I sat down for dinner with some the Evansville IceMen’s most loyal fans. In part two, we discuss some off ice stories, road tripping, and more of our favorite moments.
Of course, I could not invite everyone to sit down together in one massive group. I asked on social media the IceMen fans what some of their favorite moments were. Also what were some of the random bizarre shenanigans that they’ll never forget. All of the responses and emotion are why I did this two-part series.
It’s hockey and at it’s core it’s a business, but it means so much more to so many people.
Here are all of the social media responses:
Melissa Peterson Miller: “Hmmm. Walking from the back 40 to the game in October 2012 and some weirdo coming up to talk to me and ask me about the game. Then the stalker found me in the asylum and sent me Facebook messages. Then he turned really creepy and sent me a friend request and talking to me all the time. Then in September I married the weirdo.”
Onya Rhoades: “I guess my favorite thing is that it is a whole family thing for us. We don’t all go to every game but every now and then the whole gang shows up. A few weeks ago there were 27 in our family/friends group for Teddy Bear Toss including several members of our nephews’ scout troupe. This is by far my favorite promotion every season.”
Tammie Lynn: “I have so many memories. Sitting behind the players bench at Dayton Hara Arena to watch them play & being told to quit beating on the glass when they scored. Having the older lady pull down her pants to moon an opposing player in the penalty box at the Ford Center & being escorted out. Having a player photo bomb Kevin in South Carolina while he was taking a selfie with the rink. Watching my very first hockey game at swonder & having the players drop their gloves to fight, falling in love with the sport & atmosphere at that very moment. Too many & I would love to continue to have more!”
Pam Massie: “The family I have gained thanks to the IceMen because#RealFamilyIsntAlwaysBlood is the first thing that comes to mind. Family that is just not IceMen fans but includes those of our rivals. The person I have become thanks to the IceMen… I am more outgoing, I can walk in in a room full of strangers and not be anxious, I can go out of town and attend a game by myself without my home team playing. I have found a sense of belonging connected to a sport that I only somewhat followed prior to attending my first game. To me, being exposed to the IceMen has been life changing on so many levels.”
Sara Hill: “Not necessarily an Iceman fan, but one of my favorite memories was the IceMen Oilers brawl with goalie fight from February 2012.”
Amy Farber Wolf: “I have met so many wonderful people through the Icemen!!! and made some very wonderful friends that I consider family! It is also something that my son and I enjoy doing together!”
Matt Daywalt: “My daughters being able to participate as Icicles, being chosen for ‘The Best Seats in the House,’ the jaw dropping moment for my son and I, when our goalie travels about 1/4 of the ice to poke check the puck and sends the opposing player somersaulting! Getting a picture of Moon and my girls at an Otters game.”
A.J. McCune: “Really made me feel like I was part of the community and broke down some walls of shyness and depression. It’s also where I feel in love with hockey and so many amazing friendships because of this team.”
Therese Grime: “I’m a Komets fan but love our IceMen fans they are family to us always made us feel welcomed to the tailgating or going out to eat before a game then after the game going to Bar Louie. There were a couple times we had problems at the games with some fans, but was always taken care of and one gentlemen even apologized. Me and my husband got to ride the zambonies before a game husband loved that cause icemen fans were booing us. We sat in the asylum one nite boy those cowbells can give you a headache, even went to hara arena when the icemen played another team and cheered in the stands but sometimes we was yelling go Komets an we had everyone confused remember Chris Phillips always a good time. Have had a lot of fun times with our icemen family.”
Jason Patrick Roberts: “Two favorites in the stands:
First year at the Ford older lady comes down to the visitors box, and pulls everything down to moon the player. Also the Jimmy Johns subs that were dropped from the ceiling with parachutes that didn’t open. The people dropping didn’t want to drop anymore, but I guess they felt they needed to get rid of all of them. Funny stuff.”
Justin Rieber “For me there way too many moments so I figured a picture would be best to kinda capture everything!!”
Kera Heistand Bridges: “Being the team photographer, my favorite memories are capturing kids faces light up when a puck is tossed over the glass during warm ups or seeing them smile from ear to ear when their favorite player gives them a head nod or hits the glass scaring them during warm-ups to seeing them screaming “sucks” during the other teams names to “woo” for a goal to absolutely losing their ever loving minds when Blizzard comes by. Actually, I love seeing the adults act a fool for Blizzard even more than the kiddo’s. ha But my most favorite thing of all is, at the end of the night, when I am leaving, and I hear kids saying, win or lose, that it was the “best night EVER”. Pretty well sums up my every night at hockey …. Best Nights Ever!!!”
Amy Wilson: “My niece lights up when she sees Blizzard. I’ve never seen a little girl her (Dylan Rhoades) light up for a mascot like that.”
Michelle Shuler: “It is, hands down, our favorite family activity. We are all still tying to wrap our heads around the fact they might not stay here. My own son plays hockey now because of the IceMen. We are at the rink 5 days a week. His life path was altered because of this team, and I am So Very Grateful!!!”
I want to sincerely thank everyone for all the social media responses and for these four wonderful people who I got to break bread with and hear their stories.