Phoenix Coyotes Can Look Forward to Development Camp in July - The Phoenix Coyotes future, as far as whether or not they will stay in Glendale, still remains up in the air. The team at least has a few positive things ...
1 week ago
He shoots, he scoresNICE!!
As for the best male legs in Canada, hockey superstar Sidney Crosby, has yet another award to add to his collection; taking top honours with a national vote of 27% (33% in Alberta and 26% in Ontario and BC gave Crosby a top score). Crosby skates circles around the competition with his hockey-toned legs, after defeating runner-up celebrity heartthrob Ryan Reynolds at 18% and basketball hero Steve Nash at 10%.
|graphic obtained from "Stick That In Your Juicebox" Tumblr|
I'm the Georgia-born daughter of a Texas father and a North Carolina mother. I say y'all, I'm allergic to shoes when the weather's hot (and boy is it ever here), I've seen snow (REAL snow, not the dustings we get every few years) only twice in my entire life, and I can't ice skate worth crap. But I LOVE ice hockey.
Here in the South we grow up on NASCAR, baseball, and college football. Hockey wasn't even a word in my vocabulary until I was 11. That was in 1999 when the Atlanta Thrashers were born. The conversation at the dinner table went something like Dad saying "Atlanta has a new hockey team" and Mom saying "Has Ted Turner lost his damn mind again?" My dad started watching the Thrashers on TV, but I didn't give them a passing glance. I wouldn't notice them again until I was about 15.WONDERFUL story, Ally ... I love hearing this kind of stuff (the blog was intended as a "safe haven" for us all and I originally started writing it because of the "guilt" I felt about crushing hard on the players and am now proud to say I'm fully recovered from the guilt and full on LOVE hockey players and am pretty proud to tell everyone
That was the first time I sat down with my dad to watch a game. It was also the first time I noticed a certain Russian forward some of you may know. This was my reaction to Kovalchuk the first time I saw him on TV (I hope you don't mind while I borrow from my own blog for a second):
...being a teenage girl full of estrogen and not raised on hockey, I immediately focused on his good looks. He was (and still is) strikingly handsome and even though I didn't know a damn thing about hockey at the time, from what I saw on TV his game play looked amazing. After that moment I wanted to know more about the sport, beyond "hockey's what my dad watches on Thursday nights."
He captivated me and, as I would learn later, every Thrashers fan in Georgia. Sadly, he's not a Thrasher anymore and he hasn't been my favorite player in a long time (that honor goes to Slava Kozlov and always will), but I can't talk about how I became a hockey fan without talking about Kovalchuk.
When I was 16 I FINALLY got to attend my first live game at Philips Arena, which brings me to the biggest reason I love hockey: my dad. For Christmas, Dad bought a pair of tickets to a Thrashers game and asked me if I wanted to go with him. He looked nervous, unsure, and I heard a lot of "I really hope you like the game..." I could tell it was really important to him that I enjoy the game and he wasn't 100% sure I would because I'd disliked just about every other sport he'd tried to get me into.
The game was on December 26, 2003 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Neither Dad nor I had been to a live game before. Heck, we hadn't been to Philips Arena before. We sat front row in the upper deck on the attack twice side. Before the game started Dad and I sat with a program between us, him showing me the players' stats and explaining penalties and powerplays. Then the game started...
The roar of the crowd, the sounds of puck on stick and body against glass, Kovalchuk's infamous slap shot resounding off the opposing goalie's pads, the sheer speed of everything about the game...it was all so much, almost too much, to take in. I left the arena that night in love.
The Thrashers won 3-2 (if I remember correctly) and I still have the program from that game. My dad and I make it a tradition now to go to a game together in December. The only year we've missed since is the year I was studying abroad in England.
Although my love for hockey has expanded to the entire sport, I will always be an Atlanta Thrashers fan first. As I've learned since 2003, they're not an easy team to love. There's no Stanley Cup banner in Philips Arena and some think there never will be. Instead we have one lonely 2007 Division Champions banner, but I am so unbelievably proud of it. This season we lost our franchise player, we're once again not in the playoffs running (but close!). The management is horrible, the ownership is worse, and attendence basically sucks. I know a lot of people will say hockey doesn't belong in the South and the Thrashers are proof. But against all odds, I LOVE this team and can't shake the optimism that they'll continue to get better and come out on top one day.
Currently, I'm working to combine my love of hockey and my passion for writing into something viable. I want more than anything to be a sportswriter so I can report on and write about the one game I love more than any other. So far I've carved out a small corner of the internet for a hockey blog called "Hey Y'all Hockey" (http://heyyallhockey.blogspot.com) It's not much but it's a step. I don't think being Southern and loving ice hockey has to be a contradiction.
~ Ally P.
|graphic courtesy of|
"funnygunny" in the NHL 10 Custom Covers thread
of Operation Sports Forums
Since then, the addiction's only gotten worse. I follow "my boys" almost obsessively to see what they're doing in practice, what community events they're holding (Pens in Santa hats? Yes, please!), and when I could potentially make it home to student rush a game. Unfortunately, hockey season and swimming season pretty much coincide so I haven't been able to make it home yet this season. Instead, I comfort myself with the fact that the college I go to is close enough to Pittsburgh that I still get FSN and (amazingly) my radio picks up The X so that I can have my Mike Lange fix, too. A lot of the guys on the team were surprised that I liked hockey and could spout off the different players and their numbers and positions. I may not be able to recall how many goals Sid has scored this season at the drop of a hat, but I can remember different line combinations and I get upset when Danny B shuffles them around. My hall always knows when there's a game on because I yell at the TV. Now, normally I'm a very soft-spoken individual, but I swear like a sailor when it comes to hockey games. I yell at the refs. I yell at the coaches. I yell at the players - it doesn't matter if the game's going well or not. My roommate (unfortunately not the same girl as last year - she transferred) and my boyfriend think it's hilarious. I just think it's fun.
I think I love the Pens because not only are they a talented (and good-looking!) team, they're a classy organization. I look at all the stuff they do on the ice (Stanley Cup Champions!) and then off the ice as well (the Children's Hospital trips, Pens & Pins, their involvement in Hockey Against Cancer, the Mario Lemieux foundation, Make-a-Wish...the list goes on) and they're just all-around good guys. They impress me with how professional they are and how team-oriented they are. Everybody has everybody's back: Sid standing up for Geno during his scoring slump; Tanger taking on Powe after that hit on Goligoski even though he's not a fighter; and Godard clearing up the crease for Pechurskiy back in that Vancouver game. And don't even get me started on how sweet it was of the whole team to go over to Alex after that game and congratulate him. And, of course, when Sid gave him the puck. That's what I love. And they're all so humble, too. I have a favorite interview of Kris Letang's (he's my current favorite - future husband #4... =]) before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In it, he's asked, "What are you going to do differently tonight?" and he responds with, "I'm going to relax and play the game the way I usually play it because tonight, it's going to be a team win, not an individual win." Makes me melt. And the sex hair (I miss it!) and gorgeous brown eyes and adorable accent don't hurt either!
Anyway, that's pretty much my story. I'm just a crazy college co-ed who spends her spare time mooning over the Pens. And I don't think I'd have it any other way.
- GizmoQuite honestly, I think alot of TRUE female fans start out watching / enjoying a sport by the attractive qualities of some player catching her eye then realizing that the sport of hockey is a pretty awesome game too (and it grows from there) - very similar to your experience, Gizmo. So for those "fan girls" and / or guys who roll their eyes at females that gush over how "hawt" a player is or think that they're only fans for that reason should give them a chance because FOR ALL OF US (male OR female) there's usually a reason we become fans in the first place ... unfortunately we're not born being a fan (well, a few of us may not be lucky enough to be born into a hockey-crazed family!). We were all teenagers at one time and can probably remember our lives being taken over by hormones, but if that leads to a genuine fan after all that is over then how can we judge that and, quite frankly, who cares?!! THANKS for sharing your story, Gizmo!!
He will be joined by his long-time personal trainer for the next 2-3 weeks as he works back into his routine in Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia, according to Penguins general manager Ray Shero.I just felt like sharing the joy with all of you!! Although it makes me MISS Penguins hockey more now even though I've been watching all the hockey I can get my hands on.
Hi there! I stumbled across your blog a while ago and have been following it with great interest ever since; I figured it couldn't hurt to send in my story. I am a Pittsburgher, born and raised, but I have always been a reluctant sports fan. I've gone through all kinds of phases - I was going to be a figure skater, gymnast, and soccer player at various points in my life - before I finally settled on swimming. Even then, it took me a while to get hooked on simply WATCHING other sports. It wasn't until probably my sophomore year in high school that I rediscovered the Pens. I'd gone to a game when I was in 7th grade, but nothing left a huge impression on me except for the fact that I got to sit almost at ice level in the handicapped seats (I'd broken my foot that October). I know we were playing whatever team Jagr went to because they booed him every time he touched the ice. Other than that, I was pretty nonplussed. Sophomore year, though, was the year that my taste in music changed drastically; I started listening to 105.9 The X. I always have to have music on in the background when I'm doing homework and I remember getting frustrated because, more often than not, there was this crazy guy just TALKING on the radio and I couldn't understand a word he said. This crazy guy was Mike Lange and it makes me laugh now to remember how angry I would get when I turned my radio on and he was callling the Pens game because now the only way I can watch Pens games is to mute the TV and turn the radio on. Eventually though, I made the connection between a Pens game being played and the crazy guy on the radio. Some of my friends were rabid hockey fans and so I started listening to the games when they were on so I could talk to them about it the next day. At first, I had NO idea what was going on, but I slowly learned the names of the players and the different penalties and stuff. I started to get really into the games (still kind of hard for me to visualize what was going on, but I got really excited when they scored and Mike would spout off one of his crazy phrases) and, one day, my dad stuck his head into my room to ask what was going on.
"I'm listening to the hockey game," I told him.
He looked kind of confused and said, "I didn't know you liked hockey."
"It's a recent thing," I assured him in all my teenage glory.
"Why aren't you watching the game downstairs?" he asked.
I shrugged. "I didn't think you and Mom would want to put it on," I said. "And besides, I'm happy just listening to it on the radio."
That ended that conversation, but a month or so later we won tickets to go see the Pens play the Rangers. Just he and I went and it was nice to bond over hockey because we didn't get to bond over much else; his work took him out of town a lot. Ironically, I remember that it was the Rangers because I remember booing Jagr every time he touched the ice. I knew I was hooked (or told myself I was) during the first intermission when a picture of Marc-Andre Fleury flashed up on the jumbotron. I took one look at it and said, "Oh, he's cute. Dad, can we come to more games? The players are really hot." Teenage hormones = teenage reasoning. I roll my eyes at it now, but I blame Fleury for my current addiction. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make it to any more games (as of right now), but Santa brought my dad, my little sister, and I tickets to the March 20th game against the Hurricanes. No, wait, that's a lie; last year, during the playoffs, my roommate and I drove home from school to watch one of the games against the Philadelphia Flyers. I might not have been inside the Igloo, but I had so much fun at that game, especially when Billy G netted the overtime goal and the crowd outside erupted. Definitely one of the highlights of my life.
[TO BE CONT'D ... next Friday!]