Game five of the OHL Championship series goes tonight at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, 7:05 p.m. I fully expect Spits fans to absolutely blow the roof off the new rink tonight when the Spits take the ice, and the team is going to come out charged up and ready to roll. I am very much hoping, as I have written elsewhere, that the Spits to book their ticket to Rimouski tonight. I am still charged up from watching the Spits beat the Battalion 4-1 the other night in Brampton.
The other thing that emerged from my visit to Brampton’s Powerade Centre: the following list of seven reasons that the Brampton Battalion should NOT win the OHL Championship.
(1) The team colours; guys: it’s called olive “drab” for a reason.
(2) The Brampton players emerge from their dressing room and enter the ice surface at the start of the game through a giant inflatable tank. First, nothing says “invincible” like a giant air-filled pillow; and second, the “muzzle” of the tank droops rather obscenely. When we first saw it, my Dad expressed some degree of concern that they might use the damn thing to fire t-shirts or other swag into the crowd (a la the t-shirt bazookas in use at other facilities). He was right to be concerned. These guys really carry the military theme a touch over the top.
(3) They have a freaky looking mascot called “Sarge”. And I mean freaky, this thing is some kind of messed up. If a real live person were dressed in olive drab combat fatigues but had an oversized head that looked like one of those weird apple core dolls, that person would:
- scare the shit out of me; and
- look exactly like “Sarge.”
I think this mascot decision of the Battalion’s is very curious; whereas teams like the Calgary Flames have “Harvey the Hound” (an oversized, furry and friendly mutt), the Brampton Battalion have chosen to attempt to endear themselves to the children by circulating among them a perpetually scowling drill sergeant with an alarming complexion and a warlike demeanour. Not the choice I would have predicted.
(4) For about two or three minutes prior to the beginning of each period, arena staff play a recording of some sort of cannon firing over the facility’s loudspeakers. What a way to create a festive environment! What better way to evoke the carefree abandon of New Orleans at Mardi Gras or the joyful ebullience of the old Chicago Stadium: mimic the ambience of a warzone. I know I never quite feel like partying until the artillery bombardment has begun.
(5) They refer to the Battalion players as “troops.” ‘Nuff said.
(6) In the first intermission, “Sarge” (see above) skated around the ice and infrequently lobbed t-shirts over the glass to terrified children who reflexively returned his salute. His musical accompaniment, broadcast over the arena public address system, was the music from “The Great Escape.” A lone male in an olive drab costume slowly circling the ice, waving his arms to the music from a film about P.O.W.s – to me, it very much looked like the worst idea for the men’s short program ever conceived.
(7) At the end of each period, when there are but sixty seconds to play, the arena announcer bellows out “One minute to ceasefire!”
Really? Dude, the military motif? It’s too much. Seriously. Oh, and Dude? ONE GAME ‘TIL CEASEFIRE!!