In case you've missed the news, there's a "Save the Thrashers!" [Update: it's been renamed the "Tailgate Party Supporting Our ATLANTA Thrashers"] rally planned on Saturday, between noon and four down at the Gulch parking lot. It coincides with the official Select-a-Seat event for the season ticket holders brave enough to believe that the team will be here next season, so there should be some moderate turn out if those individuals come on down.
According to the Facebook invitation page, there're fewer than 100 people confirmed as coming. Editor-in-Chief around these parts Jason Kirk pointed out earlier that there's a Herman Cain rally scheduled for the same time in Centennial Olympic Park that would prevent the Thrashers' rally from being able to parade about.
Honestly, though, is the Herman Cain rally really going to be that big? Chances are good that the Thrashers fans will number more. We all love the Gulch - and the parking company that runs it is ok with beer, grills, and various and sundry cornhole games being set up, but it's not the prettiest backdrop for any sort of rally. It's an old train yard turned into a parking lot with an unattractive nickname for a reason. Photos of this won't be the sort of thing we'd want in the press, regardless of if there are 100 or 10,000 people there. It's bleak, and fairly unrepresentative of the city.
If the turnout isn't huge, we're going to get ridiculed. People will use it as proof that the fans here don't care - instead of the eleventy-BILLION fans that came out fifteen years ago for the "Save the Jets" rally; our relatively tiny turnout runs the risk of being laughed at.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it - I wasn't planning on going to the select-a-seat event since I'm content with my season ticket location for next year. The short notice, the location, and the fact that Atlanta weekend traffic with roadwork all could very well work together to make this a bust. I hope it's not - I want to see thousands down there with coolers of beer tailgating for our team - but the whole thing needs to be approached realistically. Realistically the location isn't the best, and a Facebook invite/Twitter campaign might not be the best way to get people to show. I hope I'm wrong and this is the biggest rally in Atlanta sports history, but somewhere I have a bad feeling about this.
At least there will be beer.
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