Big Lead Sports Bar


General Admission: WBS Pens @ Hershey Bears

WBS Penguins @ Hershey Bears – 1/20/08
Baby Pens Fall 3-1 in Disheartening Fashion

After hyping the Dennis Bonvie swan song, it was just my luck he was a last minute scratch for WBS on Sunday. The Pens were playing their third road game in three days so there were injuries (Bonvie, among others) and call-ups (Filewich, Brent, Minard) playing a big part in the loss. The Pens didn't find out they were losing these call ups 'til around noon, so they only went with 10 forwards. The offense was struggling before the puck was even dropped. WBS came out shooting in the first period, rifling 18 shots to the Bears' four. After this I was feeling good and was hoping for the best, but in the long run the short roster and lack of goal scorers spelled disaster. The Pens only goal was scored by an ECHL call up, Jean-Michel Daoust, and the only fight of the night was a less than stellar one between a pedestrian Paul Bissonnette and Louis Robitaille.

But, enough belly aching on my part about the loss, after all, this is minor league hockey. Seriously though, who doesn’t have fun at a hockey game? All and all, here are some of the highlights of the night.

For anybody that has never attended a game at the vaunted Giant Center you are not missing much. In case you are wondering what a “Giant” is, it’s the Eastern PA equivalent to Giant Eagle. I’ve had a beef with this arena since I first set foot in it three years ago. This is the closest thing to watching a game in Communist Russia short of flying to Moscow. All the concourses, seats, decorations, etc., are a drab shade of brown or tan. If feels so plain you get depressed just walking to your seat. I know the original designers were probably going for that chocolate look, being Hershey and all, but seriously the whole game I was looking over my shoulder for the KGB to drag me away. There’s just no personality to this arena whatsoever.

Since Lauren and I were attending a Sunday game, we can get $4.00 off our tickets at the gate by showing our Giant Bonus Card. Anyway, I try to avoid paying full price for any type of minor league event. Since the Bears couldn’t even sell out opening night, it’s easy to say you can buy tickets in the Parking lot usually for around 10-15 bucks for the lower level. We wound up nabbing a pair for 25 bucks off a season ticket holder. Most of the time when it’s 15 degrees on a Sunday with NFL playoffs, I would be home, but this game was the 1 year anniversary of our first date, which was at a Bears/Pens game, so watching Tom Coughlin’s face freeze off could wait till after the game.

After scalping our cheap tickets, we collected our coupons for our free Hershey Bears ice scrapers and entered the arena. I find it ironic that the giveaway is an ice scraper, and we’ve had 3 days of snow this entire year.
Already ecstatic at receiving a free ice scraper, I learn that it is “Country Night” at the arena! I figured the performer it would have to somebody local, but after still being quite shaken up after the Povertyneck Hillbilly break-up, my curiosity was doing overtime wondering who it could be. Lauren mentioned that Taylor Swift is from Reading, so it’s possible she was the special guest, being a local celebrity. So we investigated the makeshift concert at the concourse to see who this mystery performer might be.

The moment of truth: the music kicks up, and as it turns out, the crowd was abuzz for Woody Bradshaw….Whah? Who the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is Woody Bradshaw? What’s next, a comedy night with Pauly Shore? Don’t worry, I asked around, there is no relation to Terry Bradshaw, even though I wouldn’t be shocked. Terry was quite the recording artist himself.

I hear his cover of Kenny Rogers’ “Ruby don’t Take Your Love to Town” is legendary.

Ah, what could have been. Woody is a poor man’s John Cougar Mellencamp.
Maybe next year, Taylor...Harrisburg is Woody Bradshaw Country.

Another disappointing fixture of the Giant Center is that Hershey has an ambiguously gay mascot named after a stripper.

Here’s “Coco” the Bear. I guess “Star” or “Destiny” were all taken.

Yes hockey fans, what’s better than to have a ferocious bear as your mascot?

Having this thing – Meet the University of Arkansas-Monticello’s Boll Weevil.

It’s nice to see Gonzo found work after the Muppet Show was cancelled.
Or Upper Iowa University’s Peacock…

Fear The Peacock. No, seriously – he’ll peck your eye out.

Last but not least, the most interesting thing you will see at a Hershey Bears game is this ridiculous B-E-A-R-S-BEARS-BEARS-BEARS chant after every goal. What makes this lame cheer even more annoying is that it is led by this pre-taped fan wearing a hockey puck hat chanting on the jumbo-tron.

Save your "black bear" jokes

I looked for some YouTube footage of the cheer, but couldn’t find any, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Please, no projectile vomiting.

In closing I’m going to shamelessly plug the next installment of General Admission as I travel to see the now Sid-less Pens take on the Flyers this Thursday night. What is the opening line for the over-under on how many “Crosby sucks!” I will have to put up with? Or how many beers will be thrown at me? Our seats are in the”All You Can Eat” section of the arena, so at least I know I won’t be going home hungry. I would like any reader interaction, so please email me with suggestions, games/venues I should check out, etc.
Until next time – Let’s Go Pens!


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

the report from the Giant Center is a bummer, especially considering they moved out of the holy-rad-ass HersheyPark Arena. We (Johnstown Warriors) played there for the state's bantam tournament in the late 80s/early 90s, and the thrill was second only to playing @ the Igloo.

plus dude... less than 100yds from the World of Chocolate ride...

check it out :

Snuke said...

You better watch yourself in Philly, bro...

Those jerkies are gonna be all riled up because they know without Crosby the only shot we have is to out-physical them, which is no easy task. I have a feeling we might even see Petr Sykora fighting in this one - who knows, maybe even a goalie v. goalie fight...that'd be awesome.

Enjoy the game, and try not to get mugged/shot/killed while in Philly...


Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

After watching Malkin last night, I really don't think we're that screwed without Sid.

If Conklin starts that game, we probably win by a goal or two.

Rege said...

I can't wait for the game. I like our chances. This should be great Column