Revisionist history, haters, and can I have a milkshake?? (Bartl’s Blog)

On January 11, “Matthew” wrote into the Mailbag:

I’m disappointed to see a lack in blogs being posted on the team’s website this year. That has always been one of my favorite ways to keep up with the team. Whether it is Bartl, a player or other staff member, they are always fun to read. When can we expect to see more?

I’m sorry, Matthew. I’ve gotten into a bad habit the last three seasons, that it’s just too time consuming to blog during the season. I do one a week during the off-season, and then the puck drops and I just run out of time every week. I promise to blog frequently over the remainder of the season, if anybody cares to read it. It’s been a weird year, there never seems to be time to get everything done. I’m sitting down now, so here goes…


Quick hits:

For all our struggles this season, if the season ended today, I think it would truly be difficult to single out only eight players whose rights we should reserve. That is what is facing ECHL teams every off-season. If you don’t re-sign players immediately, you have the right to issue qualifying offers to only eight guys. Who would your eight players be? Email me your list at It would be interesting to know what fans thought. Remember, the point of reserving players is as much so they don’t end up playing AGAINST you as it is making sure they play WITH you.

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I understand people’s frustration at the team’s record. But please don’t insult us in the front office by saying that nobody cares. Here’s the reality in our world: no matter what the team’s record is, our job doesn’t change. The ticket staff still has to come in and bust the phones non-stop. The PR guys still have to update game notes and interview the players. The creative guy still has to make website slates and posters and sales collateral. The game ops people still need to put together contests and promotions for game nights. The merchandise guy still has to count the t-shirts and order hats.

Winning games just makes all of those tasks a little easier and a little more fun. And in many ways that the fans don’t understand, we live and die by the team’s fortunes on the ice more than anybody.

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Not for nothin’, but how many places in the immediate vicinity of downtown Bakersfield is there to get a GREAT hamburger? I count nine. And that’s just downtown… and I’m also not including national fast food chains.

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There is plenty to critique this season, but let’s not revise history to do so. Somebody on Facebook recently said this season’s team is embarrassing the legacy of the early years of the Condors. I’m not sure what she was referring to. Maybe it was the 41-loss season in 1998-99… or maybe it was the legacy of the three losing seasons out of the first four years of the team.

Again, I get it. But we’ve had some rough years in the past. Let’s remember those seasons for what they were, and keep that perspective when assessing this season. This team is still working hard. They haven’t thrown in the towel – and Wednesday’s game against Alaska is perfect proof, coming back from three goals down against one of the best teams in the history of the ECHL. I’m guessing in four or five years some folks will look back on the 2011-12 season and remember that Scott Freeman or Jesse Gimblett or Tyler Helfrich was their favorite player, and they’ll long for the days when they were here playing for us.

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Someone asked on our facebook page why we allow so much negativity to be posted. I wish we didn’t, truth be told. But I would rather have people going to our facebook page to write stuff than some other miscellaneous page that doesn’t actually cater to the entire Condorstown fan base. My hope is that the supporters of the team answer back and post their own positive comments.

We draw the line at insults. When people use names or insulting comments, we delete them.

It’s actually quite interesting reading everyone’s comments. Some have constructive views and comments while other just froth uncontrollable hate.

A wise man once told me, don’t listen to those who praise you, and don’t listen to those who cut you down constantly. Somewhere in between is the truth. I always remember that when reading the posts on our facebook page.

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Superfan Rich Kleiner still owes me a soda for not being able to out-historian me, in regards to the Gimblett’s being the only twin combo in Condors history. I give him credit for hauling up some names from the Condors record book, but hopefully he has learned a lesson! It’s safe to say after calling well over 500 Condors games and watching all the others during my time here on America One/B2, that other than Marty Raymond and Matthew Riley, I have probably seen more Condors hockey than anybody on planet Earth. Approximately 12 – 17% of my brain is filled with Condors information, for better or worse.

I’m thirsty, Rich.

By the way, we get free soda here in the office. Wanna make it a Jamba Juice or a milkshake instead?? I earned it!



That is all.


Kevin Bartl is the Vice President of Communications for the Condors and part of the broadcast team. He is in his ninth season with the Condors.