I’ve said it before–and I’ll say it again.
It’s not complaining.
I don’t have time to complain. Not in blog pieces, not in the comment sections, and not even on SpaceBook or the Twitter Machine. There’s too much else to do. There are other websites to visit and other TV shows to watch. There are movies and there’s music. I’ve got kids and a job and a business to run. I don’t have the time or energy to hate on stuff or throw shade or whatever the kids say these days. I’ll move on. I’ll just do something else that’s more fun.
What I think is fun: feats of athleticism. And, winning. I love winning.
I’ll admit, the winning’s been a bit elusive to this point, but I love going to the games. IronPigs, Fightins this season, Phantoms, SteelHawks, and now SteelFC. I’ve got all the tickets. And I love it.
So I want it to be better. That’s why the critical posts sometimes. Earlier today, I pointed out the deficient nature of the Phantoms retail merchandise situation. I pointed out the obvious profit center, the fans frustration, and some examples of how a Minor League organization might run such a venture–especially here in the Lehigh Valley–and I proposed solutions to the problem.
And I was summarily scolded. “Everybody needs to stop comparing the Phantoms to the IronPigs. They’re not the IronPigs.”
You got that right. They’re certainly not perfect, but we need to remember that the IronPigs do a lot of things very, very well. I was interviewed recently for another blog, and asked about the ‘Pigs success (at the gate–certainly not the winning. Read the interview HERE.) The staff, management and ownership of the IronPigs work very hard and do an excellent job creating a family-friendly environment which is at the same time relaxing, exciting, comfortable, and fun. And they keep it fresh year-in and year-out, setting attendance records all along the way. They’re a difficult act to follow, and in more ways than one they’ve ruined it for any other team trying to break in to the Lehigh Valley market.
Or, have they? der Eishockeyzuschauer recently started referring to the Lehigh Valley as the “Mecca of Minor League Sports,” and I suppose he’s right. Baseball and hockey are succeeding at the highest level. Other indoor football teams are folding but ours keeps on going–picking up the good players along the way. A soccer team will begin play in Bethlehem in the Spring, which will feed up to the highest level that sport has achieved in the United States. The Velodrome in Trexlertown is known around the world as one of the premier locations in professional cycling.
No, they haven’t ruined it. They’ve paved the way. They’ve provided the blueprint for other teams to come in and succeed. And, no, they’re not perfect. Look back through the last six years of blog posts up in here and you won’t go two or three in a row without someone (read: probably me) “complaining” about the IronPigs. If they make one wrong move, we’re all over them like bacon on hats. Perhaps they’re better for it? Or maybe they can’t hear us with all the piles of money surrounding them. No matter, though, because they’re not getting any breaks from us–
We just want things to be better. And if your team is hearing that the IronPigs do things better–it’s because the IronPigs are doing it better. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing–just fix it and we all win. We all know the things the Phantoms have to work on. The SteelHawks need to fill the arena better. The Velodrome needs to keep reminding us when the races are. The soccer team needs to overcome the limitations of Goodman Stadium and Lehigh University. And the Reading team needs to go back to being the R-Phils.
And the IronPigs need a new scoreboard.
Now, if we could just get some more playoff appearances by these teams.
See you at the arena, stadium, ‘drome and pitch,