Last night, the San Jose Sharks played the Philadelphia Flyers in what appears to be their only regular season matchup this year. Now, before some of you hockey know-it-alls take me to task for the title of this post, keep in mind I'm not digging into the trenches of your memories, which I'm sure contain endless facts and evidences that would surely make me recant. I am a relatively new fan to the sport of hockey. If I'm being honest, I'm a relatively new fan to anything sports-like.
I didn't really pay any attention to sports or players or teams until that fateful day when I married into the family of a Detroit-ridden family, which was about 9 years ago. Even then, after I found out that hockey was supposed to be a "big deal," I still didn't decide to root for a team until about 7 years ago.
I was at an EHL Utah Grizzlies game with my brother-in-law (Wings Guy), when, at intermission, I walked into the Grizzlies' fan shop and found a San Jose Sharks jersey. I plunked down over a hundred dollars (post approval from wife on massive cell phone) and walked out with a jersey that I still display in my man cave (but should really be called "The Shark Tank"). It was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I can prove it – the jersey is an XXL (I'm a large). I put the jersey on, walked back down to the bleachers where my brother-in-law was, and sat down. It was a statement that I would not be a Red Wings fan, even though my beloved family was. But it was also my way of showing the family that I respected their hockey tradition and would give it a chance. It would turn out to be a pivotal moment in my life (as far as sports or pivoting goes).
But, even then, I really didn't follow the Sharks until a few years ago. I even (and this is a shame) missed the pre-season game between the Sharks and the Kings, when they played in the E Center on October 5, 2008, which is less than 50 miles from my home in Provo, Utah. Now, in my defense (and this is not a great defense), I had run the Saint George Marathon the day before that game and was probably still in St. George the Sunday that that it was played. But, from where I'm sitting now, I really wish that I had been there. I kick myself over that, all of the time.