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Brett Gobe
03-08-2010, 09:49 AM
Red Cloud,
Of the eleven games played this weekend in the ECAC playoffs not one broke 2000 in attendance. That includes three Clarkson SLU games. It's not just a RPI problem, it's a league problem. Who really wants to, or better yet, can afford to shell out 15 dollars a ticket for a game between two teams that are for the most part, bad to mediocre?

Humanoid
03-08-2010, 10:03 AM
I'm at a loss to fully explain the attendance this weekend. I think it was probably a perfect storm of factors, maybe.

1) Spring break started on Friday. Even hockey fans have to take advantage of time off when you're a college student (even I missed the Lake Placid trip in '02 because of a pre-planned trip to Arizona. Gave up on the team too early and bought tickets while they were cheap).

2) It was Brown. Nobody cares about Brown except their four fans and maybe a handful of parents. There's no more irrelevant team in the ECAC than them.

3) Playoff tickets weren't bundled with season tickets this year because the ticket office got tired of having to issue refunds (and worse, having to hold onto the funds in perpetuity for those who never came back to claim their refunds). Understandable, but probably a bad year to do that.

4) MAAC tournament the same weekend was the bigger draw for the casual area sports fan. Not a problem in the near future.

5) Related to number four, the local media, by and large, just isn't talking much at all about college hockey. Casual fans might not have received the memo at all that there was a home series.

The turnout was pretty pathetic. Instead of commending those who turned out, I'm seeing a lot of outsiders running their mouths about percentages of capacity. Yes, we have a large building that we can't fill every night. There are very few eastern teams that would be able to do so. Yes, our townies are relatively clueless for the most part.

I thought there was actually a decent amount of energy in the building when the team was warranting it. When you weed out the people who are only there for face time and get down to the people who actually care, there's a net positive effect on that front.

I decided to poke my nose over here for a second just to see what you guys were saying, and I was kind of taken aback by a few points. I rarely go head-to-head like this, but I'm going to because well... I want to.

1) Agreed. Wholeheartedly. Spring break kills attendance at any school, even schools like Boston University and North Dakota.

2) How can you say Brown's irrelevant? Last year, as the 12 seed, they eliminated Harvard by shutting them out over an entire weekend. And last time I checked, that irrelevant team just ended your season. Sure in attendance and popularity, Brown isn't lighting the world on fire. But the fans are starting to appear, and they were in position for a home series for a late season funk. Hardly irrelevant (maybe they were 3-4 years ago, but not anymore).

3) Horrible break. Hopefully it gets rectified. I know if I hold season tickets, I'm doing it with the understanding I'll get playoff tickets when they come out.

4) The MAAC is a bigger draw, but I doubt that's the main reason. And it's very hard to draw a comparison between a nationally televised basketball tournament, with a trip to the ultra-popular March Madness on the line, to a first round ECAC Playoff series. Especially where hockey definitely is not anywhere near as popular as basketball on the national level.

5) Combination of factors. There are some things you can't control. What I don't get is how RPI hasn't capitalized on D'Amigo's heroism for Team USA at the World Juniors? Maybe they have and I just don't know about it? But it seems like that would be a great way to draw off the association. Case in point - Ryan Miller and Team USA. Granted, again, not on the same level. But I have to think there's gotta be some connection to use?

TimU
03-08-2010, 10:06 AM
I'm at a loss to fully explain the attendance this weekend. I think it was probably a perfect storm of factors, maybe.

1) Spring break started on Friday. Even hockey fans have to take advantage of time off when you're a college student (even I missed the Lake Placid trip in '02 because of a pre-planned trip to Arizona. Gave up on the team too early and bought tickets while they were cheap).


Red Cloud,
Of the eleven games played this weekend in the ECAC playoffs not one broke 2000 in attendance. That includes three Clarkson SLU games. It's not just a RPI problem, it's a league problem. Who really wants to, or better yet, can afford to shell out 15 dollars a ticket for a game between two teams that are for the most part, bad to mediocre?

At least at SLU, the attendance was pretty good - although not what you'd like to see for that series - and I think you can attribute every empty seat to the fact that it's spring break. There are two sections at Appleton that are reserved for students, and it appeared that they didn't sell those seats. The games did "sell out." The student sections were pretty empty to start, and when people figured it out everyone just kind of dispersed around the arena. I noticed that on Saturday almost all the Clarkson fans sat together over by Section G - that's actually where my tickets were, along with those of the friends I sat with.

FlagDUDE08
03-08-2010, 10:07 AM
Red Cloud,
Of the seven games played this weekend in the ECAC playoffs not one broke 2000 in attendance. That includes three Clarkson SLU games. It's not just a RPI problem, it's a league problem. Who really wants to, or better yet, can afford to shell out 15 dollars a ticket for a game between two teams that are for the most part, bad to mediocre?

I will second you on this. It was $12 for game 3 of RPI/Brown. Yes, blame the economy, revenue, RPI students don't get in for free, blah blah blah. You could probably add the fact that the games are streamed online. Maybe I should have stayed out here and watched on the computer instead. I probably wouldn't be affected by any "blackout rule" made.

Red Cloud
03-08-2010, 10:11 AM
2) How can you say Brown's irrelevant? Last year, as the 12 seed, they eliminated Harvard by shutting them out over an entire weekend. And last time I checked, that irrelevant team just ended your season. Sure in attendance and popularity, Brown isn't lighting the world on fire. But the fans are starting to appear, and they were in position for a home series for a late season funk. Hardly irrelevant (maybe they were 3-4 years ago, but not anymore).

It's really, really easy. First, because I compared the reaction between what happened with RPI and Brown last year, and there was no comparison. Nobody took what you did against Harvard as some kind of serious indicator that Brown was "back" (if they were ever "there" in the first place). The reaction I saw was one of "wow, what a fluke." A few months later, your coach was gone.

RPI's win over Dartmouth, however, was seen as something just short of a panacea, a sign that the program was on the rise again.

And what happened this year? RPI was in the hunt for a first-round bye in the last week of the season. Brown was saved from yet another last place finish by an injury-riddled Clarkson.

The better team doesn't always win. Harvard and Dartmouth found that out last year. RPI found that out this year. But looking at indicators of the future, I'm seeing one team with a bright future, and another that's treading water in a kiddie pool. Brown didn't wow me with ability this weekend, they impressed me only in the way they stayed committed to a system that weak teams use as a crutch, and by the use of cheap tactics to gain an edge. They found that edge and exploited it against a young team to succeed. Whatever you've got to do to survive, I guess, but it doesn't mean they're suddenly relevant.

I'm sorry if that hurts, but I call it like I see it and I don't pull punches. Brutal honesty isn't very well liked around these parts.

FlagDUDE08
03-08-2010, 10:15 AM
2) How can you say Brown's irrelevant? Last year, as the 12 seed, they eliminated Harvard by shutting them out over an entire weekend. And last time I checked, that irrelevant team just ended your season. Sure in attendance and popularity, Brown isn't lighting the world on fire. But the fans are starting to appear, and they were in position for a home series for a late season funk. Hardly irrelevant (maybe they were 3-4 years ago, but not anymore).


To the casual alumnus/local fan, there are only two games that matter: Freakout and Clarkson. Maybe add BU to that list. We're not saying by any means that they are a pushover, we're saying that the drive-by fan doesn't really care.

Humanoid
03-08-2010, 10:19 AM
To the casual alumnus/local fan, there are only two games that matter: Freakout and Clarkson. Maybe add BU to that list. We're not saying by any means that they are a pushover, we're saying that the drive-by fan doesn't really care.

Well in that case thank you for the clarification! That makes perfect sense. I know that for teams only certain games truly "matter." For example, Beanpot games in Boston. Or Michigan-Michigan State games. So I get ya.

As for RC - hey man, you sound angry. What you said doesn't make Brown irrelevant. Just makes them a bad team. Which I'm not disagreeing.

Again - not looking for a confrontation as opposed to most people on our board. In fact, I defended your "homerism" on our board. So no need to get so fired up on a message board. I was just asking what you meant by irrelevant. Maybe just a poor choice of words.

Red Cloud
03-08-2010, 10:29 AM
As for RC - hey man, you sound angry. What you said doesn't make Brown irrelevant. Just makes them a bad team. Which I'm not disagreeing.

I "sound angry." That's the response. I "sound angry."

I do believe I just defended Clarkson's last place finish in that "angry sounding" commentary. Maybe that should have been your tip-off that I was being objective.


Again - not looking for a confrontation as opposed to most people on our board. In fact, I defended your "homerism" on our board. So no need to get so fired up on a message board. I was just asking what you meant by irrelevant. Maybe just a poor choice of words.

Who's getting fired up? I'm just telling you what I see. If you don't like it, that's hardly my problem.

crossbar
03-08-2010, 10:37 AM
So in other words, the motto is win now. Get from Point A to Point C yesterday and if you have to go through Point B to get there it's a failure. You don't know much about how college sports operate, clearly. You can't see the forest for the trees.

The only other thing Appert could have done is to have ruthlessly cut upperclassmen left and right when he came on board so he could get guys he wanted into the program right away. But he didn't, because he's a little more savvy than that. Yes, a few players left the program or were cut when he became the coach, but not to the level that it's happened elsewhere. He honored the school's commitment to most of the student-athletes he inherited, and now he has a team almost entirely of his own making, and the upswing is noticeable. If you want to wet the bed just because a young team got outgooned this weekend, I can't help you.

RC, of course I want to win now! Don't tell me you don't. Just because we went from C to B, is no guarantee that we'll go from B to A. C is just as close as A is. I know quite a bit about college sports, by the way. I also know that SA could not have just slashed scholorships when he arrived, as the school honors them. Remember Rod Brescia? My point is that RPI was 14-17-6 the season before SA took over, and after budget, facilities, and salaries being upgraded substantially, is 18-17-4 such a giant leap after 4 years? I hope SA wins 30 games next year! Maybe that will put fannies in the seats! I still attend, and the past 2 seasons have been cold and lonely at HFH!

Red Cloud
03-08-2010, 10:44 AM
RC, of course I want to win now! Don't tell me you don't.

Just because I'd like us to win now doesn't mean I'm going to be willfully blind toward the process that it takes to construct a successful team. We're both disappointed that the team didn't dispatch a much weaker program this weekend. The difference between you and me is that I'm not going to take the results from a single weekend of games and declare failure.


Just because we went from C to B, is no guarantee that we'll go from B to A. C is just as close as A is. I know quite a bit about college sports, by the way.

Could have fooled me.


I also know that SA could not have just slashed scholorships when he arrived, as the school honors them. Remember Rod Brescia? My point is that RPI was 14-17-6 the season before SA took over, and after budget, facilities, and salaries being upgraded substantially, is 18-17-4 such a giant leap after 4 years?

Still not seeing the forest for the trees. Understanding the process that it takes to become successful is about more than final scores and standings. It's about the product on the ice. It's about understand the reasons the team wins games, and the reasons the team loses games. Simply pointing to records over time is a joke.

Ralph Baer
03-08-2010, 10:45 AM
RC, of course I want to win now! Don't tell me you don't. Just because we went from C to B, is no guarantee that we'll go from B to A. C is just as close as A is. I know quite a bit about college sports, by the way. I also know that SA could not have just slashed scholorships when he arrived, as the school honors them. Remember Rod Brescia? My point is that RPI was 14-17-6 the season before SA took over, and after budget, facilities, and salaries being upgraded substantially, is 18-17-4 such a giant leap after 4 years? I hope SA wins 30 games next year! Maybe that will put fannies in the seats! I still attend, and the past 2 seasons have been cold and lonely at HFH!

What happened to Brescia? I know that he was one of the Baby Bull dmen to arrive after the 1985 championship season, and he played about half the games for three years. Was his scholarship revoked by Addesa?

FlagDUDE08
03-08-2010, 10:51 AM
RC, of course I want to win now! Don't tell me you don't. Just because we went from C to B, is no guarantee that we'll go from B to A. C is just as close as A is. I know quite a bit about college sports, by the way. I also know that SA could not have just slashed scholorships when he arrived, as the school honors them. Remember Rod Brescia? My point is that RPI was 14-17-6 the season before SA took over, and after budget, facilities, and salaries being upgraded substantially, is 18-17-4 such a giant leap after 4 years? I hope SA wins 30 games next year! Maybe that will put fannies in the seats!

Just as long as you're not expecting us to build Rome in a day. Tim Heiman was definitely correct by saying this is a year of expectation. We have definitely started to win a lot of games, not only in the ECAC, but also out of conference. We definitely have some things that need to be worked on in the summer. Consistency, for one. This year our play was good, s***, good, s***, good, s***. What does that add up to? Taking out my slide rule... oh yea, .500. There are some things you can teach, but I don't know if consistency is one of those.


I still attend, and the past 2 seasons have been cold and lonely at HFH!

Stop sitting behind the curtain in Section 12. :D

crossbar
03-08-2010, 11:02 AM
What happened to Brescia? I know that he was one of the Baby Bull dmen to arrive after the 1985 championship season, and he played about half the games for three years. Was his scholarship revoked by Addesa?

Brescia had his scholorship pulled by Addesa, then it was reinstated by the school. He finished his last year on a full ride and played intramural hockey.

crossbar
03-08-2010, 11:13 AM
Just because I'd like us to win now doesn't mean I'm going to be willfully blind toward the process that it takes to construct a successful team. We're both disappointed that the team didn't dispatch a much weaker program this weekend. The difference between you and me is that I'm not going to take the results from a single weekend of games and declare failure.



Could have fooled me.



Still not seeing the forest for the trees. Understanding the process that it takes to become successful is about more than final scores and standings. It's about the product on the ice. It's about understand the reasons the team wins games, and the reasons the team loses games. Simply pointing to records over time is a joke.

RC, if success isn't measured by the final score and standings, why are such records kept? Simply pointing to records over time is a joke? please explain to me what I should be pointing at? If it's about understanding what wins games and loses games, it seems to me that for the last 4 seasons we haven't really caught on to what it is or isn't now, have we? You really aren't offering any defense to the facts. The team is 49-85-18 over the last 4 years. Has the team looked better this season? Yes, but it really couldn't look much worse. Do I want SA fired, no, but I'm just looking at it from the administration's point of view. Large investment, not many wins, and no fans. That's the forest, unfortunately.

Red Cloud
03-08-2010, 11:15 AM
RC, if success isn't measured by the final score and stanfings, why are such records kept?

They don't tell 100% of the story. You act as though they're the end-all, be-all of a season. They don't even tell 75% of the story.


Simply pointing to records over time is a joke? please explain to me what I should be pointing at? If it's about understanding what wins games and loses games, it seems to me that for the last 4 seasons we haven't really caught on to what it is or isn't now, have we?

I was going to respond to the rest of what you have to say, but that last sentence pretty much highlights for me that you aren't willing to try to understand what I'm talking about. So I will leave you to your insane rambling. Tootle-oo.

crossbar
03-08-2010, 11:23 AM
What ARE you talking about? Please explain. But, don't give the "they're men of fine character"etc. I'm sure they are, I'm sure you probably are as well, but that doesn't mean I want to watch you play hockey. RC, the game is played to be won.

Dr. Robert
03-08-2010, 11:30 AM
RC, if success isn't measured by the final score and standings, why are such records kept? Simply pointing to records over time is a joke? please explain to me what I should be pointing at? If it's about understanding what wins games and loses games, it seems to me that for the last 4 seasons we haven't really caught on to what it is or isn't now, have we? You really aren't offering any defense to the facts. The team is 49-85-18 over the last 4 years. Has the team looked better this season? Yes, but it really couldn't look much worse. Do I want SA fired, no, but I'm just looking at it from the administration's point of view. Large investment, not many wins, and no fans. That's the forest, unfortunately.

FWIW, and as far as I'm concerned, all of your points are valid.

I'm not interested in seeing a coaching change either. In fact, it only does the program good to keep Appert in place for the foreseeable future.

Records is records, though. What really hurts year after year is to see the rest of the ECAC put that one good year together now and then. The fact that Union has now eclipsed RPI for their "one good one" is really tough to take.

I fully appreciate that the program's stable and Appert is the energetic leadership that Fridgen never was. however, four years is certainly long enough to expect a bit more than .500 and a defeat at home to Brown.

GreatLakerMohawk
03-08-2010, 11:52 AM
I fully appreciate that the program's stable and Appert is the energetic leadership that Fridgen never was. however, four years is certainly long enough to expect a bit more than .500 and a defeat at home to Brown.

Coaches aren't magicians and they're not going to make top recruiting classes and better players appear out of nowhere. It takes time. Appert is working in his first head coaching position so he's not going to instantly bring in the best of the best of the best.

That said, he's managed to get some of the best this program has seen in a long time, unfortunately one of them (Polacek) had a slew of third and fourth line talent surrounding him for two years because that's all this program had for a long stretch of time.

You enter Pirri and you enter D'Amigo and O'Grady and all of a sudden Polacek is a legitimate Hobey Baker candidate and Paul Kerins is a goal scorer after not having that sort of role at all his previous three seasons. Greatness doesn't happen instantaneously in college sports, especially when you're essentially rebuilding a program from the bottom up. Expectations got a bit out of hand here this season.

Patience friends.

FlagDUDE08
03-08-2010, 12:18 PM
Coaches aren't magicians and they're not going to make top recruiting classes and better players appear out of nowhere. It takes time. Appert is working in his first head coaching position so he's not going to instantly bring in the best of the best of the best.

That said, he's managed to get some of the best this program has seen in a long time, unfortunately one of them (Polacek) had a slew of third and fourth line talent surrounding him for two years because that's all this program had for a long stretch of time.

You enter Pirri and you enter D'Amigo and O'Grady and all of a sudden Polacek is a legitimate Hobey Baker candidate and Paul Kerins is a goal scorer after not having that sort of role at all his previous three seasons. Greatness doesn't happen instantaneously in college sports, especially when you're essentially rebuilding a program from the bottom up. Expectations got a bit out of hand here this season.

Patience friends.

It is Coach's 4th year, so people probably figure he has all of his guys. Remember that a couple were still Fridgen's recruits. Plus, he doesn't always get everyone he wants. Sometimes, recruits don't work out (Zarbo, for example. Or Beauregard, though I'm guessing he's a walk-on). Not to mention, our team is very used to playing a west coast style offense. We don't play the ECAC clutch and grab game. So we end up the short end. But honestly, I'd rather be a national contender than an ECAC contender. Even though you first have to get through the ECAC to get to the big stage.

johnk
03-08-2010, 12:22 PM
After 4 years of Appert the hope is that he matures as a bench coach. Obviously he is very energetic and has his staff recruiting at what I think is a very high level by ECAC standards. Bottom line is there is alot of room for improvement as far as game management and style. I truly believe that RPI now has as much talent as anyone in the ECAC. They now need to play like it. When they realize that they can forecheck and pinch in from the blueline at the start of a game and not wait until they are down 3-0, the results, culture and energy at the fieldhouse will rise to a new level.