Dan Miner Bobbleheads 4/13
GLENS FALLS -- Dan Miner has worked in radio for three decades, and for Glens Falls hockey
teams for 22 years.
He still gets butterflies when he signs on in the morning, and the first time he cues up the public address microphone at the Civic Center. If he did not, he says he’d be in the wrong line of work.
But Miner is a different kind of nervous for Saturday’s Adirondack Phantoms home game.
That is because the first 2,500 fans through the Civic Center doors – the same ones he has walked through since they first opened in 1979 – will be handed a bobble head doll bearing the likeness of the 1983 Whitehall High School graduate, a longtime staple of the local hockey and radio scenes.
“I’m nervous about it, but in a good way. I hope everything comes together, and that 2,500 people actually show up,” he joked. “That’s been my biggest nightmare. There are 2,500 of these things. What happens if there are only 2,100 people? What are they going to do with the other 400?”
Miner probably does not have to worry about those fears coming to fruition.
The Phantoms are playing the Connecticut Whale, the top affiliate of the New York Rangers, and Christian rock band The Wrecking will perform after the game as part of Faith and Family Night.
More than 3,500 tickets have already been sold, according to the Phantoms.
The team anticipates that fans will be lining up at the doors waiting to get in, and Miner himself is bringing a small army of friends and family to witness the game at which he will be immortalized.
“I’ve got 65 tickets that I’ve got just from people that I know that are coming with me,” Miner said. “That doesn’t include other people that I know that are going with other groups. It’s just really overwhelming. It’s been a lot of fun. It really has been. I’m know I’m going to get busted.”
Miner, who co-hosts the morning drive show on WCKM, where he is the station manager, initially believed the Phantoms were busting him when they approached him last summer with the idea of creating a bobble head version of himself. It was not until the Phantoms released a promotional schedule, listing Dan Miner Bobble Head Night as April 13, that Miner realized they were serious.
“I really thought the whole thing was a prank,” he said.
Since the giveaway was announced, Miner has been getting all kinds of congratulatory messages.
“I’ve been hearing from people that I literally have not heard from in 20 years that I know from the Civic Center,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week. “I’ve heard from classmates that I graduated from high school with back in 1983. … This has taken a whole life on for itself.”
The same could be argued of Miner’s radio career, which began not that long after he left high school. He was one month into his studies at Adirondack Community College, now SUNY Adirondack, when he accepted a job with a radio station in Ticonderoga. He has been with Regional Radio Group in Glens Falls for 16 years, and currently serves as a station manager.
His involvement with Glens Falls-based hockey games began before that, however.
After first covering the team for the Ticonderoga radio station during the 1985-86 season, he became the in-arena host for Adirondack Red Wings games beginning in 1991. In 1999, he became the public address announcer for the Adirondack IceHawks United Hockey League team.
He has taken the latter role with the Phantoms, as well as working as an off-ice official. He is perhaps best known for his signature catchphrase – “Not tonight” – which he says after announcing the names of particular scratches for that night’s game.
He borrowed the idea from Adirondack Red Wings public address announcer Greg Patrei, who read it without the inflection and flair that Miner provides. It has now become a sort of rite of passage for some players, a sign they are respected for something they have done on the ice.
“Not everybody qualifies for it,” Miner explained. “You have to earn that, and it goes for the home guys and the away guys as well, too. I do my studying up to see who deserves one for the away team when they’re scratches and for the home team I know pretty much.”
The Phantoms initially toyed with the idea of having the bobblehead Miner say “Not tonight,” but ultimately decided against it. Still, Miner remains in a state of disbelief on the eve of the giveaway.
When he began his radio career 30 years ago, this was something that never crossed his mind.
“I don’t know many people that set out that goal when they’re young and say ‘This is what I want to do.’ I’ve worked on my profession, I’ve worked on my craft and I’ve been able to do it. I’ve been able to make a good living doing it,” Miner said of his radio career. “I still enjoy it. … It’s just a passion. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve worked with some really good people and I’ve been given opportunities that a lot of people would never be able to get. I’ve been very fortunate.”
At the conclusion of the game, Miner will celebrate with his friends and family, some of whom he first came to games with as an Adirondack Red Wings fan in 1979. While “Not tonight” may be his way of showing certain players respect, this gesture is the team’s way of showing Miner theirs.
“He’s been involved with hockey for so long,” Phantoms Executive Vice President Chris Porreca said. “He’s our PA announcer. He’s an ambassador for hockey. We thought it was the right thing to do.”