Florida Panthers motto for 2010-11: "We Came To Play". Yes, seriously.
Really, it is.
The Cats today announced the above marketing brilliance will follow in the footsteps of memorable taglines from seasons past, such as the unforgettably original "Drop That Puck!", blazing a trail to professional sports respectability.
"We Came To Play". No exclamation point? Was Tallon informed of this?
Granted, the club is located in a non-traditional market, needs to reach out, make some local noise, blah blah...but I'm not sure to which demographic this was designed to appeal: children? The elderly? The opposing team?
On the other hand, I am definitely sure this isn't aimed at existing hockey fans. Recalls the scene in Slap Shot when the newly acquired, pumped-up Hanson Brothers storm out of a locker room for their Chiefs debut, prompting Johnny Upton's timeless - and NSFW - retort.
Obviously a significant amount of research and polling went into the result of today's announcement, so it must be effective.
Oh well, that's progress. Seemingly all the teams do it now, like spotlights and fireworks and t-shirt throws and cheerleaders. A billion years ago I had to cringe through Hartford regurgitating lowball schlock like "Fire on Ice" and "Meet The New Boys in Town!" (that last one represented what The Whale received in return for Ronnie and Ulfie from Pittsburgh. The local gentry famously didn't buy it.); unfortunately those marketing tricks were far better than the club they represented.
Ultimately - for fans - it's about the product Dale Tallon puts on the ice, not what Michael Yormark is using to sell it. If this campaign gets a few extra buttocks firmly planted in the 19,250 16,750 seats, call it a smashing success.
UPDATE: our pal John from the awesomeness that is Raw Charge wants to know what your alternate suggestions may be...