On my way to the IronPigs games, I have to drive to within a few blocks of the arena. The other day as I passed by, I was thinking that I’m about ready for some hockey again. Why? When the baseball season is only at the All Star Break? Here are the Top 10 Reasons:
I know I could visit any of those downtown eateries any time (and I have), but I’m looking to expand my game day meal experience beyond the Chickie’s. I’ll report back with my experiences.
9. Crab Fries
Ok, that said, I haven’t had Crab Fries in months, and I could use some about now…
8. New Coach
Certainly Terry Murray knows more about hockey than I ever will. And, coaches coach and players play. However, the fact is, the team hasn’t made the playoffs in years, and is annually near the top in penalties–many of them the sloppy variety. With a new coach in Philly, and GM Ron Hextall putting his imprint on the organization, it was time for a change at the helm of the Phantoms. And, I like everything I’m hearing from our new coach: posses the puck, play in the offensive zone, etc. I’m hoping we get to watch a better brand of hockey this season, in addition to winning more games, and dare I even hope: playoffs.
7. New Jersey
Nope, not the state. I’ve got a new sweater to wear on game days. As I’ve said before, I really detest the quality of those replica things–so I set about getting another authentic. I was successful, and now just need an opportunity to wear it.
I’ve always been a defensive-minded fan. Perhaps it was because I grew up in the ’70s watching the Steel Curtain Pittsburgh Steelers defense. In baseball I always like watching the pitchers and catchers, and how the fielders are aligned. I guess it’s no different now that I’ve become a hockey fan. I greatly admire the goalies, and the adjustments, positioning and responsibilities of the defenders. This season, I think the Phantoms may have one of the best compliments of defenders in the whole AHL. Gostisbehere, Morin, Hagg, Manning, Alt, Pettersson…it’s looking really good. Add in Stolie The Goalie in his second year, and it should be fun to watch.
You know, that’s the size beers should be. 😉
4. Smooth It Out
I’ve got a “suggestion box” post coming on the Phantoms. We’ve done them several times for the IronPigs around here. And, I have to say, I think they’ve been well received (by all). But even with out that, I’m expecting the fan experience from both the Phantoms management as well as the arena and its staff, to run much more smoothly this season. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have planned for us.
My kids really liked the original seats I picked (read: chosen for me before the arena was built). However, I’m still curious about experiencing the games from another vantage point. This season I think I’ll pony up for some extra seats from time to time in order to watch the game from a different angle. My home is in section 106, and I’ve been in 113, Miller Lite Loft, 208, 205, 202, and 121. Still, I feel like there are spots which might be better. Look out, I’ll be invading your section this season!
2. Phan Nation
I had the opportunity to meet some really great guys and gals this past season, who are in charge of the Phan Nation Fan Club. It kind of formed mid-season, and is still working towards “official” status with the team. I hope they really hit the ground running this season with the purpose of supporting and promoting the team. I think the Phantoms would be silly not to take advantage of phans who are 100% in for Phantoms Hockey. Wanna get involved? Visit the web site here. Join up. Attend a meeting. Like the Facebook page. And get ready to support the team at home and on the road this season!
1. Schedule and Promotions
I’m hoping they get a little more evenly planned schedule, with less “3-in-3” and perhaps some Sunday games to counter-act the excess of mid-week games last season. But nevertheless, I’m anxious to see how it shakes out, and what kind of promotions they have in store for us this season.
See you at the arena, sooner than you think,