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So how did you become a Lightning fan?

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07-14-2012, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by berlin View Post
Born and raised in FL. My dad took me to a game in 1992, i was 16. It was the 14th home game of the inaugural season, still have the game day program. And my dad still hates hockey. I on the other hand have had an addiction for it since that night.
Welcome to our dark corner of hfboards!

Todd Harvey, Adam Oates and Darren Puppa, you are all missed in the game of hockey!
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07-14-2012, 07:32 PM
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Born and raised in Toronto (although half American) and a DIEHARD Leafs fan. Favorite player was Darryl Sittler. Got to see my first ever game in 1970 at Maple Leaf Gardens with the Leafs vs the Penguins - Jacques Plante & Les Binkley in the net the night Brian "Spinner" Spencer had his best night ever as a Leaf. I got a really cheap mini wooden hockey stick with a black and white picture of Jacques Plante stapled to the blade.

Moved down here in 79 and lived just outside of Tampa where they didn't have cable so we had to go to a bar in Tampa and hope they'd put on ESPN so we could watch a game. Totally lost touch with what the Leafs were doing and became a diehard football fan (Bucs) to fill the void. When the NHL awarded a team to Tampa I was shocked and then got to meet Phil and Tony at a Fanfest and was one of the first hundred to buy season tickets at the Fairgrounds. Held season tickets through the Thunderdome and the first couple years at the Ice Palace until I had to give them up.

As a fan of the Lightning and interacting with Leafs fans, I learned very quickly to despise the Leafs.....go figure right?

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07-14-2012, 08:00 PM
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Born in Virgina, my dad was in the USAF and we were moving around alot. He is french Canadian, when I was 2 we moved to Plattsburg New York and instantly became Ranger fans, moved to Tampa Area in the summer right before the Lightning's first season, been a die hard fan since.

Dealt with all of our crap years, still a diehard, When they won the cup I felt like I saw my own kid grow up before my eyes.

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07-14-2012, 08:26 PM
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I was born grew up some in Kentucky and moved to Florida in December 1997 when I was almost 10. We had an ECHL team in Louisville every year I lived there since I was born but we never went to a game. A few seasons after we moved I went to a Pensacola Ice Pilots Scout Day game and started to like hockey. When I'd flip through the channels and a Lightning game was on Sunshine, I'd watch.

I really began to get into hockey as I went to more and more Ice Pilots' games and at the time the Bolts were the NHL affiliate and I was also watching more and more Bolts games online. That pretty much cemented things.

About halfway through 02-03 I was watching every game on TV. My parents could care less about the NHL but liked the Ice Pilots and as I would watch more games, they would too. I still remember we watched every single playoff game in the cup years as a family and I teared up as everyone skated the cup.

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07-14-2012, 11:50 PM
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I am a born and raised Floridian (an hour from Tampa). I've only been on ice once or twice in my life. My family is from up North, and my mom especially loved to watch hockey when she could. I remember watching game 7 in the dark because a storm knocked the power out in my small country town. My family pulled a generator out just to watch the game. It was one of the most fun nights I can remember.

A stopped following the Lightning for a few years simply because of time. I couldnt get games where I lived for the longest time, and I was a little bit too young to fully understand everything. Then last year happened with the playoff run. My family discovered that we could see those playoff games without issue, and we watched every one. During that time I was selecting what college to go to, and I choose USF partially so I could be close to the forum. I happened to get a roommate transplanted from up north, who loved hockey. We went to 10 games last year, and loved the hell out of it.

Hockey is a beautiful sport. It just is.

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07-15-2012, 07:49 AM
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My son has played this game since he was four years old. We live in a tiny far west suburb of Chicago, and started watching the Lightning the year they won the Cup. We have been die hards ever since. My son is now 18 and getting ready to sign his second Jr contract, so getting down there to see games isn't so easy anymore, but we are hoping to get there again this year. We also try to see them whenever they play close to here. I was at the St Louis game last year...

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07-15-2012, 08:58 AM
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I'm a lifetime college hockey fan from growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, but I never had a pro team for most of my growing up years. People in Wisconsin are into hockey, but are pretty well split between the Blackhawks, Wild, Red Wings, and Predators (because of their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee).

My freshman year of college I decided to move down to Tampa and go to USF. I wasn't there for too long, but I was pretty excited to have a team (even if it was during the OK Hockey era). So I haven't been a longtime fan like a lot of folks here, but I started rooting for the Lightning during the post-Cup, pre-Stamkos period, so I've been through the lean years . I moved back to Wisconsin eventually, but I drove to a Lightning-Wild game recently, and hopefully I'll get to their game in Chicago this season.

I wasn't formally a Bolt fan during the Cup run, but I remember cheering for them while watching game 7 at my house in Wisconsin. I'm proud that it happened and I've watched games from those finals a ton of times, but I know it'll really feel special to me the next time we win a cup

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07-18-2012, 04:16 PM
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When I found out Vinny Lecavalier was from Ile-Bizzard thought it was just the town next to mine (latter i found out its pincourt home of Alex Burrows) but at the time in 2002 i figured it was next to mine because of the "Ile" in both of our names. So i started rooting for them then. Helps that I play in one of the arena's he played in growing up every weekend where they have pictures of him, and that I'm at his old high school (John Rennie) for summer school. School has a picture of him there. Funny enough my teacher taught Mike Matheson Florida's first rounder and has a signed stick of him there.

Edit: Oh and Mark Barberio and Alex Kilorn grew up playing Lakeshore hockey which is right next to my town and where i plan on playing next year, then they eventually for the Lions (towns AAA team), then Barberio played in Moncton with my friends brother so that was cool. Also both Kilorn and Baberio's moms teach at my old high school (beaconsfield high shcool). Also Guy Boucher used to coach the Lions as well, not sure if it was the same time as Barberio or Killorn though. So started loving in 2002, and since then its gotten cooler and cooler.

On the subject on mom that are teachers Alex Burrows's mom is a principal of a school up the street of my house, and she tells the kids there if they're good they'd get a signed picture of him.

Last edited by shello: 07-18-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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07-18-2012, 04:58 PM
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Born in Nashville in 94 and moved to the Daytona Beach area in 98. My neighbors were a few years older than me and they would play street hockey all the time, so that got me started in following the sport. At first I would say that I was an Avalanche fan for a couple years, and Paul Kariya was my favorite player. At that point I wasn't really watching it too much on TV, though, except for the playoffs.

I attended my first game in March of '04, Rangers at Lightning, and by that time I was really getting into the sport and I wanted to watch more of it on TV. Turned out I was in the Lightning's coverage area, so they were the natural team to watch. That being said, the 04 Stanley Cup really helped turn me into a fan.

It sounds like I was a bandwagon fan, and I guess I sorta was, but I've stuck with the team through the good times and the bad (mostly bad) since that 04 season. I think it's safe to say I've seen 65-70 games per season since then, and I'm usually able to attend a few games in person each season.

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07-31-2012, 02:32 PM
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Some great stories guys. Now for a boring one!...

I've only been into hockey (and NFL - Bucs) for a few seasons now. Being from England I watched videos, read stories online and the Bolts were always up there on my list of favourite teams. My first trip to America was to Orlando with a few days in Tampa. This really cemented my love for Tampa and the Bolts and Bucs I also loosely follow Rays and Magic.

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08-10-2012, 03:14 PM
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I grew up in Seattle and we have no NHL team, so I picked my team based on who I thought had the coolest name. As a little kid, the lightning, along with the stars, had the coolest names. Thus my 2 favorite teams. The lightning were horrible when I first became a fan, so seeing them win the Stanley Cup in 2004 was special. Visited Tampa this past march and went to a lightning game were they beat the islanders where Stamkos scored twice.

Funny that like the lightning, the other 2 Florida teams I root for (Gators and Magic) are also in Central Florida. I love Central Florida teams.

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06-17-2014, 09:45 PM
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Bumping during the off season.

And I can't believe you have not added your story here.

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06-18-2014, 01:32 AM
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Was planning on supporting panthers to match my uk team but after watching a few games and playing some nhl 09 I quickly switched. Ironically it was msl that I fell in love with the most...

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06-18-2014, 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TBLbrian View Post
I actually haven't ever been to the city (but i am finally coming this season sometime!) but have been a fan since 1998. I have grown up in NC for most of my life, and the person who got me into hockey at a young age was a Caps fan. By default once the Hurricanes came to NC they were my favorite team, but because of their starting location (Greensboro) I decided to make a decision on my own to rival both the Canes and Caps since it was far to see a game.

The first major NHL event I watched on TV was the 1998 draft where the "Jordan of hockey" was drafted which got me to watch Vinny Lecavalier and from there the rest is history. I am 23 now and have been through the ups and downs with the rest of you guys and catch them almost every time they are in town.
Used to be an Avs fan (from 96 I guess) until in 98, like you, I saw some pre-draft hype on Vinny on the Finnish TV and later on followed up when he got drafted by the Lightning - and been a Bolts fan ever since.

I guess all the hype probably hurt Vinny's career but it also may have brought the team a lot of new fans back then.

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06-18-2014, 04:17 AM
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Always loved hockey, and beeing a fan of the swedes 'Nucks had with the Sedins, Nazzy (They all come from my hometown) and Ohlund I thought I could broaden my hockey-fandom to the Lightning aswell when Ohlund got traded here. Then my former classmate #77 Hedman got drafted the same year so yeah, here I am.

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06-18-2014, 04:31 AM
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Detroit. I came here on a vacation when was 16 am 45 now. I knew was moving here so when a team started to surface I learned everything I could on tampa. Moved here 16 years ago.

Became a fan of hockey at 9 when stevie started for real. I was entranced lol. The most interesting thing was at 12 moved to portage from kalamazoo and was a block away from kalamazoo wings stadium being the kid I was I found a way to break in and watch all those games free and the high school games and tournaments haha. By high school I was friends with coaches players etc.. all over and what hooked me?

Watching a guy give his heart out for 5 to 8 minutes and than having someone try to report or ask questions during the breaks. I knew these were the best athletes ever. I knew they went harder for those spurts than other athletes. So hockey became my number one. Still torn between detroit and tampa.

P.S. The gators and Lightning were the first team I chose that wasnt cause of a family member choosing another team I gave up winter sports early on and quickly. I tore ligaments in foot on ice at 11 and a friend ran into a fence line skiing. So went basketball baseball a little football but also saw some very graphic injuries in football knees etc. so got out of that too in time.

We are in good hands and have a bright future hopefully in next couple of years we can match what chicago and LA have done recently I think we will which is very cool to me.

I also appreciate everyone sharing ideas and love game days here.

I spend more time here now cause more interesting things are happening and honestly our game days are more fun. I get tired of the biotching on other game days and now that have stevie etc.. is like a dream come true for me.

Hockey is truly the most wonderful sport the best characters etc.. I feel humble just to be able to watch the journey of these men I look up to etc..

The people here MY FRIENDS I HOPE SOME OF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELVES TO BE THAT. Cause to me you truly have become friends!!!! make me a bigger fan and leaning closer to this side lol. Yet is hard to say im a lightning over a wing lol. I love both of them so much. I am happy both have bright new futures. Will be fun to see how it all works out over time

Last edited by Unfinished Business: 06-18-2014 at 04:37 AM.
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06-18-2014, 04:56 AM
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I have been fan since 2002 when I got my first NHL video game. I was just a little kid back then and didn't understand much about hockey but I really liked our big three Richards, St.Louis and Lecavalier.

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06-18-2014, 06:44 AM
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I was in college in St. Pete (Eckerd) when it was announced we were getting a team. Yes, I'm old. My roomie told me and asked if I wanted to go in on ridiculously cheap season tickets out at the Fairgrounds. I said yes, and the rest is history. I had season tickets the first 2 years and then bounced around the world (literally) for a few decades. I'll be back in Tampa by the start of the next season and a ticket holder again. Yay.

I was previously an Oilers fan because my first hockey game was a WHA game with Gretzky playing.

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06-18-2014, 06:48 AM
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Live in Toronto, but frequent to Tampa Bay in the winter. Grew up idolizing Martin St. Louis, and was lucky to experience a cup win during my childhood years. I've been hooked since I was 8

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06-18-2014, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by BOLTMAN View Post
So we have A complete different situation here in Florida compared to all those northern cities and Canada. We are all transplanted here, from up north. (those guys live and eventually die in their city, no need to think about switching their teams).

I'm sure the older aged lightning fans have a story to share, how they were Die Hard Flyer fan or Red Wing fan or maybe even Canadiens fan.

So I'm inviting you to share that with us.

Btw, if your born here you could tell us about that too. (especially because your oldman might still be rooting for the city you all came from).
I was born here. My dad took me and my best friend to my first Lightning game (before this, I didn't know what hockey was) at Expo Hall during their first season. After that game, we were hooked!!!! We played lawn hockey everyday after that (dad didn't like us tearing up the lawn).

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06-18-2014, 09:40 AM
Mikey 48
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Started out as an Oiler fan (see location), but when I was 6 I was playing NHL 2004 and I liked how the announcers said Lecavalier's name. I was hooked

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06-18-2014, 10:03 AM
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Tampa, born and raised. I started playing hockey around the same time the team was announced and fell in love with the team and the sport during that first season in 92-93. Still play in a beer league and have season tickets 20+ years later. I honestly thank Espo for everything. Without him I may not be a hockey fan at all..

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06-18-2014, 11:23 AM
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Grew up in Cleveland, OH...only exposure to hockey was the AHL team Lumberjacks which I never followed. Was lucky enough to be in the city on business in the year of the Stanley Cup winning playoff run and followed them ever since. Didn't really watch them or follow them as close as I do now until three years ago when Norfolk had their Cup run. Get to travel up and down the coast as well so I get to see the ECHL games, I also get the season pass for the Crunch and get to see every game, and watch every Lightning game in person or go to the forum witch clients. So yeah...hooked at all levels of the organization.

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06-18-2014, 11:56 AM
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Moved down from Maine in 2002, and was the classic bandwagoner in every sport. I had a Modano jersey, avs jerseys, wings jerseys, but no Bruins jerseys (always hated them, ironically).

I started watching the Lightning for my hockey fix after we moved and just kept watching; something that normally didn't happen with one team. Something about that team made me keep watching every night, and I was instantly rewarded by getting to watch them lift the cup a season later.

I'll never forget getting my middle school buddies into the playoffs that year and having a massive 10 person dogpile on my living room floor when the clock ran out in game 7.

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06-18-2014, 12:17 PM
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I started playing hockey at age 8 and like the local team in Florida. I feel in love with the Redwings because of the Redarmy, Yzerman, Shanahan, Lidstrom, and the Grind line. era due to the NHL video games and playoff hockey on TV. As I got older started going to local NHL games. I always liked the Lightning and was able to root for both being in different divisions, but now I have to root for them both in the same conference/division. I watched the Lighting growing up and started rooting for them. So here we are 19 years later still rooting for the Lightning and the Redwings.


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