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Thoughts on the Blackhawks Convention

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

I knew this year’s Blackhawks Convention would be insanely crowded since they’re total studs now for winning the Stanley Cup.  I also knew that I probably shouldn’t even think about going because those insane crowds would just annoy me and be the source of severe anxiety for me.  But when a friend of mine said she’d scored some passes and a one-night stay at the Hilton (the site of the Convention), and the price was reasonable, I just couldn’t bring myself to say no.

I should have just said no.  Actually, I take that back.  If I hadn’t gone, I would not have met Denis Savard again, and he would not have signed my jersey for my daughter.  But I promise that I will not attend another Blackhawks Convention if I can help it.  Some issues I had that need to be rectified:

1 – Crowd management and control.  This is needed especially for people waiting outside the various ballrooms to gain entrance to the scheduled panels.  Once the doors to the ballroom open, people start pushing and shoving.  I’m surprised I saw no fights break out (Lord knows I wanted to knock out a few people….).

2 – Signage indicating entrance/exit into/out of the ballrooms.  This kind of goes along with #1.  People not knowing by which doors to stand and wait caused some of the pushing and shoving.  True story:  there was a panel in progress in one ballroom and we wanted to get into the next scheduled panel in the same ballroom, so we were waiting outside the doors.  We were toward the front of the line and a pretty good line of people had formed behind us.  A few minutes before the on-going panel was to be let out, a Hilton employee told us we had to move out of the way because the doors we were standing near were the exit doors for the people in the ballroom.  That meant we had to go and stand by the other doors where another long line had formed.  It was unfair that we’d been waiting there so long, unknowingly at the wrong doors, and then we had to go to the back of the other line, thereby putting in jeopardy our admission into the ballroom.

3 – Fan questions for the panels.  I’m all about fan/player interaction, but some of the questions during the panels were so irrelevant, some even inappropriate.  This was especially true during the 2010 Olympics:  A Golden Moment panel, which was made up of Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Patrick Kane – ya know, the young studs on the team.  It was mostly girlfans asking ridiculous questions, not even about the Olympics, one even asking to present Keith with a gift from her and her sister.  If fan questions can’t be omitted entirely, then at least have someone there to first screen the questions before the fans are allowed in front of the microphone.

4- Player inaccessibility.  One of the draws of the Convention is the opportunity to see the players up close, in regular clothes, and to interact with them.  The current Convention set-up allows for no interaction at all, outside of the autograph singings for which attendees must first obtain a wristband.  Before and after the panels and autograph sessions, the players are ushered in and out by a security entourage, as if they are dignitaries or major Hollywood celebrities.  That just made the players seem even more distant and inaccessible.

I still love my Blackhawks and always will.  Since it’s near impossible to get game tickets, too, I guess I’ll just have to settle for watching the games and seeing the players on television.

Posted by Francesca

My foray into the Twittersphere

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I had to see what the fuss was all about. I joined Twitter for the first time about a year ago and just didn’t get it. So I deleted my account. I tried again a few months later; I still wasn’t getting it. But then I noticed that so many organizations and individuals I have an interest in were saying, “find more information on Twitter,” “get updates on Twitter….” I figured the third time would have to be the charm and, sure enough, it was. I finally “get” Twitter and I’ve become an active participant. I’ve realized, too, how useful it is in keeping up with the latest information from and about, say, my favorite sports teams and animal welfare organizations. But I’ve also realized that there are a whole lot of self-important people out there, seemingly self-proclaimed experts, compiling numbered lists of the “best of”, and dictating “the dos and don’ts” of this and that. But my favorite (sarcasm) tweets or tips of all are the ones that outline how to tweet and what exactly to tweet about. The explanation most provided is that your followers don’t care about petty details, or you shouldn’t clog your followers’ feeds with stuff that doesn’t matter. Well ya know what, followers? It matters to me, and if you don’t like what I’m tweeting or how often I tweet, then unfollow me. I don’t take myself that seriously. My bio lists that I’m a working mom, travel nut, animal advocate, and sports freak; I don’t keep any of that a secret, and that’s what I’ll be tweeting about most of the time. If that’s not what you’re into, then, again, unfollow me. It won’t hurt my feelings.

And, yes, I do follow Alyssa Milano on Twitter. #dontjudgeme

Posted by Francesca

Hope For Paws

Saturday, June 27th, 2009
Dallas - rescued from gang members, originally uploaded by Eldad Hagar (Please support Hope For Paws). The owner of this photo, Eldad, is one of my contacts from Flickr, and, along with ... [Continue reading this entry]

I need to vent

Friday, May 22nd, 2009
After listening to broadcasters and commentators from two different networks (Versus and CBC [Hockey Night in Canada]), I've realized that the media and the rest of the hockey world believe that the Blackhawks have no chance against Detroit in this ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thoughts from the first 2008 visit to Wrigley

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Before last night, it had been almost two years since I went to my last Cubs home game. It was good to be back at Wrigley and see the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5. Felicia and I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Someone call the Punctuation Police!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
Yesterday, as part of Opening Day ceremonies at Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Cubs legend, Ernie Banks. I watched the replay of the ceremony during the 40-minute rain delay and, shortly after the statue was uncovered, I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Chained dog update

Friday, March 14th, 2008
Dogs deserve better, originally uploaded by FrancescaM. This could be good news or bad news. Within days of my original post reporting the plight of this poor dog in South Haven, Michigan, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Cruel: Chained up in South Haven, Michigan

Monday, February 25th, 2008
Dogs deserve better, originally uploaded by FrancescaM. This poor guy belongs to a family that lives behind my in-laws' property in South Haven, Michigan. The family moved in about a year ago and ... [Continue reading this entry]

Handmade Market

Sunday, February 10th, 2008
This is an event worth checking out for anyone who is into anything that is one-of-a-kind. The Handmade Market happens on the second Saturday of every month at The Empty Bottle (1035 N Western). I went this ... [Continue reading this entry]

Journeyman arrives at the end of the road

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
Seriously, America, why didn't more people watch Journeyman?? The series finale just ended and I am still in denial. I refuse to believe that this show will not return. It's so good! Oh, but it's ... [Continue reading this entry]