On Wednesday night the San Jose Sharks welcomed SinBin.vegas into their home to watch some puck. The first class organization took care of me so I could talk to some local hockey fans. My view of the game was terrible, but that’s for another day. I talked to about a dozen fans at the SAP Center while the Sharks welcomed the Senators. My criteria was simple, if they asked about SinBin.vegas or were wearing a cool jersey I asked them about the Vegas Golden Knights. Jerseys worn had to be a current player or a legend. Other than Daniel Alfredsson there’s not many so I played it loose. I chatted with a guy wearing an Antii Niemi sweater but his comments didn’t make the cut. The dude in a Mike Ricci jersey easily passed my test.
Grew up playing in Southern California, so I’m excited for another Pacific team. I’m a West Coast hockey guy. Vegas fans will have to get used to half the arena with Hawks or Rangers fans. I’m all for the name. About the logo, I’m not a fan. It looks like I could’ve created it in 90s video game. I like it as just Vegas. It’s a business. -Casey, Ducks fan
Didn’t grow up playing hockey so I wasn’t connected to the sport. I was super excited when the Sharks first started but I tailed off four to five years later. Around my late 20’s I came back and go to about 3 games a year now. I didn’t even know Las Vegas announced their name. I like the name. The logo is really cool, but I don’t like the secondary logo at all. I’ll go and watch a game in Vegas. -Jay, Sharks fan
I actually love the name and logo. Although I have to admit I’m an Army guy. I can’t understand why Las Vegas is upset. It’s completely original and nothing in pro sports looks like that Knight. Also, it’s the owners money so it’s his decision. Overall, I’m excited for the team to startup. I know I’ll be heading down for a Sharks game next season. Flights are cheap so there’s really no complaint from me. I go to Vegas once a year anyway so I’ll just plan my trip around a Sharks game. Good job Bettman. -Jim, Sharks fan wearing Joe Thornton jersey
Vegas baby. I like that it’s not Las Vegas. Who cares what the name is. Stop being so whiney Vegas fans. You got a team now, that’s all that should matter. I do feel bad though, because they’re gonna get their asses kicked. I remember the Sharks did and now it’ll be fun to see another team go through it. – Kate, Sharks fan wearing Brent Burns jersey
What a sh*t show. How do they screwup a name trademark? I think it’s silly anyway, a team in Las Vegas. There’s no fans there. An expansion team really should’ve gone to Quebec. -Mark, Senators Fan wearing Erik Karlsson jersey
I like the name. Don’t really care for the secondary logo. Personally, I think it’s silly that people complain it’s too close to the Kings theme. It’s a great name and primary logo. I live here now so I go to about 10 games a year here just to watch hockey. But I’ll definitely go to a Vegas game when they come into town. My son will probably like that team more than the Sharks. -Lionel, Kings fan
Stupid name, stupid logo. Please take Brenden Dylan, we’ll be fine without him. I won’t go down to Las Vegas for a game but I’ll watch them up here. It’s a good idea to have a team in Nevada but the name is terrible. It sounds like a college team. And just Vegas instead of Las Vegas is stupid too. I’m just not keen to any of the decisions they made. Good luck to them it’s not my team. I’m worried about this team on the ice now. -Bruce, Sharks fan wearing Mike Ricci jersey
As you can tell it’s a mixed bag. Some like the idea of a new NHL team. Others were very negative, especially after the denied trademark news came out. Overall, Sharks fans are Sharks fans and really only care about their team. Many of them hope the Knights lose more games than the early San Jose teams. Tension is building and fans of Pacific teams are ready to beat the Golden Knights. Most seem to think that their team will mop the ice with Vegas. They look at it like it’ll be an easy two points. Hopefully, they’ll be disappointed and go home broke.
The Golden Knight’s house always wins.
Ken, go to the teams facebook, read the comments under the latest story welcoming Eric Tosi…
That is your fan base, so much hate for the name and Foleys selfishness they literally are lobbying for the TM issue to lead to a name change.
btw does Foley read this stuff or live in a bubble?
At some point people are going to have to get over it. Either cheer for the Golden Knights, or don’t cheer for professional sports in Las Vegas.
That’s just it Ken. It’s the chopped off Las in LAS Vegas that seems to be angering people the most (plus the golden moniker when it was the least preferred). They feel slighted. Why do that? Why unnecessarily anger people over something that you and Foley might find stupid, but is pissing people off. Is that good business? Is a take it or go f yourself a good business mentality? Is this a business at the end of the day or just Foley’s toy and he could care less if there’s 5 people in the building?
Is it the community’s team or Bill’s team (or as he myopically thinks is going to happen to be the Worlds team)? Kinda surprised that you arent getting how people are feeling slighted over what you think is dumb? You know that what is pissing people off is the name, yet your POV is get over it. Telling someone to get over something isn’t a great way to run a business, especially one like the NHL which is so reliant on ticket sales and tv ratings. When people are angry at an owner, especially an NHL owner, they don’t generally get over it unless ownership changes or drastically changes its ways. You lived in Chicago. People hated Bill Wirtz. His son came in and changed the direction and mended fences. Winning helped but before that the mending began.
You seem to have a view that winning will be the be all and end all. But let’s say they don’t win as quickly as you and the talking heads think they will because of the awesome staff that’s been assembled (riddle me this btw If this staff is just so great why weren’t all these pieces scooped up by existing teams immediately when they were canned?). Let’s say they are effectively a .500 team for the first ten years, making the playoffs a few of those years but never getting out of the first round. Will the team and the owner have connected with community enough that people still give a damn? It’s not about me the diehard fan who has committed to season seats because I’m starving for live NHL hockey. It’s about the fringe or new fan or even the existing fan that only decides to go to a game or two a year to see their team that they connected with way before this team.
Its more important than anything else for Foley to be loved by all fans living in the Valley, not in China or Japan who will drop chump change, relatively speaking, on merch but who won’t be there on a Wednesday night against Columbus. Connection is what it’s all about because at the end of the day only one team is hoisting the Mug at the end of the year.
Look at history and why fans stop coming to games, especially the NHL. It’s generally because of anger and hostility towards an owner that they don’t feel is listening. It’s human nature that people care more about someone who they feels cares about them. This is the friggin root of the issue that you don’t seem to be getting right now. People like to feel like their opinion matters and they aren’t being dictated to and something isn’t being forced upon them. Even for arguments sake if Foley would have said here’s the three choices and the fans picked the name and logo ( how hard would it have been to have sparky or other said graphic designer to create multiple logos for each name?) then this wouldn’t be the reaction of people. They would have felt like their opinion mattered and thus there would have been a connection. Even if the name picked wasn’t their favorite they could have lived with it because the majority picked it, the Amercan way, right?
Anger, born out of passion, can soon turn to apathy. Apathy is what sinks franchises, especially in the NHL. More important than winning is creating a “I give a damn about this team, win or lose” mentality. The way people feel about high school and college teams. That caring creates a hard core/supportive fan base. That’s what ensures stability through long droughts of losing or mediocrity.
Ken, pass Joe’s reply onto Foley directly it was wonderfully put.
Joe you are the man. That is exactly it. Couldn’t say it better.
Easily the best post ever written on this blog. Absolutely nailed it. Well done.
Perfectly said Joe. I want to read your hockey blog.
Great reply Joe. I’ve been banging the same drum and all people like Ken can say is get over it or don’t go to the games. This is the same author that called Foley the creator which is laughable and leads credence that he is sucking up and wants a job with the team. How are las Vegas people going to buy into the team if they don’t have a voice? I personally was excited to get season tickets over the summer but held off to see how things played out and I’m glad I did. I was on board with everything until I found out that the owner doesn’t care about the fans but rather tourists. This team will not last past five years. Foley didn’t want to give it a name that tied into Las Vegas because he’ll be able to move it when it happens. The team has lost my support and also my children’s sorry for future generations which is where the real foundation grows. So, Joe, I applaud your response and I hope more Las Vegas people begin to see just how “the creator” is robbing them of their money.
This is incredibly well put and it definitely has me reconsidering the get over it sentiment. I won’t say or use that anymore because I believe you and many have proven that is not the correct way to look at it.
My problem is that this was absolutely a no win situation for anyone involved. There was never going to be a name every loved. We put out jerseys for names like Rat Pack, Aces, Sidewinders, Black Knights, Peregrines, etc and every single one was met with a ton of resistance. No matter what the name was, what the logos looked like, or anything, in 2016 it would have been met with hate.
The whole Las Vegas vs. Vegas thing to me is being blown out of proportion, but in the end it was probably a mistake. No one would have been upset if they chose Las Vegas, while many are by going with Vegas. I’ve spoken to people who have lived here a long time and some like Vegas, so it’s not an every resident situation, but your point is well taken. Dropping the Las pissed off people when they didn’t have to.
We do disagree in a big way on one point though. Winning absolutely in every way cures all. The Blackhawks had a terrible owner, but they were also losers. There has never been, and never will be in the history of professional sports a winning franchise that struggles. I’m talking about winning championships. Chicago didn’t turn around because the owner went away. Chicago turned around because they won three damn Cups in a hurry. The owners changes absolutely made a huge impact on the winning, but it was the W’s not the ownership decisions people responded to.
The opinions of the fans do matter, and a lot. But the opinions of the owner should matter as well. There’s absolutely no doubt there were missteps every step of the way (except for the hiring of the front office) and it’s something they may end up paying dearly for. But in the end, all they’ve really done is put a ton more pressure on the team to have success on the ice.
I’ll end with this. I hear you, and Berri, and Yawn, and RJ, and Jason and Psi, and whoever else agrees with you and I’m done saying “get over it.” It is important, and in the minds of many they messed it up, but I’m never going to stop saying this, if you opt to not root for this organization because they dropped three letters or chose to go with an adjective you didn’t like, you were never going to be a fan in the first place. It wasn’t about (Las) Vegas, it was about you. If they keep screwing up, you have every right to opt not to like the team, but it’s got to be understood what we are talking about, major professional sports in a city that NEVER appeared as if it had a chance to make that a reality. They deserve a pass here and there.
The good news is that your voices are being heard. And they’ll keep being heard, because there’s no way in hell I, or this site, are going anywhere.
I enjoy these conversations and I’m looking forward to having them for a long time with all of you guys, I hope the decisions of the billionaire who made this all possible don’t, and never will, stop them from happening.
The las Vegas/Vegas part doesn’t bother me and the name/logo only shows how little they cared about it. What bothers me the most is the owner saying that he doesn’t want this to be las Vegas’ team but rather the tourists team, or as Joe said world’s team. He had no idea what he’s doing. He needs to build a local fan base first, laying the foundation for future generations and not only has he not done that, he’s driven away fans that were ready, no, needing a team to root for and follow other than their hometown team. This is why I will not follow or buy any merch to support the owner. I might go to a game when the pens play here and if someone buys a ticket for me but that’s it. I mean, every owner that gets a new team has let the fans have some say in logo/name because that’s about all fans can do to feel associated with the team. Like I said, this team will not be here within 10 years.
Really? That’s your take? I makes me wish I hadn’t donated my Ducks jersey all those months ago when I was optimistic about Fooley.
I hear ya. I didn’t donate my pens Jersey and now I’m glad I didn’t.
The name was announced like 3 weeks ago. How much time are we allowed to get over it? Once the trademark is settled, the jerseys come out, the drafts are completed, and we get to atttend games most of us will be fine. It would help if Bettman David Sterned us a #1 pick too.
Even their Facebook name has ‘LV’ instead of just ‘Vegas’ in it. @LVGoldenKnights
Yeah, it is pretty clear that the name is for:
2. Tourists, especially those from California
And that’s it. Notice Las Vegas locals is not on that list. No surprise that Californians like this name. It would be a perfect name for the Kings AHL squad.
PS the Golden Knights (vomit)are not the first NHL team to have a ‘Golden’ adjective. The Oakland based California Golden Seals were in the expansion 6. They went defunct after only 10 seasons but at least their awful name made sense to Bay Area locals.