between boys ages 15-20, many of whom have already been aligned with big league NHL clubs. With an emphasise on education OHL clubs play a weekend heavy schedule, ninety percent of all games are played between Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon to minimize overlap with a players education.
So why schedule day games during school hours at all?
Well, the answer after chatting with several source near and dear to the St. Mike’s organization is a relatively easy one. Some genius, likely a former Mississauga Ice-Dogs employee desperate to make an impression with the new boys in town suggested a school day giveaway that would both hook the young crowd and promote the organizations activities outside of the area (good corporate citizenry).
The idea, at least according to the Mike’s faithful I spoke to wasn’t exactly in line with the OHL education mandate and certainly wasn’t a favour to the ridiculously few, otherwise known as Majors season tickets holders. Many of whom by all accounts were forced to play hooky just like the player on the ice and the two thousand or so grade schooler’s that pushed the attendance over the three thousand mark (3200) for the first time since the Majors home opener (4150) on October 3rd Vs former Hershey Centre home squad the Ice-Dogs now of Niagara.
To be honest I’m not really concerned about this type of promotion
OHL athletes are truly the cream of Ontario community crops, ninety-five percent of all OHL players attend either high school or college and at least twenty percent of them will one day receive a pay check from an NHL team. Demands on players to perform both in the classroom and on the ice are at an all time high and even the big clubs at the NHL level are interested in a prospects scholastic achievements but honestly what’s a couple hours spent plying your future trade at rock bottom wages for raucous, unruly eleven year olds on a filed trip to the local rink.
Sounds a lot like grade 12 co-op to me. Protege, intern, apprentice. The precursors to professional achievement.
Besides day games are great for me. I work nights.
I was also elated to hear the present rug-rat army sing, oh Canada with a vigour and grace once reserved for Broadway curtain calls. Having attended several Junior hockey games in my life time OHL hockey seldom throws at me anything totally unforseen but Wednesday afternoons crowd support by the home towns smallest citizens for the Central Divisions last place team was not only unforseen it was also unexpected and unforgettable.