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We've been Thunder struck

WICHITA — A lawyer, a writer and an ad exec walk into an arena …

No, it’s not the start of a joke. It’s the start of a new passion for the Wichita Thunder that a few friends and I now have.

I was playing in the very fun Valley Center Charity Poker Tournament earlier this month when I knocked out Thunder general manager Joel Lomurno, which scored me four Thunder tickets, two T-shirts and bragging rights at least until next year’s tournament. (I also outlasted a certain business editor from across the street, but that’s another story.)Bonnie Bing, refusing to do the Chicken Dance.I got a small picture of just how crazy Lomurno’s job is when I discovered my four tickets weren’t on the same night. He accommodated me by personally trading in two of the tickets for the same night, sold me a fifth ticket and got them all in the same area, which turned out to be killer third-row seats for Friday’s game. While acting as my personal ticket agent, Lomurno clearly was juggling a number of other things amid a rather chaotic office. That included rushing a new player to Kansas City to work out a visa issue and rushing him back so he could step on the ice that night in order to be eligible for the playoffs later.

Although I’m a Michigan girl who once had an ice rink in her own back yard, I’ve never been into hockey. It was a hoot, though. The fights, the music, the beer. My husband enjoyed the game itself, too. At one point, he turned to me and said, “Honey, can you beat him at cards again?”

Actually, we’ll be happy to buy our own tickets. I think the Thunder could be an even bigger draw than it is if more nonhockey fans such as myself gave it a shot.

Even Bonnie Bing enjoyed it, although she refused to do the Chicken Dance.