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Mottau makes ticket drop to lifelong fan

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Defenseman Mike Mottau dropped off Noah Falkenstein's 2009-10 season tickets. 

Noah Falkenstein lives in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, not more than a 20-minute drive from midtown Manhattan and outside what most would consider to be Devils territory.

That hasn't stopped him from maintaining a lifelong devotion to Jersey's Team. He's dedicated one room of his apartment to everything Devils: playoff towels, championship banners, and posters decorate almost every available inch of wall space.

Mottau with Falkenstein.
Pennants of every vintage look down from near the ceiling. A Devils blanket drapes over a bed. A book shelf holds Devils team photos, bobblehead dolls, and Prudential Center posters, as well as a one-of-a-kind treasure – a champagne cork from the Devils' 2003 Stanley Cup celebration.

"We're pretty obsessed," Falkenstein said.

On Wednesday, he welcomed a special visitor to see his Devils display when defenseman Mike Mottau stopped by to deliver Falkenstein's 2009-10 season tickets. Devils players have been hand delivering tickets to select account holders throughout the week.

It will be Falkenstein's second campaign as a member of the club's season ticket holder family in section 216 at Prudential Center. But the Devils have come first ever since his father experienced a change of heart.

"He was a very big Rangers fan," he recalled. "My father was still going to games and then it just got too ridiculous at the Garden. There (were fans) fighting, and he just said, 'You know what? Forget it.'"

When the Devils arrived in New Jersey in 1982, Falkenstein's father started going to games at the then Brendan Byrne Arena with a friend who was a Garden State native. With the team's first-ever regular season game on Oct. 5, 1982, the seed was planted.

"We've been crazy Devils fans ever since," he said.

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Falkenstein has already circled March 17 on his calendar. That's when the Devils will wear red and green throwback jerseys for the first time since switching the team colors to red and black in 1992.

"I'm very excited about that," he said. "My brother's already said, 'I have to go to that game, I have to be there.' I have friends from high school asking for tickets."

For one game, the Devils will look the same way they did almost 30 years ago, when a father's decision sparked a son's obsession.

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