NWHL. Nashville. All Star.
The 2019 All-Star is match made in absolute heaven for so many reasons. As both a fan of country music and a fan of hockey, it’s an exciting prospect to see things I love come into the same place.
So what would be the some of the ideal things that would make me deliriously happy to see incorporated into this year’s All Star game, if I had my way (aside from seeing all my favorite Riveters chosen, of course)?
Isobel At the Opry
One of the large reasons I wanted to see the Predators win the Stanley Cup two seasons ago was to see the Cup at the Grand Ole’ Opry. Stanley. Opry. An iconic trophy at an iconic venue.
But my heart would burst to see Isobel in that venue. Isobel has some history of her own, and she’s become even more of a beacon as discussions of mergers continue to occur. Isobel at the Opry would mean she’d be celebrated, and accepted, in a way that only Nashville can. How could we make that happen? A concert? A celebration? Who knows. Either way, it would be a wonderful thing to see.
Celebrating Female Country Artists
Right now there’s a growing movement in Nashville opposing mainstream country radio’s inability to play female artists with any regularity. Tons of artists aren’t getting the airplay they deserve for so many different reasons.
Artists like Delta Rae, Lindsay Ell, Maggie Rose, Jillian Jacqueline, Kacey Musgraves (who went ice skating on her first date with now husband Rushton Kelly), Carly Pearce, Lucie Silvas and Amanda Shires (who both appeared as part of a voting party organized by Maren Morris) and as well as Mickey Guyton, Nefesh Mountain, and many others would be wonderful additions to the NWHL lineup. Maybe a concert in conjunction with the skills competition?
Maybe a night at the Opry the night before? Maybe even special theme songs written or performed for the teams. Who knows. The list of ideas grows and grows…
But the bottom line is that tapping into this movement in some way would be a wonderful thing for the NWHL to do if they could manage it. And if not singers, there are a few Nashville broadcasters who are doing amazing things to bring light to this disparity.
One of my favorites is Elaina D Smith, a broadcaster with NASH-FM. Her podcast is a series of up close interviews with female artists at all levels, most notably a fascinating and revealing conversation with Maren Morris (who might also be great person to see involved if possible). The idea of listening to Elaina talk with Blake Bolden, Michelle Picard, or other NWHL All-Stars is kinda fantastic.
Even if a night at the Opry or concert doesn’t happen, getting tickets to the right people would be amazing. The last time Nashville hosted an All Star Game, Celebrity Captains sat on the benches with the teams, wishing them luck. Long time Predators fans Amy Grant and Trisha Yearwood might be interested in such a thing. And maybe Trisha might be interested in having a few of the All Stars on her cooking show; heck, she’s had Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg on her show already.
And even if they don’t manage to have a concert, one of the newer singers listed above should be doing something during the intermission.
Puckdrop? PK Subban of course, with or without Lindsay Vonn. And if they’re not up for it, maybe ask Cassidy Black, a marathoner who just happens to be diehard Preds fan and multi award winner Dierks Bentley’s wife.
Okay okay okay. Yes. All of these things would be wonderful to see. But they’re dreams, ideas. And if even one of them gets put into motion along with the basics — things like accessible merchandise, involvement of the local girls hockey league, broadcasting the game in ways that people across the country can see — I’d be over the moon.