Saturday, August 29, 2009

T-Birds... Cool Bird... promos and pre-season

Photo: Mick White/Kent Valley Sports

Yesterday, I did something I haven't done for several months: I set foot inside an ice arena. Photographer Jim Scott and I drove to ShoWare Center for a little promo shoot with the Seattle Thunderbirds' mascot Cool Bird. It was great to see PR guy Ian Henry again and congratulate him in person on becoming a Daddy! (He and his wife have a beautiful little girl) It was also great to see Cool Bird in full regalia, because that means one thing: Hockey season is almost here!!!!

We went out to the rink to block the shots we were going to get for the end of our shoot, while Ian checked to see when the players would be taking the ice for training camp. Jim wanted to get shots of their legs and skates hitting the ice and skating away. Turns out, the guys weren't even dressed yet. They were getting ready to run around the arena, then stretch before doing their drills on the ice. Ian had barely given us the update when they descended up on us in a straggly line. I recognized some faces: Chet Pickard, Erik Fleming, Sena Acolatse, Jonathan Parker. Others, not so much. Some paid us no attention as they jogged by. Others called out, "Hey, Cool Bird!" and exchanged high fives as they passed.

The entire shoot was fun and I can't wait to see how the finished product comes out. But what excited me more was seeing the guys dressed in practice uniforms, finally hitting the ice (got great shots of their feet!). I know they've been conducting camp and holding scrimmages all week, but as I work overnights, I have not been able to get down to Kent to see any of it. I've been relying on my friend Mick White to tell me how things are going and check out his great photos. (You can check out Mick's photos too. Just click here.)

The T-Birds head to Portland for a pre-season game tonight against the Winterhawks. On September 12th, the T-Birds and Everett Silvertips will play a benefit game at ShoWare Center for the Kent School District. Then, the T-Birds face their two most bitter rivals for real a week later, opnening their season at home against the Silvertips on Friday, September 18 and Winterhawks on Saturday the 19th.

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