Friday, November 30, 2018

UNO Blue Line Club’s “Dinner With The Mavs”: Fellowship and Fun With Our Favorite Team

Photo credit: Roger Humphries

Fans had an opportunity to dine with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Maverick Hockey team on Nov. 29 at Anthony’s Steakhouse.

The evening event — dubbed “Dinner With The Mavs” — was reminiscent of Blue Line Club luncheons of yore. 

Terry Leahy served as emcee for the event. Leahy provides color commentary on UNO Hockey radio broadcasts, has an encyclopedic knowledge of local hockey history, and is a good friend. 

Photo credit: Roger Humphries

UNO Hockey Blue Line Club President Roger Humphries also addressed the attendees. Humphries is a passionate fan who is involved in civic organizations throughout the Omaha area. He serves on Bridget’s marketing/membership committee and on the Omaha Press Club Board of Directors.

Photo credit: Chris Humphries

Coach Mike Gabinet traveled around the dining hall and greeted fans as they settled in at their tables. He thanked participants for coming out the the event. 

Photo credit: Roger Humphries

One of the things I think is crucial for the health of a collegiate athletic program is for the fan base to feel invested in the team. 

All too often, the “fan experience” in major athletics is relegated to what happens in the arena of competition — the experience doesn’t typically extend beyond the games. 

The “Dinner WIth The Mavs” gave fans an opportunity to dine with the team (a player or two sat at each table). We felt fortunate to have senior goaltender Alex Blankenburg at our table, and enjoyed visiting with him during the event. 

My apologies for this blurry selfie I tried to take in the dim light of Anthony's:

The buffet-style dinner is the first of two the BLC will hold this season. The next event will be on Thursday, Feb. 28. 

There was a 50/50 raffle at the door, and fans were able to bid on silent auction items, which included this autographed helmet:

I know the UNO Blue Line Club has been attempting to do an “in-season” dinner event like this for a few years now. The nice thing about an evening event (as opposed to a luncheon) is that it gives busy professionals a chance to attend. 

With work, meetings, and family commitments, we haven't been able to attend the luncheons in recent years, so an evening format worked out well. 

Bridget and I had a nice time. I hope that the UNO Blue Line Club (and the UNO Hockey program) continues to do events such as this — giving fans a chance to learn more about the program and commune with the team. 

It makes a difference knowing the young men you are cheering for on a perennial basis.  

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