Sunday, March 18, 2012

How To Work Tim Tebow into Hockey Conversation

"Why the hell would I want to talk about Tim Tebow when I'm trying to talk about hockey!?"

I know, it seems strange. It seems like the last thing that you would want to do. But hear me out, you'll thank me later on. Hockey is as physically demanding as football, is more fast paced than basketball, is insanely more entertaining to watch than baseball, and has all of the wonderful, chess like movement of soccer. And you don't have to be drunk or an idiot to enjoy it (although I hear that helps a lot of New York Islander fans). But in spite all of that, hockey doesn't get the attention from the public or the coverage from the sports media it deserves. With a handful exceptions that most of us are aware of.

This just in: Sidney Crosby has a hangnail. A really bad one

Get ready for Anze Kopinfatuation!
I had been talking to my brother, and he was telling me that EPSN's "Sportscenter" flagship show was covering the Red Wing's historic 23 game winning streak. And in the process of discussing the win streak of a professional hockey team, ESPN managed to talk about both Jeremy Lin AND Tim Tebow.

I just took it as another pathetic example of the sports media focusing on sensational stories of the most profitable sports and athletes in the country. Instead of focusing on genuine and great athletic accomplishments of teams and players whose names can't have "mania" or "sanity" added to the end of them. But then it dawned on me: this could be a brilliant marketing strategy for the NHL to take advantage of

So, let's discuss how you can work Tim Tebow into conversations about hockey, thereby luring NFL fans to give professional hockey a shot.

You've got to emphasize the similarities between the two sports, and players' contributions to them. It's the personalities of the players, the traditions of the sports, and the public displays of emotions, faith, athleticism and sportsmanship that bring in the fans. And certainly, those are all qualities that have brought fans to Tebow's side. So let's look at some examples of things you can bring up, connecting Tim Tebow to hockey to entice fans to give hockey a try. 

  • The Denver Broncos often found themselves behind headed into the fourth quarter, wherein Tim Tebow would lead his team in a come from behind performance, winning in the last moments of regulation or in the ensuing overtime
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets often found themselves behind headed into the third period, wherein Rick Nash would lead reporters on a wild goose chase as to where he'd be traded.

  • Much as been made about the so called "Tebowing", named after Tebow's celebratory kneeling in prayer. Point out your listener that this is simply Tebow's version of a celebration hockey players have been doing for years
  • Despite his impressive performance this year, despite all odds and a complete lack of skill, there are rumors circulating that the Broncos may sign highly sought after free agent Payton Manning, and trade Tim Tebow elsewhere.
  • Oddly enough, this is the exact same situation that Alexander Semin finds himself in

  • Many people were drawn to Tebow's words of faith, constantly crediting God and Jesus with his success in life and in football. 
  • "Actions speak louder than words" they often say. Hockey goalies for a long time now have been know to do the "christ pose" as a way to keep the puck out of the net. I'd also point out that goalies are standing in front of the "cross bar"

  • Tim Tebow's Broncos are not a new thing for the state of Colorado. They are simply keeping up the tradition of once great Colorado sports franchises with dynamic and respectable leaders that have fallen into despair and have become a mediocre team that may or may not make the playoffs.
Wait, what?

  • Tim Tebow lead his Broncos to a startling upset against the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Shane Doan led his Phoenix Coyotes to a startling upset against the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings by staying in Phoenix after they were swept in the first round of the playoffs. 

So there you are. Just a few ideas for how you can help bring football fans into the hockey folds by appealing to their fandom and appreciation of Tim Tebow. There may be more, you may come up with even better ideas, and I'd love to hear them! Also, see if you can do the same with Jeremy Lin. Y'know, just for funsies. 

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