Sharks 07-08 Campaign Was Like Another Recent Failed Campaign

Vincent BergadoCorrespondent IJune 18, 2008

The injection of SJ Sharkie—the embodiment of the club—into the political arena, would no doubt produce a backlash in celebrity politics.  

Imagine Schwarzenegger’s dismay when he realizes that the mascot is allowed to appear in costume at all times, and the animal is actually embraced for biting people’s heads and other gruff physical displays of affection. 

Beyond that, the Sharks’ campaign would also look strangely like a recent democratic primary bid.  Over the course of the year, the elements they share have been widely reported in different sections of the paper, but no one has drawn the lines to connect the dots—until now.


Going down in the early contests:


Yes, even having a former president at your side or having an MVP and Rocket Richard duo as linemates, cannot guarantee success right out of the gates. 

Have no fear, it is still early in the campaign, and these are small contests.  But eventually, they will add up. 


When things don’t go smoothly for a few months, one has to reconsider the angle of attack and question the efficacy of the current staff. 


Making moves:


These down times merely provide an opportunity for positive change.  Bring over some heavy hitters and point scorers.  Sign up a governor or two to bolster the campaign message. 


If you’re Doug Wilson, GM of an open and proud “Defense First” team, you give up a draft pick for a top tier point-scoring defenseman like Brian Campbell.  Spin-o-Rama!


Win at home:


You need to win at home.  Period.  But it is also important to get some momentum, string a few wins together at home and on the road. 


This campaign certainly provided some pleasant surprises at the end—the Sharks put together a 21 game point streak, showing that they can’t win outright.  They can seriously challenge in every contest.


Challenges with officiating:


They scored a tally, but the goal was waived off.  It’s true that Florida and Michigan came early in the match, but first period goals can decide games. 

A curse on the house of American Airlines and the black puck-concealing jerseys within! 


The fatigue factor:


The campaign season is a grueling battle, fought every day. On and on, until one confrontation runs into the next, the challenges with but a brief 20 minutes between. 


And after getting jabbed, outmaneuvered, and taken into more overtime sessions than can be counted, someone is going to slip.  A verbal trip.  A misplaced stick. 


I didn’t mean to make it about race. 


C’mon ref, it was a race for the puck.


Sure, you could blame the message-maker, but there is never just one factor in the game.  It’s a long campaign, and in the end, you have to best your opponent in all the ways that count. 


Go down swinging:


It wasn’t meant to be, not this year.  But no one can say it was a waste of time.  Records were achieved, careers were launched, and the campaign brought the sport to many people who just didn’t care before. 


Despite the wounds of defeat and damaged pride, there will always be another campaign.  That is why it is important to push to the limits, to break barriers, and go further than ever before—it is for the love of the game and everything that it stands for.