Dec 15, 2006

Flyers fancam catches "Dancin' Homer"

From Michael MacDonald's blog:
The camera zoomed in on a rather portly fellow busting out dance moves that would make Napoleon Dynamite proud. The crowd popped for the wannabe Re-Run and a star was born.

Anyway, Shawn [Tilger, VP of Marketing & Communcations for the Flyers] turns to me with a grin and says "That guy is awesome." No sooner than that he is on his Blackberry instructing the camera crew to get the guy in on every break and once again the guy kicks out a new move or two and the crowd is going nuts.

After that, the Dancin Homer was a star. Shawn got on the phone again and instructed a member of his staff to give his business card to the Flyers version of the Phille Phanatic. With the card was a note saying that anytime the fan wanted tickets to any home game, he should call Shawn and he'd be in for free. A couple of wacky dance moves earned this dude season tickets on the house.


Read the full post...

Long Beach Ice Dogs host "Bah-Hum-Bug Night"

The Long Beach Ice Dogs (ECHL) are hosting a Bah-Hum-Bug Night on December 22nd. They won't be handing out anything at the door.

Says GameOps.com:
"Talk about low-budget, cost cutting, easy to manage. Might not be wildly impactful, but its a good talking point. There is also fun things in-game they can do, with no holiday music, penalties for fans showing too much holiday cheer, etc. "

Washington Capitals are hiring a mascot

From HockeyJobs.NHL.com:

The Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League have an immediate opening for their mascot position. This position plays a pivotal role in helping to create a positive and exciting experience for the fans.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

• Develop new programs with youth groups and area schools

• Research and arrange appearances & handle paperwork

• Assist the marketing and Communications department with projects and programs as needed.

• Develop skit ideas for in-game performances

• Work with Community Relations to develop programs and support events.

• Create video skits and organize shoots

• Build & order necessary props for Caps games and outside performances

• Maintain costume, clean and make necessary repairs.

Appearances (as needed):

• Washington Capitals home games, including pre-season and playoffs

• Local parades, hospital visits, birthday parties, openings and premieres

• Area schools

• Shopping malls and other public areas to hand out items and generate interest.

• Youth games and associated events

• Special events including Season Ticket Holder Parties and bar tours, etc.

• Visits to our minor league affiliate, the Hershey Bears

• Military events

Washington Capitals Mascot Requirements:

- Ability to skate, dance, do aerobic-style moves and repelling a plus

- Must have past mascot experience or have worked in performance entertainment

- Must possess a current driver's license

- Must work well with children

- Physically fit and be able to endure extreme heat conditions

Click here to apply

Dec 12, 2006

New scoreboard for Calgary Flames

From the Calgary Sun:
The Calgary Flames will unveil their new multi-million-dollar Enmax Energy Board just in time for the Boxing Day match-up with the Vancouver Canucks.

The process will start tonight with the old board taken down after the tilt with the Minnesota Wild, but the time frame will give new meaning to the Christmas rush as the team heads to Vancouver tomorrow for a six-game road trip.

The command centre has already begun its time-consuming overhaul, with wires strewn all over event level at the ’Dome and workers armed with sledgehammers knocking down walls for the expansion.

A 10-day process will be condensed into five for the final stage of installation.

...

The downstairs demolition and pair of scoreboard-less Hitmen games tomorrow and Friday are well worth the reward of a top-of-the-line technological addition.

According to King, cost of the Enmax Energy Board built by South Dakota company Daktronics was “somewhere north of three and a half million dollars.”

The 36,000-lb. board boasts two power rings, top and bottom, and 50% more video room than the previous clock. Five cameras accompany the hardware and King promises a more intimate look at the game as a result.

Read the full article...

Previous: Vancouver Canucks get a new video scoreboard

Dec 10, 2006

Behind the scenes: Pyrotechnics in Atlanta

From AJC.com:
To make each Thrashers game Atlanta's hottest experience on ice, Rick Lambright and Andy Ulanowski bring the fire.

The brothers-in-law operate the high-flying twin bird heads that spew 20-foot flames during introductions, after every Thrashers goal and whenever the NHL's rules allow them to fire up the crowd. They are also in charge of this year's new pyrotechnic effects at Hawks games.

...

Before each game, Lambright and Ulanowski take a tank of propane to the catwalk 135 feet above the Philips Arena floor to refuel the accumulator, which pressurizes the gas. They also check and recheck the equipment for gas leaks.

For Thrashers games, they use a chain motor to lower the birds from their "nesting" position in the rafters to a place about 80 feet off the floor and about 10 feet above the scoreclock. The birds are 14 feet long and weigh 350 pounds apiece.

...

When the lights go down, a right turn of a silver key arms the system. Flipping the switch for "beak open," the birds' eyes begin pulsating with a red light. As the mouth drops open, so do the mouths of some spectators.

The blasts are synchronized with the announcer — for example, "Ilya Ko-val-CHUK," the final syllable being the cue for the flame — or with the horn sounding after a goal.

Two red buttons on the console fire the birds. Lambright said "each has a different personality" in terms of better flame at various temperatures. When the propane hits a 10,000-watt spark, it ignites.

The best burst is about two seconds.

"We toast the nose if we let the flame on too long," Lambright said.

Read the full article...

(via Kukla's Korner)

Dec 8, 2006

Columbus Blue Jackets release Christmas CD

From the Columbus Blue Jackets web site:
Tired of that same old holiday music? Check this out! This year you can stuff your holiday stocking with the Blue Jackets CD. Listen to all of your holiday favorites sung by Anson Carter, Jody Shelley, Manny Malhotra and the other members of the Blue Jackets team!

Proceeds from the CD will be donated to the Blue Jackets Foundation Family Resource Center at Children’s Hospital and the Riverside Cancer Service’s KidShare program.

Click here to listen to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

(via Kukla's Korner)

Dec 6, 2006

VIDEO: Take the A-Train

From the Ottawa Senators, "Take the A-Train". Slow-mo highlights of big hits by Anton "A-Train" Volchenkov, to the tune of Ella Fitzgerald singing "Take the A-Train".

Dec 5, 2006

Edmonton playoff games were really, really loud: study


(Graphic from the Canadian Medical Association Journal)

***

From the Canadian Press / CBC:
Three hours of sitting next to a roaring, buzzing chainsaw punctuated by the occasional deafening blast of a jet taking off wouldn't be anyone's idea of a good time.

But that's the equivalent of what hockey fanatics endured during the Edmonton Oilers' Stanley Cup playoff run last spring, according to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"You could tell just even in watching the games on TV that it was insanely loud," said Bill Hodgetts, the study's lead author and an assistant audiology professor at the University of Alberta.

After measuring sound levels once every second at three games during the final series between the Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes, he determined just how insane those noise levels were - and what kind of hearing damage the racket could cause unwitting fans.

During the third game of the series, fans reached their maximum daily noise allowance in less than six minutes and they absorbed about 8,100 per cent of the top dose over the course of the game.

Read more...

Read the full article from the Canadian Medical Journal...

NHL experiments with goal judges

From CBC Sports:
If you missed it, the NHL experimented the other night in Edmonton with not having the goal judges directly behind the net, where they have been forever, but rather sitting on a press box catwalk, high above and behind the nets. The lab mice will later be moved to press box perches adjacent to the goals since not every rink has an above-and-behind vantage point. Read more...

Dec 2, 2006

GameOps.com announces "Best of 2006 Awards"

GameOps.com has announced the winners of its "Best of 2006 Awards" for game entertainment.

Winners include the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Caveliers, Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors.

Nov 29, 2006

SOCAN sues Air Canada Centre re: music performance fees

From the Toronto Star:
A trade group wants concerts barred at the Air Canada Centre until the arena's owners start paying music industry dues.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) is suing Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. in federal court over the company's refusal to pay tariffs related to concerts staged by artists such as Placido Domingo, Kim Mitchell and rapper Lil Bow Wow.

According to Canada's Copyright Act, concert promoters are obligated to pay a tariff to SOCAN based on money generated from ticket sales. Tariffs can be as much as 3 per cent of gross ticket sales, and much of the money paid to SOCAN by promoters is then distributed to its 80,000 members, who include composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers who own the copyright to the music in Canada.

SOCAN is requesting an injunction barring Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from holding concerts at the ACC but it's unclear when a judge might rule on that. The trade group's allegations have not been proven in court.

In an interview, MLSE general counsel Robin Brudner argued the company isn't a concert promoter at all, merely a venue. "All we have received has been rent," Brudner said yesterday. In the instances where the company has paid SOCAN a tariff, it's been because it was directed to do so by concert promoters. "That came out of their share," she said.
Read the full article...

(via Digital Copyright Canada)

GameOps.com: The value of a mascot

"From The Sports Business Journal: Feb. 13-19, 2006 Volume 8 Issue 40 page 11, a quote from an interview with Cal Ripken, Jr. “It pains me to say this, but [in the minor leagues] our mascot is more important than our shortstop.”
Read on at the GameOps.com blog...

Nov 22, 2006

GameOps.com: Lemons to lemonade

Two good recent posts on the GameOps.com blog, about making lemonade from lemons:
#1 Pest Control: "After Timberwolves guard Ricky Davis' recent reference to the Portland Trail Blazers as “roaches,” Fridley-based Plunkett’s Pest Control bought 200 tickets for Tuesday’s game against Portland at Target Center. The pest control employees wore their green uniform jackets, minus the spray devices, and were well-behaved in their seats near the rafters." Read more...

#2 Hockey Gear: "Last year Everett Silvertips (WHL) coach Kevin Constantine made his team ride home on the bus in their full hockey gear following a “poor effort” during a pre-season game (Constantine was suspended for four games and fined $5,000 for the stunt). Trying to put a lighter spin on the situation, the Silvertips recently held a promotion where any fan that dressed in full hockey gear received free admission to the game."Read more...
Another bonus link from the GameOps.com: Long Beach Ice Dogs host a Desparate Housewives Night ... and hand out thongs at the door.

Previous: Flyers try to set world record for wigs

Nov 15, 2006

Mascot profiles on hlog blog

If you're an NHL mascot fan, check out these posts from hlog (Hockey's Ladies of Greatness):

Detroit Red Wings are getting a new scoreboard

From Kukla's Korner: "During tonight’s Wings-Canucks broadcast, Ken Daniels announced that the Red Wings will be replacing their scoreboard’s four blocks of 9 big-screen TVs with 4 LED displays."

Nov 11, 2006

Boston Bruins 1942 post-game ceremony

It's not very often we read about hockey entertainment from the 1940's. Here's a good story for Remembrance Day, from the Boston Bruins web site, about a post-game ceremony on February 11, 1942:
On February 11, 1942, the Bruins' famous Kraut Line…received an emotional send-off at the Boston Garden following a pasting of the Montreal Canadiens…After the Bruins racked up 22 points in goals and assists (the Kraut Line accounted for half of them) in an 8-1 thrashing of the Habs, it was time to say goodbye to the boys -- they had signed up for active service with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Applause filled the building as the three linemates were presented with paychecks for the remainder of the season -- plus a handsome bonus…Then, putting bitter rivalries aside, the Montreal players joined the Bruins in hoisting the three air force recruits onto their shoulders and carrying them to the exit. Read more...
(via Kukla's Korner)

Nov 7, 2006

Colorado Avalanche Veteran's Day ceremony

The Colorado Avalanche have a creative way to handle their Veteran's Day ceremony this year:

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club will honor four distinguished U.S. war veterans at its game with the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow night in advance of Veterans Day on November 11.

The Avalanche will introduce four US World War II veterans, representing each of the two theaters of operation.

* Ed Tipper – D-Day veteran and member of 101st Airborne Division, 506th Easy Company, an original member of the “Band of Brothers”
* Bill Brunger – Served with the 75th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge
* James Blaine – Served with the 4th Marines Division that was in the first wave of units to land at Iwo Jima
* Robert Lowe – Served with the 6th Marines Division and is a veteran of battles at Guam, Saipan and Okinawa
(Via Kukla's Korner)

Oct 31, 2006

San Jose fans want their Glitter back

San Jose Sharks fans have started a petition to bring back Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Part 2 as their goal song. The team is currently using Green Day's Holiday when the Sharks score -- no wonder fans are complaining. (via HockeyBuzz.com)

Previous: Gary Glitter's strange fame

25 years of The Wave

Twenty-five years after the first "Wave", EPSN.com's Page 2 tackles the "who invented the wave" debate.

Previous: San Jose fans complain about "The Wave"

It's time to build a hockey shrine

John Buccigross writes on EPSN.com:

"I just hope there is an owner or an architect out there who has the vision and the courage to build the NHL fan a "destination" once again, a hockey rink of worship that has the sightlines and camera angles of Boston Garden and the soul of Chicago Stadium. An arena every hockey fan just has to experience to bring back that loving feeling. I don't see why this can't be done, why an intimate hockey arena can't be built again with the purist in mind. Baseball did it, and it reinvigorated the game." Read the full article...
(via Kukla's Korner)

Oct 28, 2006

More on the Canucks new video scoreboard


The Vancouver Canucks unveiled their new video scoreboard last night at GM Place:

It weighs 49,000 pounds and its four large HD-ready light emitting diode (LED) screens (13.5 feet by 24 feet) display 4.4 trillion colours. Up close at full power it’s like standing on a Tahitian beach.

“It’s not so bad up here,” says Daktronics project manager Jacob Frein, the engineer in charge of lighting the behemoth. “Down south in Texas they need air conditioning for each panel just to keep it cool.”

But could you cook an egg on it if you dropped one on it midway through the third?

“No, probably not that hot,” says the lanky Frein, screwdriver in hand.

Still, it’s an impressive beast. And no, don’t try the egg test. A 12 by 12 inch panel costs about $1,000.

In all, the eight computers and 1.2 million pixels spread over eight screens draw as much power as your average house – which isn’t too bad considering it’s roughly equivalent to 80 big-screen televisions.

It’s the absolute largest clock they could get.

...


The ceremony for the old clock was a private affair, cut gently from the rafters with blow torches after more than 10 years of solid service.

The old clock’s reign came to an end on Tuesday, October 17th, less than a day after the Canucks defeated the Oilers 2-1.

Maintaining the Mark IV’s outdated cathode ray tube (CRT) system had become a burden — to say the least. Orca Bay engineers have scoured the technological dust-piles of North America and Asia for the past three years in search of extra light-cubes.

“We bought up all the spares in the world,” explains Jones. “We basically had a scavenger hunt through North America and Japan, and we acquired all the spares that were available. We were running out and we weren’t going to be able to keep all the little cubes lit through this year.”

Simply put, it was time for all 50,000 pounds of the old scoreclock to go unceremoniously the way of Betamax and Laser Video Discs — to the scrapheap. It took ten workers two full days to lower and dismantle.

Read the full article (with lots of photos)...

Previous:

Oct 26, 2006

Flyers try to set world record for wigs

From a Philadelphia Flyers press release:
The Philadelphia Flyers invite their fans to be a part of history and help the team break the Guinness World Record for “most people wearing wigs at a single sporting event” when the team takes the ice at Wachovia Center against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, October 30.
All fans will receive a orange wig on their way into the building.

(via Kukla's Korner)

GameOps.com on text messages for troops

From GameOps.com:
This summer a few teams took part in a program that encouraged fans to send text messages to troops serving overseas. The program sounds like a nice way to connect appreciative sports fans with American soldiers serving overseas. Except the messages actually weren’t being sent to the troops. Read more...

Oct 22, 2006

Vote for New Jersey's new goal song

The New Jersey Devils are letting fans choose their new goal song. There's an online poll featuring eleven tunes -- or you can write in your own nomination.

The songs in the running:
  • Crowd Chant - Joe Satriani
  • Do It Again - Queens of the Stone Age
  • Ole! - The Bouncing Souls
  • Kern Kraft 400 - Zombie Nation
  • Hey Man Nice Shot - Filter
  • Song 2 - Blur
  • Memory - Barbra Streisand
  • Kick Start My Heart - Motley Crue
  • Brohymn - Pennywise
  • Elevation - U2
  • Supercharger Heaven - White Zombie
Click here to cast your vote...

(My vote would be for either Kick Start My Heart or Supercharger Heaven -- they have the right feel for a Devils goal.)

Previous:

Oct 15, 2006

San Jose fans complain about "The Wave"

Krazy George would not be proud. Here are two letters printed recently in the San Jose Mercury News, from fans complaining about fans blocking their view while doing "The Wave":

I was at the Sharks game Oct. 7 against the Islanders. I have to say, although the Sharks won, I left feeling cheated. With about seven minutes left in the game, the whole arena started doing the wave during playing time! This was very inconsiderate, since it is often hard to see around the persons sitting in front of you. Now we had the whole section standing in front of me, blocking my view of the ice. The couple behind me were voicing their displeasure also. I have no doubt there were others who must have felt of same way.

It especially irked me when the Jumbotron was showing a camera shot of the wave. The Sharks camera crew was encouraging the behavior!

1. Because the fans can't regulate themselves, the Sharks organization should not promote this behavior. Please discourage it with a Jumbotron message like the legal disclaimer to watch out for flying pucks. If it continues, I will quit going to NHL games. It's not worth it to me.

2. I know the NHL has sped up the games, but the short stoppages between the action does not allow fans to get back to their seats without standing in the aisles or crawling over people to get to their seats. This also blocks my view. I am not saying this because I personally want more time to buy a hot dog. I am saying this because I want to see the hockey game.

Victor Zilinskas
Palo Alto

What's up with Sharkie this year? At the first two Sharks home games, Sharkie got the fans doing the wave. This childish antic may be appropriate at baseball games where the action is slow, or at college football games where the student section will do anything suggested to them, but not at hockey games.

In hockey, the action is fast, and hits and goals happen in a split-second. I didn't pay good money on season tickets to have some ``occasional fan'' jump up to do the wave and block my view of a great Nabokov save. Heck, it's bad enough with people not waiting for the whistle before leaving or returning to their seats. We don't need the team's mascot making things worse. No wave!

Steve Jursa
San Jose

(via Kukla's Korner)

Game Entertainment YouTube Extravaganza, Part 2

A few more YouTube clips:
Previous: Game Entertainment YouTube Extravaganza, Part 1

Pennywise comments on "Bro Hymn" goal song

From The Universal Cynic:
Pennywise is another one of those fantastic SoCal punk bands that I grew up listening to -- so imagine my surprise when the Ottawa Senators recently began spinning one of their tracks after a goal is scored.

The song is called "Bro Hymn", and the trend of hearing it played after goals didn't start in Ottawa -- it actually began in Anaheim during the Ducks' playoff run last year. Anaheim would play it religiously, and the fans eventually caught onto the catchy chorus.

...

If a song is receiving regular exposure in the venues where a major sport is being played, you'd think the band would be thrilled, right? Not necessarily...because there's a lot more to "Bro Hymn" than just a great hook.

...

"We're not upset, but it's not cool," Dragge said. "There's a deep meaning behind that song and it's weird for it to be used in such a fashion.

...

"They're only hearing the chorus; they're not hearing any of the lyrics," Dragge pointed out. "They don't know any of the lyrics, but if they did, maybe they could relate better.

Read the full post...

(See also: Hockey Music Forum)

Oct 14, 2006

Game Entertainment YouTube Extravaganza

Grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy these vids found on YouTube:
Previous YouTube vids...

Game day promotion round-up

  • The Everett Silvertips are holding a promotion where any fan suited up in full hockey gear (minus skates, we assume) will get a free ticket to the game. Source: Herald.net, via Kukla's Korner.
  • Choose your favourite music, video clips, and voiceover to create your own Dallas Cowboy cheerleading commercial. Source: Coolz0r
  • Giving out handheld TVs at NFL stadiums cheats fans. Fans get small portable tvs so they can watch out-of-town games -- while they're inside the stadium. Source: SI.com

Oct 11, 2006

White Sox sign 7-11 to a clever game promo

The Chicago White Sox have signed a three-year promotion deal with 7-11. In exchange for half a million dollars, the White Sox will move the first pitch for all evening games to 7:11pm. (via Adfreak)

Oct 4, 2006

Saginaw Spirit name their mascot after Stephen Colbert

The Saginaw Spirit are naming their mascot after Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report. The large eagle will be named Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle. Earlier this year, Colbert encouraged viewers to enter his name in a "name the mascot" contest.

Some links:
Sunaya Sapurji on HockeyBuzz.com
YouTube: Saginaw Spirit clip from Colbert Report
ggower.com: Stephen Colbert and the Saginaw Spirit mascot

Thanks to everyone who emailed about this today!

Oct 3, 2006

GameOps.com reviews the Pittsburgh Pirates gameday show

Jon Cudo from GameOps.com has posted a great review of the Pittsburgh Pirates gameday show, as part of the GameOps.com Six from Six series. It's a great idea for the series -- and this installment is the best one yet.

A sample:

Lesson 1: Spice up your most reoccurring elements

In baseball a major video piece is the introduction of each batter. Most teams do a nice job with the intros and graphics, knowing that it is something that fans will see over and over again. The Pirates didn't do a great job on this....they did a great job on this over and over again.

After the team had batted around, the video package changed. The Pirates scoreboard crew had no less than four entire sets of graphic packages for the roster. One was a pirate-theme video package using the team name and concept. The next time around there was a comic book-style font and graphics, followed by a bobblehead version.

Another version showed each of the Pirates players painting their names on a large canvas. The video ended with a tight shot on the players' painted name. It showed the players in an interesting setting and a unique side of their personality. Some players were more engaged in this that others, so the results varied a bit, but overall it added to the variety and it showcased the players personalities well.

Read the entire article at GameOps.com

Sep 26, 2006

NFL seeks to limit fan noise

From the New York Times:

The league [NFL] has long had an uneasy relationship with crowd noise, and may soon embark on its latest quest to overcome it — not by hushing fans, but by allowing visiting players the benefit of a helmet-to-helmet wireless communication system.
...
The N.F.L. is not antinoise, exactly. It just does not appreciate certain types at certain times. The N.F.L. rule book even has a 900-word section devoted to crowd noise; too much when the visiting offense is on the field can draw a penalty for the home team.

Teams also receive detailed, and restrictive, instructions from the league about ways to elicit reactions from their fans. Under the guidelines, some electronic messages — “Let’s go crazy” and “Pump it up” are among those listed — are not acceptable.

Other chants (“De-fense!”) are appropriate, at certain times. Encouraging the wave is not — ever.
...
With no reasonable way to curb enthusiasm without appearing stodgy, Roger Goodell, the new N.F.L. commissioner, is floating another idea: placing microphones in quarterbacks’ helmets and speakers in the helmets of other offensive players, so that play calls and snap counts can be heard despite the din. Quarterbacks now have earpieces that allow them to hear coaches, but the transmission is cut with 15 seconds left on the play clock.
...
It adopted a noise penalty in 1989, allowing the referee, at the quarterback’s request, to warn the home team that the crowd is being disruptive. The referee, who stands behind the quarterback at the snap, can dock the home team a timeout, or even call a 5-yard penalty, if he decides that linemen cannot hear the snap count.

Mike Pereira, the N.F.L.’s vice president for officiating, has been in the league office for nine years. He said the rule had not been enforced in that time.

Read the full article...


If anyone from inside the NFL is reading this post -- I would really like to see a copy of the "900-word section" of the rulebook about crowd noise. You can send it to me here.


(via GameOps.com)

Sep 14, 2006

Banning the jock jam

From EPSN's Page 2:

News item: According to published reports, the NFL has encouraged teams to not play Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" following the British glam rocker's conviction for molesting underage girls in Vietnam.

Why stop there? Accept the basic premise of guilt by association -- no matter how tenuous -- and just about every jock jam in existence should be blacklisted.


Click here for the full story...



Previous: Gary Glitter's strange fame

Sep 11, 2006

Baseball commemorates 9/11

From Mark Newman / MLB.com:
On Monday, as a nation recognizes the fifth anniversary of 9/11, there will be a special place for remembrance at each of the nine Major League Baseball stadiums that are host to home games. "We Shall Not Forget" is the theme that will appear on player uniforms, on the sides of bases, on lineup cards and elsewhere. "Never Forget" are the words on the placard that greets visitors now to the PATH train station's information desk in front of Ground Zero. "Gone . . . Never Forgotten" were the words inscribed that fateful day on the last standing steel column, written on duct tape beneath "RES5CUE" and photos of that FDNY unit's 11 lost men.
(via Sports Business News)


ALSO: MLB.com has a special feature on their web site looking at how baseball reacted to the 9/11 tragedy.

Sep 7, 2006

Miscellany: Time to clean out the inbox

Time to clean out the inbox ... here are some links to keep you busy:
Send your links to us via HockeyMusic.ca

Aug 25, 2006

The mother of all ovations

All week on the GameOps.com blog, Jon Cudo has been counting down his five favourite ovations. It's a good read.

My favourite ovation happened in May 2001. Ottawa 67's vs. Plymouth Whalers in the last game of the Ontario Hockey League finals. It was a surprise that the 67's made it as far as they did in the playoffs that year -- and an even bigger surprise that they were about to knock off the Whalers to win the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

A packed house, nearly 10,000 fans in the building. Third period, last 5 minutes of the game, the crowd started to applaud ... and cheer ... and stand on their feet. It was so loud in the building that any music we played was drowned out by the noise from the crowd. So we just stopped playing music, stopped making announcements, and let the crowd own the moment.

What's your favourite ovation?

Aug 24, 2006

Mascots on YouTube

From GameOps.com:
Raymond starts a trend?: "Raymond the tampa Bay Devil Rays mascot is working overtime on YouTube, sharing with his fans and the general public bits from the in-game presentation. I think this is going to really take off this year and I suspect that many mascots will join in and post their clips on the web. Here is video of [...]"
For more mascot goodness, just do a YouTube search for "mascot". Currently 842 results.

Previously:
Behind Blue Fur: Interview with Devil Rays Mascot
Atlanta Hawks mascot, on a motorcycle
Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race

Aug 19, 2006

Flyers are hiring an organist

The Philadelphia Flyers are hiring an organist:
On Thursday, August 24 from 5pm to 9pm, the team is auditioning new keyboard players to operate the organ during pregame, stoppages of play and intermissions. The ideal candidate is a contemporary musician who can perform chants, crowd prompts, standard in-arena cheers and is available to play at all Flyers home preseason, regular season and playoff games of the 2006-07 season. Read the full job description...


(via Kukla's Korner)

Aug 16, 2006

Stephen Colbert and the Saginaw Spirit mascot


Last night on the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert talked about a contest by the Saginaw Spirit (OHL Hockey) to name their new mascot. Colbert told viewers to go to the Spirit web site, and suggest "Stephen Colbert" as the name.

Colbert's viewers followed his orders, and sent so much traffic to Saginaw's web site that their web host had to pull some content & services to free up some bandwidth. (The site is still slow tonight.)

The hockey team is taking it all in stride, even providing a link to a clip from the show on their web site. Click here to check it out...

(Thanks, CC!)

UPDATE: Sunaya Sapurji has an article in the August 17 Toronto Star, with reaction from Saginaw Spirit staff on all the attention from Colbert.

Aug 12, 2006

This week's promotion round-up

A few sports promotions links from the past week:

(Send us your link suggestions via the HockeyMusic.ca feedback form.)

Aug 8, 2006

Long live the Rally Monkey


The San Bernardino County Sun reports that the Rally Monkey is alive and well at Angel Stadium. Highlights:
"Fans still love him,'' said Peter Bull, Angels entertainment manager. "Sales in the team store are still strong. People still bring their monkeys to the game. Adults and kids, both.''
...
Just jumping. That was all the monkey did in his debut, back on June 6, 2000.

The Angels were losing to the Giants in an interleague game. Bull's entertainment crew ran video of a leaping monkey from "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'' and superimposed the words "Rally Monkey'' over it.

The crowd went wild - and the Angels scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win.

A star was born. The monkey was a hit from the start.
...
The monkey's biggest moment came in Game 6 of the World Series. The Angels trailed the Giants 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning; San Francisco was nine outs from winning the Series.

Bull remembers the moment well. He cued co-worker Bob Castillo's Rally Monkey takeoff on the M. Night Shyamalan movie "Signs.''

A tense Mel Gibson edges through a corn field. An overhead shot shifts to show a mysterious "crop circle'' - and the Rally Monkey suddenly fills the screen, demanding belief in his/her power.

Fans erupted. The Angels scored three runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to pull out a memorable 6-5 victory, then romped in Game 7 the next night.

Read the full article...


More Rally Monkey links:

Aug 7, 2006

Greenville's Grrruff at the Office

Found on YouTube: Greenville Grrrowl mascot Grrruff works at the office and drives people crazy.

Interview with Karen Newman, Detroit Red Wings anthem singer

From Kukla's Korner, here's an interview with Karen Newman, anthem singer for the Detroit Red Wings. Karen has been singing the anthem for 14 seasons with the Red Wings, after being spotted at a Detroit Pistons game.

Previous: GameOps.com: The pulse on national anthems

Aug 6, 2006

Fan dies after fall at Winnipeg Blue Bombers game

From CTV.ca:
A man who fell five metres from the stands during a CFL game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday night died in hospital Saturday.
...
The man fell over a guard rail from his seat in the north endzone at CanadInns Stadium an hour into the game. Onlookers said the back of his head struck the asphalt below. He didn't move after the fall but appeared to be conscious as he was taken by stretcher to an ambulance.

More on the story from the Winnipeg Sun...

Aug 5, 2006

Phoenix Coyotes introduce on-ice dance team

From the Arizona Republic: "Starting this season, the Coyotes will unveil their own dance team. This new unit - expected to feature between 18-20 dancers - will be known as "The Pack." It will become the first NHL dance team to perform directly on the ice."

Aug 4, 2006

Tampa Bay Devil Rays install a fish tank


The Tampa Bay Devil Rays have added a 10,000-gallon fish tank in their right-centre field. The tank is filled with 22 Devil Rays.

From an article on their web site:
The tank benefits a good cause. For every home run hit into the tank during a game, the Rays will donate $5,000 to charity -- $2,500 to the Florida Aquarium, which maintains the tank and cares for the rays, and $2,500 to a charity of the player's choice. The tank is presented by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
Check out the photo gallery.

(via GameOps.com)

Aug 1, 2006

Another grumpy sportswriter...

Every few months, a grumpy sportswriter complains about game entertainment, and wishes he could turn back the clock to a quieter time. The latest comes from the Washington Post, where writer David Nicholson somehow ties in "fan experience" with baseball's steroid scandal:
All these empty displays -- the Nats have already got the ear-splitting music; how long before they issue the invitations to public exhibitionism that have ruined Wizards' games: fans shaking what they've got to disco music or French-kissing on the Jumbotron? -- cheapen the game's serene beauty. They profane the green cathedrals -- to borrow the title of Philip Lowry's wonderful book about baseball stadiums past and present -- and their timeless symmetry, turning what ought to be a relaxing two or three hours into one more frenetic and ultimately empty experience.

It's hard not to make a connection between the steroid scandal that's already tarnished Mark McGwire's and Barry Bonds's great home-run chases and team owners' quest for a more exciting fan experience. Graced with increased attendance, the sports moguls asked no questions as their parks filled with fans who would rather see several home runs in a losing effort than a perfect bunt that wins the game. Read the full article...

Happy Birthday to GameOps.com

GameOps.com celebrates it's eigth birthday this month. GameOps.com is a bible for sports entertainment, and they've helped so many of us in the business with great ideas.

Editor Jon Cudo is always adding new content and features. This month, he celebrates the 8th birthday with new product ideas, a new classified ad section, a revamped blog, and a good interview with Peter Sorckoff of the Atlanta Thrashers.

I've been visiting the site since I started in this business in 1998 ... Jon even interviewed me a few years back about the Ottawa 67's Baby Race.

(If you aren't a subscriber to the GameOps.com email, what are you waiting for? Go sign up now!)

Jul 28, 2006

Kansas City Royas Munchkingate and the Milwaukee Brewers chorizo

Two sports stories today from Adfreak:

#1: Kansas City Royays Munchkingate:
The Royals invite Mickey Caroll to a game, and bill him as the "last living Munchkin" from the Wizard of Oz. (A promo inspired by Bill Veeck, perhaps?) Only problem is, there are eight former Munchkins still alive. Read more...

#2: The Milwaukee Brewers chorizo:
The Brewers have added a chorizo to their seventh inning sausage race. It's the fifth mascot sausage in the race, which includes a hot dog, a bratwurst, an Italian sausage and a Polish sausage. Read more...

Jul 20, 2006

The Onion weighs in on Benny The Bull incident

From TheOnion.com:

CHICAGO—A coalition of prominent mascots, including the Phoenix Suns Gorilla, The Pittsburgh Parrot, and the Philly Phanatic, called a press conference Tuesday to answer questions concerning their colleague, Benny the Bull, following an incident in which Benny struck an off-duty police officer who was attempting to prevent him from riding a mini-motorcycle through the "Taste Of Chicago" street fair. "During the conference, the Phanatic demonstrated that mascots did not condone Benny's actions by walking up to a reporter, throwing a punch that stopped short of the reporter's face, and then waving its finger in a 'not allowed' motion," said bystander Steve Garbon, who was waiting with his daughter for a picture. "It was really conciliatory and funny." Benny, who could not be reached for comment, released a statement apologizing for his actions and saying he will be attending anger-management courses at which he will distribute free T-shirts.


Previous: Life of a mascot ain't easy

Jul 18, 2006

Ottawa Lynx to host tribute to Jackie Robinson

On July 23, the Ottawa Lynx (Triple A Baseball) will host a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in Major League Baseball history. From a press release:
The Lynx, in partnership with the National Capital Amateur Athletic Association will host a 60th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson's first season in professional baseball when he played for the Montreal Royals of the International League.
...
Starting at 12:00 pm on July 23rd, the Lynx will hold a pre-game ceremony with two former teammates of Robinson [George "Shotgun" Shuba and Jean-Pierre Roy] and International League President Randy Mobley present. Part of the ceremony will be the retirement of Jackie Robinson's number 42 on the outfield wall at Lynx Stadium.
...
The Ottawa Lynx team will be wearing replica jerseys and caps from the 1946 Montreal Royals, with the jerseys being auctioned off in a silent auction format during the game on July 23rd. Proceeds of the auction will go to benefit local children's charities.


What a great event for the Lynx to host. The team is struggling with attendance in Ottawa, and this event should be one of the highlights of the season for local fans. Young franchises take note: This is a great way to pay tribute to history and tradition -- even if you don't have much of a history to highlight. The Lynx have only been around for a decade -- but given their past connection to Montreal baseball, this ceremony doesn't feel out of place at all.

(Off on a tangent: The last time the Lynx retired a jersey was Jamey Carroll's #3. The ceremony was scheduled for August 14, 2003 -- the same night that a massive blackout hit eastern North America. The Lynx went ahead with the ceremony, inviting the few dozen fans at the stadium onto the field. Carroll addressed the crowd "unplugged", without a microphone. It was a real treat for the die-hard Lynx fans who made their way to the ballpark.)

Brian from the Backstreet Boys sings the National Anthem

Found on YouTube: Brian Litrell from the Backstreet Boys sings the Star Spangled Banner at a hockey game. I think this is from a January 2001 game between the Kentucky Thoroughblades and Louisville Panthers.

Previous: Christina Aguilera sings the anthem at a Penguins game

Life of a mascot ain't easy

In light of the recent arrest of the Chicago Bulls mascot, Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press rounds up some recent mascot mishaps (via Missoulian.com).

Highlights:

  • Puckhead of the Johnstown Chiefs -- injured in a fire stunt.
  • Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames -- getting his tongue ripped out by Edmonton Oilers coach Craig McTavish
  • Tommy Lasorda punching the Philly Phanatic, and Charles Barkley clobbering Rocky the Mountain Lion in Denver.
  • ...and much more


Previous: Chicago Bulls mascot arrested

Jul 14, 2006

Vancouver Canucks opening show

Found on YouTube: A short fan video of the opening, from a Wild vs. Canucks game in Vancouver...



...and also the National Anthem from the same game.

National anthems in Buffalo

Found on YouTube: The Canadian and American national anthems, Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Carolina at Buffalo.

Are there any other American teams that perform the anthems of both countries -- even when a Canadian team is not playing?

Fan vid: Ducks-Oilers Game 5 intros

Found on YouTube: A couple of fan videos of Anaheim's opening show in the Western Conference Finals.



Cool lighting at Gulfstream Park



We usually link to stories about what's happening inside the arena ... but here's a look at some nifty lighting effects at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Installation by Westbury National from Toronto. Gulfstream Park is a thoroughbred race track in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

Oilers vs. Hurricanes: Game 3 arena intro

Found on YouTube: CBC's coverage of the Oilers & Hurricanes arena intro. 10 minutes long, includes the opening video, lots of fan shots, Don & Ron, plus the National Anthems.

Same-sex kiss caught on the kiss cam

From the Washington Blade, in January 2004:

GAY FANS OF the Washington Capitals, D.C.’s National Hockey League team, were treated to a New Year’s Day same-sex smooch on the Kiss-Cam.

Here’s how this works. During breaks in the action, the camera crew in the arena finds a series of presumed couples in the stands and shows them together on the scoreboard. If they kiss, the crowd roars. If not, the crowd jeers.

The camera operators are really just guessing when they do this. At least once during a game, they’ll frame two people who are not a couple, and they refrain from kissing, for whatever reason. A fairly routine joke now is to find two men wearing jerseys of the opposing team who are sitting next to each other, and encourage them to kiss. It’s all designed to bring some levity during breaks in the game.

But on New Year’s Day, during the Caps’ game against the New Jersey Devils, Warren Arborgast, a season ticket holder and gay hockey fan, saw that one of 10 couples shown on the scoreboard were two men.

“Usually, they go for the punch line — two male fans of the opposing team — at the end,” he said. “But these were two Caps fans, and they never did the joke elsewhere during that sequence.”

He said the fans gave a huge laugh thinking it was a joke. Then the couple paused and kissed. The crowd’s reaction turned from laughter to cheers and significant applause, and then to a murmur, presumably out of shock.


(via Off Wing Opinion)

Jul 11, 2006

Florida Panthers 2006-07 slogan: "Drop That Puck"

From the Sun-Sentinel:
The hockey season may have just ended, but the Florida Panthers are ready to "Drop That Puck."

The National Hockey League franchise this week will launch its new advertising campaign. The new effort seeks to build on the team's on-ice momentum and fan enthusiasm to boost season ticket sales and drive consumer awareness for the sport.


(via Kukla's Korner)

Memo to the Panthers dj: you should be using "Drop That Puck" by the Zambonis!

Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race

Here's a fan video of a Chicago Bulls inflatable mascot race. Each of the three "Inflate-a-Bull" mascots represent a section, and whichever mascot wins the race earns a prize for their section. (via GameOps.com)

Jul 6, 2006

Chicago Bulls mascot arrested

From the Chicago Sun Times:

“Benny the Bull” was arrested at the Taste of Chicago after taking a swing — in costume — at an off-duty police officer who was trying to get him to stop riding around on a mini-motorcyle.

Barry Anderson, who is employed as the Chicago Bulls mascot, was driving the motorcyle in the 700 block of South Columbus Sunday on the grounds of the Taste without permission from the event organizers, Central District Capt. James Knightly said.

(Via GameOps.com)

Just curious: How long has Benny the Bull's page on the Chicago Bulls web site been down for?

Ric Flair says Woo Hoo for Carolina

You've been searching for it ... now we've found it on YouTube: Ric Flair yelling Woo Hoo on the video scoreboard at a Carolina Hurricanes game. This clip was caught be a fan -- looks like on a camera phone.



Previous: Woo! Ric Flair pumps up the Carolina Hurricanes

Jul 5, 2006

GameOps.com visits the New York Rangers

Check out this month's "Six from Six" at GameOps.com, featuring a visit to the New York Rangers. Another great review/round-up from Jon Cudo, the editor of GameOps.com.

Behind Blue Fur: Interview with Devil Rays mascot


The St. Petersburg Times has a fun profile on Raymond, the mascot for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Some highlights:

Raymond - a sea dog of genus Canus Manta, species whatthefluffalus - bounces along the corridors of Tropicana Field in 18-inch sneakers, drawing cheers and high-fives. His blue, pear-shaped body rocks from side to side. The silky hair of his ears and snout flops with each jerk of his head.
...
Before a game against Baltimore, Raymond snatches a fan's Orioles hat and sneezes on it. He grabs another orange and black cap to freshen his underarms.
...
Cooling off in his lair below the stands, Raymond contemplates the profession. "I think the Oriole Bird put it best: If this wasn't so much fun, this would be the worst job in the world.' "
...
Probably the worst part of the job is the heat. "The only way I can compare it is putting on three sweatshirts, three pairs of sweatpants and a bucket on your head and go run around in that."
...
Another unplanned moment didn't turn out so well. Last season, Raymond leaned over the fence in the right field stands and accidentally tumbled over, keeping his grip on the fence's top rail. He hung from the rail for a moment, his arm broken by the sudden wrenching, then dropped 11 feet to the ground.

(via GameOps)

Jul 2, 2006

Nancy Faust, Chicago White Sox organist

Nancy Faust baseball cardEnough hockey ... it's summer so here's a baseball story from the archives. Nancy Faust has played the organ for the Chicago White Sox for over 35 years. She's also played organ for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, and Minnesota North Stars. (And I think she is the only organist to ever be featured on a baseball card.)

Here's a profile from WSI News: Flashing Back... with Nancy Faust.

Highlights:

  • "Probably the first stadium organist to incorporate rock tunes as part of her pre-game and between-innings entertainment..."

  • On offensive songs: "...there are a couple of umpires who are very sensitive, so Jeff Szynal [Ed. note: Manager of Scoreboard Operations and Production] gives me a heads up when they’re doing a game.
  • On favourite player songs: "For Craig Counsel I played the theme from Perry Mason and somebody suggested Spider Man for Snyder. I played Inky Dinky Spider for him, too. And there was In-A Gadda-da-Vida for Incaviglia, and Let’s Get Physical for Vizquel and I Love Lucy for Rob Ducey."


Previous: Ballpark organists: They're out!

Jun 28, 2006

Didn't Fox already try a glowing puck?

Found on YouTube:
"This invention refers to a visualization system specially designed for ice hockey rinks; its specific aim is to improve the visualization of the puck while it is moving on the ice. This system improves the direct visualization of the puck on the ice, but it has been particularly designed to improve the visualization through television systems, which are mainly used by viewers. Contact info: artempus@artempus.com (+34) 696 996 968 Antonio Miguel Baena C. (Ă‘ito)"

It's like the glowing puck that Fox used to use, except it's yellow. And the whole ice lights up when a goal is scored.

Jun 27, 2006

Carolina Hurricanes anthem singer, Storm Squad member, and engineering student

Here's an article about Holly Wilver, the Carolina Hurricanes anthem singer during the 2006 playoffs. She's also a member of the Hurricanes Storm Squad, and an engineering student.

The national anthem singing didn't start with the Hurricanes. She spent the past couple years singing for some of the Durham Bulls games. Ironically, one of her first games was when the Bulls were playing a team from Canada, the Ottawa Lynx.

"I love [the] Canadian anthem; it's so pretty," Wilver said. "I sang it then, all this season and when the Canes played the Oilers. I learned it by listening to the last national anthem singer for the Canes. So, I definitely didn't have a problem with it. It's great."

Shortly after joining the Storm Squad, some members learned about her talent.

Kristen Scates, a 2004 graduate in computer engineering, said she didn't know Wilver could sing, but when another Storm Squad member mentioned it to her, it became a dare to get her to sing in front of the team.

"To be honest, it was years ago," Scates said. "I think it was more like a dare because we had heard she could sing and we knew she had performed the anthem before at a Durham Bulls game."

Wilver didn't budge. She wouldn't give in to the dare.

But when the time came, Wilver was ready.

In front of a sold-out crowd in the season-opening home game for Carolina this season against the Pittsburgh Penguins, many of her friends, along with everyone else in the stadium, heard her for the first time.

Jun 21, 2006

TSN's Jay Onrait on David Hasselhoff and Tina Turner

From Jay Onrait's Stanley Cup Game 7 blog on TSN.com:

8:16 EST - A young Engineering student appears to be struggling through "O Canada" and some of the crowd is sort of trying to help her sing it. I think. Not exactly Rexall Place but not a bad gesture. I realize she is young and everything but this is the person they decided would be appropriate to sing the anthems in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final? David Hasselhoff would not approve.

11:01 EST - As they get set to present the Conn Smythe trophy I wonder if anyone will get around to writing a song that might replace "Simply The Best" by Tina Turner as the "go-to" song when a team wins a championship.

Would Bill Veeck approve a video scoreboard at Wrigley Field?

There's talk of replacing the old hand-operated scoreboard at Wrigley Field with a new video scoreboard.

As far as I know, Wrigley Field is the last major league ballpark that doesn't have a video scoreboard. It currently has a classic scoreboard, installed by owner Bill Veeck in 1937. Baseball purists say adding a video scoreboard would be an insult to tradition.

I'm sure Veeck would disagree.

A recent article in Sports Illustrated quotes Veeck's son Mike:
...Mike, a minor league baseball executive, who said his dad "would put in the Diamond Vision. He was very much a man of his time. He would do it again for the fan appeal."


Bill Veeck brought in TONS of improvements to the fan experience at baseball games. Many of the improvements were related to customer service (like making sure washrooms were clean). He also introduced many features that would ENTERTAIN.

Examples: Veeck pushed hard to get player names on the back of their jerseys. Veeck also added post-game fireworks after every game. (Read his books for many more.)

Both of those ideas were initially shot down and criticized by what Veeck called the "Old Guard" -- traditionalists. And Veeck never let tradition/status quo stop him from improving the game experience.

My advice to Wrigley Field: Install a new video scoreboard, but give it a classic look that pays tribute to the old one. Keep it simple, and keep the sponsorship off the scoreboard. Use it how Veeck would want it used -- to entertain the fans.

New York Mets Signman Lives!

Thanks to Jon Cudo at the GameOps.com blog for pointing us towards a New York Times article on "The Signman". The Signman was a regular at New York Mets games in the 60's, 70's, and 80's -- and was famous for ... signs!

(Karl) Ehrhardt, 81, better known to fans of a certain vintage as the Sign Man of Shea, looked down at a pile of placards he once flashed in Flushing, bits of commentary designed to praise and inspire, or tease and rattle, the Mets and their opponents.

From 1964 to 1981, the Sign Man, dressed in a blue shirt and a black derby emblazoned with a Mets logo, responded on cue to much of the drama played out between the white lines.

...

He took roughly 60 signs to each game; he once owned as many as 1,200, but only 12 remain. The letters were white paper spray-glued onto black cardboard measuring 20 inches high and 26 inches wide.

Jun 19, 2006

Enough with the goal horn, Carolina

Congrats to the Carolina Hurricanes on their Stanley Cup win.

But would somebody please tell Carolina's horn guy to stop blowing the damn horn? For the past 15 minutes during the post-game celebration, the horn's gone off 100 times.

Jun 18, 2006

Jun 15, 2006

Bruins hold Ice Girls Draft

Via Kuklas Korner:

The Boston Bruins held their first ever Ice Girls Draft at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday evening. Over 90 girls from all over the area came to the tryout for a chance to make the team. Only 20 will be kept.
Lyndon Byers (former Bruin and current WAAF radio voice), Kelly Malone (Mix 98.5), Kim Jacobs (wife of Charlie Jacobs), Mike Adams (WEEI 850), and John Whitesides (Strength Coach) were on hand to help interview the candidates and offer their insight on certain girls that caught their eye.

...

After the interview process, the candidates who knew how to skate were sent out on the ice to show their skating ability. Their enthusiasm certainly showed, as the candidates skated just like they would during a Bruins' intermission, ice bucket and all. Many of candidates would wave and cheer, and show excitement, anything to get extra points.

Jun 14, 2006

The link between wrestling and hockey

NHL.com has an article today on the link between professional wrestling and professional hockey. There's Ric Flair, cheerleader for the Carolina Hurricanes. There's Hulk Hogan, who along with his daughter Brooke, are big fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then there's Wayne Gretzky and Bret "The Hitman" Hart.

Jun 12, 2006

Hamilton Tiger-Cats fire two cheerleaders

Two Hamilton Tiger-Cats cheerleaders have been fired after appearing on The Howard Stern Show. (via fellow Kanata/Ottawa blogger Erin Nicks at The Universal Cynic)

We'll file this one under the same category as the Toronto Raptor cheerleader fired for nude photos and the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders fired after an "escapade".

More fun cheerleading links:

Jun 11, 2006

Mark Cuban on in-game videos and songs

Mark Cuban has a blog entry today about the video and music spoofs shown on the Mavs video scoreboard:

Anyone who has been to a game here knows we take great pride in trying to come up with unique videos and songs that entertain and amuse our fans/customers. Its not always easy. We have great marketing people who have come up with classics like the Star Wars Nash vs Dirk - Cut your hair. But I like coming up with some ideas as well.

Some are good. Some not. But going through all the songs you hear, running through Itunes samples , reading email suggestions and just looking for clues can be fun.

...

Im trying to come up with a nice way to turn the Hokey Pokey into the ShaqaPokey.. You put your elbow in, you put elbow out. You put elbow in and you smash it all about…Show some video from last game. But that was a bit harsh. For now.

Im also pushing our guys to redo this song. Its already a cheeselicious classic. Anything we can do that is a voice over of him singing the chorus surrounded by some fun Mavs lyrics. Well thats chart topping entertainment !

Jun 6, 2006

Calgary Flames playoff opener

Here's the opening video Calgary used in Round 1 of the playoffs. The main song is "In Your Honour" by the Foo Fighters. Good choice!

Fan vid: Calgary Flames opening show

Found on YouTube, a fan video of the Calgary Flames playoff opening show.

Mets fans hate their new theme song

From adfreak:

Their team may be sitting pretty atop the National League East, but that doesn’t mean fans of the New York Mets feel any affection for the team's new theme song, an attempt at hip-hop which includes the Mets new, non-committal tagline: "The team. The time. The Mets." Local media outlets have been reporting that fans hate the song so much that its creators have been receiving death threats.


While searching for some background info on the Mets theme song, I stumbled across this article about the history of "Meet The Mets". It includes versions of the song from 1963, 1984, 1999, and even an instrumental organ version. Sweet.

Krazy George has a new web page

Krazy George has a new web page -- at least it's newer than the last time we were searching for Krazy George info.

Krazy George claims to be the inventor of the wave -- and if you've never seen him before, check out some of the videos on the web site to see why they call him Krazy.

I first met George in January 1999, when I worked for the Ottawa 67's. He was scheduled to perform at one of our games, but the game was cancelled due to a snowstorm. I took George out for dinner in the Byward Market, where I learned that he used to be a schoolteacher. He turned into a professional cheerleader in the 1980s, and now lives on a yacht off the coast of California. At the height of his popularity, he was bringing in well over $100k per year in performance fees.

When you're on his web site, make sure you check out this list of newspaper scans. You can read about how the B.C. Lions used George as a secret weapon in the Grey Cup playoffs ... or how an Edmonton Oilers coach tried to ban him because he was too noisy.

Jun 5, 2006

Guy Lafleur launches disco album

We're heading into the time machine for this one, taking you back to 1979 in Montreal, where Guy Lafleur has just launched a disco album...



(Found on YouTube, originally aired on CBC TV.)

Update: Listen to one of Guy Lafleur's disco tunes here.

Baseball promotion: 6/6/06

Gameops.com blogs about a June 6th Promotion from the Potomac Nationals. That day this year will read as 6/6/06, and the Nationals are planning:


  • A 6:06pm start time
  • A copy of the Sixth Amendment hand-out
  • Anyone with the name the sixth President will get a ticket discount
  • Anyone who is 16, 26, 36, etc. will get a ticket discount
  • All fans under 6 years old get a free Grandstand ticket
  • The team will celebrate the "Sixth Inning Stretch"
  • Music from the 60's will be played
  • If the Nationals score six or more, all fans get a voucher for a free ticket
  • etc. etc. etc. etc.



(It's one of many wacky promos from Potomack, including last summer's "hairiest back" contest.)

Jun 4, 2006

Hartford Whalers "Brass Bonanza"

Fans of the Hartford Whalers might be interested to know that "Brass Bonanza" was recently played at the RBC Centre in Raleigh, North Carolina. Carolina's DJ played the tune before a Hurricanes-Devils game in the second round.

"Brass Bonanza" was the theme song of the Whalers, who moved to North Carolina to become the Hurricanes. The song was recently described in the NY Daily News as "the greatest three minutes in music history". That's taking it a little too far -- but it is a great retro sports theme.

You can hear the tune on Brass Bonanza, a tribute page to the Hartword Whalers.

Discuss: What are the best sports theme songs of all time? Join the discussion on our HockeyMusic.ca forum.

Jun 3, 2006

GameOps.com: Lessons from the Detroit Shock (WNBA)

The latest entry in the "Six from Six" series from Gameops.com is about the Detroit Shock of the WNBA. Gameops.com edit John Cudo went to a Shock game last August and offers a ton of insights, including:


  • Creative ideas for handing out thundersticks

  • How to make your moment of silence & National Anthem more powerful

  • Make sure your game day staff is working in a "culture of fun"

  • Stand until you score (unless you're a hockey team)

  • Use different voices when talking to your fans



Read the full article: Six from Six: Detroit Shock (WNBA)

Jun 2, 2006

Dallas Mavericks opening show

Just so you don't think we're all about hockey, here's a vid of the Dallas Mavericks opening show.

The lighting:
- 8 x Christie Roadster S+16 (16k lumen video projectors)
- 8 x High End Systems Catalyst Pro Media Servers (to control the images)
- 8 x High End Systems Catalyst Orbital Heads (makes the lights move around the court)

The effect is very impressive - sort of a "video cyberlight".

The music, by the way, is "Eminence Front" by The Who.

Jun 1, 2006

PA Announcer obit: " "He'll always be remembered for screwing names up"

An article from May 2005 about Bob Casey, the legendary Minnesota Twins PA Announcer. Are there any other teams out there who find mispronounciations funny?

What also endeared Casey to many was his humorous ability to turn the correct pronunciation of a player's name into something totally different.

Former Twins star Paul Molitor would become "Paul Monitor." Yankees Japanese star Hideki Matsui once found his name altered to "Hideki Mat-sushi." Names of such players as Juan Encarnacion or Aramis Ramirez could become almost indecipherable and elicit laughs from the press box.

Former Twins outfielder Dustan Mohr, who was already in a game, was re-introduced as the game's new right fielder, but somehow he was re-named "Dustin Hoffman."

"He'll always be remembered for screwing names up, which was great," Radke said.

Even on Opening Day last season, when the Twins game wore into extra innings against Cleveland, former veteran Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel heard something even he never heard before.

"Now batting, Ozzie Virgil," Casey announced. "Correction, Ozzie Vizquel!" At that point, all Vizquel could do was step out of the batter's box smiling as he looked in Casey's direction.