If you've ever attended any type of minor league game you fully understand the gimmicky nature that is the off-ice shenanigans. Whether you're enjoying a chucked puck, a sumo sized smack down, or a puck shooting car winning display of terrible puck handling skills, the minors are full of silly non-hockey related attributes. But slowly my thoughts on the matter have done a complete 180. As a matter of fact, the more gimmicky the better. Because even if I enjoy it, someone in section 420, who's forked over $100 for an evening of hockey entertainment for the first time, probably finds it amusing. Amusing enough that perhaps he'll come again. He'll follow the team online. He'll cry when Teemu Hartikainen leaves Oklahoma City for good (that last one is autobiographical in case you were wondering).
As the world continues to embrace social media and what it means to have an "online presence", these gimmicks have reached a new level of zany. Tweet a picture of your dog, earn a years supply of dog food. Create a unique team sign, tag it in Facebook, and you'll win a suite at the next game. Check into the rink on Foursquare, get a free refill of your choosing. The possibilities are endless, and on the farm in Oklahoma City we've seen a diverse number of them.
So instead of choosing to point and laugh, or giggle and moan, why not embrace the social media gimmick for the sake of your farm team in Oklahoma City. You might be an Oilers fan. You might be a Barons fan. You might be both. But regardless, Copper and Blue would like to challenge you to do something.
Reach deep into your soul. Because it's gut check time. It's Game 7, the goalie is pulled, and the only thing between you and the tying goal is Cam Barker. All you have to do is pull the social media trigger. So here are the details of what YOU need to do.
Tomorrow (Thursday, April 19th) at 10:00am Pacific, 11:00am Mountain, 12:00 NOON Central, 1:00pm Eastern you'll need to post the following status update to your various social networking sites. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or any and all of them. (Feel free to remove the hashtags if you're on a site where that's not valid).
I'm cheering for the Oklahoma City Barons to win the Calder Cup. GO BARONS! #OKCBarons #Oilers #CalderCup
There are a couple of ways you can make this happen. If you use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite feel free to schedule the tweet accordingly. Tutorials on how to do that can be found here (Tweetdeck) and here (Hootsuite).
In some cases, the tools and social network site don't allow for scheduling. No worries. Sometime around that above time, type and hit send. The old school method, as I like to call it. And if you want to go ever more old school (for all you non-social media users). Roll down your windows, wherever you might be, and shout the above statement as loud as you can. Your neighbors, co-workers, and on-lookers will appreciate (hopefully).
"Why do this Neal?" you may be asking yourself. Simply put, the Barons need an audience. For those who are fans of the Edmonton Oilers, they understand the excitement of the Oklahoma City farm. For those in Oklahoma, the excitement is still building. Your support might do some good to bring awareness to the team, and their potential run through the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Also please pass the information along to your friends, families, enemies, Canucks fans, Oilers/Barons players, or anyone else that might like to participate. The more the merrier.