Colleen

Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago and from the same home town as Chris Chelios and Eddie Olczyk, I was on ice skates before I could remember and tripping on as over-sized hockey jersey. I came from an over-sized Irish family where my aunts played hockey and broke more rules than the boys. Everyone in my family played sports. As a child, I was in softball, soccer, field hockey, cheerleading, and played Rugby in college. 
 
If I am not talking about hockey, I am probably talking about books. I got my college degree in English, and I openly cherish British and American women’s literature (if only Jane Austen played hockey). I am currently attending Roosevelt University in pursuit of a Master’s in English and a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. 
 
When I met my boyfriend Michael a few years ago, it didn’t take long to recognize a fellow hockey enthusiast. We called one another ‘hockey buddy’ for almost a year before becoming an official couple. In December of 2009, Michael won the Meijer Ultimate Fan Sweepstakes, and we got to fly on the team’s charter plane to Dallas, stay in the hotel, and meet most of the team. The best part about winning the trip is how many of our friends told us we deserved it for being such dedicated fans. 
 
During the trip, I got to witness what happens behind the scenes and talk first hand to the people that keep the team on schedule and keep the team comfortable at the away games. While I wish we could have played mario kart with the players, we did get to have an in-depth discussion with radio announcer John Weiderman about statistics and the teams progression from last season. We also had drinks with the equipment manager Clint and had a good laugh when we realized that Clint and Michael had matching Blackhawks tattoos. 
 
The most important thing about the trip wasn’t the pictures and autographs, it was what I learned about the process of making the team work and getting the team where they needed to be. And while I struggled for five years in deciding whether or not going to law school would be the right path for me, one trip to Dallas showed me that I did not belong in law school. 
 
Since returning from Dallas, I have started a freelance writing career focused on sports and actively seeking a career in sports and sports writing. 
 
Things I Like: 
Hockey 
Sports and tailgating 
Preparing for an eventual zombie apocalypse 
Harry Potter 
Star Wars 
Duncan Keith’s missing teeth 
 
Things I Dislike: 
Detroit Red Wings 
Waking up early 
Twilight 
Constant discussion of Ovechkin and Crosby 
People who complain about bandwagon fans

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