Circle the Zambonis!

That Canadian mishap? It wasn't us, declares the legendary ice machine-maker

Published February 16, 2010 10:57PM (EST)

Ah, the perils of branding success. The Zamboni Company, that legendary manufacturer of ice resurfacing machines so beloved by hockey announcers, was forced by the ongoing ice follies at the Winter Olympic Games to release a statement on Tuesday announcing that it was not responsible for the fiasco in which several speed-skating events were delayed because of multiple ice resurfacing mechanical failures.

A few media outlets have published inaccurate information regarding those machines, associating the Zamboni brand name with the malfunctioning ice resurfacers.

While it is unfortunate that there was an interruption to the Winter Olympic events, please note: the resurfacers which were on the ice during those events were not Zamboni brand ice resurfacers and should not be referred to as "Zamboni machines".

A quick Google search indicates at least one ESPN news report referring to a broken Zamboni machine and a New York Times item quoting an American speed-skater saying "Three Zambonis... That's a world record."

Since, like many Americans, I first encountered  the marvelous machines of Zamboni via the comic strip "Peanuts," my first thought was that somewhere Charles Schultz is smiling. What greater tribute could there be to all-conquering Zamboni magnificence than the near-universal assumption that all ice-resurfacing machines, everywhere, start with the letter Z and rhyme with macaroni?

My advice to the manufacturer? Enjoy your branding world domination. But when danger threatens? Just follow the lead of  Snoopy:

"As the world-famous hockey coach, what do you do when the other team attacks?"

"Circle the Zambonis!"

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

How The World Works Winter Olympics Winter Olympics 2010