24 April, 2014

Pink Think Hits the Rinks

I have never been a huge fan of pink, especially when it comes to hockey jerseys. However, it’s different when it comes to charity. Breast cancer awareness is at an all-time high, thanks to leagues like the NHL and AHL, among others, who host a multitude of events every season. Coaches wear pink ties; players use pink tape, pink sticks, and pink pucks to be auctioned off later- the list is endless. It’s a well-respected cause that deserves attention. So what’s the problem?The rink of the Norfolk Admirals- courtesy of The Virginian-Pilot
You get gimmicks like the one that happened in Norfolk on Saturday. I applaud the creativity, but what a strange idea. Not surprisingly, comments like this one emerged:

The much-discussed “pink ice” wound up taking on a dark, fuschia-like tint, which made for a striking visual from the stands but provided players with an unusual challenge.
“We had no idea where the red line or the blue line were,” Jancevski, the Admirals captain, said with a smile. “Everything just looked pink.”

Not to mention extremely distracting. The ice became the primary focal point as opposed to the players, and it had to be difficult for fans to watch the game. There’s been a lot of talk about the pink ice, but that discussion didn’t necessarily translate into donations.
It’s only one game, and it’s for a good cause, right? But perhaps that’s part of the problem. “It’s for a good cause” is frequently the phrase associated with these events. And this seems to allow organizers license to come up with unusual, unrelated gimmicks- as long as it’s pink, anything goes. (I’m just waiting for the day that pink jock straps are auctioned off.) Some of the events seem almost patronizing, such as selling pink rhinestone pins, pink purses, anything that’s pink. Plus, there’s some doubt about how much of the fundraising actually goes to the cause. The silent auctions hosted by clubs may generate a lot of interest and revenue, but how much goes to the charity- and how much does the charity use on its mission? An October 2007 article in the Detroit News provided a good analysis of the situation, and one woman quoted in the article brought up a good point:

“I’d rather give directly to the charity because then more of my hard-earned money goes to charity,” Koledo said.

Breast cancer research and awareness is critical and deserves everyone’s support. (Don’t forget, men get breast cancer too.) But can’t the fundraising be done without cheap stunts like pink ice?


  1. Dan Steinberg wrote:

    Hey all, just wanted to send a heads-up, Mike Wise might have a Caps column in Wednesday’s paper. If one of y’all could check on Pucks and Polemics tomorrow, might be a good idea, since this’ll kind of fiddle with his world view.
    Word is, Wise thought there was a Wiz game at the VC and went by mistake.

    16 January, 2008 at 3:49 am | Permalink
  2. Hey Dan: All of us, including me, have largely appreciated your omnipresent attentions on the blog this week, but there’s such a thing as misplaced and misfired wit. Like: yours here. Our newest blogger put a good bit of research and thought into this piece. My opinion is that it deserves more than graffiti from you. Or nothing at all. It’s pretty easy to message me directly in this forum — or via the addy you’ve used before: pucksandbooks@onfrozenblog.com

    16 January, 2008 at 4:14 am | Permalink
  3. pepper wrote:

    Yes, cancer is everyone’s problem, so awareness is important. But, as lighting up a pink ice clearly affects game play, that particular idea may overwhelm the outlet for charity support.
    But hey, maybe auctioning jock straps could generate some serious bids. Is that a bad thing to say?

    16 January, 2008 at 5:01 am | Permalink
  4. cody wrote:

    They did this same thing in Alaska with the Alaska Aces (ECHL). The ice looked similar to in this picture prior to the game after being Zamboni’d, but became light pink and white after players took to the ice, like a scene from Cat in the Hat.

    16 January, 2008 at 8:48 am | Permalink
  5. It looks like a giant liver or something. They should have just drawn two giant boobies.
    And yeah, how much did it cost to do that?

    16 January, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
  6. darth kittius wrote:

    OMG! It’s the return of the PINK!!!
    At least it’s not targeted to women this time. And a piece of clothing that’s not available in team colors. Or with hearts on it.
    *pauses again*
    But who exactly thought that this could be a good idea?
    *pauses yet again*
    As to your main point — it’s always interesting to me that most of the big events for breast cancer give only a small portion of the money to research. Most end up going towards planning, organizing and hosting the event and/or big administrative overhead on the larger organizations. How much money did it cost to die that ice pink and then clean it up after?? I agree with your ending quote — I usually just give my money directly to a small, well-respected center for research. That way I know it’s actually ending up doing some good and not paying for some free pink pencils that are going to be handed out at the next event. Although I suppose there is something to be said for raising awareness.

    16 January, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Permalink
  7. JR wrote:

    Don’t get me wrong, but I’m sick to death of breast cancer awareness, ok?! Who made breast cancer king? (queen?) There are so many afflictions, including tons of different cancers, what’s wrong with CANCER AWARENESS? And the pink has to stop. Pink ribbons, pink unis, pink ice. When did society as a whole lose all ability to say “NO – ENOUGH!”

    16 January, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink
  8. The Peerless wrote:

    I’m color blind…if I was playing for Hartford or Norfolk on that stuff, I’d have had to have been a healthy scratch, or I’d be offsides all night.

    16 January, 2008 at 5:09 pm | Permalink
  9. Grooven wrote:

    You’d think if they were going to do something like that, change the line colors. Why not have the red line be white? You know… like a film negative?
    But no one got sick at the game I’m sure. Not when the ice is made of Pepto.

    16 January, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Permalink