Showing posts with label iowa chops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label iowa chops. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chops Broiled in Iowa

One and done... to a crisp.

The American Hockey League has announced that the Iowa Chops -- rebranded to much fanfare one year ago today -- have been "involuntarily suspended" by the league based on an inability "to remedy certain violations of the provisions of the league’s Constitution and By-Laws." The Des Moines Register has more on the story...

"[AHL President and CEO Dave] Andrews declined to cite the specific violation, but the Des Moines Register reported last month that the club had used the franchise as collateral to obtain a loan in March 2008 from a North Carolina branch of Wachovia Bank. Records obtained from Polk County have disclosed the loan amounted to $1.99 million and was used to cover operating costs.Andrews has said such loans are not permitted under league rules."

The suspension ends any hope of a 2009-2010 Chops season in the AHL. Talk about your troubled franchises. They started operations as the Iowa Stars in 2005-2006 (transplanted from Louisville, where they were the "Panthers," an affiliate of the Florida Panthers). Since moving to Iowa, the Stars (which became the "Chops" this past year) have had affiliations with the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, and Anaheim Ducks, the last of these ending this past May. When the new name was announced last July, team owner Kirby Schlegel noted that the new name "perfectly represents our vision of the new team... It illustrates Iowa’s agricultural heritage while also playing into the definition of ‘chops’, having nerve, resilience and staying power." Staying power appears to be one year, absent any corrective measures to restore the franchise to normal business operations.

It makes a Caps fan (not to mention a Hershey Bears fan) thankful for the stability and tradition a couple of hours up the road.

Perhaps as a function of the Iowa situation, the AHL is realigning its divisions. The new alignment has this look...

According to the AHL, Hershey will play the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 12 times in the 2009-2010 season. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt.

Friday, July 25, 2008


This is not a “Bill Veeck” moment in sports marketing. For you young folk out there, Bill Veeck was perhaps the greatest genius in the history of marketing a sports franchise. The man behind the exploding scoreboard, names on the backs of jerseys, fan appreciation nights (he was the first to employ all of these) is a legend in baseball for his imaginative approach to marketing his teams.

Enter the AHL's Iowa Chops (formerly, “Stars”). Having recently changed their team name, colors, and mascot to ‘illustrate Iowa’s agricultural heritage while also playing into the definition of ‘chops’, having nerve, resilience and staying power,” the Chops have turned down another road…

…signing Brett Favre.

That’s right, Chops’ President Steve Nitzel announced that the team “contacted and will be sending a contract to Brett Favre’s agent…in hopes that the quarterback will consider signing with the Iowa Chops.”

We don’t know if Favre can skate or if he knows a hockey puck from a cement truck. Perhaps having once played for a club whose history is rooted in the meat packing industry (hence the name, “Packers”), Favre is a natural fit for a team with a porcine theme.

Perhaps Favre, who is the all-time NFL leader in pass attempts (8,758, for those who are interested) will make people forget Sidney Crosby as the best passer in professional hockey.

He has the NFL record for most consecutive games with touchdown passes (47), more than twice as long as the NHL record for consecutive games with an assist (23, Wayne Gretzky).

Then again, this seems like one of those “what the $#@&” moments…Favre – born in Gulfport, Mississippi, and who played most of his legendary career in Wisconsin, has no obvious tie to Iowa, hockey, or pigs for that matter (excuse me, “vicious boars,” according to the press release announcing the name change).

Since Favre has spent his athletic life hunched over behind a center, the Chops might think about someone to play that position, too…

…we hear Mats Sundin is still unsigned.