Found this buried in an article in this morning's St. Petersburg Times while I was researching my Lightning preview. Ask yourself, how could this go wrong?
The Lightning has increased to 15,000 the number of rally drums it will give out for tonight's game.
Personally, I'm not a fan of noise-making giveaways. The ThunderStix the Lightning gave away in 2003 and 2004 were pretty lame, and besides, mine popped and deflated a long time ago. I haven't been around the area during the summer for awhile, so I haven't been to a Rays game with cowbells ringing. Still, even on TV they're distracting when thousands of them are clanking in the background.
Rally drums strike me as an idea that is not, to use owner Jeff Vinik's favorite phrase, world class. They're probably going to be headache-inducing, they're a substitute for real noise, and they're something that "traditional" hockey markets can use to make fun of Lightning fans. ("Look at them, they need help making noise, they're not real fans! Move the team to Canada!") Why can't we just have rally towels or T-shirts or maybe some snot green-colored gloves to use like everyone else? They look good on TV, and they're something a 4-year-old kid won't get hold of and bang incessantly around the house.
I guess it could be worse, though. Remember this in Miami last year?
The worst part was that this game went to extra innings and lasted four and a half freakin' hours. I was streaming the game and between the horrible noise and the chaos of the 11th inning, I was ready to go outside and start a riot when the Rays finally won. Let us never speak of this game again. I'm sorry I even brought it up.