June is an awesome month (as far as I’m concerned, lol). It’s my birthday month and my (and my husband’s) anniversary month. It is also the month an NHL team gets awarded the Stanley Cup! (and let me say Congratulations to the St Louis Blues!)
I have been a hockey fan as long as I can remember.
I have some great memories of the quest for the Stanley Cup, as well as being able to experience some victory parades. My neighborhood, childhood friends were the ones who got me interested in hockey. The boy played ice hockey, and they always had a net set up in the street. Their dad was friends with someone in the Penguins front office (I can’t remember who). In those days there was no Twitter, so “knowing someone who knew someone” might be as close as you were going to get to an actual famous person, lol.
That was in the really early 90’s, the age of Jaromir Jagr (who was my best-friend’s crush). All us kids would gather around the television at one of our houses and watch the hockey games that season. The 90‘s were a different time. Sometimes the games were not televised, and I had to wait until the news, or even the newspaper the next day to find out who won. Yep, there was no internet, no Facebook, no scores being sent to your cell phone (no cell phones either).
My fondest memory was getting to go to my very first Stanley Cup celebration. My best-friend’s dad took us. It was at the Three Rivers Stadium (our football stadium at the time). I was in high school, and I can’t remember if it was the last day of school or one of the days leading up to it, but I was allowed to skip school that day. And it was amazing! Everything was inside the stadium, and you had to watch from a seat in the stands, but it was a day I’ll never forget. (I took pictures on a camera that I bet most of you never even heard of – a Kodak Disc Camera)
I’ve been privy to more than one victory celebration, and how very lucky I am is not lost on me.
In 2009, being caught up in the excitement, Mr. G and I said that we would go to the parade if the Penguins won the Cup, our son was 6 at the time, and I didn’t fully understand that little ones have BIG ears and NEVER FORGET! Well, our team did win, but my husband and I both worked, and calling off was just not an option for him (working in retail management). Our son (yes, even at 6) never let us forget that we didn’t go to the parade, lol. So, in 2016, we made good on our old promise. We were lucky enough to also be witness a victory parade in 2017. My son will have great memories, just as I do, but better.
Even as an adult, I get weak in the knees when it comes to meeting, or even being so close you could almost touch your favorite hockey player. The parades we were lucky enough to take our son to were nothing like I had ever experienced, and I was probably fangirling more than my child was, lol. Did I mention we decided not to sleep, and go downtown at 3am to get a good spot? Yeah, we are those kind of people, lol…
And I would do it all over again. (technically we did get to do it again in 2017. But this time we didn’t go downtown until 7am.)
Those kind of memories are priceless. I can tell you that I’ve met almost every one of the guys who’ve come through the NHL via Pittsburgh since 2011, and each time I’m like a fangirl, lol.
I have so much excitement for fans of other teams when they win their first Stanley Cup, or the first one in a long time, because I know that feeling, I know how it feels to be so excited you can’t do anything but cry. It is a great feeling.
I also know the feeling of defeat, and your team being so close just to lose. So, even though I am no Boston fan, I feel for the Bruins fans. I’ve been where you’re at. But B’s fans, hold your head up high, you guys beat the best of the best to get to that series.
My son is a St Louis fan because he likes Tarasenko, and I did help him check off a bucket list item when the Blues were in town last year. We drove him downtown, and he waited at the Blues hotel, and with luck, was able to get Tarasenko to sign his jersey. Boys aren’t all about the selfies like girls are, so there’s no photo, but he does have his prized jersey. (yep, I’m a pretty awesome Mom, huh? Haha)
And yes, my son is already spending money that he doesn’t have on Blues Stanley Cup merchandise, lol. I’m not footing that bill, so he’s going to have to work for that hat and t-shirt that he wants.
I know not everyone has been able to experience these types of things, so I do my best in my books to make you feel the same excitement, anxious nerves, and fangirling that I’ve felt. And don’t forget, my Renegades can be any team you want them to be, just because they’re based in the Steel City, doesn’t mean some of the characters aren’t based on guys from various teams.
Yes, June is AWESOME! And now that the hockey season is over and fans are either excited and basking in the Stanley Cup victory, or over-it and just looking forward to a new season, it’s summer. In Pittsburgh it means (or should be) warm, beautiful weather, lazy days in the sun (or the air conditioning, whichever you prefer), working on our to-be-read lists, and just enjoying life. And in my case, my birthday! Woot! I’m a summer baby and love it!
June is AWESOME!