In late December of 2011 I was standing in a used record store in Northern California on the hunt for a vinyl of The Doors Greatest Hits – yes the one with Jim Morrison arms spread wide open- but having no luck finding it. I struck up a conversation with the old hippie behind the counter and his friend with the intention of finding my long sought after album, but instead the conversation turned quickly to hockey. It was at this moment that I first heard of the San Francisco Bulls, an ECHL expansion team set to make their league debut in the 2012-2013 season. I hadn’t paid much attention to league changes since moving to California aside from a handful of transactions that had taken place so I was pleasantly surprised to hear there would be a new Bay Area team.
It was at this point I got a wild idea…what if we tracked the team for an entire season? What if we asked them to open up their lives to us, let the fans in, their fellow players in, and let us tell their story as they stood up one of the newest clubs in the ECHL? I started working on the idea, building websites and proposals, contacting the team’s front office, and drafting a plan of action. It was a foggy morning in San Francisco in February when I walked into the historic San Francisco Cow Palace to sit down with Head Coach and club President Pat Curcio, as well as Chief Marketing Officer Marlena Aranda. In great detail I explained to them my plans of sharing their story through Gongshow Gear Hockey and a satellite website for photos, extra interviews, and everything in between. They went for it.
Months later the team is finally starting to take form, and after various conversations, changes, interviews, and ups and downs, so is the project. This season, in cooperation with the ECHL San Francisco Bulls Hockey Club, you will get a front row seat to not just the stats and play by plays of the Bulls, you will get an inside out view of their triumphs, struggles, and everything in between. The project will not only feature the players, but every member of the staff. From front office operations to the coaching staff, we will be taking a look at what it really takes to create a viable team and fill seats in a historic building riddled with Hockey history.
The project will be referred to as “Fearless in the Fog” and I encourage you to comment, ask questions, and tell me what you want to know about the process of standing up a team, creating a roster, and any hockey lifestyle aspect you may be curious about. I will be turning your questions over to the experts: The players, Coaches, Managers, and Staff of the Bulls. There will be postings twice a month to Gongshow Gear Hockey starting now until the Bulls bring their season to an end. Will they bring home the Kelly Cup or just go home? What is life like on the road? What struggles will they face? What does triumph look like? What does defeat feel like? These and many other questions lay ahead of us, but all will be answered as the season progresses.
Fearless in the Fog officially kicks off with this posting and will be closely followed by an interview with Head Coach Pat Curcio and Left Winger Kris Belan. Feel free to comment here with any questions you have for the team or staff or email me at ALHGIST@gmail.com with specific requests. The satellite website will launch in the coming weeks right in time for open try outs…are you ready to hear their story?
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