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blackswampboy
07-27-2015, 03:34 PM
However, we're looking at unprecedented lows at this point. This is not a down period like any that has happened since the modern program started. It is possible that we could be entering dark ages that last 10 or 20 years, a complete transformation from what this program was, even 5 years ago. 5 years ago, you could predict some shaky years, but the current state of the program, as well as the direction in which it appears to be headed, seemed nearly impossible. If the program keeps moving in the direction it appears to moving in, it will reach lows that, only 5 years ago, fans would've thought were absolutely impossible. Impossible.

I understand your frustration at hitting new lows, but BGSU is not a good comparison. For one thing, why not LSSU? CC? Michigan Tech? RPI? Even Maine and Sparty have taken big tumbles from their glory years. It happens. The Badgers and BGSU are hardly the only programs to hit the skids.

BGSU hockey suffered from years of institutional neglect, with poor administrative support, mediocre coaching and teams, attendance drop-off, and a crumbling arena that couldn't even maintain good ice. But none of that was the worst. We didn't hit rock bottom until the program was put on the chopping block due to budgetary squeeze.
Your program's problems, while no doubt painful, don't remotely approach the lack of support and existential crisis that BGSU hockey went through. Sucking on the ice is one thing--almost getting program termination is a whole different level of angst. The only other current program that has been through that kind of pain is UAH.
The Badgers just suck, and apparently need a new coaching staff and/or AD. Entirely fixable. Your program still has swimming pools full of B1G $$$, and will never go to the chopping block. Maybe ya'll will bleed until necessary changes are made, but the program will be fine.
However long that takes--rest assured, the Badgers will never face the challenges that BGSU hockey has worked to overcome.

Gandalf the Red
07-27-2015, 03:57 PM
The thing that I worry about is that we're all going to have to stop using analogies for a while if Eaves ever gets fired. Won't someone please think of the puppies being trained not to crap on the carpet?

There certainly won't be a lot of people crapping in general in the Kohl Center, because they won't be in the arena to begin with.

I have to go home and put some hay in the barn...:rolleyes:

WiscDC
07-27-2015, 06:45 PM
I understand your frustration at hitting new lows, but BGSU is not a good comparison. For one thing, why not LSSU? CC? Michigan Tech? RPI? Even Maine and Sparty have taken big tumbles from their glory years. It happens. The Badgers and BGSU are hardly the only programs to hit the skids.

BGSU hockey suffered from years of institutional neglect, with poor administrative support, mediocre coaching and teams, attendance drop-off, and a crumbling arena that couldn't even maintain good ice. But none of that was the worst. We didn't hit rock bottom until the program was put on the chopping block due to budgetary squeeze.
Your program's problems, while no doubt painful, don't remotely approach the lack of support and existential crisis that BGSU hockey went through. Sucking on the ice is one thing--almost getting program termination is a whole different level of angst. The only other current program that has been through that kind of pain is UAH.
The Badgers just suck, and apparently need a new coaching staff and/or AD. Entirely fixable. Your program still has swimming pools full of B1G $$$, and will never go to the chopping block. Maybe ya'll will bleed until necessary changes are made, but the program will be fine.
However long that takes--rest assured, the Badgers will never face the challenges that BGSU hockey has worked to overcome.

They may not be headed towards a situation where the program is at risk of actually getting dropped, but the things that need to be fixed, even if they happened this evening, would take a few years to actually "fix" the program. With an additional year before next summer, we're looking at multiple years. People were completely apathetic towards the 2013-14 team here. Even die-hard UW hockey fans have a tendency to forget that, while they did lose one game at the beginning of the NCAA tournament, they were ranked #4 in the nation at the season's end. A year and a few months later, and it's even worse.

My issue/fear is that these negative things compound on one another. Until they hit the reset button, UW will be a far less attractive destination for recruits than it was 4-5 years ago. When die-hard fans lose interest and casual fans let Badger hockey completely fall off their map, re-building the program is a daunting task. To speak in Mike Eaves-style metaphors, the uphill climb is much larger than the downhill descent, and as time goes by without turning uphill, the uphill climb increases exponentially (certainly faster than linearly, anyway). Why I chose Bowling Green as an example is entirely just because I knew that that program was a powerhouse at one point, and they haven't sniffed "powerhouse" status in a couple of decades. That's the parallel I'm going for.

Some of your other examples may be fair. Some aren't the same. Michigan Tech, for example, may not carry the same confidence/optimism for on-ice success that they once did, but hockey is still pretty much the way of athletic life in Houghton, and their games are the spectator sport. From what I understand, the crowds are still pretty raucous. It is true that Wisconsin's student section, at its worst/smallest, is about as big as most large-ish student sections at other schools (Michigan and Penn State, for example). The difference between now and when they were always selling out, however, is huge. Unless a student is in the same room as a diehard hockey fan, they almost certainly aren't watching games on TV.

Again, I know UW isn't really close to dropping their program. That said, "existential crisis" isn't a bad descriptor for what's going on. Both in the eyes of the Madison area sports-watching public and hockey prospects, the the meaning of what Wisconsin Badgers men's hockey is has been changing for the worse. Also: "institutional neglect," with poor administrative support," "mediocre coaching and teams," and "attendance drop-off" are all relevant.

I'm going to assume that the institutional neglect and poor administrative support you speak of make our athletic department look like North Dakota's in terms of hockey support. I mean, LaBahn Arena was built. It has swimming offices and team rooms of some kind(?)...I'm not sure...but its main thing is hockey. The hockey team had more leeway with the contracts offered to candidates for the Associate Head Coach job this summer. That said, there is a huge difference in how the athletic department treats football/basketball and how they treat hockey, at least publicly. They remind everyone of every little thing in football and basketball. It has improved a little bit for hockey in the past 2 seasons, but it's not great. I keep bringing up the 2013-14 season because it just screams "gigantic missed opportunity" to me, i.e. a missed opportunity to get the casual fans on board. Oh, and accessibility to the program is dreadful.

My point in all of this is that unless gigantic changes, as well as smaller (but easier to do) changes are made, we could see a permanent* shift in what Wisconsin hockey is.

*I don't really mean "permanent" - we can't predict the future. However, I'm talking about shifts that last a couple decades or more, not just a recruiting cycle and a bit of bad luck with a couple stars leaving.

"Mediocre coaching and teams" hit us in the face last year. We knew the 4-year cycle issue would make the team mediocre, but this past year has actually been worse than just the 4-win season. "Attendance drop-off" has been going on since I got here 4 years ago...I don't think I'm that repulsive! This drop-off has gone hand-in-hand with the issues of how hockey has been treated, as it hasn't only been tied to team performance.

All of that is just off the top of my head, and I know it's not the same magnitude of what Bowling Green went through - the absolute "level" isn't as low - but there are big issues that could drive the program into a dark age if they don't hit the reset button. And in the back of my head, I know that a hockey turnaround is much harder than a football turnaround.

I know I'll probably be a very happy person as I walk into the Kohl Center for opening night this upcoming season - that's how it always is. Seeing how many Badgers people completely missed out on the really cool storylines of the past few years is disappointing. The current state of the team is downright disturbing. It may be darkest before the dawn, but I really don't want that dawn pushed away.

Timothy A
07-28-2015, 06:35 AM
My point in all of this is that unless gigantic changes, as well as smaller (but easier to do) changes are made, we could see a permanent* shift in what Wisconsin hockey is.
.

If you look at the attendance trend over the last 4 years, the shift is too far along in the fan's eyes, and that's all that will matter. I suspect they will get to the 6000 to 8000 range and stabilize because all that will attend are the core fans who no matter how good or bad the team is will come.

Gandalf the Red
07-28-2015, 11:23 AM
Two women's season tickets - $110 w/ fees. Better hockey and $300 in my pocket by not renewing my Men's tickets.

WiscTJK
07-28-2015, 12:24 PM
Two women's season tickets - $110 w/ fees. Better hockey and $300 in my pocket by not renewing my Men's tickets.

No doubt it is better hockey, but it is a 67% increase for women's tickets over last year (1 adult and 1 student). You are paying 57% more for 2 adult tickets. That is what the AD calls a "moderate" increase. That's not what I call moderate and I am not renewing based on that. I might still go to a game here and there, but I am not paying 67% more for 2 pm friday throw away games and long lines at the one concession stand they have.

My negativity toward UW athletics right now is at an all time high....

Gandalf the Red
07-28-2015, 01:28 PM
No doubt it is better hockey, but it is a 67% increase for women's tickets over last year (1 adult and 1 student). You are paying 57% more for 2 adult tickets. That is what the AD calls a "moderate" increase. That's not what I call moderate and I am not renewing based on that. I might still go to a game here and there, but I am not paying 67% more for 2 pm friday throw away games and long lines at the one concession stand they have.

My negativity toward UW athletics right now is at an all time high....

2 PM on friday gives me a reason to leave work (always a positive) and I don't buy any concessions.

I do remember when they were $30 per season ticket, but I still think $50 is reasonable. I do agree though that that is NOT moderate. I want to be excited when I watch a game, and I didn't find that at the KC last year (outside of the minnesota series).

I think Women's hockey is about the only thing I'm excited about now that Bo is retiring, so I understand your negativity.

Badger Booster
07-28-2015, 01:46 PM
No doubt it is better hockey, but it is a 67% increase for women's tickets over last year (1 adult and 1 student). You are paying 57% more for 2 adult tickets. That is what the AD calls a "moderate" increase. That's not what I call moderate and I am not renewing based on that. I might still go to a game here and there, but I am not paying 67% more for 2 pm friday throw away games and long lines at the one concession stand they have.

My negativity toward UW athletics right now is at an all time high....

I'm not going to argue against your anger with the athletic department. I totally get it.

FWIW, there are 18 home game for the women (vs. 16 last year) so the % increase per ticket is somewhat less, though is pushing 50%. It still amounts to less than $3.00/adult ticket. The breakeven point is 10 games as it looks like single game prices will remain the same. So for those looking to go to a game here and there, season tickets probably don't make sense.

I do it because I liking having tickets in hand and gives me priority seating if/when they host a NCAA quarterfinal game (which is reserved seating).

gwhinwi
07-28-2015, 02:16 PM
If you look at the attendance trend over the last 4 years, the shift is too far along in the fan's eyes, and that's all that will matter. I suspect they will get to the 6000 to 8000 range and stabilize because all that will attend are the core fans who no matter how good or bad the team is will come.

I would tend to think that what will really make them consider changes is when they start losing the $400 to $500k per year in contributions to the Badger Fund from the Kohl Center if they don't find takers for those seats.

If they keep rolling people into those 4 - 5,000 seats then there won't be as big of a push for a change (although I think there would still be some push for it if attendance drops significantly from last season.)

Chuck Schwartz
07-29-2015, 11:30 PM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

NEWI Badger Fan
07-30-2015, 05:03 AM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.


Thank you for your insider news. Wish you could still contribute to USCHO.

Holy chit. Wisconsin Hockey is truly cursed. We have a horrible AD, a terrible coach, and now our insider cannot post due to a new position.


Wisconsin Hockey: We are cursed.

Gandalf the Red
07-30-2015, 08:11 AM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

Andy, we have certainly had our differences over the years, but best of luck in the future.

solovsfett
07-30-2015, 08:45 AM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

Thanks for the updates and information over the past several years, you really picked up where hybs left off.

It's too bad we've lost so many great posters here, I always loved joeyv's take as well as hybs, con and yourself. Good luck with your career

gwhinwi
07-30-2015, 09:39 AM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

Congratulations on your new position. It's unfortunate that no one has been able to pick up writing about the team. Hopefully someone will step into that void soon enough.

WiscTJK
07-30-2015, 09:48 AM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

Just wondering if you will still be posting on twitter? I noticed you haven't posted in weeks, and maybe this new position is the reason.

Thanks for all the news and time you spent informing us. We appreciate it.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
07-30-2015, 12:34 PM
Makes sense given your job.

Sad to see you leave, though. You added a LOT of value to these parts.

Timothy A
07-30-2015, 04:59 PM
Just wondering if you will still be posting on twitter? I noticed you haven't posted in weeks, and maybe this new position is the reason.

Thanks for all the news and time you spent informing us. We appreciate it.

He's off of Twitter due to the new job. I do follow this recruiting website for commitments now, @hockeycommits, on Twitter. I don't know how fast they get their info, but it's been spewing out commits all summer so far. Since I've been following they've had the Smith and Sexton UW commits on their feed.

altazo
07-30-2015, 05:55 PM
Wait, his new job prohibits him from following college hockey and/or writing about it? What could it be...?

WiscDC
07-30-2015, 08:07 PM
Wait, his new job prohibits him from following college hockey and/or writing about it? What could it be...?

NHL Central Scouting

MadCityRich
07-31-2015, 01:02 PM
This will be my last post here. It's a small sacrifice for moving up in my career. Normally I wouldn't have said anything, but I just wanted to make one last post in hopes that someone here is willing to step up and take over blogging reigns covering men's hockey at B5Q. If you haven't figured it out by now, the recent job I took is why I stepped away from the blog a few months back. Unfortunately, no one has stepped up and volunteered to take over. As a Wisconsin fan at heart, I'm selfishly disappointed with the lack of coverage of the program this summer (that includes the WSJ). I don't see that improving any time soon unless someone steps up and takes the reigns at B5Q.

If you have any interest, please reach out to me andyjohnsonb5q at gmail.com and I'll be able to put you in touch with the people that can make it happen. Obviously there is a significant writing portion that is a requirement, so please know that going in. With that said, obviously most of you have read my work and know I'm not a grammatical genius, so, as long as you're dedicated, they can make it work.

As for me, I'll still be around. Hell, I'll be at the Kohl Center significantly more than I was in the past because the new job requires a move to Madison. If you see me, say hi. You already have my e-mail address, so feel free to reach out with any questions or comments. I'll also be covering a lot of Capitols games as well, so I'm sure I'll be bumping into many of you in the future.

I may not be in the company of HOF Wisconsin USCHO legends like con1977, joeyv, or Eric Hybert, but I hope I've added something to the discussion over the past decade.

Thank you,

On Wisconsin.

Thanks for everything, Andy. You are the most informed poster (and that's saying a lot) that I've read on USCHO and other sites. Good luck!! As far as I'm concerned you are on the Mount Rushmore of Wisconsin posters with the other 3 you mentioned.

I know we have crossed paths only because of the hours, no, days, no years, (no, decades for me!) you & I have spent in arenas and rinks. We will meet, talk hockey, and hockey people, and hopefully my wife will be with me to eventually break up the discussion! Congratulations.