Saturday, February 28, 2009

2-27-09: A Night Of Imperfection

Those of you at the game on Friday February 27 know that it was a night of imperfection. Our Cyclones showed their imperfection as they were out-skated, out-smarted, and out-worked by the Elmira Jackels. Elmira played with more passion; they won the little battles; they played smart.

This year, the Cyclones team is human. They are more playing at their level, rather than way above like last year. Still, they are an excellent team. They are .591 after 55 games and second in the division. Johnstown definitely has a leap over them with two more points in the standings and two games in hand; but Elmira is tied in points and has played one more game than the Cyclones. Our boys really need to win tonight and not let Elmire have those two points; but we are strongly in second place.

At this point last year I was really worried that the Cyclones were over-achieving and would fizzle out. Of course they did not and they brought home the Kelly Cup. Since this year they are proving themselves to be human, I'm not worried. They are in good standing to have a strong finish and possibly go all the way again.

Your humble Zamboni driver was rather imperfect last night as well. If you were there and watched me in the first intermission, you saw my crash into the boards on the west-end. Wow, it scared me. I thought I was going through the boards. I was so mad at my self that I felt like I could vomit until I finally fell asleep last night.

What happened? Well, put simply, I screwed up. I make no excuses. As I give the analysis of what happened, understand that I am not trying to minimize my mistake - only explain it. As mentioned in previous posts, the Zamboni has a hydrastatic transmission. It is all hydraulic and there is no "neutral" like in a car. In a hydrastatic transmission, neutral is all wheels locked instead of all wheels spinning freely. When I let off the pedal (which is not a throttle, it is a transmission clutch control) the wheels lock up.

While driving, smooth is the key. Smooth acceleration and smooth deceleration. I was running a little late getting onto the ice and I was slow in my first lap. The rest of the time I was rushing, trying to make up time or at least not lose any more. So, I was not very smooth. I was going full-out in the straight stretches, and not slowing down until the last minute.

On the lap in question, I waited too long to start slowing down so I let off the pedal almost completely. Well, that caused the wheels to lock up. Like slamming on car brakes on an icy road, that put the Zamboni into an uncontrolled skid. I'm pretty good at driving on ice (rink ice and road ice) and I can usually recover from a skid and control a vehicle.

But in this case, I simply did not have enough time nor enough space to recover. I put it in reverse and gunned it; but it was too little, too late. It did take the edge off, so to speak, but I still crunched the boards pretty hard.

Fully loaded with water, the Zamboni weighs over 8700 pounds! That is a lot of mass sliding at the boards, even if only at 9 miles per hour. That's over 20,000 ft-pounds of energy, out of control! It's about the same as a small economy car losing control at almost 20 miles per hour.

Shew. I was just sick. Thank goodness it did not damage the boards and delay the game.

I'm human. I'll bounce back. So will the Cyclones!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


That's right Twister fans, just 4 days to the big event, Saturday February 21.

Don't miss Twister's big night. He will appreciate your support (so will his massage therapist).

Also Friday 2/20 they'll have $1.00 John Morrel hot dogs.

The boys are back in town and they need our support. Because of other teams having games in-hand, they have the opportunity to pass the Cyclones in the standings. Johnstown passed us last night, and they still have played two fewer games. Wheeling is in a position to pass the Cyclones as well.

They need a good stretch of wins to secure a top seed; come on our and root them on!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

POST #100 - Dedicated to TWISTER

It's hard to believe it, but this is my 100th post as the "Cyclones Insider!" It's been a strange but fun trip, and I'm still glad to be here.

This post is dedicated to the Cyclones' fearless and ultra-cool mascot, TWISTER. If you're a Cyclone fan, you probably know that Twister's "signature" gag is doing a headstand while sliding down the ice during the intermission resurfacing. It is an awesome trick, and TWISTER owns it.

Saturday night, February 21, 2009 will be a very special night for that toothless tornado of a hockey mascot. TWISTER will be attempting to set a WORLD RECORD for the Longest Sliding Head-Stand On Ice by a mascot. The only question remaining is if we can find a massage therapist in Cincinnati who is up the the task of loosening up our breezy buddy so he's ready for the big slide.

In honor of the special event, the give-away will be a bobble - but not a bobble head. No, Twister, in getting his second bobble as a Cyclone (also a record) will be featured in a BOBBLE-LEGS statue.

His crazy legs will forever be preserved on his very own bobble-leg.

This is an event that you do not want to miss!

GO Cyclones, Go TWISTER!