Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ranger FanFest 2009

The Rangers held a FanFest today for season ticket subscribers who paid via Amex. Originally scheduled for last weekend, the postponed event avoided ill weather and took place under shimmering Ranger-blue skies. I don't have the cable for my camera so pictures will have to wait until Monday.

Unfortunately, the postponement resulted in some changed plans and the event - at least my experience of it - suffered. The FanFest was supposed two shifts, 10-1 and 2-5, so I made arrangements to go to the 10-1 before beating a path back home so I could get to work on time. Because of previously scheduled events, fans were not allowed into the practice facility itself until after three. Considering the high sun, warm temperatures and the fact that there is a coolness factor to skating on the same ice as the stars, not getting inside at all was a major bummer.

And that wasn't the worse part. Press releases originally describing the event listed current Rangers - Ryan Callahan, Aaron Voros, Dan Girardi and coach John Tortorella - in addition to Ranger alumni. Because the event was rescheduled - and the press releases never revised - I arrived to find one "current" Ranger, Tyler Arnason. Arnason sat inside a tent and played video games against some kids before signing some autographs. If anyone else showed up after I left, for those that were there, please chime in in the comments.

As for alumni, it was the usual cast of characters, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu and Adam Graves. In addition to signing autographs, they each took part in some of the fun (I saw Duguay playing ball hockey with some kids) and each had a fan forum with Sam Rosen.

Graves, in his usual smooth ambassador demeanor, helped raise the hopes for the coming season. He raved about the youth - saying Gilroy and MDZ are the favourites for the third defense pairing - and he said that the power play will be better. His best line was about my buddy Brashear: "He's a guy who you don't know what he's going to do ... respectfully."

I skipped Duguay's forum but caught most of Nicky's and he gave some interesting insight to the Rangers Stanley Cup loss in 1979, saying that the Blueshirts were intimidated by the Canadiens and "no one answered the bell." (He was not dressed for any of those games.)

The biggest revelation of the FanFest was the debut of Blueshirts United, something they are calling "The Official Fan Community of the New York Rangers." So official that it costs a minimum of $50 to join. Few details were released and the website officially launches September 12th. My guess is that it is like the 'membership' I had to buy so I could purchase tickets to Arsenal. My membership to the Gunners got me a book and a dvd and the opportunity to buy tickets to home and away matches. An extra fee, just to buy tickets? How did it take Dolan this long to think of it? I'll keep an eye on this BU bs as it comes to fruition ...

While my experience at the FanFest was ... lacking ... plenty of people were there and they had a good time, especially if they had young children with them. There was plenty for the tikes to do, from street and box hockey to arts and crafts to video games. For a shamelessly corporate event (brought to you by Coke Zero!), there was still fun to be had and perhaps next year some players can actually show up.

9 comments:

brian said...

Messier had a Q@A with Sam Rosen at the PM session.

Anonymous said...

yeah i was there messier graves Vickers lisin and Arnason was there for a little. I played hockey with them.

Anonymous said...

Ya we just got home a little while ago and overall the family had a good time ...nice day. Saw Graves, Messier and Vickers. Got a chance to cool off and skate on the practice rink. Seemed strange more players weren't on board this year. I have to think their enjoying their last week of the summer too.

noah said...

...and that is why i hate arsenal

Todd And Kelley Widdows said...

Yeah, The Moose was there, But as quickly as he came he was swept out in Christ like manner before anyone could get autographs. What sucked for us was that (Now honestly we did have a good time) but we drove over 5 hours from PA and Back with 4 kids under the age of 4 to come to fan fest. My wife and I had a great time with the kids but I just wish that they had updated the guest list a little, That said it is Labo(u)r Day Weekend in both the US and Canada this weekend, So it is understandable. But our Kids had a blast with all the activities there, So Though it was a long trip. For us it was more that worth it.

The Dark Ranger said...

It was fun --- and you have a good viewpoint without kids....funny our experiences were so different. Great posting lately, Scotty -- except for your grudge against our Brashear Teddy Bear...

;)

tdr

Scotty Hockey said...

Still pissed days later that I didnt get to skate on the ice. Ah well.

Sucks that Messier didn't sign anything but what can you do?

Glad everyone's kids had fun. It definitely was an event geared for them so it's great that it worked out that way. Todd - you deserve a medal, all that driving with four kids ... I couldn't do it. TDR - tahnks for the compliment, but sweet talking isn't going to get me to change my mind about Brash. Sorry, lol.

Patrick Hoffman said...

You should see if you could write/blog for Blueshirt United. I'm sure fans would love to hear your daily take on our Blueshirts!

Todd And Kelley Widdows said...

Not sure I deserve a medal, We are just committed our team, and in hindsight I can honestly say that we would have driven 20 hours all said and done, We really did have a blast! Like you we are disappointed that the rink wasn't open. Even more salt in the wounds just read that Betts has been invited to Flyers Training Camp. Jesus, can you see facing him on the PP with the blocked shots and face off wins. F*cking Sather