Sportress of Blogitude

Knowing Your Target Audience: NHL Tabs Clay Aiken To Perform At All-Star Game

Whenever I participate in word association exercises – which I do quite frequently (it’s part of my court-ordered psychotherapy) – the phrase “ice hockey” comes up often (my therapist is Don Cherry, for some unknown reason – he’s not even a licensed psychoanalyst, for Pete’s sake! ).

Parenthetical pauses and hyphenated side thoughts aside, when the term “ice hockey” is mentioned during word association exercises, I always reply in the same fashion: 1) Ice; 2) Hockey. Then Cherry tells me I must be some kind of Eurotrash punk because I keep using words that are in the phrase and that’s not how good boys from Canada play word association. So, once I stop crying, my reply to what word the phrase “ice hockey” reminds me of, I invariably respond, “Clay Aiken.”

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that none other than 2003 American Idol runner-up and Raliegh’s very own Clay Aiken will be singing the National Anthem before the 2011 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday at Carolina Hurricane’s RBC Center in his hometown.

Via USA Today:

“We all rally behind the home team,” says Aiken, a native of Raleigh, N.C., where the game will be held. Raleigh got the team, which had been the Hartford Whalers in 1997, and the team won the Stanley Cup in 2006. “I don’t think anybody in Raleigh knew much about hockey until the Hurricanes came to town, but now everybody has learned to love it.”

Sounds grand. And from what I can gather, this won’t be Aiken’s first rodeo, as I am deducing that he was singing the National Anthem in the above photo prior to a Carolina Hurricanes game. And what Aiken says is true about Hurricanes fans and the town of Raliegh at large: they love their hockey. So much so, in fact, that the city is so excited about the 2011 NHL All-Star Game being in Raleigh that it has spurned new growth and construction in the North Carolina town:

“We built a brand-new airport [terminal],” he says. “It specifically opened Sunday to be ready for the all-star game. They’ve put as much energy as they can into this event.”

A new terminal, you say? Wow, that is huge. Good for you, Raliegh-ians. And good for the fine city of Raliegh. Oh, and Clay Aiken. Don’t blow it, Clay, and let down that huge cross section that exists within the subset of fans who are NHL fans as well as Claymates! Oh, and in case you are wondering, The Canadian Tenors will perform the Canadian national anthem and 3 Doors Down will “perform” during the first period intermission. Killer, dude.

Clay Aiken to sing national anthem at NHL All-Star Game [USA Today]