On a Dying Team

During my years on the campus, I was an avid Bowling Green Falcon hockey fan.

  • bglogoI stood outside the arena doors for an hour in the cold BG wind waiting for the doors to open to get my preferred seat.
  • I didn’t miss many home games as a student, and sat (most of the time) in the same general admission seat – along a rail above a stairway at center ice on the east side for most of the games over five years. (Observable below).
  • After seated, I played crazy 8s with friends since gametime was still an hour away.
  • I saw the early wave of the 34 Falcons who played in the NHL, and others made the U.S. Olympic team.
  • I saw coach Ron Mason on his way to becoming the most-winning coach in NCAA hockey history.
  • I saw many great games, including numerous exciting moments that shook the arena. (The close aluminum ceiling had the place roar.)

hockeywinAlthough I wasn’t a student when the Falcons won the 1984 National Championship on Gino Cavallini’s fourth-overtime goal, my heart was there and tuned into ESPN. I wasn’t there to see two Hobey Baker Award (hockey’s Heisman) winner, George McPhee and Brian Holzinger, but they increased my pride.

Today, the BG Ice Arena faces the threat of becoming nothing more than a physical education facility. While surfing this part Friday I discovered the university is considering disbanding its hockey program.

ice_arenaThe facility and finances are at the heart of the issue. After years of neglect, the 40 year-old arena is antiquated – in need of both repair and renovation. Updating has been delayed – funding decreased and eventually cut. Surely the facility hasn’t made recruiting easy, thus it’s been a tough last 10 years for Falcon faithful.

Past neglect (by choice) and tough economic times have put the university’s administration between a rock and a hard place. Part of investing in a team is investing in the facilities, and I hope this is not a search-for-financing plea as clearly used by pro franchises.

As avid of a fan I was and as much as I still bleed orange, I say pull the plug. Instead of continuing as a bottom dweller and having one of the worst facilities in the CCHA, I’ll settle for no more embarassment and living in my memories – the kind I’ll get when I return to campus, sit in the seat, and remember when the building shook.

Support Articles: Toledo Blade and NHL FanHouse

Images from the Associated Press and Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune

PS: It’s 4:15 pm (same day of the post) and the BGSU Athletic Director posted an open letter today stating all sports are safe for next year – but also emphasizes the budget constraints.

9 thoughts on “On a Dying Team

  1. I hope they can save the program…BG has a geat tradition…The facilities are getting old…Hell they were getting old when I played in the HS state championship there…More than 10 years ago…Best of luck to the University, the fans, and the players there…If it wasn’t for hockey…Many of us wouldn’t have known of BGSU when we were growing up!


    • In the day, BG was one of the “southern” schools serving as a retreat for recruits from the blistering Canadian cold … (but as we know, BG is still cold – just not as cold) …. But now, those players are going to Miami … who has also got new digs … look how they are doing!

      Interestingly, the new president was at Kent when they disbanded their varsity hockey program (which hadn’t been going very long at that point). Coincidence?

      Beeze, it’s a shame and this really tugs on my heart. Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. I don’t know much about hockey, but Bowling Green is not too far from where I went to school. We’ll have to go to a Predators game some time in the future. Although I may not understand everything but the fights, it would be fun.

    Good story. Now I have someone to ask my hockey questions too. 🙂


    • Hockey is a good game … and not really that hard to understand once you know some of the basic rules. College hockey is a lot of fun … smaller venues, full house … close to see … fun fun fun.


    • Mo,
      As a sports fan yourself, you realize that my recommendation wasn’t easy for me to say. Recruiting is already difficult, now with the buzz of potential doom, the task will be even tougher – even if the AD says it’s safe for 2009-2010.

      Thanks Mo!


  3. Pingback: On Two Bowling Greens « A Frank Angle

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