Gwozdecky Wants To Ramp Up Fan Support

(above) Coach Gwozdecky wants a lift from DU fans at Magness the next two weekends


Coach Gwozdecky had some pretty interesting comments after the game on his Post Game Show with Jay Stickney.
"We have been sputtering along the past four weekends. This team wants to prove that they are not done.

I know that [DU S.I.D.] Erich Bacher has been following the blogs and has been very concerned about the doom and gloom of the fans.

Omaha has been a very good team. We had to go out tonight and perform very well. And we did. We played a smart game. We need to get back into a winning rhythm.

I want to encourage all of our fans and friends to come out and support this team in our final series against St. Cloud and the 1st round of the WCHA playoffs. They are going to be important games.

I don't know if you could hear on the radio back home, but this building [Qwest Center] was loud both nights. They had a big crowd last night and the third largest crowd in UNO history [11,504] tonight.

Its so important to give yourself that little intangible edge. Whether its the regular season or the playoffs.

So hopefully we can get a real good push from our crowd next week and the following weekend. Its the last times we will be playing at home this season. We want to be one of the top two teams in the WCHA to earn a shot the Final 5 bye."
- George Gwozdecky

53 comments:

dggoddard said...

It sounds like Gwozdecky is ordering a "Code Red."

Boone better be ready.

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree with Gwoz...some "fans" need to pull their heads out of their asses. I have developed a new pet peeve this season -- people who complain about the attendance yet do not go themselves.

My word verification is "sadde"....seems fitting, seeing as though we have a sad fan base.

I mean, for all the talk about "what if Gwoz leaves...", people need to realize that supporting the program requires more than acting crabby on the internet. Everyone has their own way, but a lot of people need to drastically re-asses how they are approaching their support of the program...

Anonymous said...

What night do they introduce the Seniors out on the ice and talk about thier academic and athletic achievments? That's always my favorite moment of each season. We all need to make some friggin noise for Teeny, Ryder and all those guys.

Aluuum said...

I agree wirth Gwaz. However ,there is a basic problem. Many older fans ,like myself, are fervent D.U.hockey fans but not as noisy as when we were students. I,for one, will ramp it up this weekend.

puck swami said...

I want a loud arena, too. I really do. I buy season tickets, show up at the games, scream hard, travel to some aways games (not just CC) and donate to the program, to name just a few of the things I do to support the team each year.

But if the coaches and team doesn't want to hear 'gloom and doom' from the die-hard fans like us, it needs to change it's post-season performance pattern of the last 5 years. I'd like nothing more than to have to the team prove the naysayers wrong, but for the last five years, the team has crapped out when it counted most.

They can restore a lot of fan faith in the program by getting to the tourney and winning a game or two once there. Anything else is gravy...Let's see some overachievement!

Anonymous said...

Most DU hockey fans don't live and die with the team/outcome of the game unlike UND or other programs with rabid fan support. It has been this way for the 30+ years that I have been involved in the program/going to games. One thing DU could/should do is bring back former players/stars on a regular basis (i.e. look at how the Chicago Blackhawks stirred up fan interest by bringing Hull, Espo, etc. back into the fold). Everyone knows Towes, Parise, etc. attended UND - the players frequently acknowledge it when being interviewed. I rarely if ever have heard a former DU player acknowledge let alone "brag" about DU and playing there. There has been a great deal of media about Maggy, Coach A, etc. and our legacy from the 60's but we did win 2 consecutive championships not too long ago. Do we ever see or hear from those players?

Anonymous said...

The pep band should be at EVERY game. They do a good job of firing up the crowd. After all, this is a college with a school of music, right?

dusince59 said...

I agree that the pep band helps alot. They should be there every game.

Anonymous said...

Ever been to a Central Hockey League game in totally non-hockey towns, like say Lubbock Texas? Or to a Florida Everblades game down in Fort Myers, Florida? Noisy as hell, and they keep the fans engaged for 3 full hours. How? MASCOTS! On the ice, in the stands, shooting T-shirts, giving stuff away that sponsors pay for... Fan Zamboni ride-ons, maybe some lasers, fog, pyro..... fans love it. DU needs to bow down and bring Boone on board and really step up the game entertainment. That will fuel the fans, and they will fuel the team

puck swami said...

Pretty sure the pep band in going to be in Arkansas this coming weekend fort the SBC hoops tourney, firing up the 50 friends and family of the DU hoops teams.

Hopefully, next year, you will see more of the band at hockey games. We've all seen what a difference the band makes when they get 40 or 50 to show up,

Aluuum said...

Skating cheer leaders with big boobs is my vote.

Anonymous said...

Forget the band they should have a smack Swami like a pinata contest between periods.

Anonymous said...

That's a sure way to keep a coach around, have him begging for the fans to show up. Nice DU, real nice.

Anonymous said...

We really should have ice girls. Every professional team has them and (most) people love it. It doesnt have to be trashy, just like an extension of cheerleaders

cis said...

"I mean, for all the talk about "what if Gwoz leaves...", people need to realize that supporting the program requires more than acting crabby on the internet."

AMEN! Frankly I'm amazed DU recruits so well in spite of pretty laissez faire fan support. Personally, I love that Gwoz is calling us out.

Aluuum said...

ANON 6:41 -since when is big boobs trashy?

Anonymous said...

Code Red - You want us to wear our
SUCK IT Swami t-shirts before the playoffs?

dggoddard said...

If the "Suck It Swami" shirt is red, wear it.

Are they available from the DU bookstore or the Magness store?

Some other shirts DU should be selling:

"Pay Coach Gwozdecky"

"I'm no Doom & Gloomer"

"DU Hockey: 1 game winning streak over Michigan Tech"

"Put me in Coach. I can stop 190' wrist shots"

"Win or lose; at least we don't live in North Dakota"

"CC Sucks, UND Swallows"

ticklethetwine said...

Classy very Classy dggoddard

Anonymous said...

It starts with the student section at any college sporting event, and sadly the DU student body doesn't give a damn about their nationally-ranked hockey team. It is by far the worst student section in D1 hockey. Unfortunately, DU students are more concerned with going to their rich parents' condos in the mountains on the weekend, leaving the hockey program out to dry. Yes, I know that's a vast stereotype, but it's very true in many cases. I wish this weren't the case, but it has been like this for years. The Bleacher Creatures once dominated the old barn of an arena, but that's back when DU's student population was much more blue collar than it is today. The school has done nice things in the past few decades to improve facilities and reputation; however, these changes have also changed the student dynamic and as such the hockey attendance has suffered dramatically.

dggoddard said...

Students at DU are not any different than most other private schools (exception Duke & perhaps a few southern private schools). DU is also one of the smallest schools playing D-1 sports.

As with other private colleges, DU is having a hard time recruiting male students and minorities who can afford to pay $50,000 room & tuition per year. Since male students are more likely to attend sporting events, particularly hockey, that's an issue.

Another issue is charging $5 per game ($18 on game day). Students without a lot of disposable income are not going to pay for season tickets or come to the games last minute.

Students are more distracted than ever before and have way more things grappling for their attention today.

The DU student section is way better than UAA, CC, and a couple of other WCHA schools. We need to continue working with the Alumni, band, athletic department and student government

Anonymous said...

DU students: refer to the "Lawson Lunatics" at Western Michigan. Copy and repeat. They actually get admonished by the university for excessive profanity.

Anonymous said...

"Win or lose; We're know for our post-season flameouts"

Tim in Los Angeles said...

I graduated in '73 - so, hockey seasons Fall 69-73.

DU was, at the time, the second most expensive university in the U.S. and was known as a "rich kids school." A number of students were called "the brand name kids."

The student section in the old arena was among the wildest, rowdiest in college hockey. The memories are great and the stories are numerous. Ask opposing goalies of that era. Even the brand-name kids were there on friday nights before heading to the mountains.

One HUGE problem with DU is that management operates as if the school is poverty-stricken. It seems as if the AD doesn't use the resources at her finger tips - which would include both alumni and university departments.

Yes, the fan base for games is in the Denver area, but DU hockey has a nation-wide following that isn't being utilized.

Not a week goes by that I don't hear from the university where I attended grad school. Both snail mail and electronically. A lot of the info they generate is about supporting sports programs.

I'm sure there are a ton of suggestions out there - and that they've been made to the AD. My thought is - you always get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Tim hit the nail on the head. The student section in the old airplane hanger used to rock on game night. Opposing teams hated playing DU because of how rowdy the students were. Now...

During a DU vs. Minnesota game a few years ago I recall Frank Mazacco and Doug Woog discussing this change at DU and stating that current DU fans consisted of a "wine and cheese crowd" that arrives casually late for the game and that just sits and waits to be entertained.

Anonymous said...

"Students at DU are not any different than most other private schools (exception Duke & perhaps a few southern private schools). DU is also one of the smallest schools playing D-1 sports."

Really. Well then explain Stanford and Northwestern, private schools which were also founded by John Evans. Ever been to a PAC-10 basketball game at Stanford (or a football game for that matter) or a football game at NU? Wild.

dggoddard said...

Interesting that you mentioned Stanford Hoops. All games are FREE for students starting this season. Clearly they were having trouble attracting students to games.

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2010/10/19/m-basketball-sixth-man-club-will-be-free/

"With only a few days of practice under its belt, the Stanford men’s basketball team already has one major change to announce for the year ahead — admission for all students to the Sixth Man section for the 2010-2011 season will be FREE OF CHARGE, according to the director of the Sixth Man Club. Previously the only Stanford sport that required students to purchase tickets, men’s basketball games will now be accessible to all students with an SUID."

Anonymous said...

I wants me a Code Red: SUCK IT Swami T-shirt!!!!!!

Code Red said...

SUCK IT Swami t-shirts would sell like hot cakes

Anonymous said...

"Interesting that you mentioned Stanford Hoops. All games are FREE for students starting this season. Clearly they were having trouble attracting students to games.

Depends on what your definition of "trouble attracting students to games" is contingent on. Maples Pavilion is a 7400 seat arena that has student sections at both ends of the court. Perhaps they are not drawing like they did during the Mike Montgomery era but there are still thousands of students attending each home game. Further, as the article mentions, all other D1 sports at Stanford are free for students and this policy change was instituted in part to keep consistent with that philosophy.

Perhaps DU should allow students to attend home games for free. Doubt that it would do much to increase attendance or get a rowdier crowd but you never know. Anything is worth a try at this point.

dggoddard said...

This is a great topic, so keep the comments and ideas coming.

According to the article cited above "Stanford hoops attendance is down significantly in recent seasons and the total student seating at Maples arena is 800."

I'm not saying DU's hockey student section should be Free, just that there are many students who might attend games and can't or wont pay the $5 or $18 on game day.

There are many ideas that I'd like to see the Athletic Department try to boost student attendance at hockey games.

Anonymous said...

If Swami was one the guys telling Chris (the son) what Jimbo (his recently deceased father) would have thought or said (in contradiction to Chris' thoughts and statements), I not only want a Suck It Swami t-shirt - I'd like to buy a space in the pinata line.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not saying DU's hockey student section should be Free, just that there are many students who might attend games and can't or wont pay the $5 or $18 on game day."

Why not make student tickets free on a first come first serve basis? What, DU loses a few thousand dollars in revenue but packs the house with kids that truly want to be there. Take the money set aside for another parking garage and dedicate it to this. No wonder Magness is like a mortuary. Good grief.

Anonymous said...

Old Pio did the damage. Swami just jumped on the bandwagon to kick Chris while he was down.

Code Red said...

Swami is headed to the newly formed Code Red List, DU's version of being "black listed". He's been pissing people off for years and now the camel's back is broken.

All this shit has gotten me thinking about starting a new blog for DU hockey. Not to replace this one, but one where we can talk DU hockey and not get embarrassed by certain elements of our fan base. One that would have original articles and opinions by HOCKEY PLAYING Alums about what THEY feel being a Pio encompasses -- so we can have a balance between how Swami and friends feel and how actual Pios feel. Maybe, just maybe, we can finally prove that we actually have a good, thinking fan base as opposed to these nitwits who think they speak for Pio nation as a whole yet just bring embarrassment.

Look for it starting next season. It will be an upgrade for Pio Nation...
Maybe that is what it will be called: PIO NATION, though that could change...

dggoddard said...

Starting a blog is easy.

The hard part is attracting an audience. Especially with a topic as narrow as "DU Hockey."

Most internet users only regularly visit around 10 sites. And what makes a site successful are the repeat visitors.

LetsGoDU's success is driven by the reader comments. The articles posted are the bait, but what lands the fish are the reader comments.

What drives up reader comments? Differences of opinion. :-)

Code Red said...

I hear you. I actually love your blog, nothing against you at all. :)


Difference of opinion is desirable and needed. Embarrassing, poo-driven drivel is where the line is drawn, however. With Swami and friends acting like they speak for the majority of us on uscho or, to a lesser extent here, I just see the need for another outlet -- another way for people to show their support, for the ones who are fed up with the "support" offered by some others. Just a different way of viewing and discussing the Pios than the ones we have. Just as differing opinions are good, so is competition. :)

You see, Swami and Friends are creating an image problem that needs to be challenged as they are actually harming something they profess to love. Thus, a better forum to combat these opinions with differing ones is sorely needed, to minimize damage.

I plan on funding it through the sales of SUCK IT Swami T's and dubbie31 pinatas...

Anonymous said...

People that I've talked to say that coach's comments are motivating them to make sure and go to the games the next 2 weekends. Unfortunately, most of the people that listen to the post-game shows probably go to the games regardless.

Jordan said...

*Show up to FREE Saturday night tailgates sponsored by the DU Grilling Society and tell your friends to do the same. South side of the Ritchie Center- always free and always better than the standard overcooked burger and dog. They're constantly thinking of ways to improve and make the tailgates a great pre-game destination. Maybe trying for beer and pub tables next season.

Also out for Thursday basketball games I believe.

dggoddard said...

I thought the coach's comments were fantastic, which is why I transcribed & posted them. Its good to hear that the coach's message is being heard. I wish Gwozdecky would say things like this more often.

I'll take one "Suck It Swami" T-Shirt and I'm sure Swami will want one as well. :-)

By all means start a blog, but be forewarned that the key is the marketing not the content.

The best way to help the DU hockey program in a positive manner:

* Buy DU alumni raffle tickets at the games

* Donate money to the pep band

*Donate at denverpioneers.com and earmark the hockey program

* Buy season tickets

* Email letters/comments to the Athletic Director, Chancellor, Mike Chambers, Denver Post, FSN-Rocky Mountain about the DU hockey program

* Support local business that support the hockey program

Robert said...

As a DU alum who lives in the Omaha area, I can attest to the atmosphere at Qwest. Mavs fans really ramp it up in that barn and make a large arena sound much like the old DU Fieldhouse. I'd hate to see DU home fans get complacent and take such a great program for granted. Trust me, the players really respond, as I saw the Mavs do on Friday night and even on Saturday when they were down a goal.

Anonymous said...

Front:

SUCK IT Swami


Back:

National Champions
1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969,
2004, 2005
[We don’t want to hear any more about why the ’86 team lost]

Anonymous said...

You should give away a water bottle with every SUCK IT Swami t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

Why don't all you Swami haters and stalkers start your own website.

Imaws Kcup said...

All this hating on Swami is just ridiculous. If you don't like his opinions on USCHO and here, offer contradicting opinions. Prove to the rest of Pio Nation and the nation that he is not our only voice.

I certainly disagree with the Swmai on some things. His "realistic" view of Pioneer hockey is too pessimistic for me personally. Sure, he'll say "i end up being right almost everytime so how could you say that's pessistic, that's realistic".

Sure, personally, I'd rather be right once every 10 years prediciting that DU will win the national championship every year, rather than being right 9 times out of 10 years prediciting that they don't have the leadership, blah blah, etc. to win a championship.

Anonymous said...

Frickin' Dubbie31 pinatas. Best damn idea ever. Put me down for 20. No, make that 21. Gotta have that extra one in case I can get Jason Giambi to take a wild whack at it and knock the Dubbie31 facsimile from Magness to Coors field. I'm pumped already!

Puck Swami said...

I would love a shirt!

Seriously, I love Pioneer hockey as much or more than most of the people who 'hate' me, and I don't speak for anyone but myself. Being critical of something you love is a higher level of engagement then simply towing the party line. While some may not always like what I write, I have been around the game for a long enough time and at a high enough level that I can separate the cheerleading from resoned commentary about what I actually see on the Ice. The highest level of fan in my book is not the sycophant. But those who cheer loud at the games but also have the ability to be critical and think for themselves....

Its too bad that some need to concentrate their venom on me for injecting some realism into the fan dialog, but I can take certainly take my brickbats as long as the tone is civil and done with respect. If I criticize someone or something about the program, I try to do so civilly and with facts, rather than insults or coarse accusation.

dggoddard said...

Swami gets the final word.

We will no longer be allowing Swami comments on this Blog. Comments will also be deleted immediately that contain slurs, excessive profanity or personal attacks.

It still OK to slam, slander or insult me.

Anonymous said...

No one hates the Swami (I know I don't) but sometimes the same old song and dance wears a bit thin. It's like the team is 9-20-5 and in 11th place instead of being 20-9-5 and in 2nd place like they really are. I celebrate wins and mourn losses like everyone, but I always show support and have pride in the DU team no matter what. As the old, '80s button said, "DU Hockey is...Pioneer Pride". Even if it appears to some that the players "aren't trying" or "don't care", they are and they do. Always. Sometimes people forget that these are young men playing at an amateur level and sometimes a lack of focus is to be expected as well as some mistakes, it's not like we are paying to support the multi million dollar payroll of the Avs just to watch them get spanked.

Imaws Kcup said...

Man, the Avs suck. The only thing that could cure their losing streak is playing the Pios. Ask Tech.

Anonymous said...

Bring back the Bleacher Creatures!!! Kegs in the stands (love the fact that those things were hauled up flights of stairs in that old southwest stairwell), frozen seafood, chickens, etc being chucked on the ice, crass cheers, foul language, fights. The list goes on. Those games used to be the best - the place smelled like hell, was loud, cold and damn intimidating to play in. It's a combination of the current DU student population and their lack of interest combined with the crackdowns by the administration.

dggoddard said...

DU Security knew that something was up with students smuggling in pony kegs, because no one was going downstairs and everyone had full beers. So they were bird-dogging the students in the stands.

What DU security didn't know was that the little junior pioneer kids who were sons of DU faculty members were pouring the beers from the kegs.

Anonymous said...

A friend sitting next to me in the student section of the old barn brought a baby squid into one of the games. When he tried to throw it onto the ice, he missed and it landed in the section below us.

The people below us couldn't take a joke. We were excorted out by Denver's finest and told not to come back. Of course we were back the next night.