I've been a hockey fan for exactly a week now, and oh boy do I love this new me.
I got to witness the Leafs make hockey history when the new guy scored 4 goals in his first ever NHL game.
I've already ordered his jersey. It will be here soon.
I witnessed the first in what can only reasonably be described as a long, promising line of Leafs wins. I also yelled at a drunk guy on Court Street because he was wearing a Flyers jersey, even though I have no idea if I'm supposed to hate that team or not.
But I'm here to talk about family this week, so let's get to that.
The #BandwagonBattle community is growing quickly, and last week's blog was one of the more popular stories of the week, so I feel the love from you, the reader.
I asked the newsroom to reach out to their families for their feelings about hockey.
Some parents had trouble with the whole "hockey" concept.
The Dolphins are a football team. Also Micah isn't an official parent, but he works for housing at OU, which, honestly, is close enough.
Other parents were concerned about the violent nature of the sport, which I'm pretty sure is 90% of the reason most people tune in.
In an attempt to one-up my coworkers, I reached out to my grandmother and asked who she would support.
And while there were certainly a lot of good responses submitted, there was one man who stood out from the rest.
Steve Ockerman, the father of our lovely editor-in-chief, Emma Ockerman, submitted a small dissertation on the history of hockey, its fans and which teams should even bother getting on the ice this season.
His initial response, while beautifully thought-out and composed, is a bit too long to include here.
I did interview him to follow up though. (Responses have been edited slightly for length.)
Seth: When did you get into hockey?
Steve: I didn’t get on board with the Wings until my mid-twenties, after moving to Detroit from the west side of Michigan. Detroit is a die-hard hockey town and I’ve met some really cool people here who love the Wings first, the Tigers second and could care less about the Pistons or Lions.
Seth: How did Emma, The Post's editor, get into the Red Wings?
Steve: I have no idea when Emma first grew to love hockey. The Wings won their first cup in 42 years back in 1997, when she was just 3. I watched Wings games all the time when she was growing up but she was usually in her room reading.
Seth: Do you have any fun hockey stories you want to share?
Steve: Probably the most memorable game I ever attended was the famous fight game with the Colorado Avalanche in 1997. Colorado had beaten the Wings in the playoffs the previous year when Claude Lemieux infamously smashed Kris Draper’s face into the boards from behind, breaking his jaw. Payback ensued the first home game of the next season when Darren McCarty challenged Lemieux to a fight and Lemieux turtled (tucked his head and assumed a fetal position on the ice, a true coward’s move). Fights then broke out all over the ice, including goalies Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon. Current Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan, newly with the Wings, flew head-first into Roy when Roy left his crease to join the fray. The Wings went on to win that game in OT — McCarty scored the winning goal — and later won their first cup in my lifetime. I’ve never been to any game where the crowd was louder or more into the action.
Seth: What do you think of me picking the Leafs, was it a good choice for a life-long fandom?
Steve: I think you made a great choice with the Maple Leafs. It’s a hockey-mad city that hasn’t won a cup in forever, but they’re on the right path now. When that city finally does win a Cup, it will go absolutely mad with joy. They care about the Maple Leafs so much, and Canadian people know how to celebrate.
I may not be Canadian, but I do know what it feels like to love the Leafs.
As a final sendoff, I give you this bonus point from Steve.
"Hockey players are typically much cooler than athletes in other sports."
There was a justification for this point, but I think it pretty much says it all.