The Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL (East Coast Hockey League for those not in the know) recently held a 1 dollar beer night promotion. This picture would suggest it was a successful campaign. It would also appear that these fine fans had their fill of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) and were using their play based learning of structures and shapes for their culminating task (that last part is a tip of the cap to you Kindergarten teachers).
This particular picture makes me chuckle and reflect on some of the fans I’ve encountered while playing in the Niagara Junior C hockey loop back in the mid 90’s. I always went out of my way to engage the fans when I had the opportunity (truth be told I had plenty of opportunities as on most nights I was commonly found in the penalty box, press box or at the end of the bench awaiting a chance).
Let me transport your mind to a cold evening in the lovely town of Woodstock, Ontario. I was playing for the Simcoe Storm and as often was the case I had found my way into the penalty box early in the game. I can’t remember the exact infraction but it was likely not my fault or I was wrongly accused. In any event I found myself in the small box of shame counting down each second of my punishment.
While I was there a fan behind me was chirping me pretty good. The fan in question was hitting me with some amateur hour barbs about my weight. I engaged the fella with a few hand gestures as he kept sqwaking at me. Finally the time passed by and I let go from the box and back into gen pop (aka back into the game).
This particular fan (who was an adult compared to my 18 years of age at the time) was a pro heckler. He came prepared with treats for my next visit to the box later in the game. On this occasion I found myself sharing the penalty spa (it’s normally a refreshing experience) with a teammate named Jack “The Bear” Ronson. The Bear was a massive man (a carbon copy of Paul Bunyan would be an apt comparison). Sharing the box with him left little room for rest and relaxation, however it was pure delight for the heckling fan. The fan was so enamored with The Bear’s size that he heckled him with the Jim Shoenfield “GO HAVE ANOTHER DONUT ROUTINE“. The Bear loved this and told the fan that he would love to have a donut with him after the game, perhaps in the parking lot. At this point the fan tossed a boston cream donut into the box. Undaunted The Bear put down his gloves, took off his helmet and picked up the boston cream.
The Bear than devoured the donut. Stone cold serial killer like, The Bear destroyed that donut. Seconds after dusting off the donut we both left the box and returned to the bench.
Such a classic random memory to have.