Bitch Slaps And Pay Backs
Time to put up or shut up. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers team has given their all for the fans this season. They've had their faces battered, spilled their blood, suffered through concussions and other physical abuse to win the division title and the banner that comes with it.
(Exhibit A: Steve Oleksy on a bus ride home.)
They also earned home-ice advantage against the in-state rival Whale-pack. That seemingly small advantage could be what decides who takes the next step forward, but it is only an advantage if the fans show up and support the team.
I live on a boat on the Housatonic River in CT. The river is the Mason-Dixon line, Berlin Wall and Forty-second parallel of the sporting world. East of the river you are apt to be a Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins fan. If you are from the western side of the river you probably root for the Yankees, Giants and Rangers. Mets, Jets and Islanders fans sprinkle the landscape on both sides of the river suffering their collective pain and abuse and nobody cares about the NBA. Such are the demograpics of sport fans in the area.
Sound Tigers vs. Whale games are always hotly contested well-played games. The teams faced each other ten times this season. Bitch slaps aside (Tigers 6-2 11/25 win and Whales 6-3 12/16 response) each of the remaining eight games was decided by one goal. Of the eight one-goal games, six went to overtime with two decided in a shootout (bonus round for Mike Fornabaio @fornabaioctp).
Attendance at the Webster Bank Arena is at an all time high this year 4875 average. (Part of that success is due to the staff at Harboryard Sports & Entertainment who have done a superb job in their first year.) Average attendance at the arena for a Sound Tigers vs. Whale game is 7246. While I hate crunching numbers, it should be obvious that 1500 to 2000 Whale/Ranger fans will be attending the Thursday and Saturday games in Bridgeport in an attempt to take away that hard fought for home-ice advantage.
This past Sundays’ final game of the regular season was dubbed ‘Fan Appreciation Day’ and the team delivered as they have all season. It is time for a little pay back by Sound Tiger fans, time for us all to put up or shut up, time to deliver a little ‘Team Appreciation’ and show up loud and proud and support the best professional team this divided state has seen in years. Let's Go Tigers!!!
- Mike Flannery
Follow me @hockeyflan
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