What’s New Pussycat?

This week Paul Balm considers if there’s an information overload.

I said a few weeks ago that I gave up appearing on Cat’s Whiskers TV because I no longer had anything to say and therefore it was better to shut up. It was, quite rightly, pointed out to me that for someone who thought they had nothing to say I was still making quite a lot of noise. I was bang to rights & I had to hold my hands up. I knew what I meant when I said it and maybe that didn’t come across the way I wanted it to do but the real fact was that I shouldn’t have written it down. I could think it but as soon as I put it out there I left myself open to the ridicule I got. That’s a lesson that a few other people could learn.

This article is going to sound like a bit of Panthers bashing (which I know some of you reading this will enjoy) but I want to say upfront that they’re not the only people who do a lot of the things I’m going to moan about it’s just that, being a Panthers supporter, I see more of their examples than anyone else.

You might have seen the news (and I use the term loosely) on the official website this morning that the office has had loads of compliments about our newly refurbished mascot. At the same time another article was posted saying that we have no more injuries (which sort of begs the question do we only get injuries when we win but I’ll save that for another week). One of these is worth posting, the other isn’t. Would it have not made more sense to amalgamate the two into one so it read like “There’s no new injuries to report after the weekend and the fans seem to like the new mascot”? It’s a bit of a leap but surely it would work. There are times when less is more (I know, I know, mainly when I’m writing these articles). We don’t constantly need bombarding with tales of this that and the other that simply re-iterate the same information each time.

We know the Nottingham Panthers exist, we know who they are and what they do so I’m at a bit of a loss as to what the constant barrage of “information” achieves. Yes, I appreciate that there will be people who lap it all up, who hang on every word that anyone from Gary Moran to the “club spokeswoman” to which ever player gets cornered in the office to tell us all that it’s a big week ahead (and what else do we really expect them to say? To be honest Gary I’m going to coast this week because I think we’ll win easy”?) but there comes a point where there’s just too much information and repetition. And for me that point was reached this morning.

On the flip side you can’t deny that somewhere, some of this is working. Crowds are up (and down during play mostly) this season so the message is getting out there and the website is an extremely valuable tool if used properly and I’m not entirely sure it is.

Of course, they’re not going to turn round and say “Oops looks like we dropped the ball (puck?) with the all new jaundiced Paws” are they? There’s a big difference between putting out vapid news items and putting out negative information. I wouldn’t expect the team to do that but maybe sometimes it’s better so say nothing instead. But then again maybe I’m the one that’s jaundiced, I don’t know. Anyway, it’s only a man in a suit, I don’t get what all the fuss is about.

Fortunately, not every story out there on the internet is a waste of time. I wrote last week about how the hockey community in this country came together ten years ago to help others and we saw another wonderful example at the weekend. It was truly heart-warming to see the way the idea of a minute’s applause for Amy Usher blossomed from a suggestion from a single fan on social media into what we saw at the weekend both at the NIC and across the Elite League. It just proves to me again that underneath the rivalries, the team shirts and the petty squabbles we’re all the same.

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