We’re two games into the 2021 season and it just feels good to be talking hockey again. Not the results the team was looking for in Irvine, but you know what, I’ll take conversations on that over conversations on “return to play” any day.

Speaking of returning to play, food pics are returning to the blog. You may not want them, but they’re back and as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog (powered by Grapevine MSP!) and I’ll do what I want.

Now for the blog…

– You didn’t think I was going to lead off with food pics right? Of course not. Thanks to our friends at Houchin Community Blood Bank, you can win a game-worn, signed, player jersey every Condors home game. The first four games (Malone, Gambardella, Lagesson, Benson) are already up for raffle. Tickets are just $10. It might be the easiest (and cheapest) way to get your hands on a game-worn player jersey. Click here to get your tickets.

– We interrupt the blog for the first of two food pics… walked three miles round trip for breakfast in Irvine (hey, 11 months off is a lot of sitting around). The bacon breakfast burrito at Everyday Eatery did the trick. I should read the menu a little better next time though because it had a sweet aioli inside that did just enough to keep it from getting the Holty stamp of approval. I’m a simple man. Bacon, potatoes, eggs, cheese, hot sauce. Don’t get all frills with greens and aiolis on me. Still, felt good to be back to normal.

– The first two of six TV games are this weekend on 23ABC. Friday night’s game starts at 5 p.m. Happy Hour with Holty (bumping David Muir, no big deal) and Saturday is an 8 p.m. Primetime Condors special after Brooklyn and Golden State shoot 3’s. Both broadcasts will kick off with Mike Hart leading you into the arena and we’ll have puck drop to final horn coverage on the TV side. Much like everything this season, the goal is to bring the game night experience to your living room.

– Both broadcasts will also feature the vocal stylings of Jim Ranger. Bakersfield’s own, he was Top 2 on The Voice this past season, and will sing the National Anthem at both games. He swung by the office earlier this week and was as appreciative of the opportunity as we are of him.

– In accordance with new AHL protocols, the glass behind the team benches is now no more. It makes for a weird visual, and the coaches even remarked that they may need some tape back there to remind them not to lean back. So, naturally, someone had some fun.

– Santa Maria Tri Tip, fall off the bone ribs, and Tom Brady winning his 7th. Sunday suited me just fine.

– Friday night is also the first Dignity Health Family Friday Night. Click here to enter for a complimentary game day pass on AHLTV. If you do not win this Friday, your entry will carry over for the final four Friday home games. Thanks to Dignity Health – Mercy & Memorial Hospitals for once again bringing the community closer to Condors hockey.

– After missing the opening two games of the season, Tyler Benson has been practicing this week and could make his season debut against Henderson. Recently named an alternate captain, Jay Woodcroft described him as a “leader of the younger group” of players and voice for them in the coaches office.

Also a reminder that you can enter to win his game-worn jersey here. 

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt aka Holty is the Voice of the Condors in his 10th season. A PSA that you don’t get rich betting against Tom Brady. Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com with questions, comments, blog ideas, food recipes and more.