On a day in which the team selected a superfan to send to the All Star Game, we thought it might be nice to hear one of the most passionate fans of SinBin.vegas. Unfortunately for Jerry we don’t have All Star tickets in a luxury box, so I guess seeing his name as the author of a website that draws 1.5 million fans a day will have to suffice as a consolation prize.
It’s the pledge of allegiance, VGK style, from Jerry “Phi Sig 150” Tomeo.
There’s been a tide of excitement slowly building for almost two years. First there were murmurs, then rumblings, then rampant rumors which were followed by full scale speculation until the glorious day finally arrived when it was officially announced that yes, what we had been hearing was true, Las Vegas was indeed getting it’s first pro sports team. Die-hard hockey fans rejoiced. Locals swelled with pride over the giant step our burgeoning city was taking. The Internet and Las Vegas locals alike played the name the team game for months fueled with occasional teases from Foley. Deep down in our hearts we knew he wasn’t lying when he said that Knights would be incorporated in some fashion but what if it was an elaborate ruse to throw all of us off the scent? What if he’s actually planning on playing a wild card? What if he’s naming the team the Rat Pack? Or better yet what if he’s going with a name that was actually good? Then the name came out. I’m sure somewhere out there must be a small group of Renaissance faire performers that flipped their medieval lids over the name. Most locals were indifferent, content with the prospect of hockey and pro sports in Las Vegas. There was, however, a very vocal group that hated the name. I mean really, really hated the name with a level of loathing usually reserved for Isis or Bettman. I’m not going to rehash the arguments pro and con Vegas Golden Knights for the thousandth time but suffice to say a Golden opportunity was Las.
There exists a significant segment of our fan base that feels disenfranchised. They want to be like the rest of us snapping up shirts, hats, and especially those sweet, sweet lanyards. The disenfranchised long to get lost in the excitement but for some reason they just can’t. Some of these fans helped get the team here in the first place by committing to season tickets. Some still intend to buy tickets once the puck hits the ice. There are unfortunately a few that have completely written the team off over the naming process. The disenfranchised feel the name isn’t representative of the city they love and feel slighted that they weren’t included in the naming process. Despite some of our ultimately fruitless fantasies the name isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So the question becomes how do we get these fans back into the fold? The solution: the creation of an identifiable fan collective.
The Cubs have the Bleacher Bums. The Raiders have the Black Hole. Cleveland has the Dawg Pound. Manchester United has the Red Army. The Knights need to take a cue from other sports, futbol in particular, and create our own rowdy hard-core fan base. A major roadblock we had to overcome in getting our team was the misconception that Las Vegas doesn’t have enough fans to support a professional franchise. The wildly successful ticket drive quickly put an end to that myth. We still need to show the world that T-Mobile isn’t packed full of casino comps and Blackhawks on holiday. We need to rep our team and rep it hard. Our crew needs to be passionate but not obnoxious, easily recognizable (more on merch later), slightly drunk but not sloppy, loud, proud, and rabidly loyal. We won’t start any fights but we won’t be taking any guff from Boston, Philly, or New Yorkers either. Elitist fans from other cities don’t think we deserve a team (how many stupid “Name the team Nordiques they’ll be there in 5 years anyway” type comments did we have to read during this process?). Let’s show them how wrong they are. It may take a while but like a virus our club will eventually spread section by section until we overtake the entire arena. Some group needs to start the chants right?
I hear a lot of people saying that they’ll go to the games but they refuse to buy merchandise. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity. SinBin.vegas can give these lost fans something to identify with while benefiting financially in the process so they can keep giving us the content we’ve all come to love. Think of the awesome (Sparky Chewbarky original designs) shirts, hats, sweaters, jerseys, stickers, and of course lanyards that can be cranked out. People that have been buying Knights merchandise will have even more to buy while people that so far have avoided all things Golden now have options. Next comes the hard part. Coming up with the nickname for our club (just ask Foley).
First things first, we need to learn from Foley’s missteps. The city identifier clearly has to be Las Vegas not (Las) Vegas. The name will be put up for a fan vote (this time it will actually happen) right here on SinBin.vegas (Ken, make this happen). That being said I do have a few suggestions. My personal favorite is The Las Vegas Drunk Tank, which is a play off San Jose’s Shark Tank. Let other fans boast about their Stanley Cup chances and rub it in that we’re in the cellar. We know we can drink those fans under the table. So we have that going for us, which is nice. If we want something Knight related we should go with Squires (Squire Squad, Scrappin’ Squires) who faithfully support Knights. Expanding upon medieval themes there’s always King Slayers that serves as both a direct shot our rival and a nod to Game of Thrones. We can steal a page from soccer with a name like Las Vegas United, Firm, or Golden Army. Looney Bin sounds menacing. We could pay homage to our favorite hockey blog with Sin Bin Lunatics, Goons, or Bullies. Finally Las Vegas has a wealth of possibilities. Outside of the obvious like Knights I suggest Black Jacks, One Eyed Jacks, Hard 8s, Aces, Fightin’ Aces, Sinners, Mafia, All Nights (a riff on the popular All Blacks), Night Owls or the Battle Born. This being a democracy we should be open to any and all suggestions and put the best five or so up to a vote. We all have a play a small part in not just luring the team here but also keeping them here for good. It’s time we unite as one fan base. If we can’t do so under the golden flag of knighthood then let’s use the Drunk Tank (just like our team the trademark is pending).
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**Step one in creating the Fan Club is to come up with the name. There’s a comment section right below this sentence. Once we do that, we’ll move into the phase where SinBin.vegas makes money, I like that phase. Thanks Jerry!**