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.