Born in Chicago, I was raised mostly in the ‘Burbs, though I spent a lot of time in the Windy City to see my Grandmother. And, of course, for the beaches. I’m pretty sure I was born a hockey fan, because I can’t remember a time where it didn’t have a place in our house. When I was really little, we had season tickets to the Wolves games, right at Center Ice. Though I can’t say we never watched Blackhawks games. As I got older, though, I got into other sports, and hockey took more of a backburner. Until I started to play.

Now, I can’t ice skate, or even rollerblade, to save my life. I played floor hockey for quite awhile, and street hockey for a year or so. I was a pretty awesome goalie, too, which sprung my later fangirlism for goalies. On both games, there’s so little padding, I’d think it’s actually more dangerous, but that’s another story. I played hockey in conjunction with volleyball until I was in middle school, and broke my back. That’s when watching the games made a comeback in my life. On Comcast I always watched Wolves games, and once in awhile I could catch a Blackhawks game. It wasn’t the same, though.

Since I stopped playing, I jumped at whatever chance I had to go see a game. Rockford Ice Hogs, Chicago Wolves, the Blackhawks, ect. I even supported my high school’s ice hockey team, just for the sake of hockey. At some point, art became a center of my life, and hockey again took a backburner. You’d hear the game in the background, but I’d be focused on whatever I was drawing. After a couple of months, I finally learned to integrate the two. I found a ton of joy drawing out hockey scenes, so I again found reasons to go to the games. I used to take pictures from my old Center Ice seats, just to draw them out later.

Life finally kicked in, and it became more important to work than to draw, but hockey remained a part of my life. I’ve been to a few games on and off since I’ve been forced to work in the real world, but it’s nothing like it used to be. Instead, it’s become watching a DVR’ed game after my shift ends, reading the Twitter updates, and all the text messages from my friends. When I’m finally home to watch the games, you can bet I compulsively tweet about the game, and update my Facebook status. Hockey completes me, it’s who I am. And the Chicago hockey scene just gives me all the more reason to keep that love going strong. It isn’t about if you win or lose, it’s about the rush of the game.

I can’t say I have favorite players, but the team that has my heart will always be the Blackhawks, no matter where I go in life. My goal is to one day sit in the Center Ice seats at the United Center. Up close and personal, maybe one day getting to interview the fans, and the players. Until then, I’ve been happy enough that we’ve finally broke our drought and won the Stanley Cup. I can only hope we can continue to play so hard in the future, though there isn’t a way I think I’d ever be stripped of my love for hockey, and for Chicago.

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