By Adam Brady
If Ducks fans feel like they can barely handle the anxiety in the hours leading up to tonight’s Game 7, image what it’s like being one of the players’ parents.
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler’s father, Perry, has of course been watching intently during this entire playoff run, and he’s patiently and nervously counting the minutes before the puck drops tonight at Honda Center.
The Fowler family consists of Perry, mom Bridget and Cam’s sisters Peyton (15 years old) and Emily (13). They traveled to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 between the Ducks and Blackhawks at United Center, about 4 1/2 hours from their home in Farmington, Michigan. They haven’t yet been out to Orange County during this postseason, and tonight they’ll watch the game from home– or at least Perry will (more on that below).
Perry, who is the Business Development Manager of North American Fleet Operations for Ford Motor Company, talked today about following Cam throughout these playoffs and Cam’s childhood days of playing games in their basement.
What has it been like watching Cam throughout this postseason?
|"We’ve got so much confidence in this team, that it’s just been fun to watch. It’s kind of funny because during the day I’ve got a lot of anxiety, a lot of anticipation waiting for the game. And then once the game starts, it just kind of feels like it’s meant to be. But it’s all been a blast." |
It’s been fantastic. The team is so deep this season, and we’ve got so much confidence in this team, that it’s just been fun to watch. It’s kind of funny because during the day I’ve got a lot of anxiety, a lot of anticipation waiting for the game. And then once the game starts, it just kind of feels like it’s meant to be. I’ve got so much faith that the Ducks are going to win, it kind of seems less stressful during the game than when I’m anticipating the game. But it’s all been a blast. How often do you talk with Cam?
We don’t typically talk during gameday, and that’s been the case almost since Day 1 when he’s been with the Ducks. We do all of our talking on off days, mostly and we text a lot. For me, it’s staying up late practically every game night and watching him, and I’ll always text him after each game. He knows by the time he gets the text I’m off to bed, so oftentimes he won’t respond until the next day. But we’re always in touch every few days at least. I’m very conscious not to interfere or get in his way of what his job is, because he’s very focused on the task at hand. Cam talked yesterday about playing hockey with friends in your basement at home. What do you remember about that?
That was his life. We’ve had a few different homes during his childhood as our family expanded, and each time he would come along to look at a home, the first place he would go is the basement to see if it was finished or not. And if it was finished, he wouldn’t want us to buy it. If it was unfinished, it was perfect for him because he could use it as a hockey rink. That was his life, to have his buddies over to play roller hockey in the basement. For the longest time, we never finished the basement at our home here in Farmington Hills. They would have 2-on-2 or 1-on-1 down there, and there were times when he was younger that they would even play the national anthem before they played. [Laughs]
This is true for any dad, but is it hard to come to terms with the fact he’s a 23-year-old man and not a kid anymore?
|"That was his life, to have his buddies over to play roller hockey in the basement. For the longest time, we never finished the basement at our home here in Farmington Hills. They would have 2-on-2 or 1-on-1 down there, and there were times when he was younger that they would even play the national anthem before they played." |
[Laughs] It is hard, and you realize he’ll be entering his sixth season next year, and he’ll only be 23. It’s kind of hard to fathom, and time has gone by so quickly. When I see him and talk to him, I still feel like he’s my young kid. But he’s had to grow up fast, since he was 15 and moved away from home. He’s still Cam to me though. [Laughs] What was it like going to Chicago for those games?
Every season when the schedule comes out, there are a few things we look for right away. Where’s Cam gonna be during Christmastime (and it’s been fortunate that pretty much every season he’s been at home in Orange County). The other thing we look for is when he comes to Detroit and when he comes to Chicago, because those are the games that are pretty close, and it’s just an awesome environment to watch a game. So we’ve been to practically every game he’s played in Chicago, which is a great atmosphere, and the two playoff games were fantastic and that much more special. We know what Dad is going through. What are Mom and the sisters going through today?
Here is the ironic thing about today. At Christmas, Cam bought his sisters Taylor Swift tickets because she’s coming to Detroit. He bought tickets for them and a friend, with my wife as a chaperone, and what day do you think that’s taking place? It’s tonight. Of all days they could have this conflict. But they will definitely be checking in throughout. My wife has the Ducks app, so they will be getting updates. She hasn’t decided yet if she wants me to text her after every goal or anything. She is bringing her Ducks rally towel to the concert.
My wife loves it. She gets very quiet during the games because she wants Cam to win so badly. But it’s been such a great thing for the whole family, even our family and friends coast to coast and in Canada who are following Cam. It’s just a great experience for everybody.