Welcome to the refreshed Anaheim Calling! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
It’s always fun to think about how people become fans of their favorite teams. Some people have funny stories, other’s touching tales of connecting with family and friends, and even some who simply can’t even remember NOT being a fan. Every fan’s story is unique and carries with it a lot of meaning in their life. It’s part of why they keep coming back, win or lose, championship or #1 overall pick. I’m excited to read all the stories of my fellow SBNation contributors as well as our readers today, but I will start with the story of just how I became a fan of the Anaheim Ducks.
When I first joined Anaheim Calling, I touched a bit on the things that contributed to me being a fan of hockey and the Anaheim Ducks in my “Pardon the InterDucktion” article. In that article, I talked about my father being a Kings fans in the 80’s, how he settled in Orange County with my mother after I was born and became an original season ticket holder for the Ducks in 1993-1994. I grew up going to games all the time. I even was blessed enough to go to Game 1 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals with my old man.
But, if I’m being completely honest, I never really appreciated all that at the time. I was a football player from the age of 7 and a die-hard Eagles fan from the age of 10 (I know, an Eagles fan born and raised in Orange County is weird, but that’s a story for another time). I watched all the football I could and while hockey was fun, it was in no way something that I was invested in when I was young like I was in football. And, after Anaheim won the Cup and my family decided to let go of our season seats, hockey entirely disappeared from my life for nearly 4 years. I started my lacrosse career in that time, began high school, and hockey was really a non-factor. Then, in the spring of my junior year of high school (Spring 2011), I rediscovered the game of hockey and the Anaheim Ducks.
When I was in high school, our lacrosse team got the lowest priority for practice time in the spring so we had practice from 7pm-9pm during the week. This made for an odd schedule. And one night, after returning home from practice, I sat down to watch TV and eat a late dinner with my dad. He had been gone all day with work and had set that night’s Ducks game to record so he could watch when he got home. He put the game on and we sat down to eat.
Sadly, I don’t remember who Anaheim was playing that night, but I do vividly remember how I felt watching the game. As a defenseman in lacrosse, I loved using my size to bully and punish smaller players on the offense. It was a blast to play physical in a sport that is so much more focused on precision and finesse. And, while watching that Ducks game, I was blown away by the physicality and freedom of the game. The concept of guys flying around a sheet of ice so fast and making crazy moves with the puck and knocking the crap out of each other really resonated with me.
And I know you’re probably wondering why this was never something that caught my attention earlier in my life, and I don’t necessarily have that answer. My best guess is that my years of playing lacrosse and the similarities between the two games inspired something in me, but I’m not entirely sure. All I know is some switch inside me flipped that night and there was no looking back. I was hooked and immediately became a fan of the Ducks, never to look back.
Every game night I would record the game before leaving for lacrosse practice. All my teammates, as well as my family, knew not to tell me anything that was going on in that night’s game unless they had a death wish. I wanted to go home and live every exciting moment of every game. And that was all she wrote. When I graduated high school, I bought my first Ducks jersey with some of my graduation money (a Corey Perry home jersey). When I moved to Texas for college and the lockout ended, I bought NHL Gamecenter Live and stayed up till midnight and watched every game.
My fandom eventually led me to discovering Anaheim Calling. I then worked up the confidence to apply as a staff writer. Finally, last August, I was promoted to managing editor here on Anaheim Calling. Now I know that my dream job is in hockey broadcasting, I get to spend my time talking about my favorite team and favorite sport, and I get to bring great content to all of you. I never would have imagined that one little dinner at 9:30 at night would change my life forever, but it did, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My story is different from many Ducks fans. I never cared about the Mighty Ducks movies. I was never a starving hockey fan in Orange County who was finally validated when the NHL decided to expand to Anaheim. And I didn’t even grow up playing the game. But, the Anaheim Ducks found their way into my heart on one fateful night and that’s where they will stay for the rest of my life.
We sports fans are crazy, aren’t we?
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