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So how did you become a Lightning fan?

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Old
07-14-2012, 12:03 AM
  #1
BOLTMAN
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So how did you become a Lightning fan?

If your under 30 or 40 and born in the city, I understand.

But Florida is such a destination for northern cities, where people what to get away from the cold. Where older folks come to retire and consequently bring the rest of their family to live.

Meaning ..... when we relocate, some of us eventually change what team we root for.

__________________________________________________ ____________

I did.

Born and raised in Chicago until I was 30 .... Big Die Hard Black Hawk fan, had season tickets thru most of the middle eighties. (Dennis savard, Al secord, Doug Wilson)

Anyways, came to Tampa, because of my parents retirering to Tampa and possible business oppertunity.

Well it took some time and fustration following the Hawks tru sattelite at various bars and eventually losing track of the team (it didn't help that I started to raise a family btw) ... also, remember there were no hockey packages for television, at that time.

I basically lost track of the hawks and started watching a few Lightning games here and there. And then they made the playoffs and played against the Flyers and I was there for the NHL attentence record of 25 thousand plus at the trop. And the Lightning seed was planted.

But it took the 2004 season winning the cup that sent me into, 100 percent, no turning back, Fanatical Lightning fan. (btw I was there at the 7th game final, against Calgery) (not sure how many of us saw that game).

__________________________________________________ _________

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).

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07-14-2012, 12:29 AM
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TBLbrian
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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.

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07-14-2012, 12:40 AM
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chasespace
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A girl I was dating a few years back was a hockey fan so I naturally gave it a shot. Quickly became obsessed and followed the Lightning because I am in their viewing range for SunSports.

Never looked back since.

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07-14-2012, 02:18 AM
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snowden
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They held me at gunpoint, so I had no choice

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07-14-2012, 03:02 AM
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Callum
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Fell in love with hockey in New Zealand in 2001. I started following the avs like any other kiwi hockey follower. A few months later my parents brought me back a Lecavalier jersey from a buisness trip. Since then Ive been in love with the bolts. I will finally get to attend my first bolts game in Calgary on oct 25th and my first home game nov 1st. Cant wait, and hoping theres no lockout.

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07-14-2012, 05:39 AM
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Felonious Python
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowden View Post
They held me at gunpoint, so I had no choice
We have our ways.

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07-14-2012, 05:44 AM
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Maelmoor
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Always liked hockey, thought Chicago were quite cool but then two new teams were founded, Lightning and Sharks, me and a friend thought it would be cool if we started to support one team each, so I picked Tampa and been following them ever since!

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Todd Harvey, Adam Oates and Darren Puppa, you are all missed in the game of hockey!
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07-14-2012, 05:48 AM
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Felonious Python
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelmoor View Post
Always liked hockey, thought Chicago were quite cool but then two new teams were founded, Lightning and Sharks, me and a friend thought it would be cool if we started to support one team each, so I picked Tampa and been following them ever since!
Tampa came into the league with Ottawa...

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07-14-2012, 06:00 AM
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Maelmoor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felonious Python View Post
Tampa came into the league with Ottawa...
Ah yes but when Sharks were just new Tampa were announced to be founded and to join NHL the next season! Don't remember exactly the dates and such as we were young kids

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07-14-2012, 06:19 AM
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ThunderAlleyNomad
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Originally from Minnesota. I followed a lot of high school hockey and of course the Gophers, but never really watched the North Stars much and never saw an NHL game live until I moved to Florida. They were "my" team, but not really. Pretty much the same with everybody that I grew up with. It was Vikings and Twins. Everybody played hockey. Everybody religiously watched the high school tourney, but nobody really cared much about the Stars.

When I moved to Florida the Stars had been gone for about two years and the Wild hadn't come into existence yet. So when my wife dragged me along to a Lightning game at the Thunderdome, it was the first pro game I had ever seen. Fell in love with hockey all over again, and this time at a much higher level. Was pretty easy to adopt the Bolts as my favorite team.

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07-14-2012, 06:31 AM
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HoseEmDown
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Moved born here from NYC in 97, was a Ranger fan but not die hard. You have to be pretty rich to see a game at the garden so I only caught s few, plus the team had so much talent and could only win one cup. Favorite player was Adam Grsves.
Being in Orlando I went to solar bear games and watch the Lightning, I think I watched every game the Erin Andrews season as a reporter, they should've kept her instead of Paul Kennedy. Didn't start going to games frequently till about 02, was playing travel around the state and couldn't afford tickets till I got a real job. Didn't go into any Stanley cup games but watched out front. Go to about 10 games a year but with the Bears coming back may only be a couple of games. Favorite player has always been Vinny.

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07-14-2012, 06:38 AM
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Bish Please
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When the Lightning moves to the Thunderdome I was given season tickets as a birthday present despite not knowing anything about the sport. My first game was a shutout loss to the Maple Leafs but I've been hooked ever since.

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07-14-2012, 07:14 AM
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Fred89
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I was kinda of Stars addicted for the first years of hockey I've seen (being 23 says it all) when there were Modano, Nieuwendyk and Hatcher.. But when I discovered MSL and VL4 I felt in love with TB

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07-14-2012, 08:31 AM
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Found the NHL game with Vinny on the front of it in a bargain bin in a games store in 2006. 10. Bought it, played it, kept playing with the Lightning as the MSL, Lecavalier, Richards, Stillman and Modin in the top 6 they were always fun to play as.

Started following the team soon after, watching games at the end of the 06-07 season, saw Vinny in beast mode (Favourite player because of that I think) and then been hooked ever since.

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07-14-2012, 08:47 AM
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CSampson
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Born in Thunder Bay and being a kid I somehow thought we had an affiliation to Tampa Bay Lightning.



One of my favourite photos of me as a kid at a birthday party. My brothers were wearing an LA Kings jersey and a Mighty Ducks jersey .

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07-14-2012, 09:19 AM
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When I moved here in '98 I listened to a few Lightning games on the radio and was seduced by the dulcet tones of Dave Mishkin......

Actually, I grew up a Ranger fan in NE New Jersey. During the 02/03 season when my daughter was 9 I took her to Busch Gardens for a day, got tired of walking around and asked if she wanted to go to a hockey game. She did so we went to the Ice Palace and got tickets for that evenings game. She was instantly converted to full blown hockey nut and started pestering me about going to more games. We went to a few more games that season and 3 playoff games. The next year I got us half season tickets and we went to all those games and all the playoff games. Haven't looked back since and it's been great sharing the love of the game and team with my girl who's now grown up and still going to games with me.


Last edited by Bolto: 07-14-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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07-14-2012, 09:34 AM
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LightningStrikes
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I was playing NHL 98 / 99 with my friends and everyone picked a team. My pick was the Lightning and I started following them (sometimes more, sometimes less). A couple years ago I started watching Lightning games again (mosty thanks to the internet -> streams etc) and since then I rarely miss a game (I either watch them live or the next day).

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07-14-2012, 09:39 AM
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Doctor Drej
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I moved here.

Used to be a Rangers fan but they used to be a bit of a joke but I was still a big hockey fan and the Lightning were the hometown team so I just took them as my own. It makes it kind of ironic that the Rangers currently have or have had so many former Lightning the past few years, like they're trying to win me back.

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07-14-2012, 09:45 AM
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Xenophobia Catalyst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maelmoor View Post
Always liked hockey, thought Chicago were quite cool but then two new teams were founded, Lightning and Sharks, me and a friend thought it would be cool if we started to support one team each, so I picked Tampa and been following them ever since!
Some what similar as when the Lightning came into the league I was playing my first year of hockey. I thought it would be cool if since I was starting my hockey career I should cheer for a team just starting out. Not entirely sure why I chose Tampa over Ottawa, but as a preteen boy I can't help but think Manon Rheaume might have been a small factor in choosing the Lightning over the Sens.

My avatar is a picture of me from April 8 1996.
Lightning were losing 3-0 in the 2nd period.
I put on the equipment and they stomed back to win 4-3. My older brother took the photo to show how ridicules I looked. A week later The Lightning made the playoffs for the first time.

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07-14-2012, 09:56 AM
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Bolts265
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Moved to the Space Cost in 1978 from Long Island. Was an Islander fan and moved just before they won 4 straight cups! Most frustrating thing was the only ice here was in drinks and I could not even get the NHL scores on the evening newscasts. Always felt close to the Tampa Bay area and even though this county is Dolphin territory I became a Bucs fan since I was a Jet season ticket holder and hated the Fins.
Long story short hockey came to the Sunshine State and I was hooked on the Bolts. Do not root for the Isles when they come here and got rid of the Islander jerseys a long time ago!

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07-14-2012, 01:36 PM
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LGB 26
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Lived in SWFL-Ft. Myers almost all my life.

However, where we lived was Panthers territory. Even though it is dead middle between Tampa and Sunrise. Even though you get both Sunsports and FS Florida down there, they do not broadcast Lightning games. When I go down to visit my parents during the season I get pissed because they will show the pregame and then switch to soccer in West Virginia or something.

So up until I moved to Tampa I never watched hockey, as soon as I moved up I went to a game and its been a downhill obsession since.

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07-14-2012, 02:21 PM
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Moved to FL from Finland. Always had this impression of Lightning being just a country club loser expansion team. Then they started saying that they're going to make the playoffs. And I started watching. And they had this never-heard-of guy called Martin St. Louis playing his heart out every night. That '03 playoff run made me love hockey again and made me a Lightning fan.

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07-14-2012, 02:59 PM
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zeykshade
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Graduated High School in 1992. Went to College that Summer at USF.

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Old
07-14-2012, 05:14 PM
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berlin
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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.


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07-14-2012, 05:26 PM
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Legionnaire11
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1) My family began their exodus to Tampa in '93, and over the next ~10 years almost all of them ended up there except me, my sister, mother and grandmother (We're in Nashville). So the Lightning were always in the hockey conversation.

2) They are a southern/non-traditional team, and being a die-hard Preds fan having to put up with Canadian/Northern/O-6 snobbery, I prefer all non-traditional teams to have success over the "Real" hockey markets.

3) Anders Lindback


That last one put me over the edge, I'll still hold the Preds #1 for sure. But the Lightning will be my eastern team, hopefully i'll get to a few games while i'm visiting family in the winter!

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