Ok, so I'll admit it, I didn't become a hockey fan until I was in my 30's. I grew up in California, hence my moniker on here, and honestly hockey wasn't even on the radar in my house growing up. I vaguely remember my step brother playing youth hockey when we were really little, but never actually saw him do it. In all honesty, I have to thank my lovely wife for turning me on to hockey. You see she's from Pa, and her family has been Flyers fans since the beginning. She grew up going to Flyers games and has been around hockey her whole life.
So, shortly after we began dating, she mentioned hockey and I told her I knew nothing about it. She started to school me on the sport that I now love so much. On a side note, there is nothing hotter than a girl teaching you about hockey!
So, she immediatley turned me into a Flyers fan in the last part of the 2000-2001 season. I loved it! The speed of the game (which at the time I had no idea was slowed down by the clutching and grabbing), the intensity, the hitting, the fighting I loved it all. I had no idea what I was watching, but damn was it exciting! So, come the next season, since we were still living in Ca. I demanded that we get the center ice package so I could watch the games. I loved watching Flyers games, but didn't watch too many other teams play. Even though we lived an hour away, I had absolutely no interest in the Sharks. We would go to the Shark Tank every December when the Flyers would come to town and I would always get crap because i'd be wearing my Keith Primeau Flyers home jersey. I could take it though, because I was proud to be a Flyers fan!
The first time we came to Pa to visit my future wife's family, her dad took me to a game in Hershey to see the Hershey Bears play the Philadelphia Phantoms. Even though the seats were tiny and uncomfortable, I had the best time. I felt like I had gone back 30 years into the past. I fell even more in love with hockey. Then the most amazing thing happened. The next night they took me to my first live Flyers home game. Oh, what an experience. They played the Islanders and beat the crap out of them. It was an absolutely incredible experience! That night I decided that sometime in the near future we would be packing up and moving to Pa., so I could do this all the time.
3 years leater, we made the move. We now live in a nice little town in the suburbs of Reading, Pa. and I am lucky enough to get to go to about 5-10 Flyers games a year. We have also become season ticket holders to our local ECHL team, the Reading Royals. My love of hockey has gotten stronger and stronger every year. I watch every single Flyers game of the season, no matter what, and watch alot of other games too. I have learned to love the game not just the Flyers.
Sadly, because I am so relatively new to the game, I don't know alot of the history. I have learned alot from websites such as this one and reading various books about hockey. I also learn a lot just from talking to various other people on forums and blogs like hockeybuzz. It still amazes me how much all of you on Hockeybuzz know about this great sport of Hockey. It just further strengthens my belief that although hockey may not have the most fans of all the major sports, it undoubtedly has the most knowledable and passionate fans by far. So, I say to you all, keep writing, commenting, blogging and arguing over hockey. It only makes us better fans. I love this sport with all my heart and can't imagine that I spent the first 30 years of my life knowing nothing about it!