Me and former assistant coach Mike Yeo in Atlanta

Born and raised just north of Chicago, I was all but raised at the rink. For some people baseball or football is what they were brought up with, in our family it was hockey.

My brother played from the time he could join the learn to skate program until he was a year out of high school. My mom told me that if I wanted to play, and believe me I did, I would have to play with the girls. I think she kind of knew I wasn’t gonna have that. It was either the checking leagues or nothing.

I don’t recall ever being a hardcore Blackhawks fan. In fact, I grew up following Eddie Belfour. My brother was a goalie, so to me, the coolest guy out on the ice was the one in between the pipes. Eddie spent his career with a handful of different teams. And each time he was traded, so was my loyalty. Throughout my childhood, I was a Hawks fan, a Sharks fan, a Stars fan, a Leafs fan, and a Panthers fan. I can remember exactly where I was on the living room floor when he won the Cup with the Stars in ’99 and believe it or not the first time I ever saw him play live, was when he was in a Panthers jersey, the final year he played in the NHL before having a go in the Swedish league.

My best friend Shavon and I on my second trip to Pittsburgh last year. The day I converted her into a Pens fan.

When the Eagle went to Sweden, I was kind of at a loss of what to do. Prior to the lockout, if I wasn’t watching him play I was watching my brother. I actually passed on my senior Homecoming Dance for a tournament in St. Louis. That was my hockey more so than the NHL.

A couple of years ago, I was working at a Buffalo Wild Wings part time. A dream job for a 20 year old girl with such a love for sports. One of my managers was from Minnesota, one of my co-workers the older sister of a kid my brother played hockey with growing up. If there was a game on that I wanted to watch when it was slow, I got it on the tv. I didn’t have to pay for Center Ice, I got paid to watch it. I can vaguely remember my co-worker telling me about this new star that was supposed to be the future of the “new” NHL. I didn’t really give it much thought at first, but then around Christmas I was in search for a book on Martin Brodeur for my brother. Somehow I ended up with a book called The Rookie as well. After reading it, I fell in love with all things Sidney Crosby.

My Crosby Rimouski Jersey

The things he has accomplished throughout not just his professional, but in his entire hockey career  fascinate me. I get asked all the time why I am a Pens fan, and it’s not because they won the Cup in 2009, its because the amount of hard work and dedication their Captain puts forth season after season reminds me of what being a pro hockey player should be about, the love for the game, not the love for the paycheck.

With Eddie I never fell for the teams he played for. Sure I have a lot of respect for some of the guys in front of his crease, but it is nothing compared to the way I feel about my team now. I remember when they didn’t make the playoffs, when they made it to the first round and were eliminated, balling when they lost the Stanley Cup, and the joy I felt when they finally won it. Yeah I get angry with them sometimes when they don’t play their game, but what fan doesn’t?

Now here I am today, with not only a love for a player pegged by many as “The Next One”, but a love for a team that has not only struggled but has worked hard to accomplish so many things in the few short years since the infamous NHL Lockout. I still get a lot of crap for being a Pens fan living in Chicago, and even more so for being a fan of Sid, but I have learned to get used to it. I’m proud to be a Pens fan and I am proud to be a women who is knowledgeable not just about her team but about the entire sport. Last year it was seven different Pens games in three different cities, next up 10 in five different cities. Bring on October!

Look for me this fall on!

Want to know more about Sara? Ask her a question here!!

  1. April 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Quit stealing the mans towel!

  2. April 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm


  3. Kelly
    May 28, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I saw you guys on the news this morning and I had to check out the site. Great job, ladies! Go Hawks!

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