Such is the case with our prolific pal Wrap Around Curl. Her hilarious, occasionally "Man Candy"-oriented work would be impressive enough if you simply followed her self-titled blog. Yet WAC spreads her seeds of sass all over the blogosphere, most notably as a correspondent for CLS favorites Puck the Media and Pension Plan Puppets. WAC makes Lance Armstrong look like some random slacker from Austin, TX, doesn't she?
Anyway, we're glad to welcome WAC to the world of CLS guest posters. Make sure to follow her work.
For me, well I've been going to hockey games since I was in utero. My mom went to Chiefs games all the time. Well, they were the Flyers then. And it was more of the Slapshot era of hockey, the rivalries brutal and fights broke out in the stands. The Flyers played in the Spokane Coliseum which was affectionately called the Boone Street Barn and the team often, The Boone Street Barn Burners. Cowbells were common cheering props.
But she went to hockey games all the time and still went when she was pregnant with me. And even after I was born she still took me. The season ticket holders she sat by had made me a baby blanket and other stuff. (I have the blanket somewhere in storage.) I didn't get to go to too many Chiefs game when I was younger. But I do remember being about 7 and sitting front row and screaming and pounding on the glass. I loved it. I wanted to play hockey as a kiddo but my mom couldn't afford it, and I got mad when I found out that they don't let girls fight. I can't even ice skate but I'd certainly allow a strapping young defenceman, say Luke Schenn, teach me how to skate.
I started going to more and more games in high school with a few friends. And when I was a freshmen in college I used my financial aid money for season tickets. And the last person I dated started going to hockey because I went all the time. We eventually split and I lost the season ticket seats in the breakup. Terrible, truly. He decided to take random chicks to hockey (one of them does crosswords during games) and I still went to games, proudly and on my own. I have my season ticket a few rows behind the visitors bench now. And I haven't missed a Chiefs game in about three seasons (I left a wedding reception early once for a game, its ok the cake was already cut). I treasure my player magnet collection and hate Cheerstick and Buck Night so hard. I tolerate Chuck a Puck.
People seem to find my love and adoration of my junior hockey team amusing. Well, given my location that's all I have for hockey. But really it's the best. The young talent, it's wonderful. And the Chiefs alumni list is pretty amazing (here's the alumi list) These kids are amazing. They play hockey because they love it and not for the paycheck.
Last years team that ended up winning the Memorial Cup was astounding. Dustin Tokarski - I am convinced will be quite the goalie in the NHL, if only he would stop getting overlooked because he might be a tad short for a modern goalie. He's 5'10 to 5'11 depending on which stats you are reading. Drayson Bowman is just waiting to rule the Carolina Hurricanes. Ondrej Roman is going to be a tremendous goal scorer if he can get out of the Czech Republic. I keep dreaming that former captain Chris Bruton (he errrr was the one who dropped the Memorial Cup...) will return to the Chiefs as a coach. But because of the void I live in, people loving other NHL teams doesn't seem so strange. There are people here who love the Red Wings (Mike Babcock used to coach the Chiefs), the Wild, the Canucks. Even the Predators and Lightning. If I wear my Nordiques jersey to a game, people smile.
It's the homegrown fanbase and traditions that make it. There's the special way we celebrate goals. And the Teddy Bear Toss. My friends and I make shirts for players and they are so flattered. They are some really great kids. And I am happy to pay 13 bucks a game to see them play. It's rough following junior hockey because well, they can get injured. Then there are those who age out or have to be traded because of the overager rule. I've cried many times over players moving on. But I come back every season, ready to embrace the new players and to buy new player buttons. This season I will go through the hard process of deciding on a new "hockey boyfriend" since Tokarski is done as a Chief, after setting many new records. I'll treasure my Chiefs sweater the boys signed. My friends and I have rituals for games, reading the program in a specific order. After most games we go to the same places for food and often a Chief or two will be there with his family and we'll send him a basket of deep fried Oreos. We have to take care of our boys.
I even made the long journey to Montreal to see who was going to draft Jared Cowen. Sitting there with the Leafs crew, I sobbed my eyes out when the Senators picked him. Everyone was nice and comforted me and told me it was going to be ok, even though I have to hate him now. I'm happy he is going to an organization that will love him but I wanted him in the blue and white. I hope that Jared will have another season or two with the Chiefs before leaving me for Ottawa. Am I a member of the Leafer Nation? Of course. But my truest team is the Chiefs.