There have not been a whole lot of nice things to say about the San Jose Sharks in recent weeks. While the on-ice stuff has been frustrating, I count myself amongst the fans who are severely more disappointed by the Sharks' decisions to make ice girls a part of the team's entertainment experience. The issue of ice girls was already well covered here, but an article published by the Mercury News' David Pollak yesterday just reinforced what's wrong with the Sharks on July 14, 2014.
In the article, Pollak quotes Sharks COO. John Tortora several times. I recommend you read the entire article (linked above), but these excerpts gives you an idea of what Tortora is saying.
Tortora said he recommended the creation of the ice team as a way to blend current maintenance functions "with higher energy, increased fan engagement and more involvement within the community."
I assume most of you have been to a Sharks game before, maybe even several Sharks games. The building is not lacking for energy or fan engagement because, you know, the fans are there to see the hockey game. I'm not out here to go all Cardinals fan on you about why the Sharks have the Best Fans In Hockey, but for the most part I think we do okay for ourselves. Sharks fans don't need someone throwing them free pizza coupons for them to be involved in the game and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn't been to a game at SAP Center.
Tortora said the volume of complaints from fans is about at the level he expected. And Tortora suggested that concerned fans should take a wait-and-see approach.
"We're hoping people hold off judgment until the team is selected and we see what their functions are," he said.
What the fuck does this mean? What is it we're holding off judgment for, buddy? You have a picture of the proposed outfit right there on your website! What, after all this we're supposed to assume that these women will be skating out in the exact same uniform as last year? It is literally the principle of the thing. I am not interested in waiting and seeing what you unveil October 11 when the Winnipeg Jets are in town because by then it will already be too late.
This is emblematic of what the Sharks are doing right now: Making god awful decisions and then hoping that you will come around and continue to shove cash into their pockets. This is like a shotgun wedding at its worst, but with the gun-wielder telling you that you'll come to appreciate their logic and good sense in time. While the Sharks treated us like children by merely suggesting to bring ice girls and non-hockey "entertainment" to the rink, they're now treating us like stupid children by assuring us that we will see the error in our ways in time.
The hockey isn't going to be great in San Jose next year, it would be nice if the team had been able to retain some shred of its moral compass if keeping good hockey is no longer an option.