Maybe you have become immune. Maybe you don't go to many Gopher hockey games anymore.
But it's hard to know when the Gophers are playing at home these days.
On Wednesday, the U announced that the Big Ten Network wants to televise the Indiana-Gophers men's basketball game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. Too bad hockey fans and players. You've got to adjust.
The Feb. 20 hockey game between CC and the Gophers will now be played at 3 p.m. Saturday. Don't have a babysister for the afternoon, you were going to get your taxes done that day? Too bad.
Oh, and the Friday game time has been switched, too. It has been moved up from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. Seems the hockey lads need at least 21 hrs. of rest in-between starting times of back-to-back games. So you better leave work early or miss the first period. Too bad.
If this was a one-time issue for hockey, this would be a weak blog item. Fortunately, for blog purposes, there is a lot more to chew on.
The Wisconsin series the first weekend in March is a little screwy. The first game will be at 7 p.m. Friday, March 5 at Target Center. Hey, most of the downtown traffic will be gone by then.
Then there is a day off on Saturday before the teams collide at 1 p.m. Sunday at Maroosh. This will be the last regular-season game of the WCHA season. Maybe nothing will be at stake. Maybe the Badgers' chance at the MacNaughton Cup (regular-season title) will be on the line and the Gophers' chance to finish fifth and be a first round host for the WCHA playoffs.
Those things can wait. Mariucci will be holding the U.S. Figure Skating Champions from Wed., March 3 to Sat., March 6. The figuring skating folks have to be out by midnight Saturday. Maybe the Gophers can find a recruit there. Remember how the girl figure skater in one of the Mighty Ducks movies baffled the players on the evil team with her spins? Haven't seen one Gopher do a 360 this year, have you?
Schedule snafus actually influenced four of the eight two-game series at Mariucci this season and one of the two single home-game weekends with a nearby state team.
In case you forgot, here are the other game time adjustments:
* In late Oct., Alaska Anchorage played at Maroosh on Oct. 30 and then the Seawolves had a chance to go trick or treat on Halloween night. The second game of the series was 4 p.m. on Sunday. The no-shows outnumbered the fans because the Vikings were playing at Green Bay at 3:15 on TV.
Why the change? The Gophers were playing Michigan State in football at 7 p.m. Saturday night. Can't have a hockey game same night as football. Too many parking, traffic problems. These times and dates were set way early as were the particulars for the Wisconsin series.
* In mid-November, the Bemidji State series was played at 7:30 p.m. Sat. and 6 p.m. Sun.
Why? Tubby Smith and the roundballers had a basketball game at 7 p.m., Friday Nov. 13 against Tennessee Tech. Wish I had taped that one? What a matchup.
* On Sat., Jan. 23, Gophers played St. Cloud State at 5 p.m. at Maroosh so FSN could show the game as part of Hockey Day in Minnesota. The nightcap in prime time was the Wild vs. . This time change is the most excusable. The others, in isolation, aren't too offensive either.
But once you pile them on, one atop another ... they don't make too much sense in total unless you want to aggravate your season ticket buyers. Maybe that's it. Maybe the U wants to create some churn. The waiting list for season tickets is still in the thousands and there have been a lot of empty seats at some games,
Maybe the theory is: Get rid of some of the old season ticket buyers, who aren't showing up, and get some new ones who have been waiting for years and years. They will be anxious to come to games, no matter what time or date. They will make more noise, buy more concessions because they are so excited.
That's it. Or maybe the U hockey program just doesn't carry a lot of clout these days. It's been a while since the Gophers were riding high as back-to-back NCAA champions in 2002 and 2003. The golden rule these days has changed to what have you done for me lately?
P.S. I could get into the debacle of putting some Gophers games on KYCR radio, a neighborhood station at night, but that's good material for another blog rant.