Curly=Perfect and Perfect=Curly

There’s plenty to talk about after the win over St. Louis, but I’m going to table all of that for just one second because there’s something that needs to be said first…

Yes we CAN go get some piping hot curly fries because The Perfect Human decreed it so with three pucks in the back of the net.

Operation: Curly Fries has come full circle and I can’t think of a better way for it to happen than Nicklas Lidstrom notching his first career hat trick. That said, it’s incredibly hard to believe he hadn’t gotten “tricky” before this, but I’m not one to question the cosmos. It’s fitting that Captain Nick is the first one to send you scrambling to your printers for a box score and to your nearest Arby’s for some curly fries. He’s truly a man of the people, and when the people speak, St. Nick listens. Christmas come early, if you will. Personally, I hope Nick drops down my chimney with a hot piping order of seasoned potato goodness and a bottle of my favorite whiskey, but we’ll save that discussion for another time.

Before we move along, be sure to snap some pictures of you picking up your curly fries tomorrow while wearing your TPL shirt of choice (I <3 Curly Fries is, of course, the preferred choice.) Don’t have one? Pick one up at The Production Line Store. Once you’ve grabbed your fries and taken your picture, send it to us at contact@theproductionline.us and we’ll post it up over on our Facebook page.

On with the recap…

FINAL SCORE (Hi Mr. P!!!)

Wings 5, Blues 2

Random Musings

The Wings got it done tonight, although not in the prettiest fashion. It was a rough and tumble game to be sure, and the Blues came out early looking like the had snuck into Mike Babcock’s personal study and stolen the magic defensive recipe out of one of the leather bound books that he keeps on the shelves, limiting the Wings to a paltry five shots in the opening stanza. The Wings looked confused, and Murph even said they were acting “frustrated” on the bench, making myself (and I’m guessing quite a few of you out there) wonder if the wheels were going to fall off yet again at home.

Which is just the thing this team needed.

I loved this game because it forced these guys out of their comfort zone a bit. After throwing 51 shots at Jonathan Quick the other night, it was refreshing to see the Wings have to come out there and pick their moments and capitalize on the chances that St. Louis left on the ice. None was bigger than Dan Cleary’s power play goal after David Backes found his way in a very ill-advised manner to the penalty box, and that’s what’s been missing from this team now for a few games. The Wings have this tendency to lay back and act like they’re going to overwhelm opponents with high shot counts and pure athletic excellence, which, quite frankly, has gotten them into sticky situations this year. I don’t know if St. Louis just frustrated them to the point that they got pissed off or what, but I’m certainly not complaining and I’m damn near thrilled to see them fight hard and gut one out, while making sure that the opportunities they were given were buried in the back of the net.

Now, we all know Lidstrom gets the spotlight tonight, but you have to tip your…cap (if you still have one on, I guess) to both Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary, who also had monster nights. Hank picked up 4 assists along the way, and Cleary nets the game winning goal, while picking up a pair of assists to boot. Zetterberg continues to play excellent hockey at both ends of the ice, and Cleary continues to show everyone what he can do when he’s fully healthy, rubbing my face in it at the same time… and I’m OK with that. If you would have told me that Buckets would be leading the team in scoring after 30 games, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. I’m thrilled to see his hard work and effort translate into gritty goals and pretty darn good all around play, and if some crow needs to be eaten along the way, I’m fine with it.

One last thing before we go tuck ourselves into bed with visions of curly fries dancing in our head. I know I’ve been all kinds of supportive of Jonny Ericsson over the past month or so, but there is no way he will ever shed the moniker of Riggy Shitbox after he put an icing touch-up in his own net. NO. WAY. As I said on Twitter, it was the quintessential Riggy Shitbox play. I literally facepalmed.

Enough hating. Nick wants YOU to go get some curly fries and enjoy a big win.

Curly Fries Bitches.

Curly Fries image courtesy of @sigsegfalt

Nicklas Lidstrom image courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Mission: Accomplished

Courtesy of our OCF Campaign Manager, @captnorris of The Winged Wheel

Congratulations, Red Wings Nation — you got ’em back!

The Production Line would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to Underground Printing, MSN, Fox Sports Detroit, Dana Wakiji, Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, Hunter PR, Doner Advertising, The Sporting News’ Sean Gentille, Sports Illustrated, and — of course — Arby’s Restaurant Group.

In addition, this absolutely would not have happened without all of the Retweets, #OperationCurlyFries hashtagging, blog posts, and tens of thousands of votes from all over the world. Thank you to everyone that made this happen!

Over the last few weeks, we’ve said everything that needs to be said. No more words. GO GET YOUR CURLY, FRIED GOODNESS!

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THE HISTORY OF OPERATION: CURLY FRIES

Bingo, Curly Fries!
British Submarines and Curly Fries
Sports Illustrated, with a Side of #operationcurlyfries
Operation: Curly Fries Update!
Go get your fries, Hockeytown
I had a dream
#OperationCurlyFries has a new campaign manager
Operation: Curly Fries Goes Global
TPL on Fox Sports Detroit

TPL on Fox Sports Detroit

Well, we wish the game would have been better… but it was a milestone night for The Production Line. The video above (captured and uploaded by our good friend Tyler of The Triple Deke) features Fox Sport Detroit’s John Keating talking about Operation: Curly Fries (for the first time, referring to it as such) and mentions TPL. We are now (local television sports broadcast) famous(ish)!

Only two more days to vote — head on over to Fox Sports’ site and vote Curly Fries!

Operation: Curly Fries Goes Global

Courtesy of our good friend @stevieroxelle

Anyone that knows anything about hockey knows that Hockeytown stretches far beyond Detroit’s city limits. We’re a proud bunch stationed all over the state, all over the nation, all over the world. You probably heard us cheering when the Wings scored in Anaheim and Los Angeles over the weekend. You’ve likely watched a relative home game played in Arizona.

Like all things Red Wing, Operation: Curly Fries has been embraced far and wide by patriots who seemingly only have a few things in common: an undying affection for the winged wheel, and love for the community no matter what zip code you call home. Wings Nation brotherhood was probably never felt more strongly than it was last March, when hundreds of us banded together to welcome a displaced wingnut to Motown after a long flight from Brazil.

Even though Arby’s promotion is generally only extended to Metro Detroit restaurants, that hasn’t stopped Red Wings fans all over the world from voting to correct an injustice. We’ve received tweets or e-mails of support from people in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

We’ve confirmed Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan have checked in and voted Fries.

Our favorite Brazilian has voted. Our favorite Norwegian has, too. So has Australia, Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Latvia, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.

I didn’t even know what Mauritania was until we found out they read the site, and count themselves among the Wings faithful.

Hell, even bloggers from other teams are pulling for us.

Fox Sports is behind us. Trevor Thompson made sure to mention he’s voting curly fries on the air. Sports Illustrated is behind usThe Sporting News is behind us:

Huge thanks to our good friend Sean Gentille at sportingnewstoday.com.

A very small percentage of those fine folks can actually cash in on curly fries if one of their beloved goes hatty. But each and every one of them wants the Detroit contingent to be able to cash in, because they know that’s what’s right.

Our campaign manager, CaptNorris at The Winged Wheel, has been doing an excellent job keeping track of which states are trending Curlies, and which are still under the veil of evil and darkness (and Nascar).

As you can see, the three of us that make up The Production Line won’t let our states falter. None of us call Michigan home anymore, though I’ll be spending Christmas with my folks. But that hasn’t deterred us from beginning this campaign. We knew which way the wind was blowing on this Curly Fries issue… and we took action. Because that’s what Red Wings fans do for each other. We bail each other out when we’re arrested for tossing Octopi, we wear orange hats to tribute a long-time fan, we scream Don’t Stop Believing so loudly that fans in every one of those countries listed above can hear it and know we’re singing for them, too.

We vote Curly Fries. Because that’s Red Wings fans want. You know who wants Junior Roast Beef?

Thanks to @sigsegfalt

After a tumultuous first 48 hours that saw our lead fluctuate from 97% to the fifties, Curly Fries are holding steady at 66%. This weekend saw the numbers begin to stabilize, moving only a few points – but staying between 65 and 70%. That doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. You need to continue voting. You should be voting right now, because you don’t know that Beefians aren’t hiding in the bushes.

Go ahead and click that link… we’ll still be here when you get back. And we’ll be here for a long time after that. Rest assured, Wings Nation, we won’t sleep until you get your Curly Fries back.

Thanks to @lolabythebay for the Twitpic

Go get your fries, Hockeytown

Photo courtesy of our good friend @sigsegfalt

Congratulations, Red Wings fans.

Arby’s, in all of their awesomeness, has heard your calls for justice — and they’re ready to return your curly fries IF they turn out to be preferred, after all. Thanks to Fox Sports Detroit (with this article from Dana Wakiji), Hunter Public Relations, and Arby’s Restaurant Group — there’s a VOTING PAGE up, that will live on Fox Sports. Go vote now. Go back and vote later. Vote several times.

The curly fries are within reach, Hockeytown. You can all smell them. Now go get them.

The winner will be announced live during The Big Chill outdoor game between Michigan and Michigan State.

We may have started the march, but each and every one of you that used the hashtag on Twitter — or commented on the Facebook page or TPL — or shared the link among friends — or sent us photos of Sports Illustrated — or represented with the shirt — or made their presence known on Operation: Curly Fries’ cavalry — made this happen. We’re just three random dudes with a phone number without your support, and we’re extremely proud to have had you behind this idea, and we’re thrilled to be the mouthpiece on such an important issue.

Yes, fans of other teams may mock us, or talk about “how rough things must be in Detroit.” But it wasn’t about that, and we all know it. It was about bandying together and getting back something that we’ve grown to love, as a community — and as hockey fans. Arby’s Curly Fries and Red Wings success go hand-in-hand. We love them both. And they’re almost back together again… where they belong.

—————————————————————————————

Let’s take a walk down memory lane… a visual history of the glorious awesomesauceness that has been Operation: Curly Fries.

Immediately following our initial Operation: Curly Fries post, we were fortunate enough to get the attention of Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski. He was totally behind our fight, and asked if we had a few minutes to chat. The result was this magnificent piece at Yahoo!’s hockey haven:

The hashtag #operationcurlyfries hits the big time — we received over 500 mentions in the first 24 hours, and well into multiple thousands over ten days.

Soon after, our t-shirt partner, Underground Printing, alerts us that we’ve sold a ton of Curly Fries t-shirt, proving further that the world wanted this injustice righted, and quick. Our goal of filling the Joe with 19,000 people sporting Curly Fries shirts was well on its way (for the purposes of this update, “well” means “one for every few hundred”).

Within days, we received that beautiful comic you see below — from our new friend Travis Ma at HockeyComics.com, who chose Operation: Curly Fries as the story he wanted to feature that week. Isn’t our little animated Wings fan adorable? All she wants is some curly fries, Emo Arby’s Guy. Don’t be a punk.

We got some traction AT the games, courtesy of our good friend @thetinnishflash:

We were lucky enough to get some recognition from Sports Illustrated, in a non-swimsuit issue (FOR NOW). Featured in the The Strike Zone, part of the Scorecard section, of the December 6th issue of SI. You can see the OCF mention in this Twitpic from Friend of TPL @Scott_Sabo:

We have ended up having a pretty solid relationship with Arby’s. We sent all of these photos and benchmarks to Arby’s as they came in. They thought they were all fantastic — and loved how emotional Red Wings fans had gotten over their delicious potato snacks. If it was just a silly endeavor, we would have gotten nowhere fast. But it wasn’t. It was something bigger. It was a beautiful, entertaining, community-building exercise that had the outcome we all hoped for and deserved.

Go get your curly fries, Wings Nation. You’ve just about earned them.

Operation: Curly Fries Update!

Big news to pass along real quick this afternoon…

Without giving anything away, The Production Line would like to announce that there have been major developments in Red Wings Nation’s fight to get their curly fries back. Arby’s has been wonderful to work with — we’ve really enjoyed making friends with such a delicious restaurant.

That said… stay tuned to Fox Sports Detroit. There’s a very important post that will be going up today or tomorrow that needs your attention. We’ll link to it as soon as we can, but we wanted to give TPL’s readers a quick head’s up. We’ve got a little bit of traction, and there is another step that is going to need every last one of you to contribute.

STAY TUNED. More to come as soon as we get it…

Cyber Monday!

Now that you’ve polished off the Thanksgiving leftovers and already promised yourself that you’ll hit the gym for every single day leading up to Christmas, it’s time to take part in the final time-honored, post-Thanksgiving tradition that’s left…

Spending money.

If you head on over to the TPL Store today, you’ll be treated to 25% savings on all of the shirts. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a Shirtuzzi for that special someone, or maybe even score yourself a Curly Fries shirt in support of Operation CF. At any rate, UGP is hooking it up for you, so head on over and score some of that sweet TPL swag.

Bingo, Curly Fries!

By now, you’ve heard the horrible news. The Detroit Red Wings’ fast food partner, Arby’s, has changed their special giveaway if a Red Wing nets a hat trick. Deviating from their classic and awesome Curly Fries, they’ve begun offering something called a Small Roast Beef Sandwich should a Winged Wheeler put their third puck in the back of the net.

Friends, this cannot stand.

Make no mistake — I’ve got no beef with the beef. In fact, those sandwiches are delicious. But there is a series of good reasons why we should band together and demand that the deal revert to its natural state: one in which Red Wings fans all over the nation get their delicious, deep-fried curlies the morning after an emotional offensive display. This campaign has absolutely nothing to do with The Production Line Store’s Curly Fries t-shirt, because it’s a well-known fact that each and every one of you have at least t-shirt in your wardrobe that’s deemed “vintage” or “classic” and — therefore — much cooler than the rest of your outfit-completing crew necks.

No. It goes deeper much than that.

First, Exhibit A. Take the following video as an example (hat tip to @bradonweb for passing along the video when we needed it most).

Hearing Mickey say “He’s thinking Small Roast Beef Sandwich” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “He’s thinking Curly Fries!” Likewise, “BINGO! SMALL ROAST BEEF SANDWICH” is very much the antithesis of the excitement every last one of us felt when we heard “BINGO! CURLY FRIES!”

Coupled with the fact that “Curly Fries” have become synonymous among Red Wings fans with dynamic scoring displays, and you’ve got a hell of an argument to keep Fries the Fast Food Face of the Franchise.

Exhibit B has more to do with frequency than urgency. In the past three seasons, there have only been THREE Red Wing hat tricks: the pictured Zetteronslaught of the Ducks last November, a three goal effort from Z in Game 2 of the Phoenix series last season, and a four-goal jailsexing of the Sharks at the hands of Johan Franzen this past May.

I’m sure Arby’s has a good reason to have changed their Hat Trick giveaway. And I’m sure it has something to do with money. Perhaps it’s cheaper to give away a Small Roast Beef Sandwich than it is to give away Curly Fries. Perhaps they’re hoping people will try a Sandwich and make Arby’s their meal of choice when they’ve only got a few minutes. My question to them is this: is it worth the extra few cents when it’s only been utilized three times — and your target audience is a little bit annoyed that they can’t get curly fries? I’m willing to bet a Curly Fries shirt that they simply don’t know people have noticed things have changed…

Exhibit C is courtesy of my wife, a noted vegetarian and the designer of more than one of the TPL Store’s trademark shirts — including Curly Fries. She caught wind of the changing Arby’s landscape during the last telecast and offered this: “I’m pissed. As a vegetarian, I’d much rather get my hands on some curly fries than dead animal flesh.”

I looked up from my juicy t-bone steak, which was topped with chicken wings and bacon, and realized that she had a point. Vegetarians and vegans may not make up a large percentage of Wings fans, but they’re there nonetheless, and they’re not rooting any less hard than the rest of us (though their lack of protein may prevent them from rooting AS LONG). They deserve to be rewarded by the Henrik Zetterbergs, Johan Franzens, and Pavel Datsyuks of the world just as the rest of us do.

So join us. Join us in the comments. Join us on “The Twitter” (using the hashtag #OperationCurlyFries). Join us on Facebook. Join us in spirit. Join us in legion. If we get 100 comments, we WILL bring this to Arby’s attention and be the mouthpiece for Red Wings Nation, fighting to get your Curly Fries back. Let us know how you feel and if it’s worth the effort.

Why now? Because we’re getting close… the Wings have had a few two-goal efforts lately, and we can all smell it. And, if I’m not mistaken, 100% of us are smelling curly fries.

Operation: Curly Fries.

***UPDATE***

From our good friend @lolabythebay, comes this wonderful photographic proof that we, as Red Wings, do in fact ADORE our curly fries following a hat trick. In this case, Franzen’s four goal playoff performance: