When Little Caeser's Arena was crowned as such in 2019, my gut reaction was an uncomfortable pit in my stomach, almost as if I had dared to eat one of their pizzas at some point after 1985.
I had shrugged it off, as all the other arenas across sports tend to have shameless advertising attached to them - banks and cell phone companies have cornered the market for a while, but Tropicana and Smoothie King are just a couple examples of fields and stadiums that sound like they are intended to be ingested. Just because Little Caeser's have a soulless stranglehold on a single stadium does not indicate death knells for the rest of the NHL, right?
As of yesterday, the NHL has deigned and dared to sell the names of their divisions to four companies, resulting in what can be described with many filthy, filthy words. As this blog is an attempt to understand and know the Seattle Kraken, we will focus on the division-formerly-known-as-Pacific:
The unease I feel is as if I have eaten an entire 1997 Honda Civic and, somehow, it disagrees with my system, and it is only a matter of time before I perish from a heavy metal poisoning, releasing me from my curse of the fruit of Division® knowledge. We are all floating on borrowed time, an aberration against the natural order of entropy, and as if to spit in its face, we choose to intentionally sell the name of a division to make things more complex.
Now, the renaming of divisions isn't perhaps unusual. The original names of the divisions - Pacific, Cental, Metropolitan, Atlantic - are a tad wacky in their own rights. But they have a color and an air of professionalism about them - one more splotch of paint to contribute to a living art exhibit. As with the names of teams, the divisions were simply an expression of the creativity in naming.
The Honda West is the exploitation of said resource, milking and bilking whatever life was left of the NHL after financial woes. It's one more step on the final, unavoidable track of turning every final labor of love that we have left into an advertisement for things we neither need nor want, and thus have to be convinced into buying them.
We are but inches from the threshold that separates this world from a world that has the Seattle Starbucks and the Detroit Fords, where every two minutes are brought to you by Cialis or Viagra, whoever is willing to pay more at the time. We are in the eleventh hour, where this last breath will be the final era the players will sing their national anthem and not "I'm Lovin' It" and when the NHL is not the National Hockey Association Brought to You by Scotia Bank.
Even if we wanted to do anything, I'm not convinced we could. Many apologetics are devised to give excuses for getting money to keep things going. The majority of people are not concerned by the sport turning into an advertisement, as long as it's interesting. Whatever was left of a proud fanbase, who would fight against this, has withered away, and we are left to weep those who would have fought.
Yggdrasil is shaking, but don't you worry - this fear is sponsored by, in part, Honda.
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Corporate America has hurt hockey, and I feel that merits my pushback. Thanks for the comment!Delete
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