Workin’ For The Weekend: “What A Feeling” Barons At Checkers

In the summer of 1983, when singles still weren’t digital and vinyl was still an option for something other than a couch, Irene Cara released “What A Feeling” a track featured on the Flashdance soundtrack. A song penned in a cab on the way to the recording studio, Irene wrote the lyrics as a way of empowering the good folk of the 80’s. In turn, it became a hugely successful song even if the album of the same title was a flop that came much later in the year.

Irene had the pipes and songwriting chops, but was constantly compared to other soulful singers of the decade. You can’t help but wonder if Cara couldn’t have been wildly successful in the disco decade or at least a mildly successful Motown howler in the 60’s. The Fame, well, fame aside, Cara was 1/2 of the songwriting duo that put out “What A Feeling” which was a single sandwiched between The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. It is a fiery song perfectly tailored for the movie from which is was featured. A song about living, loving, reaching your dreams – things that 80’s not-so-secretly championed in pop music.

It’s a song, I can’t help but crank up when it hits the radio. Then again, I also feel like a putz for enjoying it so much.

“Take your passion, and make it happen,” is pretty straight forward, right? “What a feeling, what a feeling, I can have it all,” is universally understood, right? Yes to both.

The Oklahoma City Barons march towards betterment, and earn a date with the Charlotte Checkers on Friday and Sunday. The team from the Carolinas has been historically pesky to the Barons in the regular season. OKC, having defeated the Marlies once and the Stars twice, need to take all that momentum and “make it happen”. The playoffs are won now.

You’ll recall that the last time these two teams played (January 23 and 24), Charlotte outscored the Barons 13 to 3, and gave OKC it’s worst defeat in club history (9-3). It was a sorry two-set, and it seemed to usher in the doldrums for one of the worst teams in the Western Conference. But the moral of the story is that Charlotte went out and won only a single game in the next four, while OKC won three straight.

The addition of Mark Arcobello has been huge, and Todd Nelson knows it. Rolling a line with Lander followed by another with Arcobello, you earn the additional scoring threat. The loss of Linus Omark was huge, but the addition of another fantastic, play-making centerman is equally as huge, but in a good way. Forwards like C.J. Stretch, Jack Combs, and recently placed on the wing Roman Horak have benefited greatly from two could-be NHLers down the center. It seems to sit well with everyone.

Richard Bachman has been really good, and thus Tyler Bunz hasn’t gotten a start since being swapped with Chet Pickard prior to the three game winning streak. Likewise, the Barons defense has played smart, persistent hockey. It hasn’t been magical by any stretch of the imagination given that OKC has suddenly learned to hang on to the puck longer, but it certainly is a shiny example of how the team could play if it were firing on all cylinders.

The Checkers like offense almost to a fault. In a typical season they would simply outscore you rather than defend, and ironically it works for them against the Barons. Palushaj, Boychuk, Terry, and Shugg lead the scoring while the team relies heavily on goaltender John Muse who’s started 27 games for the team this season. When it comes to Charlotte vs OKC, the good money is on the race flags.

The Barons have Lake Erie waiting in the wings at home the following weekend. Cupid can be unkind if his bow finds the wrong suitor, so OKC needs as many wins as possible, and they need them immediately.

Friday the game starts at 6:30 CST and 12:30 CST on Sunday. Go Barons!