Welcome to the refreshed Silver Seven Sens! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favourite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card — unfortunately for US residents only [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
I became a fan of the Ottawa Senators basically as soon as I could say the word “hockey”. I’m sorry if I make you feel old, but I’m only 26. We moved to Ottawa in 1993, when I was just two years old. My parents had met in Edmonton during the Gretzky years, so had been Oilers fans, but decided to push me in the direction of the local team. I can remember loving Alexei Yashin and not understanding why everyone hated him so much after he came back. I can remember loving Daniel Alfredsson later, and how his legend grew with each passing year.
Back in 2003, I was actually living in Accra, Ghana, so watching hockey wasn’t the easiest. We got the American Forces Network (accidentally), so I could watch the game that were on at a reasonable time for us. I remember Game 1 against the Devils, when Shaun Van Allen scored the OT winner. It was so exciting. And like everyone, I can still remember Game 7, when Wade Redden lost his man and Jeff Friesen was allowed to just walk in and score the game winner.
I could walk through the highs of fandom since then (Alfie’s Game 5 clincher in 2007, Pageau’s legendary game against the Habs, the Hamburglar run), but I’m guessing most of you already know them. They’re nothing new. But like most fans, they’ve become moments I’ve cherished. Things I look back on and remember.
I became a fan in the most boring of ways, but I was refined as a fan through fire. Moving to Waterloo for university put me right in the heart of Maple Leafs fandom. I discovered this blog out of self-defence. I needed something to keep me going, and finding an online community made me more aware. I discovered Corsi, first heard about Mathieu Chouinard, and learned that Zack Smith doesn’t give a crap here. I’ve always enjoyed coming back and hearing from fellow Sens fans, learning how angry we can all get together hoping for the same ultimate goal.
I thought this seemed like a very odd time to have to publish this story. After all, Game 7 is tonight. I get that for 28 of our blogs the timing is fine, but I felt a little apprehensive here. As I’ve thought about it though, I’ve realized more that this makes sense. It’s a good time to remind myself first, that I am a fan, and second, why I am. Win or lose tonight, I love this team. I’m sure I’ll scream about Mark Borowiecki’s ice time next year, but that’s a far second to my fanship. I am a fan of this team, and this run has been one of the most fun in a long time. I’m sure five years from now I will remember this again, thinking how amazing this whole experience has been. Go Sens Go!
Make sure to share your own fandom story in the FanPosts. One lucky (American) FanPoster across the SB Nation network will win a $500 Fanatics gift card!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Reader Sweepstakes starts on 8:00am ET on May 25, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to eligible legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.