“Change changing places
Root yourself to the ground…”
The Phantoms lost to the Albany Devils last night, 2-1. It felt eerily familiar.
Let me take you back to 2008: Politicians and business-people alike were thrilled and amazed by the gorgeous new baseball stadium. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house, and we had affiliated baseball for the first time since the early ’60s. The Phillies even came up to get a practice game in.
Then, the season started. 11 straight losses. I remember speaking to folks early on who refused to go over to the brand new facility because the team was so hapless. “Why bother?” they said. “Buch of losers.”
Fast forward to 2014: Politicians and power-brokers are thrilled with the new multi-million-dollar arena facility in downtown Allentown. Revitalization is in full-swing. Arms are being sprained, as folks congratulate themselves on the arena and (poorly written) legislation which made it all possible. Downtown Allentown is a-buzz. And, yes, I think it’s great, all things considered.
But our rag-tag hockey team is 0-3 on the pre-season. Are we headed toward another 0-11 start? Is this the 2008 ‘Pigs all over again? One can’t help but wonder….
Here are my thoughts, as the Phantoms wrap up an 0-3 preseason:
- I might need to call for an emergency meeting of the “SuperFans.” Look for the “Pig Head” Bat-Signal in the sky near you…
- Don’t get me wrong: I’m not really that worried. Some, yes. But my experience with Minor League sports over the past seven years is: Talent always wins in the end. And this Phantoms team does have talent.
- And this team has some veteran experience, too. Guys like Zach Stortini and Jay Rosehill will make sure that this team won’t get pushed around. That reminds me…
- …. after the game, one of the Devils asked the big forward Stortini if he had any goals scored in the game. This was his response: “No. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.“
- Just kidding. That was from “Taken.” But let me just say, that other teams best not mess with Zach, his family, or his teammates. He’s just not going to take it. I don’t think Jay Rosehill will, either.
- The Phantoms are getting shots, though. And, to my eye, they are reasonably good shots. They’ll go in, eventually. The young, talented defenders will set things up better from the blue line. The fore-check will improve. The power play will improve. I have faith.
- But, no matter how well you shoot and how well you control the puck, at the end of the day: You’ve got to put the biscuit in the basket to win games. I hope we have some scorers on this team.
- I say “No Timmies” if we lose. That’s the punishment fellas. 😉
- This losing makes me want to throw my glasses on the set…
- Chickie’s and Pete’s had a “soft” opening after the puck dropped yesterday. It’s nice in there. I wish we could have heard the post-game show over the dance music. It was too loud. Also, get off my yard you whippersnappers. Perhaps the pre-game show will be more useful for game-goers, and old cranky guys.
- Just short of 6,000 in the stands yesterday. Still really comfortable amount of people. It’ll be a zoo for the opener, though. I think when it gets up over 8K is when it’ll feel really “tight.”
- Radio reception in the arena via FM-89.9 worked well from the Miller Light Loft. Radio voice Bob Rotruck said it might not work as well in the main concourse under the press box. I didn’t get a chance to test it there, yet. Stay tuned. I did enjoy listening during the game, though.
- There were A LOT of on-street parking spaces available on my commute in. This could be a pattern for weekend games. And, since they don’t run meters after 6PM–it’s a real option for saving some money. More to come on that issue.
- 24-oz “bomber” cans of beer are available on the main concourse near section 103. They’re $9 and available as Yuengling Lager and Coors Light. An extra buck or two for Heineken. At concerts, they had Miller Lite, too, but it hasn’t reappeared. This is the best beer-deal in the arena, I think.
- Miller Light Loft has mixed drinks and wine. They’ve got beer, too, and I think they might stay open throughout the game–where other outlets may close following the second intermission. Please don’t drink and drive. And, be careful: No matter how much you drink up there, you’re going to have to traverse a few sets of stairs to get down out of there–unless you have a ticket in the suites, where there are elevators.
“Capitalize on this good fortune
One word can bring you round
How you doin’