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(How I Became a [Female] Hockey Fan)!
I am from Michigan and the first time I remember watching hockey, the Red Wings were hot. And by hot I mean around 1997 when the Wings won their first of their back-to-back cups. Now, I was only seven years old and I didn't know anything about any other team in the NHL. I didn't know I was allowed to like a team other than a Detroit team. I watched the Wings because that's what my family and everyone we knew did. I can remember drawing signs that said “raise the roof” or “sweep, sweep, sweep” and holding them up in my living room while watching the playoff games. My older brother had made a homemade Stanley Cup and we would take turns running it around the room as if we had just won the finals. I would sprinkle baby powder on my signs thinking it was “good luck dust” that would bring good fortune to my beloved Red Wings. I never really knew what exactly was happening in the games, I just knew the Wings were good.
I can remember watching the rivalry with the Colorado Avalanche and absolutely hating them. I remember every fight Patrick Roy picked with all of the Wings' goalies. I'll never forget game 7 of the 2002 WCF when the Wings slaughtered the Avs 7-0. At that time I was obsessed with Luc Robitaille simply because every time he touched the puck the crowd would yell “Luuuuuuuuuc!” I loved it. I was twelve years old at the time. The years following, I started to lose interest in hockey, and started high school two years after the '02 cup win. As like so many others, I was wrapped up in high school and pushed hockey aside. Then the lockout happened and after a year without hockey, my family and I couldn't get back into it. Then came the 2008 playoffs.
ESPN news became a permanent channel on the TV at my house. I remember watching the recap of the previous games played so far in the playoffs. I kept hearing the name “Sid the Kid” and I remember thinking “who is this guy?” The Pittsburgh Penguins would meet the Wings in the '08 Stanley Cup finals, but I really paid no attention to this “Sid the Kid.” I was happy the Wings won the cup since I always used to watch them and they were all I ever knew. It was more of a “oh nothing new, Wings won” type of attitude.
Soon enough it was time for the 2009 playoffs. Again, on ESPN “Sid the Kid” kept coming up, so I decided to tune into the Pens games and really find out who this guy was. I found myself cheering for the Pens, and by the time the finals came along, it was again, the Pens vs Wings. I was aboard the Pens train this time. My facebook was slammed with hate by Wings fans, I was boo'ed during game 7, had a pack of gum thrown at me, and a “Crosby sucks” chant directed towards me. (I was at a local sports bar and grill watching the game). Thankfully, the Pens came through and won the cup. Never in my life have I felt prouder of a hockey team than on that day. Ever since, I have been hooked on Pens hockey. I don't remember having as much fun watching the Wings back in the day than I do now watching the Pens. Every day that there's a Pens game to be played, by day is a little better knowing I have that game to look forward to. Go Pens!
- LoThis is definitely a first (in my experience) ... a Wings fan who grew to love the Pens. Thats quite admirable (and pretty brave), Lo. And a story involving some of "the biggies" like Roy and Robitaille!! THANKS for sharing, Lo!!
Don't forget, if you wish to submit your story, I kindly ask that you email them directly to me so they don't end up being repetitive for some of the readers. Also, if you don't want me to include your name, please let me know that as well (what I'll normally do is put your first name and last initial if I have it OR just your screen name).
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I also want to let you know I LOVE these stories (and so do alot of our readers) - I've always found it interesting no matter who the fan, so I'm enjoying ALL OF THIS IMMENSELY!! KEEP THEM COMING, but I ask that you email them please - THANKS!!!
Also, I ask that you please BE PATIENT as I'm still receiving TONS of stories (they'll be posted in the order I received them, to be fair). If you sent in a story, it will eventually be on the blog - I promise!! ; ) JUST BE SURE TO KEEP THEM COMING (the more the better!)!! AS A NOTE, I'm currently on stories I received back in January 2010!!!