The lockout is over, and the doors are back open at Scottrade. Over 20,000 people attended the St. Louis Blues home opener on Saturday because they were excited to see the team back on the ice. The reason for the crowd was not a gimmick, was not a free offer, was not discounted tickets, but the St. Louis Blues hockey team. We wanted to see the players, we wanted to see a win, we wanted to see hockey.
Instead, when entering the Scottrade Center that night, St. Louis Blues fans were greeted with the surprise of half naked women standing awkwardly at the front gates. The “Blues Crew”, which had formerly just been a group of male and female individuals who were responsible for cleaning the ice during breaks, have now transformed into ice girls, but don’t try to tell the St. Louis Blues that.
If you go to the St. Louis Blues website, you won’t see a single mention of ice girls anywhere. If you search google, you can find one lone video of tryouts in which men and women are skating around the ice trying out for the “Blues Crew”. The funny part of this is that the men are in jackets, long pants, and look like they are trying out for the job while the women are in sports bras and barely dressed. Apparently for tryouts, not all of the participants were required to know how to skate…
This is not the first time that the St. Louis Blues have tried to draw in attention to their cleaning crew during games. In 2007-08 the St. Louis Blues attempted the same sort of gimmick holding auditions for short lived ice girls. Back in 2007-08, participants who wanted to be part of the group had to meet the following standards:
- Applicant must be 21 by September 15, 2007 (no maximum age restriction)
- Applicant must live in St. Louis or surrounding area
- Applicant must have reliable transportation
- Applicant must be willing to attend all required practices, games & public appearances
- Applicant must be a high school graduate
- Applicant must wear crop-top during dance portion of try-outs
- Dancers wanted – no skating required!
So while the St. Louis Blues have failed to release any information regarding their new “Blue Crew”, we know that this is something that has failed in the past before. If you look up information on why it failed, well, it was because not many people enjoyed the stunt. It is a distraction from the game, the environment, and is not welcome in a hockey game. While other teams use this gimmick to pick up the few random fans who are not actually interested in the sport, the St. Louis Blues are not a team that needs to do that. Opening night was a sell out game because of the product on the ice, the players, the team that won the Central Division last season. There is no reason to make a mockery of the game and the city by including ice girls in the presentation.
The whole notion of the ice girls or “Blue Crew” or whatever you want to call them, is an insult to the hockey fans in the city of St. Louis. I understand that there are a lot of men who just want to stare at women, but our society is already filled with chances to do that, just look at the magazine covers at any grocery store. We are in the building to see a hockey game, not any other reason, and I for one think that it should stay that way.
One of the things that was always special about hockey games was the family aspect of the game. Fathers brought their sons, daughters, and wives to an event that was meant to bring the family closer together, to do something that everyone would enjoy. Hockey has always been a family sport, just look at how the Blues market their “family” ticket packs that come with four tickets and snacks. If you are a mother of a small child, you probably don’t want them to be around these half dressed people. For little girls, or teenage girls, these women give them a false idea of what is acceptable and appropriate in our society.
I studied Communication in college and one major area focused on was images in the media. When men and women see images and people like this, it alters the way they think. Women are given a false sense that they are inferior to these women and feel the need to be more attractive by eating less, working out more, and possible hurting their bodies. Men get the false belief that this is what all women should look like. For everyone it is just a distraction from the game and the environment.
I believe that the “Blues Crew” needs to be rethought. I think that fans need to rethink why they are at games if they are their to look at these women. It does not increase the value of the game or the experience and is not something that I want to be at my St. Louis Blues games.
Check back later today for a preview of tonight’s matchup in Nashville and let me know your thoughts on the new “Blues Crew”.
That’s all for now Blues fans, as always, LET’S GO BLUES!