Bass is Back... and Flyer than Ever.
By Alan Bass
Since I haven't been "Resurfacing the Ice" recently, let me explain what I've been up to.
At the beginning of fall, I applied to the Philadelphia Flyers for a spring internship position as a community relations/youth and amateur hockey intern.
I got it.
And surprise! The organization was not too excited that I was a "member of the media," and asked me to stop writing for any outlet, including Hockey54.
I began working at the end of December, in the midst of the Flyers' slump, on a game night against the Florida Panthers.
On game nights, I prepare the paperwork and jerseys for the kids who would be on the ice for Mites on Ice and the Youth Hockey Shootout during the first and second intermissions, respectively.
I have to find out which teams are playing, how many skaters will be on each side, how old the kids are, and more. Based on the information I have for the Mites and the Shootout kids, I have to pick out the jerseys we will need for each event... Mini Flyers' jerseys for the Mites on Ice kids, and sponsored jerseys for the Modell's Youth Hockey Shootout.
After filling out the paperwork, we go up to the concourse to grab the kids and bring their equipment to the performers' dressing room, where we, too, get dressed.
Walking out to the ice, it's amazing to see the expressions and excitement on these kids' faces as they skate towards the Wachovia Center ice. As we stand by the Zamboni doors, I watch as the kids look in awe at the size and speed of these NHL players close up (but seriously, who doesn't), before the horn sounds to signify the end of the period.
It's interesting as the kids skate onto the ice, the kids seem to hesitate for a few seconds as they take in the atmosphere - almost 20,000 fans standing up and cheering for these little tykes, skating out their dreams and playing in the NHL (kind of...).
Then, the best part of my day begins. I get the privilege to skate around the Wachovia Center ice and watch these kids play the game they love so much.
The fans cheer at every big save, goal, accidental collision, and more - or maybe they cheer for me... hmm...
At the end of the four minutes we give the kids, I see priceless reactions from the kids, as they skate off the NHL ice, most likely for the last time.
Lucky me, I have many more times ahead.