Western Conference fans often complain about how close the teams in the East are to one another, and how the short distance between cities makes travel a cinch and limits fatigue. But being a short drive away from your opponent has its drawbacks too, most notably, that enemy fans can get inside your building very, very easily. This is an issue that the New Jersey Devils are meeting head-on.
The Devils have launched "No Blue", a campaign to protect home ice by encouraging Devils fans to deny tickets to Rangers fans that might come in from the city and cheer for the wrong team. The Devils' website outlines 3 strategies by which fans can protect home ice by ensuring the Rock is packed with red.
Strategy number one makes it very clear that the Devils mean business, because they're recommending visits to the local blogs and message boards. From the Devils:
If you own seats and have to sell for any of the home games because of conflicts, do NOT list your seats on the secondary market. Blogs such as Fire and Ice, In Lou We Trust, and HFBoards provide you with outlets to speak directly with other Devils fans who are looking for seats. This will ensure you are selling ONLY to other Devils fans. You can ask for pictures or meet them to deliver tickets, to ensure where their loyalty lies.
Ask for pictures and verify loyalties? This is serious.
If you're looking for a good test to verify loyalties, bring a friend to the sale, then stand in one corner of the room dressed in red, have your friend stand in the other corner of the room dressed in blue, and call the buyer over. If he goes to your friend, he's secretly a Rangers fan. (It works for dogs.)
The second way you can protect home ice is by calling the Devils Fan Experience Team Line at 855-DEV-ARMY. They'll help you sell your tickets to good, respectful, God-fearing Devils fans. One imagines the number will also operate as a crisis hotline for people tempted to sell their tickets to Rangers fans.
Caller: Help! Some Rangers fans are offering me double market value for my tickets to Game 3! What do I do?
Operator: Calm down, sir. I can talk you through this.
And the third way you, as a Devils fan, can help to protect home ice, of course, is to buy your tickets immediately, before those heinous Rangers fans get their grubby mitts on them.
Now this campaign probably isn't going to work, at least insofar as keeping Rangers fans out. As motivated as Devils fans might be to protect home ice, Rangers fans will be even more driven to buy tickets now. "No Blue" pretty much guarantees espionage and deception.
But since this is effectively just a really clever ad campaign designed to draw attention to the Devils, I'd say it's already a success.
s/t to Deadspin.
UPDATE: It appears the Devils have deleted the page. Here is the page they deleted.