April 21, 2007

Manchester Wolves Win the Home Opener

ORIGINALLY, I WAS GOING to title this post, "They Came, They Saw, They Kicked Our Asses." That was my feeling at the end of the first half of tonight's home opener between the Manchester Wolves, my city's minor-league arena football team, and the Fort Wayne Fusion. But lo! in the second half, Manchester came roaring back and ended up winning, 54-41.

This is impressive when one considers that at one point in the first half, Manchester was down 17 points. Our offense could do no right and our defense couldn't hold off Fort Wayne's attack. But in the second half, things went the other way. Manchester held Fort Wayne to just seven points, while the Wolves' offense caught fire and scored touchdowns right and left.

It was a good win -- and considering that we're now 1-2, a needed victory. However, the Wolves can't let up. Next week, the Wolves must face the Mahoning Valley Thunder here at home, and that's a game with trouble written all over it. You see, the "Mahoning Valley" is a nice name for Youngstown, Ohio, one of the roughest cities in the post-industrial Midwest. How bad are things in Youngstown, you ask? Well, consider this snippet of conversation I had some months ago with my brother back in northern Ohio:

ME: Hey, how far are you from Youngstown?
JESSE: Not far enough!

So we've got to be ready. Also, it might be a good idea to check under the team bus for any odd-looking items or protuding wires or some such. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, now for the recap:

MOST UHF-LIKE MOMENT: A dental insurer sponsored tonight's game. As a result, not only was there a giant inflatable tooth outside the arena, thousands of "lucky fans" got -- wait for it -- FREE commemorative toothbrushes!

As this distribution seemed to violate the First Rule of Promotional Giveaways ("For the love of God, don't give 'em anything they can throw!"), I was half-expecting the toothbrushes to end up on the field, or protruding from the referee's eyes, or what not. However, everyone was on their best behavior and a fun time was had by all.

NEXT MOST UHF-LIKE MOMENT: Several fans in one row took part in an ice-cream eating contest, in which the prize was -- wait for it -- qualification for a second ice-cream eating contest two months hence. At this second contest, the winner will have the chance to devour a giant ice-cream sundae, with a reported 20 (!) scoops of ice cream in the mix. All this despite the clear public health hazards of an ice-cream eating contest. ("Dear God! He's ... he's got brain freeze!")

MOST INEPT PLAY DURING GAME: Area man takes part in trivia contest, shows absolutely no emotion when declared winner and given $50 restaurant gift certificate prize. Dude. Show some gratitude for winning, if only for the poor cheerleaders taking part in the embarrassing spectacle.

NEXT MOST INEPT PLAY DURING GAME: That would be me. You'd think with the cheerleading squad performing roughly twelve feet away that I could just sit back and enjoy things, right? Oh no. Every time I did look, I felt guilty. Also, I heard the tinny, quietly furious voice of Joe Lo Truglio from "Wet Hot American Summer" in my mind: "You loser! God, you are such a loser!" However, I'm confident I will get the hang of things eventually!

In the meantime, it kept me focused on the football -- and speaking of which, the new seat I have at the arena is fantastic. I had originally told some folks it was in the front row, but that was based on a misreading of the seating chart. As it turns out, I'm in the third. Quite frankly, I think this is better. Watching a guy fly face-first into the padded wall is impressive enough from ten feet away. One foot would be a bit much, even for a football fan like me.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 21, 2007 11:58 PM | TrackBack
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