The Transformation of a Hockey Fan

Since I have nothing much to do these days, since the Thrashers have started their off-season, I figured I’d share my story on how I became a part of “Blueland.” It’s surprising to not only me, but also  my family as to why I care so much for hockey in this city and why I chose to change.  But I’m here now and have no plans on going anywhere anytime soon.

I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. So, of course, I was raised to be a diehard Cardinals, Rams, Tigers, and Blues fan. Well, I’ll be honest when I say I was never much of a hockey fan growing up. I attended a couple games at the Kiel Center as a “youngster.” My dad attended the Checker Dome back in the good ol’ days. I can’t say I hated the game, but I just never had a large amount of interest. Growing up with the Blues, I always heard about Grant Fuhr, Curtis Joseph, Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, the amazing fighter of Tony Twist, and even the “Great One” for a short amount of time. With all of those greats, you’d think that I would never turn them down for another team, but I did. I will always like the Blues. There’s no denying that. Heck, I even have their logo tattooed on my body(along with my other St. Louis teams).

In 1998, my family decided to move down to Georgia for work opportunities. I wasn’t happy about it and for the longest time, I even hated this place. There’s little to no snow and I rarely had the chance to view my favorite sports teams on TV. It wasn’t the place for me. So for the past 13 years, I’ve despised the Braves, Falcons, Hawks, “Dawgs”, and Jackets.  I’m sure a lot of you are shaking your head right now, but hey, that’s how it is.  Those are some things I know will never change and I’ll cherish my St. Louis teams for life.

One day, in November of 2009, a bunch of people from work were getting together and going to a hockey game. It just so happens it was the night my St. Louis Blues were in town. Well, the first mistake I made was wearing shorts and flip flops(don’t do it folks). So we sat, enjoyed a couple beers and watched the game. If I remember correctly, I believe the Blues blew a lead and lost in overtime. That’s not the important part.  I left Philips Arena that night saying, “Wow…what a game and what an amazing sport.” I can’t believe I have gone this long throwing hockey off as “just another sport”. For the remainder of that season, I was able to attend a few more games just to realize how much I love this game.  Then I realized something else. Not only did I love this game, but the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Thrashers are what have brought me to love this sport and I’m thankful for that. My father still questions my fanatics and that’s OK with me. Since that night in November of 09′, I’ve been a proud member of Blueland. And now, I follow not only this sport, but this team more than anything else in the sports world. Now I don’t live very close to the arena and can’t attend every game like I’d want to, but this past season, I was able to make 16 games. I can’t say I enjoyed every one, and well, the Thrashers probably lost more than half of them, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The part I enjoy the most, is watching my 2 year-old daughter watch the game. When she sees that me or mommy have a jersey in our hand, she knows what time it is. She’ll say, “Go see Frashers….Go see hockey?” What else could a father ask for? Your child, let alone your daughter loving the game as much as you! It’s incredible and I’m glad that I can share those experiences with my child. The Thrashers will forever be a part in my life. I know it’s just a sport, but to me it’s more than that and I hope that me and my family will be able to be a part of Blueland for years to come. Hey, they don’t call me “Crayz” for nothing….

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