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Paul Nicholson
Nashvegas TN
Digital Marketing Manager at HealthTrust. Social media junkie, strategist, and app idea guy. Hockey fan, photographer, and father to 2 awesome boys.

(Opinions expressed here are not those of my employer. Heck, they might not even be mine.)
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Digs

Please redirect your links!

Exactly three years ago today I made my first post on my first real blog. I'd had several different iterations of personal and business web pages with various forms of personal writing, but my Blogger blog was the first real, dedicated, regular outlet I had tried. Worked pretty well too. I actually kept up a post-a-day schedule for nearly a year. After a while that dwindled to a post a week or so. Then Twitter came along and suddenly all those thoughts I had during the day that used to combine into a post every night were suddenly being instantly shared with my friends 140 characters at a time. This was especially true for any and all Predators related stuff after Garrett and I made ReTweetBot. My game blogs and rants about coaches were (for the most part) going out to the @PredFans group instead of my blog. (I have to say, i think Twitter honestly did good things for my communication skills - forced me to be much more concise and allowed me to communicate more frequently with friends). Then of course, along came Ian and then a new job (and Rock Band...) and what little spare time I had was being completely sucked up.

But a few times lately I've been getting the urge to write more and more. I also began to recognize how cathartic it was for me to express myself - even if it was about hockey, much less something else. And so much the better when anyone actually reads it (especially considering my writing is nowhere near what Christy's is) though that's almost beside the point.

Getting some distance from my blog also helped me realize what an absolute mess it had become. So many widgets and cute little things added to sidebars. Trackers and flickr badges... oh the clutter. I was very proud of my hacked 3 column layout, but it just went against everything I ever tell my clients about design. It was embarrassing. So I resolved to give the blog a face-lift before bothering to write much more. Trick was I didn't have the time or patience to code my own layout and I couldn't find any templates that looked good enough. I wanted something "different" whatever that meant. But couldn't even find a template worth modding.

Then I found this one.

With the 'magazine style' layout and simple design it was exactly the breath of fresh air I was looking for. The front page columns juxtaposed with the full page post view also provide a good reminder to let the content be flexible and not format it for any one presentation - very important since such a large percentage of people view content through RSS on a myriad of devices and feed readers these days. Of course moving to WordPress also provided me a plethora of plug-ins and other options - like static pages (see my About and Blogroll pages as examples). Simple little things I never had on Blogger because it didn't support them. All of these combined for a much more user-friendly (and SEO friendly) blog.

So here it is. Hopefully this, combined with a WordPress app for my Android phone and a renewed desire to get back into photo taking, will get me blogging more. We'll see. I've said this before ya know.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BNA refuses to modernize

My new job requires me to travel quite a bit more than my last job (which required basically no travel at all). I've begun the life of a road warrior to a small extent, already going in and out of BNA (Nashville's airport) a couple of times a month in the last little bit.

Anyone that knows BNA and knows me, knows this means frustration. You see, i'm a geek and like my power-hungry gadgets, and BNA is practically void of convenient power outlets. While most airports in the country have rows of waiting area seats complete with A/C and USB power outlets, BNA has only a few power outlets scattered under payphones, behind doors, and at the base of columns, like the picture to the right. With few exceptions, all of these require sitting on the floor to access.

So imagine my surprise when my dad (who also travels a good bit) sent me this. He decided to ask about what i think we all assumed were impending upgrades to the waiting areas. Apparently, we'll be waiting a while:

I was talking to a gate agent at Southwest Airlines today, and he tells me that Southwest has requested that they be allowed to add outlets and USB charging devices in their gate areas and were denied. They have even installed some of the chairs, but were not allowed to connect the power to them. I have experienced these at other airports and wondered why they had not installed them in Nashville. To find it is our own airport that is keeping these from being installed is frustrating and embarrassing.

If you are like me and want the airport to allow these needed improvements, take a moment and write a short message to the Nashville Airport Authority here:
http://www.flynashville.com/comments
So there you have it. Your call to action. Let's all let BNA know how ridiculous this is, and bring Nashville's airport into the 21st 20th century.



UPDATE:
My dad just heard back from the BNA authorities. Looks like they do have "plans" and their infrastructure is presenting challenges. About what i assumed, but this still should have been prioritized and implemented a while back.
We were very excited when Southwest approached the Airport Authority with the charging station project however the installation required would have involved significant core drilling of the floor plates to accomplish implementation. The nature of our infrastructure doesnt allow for surface electrical runs which would have continued to be a factor down the line if the charging stations ever needed to be relocated. Realizing this is an important and necessary customers service enhancement, we have taken on the project ourselves through our wireless services provider and hope to be rolling this out throughout the terminal (not just Southwest gates) in the very near future. Thanks for you interest in our facility and our program. We welcome your comments.

Rebecca Ramsey
Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority
One Terminal Drive, Suite 501
Nashville, Tennessee 37214-4114
615.275.1600

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Eulogy

My grandfather passed away a few weeks ago. I was asked to say something at the funeral. Normally i don't write out full speeches, but i knew given the emotion involved and the things i didn't want to forget to say, that writing it out would be the best choice this time.

So, since i had it written out anyway, i decided to post it here, if for no other reason that 1) to honor him and 2) i haven't posted anything in a really, really long time.

(me, my father, and grandfather a several years ago)



For a long time growing up, to me Papaw was just Papaw. One of those constants that was always there and never changed. As I grew older and became a teenager, I saw him as kind and gentle. A man of reason and intelligence. Always quiet and understated - but also through the eyes of a teenager I'll admit: he seemed a little boring. He was an architect and engineer, and that was ok I suppose, but I didn't exactly see him as exciting - and he ate at Luby's a little more often than a 13 year old thought was normal.

But I am very happy to say that as I grew up further, I started to see more of my Papaw then I had before. And soon I realized that seeing him as more than just a quiet and kind grandfather also taught me a strong life lesson.

It's worth backing up a little more and saying that I grew up hearing stories of far off war heroes and great men in my family, but I had never met any. They had all passed away before I was born. They all existed in stories and pictures, but I'll admit that sometimes it was hard to identify with them.

I also remember hearing that Papaw was in a war - in fact I remember being confused as a little kid if it was WWI or WWII. I knew he was in the corps of engineers. I remember being told that they "built bridges and things like that". When I looked at my grandfather and thought of an engineer, I thought nothing more of it. I was proud of his service. I thought he built bridges for the army.

Then a few years ago, just as the parkinsons was starting to take him from us, he started talking. Sharing in a way he apparently never had, or at least hadn't in years. I don't remember if I asked a question or if he brought it up. But he started telling me stories I'd certainly never heard - and later found out, I don't think had ever been told.

And I emphasize that not out of pride for him confiding in me. It was pure luck that I was there when he decided to share what he did with me. I emphasize it because it is the clearest demonstration of his humility.

You see, he was a hero. Like so many of his generation he didn't think so. He was just part of the war machine. He was drafted in and was doing what he had to do. But I can tell you now he was a great man and a hero.

He was a part of what was nicknamed the Red Ball Express. They were the crack team of engineers and truckers that did the impossible: built fuel lines and kept them safe from Nazi saboteurs to keep up with Patton's march through Europe.

If that still may not sound like much, you're in need of a quick history lesson:

Just after the allies' landing at Normandy on D-Day, the allies broke through and had the Nazis on their heels. Allied leadership decided to abandon plans of a slow advance and pushed their advantage on the Germans - not allowing the enemy to setup another strong line of defense. The goal was to keep them in constant retreat.

This is something the Germans were unprepared for because it was, of course, impossible.

The trucks and tanks of war, not to mention the supply trucks needed to bring soldiers and ammo to a constantly moving front line, were not exactly hybrids. They burned up fuel at an alarming rate. So much so that the quickly advancing army outran the existing supply chain. Prior to that it could take days to extend pipeline miles over the rolling hills and fields of Europe.

My grandfather and his fellows were called in to rapidly extend pipeline from Cherbourg to a constantly advancing set of supply stations, which then moved the fuel to trucks that carried supplies to the front lines.

They were asked to do the impossible: keep up with George Patton. They did. Without them, the allied march through Europe would have taken months longer and cost many more lives if the Nazi's had had more time to shore up more defenses at the Rhine. Instead, my Papaw and others like him kept the axis on their heels and turned the tied of the war.

After Papaw first told me about this, I did some research and found a quote from Gen. Patton about the work of the engineers: "my men can eat their belts if they have to, but they have to have fuel in their trucks and tanks".

When I read that quote to Papaw he said "yeah, that sounds about like Patton."

Unfortunately when Papaw first started telling me these stories, I didn't realize what was happening. It was an extension of a conversation we'd been having for a while and suddenly I realized that he'd been telling me his war stories for over an hour.

Now that I think of it, I think it started by him telling the story of how he and Mamaw met just after he'd been drafted while he was in training. They had agreed to keep writing during the war, and then met back up afterwards.

But then he started telling other stories. About his daily patrol up and down the latest length of pipe w/ his rifle, checking for signs of sabotage to the line. On one of those trips, he came across a cow that had stepped on a German landmine not 6 feet from where he had just walked past on his previous patrol.

He told a story of how, while awaiting transfer to a new station in Europe, an officer dropped his own rifle and it went off, shot through the ceiling and killed a soldier upstairs. Papaw said "He had to live with that", and I could tell by the way he said it that papaw had lived with it too.

He told another story about how a group of soldiers found an abandoned German storage tank, still partially full with fuel and no one knew how much fuel was in it - or why the Germans had left it intact. They called my grandfather in. To help them figure out how much fuel was in the tank. As he said: he did the basic calculus and figured out how how much fuel was in the tank. Nothing really". But I have a feeling that was not a common knowledge set for 19 year old soldiers in the 1940's. So much so that if I remember right, he got a commendation for that action.

Yes, my grandfather got a military commendation in wartime for his use of calculus. To me, that's pretty cool.

After realizing I had been talking to Papaw about these things for more than an hour, we had to leave. I called my dad and told him what I'd just heard, and he was surprised. He'd never heard any of these stories. So the next day I went back, with maps and a tape recorder in hand, and talked with Papaw some more.

The only time I remember him saying he was scared, was during the outdoor camp out portion of basic training. He said the mosquitoes were as big as your hand. He didn't sleep the whole night and he just kept telling himself it was only for that one night.

He talked about the "tin can" liberty ships. Built to cram as many soldiers on board as possible, as quickly and cheaply as possible. He said the bad part was that they returned during winter time in the north Atlantic, with horrible storms. 20-40ft waves that would rise up, then as he put it "just drop out from under the ship and we'd go crashing down" He said they thought they would fall apart but nobody asked questions when getting on board. They just wanted to go home.

And there were other stories too. Too many to tell here. I'm planning on putting up a website with as many as I can recall and caught on tape, very soon.

So...
I'll admit that while growing up, Papaw was never on my list of who I wanted to grow up to be like. He was just a quiet, understated architect. But now I understand a bit more of who he was. Not just an architect, but a boy who became a man on the battlefields of Europe, and who played and instrumental role in freeing Europe.

And the most amazing part of all - he didn't care if anyone knew. For me, a rather proud and often loud young man - someone who easily judges others by their appearance and is all too quick too call out my own accomplishments - this was a huge lesson.

I'd personally known a war hero for years, but never known it. Because to him, it wasn't important.

And here is the lesson I learned.

He was just doing his job then, just as he went to work and quietly did his job for the rest of his life - and changed the landscape of central Texas and beyond with his countless designs and consultations. He wasn't "just" an architect and an engineer. He was a good man, who lived his life and did good work. He took pride in his work, but a quiet pride. He didn't care if people knew. He simply did good work and let it speak for itself. All of it just as important to him as helping to free Europe. I am almost ashamed that it took seeing him in a more dramatic light to see that it was his whole life that was great. But I see that now.

And I know now that if I turn out to be anything like my grandfather, I am both very lucky, and a great man indeed.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cupcake!

Very happy to hear that the "Cupcake" update is apparently being rolled out to G1 users at last. This will finally, really make my G1 the phone i wanted it to be.

Here's the quick list of features i'm looking forward to most:

  • Support for A2DP & AVRCP Bluetooth profiles (Stereo!)
  • Video recording (with better YouTube account integration)
  • Soft (onscreen) keyboard
  • Open Applications by Voice Command
  • "Significant" bug fixes in email checking, especially POP3 and IMAP
  • New menu option to list running processes
  • Updated WebKit browser core (way faster!)
  • Copy / paste is enabled in the browser
  • Find is enabled in the browser (for searching within a page)
  • Save attachments from MMS
I'm not sure, but it may also finally include support for more Home Screen widgets.

Another cool addition to the Cupcake build of Android that doesn't affect my G1: It now supports x86, which if i read it right, means i can load Android on my PC if i want to.

UPDATE: Maybe it's coming, maybe it isn't. T-Mobile USA won't confirm or deny it yet, but said an announcement is forthcoming.

UPDATE 2: Confirmed. Rollout starts the weekend of May 9th and will be complete by the end of May.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Expectations

I'm riding the bus today while the car is in the shop, so I have a few moments to get around to blogging again. So I'm using the chance to do something I don't really like to do: talk about politics.

I'm not going to bother telling you who I ended up voting for last fall. I really was one of those magical "undecided voters" right up until election day. My reasons were my own. I was going to be equally satisfied and frustrated with either candidate, though for different reasons of course. There's no point in talking about what I liked or didn't like about each one, because the point in this discussion is my specific disappointment in Obama.

Now, I had no expecations that Obama (or McCain or any other candidate really) would actually do things in office that I wanted. By the same token, I don't pretend that the actions anyone else would be taking to solve the economic crisis or Iraq or anything would be *that* dramatically different than what our current president is doing or any former president did. Politicians for either side aren't that different anymore. They use the same rediculous, reactionary arguments against each other over and over, just changing the mascot they have on their buttons. Most real policy is made in congress and in government agencies with only tenuous ties to the executive branch.

No, I'm not disappointed in the governing of the new president, because my expectations were so low to begin with for both parties. My disappointment with Obama is in the one thing I thought was his upside: his rhetoric and persona.

Obama was an amazing speaker (relative to modern politicians anyway) during the campaign. He was able to speak eloquently and in vague generalities that inspired many, yet offended few. That's how he got elected, and in a country that needs a serious morale boost, it was a welcome site. His tone was positive and he had a perfect balance of regal posture and populist cheerleading. I thought if he could do anything, he could at least restore some confidence and pride to the population, and improve the image of our government both at home and abroad.

But he hasn't. In fact, I'd say he's hard pressed to be called a major improvement over GW Bush (who, regardless of your political views, was widely acknowledged as a poor PR rep for the US. Just wasn't his forte).

In a matter of months in office, Obama (and Michelle) have angered the British people with laughably poor observance of decorum and proper gift giving. Barak has proven himself to be a relatively awkward speaker when off his teleprompters (which he takes everywhere, no matter how cumbersome) and a downright average speaker when unguided by his speech writers. He has failed to take a buck-stops-here approach that one would expect from his populist persona in cases like the horrible blunder his staff made in scheduling an unannounced (and thus panic inducing) commercial and military aircraft flyover of Manhattan for a photo opp.

None of these are horrible in themselves. Even added up, they aren't *that* bad, especially compared to others in history. But to me, Obama was elected to do one thing that was (and is) deserately needed: give upe and inspire. He has totally failed to do either. Even most passionate Obama supporters I know are giving him mixed reviews at best - on both policy and rhetoric.

Mr Obama, we expected more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Little Help!?

Just a quick post to beg for money. Ok, kinda.

For those following the saga of the ReTweetBot (vote here for a new name, we don't like that one), you'll know that it is a cool Twitter app that i had an idea for, and i talked Garrett into coding for me.

Well, i'd like to pay Garrett back for his trouble (and ok, i might keep a little for myself).

So... ChipIn here. Heck, even if it's just $0.50, that's fine.

Thanks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Summer Movie Update - 2009 Edition

It has started to become a tradition for me to chronicle what movies i'm particularly excited about seeing, or plan on seeing during the summer movie rush. (2007, 2007 update 1, 2007 update 2, 2008, 2008 update 1, 2008 update 2)

This year's slate is a bit lighter than the past few years, due mostly to me being crazy busy and just knowing that i'll get around to seeing fewer movies (especially since babysitting is now an issue). Here's what we have so far:

Planning/Hoping to See:
May 1 - Battle For Terra
Looks very cool, little buzz about it though

May 1 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Looks awesome!

May 8 - Star Trek
I'm still nervous of what they'll do to my Trek...

May 22 - Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
First flick was great fun

May 29 - Up
Pixar movie. Will be awesome. Period.

July 15 - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Looks great, and loved this book

August 28 - The Boat The Rocked
Very cool subject matter and great cast. Music history!

October 16 - Where The Wild Things Are
Kinda on the fence, but i want to be excited about this one


Interested In Seeing: (Probably waiting for video)
April 24 - The Soloist
Obvious Oscar bait, but looks good

May 21 - Terminator Salvation
I hated the first 3 so much, but no James Cameron gives me hope

June 24 - Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen
I will see this movie eventually. Can't avoid it. Michael Bay stinks though.

July 1 - Public Enemies
Great cast, great subject matter

July 1 - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Liked the first movies

September 3 - Moon
Sam Rockwell + trippy sci-fi = cool

August 7 - GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
Gonna be cheesy fun

August 14 - The Time Traveler's Wife
Romance + sci fi = cool?

October 9 - The Informant
Cast, director, curious...

October 23 - Astro Boy
Good buzz around it

December 11 - The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson + great cast

Monday, April 13, 2009

Macroblogging

For those that have followed this blog for a while (Hi Christy, mom, dad, etc) you'll probably recognize that i haven't posted in a while. In fact, this is probably coming up in your RSS feed reader and you're wonder what this blog is and why you subscribed. Many of you may have subscribed because you were told by many other people that this was a blog that covers the Nashville Predators. And it does. Or did. Kinda still does. It covers the Predators about as much as it covers anything these days, which is to say, not much.

I have increasingly been using Twitter to share my thoughts with the world. The tool of instant spur of the moment microblogging has sucked me in completely. So much so that i actually created (or helped create) a tool specifically so i could have a place on Twitter to talk about the Predators and not annoy the general population.

However, a strange thing has happened lately. I have begun having more frequent thoughts which i would like to share with the world, but can not be expressed in 140 characters or less. Personally, i blame the long hours minutes of holding my son Ian while waiting for him to fall asleep. With that much unoccupied time, my mind wonders on long tangents it hasn't been able to in a while.

Anyway. I also remembered that i can quickly blog from my phone from anywhere via email in a manner not dissimilar to how i use Twitter. This allows me the freedom to quickly express that brilliant thought that will change the lives of everyone who reads it, but do so in an unencumbered fashion (and with pictures!). For instance, i can now afford the characters to use words like "unencumbered".

So, be prepared to have this space active once again. Or at least a little more so. But to be clear, a lot of what i have to say, especially about the Preds, will probably still be on Twitter.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ian Patrick Nicholson

I've been a bit busy lately, so haven't posted in a while. What have i been busy with?


My son, Ian Patrick Nicholson was born 3/27/09 at 12:29pm. Weighed in at 9 lbs, 8 oz - 20.5" long.

Hopefully i'll start getting more posting in soon. In the mean time, check cute pictures here, here, and here. You can also follow Ian on Twitter here, and his blog here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Radio Stars

Real quick post here...

A while back the Predators asked a bunch of season ticket holders to come in and participate in recording clips for some new radio ads. They said they would post them online, but i haven't seen them yet...

Well, i finally caught a few fast enough to record (though only one from start to finish).

Christy and I are featured pretty prominently in a few of them, so i decided to take what clips i'd been able to grab so far, chop them up, and make a version with just Christy and I :-)


Oh, and here's the one complete original i've been able to grab so far for anyone else that wanted to hear the commercials.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Thanksgiving in February for Preds fans

This is a long post, but one i would love every Predators fan to check it out.
Please spread the word, and take the time to read it.

Predators fans have been through quite a lot in the last few years. First it was the team being sold, and what looked like an impending move to Canada. Then a fire sale of top talent to the eastern conference (so that Craig Leipold could go buy our competition in the west). Then a lengthy process of first going with other outside ownership, then bringing a local ownership group into the picture and renegotiating a lease with the city to help make the team more profitable.

Then new ownership actually got to take control of the team halfway through the season. During the next off season, they promised to invest in the team and re-sign all our core young players (which they did) and we were ready for a year where we finally might make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Then star offensive weapon Alexander Radulov was persuaded to defect and skip out on his NHL contract to play in the upstart Russian league - the KHL. Not only were some Pred fans disappointed that we weren't picking up any additional talent, but now the team had lost a major piece of its offense too late in the off-season to find a replacement it could afford. This after losing so much talent to the fire sale, and Steve Sullivan's back injury.

Top all this off with the constant rumor and speculation (mostly from several papers 'up north') that it is only a matter of time before we inevitably lose the Predators to either contraction or, more likely, relocation.

It is pretty easy to see how one could become rather depressed as a hockey fan in Nashville. It is very easy to feel that the individual ticket-buying fans are the only ones that care and are being left out to dangle in the wind.

But a few things to remember:

Media Support: We give the local media a lot of flack around here because we as fans aren't satisfied with the amount, or at times the quality, of coverage. But as i've heard several very knowledgeable people say lately - we have it pretty good compared to many other cities with NHL clubs - even some of the more "traditional markets".
  • Remember back when "we" held that big rally in July of '07 - we showed up, but a whole bunch of other people put their time and money into that to organize it as well. 104.5 The Zone dedicated hours and hours of time to talking nothing but hockey (*cough* usually takes them weeks to talk that much hockey *cough*). Someone had to organize and pay for that event at the Sommet Center. We showed up to their party.
  • Hockey and Predator focused shows on two other sports talk radio stations (besides the "flagship" station that has an interest in the Preds success) - HockeyBuzz Radio and hours of pre-game on WNSR 560AM and a few shows here & there on 106.7 The Fan. WNSR in particular has stepped up with a ton of hockey programming lately. Not the best and strongest in the world, but it is there
  • Newspapers across the country are trimming staff right and left. The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram used to each have writers covering the Dallas Stars. They have now reached an agreement to "share" coverage of the team. Meanwhile in Nashville the little 'ol Tennessean has not one but TWO writers for the Predators (John Glennon and Jessica Hopp Bliss), while the Nashville City Paper has another writer of its own (. Even the business focused Nashville Post has broken and covered several stories regarding the Preds. Not a day goes by (even non-game days) that there aren't at least 2-3 Preds stories posted by these various papers. Not every NHL club can say that.
Local Businesses:
  • Local ownership stepped in to buy the team. Yes, they had some funding help from outside, but the majority of the funds put up to buy the team were put up by local business owners. People who weren't even the biggest hockey fans, but who knew that Nashville didn't need to lose this team. Yes, they knew the fans were here and that the fans would support the team, but they had to stick their necks out and lay a LOT of money on the line, and they came through.
  • Sponsors and advertisers had to step up too. Craig Leipold and Steve Violetta did all they could to alienate local ownership by treating it as a God-given right to own and operate a professional hockey club in Nashville, rather than treating it like any other business that has to be sold, promoted, and managed. One of the main reasons the club wasn't making much money is that there weren't enough sponsors and advertisers bringing in revenue. There isn't a professional sports team on the planet that can pay all its expenses on gate, merch, and concession revenues alone - even if they sold out every night. Corporate sponsorships and advertising are a key source of revenue.
That last point brings me to what prompted this blog post.

We recently switched the hosting for ghia over to Dolphini Networks. Not only was it a major upgrade to our quality of service, but Dolphini is locally owned & operated and a major sponsor of the Predators. Great for us all around. As a result of switching over, we got to hang out with Dolphini owner Michael Krause at their table in the All Inclusive Zone at a game.

During the 3rd period Michael and I started chatting and he mentioned that he was much like Preds owner David Freeman - not a big hockey fan before the sale of the team, but wanted to support the community so he stepped up as a major corporate sponsor. A bit later I said "thanks" from all of us fans, that we really appreciated what he and others like him had done. I felt it was a unique opportunity to directly tell a major sponsor "thanks" in person for supporting the team I love (rather than just buy Pepsi over some other soda once and a while, or use First Tennessee as my bank).

His response shocked me.

After a few minutes, he came back and thanked me for thanking him. He said in the entire time they had been a major corporate sponsor, not one fan had approached him and thanked him for his support. I'm sure he's been told "thank you" by the Predators organization itself a million times. And I'm sure there've been lots of "You guys sponsor the Preds, right? I love the Preds" conversations. But somehow, none of us had ever bothered to sit down and directly thank the man that is pouring a LOT of money into supporting this team.

And i'm sure he's not alone. While I can go out of my way to buy one soda over another or fillup at a certain gas station - most of us don't make web/data hosting decisions, or buy a cars and diamond rings everyday.

So here's a request to all Predators fans:

Take 3 minutes out of your day and write a quick email to a few of these companies. Everyone just grab a few random ones so we make sure they all get a few notes.


In no particular order (links are to the "contact us" pages)-
...and to show you just how far i've gone - i disabled AdBlockPlus on nashvillepredators.com, so i'm back to seeing ads on all Preds pages. Support those that support the Preds.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Barry Trotz: Goalie Killer

With the Preds ship finally righting itself, i don't want to get too negative, but there's an issue that is cropping up again that is getting ignored in all the Sully's-return and 9-goals-in-2-games press and blog coverage: Barry Trotz kills goalies.

In the Preds win against Pittsburgh on Thurs, The Preds gave up 1 goal in the 1st, then gave up a second goal on a fluky bounce when a Preds player tried to clear the puck and it bounced of not one but two of his teammates and went in the net. Was it a goal that could have been avoided - yes - but nothing that goalie Dan Ellis could have done. But what happened next was a bit odd: coach Trotz pulled Ellis in favor of Pekka Rinne. Trotz said in the post-game press conference that he did it to "change our luck" and that he wasn't unhappy with Ellis' play. Blogger Brandon Felder asked Ellis about being pulled after the game:

Felder - "Obviously the game wasn't a great start but it was really bad luck goals. Were you at all frustrated by getting pulled there?"

Dan Ellis - "I think it was stupid. Bottom line. It's the exact same thing as last year. So yeah I was frustrated. Absolutely. I can't stop both teams."
Key words there: "It's the exact same thing as last year." What does he mean by that?...

This is something Trotz has done to 3 starting goaltenders in a row. First Vokoun, then Mason, (both pictured at left) and now Ellis - and Danny knows it. At the end of the 06-07 season, Vokoun was frequently pulled in favor of Mason. The team seemed to play better in front of Mason, and it made sense at the time. Vokoun played well, but Mason was deemed ready for prime-time and Vokoun was one of the players lost during Leipold's march to the sea Minnesota. Then last year (07-08) it was Mason who was frequently pulled and/or benched in favor of the upstart Ellis. The team played well in front of both and Mason was over and over again said to be the #1, but Mason was pulled more and more and Ellis got more and more starts so that by the time the playoffs started, Ellis was the clear #1 for the team. So during the offseason Ellis is signed to a 2-year deal, Mason is traded to St Louis, and Pekka Rinne is brought in to be the backup.

That brings us to this year. Ellis has played well, and while Trotz has shown more restraint when it comes to pulling goalies than in previous years, he has recently started his very bad habit of pulling them to "shake things up" - and not because the goalie is playing poorly.

This messy with goalie's heads. Dan Ellis knows it. He saw it kill Chris Mason's game last year, and knows that Trotz is starting down that path again.

Fortunatly i think Ellis is made of a little tougher mental stuff than Chris Mason (as it applies to being a #1 goalie). But Trotz needs to be very careful and do a lot of talking wtih goalie coach Mitch Korn, or he's going to find himself trading away Ellis, establishing Rinne as the #1, and bringing up yet another young goalie next off-season.