That got out of hand fast!

Right you are Mr. Burgundy

Right you are Mr. Burgundy

If you love hockey fights, you gotta check this one out! During last nights matchup between the Capitals and Flyers, things got heated fast after some chippy play from both teams. Click Here to see the whole fight in all of it’s hockey glory. If it wasn’t apparent already, just check out this video just to see how much the Flyers and Capitals hate each other. Fast forward to the 55 second mark if you want to skip how the fight started. Gotta love hockey, the mix of skill and brawn that no other professional sport can match. simmonds-holds-erskine

Why Muhlenberg Hockey is the best sporting event on campus

  • Excitement of Hockey 
    Fast paced action

    Fast paced action

    Hockey is one of the most exciting sporting events to watch. The speed, grace, and power of hockey players is truly something to behold live. Whether it’s a player flying down the ice, to a bone crunching hit in the corner, hockey provides the excitement of speed and violence that can get even a first time fan’s adrenaline pumping. Want excitement on a friday night? Come to a game!

  • Personalities 
    Who doesn't love a team with personality?

    Who doesn’t love a team with personality?

    Whoever said “blondes have the most fun” has clearly never met hockey players. Sure the players might be a little goofy, but they’re just having fun. The Muhlenberg team is no exception, filled with fun guys that just want to have a good time. Who really wants a team that is too serious? Those teams are no fun.  Why not root for some of the funnest guys on the Muhlenberg campus? Win or lose, you will be entertained.

 

  • They look good: 
    Back in Black

    Back in Black

    Muhlenberg maybe the cardinal red and grey, but man do they look good in black. The hockey team has some of the sharpest uniforms on campus, including my personal favorite uniforms, the road blacks. Nothing says intimidating like a team dressed in black from head to toe. While their uniforms may different from the norm here at Muhlenberg, it makes the team stand out in a good way.

  • They score…a lot!! 
    Putting the biscuit in the basket

    Putting the biscuit in the basket

    You gotta love an exciting team. Muhlenberg can put up goals in bunches with their dynamic offense and aggressive defense men. Seriously watching this team is like watching a highlight reel on ESPN. Not only can they put the puck in the net, but make it look easy with great plays that will make you just say wow.

 

 

  • Get away from campus 
    One of the best teams on campus

    One of the best teams on campus

    Lets face it. There are times that you just want to get out of the Muhlenberg bubble and get away. With the games off campus it gives students a chance to get off of the Berg campus and a chance to escape for a couple of hours. Plus the bus trip is a great way to meet new people that you may not have met otherwise.

  • Team’s mascot 
    Duncan is the team's mascot and #1 fan

    Duncan is the team’s mascot and #1 fan

    Sure we have the Mule mascot, but the hockey team has its own mascot and #1 fan. Duncan is the team’s little brother who is at every game cheering his heart out. He loves to come to practice whenever he can and has been a huge part of the program for the past two years. The players and fans love him and his family. Chances are if you come to a hockey game you’ll see Berg’s best fan along the glass cheering for his favorite team.

 

 

  • The Fans 
    Some of the most passionate fans on campus

    Some of the most passionate fans on campus

    The hockey games are a romp at Muhlenberg. The Muhlenmaniacs come out in full forces and let their presence known. If you love to cheer, you need to come. The fans are an integral part of the team’s success as they have given the Mules one of the best home ice advantages in the conference.

     

Broken: How sports knocked me down and got me back up

Ice Hockey was my passion. When it was taken from me I didn't know what to do

Ice Hockey was my passion. When it was taken from me I didn’t know what to do

One one thousand….. What happened? Two one thousand……. Where am I? What’s going on? Three one thousand…. Who am I? I’ve often been asked what’s it like to have a concussion. What goes through your head as your laying on the ice with your brain spinning inside your skull? I tell them  you don’t feel anything, not at first. It’s as if you’re in a dream, you see what’s happening and you try to tell your body to do one thing but it does the opposite. You’re a foreigner inside your own body.  Your numb and it feels like your senses are going haywire. Then when I finally get back to the bench and off the ice, my head is in a daze while my world is spinning like a top. I know what’s happened, I know the damage that’s been done, but I sit there, hands in my hands saying over and over again “this can’t be happening, not again”. For those of you who don’t know I am an addict. I’ve been addicted to sports as far back as I can remember. From football, baseball, to hockey I’m hooked. Hey you ever want to talk to me? Bring up sports I can talk your ear off for hours. For me hockey was more than a game, it was my soul mate. On that sheet of ice life made sense. Growing up I was a chubby kid who always finished last in the races on land was now a green and black streak flying down the ice. The boy whose massive frame awkwardly bumped into everything was now a wrecking ball on legs whose bone crushing hits would bring a roar from the home crowd.  Out on that ice I could vent the frustration of being picked on in school and prove to everyone that I could do something special.

There was really only one person who truly understood my love for the game and that was my father. I can still remember him taking me to practice at 4 o’clock in the morning so that I could work on my skating and slap shot. Most of my friends thought I was crazy, but when you love something that much you will do anything for it. When I wasn’t playing I was watching hockey, and when I wasn’t watching I was without question talking about it. When ever we got the chance, my father would take me to the Beast of New Haven games which still are some of my fondest memories. Heck every year for Halloween I was a hockey player, didn’t think outside of the box much did I? Then the game I had loved for my entire life, began to turn on me. It started with the first concussion, then the second, then the third. I kept going back, I couldn’t stop. It’s like being in a relationship with a difficult partner. You try to make it work and you really do love them. Yet no matter how many times they knock you down, you still go back. The illusion that it will be better if I give it one more chance that never turns in fruition. People ask why do you keep going back? You know there’s something better out there for you right? That was my relationship with hockey. I could feel us growing apart. My body was holding me back and despite my mind telling me to stop, my heart kept telling me to go. Was it stupid to go back and play? Of course, but when we look back on our past we give ourselves the illusion that we would have made the right choice. I can’t blame myself. I loved the game and being an adolescent at the time gave me this false sense of invincibility. I thought nothing could hurt me, nothing could stop me, they were wrong, I was right. When I look back on my life there are certain things that the concussions have cost me.  I can’t remember certain memories or my eighth grade year of school. Remembering people’s name has become a challenge that embarrasses me every time I get a name wrong. Concussions cost me the opportunity to play high school football, the dream of running out onto the field in front of the entire school on a saturday. The eruption of the crowd once I made a sack or a huge hit is a sound that never reached my ear drums. It was the same story different sport. Another attempt to push myself harder resulted in another shot to the head, another blow to get up from.

A few years ago I had to get up from the hardest knockdown of my life at the time. Halfway through my sophomore year I was cut from baseball. I was angry, not only because I felt I hadn’t gotten the rightful opportunity, but because it was another blow in my sports life. I still remember thinking what now? What now? Sports had defined my first twenty years of existence, and now they were gone. Through all the turmoil and bad breaks I had endured throughout my young life I knew that there had to be a greater purpose for me. I still remember a quote from Rocky Balboa. In the movie Rocky said “nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward”. I knew that I had been knocked down before, I had to get up once again.

After my baseball career ended here in college, the question that I had to answer was what now? After a few weeks of drifting through classes and college life, I happened to learn about the college radio station. After inquiring about a sports talk show, I was given the an assistant position with the stations sports talk show High and Tight Sports Talk. After learning the how to operate the equipment and set up a show, my mentor Jeremy Menard handed me the reigns at the beginning of my junior year. Now I have my own show, Rich Sports Talk, along with this blog and couldn’t be happier. Now instead of playing sports, I realize that I can talk about them with great insight and varying opinions. Reporting sports and entertaining people has become my mission in life. I realize that I have the gift to make people laugh and feel joy. If I can make someone feel just a little bit better about their life when they read my articles or listen to my on the air, that is the greatest reward. After years of being angry because I felt cheated and betrayed by my own body, I now feel blessed for the gifts I do have. Instead of feeling like a broken shell that was never whole, I finally feel at peace. If anything the concussions and being out of sports has given me one of life’s greatest gifts. That is with perseverance, and to just keep moving forward, you will accomplish your dreams, even if you don’t know what they are yet. For anybody out there who feels slighted or cheated, this maybe life’s way of testing your resolve. Trust me the road is hard, but for those who can take the lumps and get to the end of that road, I promise you that you will reach your goals.

If you build it, Phantoms will come!!!

The Phantoms are coming back to PA.

The Phantoms are coming back to PA.

Ah yes Allentown, the city known for Billy Joel, Muhlenberg College, Dorney park, and Yoccos hotdogs. But now Allentown will also be known as Phantomtown. No, this isn’t a cheesy ghost town from a Scooby Doo episode, but a new mecca for minor league hockey. Starting in 2014 Allentown will be the home for the Philadelphia flyers American Hockey League affiliate and will be called the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. From 1996-2009 the Phantoms called the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia, yes the spectrum where Rocky Balboa won the title, their home. The Phantoms became

Opening in 2014 the new arena on 7th St. & Hamilton

Opening in 2014 the new arena on 7th St. & Hamilton

one of the AHL’s most popular and successful teams, including two Calder Cup championships. The phantoms hold a special place in my heart because my first hockey game was in 1997 when the Phantoms played in my hometown against the Beast of New Haven. While the Beast may be gone, the Phantoms have endured as one of the longest running minor league franchises. But when the Spectrum was demolished in 2009 the team moved north to become the Adirondack Phantoms. In Philly the Phantoms had one of the biggest followings for a minor league sports team and soon there was a public outcry to keep the team in Philadelphia but ultimately they decided to move the team to Allentown. This was after a heated competition between Allentown and

The Phantoms will have a new look in 2014 too

The Phantoms will have a new look in 2014 too

Camden, New Jersey to lure the franchise back from Adirondack.  Allentown won the rights and began building the new “Allentown Arena”. The arena will be at the corner of 7th street and Hamilton Streets in the downtown and is expected to open in the fall of 2014. The new arena will hold 8,500 fans for hockey and 10,000 for concerts and is estimated to cost of around 270 million dollars. The arena has been deemed a multi-purpose arena and is looking to host between 140 and 200 events annually. The arena will feature retractable stands for concerts and trade shows and featuring multiple suites. While this price tag may be steep the arena is for much more than hockey. While the Phantoms will be the primary draw, and were the major reason for the development of the arena, its ultimate goal is help stimulate the economy for Allentown. While this a great for stimulating businesses for the downtown Allentown area, the hockey fans, especially the Flyer fans, will enjoy watching professional hockey and seeing the future stars of the NHL. I would recommend going for even none hockey fans, because in my personal opinion there is nothing more exciting than a live hockey game. Plus, you only live once! The new arena  will also allow more concerts and other entertainment that even a greater amount of the Lehigh Valley community can enjoy.

AHL hockey will bring new excitement to the Lehigh region

AHL hockey will bring new excitement to the Lehigh region

The new Phantoms Arena won’t just bring hockey to this area but opportunities and events that the Lehigh Valley couldn’t even imagine. It will without a doubt allow for the Muhlenberg and Allentown community to have new and memorable experiences. If you would like to see the construction progress and stadium renderings go to phantomsarena.com.  Thanks and Go Phantoms!!!

If it’s broken, it needs fixing: teams that are desperately in need of a makeover

Ah yes fashion, where styles come and go so fast that most people feel way behind. Sports is intriguing because some fashion choices stay eternal. The iconic sweaters and logos of the Original Six in the NHL, the pinstripes of the New York Yankees, the yellow and purple of the L.A. Lakers, and the silver and black of the Raiders. Some teams never need to change their iconic logos and superb jerseys. However, there are some teams that desperately need to update their look. You just look at them and go geez what the heck are they wearing. Here is my list of ten teams that need a makeover.

1) The Phoenix Suns:

I need aloe vera! these jerseys burn my eyes!

I need aloe vera! these jerseys burn my eyes!

Wow I think Willy Wonka let the ompa lompas out. The Suns have never had great uniforms and have gone through many different logos, colors, and uniforms in their history. However, no matter what they do nothing seems to work. I get orange should be incorporated with the uniforms but not as an Orange and Grey eyesore. I know that the Suns have a difficult mascot to work with but I feel that their logo and jersey defiantly is in need of an overhaul. Players look like giant pumpkins isn’t intimidating and I don’t get who the jerseys are so different. Home is white with primarily purple highlights and only a little orange. The road jerseys are all orange and grey with no purple. Guys I understand you want to mix it up but please have a little consistency. I think that the best move for the Suns is to have simpler uniforms without these colors clashing and should try to update their logo. Also pick what colors your going to be and stick with them. If you want to be purple be purple if you want to be orange be orange make up your mind!!!

2) Miami Marlins:

Can we stop trying to copy the U please?

Can we stop trying to copy the U please?

Ok I know that orange is popular because of the Hurricanes and Dolphins but that doesn’t mean you have to wear it to! Just because you’re the Miami Marlins now doesn’t mean you copy the colors of the two other teams in town with orange and coral blue. These jerseys are an eyesore and while at first I thought they were kinda cool that novelty wore off faster than Miami traded away their team this offseason. Maybe the orange is appropriate for the fire sale they’re having on South Beach. I give Miami credit for trying something new but seriously guys when if I have to ask id that is a Marlin on your hat then you probably did it wrong. These jerseys are new but I do think these need to go to. Hey maybe the Marlins will trade their uniforms next!

3) Milwaukee Brewers:

Get the Dolorean! time to go back in time

Get the DeLorean! time to go back in time

This is a different one. While the new Brewers uniforms aren’t bad, I’d love to see them go back to their old uniforms full-time. The classic Brewers uniforms are sharp and are perfect with most teams going to “more retro” uniforms. The lighter blue and yellow with the old school block lettering is reminiscent of great baseball uniforms of the past. The Brewers should follow this fashion trend of bringing back vintage looks because it will also bring back one of the most iconic logos in baseball, the glove and ball Brewer logo. While the new uniforms and logo aren’t terrible, I think most of the Brew Crew and their fans would accept these classics once again.

4) New England Patriots:

Pat the Patriot needs to replace the Elvis Patriot

Pat the Patriot needs to replace the Elvis Patriot

Another case of bringing back the old school. Ok Jet fans I know you hate the Patriots like I do, but even you have to admit these are pretty sweet duds. These are patriotic red, white, and blue instead of the current blue and silver color combination the Patriots wear now. These jerseys are bold and colorful and make a statement that this is an American team. Also these uniforms would bring back the fabled Pat the Patriot mascot. Hmmmm do I want a tough and gritty patriot hiking a football in a three-point stance, or the patriot that looks like a cheesy rip off of Elvis. The new uniforms also don’t make sense. I hate there is barely any red and the overuse of silver. Lets make this clear there is only one team that can and should were silver in the NFL and that is the Silver and Black of the Raiders. While I do hate the Patriots seeing them in these uniforms would make them a little easier to stomach when Tom Brady torches your team’s secondary.

 

 

5) Tennessee Titans:

old Oilers + new Titans= bad uniforms

old Oilers + new Titans= bad uniforms

These uniforms are trying to do too much. They try to mix a new team and design with the classic colors of the Houston Oilers. The result is a confusing combination of blues and white that just look like they can’t agree. This franchise is trying modernize the old Oilers jerseys instead of creating their own identity. With different shades of blues in different and odd combinations makes these uniforms an eyesore and confusing. On top of that the logo just never seems to fit in especially with all the red when there is no red in the uniforms. I think this is one NFL franchise that should go back to the drawing board and instead of trying to recreate an identity just create their own unique logo and uniforms.

6) San Diego Chargers

San Diego needs to embrace their best look

San Diego needs to embrace their best look

Most football fans agree that the Chargers powder blues are one of if not the best uniforms in the game. But here’s my question, why the heck aren’t they wearing them??? These beauties are currently the alternates to the main navy colored jerseys which have been the primary colored jerseys since 1973. Why the Chargers took the best uniform in the game and put it as an alternate I will never know. I am sick of seeing the dark blue charger uniforms and would love to see these babies full-time. The chargers need to embrace their best look because it is the perfect color for San Diego. It’s cool, laid back, and easy-going just like the people of San Diego. Heck if I was the Chargers I would petition the commissioner to wear these uniforms all the time. Can the fans of San Diego petition to make these uniforms the primary home uniforms. I’ll say it again these are my favorite uniforms in the league please wear them!!!

 

7) Dallas Stars:

Less is more except if your the Stars

Less is more except if your the Stars

Talk about vanilla. While simpler is usually better for Dallas the Stars jerseys are terrible. They took a great jersey in the nineties with the star shape around the bottom of the jerseys and a good logo off their uniforms. Now all that’s left is Dallas, green stripes, and numbers in the front. YYYYAAAAAWWWWWNNNNNN. The Stars need a new uniform and possibly logo. While to logo isn’t bad it could use some upgrading. This is Texas things are supposed to be bigger and better not quieter and simpler. Dallas needs to embrace their inner Texan and get rid of these pathetic jerseys.

8) Anaheim Ducks

The word Ducks across the chest really original

The word Ducks across the chest really original

Ah yes the Anaheim Ducks. A franchise notorious for hideous jerseys. While their new third jerseys are an improvement the main jersey with the word “Ducks” across the Chest is boring. Not to mention the gold with black combination which should look cool looks pretty weak. My suggestion is to combine the jerseys and logos of the past. Use the classic duck mask, or Wild Wing logo, with the double hockey sticks that the Mighty Ducks franchise made famous with their Disney movies. Then use this old logo with the new black and orange color schemes. Also if the could combine it with the diagonal stripe of the original jersey, then the Ducks could have one of the best looking jerseys in the game.

9) Carolina Hurricanes:

Wow I wish the Whalers were still here

Wow I wish the Whalers were still here

To think this used to be a franchise with one of the best logos and uniforms in hockey. But alas the Whalers are gone and now they are the hurricanes. First off the logo is weak a red and black circle really intimidating. Looks more like a tropical storm then a hurricane. Also the uniforms with red white and blacks fighting with each other makes it a very confusing look. I love the secondary logo on the shoulder and the third jersey. It combines the Carolina triangle, a hockey stick, and a flag in a hurricane to make a simple yet cool logo. The third jerseys that are black with this logo are great and I wish they would switch to these babies full-time and make a white version with it. Those would make the Hurricanes look cool and not like there is a giant red and black eye on their chest.

10) Washington Wizards:

Bullets + Wizards = red, white, and blah

Bullets + Wizards = red, white, and blah

Like the Titans earlier in the list the Wizards have tried to combine two teams into one. Bad idea taking an already weak logo and name and bring to combine it with the historical Bullets jerseys creates this star-spangled screamer. While I do commend them for actually using red white and blue instead of gold and blue the old combination of the old uniforms and logo are just a mess. While these are retro uniforms, sometimes simpler is better. Look at the Nets and Knicks they changed to simpler uniforms and look great. While I think they are going in the right direction, these uniforms are defiantly the elephant in the room, not Republicans, when it comes to the city’s sports teams. While at first they were cool now they need an upgrade. Also the Wizards logo of the wizard and basketball has been weak and outdated for years. This is another team that needs to update their mascot or find a new one. Instead of Wizards rename the team, like in New Orleans, to something more appropriate. Names like Eagles, or Diplomats could be possibilities.

Do you agree with my list? Any teams you think I left out or think I was wrong about? Please feel free to comment below and tell me what you think. Don’t forget to email me or write in the comments section about what you would like me to write about next. Thanks and have a great day!

Move over Boston there’s a new home for college hockey

Quinnipiac is now #2 in the nation

Quinnipiac is now #2 in the nation

Yale is # 8 in the nation

Yale is # 8 in the nation

If Detroit is known as hockey town for the NHL, there is no question that Boston has been known as the college hockey town. Four college teams have dominated the bean pot region and the kings of this hockey kingdom are the Boston College Eagles and the Boston University Terriers. Both programs are perennial contenders with the Eagles winning three of the past five National Championships and the Terriers winning it all in 2009. While these two superpowers of college hockey have dominated for years Boston is also home to the Harvard Crimson and NorthEastern which have also had a major impact on college hockey. But hang on, because the power maybe shifting south and more specifically to Whitney Avenue. Only seven miles apart are two of the hottest teams in college hockey and what is fast becoming one of, if not the biggest rivalry in college hockey. The Yale Bulldogs and Quinnipiac Bobcats have always made noise in the ECAC Division but now they have roared into the national spotlight. In the most recent USCHO national poll both teams have cracked the top 10. While both have been in the top 10 before this is the first time that both schools have been in the top 10 at the same time. Both teams are riding major winning streaks and have been forces in the college hockey landscape. The Yale Bulldogs are currently riding a five game win streak and  defeated both Harvard and Dartmouth this past weekend. The Quinnipiac Bobcats have remained unbeaten in their last sixteen games and have achieved the highest ranking in the University’s history as the second best team in the nation. Both Yale and Quinnipiac have dominated the national field with a combined 13-0-2 record against ranked opponents this season. This will only add fuel to an already heated rivalry as both teams still have to play each other for their annual meetings at both Ingalls Rink, and TD Bank Center. Not only are these two teams pushing Connecticut into the national picture but another college team could soon enter the race. Just by saying Uconn or Connecticut the first thing people think of is basketball. Maybe a few people might think of the Huskies football team but when asked about the hockey program most people say wait, Uconn has a hockey team? Indeed they do and the so called forgotten child in the Uconn athletic department is now making a major splash. This past weekend the Huskies played tough against the Bobcats and lost 2-1 in

Uconn is joining Hockey East in 2014

Uconn is joining Hockey East in 2014

 the inagural meeting between the two. Uconn made  headlines this summer when it was announced that the hockey program would be getting a major overhaul. Not only would the program be joining the prestigious Hockey East conference but it would also be adding 18 scholarships for the program. Another major announcement was that for the Hockey East conference games is that the Huskies would move from the Mark Edwards Freitas Ice Forum to the XL center in Hartford. While the basketball program has the proper facilities the Hockey team doesn’t and is now exploring new options which include building a new ice rink on the Storrs campus. For the short term this is great news for the XL Center whose contract with the Connecticut Whale will expire at the end of the upcoming season and whose future is up in the air. However, the XL Center may not be the the longterm solution for the program because of it’s age and size. Uconn can just look at the blueprint Quinnipiac used for their success. The key cog in building the Quinnipiac machine came with the construction of the TD Bank Center in 2007 for 52 million dollars. The arena has been a major tool in recruitment and one of if not the major reason behind the success of the Bobcats over the past few seasons. While Connecticut has been known for the success of it’s college basketball teams, it is also famously known for losing it’s NHL franchise the Hartford Whalers in 1997, the only professional franchise the state has had. Connecticut hasn’t had the same identity since the Whalers departed for Carolina but now thee college hockey teams could put Connecticut back on the national hockey map. Now if the Huskies continue building in the right direction while Yale and Quinnipiac continue to dominate in the national field Connecticut may soon well dethrone Boston as the mecca for college hockey. Even though these hockey teams have a long way to go before the national tournament the buzz they’ve been creating cannot be ignored. Before we know it Yale or Quinnipiac may not only be in the Frozen Four, but they also may bring back the states first national championship in ice hockey.