Keepers of the carpet
Stepping on a team's logo is a no-no in locker rooms
Posted: Friday May 18, 2007 1:38PM; Updated: Friday May 18, 2007 3:41PM
OTTAWA - Among the myriad jobs of Erin the Intern, the most noticeable one is guardian of the logo.
She stands sentry after practices and games, guarding the team logo that has been imprinted in the Ottawa Senators' dressing room. When the media hordes descend, notepads and tape recorders and cameras at the ready to record the innermost thoughts of Antoine Vermette, Erin the Intern has to steer them around the centurion character in the middle of the room.
Now, my feeling is this: if you don't want somebody to step on something, you probably shouldn't put it on the floor.
But obviously a lot of teams feel differently. Maybe the sanctity of the logo has been around since Gordie Howe cut his baby teeth, but I really became aware of the no fly/no step zone with the Tampa Bay Lightning during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2004. Dave Andreychuk, team captain, had the bright idea to institute the carpet rule for a franchise that had spent most of its history lacking goaltending, defense, scoring and, yes, pride. Indeed, during the Cup final against the Calgary Flames, the Lightning assigned one of the arena security people, a nice enough fellow who was considerably older and beefier than Erin, to shoo people away from the middle of the room and, indirectly, closer to the players in their stalls.
Since then, the idea has spread like crazy. The Los Angeles Kings don't allow anyone to walk on their logo even at their practice rink in El Segundo.
Not every team views the carpet logo with the same fervor. The Detroit Red Wings, who lead the modern-day Senators, Lightning and Kings in combined Stanley Cups by 10-1, have no ban on feet treading on the famous winged wheel. Running Tomas Holmstrom's face into the glass might rile the Red Wings, but they basically shrug when the room is opened to the people who chronicle their achievements. This strikes me as remarkably mature, but then I make sure I wipe my feet before I enter a dressing room.
So there are two schools of thought on this. For some teams, the logo on the floor is something worthy of reverence. For me, it's broadloom.