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Release the Condor and Joe Murphy

By now, as a hockey fan, I am sure you have read about and seen the story of the condor at the Bakersfield Condors ECHL game.

If not, read the story here and click on the video.

It reminded me of a conversation I once had with Joe Murphy, a former player for the Washington Capitals. At the time, our attendance was not very strong, and Joe reached out to me to chat about a promotional idea. In our conversation, he said that he thought we should open the doors very early, 5pm, we should introduce families on the loud speaker PA system, and that players and staff and ownership should embrace the guests and walk them to their seats.

He thought we should be wearing either tuxedos or costumes as we entered the arena with the guests, something on the order of Roman togas or gladiator attire. As we entered the stadium, trumpets would blare, and maidens could be walking in front of us throwing flower petals in our fans’ paths.

Once all the seats were filled in this manner, the lights would dim and a spotlight would shine on the rafters. Music would play, and a giant, well-trained eagle would then be released. The eagle would soar around the arena (the eagle was the Caps' logo) and then would safely land on the arms of our center who was chosen to take the opening faceoff.

The center would then bow with the eagle on his arm to all four sides of the arena, skate to the bench, where the eagle would be perched atop of the head coaches spot on the bench. The eagle would follow the action during the game and stay put until we won. When we won, the eagle would be released by the three stars of the game winner on the home team to soar around the fans in the bowl and would majestically go back to his spot in the rafters, as trumpets blared, the lights turned on and the fans all left.

I thought it an awesome idea at the time.  Watch this majesty with the condor.