I sit here in front of my 'puter wondering how it happened. How was I indoctrinated into this? This Cult of the Penguin? How did I become a Pens-addict? Or even a hockey fan? I grew up in the Midwest (Ohio is not mid or west of anything and is NOT in the Midwest) next to the Missouri River where you couldn't even buy a hockey game. Kansas City had a hockey team. The KC Blades of the IHL. 87% of the people in KC had no clue they existed, let alone what they were, but they were there. (To my own shame I never saw a Blades game until I moved to Florida and started working for the IHL Orlando Solar Bears) So how did this hockey thing start consuming my soul? It seemed so simple at the beginning (it always does) I was working at the Orlando Arena (insert 'House of Pain') during the time when the Solar Bears and the Orlando Magic were both in the play-offs of their respective sports. We were converting the arena from hockey to basketball (which is cool to talk about, but hellish to do) when I broke my leg.
The details are unimportant (and slightly embarrassing), what is important is that it was middle of April, I was out of action for 3 months, and my friend Gargoyle had broken his leg 2 weeks before, (no I am not a copy-cat) and Gargoyle was a hockey fan. So, to aleviate the boredom I would go over to his house in the evenings to hang out. And I started watching the SCF's, sometimes 3 or 4 games a night (you know, when ESPN actually knew what hockey was) I was sure I could stop at any time, it's just a phase brought on by the boredom. But looking back, I can see the slide.
A little pick-up Deck Hockey every once in a while. Then it was the occasional Wednesday Night hockey game on ESPN2. A Slap Shot revival on cable (I was still in control, wasn't I?), Mystery Alaska on DVD, watching The Mighty Ducks during the off-season (hey, I'm not proud of it) 16 Macfarlane hockey figures on a shelf made out of hockey sticks, 8 hockey sticks, a complete set of roller goalie gear with 3 different masks, 4 Penguins jerseys 3 commemorative pucks, 3 bobbleheads, 2 KC Blades jerseys, 2 mini-goalie masks, a miniature replica of the Stanley Cup, and a compulsive need to watch every single game the Flightless Ones play in. (I tried for 3 hours to find live coverage of the Jokerit game). I'm not ashamed to state boldly that I hate the Detroy-it Red-Rags, that I'm disgusted that NBC has anything to do with the coverage, but I'll still be super-glued to the couch for every game, or that my calming mantra while waiting for the SCF is 'Flower, don't fall down'. I don't even try to pretend I'm in control any more. I'm a Pens-addict and like Gregory House and his Vicadin, I have no problem being addicted. None at all. And if anyone else does well they can just.... buy a vowel.
My name is Dave, I'm a Pens-addict, and I'm damned proud.
So, say it with me folks, with your 'Octo-pussies' shirts held high