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An Open Letter to Predators Ownership: #WeWantKlaw

Adam Markowitz
Monday March 16, 2015


An Open Letter to Predators Ownership,

When you bought the Orlando Predators, we, the fans, couldn't have been happier that you rescued our franchise from the doldrums of league ownership and potential financial ruin. We also appreciate the fact that you are keeping us in the know of all things happening in relation to the Predators family.

We are writing you this letter today to inform you that, after lengthy discussion in and amongst ourselves, we are unable to support you in your decision to not have KLAW continue with the team.

In a short period of time, you may have rescued this team, but you are apparently ready to cut ties with the most iconic man in franchise history as well. You have been in charge of the Predators for around eight months. KLAW has been here for 21 years. Many of us have been here just as long, if not even longer than that.

You may have negotiated the move back to the Amway Center, but with that promise, we thoroughly expect that we are going to get back some of the features that made a Predators game fun for us all. We want pyro. We want to rock and roll all night. We want to fight for our right to party. And most importantly, we want our mascot.

Please understand that we take this issue seriously and understand that you have a business to run. We know that we aren't writing the checks, but we also know that you don't know what it's like to be a Predators fan for the last two and a half decades either like many of us do.

Rest assured that we are going to be making signs in support of our dearest KLAW and chanting that we want him at our games. We will boo any future mascot that you put on the field – and if you don't believe us, go back to 2000 watch the tapes of what happened when the team decided to put a mascot on the field that looked like a cat with a red mop on its head instead of KLAW; we booed the heck out of that thing until we got our one and only mascot back. Don't be overly surprised when #WeWantKlaw is trending on Twitter in the Orlando area either.

Our goal when we buy tickets to see our Predators play is that we have an exciting fan experience. Part of that exciting fan experience is seeing the man in the KLAW costume. He's always there to take pictures or scribble his name on the various memorabilia (which, by the way, we purchase in order to help you keep paying the bills), and heck, he's the only mascot on the face of the earth who will actually talk to you as well. Some of the most exciting moments of the AFL experience in Orlando is watching KLAW ride into the arena on a motorcycle, seeing him come down from the roof, or carrying that staff which shoots fireworks. Simply put, it isn't going to be the same without him.

It is important to us to see our mascot when we are out in the community as well. KLAW has done that for more than two decades, whether it be at appearances to raise money for charity, at events like the mascot games, or just out promoting the team around town at various events. The average Joe in Orlando has no idea who Bernard Morris is or who Rob Keefe is, and they probably couldn't pick David Siegel out of a lineup either. However, KLAW is iconic, more so than any other mascot in this league or in this city. You know when you've got that scary mug with the yellow eyes staring at you that you're looking at the one true Orlando Predator.

We have made numerous attempts during the last few days to persuade you to reconsider your stance with KLAW. Consider this another effort. And in fact, if you want even more proof that we love our mascot, look at this photo album which we, the fans have put together in support of KLAW as well.

Therefore, since we are members of the Orlando Predators family, we are willing to listen to your different solution. We will engage in your Official Fan Council & Advisory Board to help provide our input as well as open communication between us and the team. However, our voice will continue to be summarized in one nice, neat little hashtag on Twitter and one chant at our games.

#WeWantKlaw

We have tremendous respect for you and your ownership of this team, but this is not respecting the tradition of the Orlando Predators.

Best,
Adam Markowitz and the fans of the Orlando Predators


 
Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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