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!!!