Oak Forest, IL
How long have you been following the Pens and how did you become a fan?
I've been a fan of the Penguins since I was around six years old. (1996) My parents had just signed me up for floor hockey and I really got into the sport. When I was first starting out I would just watch random games on ESPN and not really pay any attention to the teams. When I wasn't playing or watching hockey, I was obsessed with animals. I'd read those Zoobooks Children''s Magazines all day long and at the time I wanted to be a Zookeeper! I was lucky enough to have my aunt take me to the zoo once a week and eventually we looked into ''adopting'' an animal. We went through the list and eventually agreed on a Penguin. The highlight of my week no longer turned into just going to the zoo, but to go see ''my'' Penguin. So one day while I was getting ready for floor hockey, my mom was listening to the radio and pointed out that they mentioned a hockey team from Pittsburgh named the Penguins. I immediately found out everything I could about the team. All of those other games on ESPN suddenly didn't matter unless it was a Penguins game. I've been a fan ever since and I've never looked back.
Who is your favorite Penguins player (past or present)?
Tell us about your favorite Penguins memory.
My favorite Penguins memory would have to be going to my first Penguins home game after fifteen years of dreaming about it. Finally being in the city was one thing, but finally being around the fans was another. The past two times I saw the Penguins were both back at home in Chicago. It's great to see the team and all but it's not nearly the same as being around a stadium full of fans cheering for the same team you are. Walking into the CONSOL Energy Center was a pretty special thing for me. With stadium being right in the middle of everything, it's an experience holding your tickets and walking into the stadium with all of the other fans. I was amazed at how beautiful the stadium was and being around everyone was great. Our seats were pretty close and it was great to see the Pens playing on their own ice for the first time in my life. I think the best and most satisfying part of all of it was finally hearing a goal horn when the Pens scored. Finally hearing the roar of the crowd and experience an entire stadium of Pens fans erupting when the puck hit the twine. I think that's when it finally set in and it felt great to be ''home.''
On a game day I usually...
Game days usually start with me checking Twitter and the Pens Report for any changes I can expect to see that night. Until about half an hour before the game, it's business as usual. Once that half an hour hits, I put on my jersey over one of two possible undershirts. Usually I'd try and mix up what jersey I'm wearing but ever since we snapped our losing streak at the beginning of the year, it's been my Matt Cooke jersey. I have to be sitting down before the anthem starts or else it''s a guaranteed loss. Once I'm sitting down, I don't get up until intermission and that''s not a superstitious thing, that's just me being lazy. Usually I'll have dinner during games and if I'm eating stuffed peppers or BBQ chicken it's a guaranteed win. Through the rest of the game I'm usually just tweeting through the game and cheering for the Pens!
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