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*Guest Feature* Never There

"You tell me that you love me so, you tell me that you care, but when I need you, baby, you're never there!"

The Carolina Hurricanes have been the step-children of the National Hockey League for quite a while. One would have thought that the Stanley Cup win would have given them a little bit of street cred, but it wore off pretty quickly. There's really only one thing harder than being a Carolina Hurricane, at this point, and that's being a Hurricanes' fan. If you love this team as much as I do, you have to work for it. There's only one newspaper that will throw you so much as bone about the team. I live about two hours outside of Raleigh, so we're really lucky if our local news even reports scores, let alone gets the players' names right. One local AM station broadcasts about 10 games a season, so it's usually internet radio for me. Fox Sports South even offers Hurricanes fans the least amount of games broadcast in the league (I heard we're getting 3 more whole games next season. Hooray!). I know, I get Center Ice, right? Well, my cable company doesn't offer it. Get a dish? I really don't feel like explaining to my 3 1/2 year old that he can't go outside because it's raining, but he can't watch TV, either, because it's raining, and all because Mommy needed to watch more hockey.

The latest insult to my life as a Hurricanes' fan came on the News and Observer's Lord Stanley's Blog. This morning's entry was just a big ol' smack in the face to any hockey fan who lives too far from Raleigh to make it to many games in person. As reported by Luke DeCock: The Hurricanes' broadcast coordinator Kyle Hanlin said that, despite the fact that Fox Sports had offered to televise the New Jersey game next Tuesday night, the Hurricanes would take a pass. Apparently the Canes broadcast folks are too cheap to pitch in for the production costs to bring a game to die-hard fans like myself, who would be faithfully parked in front of their TV screens, hanging on to the edge of the couch for every shot on Martin Brodeur.

Thanks for all the lip service, Hurricanes. Almost every other word out of our club is about how important their fans are to them. How about they put some money beyond all of those warm fuzzy ads and prove it? Hey, Kyle Hanlin, you have to spend money to make money. I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea the amount of money it would require to cover production costs for a live hockey broadcast. However, I would think that a strong base of devoted fans all across North Carolina and spread throughout the southeast would be worth it's weight in gold. I would also think that with a team that's been so depleted by illnesses and injuries, the Canes PR and broadcast staff would cling on to anybody who wanted to watch the Hurricanes get owned by New Jersey, yet again. But, hey, what do I know? I'm only your target audience.