“Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the [hockey] is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go”
–Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
In the United States, this is the weekend we pause to give thanks. And, to go shopping. So I thought I’d depart from my usual Game Day post format to list some of the things I’m thankful for, as it applies to the Phantoms in particular, on this coming day of giving thanks.
- I’m thankful for snow removal. Once upon a time, long ago and far away, I lived in Erie, PA. That winter it snowed every darn day. I know, because I didn’t have a garage and I had to brush off my car. But you wouldn’t know from the roads: Those folks out there know how to clear snow, and they have the equipment and budget to do it. I didn’t miss a day of work. So here’s to the plow guys! Get that snow off the roads so that I can make it to the game tonight. And, make it home, optimally.
- I’m thankful for weather.com. Even before Erie, there was a time before the internet. A time when I couldn’t get cable TV and lived too far from anywhere to even get a newspaper delivered. The weather was available on broadcast TV during the 6PM news and the 11PM news. That’s it. Maybe the radio if you’re desperate. Now I’m refreshing my weather.com app constantly to prepare for the game tonight. I thought this would only happen during IronPigs season…
- I’m thankful for Jim and Rob Brooks. There were a lot of moving parts and a lot of planets that aligned to bring hockey to Allentown. It didn’t all happen perfectly–and some of it was a bit shady. But, it happened. It took the Brooks brothers to have the vision to purchase the team long before there was an arena or financing or anything guaranteed. You did it fellas. Thank you.
- I’m thankful for the Miller Lite Loft. It’s really cool up there. Wait. On second thought. Never mind. Don’t ever go up there; I don’t want it to get too crowded.
- I’m thankful for the downtown Police presence. There was an article in the newspaper last weekend about all the overtime the City of Allentown is paying for the Police coverage for the arena events. I hope they’re not tempted to cut back. I haven’t talked to anyone who has felt unsafe attending these events. Security in the arena zone needs to remain a top priority. Hey, they’ve got all those parking fees, right? Hire a couple extra guys and keep up the good work.
- I’m thankful for Service Electric. I don’t have the exact algebra on the deal, but I have a feeling that having every IronPigs home game and every Phantoms home game and every SteelHawks home game on Cable TV is a factor in the success of these teams. I think it’s great for generating awareness and support in the community. And this is coming from a DirecTV guy.
- I’m thankful for fighting in hockey. I’m not a hockey purist. Far from it. But I’ve seen it in person now: Fighting helps the players police themselves. A fight can fire up a crowd or fire up a team or a little of both. Far worse injuries could happen if the players didn’t have the opportunity to settle differences via legal fisticuffs. It’s a deterrent to cheap hits and dirty play, too.
- I’m thankful for authentic jerseys. I’m less and less willing to wear replica jerseys these days. They’re cheaply made, and overpriced. I’ll pay a little extra and get the real McCoy. I guess I’m thankful for EBay too, in this department, as a source of authentic Phantoms gear (C’mon team store. You can do it!)
- I’m thankful for season ticket holder discounts. We should pay less for our tickets, and we do. That’s the way it’ meant to be. It’s like a magazine subscription, you know… Anyway, thankful for the “love” from the teams, Phantoms here as well as SteelHawks and the now annual loaded ticket credit from the IronPigs.
- I’m thankful for friends and family. I love going to the games and I love the competition on the field (ice). But having folks to visit with and share it with makes it just that much better. It’s great seeing some familiar faces from the IronPigs about the arena, but we’re making new friends as well. The arena is young, but we’re making it our own, Allentown, slowly (?) but surely. I’m thankful for all the folks involved.
See you at the arena, with boots on….
Oh yeah, there’s a hockey game tonight. Snow or shine, I suppose. Be safe. But, $2.00 Coors Light drafts from 6PM until the end of the second intermission. Also, you win a prize if your hot dog carton has a “lucky dog” sticker on it. Game is same Bat Time and same Bat Channel. Springfield is in town. They’re supposed to be good.
“We come from the land of the ice and snow…”–Rob Zepp in goal tonight. Also, Mark Alt might be back; he’s been cleared for contact and practicing all week. Look for the Phantoms to try and get their power play back on track. If it’s a small crowd, let’s all get loud just the same, OK? Go Phantoms! “Valhalla, I am coming!” –Led Zeppelin