Monthly Archives: February 2012

Steelhawk Named IFL Defensive Player of the Week!

Defensive Back Records 6 total tackles, One INT, One Fumble Recovery, and a Defensive TD

Bethlehem, PA: In release made today, the league office of the Indoor Football League announced that Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Defensive Back Marvin Johnson was selected as the Week One VidSwap.com Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the team’s opening week 30-28 victory over the Chicago Slaughter.

Johnson becomes the first Steelhawks player this season to be awarded for his on field performance. . The former Oregon Duck was all over the field in his very first professional game. In the opening quarter, Johnson recovered a blocked field goal and raced 25 yards into the endzone for the teams first score of 2012. Later in the game, he intercepted a key Perry Patterson pass in his own endzone which turned the momentum of the contest. On top of all that, he also recorded another fumble recovery and six tackles on the night. Look for Johnson to once again be a force in the secondary as the Steelhawks take on the Cedar Rapids Titans in Iowa. Fans interested in watching the game can log onto http://www.b2livetv.com and stream the game live. Game time is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST.

The league also announced that Sioux Falls Storm Quarterback Chris Dixon and Allen Wranglers Kick Returner Frankie Solomon Jr. were selected as the Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week respectively.

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Two Flyers to Print and Use

From our Lehigh Valley Rollergirls:

Help out the Rollergirls

From our Lehigh Valley Steelhawks:

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IronPig Movie Release Date

Last week a friend asked if I knew when the PBS 39 documentary on the IronPigs would be released. Tonight I got an answer. When I asked for a description of how the movie turned out I was told this:

“It’s a love story. The love shared between the team and the fans”

You saw the film crews all over Coca Cola Park last season. Interviewing fans, catching the action on and off the field and following our beloved players into the finals. Their hard work will culminate in a movie release party… or so the word on the street say it will.

What I got is that the day before Opening Day (April 5th) and the day after the exhibition (April 3rd in Reading) that the IronPigs will open the gates to The Coke for an IronPig documentary viewing party. There is also supposed to be an opportunity to watch the team work out at the park on this day as well.

Granted, this probably won’t be a free, thank you for being a loyal customer, day. Expect a nominal charge that will be put towards IronPig’s Charities. They help kids in the community so who could complain about that? (Yeah, I know there are some out there but don’t complain here) I am an avid supporter of and absolutely love IronPig’s charities for what they do. That aside, I’d guess around $5.

Again, this hasn’t been confirmed but I believe the person who told me.

One thing to keep an eye on until April 4th is the PBS 39 website. We can expect a teaser/preview segment to be posted there soon. Another good place to watch for announcements is the PBS 39 Facebook page.

I have to say I enjoy PBS programming a lot. It should be supported as well.

Many thanks goes out to those involved in the making of this documentary for their hard work and tireless efforts to document how fans can support a local team.

OinK!

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Looking Back – As The Bacon Turns – Video

Some memories from the 2008 season..

(no sound)

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An Open Letter to the Brooks Group

Jim and Rob Brooks—of the Brooks Group from Pittsburgh–are the owners and partners of the group that will bring AHL Hockey to Allentown.  From accounts that I’ve read, they have received a favorable lease agreement which should allow them to be successful.  I’ve chosen not to comment on the propriety of the arena project, the choice of location, and the tax scheme used to finance it.  I didn’t get a say in these decisions (nor a vote) and what’s done is done.  At this point, I can only cheer for success—failure won’t help anyone.  The rising tide floats all boats, as they say.   Based on my recent hockey “research” (I’m not a REAL hockey fan, yet)—and my experience as an IronPigs season ticket holder (2009-2014)—I offer the following letter:

 

Dear Jim and Rob,

Thank you for your plan to bring AHL hockey to the Lehigh Valley.  Given the success of the IronPigs and the proximity to Philadelphia, along with the favorable nature of your deal, I have confidence that you will be successful in this endeavor.  However, given the advantages that you’ve been granted, it is my opinion that all of the Lehigh Valley—maybe even all of Pennsylvania—and not just Allentown, have a stake in your success.  Given that stake, as a fan of professional sports and a potential season ticket holder, I offer the following “DO’s” and “DON’Ts” to assist you. I understand that you did not ask for this advice, but that’s never stopped me before.

DO:                 Invest in parking and travel solutions.  This includes space, instruction, staff, publicity, planning, and anything else that’s needed.  Consider buying or renting busses to help shuttle groups if necessary.  Consider a valet option.  I’m serious about this.  Your detractors have already decided that this is going to be a failure, so my suggestion is to over-compensate with solutions, and publicize them every chance you get from now until after the end of the 2013-2014 hockey season.  You cannot risk growing pains here.  The IronPigs had some early difficulty, but were able to overcome it.  Even if it’s ‘not that bad’ many will perceive it to be bad simply based on this preconception. 

DON’T:           Count on concerts to fill the arena.  I’m sure you’ll get some, but with the area festivals (Musikfest, Allentown Fair, Mayfair) and other venues (Sands/ArtsQuest, State Theater, Stabler, even Penn’s Peak) you’ll have plenty of competition for acts.

DO:                 Consider a sports co-tenant.  I suggest MILS if the Steelhawks are not amenable to a move from Stabler.  Soccer is huge in this area for the youth.  Youth teams will provide an excellent source of group revenue.  I believe Syracuse is able to host both MILS and AHL at the same facility.  Erie hosts UIFL Football, OHL Hockey, and NBA-D-league basketball.  I guess lacrosse (Wilkes Barre – Scranton has it) would be my last choice, as the market is probably smallest.

DO:                 Make sure it’s NICE.  Nothing will kill this thing faster than if it feels cheap or poorly done—even if you do master the parking problem.  There will be a curiosity factor, but folks aren’t going to make a second trip downtown unless they feel comfortable.  This includes the parking and driving above, but also the appearance and comfort of everything from the seats to the restrooms and every amenity in between.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Coca Cola Park won ballpark design awards as well as set attendance records.  The two are related.  Just ask the Yankees, who are taking the whole year to remodel PNC in Moosic.

DON’T:           Skimp on the A/V.  Technology is moving quickly.  Whatever you buy will be obsolete soon.  But, you won’t want to replace it right away, either.  Go ahead and get the biggest video board(s) you can afford, as well as the best sound system.  Overspend here. It will pay off in the end. 

DO:                 Keep it family friendly.  I’ll probably be there anyway, but my whole crew isn’t trekking down there for games if we’re not comfortable and having fun both in and out of the arena.  Something about the way Reading did it was more kid-friendly compared with WB-Scranton.

DON’T:           Lose the Philadelphia connection.  Based on the number of Flyers jerseys that I saw in Reading—and despite my own affinity for the Penguins—the built-in number of Philadelphia hockey fans will provide you with a nice base right off the bat. 

DO:                 Get in touch with the AHL about realignment.  They won’t respond to my emails, but I’m sure you can see that as many games as possible with WB-S/Hershey/Binghamton will drive attendance as well as save on travel expenses.

DON’T:           Neglect the concessions.  A wide variety of choices will keep folks coming back to eat and drink as well as to enjoy the hockey experience.  Plus it’s a nice way to make a few bucks, too, eh?

DO:                 Dedicate extra staff to group sales.  Group sales is what really fills the park every night for baseball.  Don’t neglect it if you want the seats full.  This is also how you attract the casual fan, and convert him/her into repeat customers as well as season ticket holders.  This is also a way to assure prove the safety of the neighborhood and the ease of travel and parking.

DO:                 Consider conventions and meetings as a method of using the facility, if appropriate.

DON’T:           Worry about the vuvuzelas.  Let ‘em in from the beginning and people will be used to them.  Works in Reading. 

In closing, I’d just like to say, “Take care of the fans, and the fans will take care of you.”

Kindest regards,

Kram(section TBD)

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More on Steelhawks Win – 2/26/2012

Bethlehem, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, intent on setting a new tone in 2012, did just that in their season opener yesterday in the Windy City as they defeated the Chicago Slaughter by a score of 30-28. The victory gives the Steelhawks the franchise’s first winning record in team history at 1-0 and sets the tone for the rest of the 2012 season.

The Slaughter came into the game at 1-0 after defeating the Bloomington Edge 54-30 in the IFL’s kickoff classic last weekend, and hoped to once again put the first points of the game on the board. The Steelhawks Defense had other plans, as Chris Medina exploded up the middle on a field goal attempt by Chicago’s Chris Nendick and blocked the kick. Former Oregon Duck Marvin Johnson was there to then scoop up the loose ball and race into the endzone for the game’s first score.

Chicago was able to answer back on a Perry Patterson to Ernest Jackson touchdown to know the score at seven a piece. The Steelhawks regained the lead on the following possession courtesy of a John Halman 33 yard field goal.

A second Ernest Jackson Tocuhdown gave the Slaughter their first lead 14-10, but new Steelhawks Quarterback Dixie Wooten was able to march the team right back down the field, culminating in a passing touchdown to Wide Receiver Aaron Higdon to start off the second quarter. On the Slaughter’s next possession, Cornerback and Lehigh University product John Kennedy III intercepted a Perry Patterson pass in the endzone and returned it 39 yards to set up excellent field position with a minute remaining in the half. Wooten was able to once again capitalize, hitting WR Jeff Willis for a score to go up 24-14. Patterson responded quickly before the half on a TD to Daniel Dufrene to make the score 24-21.

“It was an exciting, back and forth battle in that first half,” stated Head Coach Chris Thompson. “We made some mistakes and were able to shake some of the jitters inside the locker room. I can’t say enough about how our guys all rallied around each other. We have a tight knit group here.”

Coming out of the half, the Steelhawks were able to force yet another turnover as Linebacker Sam Maxwell stripped Tony Taylor after a ten yard gain, which was recovered by Marvin Johnson. The ‘hawks then went back to the running game with Veteran Ryan Leafey. On 4th and 2 from the Steelhawks own 13 yard line, Leafey found a gaping hole and took it to the house for a 37 yard touchdown. He finished the evening with 68 yards rushing on ten carries for an average of 6.8 yard per attempt.

The Steelhawks defense took over the rest of the game, often causing the Slaughter to go three and out on three possessions. A late Jackson touchdown score allowed them to get within two points with under one minute to play, but the Slaughter were unsuccessful on an onsides kick attempt and the Steelhawks were able to run out the clock to seal their first victory.

The team will return to the Lehigh Valley for a few days of practice before heading out to face the Cedar Rapids Titans next Saturday, March 3rd, in Iowa. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. (CST). For those who wish to view the game online, please visit http://www.b2livetv.com and look up the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks under the “TEAMS” Section. Fans unable to watch the games live can purchase a season viewing pass. Steelhawks 2012 home games will be broadcast live on Service Electric TV2 Sports.

The Steelhawks return to the Lehigh Valley for their Home Opener, on Sunday, March 11th at 4 p.m. to square off against the Bloomington Edge. Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased by calling the Steelhawks front office at 610-282-3100, via the Steelhawks Website (www.lvsteelhawks.com), or by visiting the Stabler Arena Box Office at 124 Goodman in Bethlehem. For further information on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks please contact Executive Vice President Mike Clark at 610-282-3100.

Season ticket packages, starting as low as $8 per game, are still available but great seats are limited so reserve your seats close to the action and call the team’s front office at 610-282-3100. Don’t miss out on the fun and exciting atmosphere that is Steelhawks Professional Indoor Football!

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Steelhawks Take Down Slaughter in Season Opener!

Our Steelhawks made a statement to the league tonight defeating the Chicago Slaughter by a final score of 31-28!

I was able to watch the game online (with a lot of help from Ron) and the team looked great. More details to come tomorrow…

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