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Young Fan Jack Rosensteel Advances to the Finals in USA Hockey and Reebok's Why Hockey Rocks! Competition

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins fans, you have come up huge once again. Thanks to your help (and vote) Jack Rosensteel, 3, of Greensburg, made it to the finals in USA Hockey and Reebok’s Why Hockey Rocks! competition as part of USA Hockey’s 2010 Hockey Weekend Across America celebration.

Jack will learn Thursday night if he has won the contest. The winner will be announced on NHL Network during the first intermission of the USA Women's game. The winner will recieve $950 in Reebok merchandise.

“You could tell from the comments that it’s all Penguins fans,” said Melissa Rosensteel, Jack’s mother. “I saw comments from people saying they are Penguins fans from Virginia or anywhere all over the country. That is really nice.”

The Why Hockey Rocks! contest asked hockey players, parents, coaches and fans across the country to submit videos 60 seconds or less in length explaining why hockey is the greatest sport on earth. Below is the video submitted by the Rosensteel family:

Jack’s parents, Chad and Melissa, credit all the Penguins fans who saw Jack’s video on the team website or on the Penguins’ Facebook page and then supported him with their votes.

“We went up against a whole hockey organization last week, which is tough to compete against,” Melissa said. “We were trailing them the entire week but then on Saturday, Penguins fans must have gone in and just blew it out because that is the only explanation I have. We actually ended up with quite a lead on them when it counted.

Jack’s father, Chad, said family first heard about the contest while watching the World Junior Championships in late December. Once he watched the commercial advertising the competition he decided taping Jack in action would be a great way to experiment with the new video camera he had bought Melissa for Christmas.

“I had just gotten my wife a brand new camera for Christmas and I thought ‘I am going to try this thing out,’” Chad Rosensteel said. “I just grabbed the camera, put his skates on, took him out back and filmed him right then. I really didn’t think about what he was going to say or what he was going to do. The video is just kind of the way it happened.”

Melissa said the family didn’t have any expectations for the video, but rather they were just having some fun.

“It really didn’t take too much time at all,” she said. “We just went outside and took the video. We just let him show his stuff. At the time we weren’t taking it too seriously.”

What began as a fun experiment in the back yard has become a huge success story. In addition to being recognized by the Penguins, Jack has also been featured on local news channels. Even though he is only three, Jack is old enough to know that it feels “good” to receive the attention he has.

He especially enjoyed seeing his name on the Penguins official team website alongside the names of his favorite players.

“We showed him the Penguins website … he was just giggling,” Melissa said. “He was like ‘How did they do that?’

“He is becoming like a celebrity. When we go to the grocery store or to church people are running up to him and saying ‘Jack we saw you are in the finals and we are rooting for you.’”

Jack, a huge Sidney Crosby fan who is currently participating in a Learn-To-Play Hockey program at Kirk S. Nevin ice arena in Greensburg, has turned his whole family into die-hard Penguins fans with his love for the team.

“We would watch the games but we weren’t the type of people who couldn’t miss a game or we followed them religiously or anything like that,” Melissa said. “To be honest, neither one of us could ice skate. He was always into it – even as a baby. We turned into a hockey family because of him.

“Now we watch all the games. We never miss a game. Every morning when he wakes up he wants to watch the NHL (Network). Sometimes we show him the Comcast replays from the night before. We have gotten into hockey big time the past couple years because of him.”

Jack, one of the top-two vote getters, already knows what he will do if he wins.

“I will get more hockey stuff,” Jack said.

His mom says that because Jack is so young he probably will not be able to use all of his prize money, so the family hopes to make a donation to a local organization if Jack is able to come away victorious.

“It’s very surreal at this point,” she said. “I think throughout the contest we have been having so much fun. Now that it’s in the last stretch it has become almost surreal like ‘all my goodness we have a chance to win this.’”

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