In a hockey world populated by fuzzy mascots and Dance-Cams and stone-faced parents giving you the stink eye for using coarse language, a night catering to fans 18-and-older is about as cool as having strippers pole-dancing near the concession stands.
Actually, there will be strippers pole-dancing near the concession stands, too.
The ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers have already given the world one outstanding, Veeck-esque promotional night this season: "Gov. Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night," which honored the disgraced Illinois statesman by putting the team in striped prison uniforms and planned to "sell off" seats near the benches.
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On Tuesday night, March 24, the Wranglers will have their "Over 18" Night when they host the Alaska Aces. The face-off (9:05 p.m. locally) is 90 minutes later than usual, with an open bar for $20 starting at 7:30 p.m. and two-for-one drinks for fans 21-and-older throughout the game. San Francisco video artist Mike Relm, who recently toured with Blue Man Group and provided remixes for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, will provide live music.
Oh yeah ... and the strippers. The V Theater inside The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood (what, no "Powered by Reebok?") presents "Stripper-101," its demonstration series on exotic dancing. The team says there will unfortunately be no nudity. Also, the American Storm All-Male Review will have its talent on the concourse as well for the ladies (and some gentlemen). The team says there will fortunately be no nudity.
Johnson says the "Over 18 Night" idea was sparked during a spirited conversation with Wranglers majority owner Charles Davenport at McMullan's Irish Pub, which is just a slap shot west of The Orleans Arena and famous for its Wrangler-esque activity.
"It was Charles Davenport's idea, from the bar, and a lot of great ideas start in bars and are written on cocktail napkins," Johnson said during a phone call earlier today. "I once met (former San Francisco Giants general manager) Spec Richardson, who told me that when he made the trade to get Vida Blue from the A's, he wrote it on a cocktail napkin. He actually had the cocktail napkin framed and hanging in his house."
(Incidentally, that's exactly how the Flyers made the Lindros trade.)
It doesn't appear that "Over 18" Night prohibits attendance for fans under 18 -- the Wranglers Web site allowed youth tickets to be added to the cart for the March 24 contest. Which is a shame, really: There should be a hockey-wide edict that for every face-painting, take-a-photo-with-the-mascot-and-Spongebob kids' day, there should be a night full of pole-dancing, live DJs and two-for-one Crown Royals. Or at least two of the three.
H/T to Puck Buddy Wayne from Tuskegee.