No To Ice Girls

Monday, March 31, 2008

On Saturday, March the 29th, the Kings unveiled Ice Girls. Something that, obviously, shocked me enough to annoyance. I could not BELIEVE the Kings organization felt that was necessary to have them on the ice. The boys lost that game, yet again, and because I was tired, I just blamed the loss on those girls. Well, thankfully, this morning, the Kings decided to let the fans give their feedback on said Ice Girls. KMS2 and I both decided to toss over our two cents on the matter.

Here it is in its entirety:

Being a Kings fan for as long as I can remember, I’ve never been ashamed at anything but our placing in the standings in recent years. I think every Kings fans can attest to this fact. When Staples Center opened up, I was floored at how modern and elegant everything seemed, which was something I was very proud of. When I started to hear that other franchises had Ice Girls, I questioned why and then had a good laugh. It seemed ridiculous to me as to why a skinny girl, who I could probably break in half, was out on the ice shoveling ice and timidly asking the players to move out of the way. I don’t see anything good coming from it besides pleasing the male fans who are drunk anyway. I recently ventured to the Honda Center for the first time, and scoffed at the fact that their Ice Girls were dressed very minimally and didn’t even pick up the ice and put it into the trashcans! They STILL had men out there lifting the oh-so-heavy piles of snow. Paying these girls to do this task is demeaning to our gender, which makes up a large percentage of the viewing audience. I honestly think the Kings organization should think long and hard about what is truly important for this franchise.

I was at Staples Center on Sat., March 29th and, needless to say, my jaw dropped when I saw the Ice Girls. Even my brother questioned as to why they were out on the ice. I think the focus of this organization is one that should be geared more to getting the roster stronger and working more as a team while keeping the distractions to a minimum. This team and fans have been through enough this season and the organization should be thinking of other ways of selling out games.

I am fully aware that the Kings did not have to ask the fans what their opinions were on this matter, so I am thankful for their interest. It does show that they actually care about what the fans truly think even on seemingly trivial matters. So I’m glad that my humble opinion was read by eyes that actually hold sway within the organization.

Update @ 6PM: Like KMS, I highly respect KingsCast's opinions and after reading KMS' update, I can only say "I completely concur." I feel I am personally open to new things within this game that we all love so much, but I guess I'm a traditionalist in some aspects as well. For example, I don't mind the shootout; I think I'm okay with it because I dislike ties. Why have a contest when it's okay for it to end in a draw? There needs to be a winner! So bring on the shootouts, heart attacks and all! From the traditionalist side, I never saw girls on the ice as a tot so it shouldn't be a surprise that it was a jarring shock to me on Saturday. There was one instance where I actually felt bad for one of the girls because she had to scrape the whole front of both benches twice. She skated that whole neutral zone length constantly stopping and asking and waiting for the guys to kindly move. I shouldn't have to state the obvious that they were staring. If that were me, I'd have been COMPLETELY UNCOMFORTABLE, but at the same time, it takes a certain type of person to want that job, right?

I'm not sure either how Ice Girls equals more revenue (I'll leave that to Keith to inform me), but I also noticed something else that I had never seen before during Saturday's game. Movie previews. Using the new freaking awesome projection system that the Kings have. At first, I also jeered at it, but then I realized that the whole NHL is having issues with bringing in revenue. If this is needed, then okay, make the change. I saw that as a blatant example of generating revenue, although, if you ask me right now, I couldn't tell you what movie it was for. So are the Ice Girls going to bring in that kind of revenue, ehh, not so much (but I'm sure that's not to be expected). Will they make the casual fan take notice? Not unless they go to games since the girls only came out during commercial breaks. But how many games do casual fans go to? At the same time, I don't want to see muscular men looking ridiculous. I think the Kings Crew has done a fantastic job this season; get on the ice, scrape it, and get off. Simple.

Ok, I'll concede your point about how other franchises are trying this. But there have also been negative occurrences that involve the actual players; Henrik Lundqvist and Rick DiPietro being the two most blatant examples. Lundqvist has refused to leave his crease at times and DiPietro flipped out when an Ice Girl removed the snow in his crease that he had strategically placed. Now, could they have said, "I'm okay, you don't need to scrape my crease?" Sure, but what if they had and the girls didn't listen and just wanted to do their job? If these girls are a distraction for the players, I'm not for it. This game is about the players and hockey. Yes, these are only two players among hundreds of other players, but they are integral to their respective clubs and (like I stated earlier) I want to keep any distractions to a minimum.

I don't get the Ice Girls either. What's their appeal off the ice? Autographs? Pictures? I hate to assume, but I'm sure there's a high turnover rate on their squad (someone can correct me if I'm wrong). I personally wouldn't want to meet them. If I had to choose between an Ice Girl and Bailey. I'm going to Bailey. An Ice Girl and the Kings drummers? Kings drummers!

Chris - I think, like Ron Burgundy, "When in Rome." But seriously, I can see both of your opinions and I'm not mystified as to why you're okay with them. To answer your questions, I don't think they should be wearing over-sized t-shirts and mom-jeans or be fat and ugly. I think the job that the Kings Crew does now is fine. I don't see the need to change that aspect of the Staples Center experience. Oh, and, I love Bailey. I really do.

Bink8 - I'm glad you sent in your feedback. I highly appreciated the Kings organization for giving us that avenue with which to voice any opinions we may have had.


Bink8 March 31, 2008 at 3:06 PM  

Thanks for sending feedback to the Kings re the ice girls.

I also sent feedback:

The ice girls are a ridiculous, gratuitous, degrading thing that the Kings do not need to sink to. I was always so proud of my Kings for not stooping to that level, until now. If you keep those ice girls you will have taken away credibility of the game itself.

And, it is NOT a kid-friendly thing. What are the kids to think when they've got middle-aged men hooting and hollering at these teen-aged girls?? These little exhibitionist girls parade themselves around the ice like they are burgeoning playboy bunnies. It's not right.

They are also an unnecessary player distraction. Let's keep their focus on the game, OK?

It is about the game, isn't it?

If there are ice girls next season, we will have to think seriously about whether or not we will renew our four season tickets.

It's up to you to do the right thing.

KingsCast Hockey Podcast March 31, 2008 at 4:14 PM  

Connie - Sorry for the cross-post but I posted this on I feel this post is still applicable.

There has been this "ice girls" movement across the entire NHL as of late and fans, mostly, seem to be responding favorably. I recently attended a Panther game where "ice girls" danced instead of picking up the ice. During intermission, they were at a table signing autographs. Men and women alike stood in line to meet them. Fan favorites? Absolutely. Hot as hell? No doubt.

You say in your blog. "I do not understand the purpose of them, because seriously, if the fans want to see hot girls, they know to go to a Lakers game." Really? The Lakers are a pretty good team with multiple championships, franchise players and an unbelievably supportive fan base. I don't think the Laker girls are the reason they continually sell out Staples Center (although it is a bit of a bonus).

"The LA Kings are about hockey, not ice girls." Are they? In 40 years there are no Cups, one trip to the finals and, maybe, 2 franchise players with two in the making. The attendance at games is down. Fans are fed up.

Now, I have a pretty strong marketing background. If I ran a psycho-graphic analysis on the fans that attend Kings games, I would expect that the large marjority would be open to, at least, trying ice girls. Yes, most hockey fans are probably male of a moderate income. That's why they didn't put Chippendales out on the ice. The ice girls are, for lack of a better term "a value-added service". That doesn't sound quite right but it does make the point.

I think Connie made the point of asking why they carried the heavy buckets of ice around. Now there's a point I agree with! No one wants to see an attractive girl haul around two hundred pounds of ice while sweating out of her unitard.

You go on to say "If you want to fill seats and keep everyone happy, then fill a roster that can be competitive with the rest of the NHL and employ a coaching staff that can lead this young group of talented players into the playoffs." You got that right! However, you are off your point. One thing has nothing to do with the other. This is a marketing tool. So is "We Play for LA" and "Play Hard". How well did that do?

I guess I'm not sure what exactly your problem is with our "ice girls". If it's a "sex sells" thing, I point to Budweiser or Wrigley Spearmint Gum or Starbucks (think product placement). They would be dead without it. For the Kings to attempt to use this marketing ploy as a way to bring money to the bottom line to enhance such things as your fan experience is not a bad thing. They are trying to play to their target market.

If your problem is exploitation of women, then it is certainly a matter of ethics. While, ethically, I don't have a problem with it I can't say that you're wrong there either. It's just a difference of values.

Regardless, my opinion is that the ice girls should stay.

I respect both yours and Connie's blogs and will continue to read them and support them. But I still think you're both wrong

Chris (KingsCast) March 31, 2008 at 5:34 PM  

Wow bink8, you would not renew your season tickets because of the new Ice Girls? I'm not going to lie but I am fascinated with the heated responses to these ice girls. I personally like them, based on the fact it's simply something new for the Kings (they've sucked for so long, anything is worth a shot) and because it's created so much dialogue. Look, I'm a guy. I'm happily married and getting ready to start a family someday soon. Like most guys, I like check out hot girls. It's not the reason I go to games at all (i go for the terrible hockey) but when more hot girls are presented, I dont' mind. Anyway, from up in my section all they look like are girls with spanex on scooping up ice (it's not a strip show and I don't view them as Cheerleaders). All in all, I gotta say, WHO CARES? It's something different. It's been 41 years of losing, maybe change is good! There's lots of things I don't like at the games. I hated Bailey at first but kinda learned to like him. I hated the guy who used to skate with the big Kings flag. I usually hate the musical selection and dislike a lot of the Kings "chants." There's always going to be something. I do have some questions though, just so maybe I can understand a little more: Would it be different if the girls were wearing jeans and an oversized t-shirt? if they were fat and ugly? if they were dressed as they are but they also happened to be super fast and efficient? just curious. Oh, and bink8, I love your line about the Ice Girls being "an player unnecessary distraction." That's hilarious! Sounds like there are more underlying issues...

Tracy March 31, 2008 at 10:34 PM  

The Coyotes' Ice Girls & Pack Dancers (which are, incidentally, two completely separate groups) are mostly around to ogle, I think. I see more guys stand up for them then for goal-scoring. It's quite sad but apparently it is what it is.

The only thing I do like about them is that little girls love them. Obviously that's not all good because I don't want my 9 year old cousin to think that dressing like a skank is the way to go but she gets a kick out of them and absolutely LOVES their routines and/or fun things they do.

The only thing I figure is that they are there to serve a purpose. Give the guys something to look at because OBVIOUSLY the girls are only there to scope out the dishy hockey players. (I need a sarcastic smiley right about now.)

Gann Matsuda April 1, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

Even more important than ice girls, the Kings are going to need to figure out how to replace Kopitar and maybe Frolov next season. Check out my blog for the news!!

Gann Matsuda April 1, 2008 at 3:06 PM  

Forgot to mention that I'm shocked...shocked I say...that anyone respects KingsCast's opinions!! :D

KingsCast Hockey Podcast April 1, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

Connie - I didn't say that they would increase revenue. They are a "value added service". They're like cup holders. You take them for granted. Then you end up at the Honda Center and there aren't any. Guess what? I haven't been to the Honda Center in two years.

Tracy - I am confused as to why you think it's sad that men ogle the ice girls. I am even more befuddled that you think they dress like "skanks". You know, I used to have a "Clipper Girl" work for me. They made $50/game. And, you know what: some of them actually ENJOY WHAT THEY DO. Shocking, I know. This girl was the anthesis of "skank". She was a smart, pretty girl who was earning her masters degree. Interestingly enough, a skank is defined as ""unattractive woman," 1970s, from skag in this sense (1920s), of unknown origin." What is also confusing is the homo-erotic calendar that the Kings put out with Sully, Kopi, JJ oiled up. The large marjority of women thought this calendar was "hot". I threw it away but I didn't write any letter. But I guess it comes down to one thing: people like to look at attractive people and children like to emulate them. There's nothing wrong with it and it's something you're going to have to deal with.

Gann - and you, sir, can kiss my pasty white ass!! :-)

Gann Matsuda April 1, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

Keith: LOL!!! :-)

Connie April 1, 2008 at 7:38 PM  

Tracy - Where do these Pack Dancers actually dance??

KingsCast - But cup holders are actually useful!! They serve a specific function for me personally. The Ice Girls do nothing for me.

KQ949 April 2, 2008 at 5:52 PM  

I thought the ice girls were hilarious. Especially the dimwit that tried to drag the trash can behind her instead of push it!

As a middle aged woman and mother of 2, I can care less about the ice girls. They are there ONLY for the men's entertainment. I understand that. But honestly, they are there for MY entertainment I'm SURE they will do something stupid to make me laugh during a 7-2 romping of my team!

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