Saturday, February 20, 2010


I wanted to take some time today to write a bit about tradition. If you listened to the post game conference on the radio, or via my recording in the last post from last night's game, a gentleman asked the coaches "...what is your initial reaction to some of your most passionate fans getting kicked out of the Carlson?"

After the conference was over, I was approached by three individuals asking about the incident that occurred. After pursuing some information, it came to my attention that a few students (somewhere between 2 to 4 students, this info wasn't consistent) were ejected from the Carlson Center for...banging on the boards...

A very nice gentleman, a retired UAF professor and a long time Nanook hockey fan approached me and expressed his disdain for the situation. He stated that he had been coming to Nanook hockey games for several years, and banging on the glass with your hands  had never been a problem, it had always been hitting the glass with your feet that got you in trouble. Apparently the same adage doesn't ring true today.

Now, I understand that the boards are old, and I'm sure they might be prone to breaking, but I have a bit of a problem with the students, dubbed the Carlson Crazies, not being allowed to hit the boards, especially with two of the biggest games of the season occurring in that building in the next 7 days.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not advocating that the students try to make it their personal goal of breaking the boards, they need to make it through the end of the season. But at the same time, I don't want the student section to turn in to a church.

I want to see the boards live to the end of the season, but I also want to see them hit. I don't believe the Carlson Center staff should be kicking students out for being passionate about their school and the sport of hockey. The sport of hockey in general has a tradition of loud and rowdy fans. The Carlson Crazies, arguably louder than any arena out there (yes, I've been to Yost, we're louder, but they're more vulgar), need to come out in full force and cheer on their team. The Nanooks need three more points tonight, and the fans can be a big help getting them.


pjwertz said...

I have followed nanook hockey since '92 and have noticed that the CC is becoming less tolerant of fan support. It's a hockey game not church. Are they going to throw out the mascots for hitting the glass when the team comes out? I wish they would be more concerned about all the kids who are not supervised and interfere with watching the game...Stupid move CC!

shawn said...

If the fans can't hit the boards cuz they're scared of them breaking how the he'll are they going to withstand being checked into?!?! Next they are going to tell them to stop checking into the boards. This is rediculous!!! The carlson center doesn't deserve to be the venue of athletics if they won't allow fan support!!!

Anonymous said...

I dont understand why the fans had to get kicked out...But the glass can't take the abuse any more. The problem isnt the glass itself, but the supports that are bent and broken. During fridays game I noticed bungee cords were put into place to keep the supports in place in front of the student section. That is an act of extreme desperation, as those supports are what hold the glass in place. I believe the carlson center and potentially UAF staff are worried about a delay of game penalty that would result from a fan knocking the glass out. It would be assessed, and it would be legit.

I hope next season the fans will be able to hit the new glass to their hearts content, but I am not optimistic about that.

One of my biggest gripes with the carlson center is their maintenance of the rink gear. Its absolutely abysmal. I had the opportunity to speak to personnel at the sullivan arena and they explained to me exactly what they do to keep their gear in good shape, such as buffing and polishing the plexiglass to remove discoloration and marks that the carlson center apparently considers to be permanent and unfixable.

One of the people that was kicked out during the saturday game, I have seen attending for years. I consider him the most hardcore UAF fan I've ever seen. He's at every game, painted up, and yelling his head off. I hope this gets sorted out to his satisfaction, as he's given the team an absolutely ridiculous amount of support.

I suspect what happened was some security guard handled it poorly and took a confrontational approach with the fans. I'd bet money that if it had been laid out reasonably the fans would have stopped, at least until the bungee cords could come off the glass.

I know this sounds lame, but I understand the position of the management. Next time your there look at the boards and support infrastructure. many of the bolt holes into the concrete are stripped out, the metal of the boards is extremely warped from hits, and the board supports have washers under them to try to compensate for the bent steel. The plexi supports are in bad shape as well.

Britton said...

I agree with pretty much everything here, all that has been said.

Two more fans were kicked out tonight, and it was bad to see. The student that Anonymous mentioned was ejected for "excessive celebration for a short handed goal", which supposedly was the reason the security guard gave him.

He then tried to make an appearance at the post game conference, and was, again, ejected for showing up after being removed from the game.

As far as equipment maintenance goes, I couldn't agree more. The glass itself was great quality when it was all initially installed, and likely could have easily been buffed out to keep it clean. I'm sure its permanent now.

I hope, for the sake of funding, that they take much better care of the new boards and glass that is coming next year, carrying on from this point forward. Otherwise, its going to get just as bad, of not worse with the tempered seamless glass.

pjwertz said...

I was across the rink and saw security removing the students. After the game I went to that side and saw the is extremely weak and prolly wouldn't take much to break BUT with that said, I also saw the total lack of respect to the students who were there. This wasn't a student up rising. It's simply a group of students supporting their team. I also spoke with one of the volunteer coaches who knew nothing about this and didn't really seem to believe it. We have fought for years to bring excitment and support to the CC for the team and the attitude of the CC staff is unacceptable. They should work WITH the students to allow them to show the support not against them. I don't know what the answer is but to try and silence a voice is not an answer!

Alaskan_XL said...

I've been watching Nanook hockey since 1987, well before the Carlson was built, and have missed only a handful of games to date. When the Carlson first opened in 1990, students had to purchase specific seats, the student section included one section to the left (118), the glass behind the benches was 3' tall (if even that), and the benches were switched - visitors sat *directly* in front of the students. Needless to say, it wasn't a very friendly place for opposing teams. I personally purchased the entire front row of the section for quite a few years and recruited/led the loudest students around to cheer on the Nooks.

Why unfriendly? The ungodly amount of noise we generated. Did we use foul language? Not after a little chat with the AD after (actually, during) the first game. Did we kick the glass? No. Did we punch the glass? No. Did we punch the glass wearing hockey gloves? Certainly not. We intimidated the visitors, and charged up the building with sheer horsepower of our voices, cowbells, and megaphones (you may have seen one or two in the section over the years - I purchased those in 1988 and handed them down upon parole/graduation). Specific, clever, orchestrated cheers that much of the building knew from our section is what made the games great.

Fast forward 20 years (geesh, has it been that long?) - teams switched benches, glass behind benches raised significantly, glass has been replaced a time or two, (but not the stanchions that support it), floor under the seats has been chewed up pretty good. The entire board and glass system is scheduled for replacement this summer, with "seamless" glass - should be interesting to see. 20 years is a pretty good lifespan in light of how it's been treated.

What else has happened in 20 years? The way students support their team. It has been degraded to a small handful of idiots that use foul language, push on the glass to the point of watching it sway a couple feet in and out (night and day difference from pounding on it to make noise), and many times being downright neanderthal, rather than supportive. If you want to have that kind of mob mentality experience, go to an Ice Dogs game - since the Gold Kings moved on, it's all you've got.

The Carlson is well within their right, and responsibility, to prevent the facility from getting abused. This was evident during the recent MSU series where a panel popped out due to students pushing on the glass. Are they going to stop you from getting too loud? Hell no. What intimidates the visitors, and pumps up your Nooks? Loud, orchestrated, BUILDING WIDE cheers - NOT humping the glass like a baboon.

I challenge any/all students that attend the games to get your poop in a group and really show the Seapuppies on Saturday, as well as the poor bastards facing us at home in the playoffs, what Nanook hockey is all about. For those of you that follow college hockey outside of Alaska, check this site out at Cornell - this is the foundation which the students at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor have built their reputation on as the toughest barn in the CCHA to be a visitor at:

Make some noise and GO NOOKS!

Alaskan_XL said...

From the "Tradition" link on UAA's pathetic website:

The Seawolf
UAA’s athletics teams were originally known as the Sourdoughs, but the university adopted the Seawolf moniker in 1977 when it elevated its program to the NCAA Division II level.
The name Seawolf represents a mythical sea creature that, according to Tlingit Indian legend, brings good luck to anyone fortunate enough to view it. The exact nature or shape of the Seawolf, however, is left to the imagination, thus the creature has been depicted in many forms throughout the years.
The Seawolf logo of today was designed and introduced in 1985 by Clark Mishler & Associates in cooperation with a university committee. It represents an adaptation of a more traditional Alaska totemic-like characterization of the mythical Seawolf.


So --

"Brings good luck to anyone fortunate enough to view it". This infers, then, that it does not bring luck to itself, but rather to not itself; thus, it brings luck to everyone else. Everyone else, by definition, includes the Nanooks.

Thanks for the good luck, Spanchorage - not that we'll need any with you pansies on the ice --