1ST AND TEN FOR THE DANBURY WHALERS FAN CARAVAN

BY: Brittany Burke

The latest stop on the Danbury Whalers Fan Caravan is hitting the “1st & 10 Sports Bar and Grill” in New Milford, Connecticut on August 11, combining every hockey fan’s favorite things, team trivia, free food, and beer.

“What we’re probably going to do at this event is … formally release the schedule to the fans and we’re also going to do Danbury Whalers trivia night in which we’re gonna ask 10 questions and the fan who gets all of them right is going to win a Whalers Prize Pack,” said the team’s Assistant General Manager, Keith Lombard.

The Fan Caravan’s combination of team information and freebies is something that team CEO Herm Sorcher and the rest of the Danbury Whalers organization have found to be successful in the past to keep Whalers hockey on the minds of all its fans until the home opener on Oct. 27.

“If we thought [the Danbury Whalers Fan Caravan] wasn’t working we would have stopped it, or tried to rework it, or try to come up with something different, but the feedback is great,” said Sorcher. “The fans love getting together, they love seeing each other, they love talking about hockey, we love seeing them and the sponsors love seeing [the fans] at their places, it’s just a win for everybody.”

The Fan Caravan may include free food and drinks, but those aren’t the main reasons for holding these events.

“We try to come up with some sort of theme for every event beyond saying it’s free food and beer,” said Sorcher. “So with this one it’s trivia. We’re gonna ask some questions about the team and it’s going to be a lot of obscure things like, ‘Who scored the first goal in Danbury Whalers history, What’s Joe Dabkowski’s middle name, or [‘Who had the game winning goal against 1,000 Islands on the night Alex Goupil returned to Danbury?’] It’s not going to be standard who’s the leading scorer; it’s going to be some obscure questions and just trying to find something different. The whole thing will probably take five minutes but it’s just to create a fun event for the fans.”

The idea began when the team moved to Danbury on Dec. 29, 2009 as a way of promoting the new team’s presence prior to the drop of the puck a year later. The Danbury Whalers Fan Caravan is a modified version of a promotion the Milwaukee Brewers used and is a way to keep the fans involved in the offseason as well as bring the community support to the organizations sponsors and supporters.

The goal is to have a Fan Caravan stop each month. At the end of the season there was a commencement party in the team locker room at the Danbury Ice Arena, the Whalers have held an event at Two Steps Bar & Grill to open up season ticket sales and the last one was press conference style at TK’s to announce Phil Esposito as the newly appointed head coach.

After next week’s Whalers trivia night you can expect to see at least one more before the start of the hockey season.

So if you’re having Danbury Whalers withdrawals, want to possibly find out what Lynn Beedle’s middle name is or just enjoy some good food and beer then head over to 1st and 10 in New Milford on Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.

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