Graduation Day!

I realized tonight that this week marks the one year anniversary of my hockey fandom. After the Sabres were eliminated from the ECF last spring, I underwent the strangest transformation. I wanted to continue watching hockey, even without an obvious rooting interest. When I found myself inexplicably drawn to the remaining games of the WCF, I knew that my attraction to hockey ran deeper than just my attraction to the Sabres. I spent the remaining ’07 playoffs practically studying the sport, and suddenly, hockey was a major part of my life.

One year, and one blog later, here we are.

I’ve spent the entire season trumpeting my “newness”. “I’m just a new fan,” I’d squawk, as I said something purposefully ridiculous. “I don’t know what I’m talking about!” Now, a lot of the time I really don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m ready to make an admission: I don’t say ridiculous things because I’m a new fan, I say ridiculous things because I’m…um…..ridiculous. I’ve learned a lot this season, and it’s time to fess up that I’m not quite as dumb as I’d have you believe. We are now entering the part of a hockey season I have carefully witnessed before. This will be my second Stanley Cup Finals, and my second off-season, and my second July 1st.

While I can’t really claim to be a new fan anymore, I’m certainly not a seasoned vet either. I’m something in between. I’m a hockey fan “tween”, if you will. If the first year of my fandom was the Brownies, I think I’ve now graduated to the full fledged Girl Scouts. I’m growing up, folks! Once, I was bright-eyed and innocent, and now I’m a moody, hockey-loving preteen. It’s time I packed away my brown vest, and stepped into my green jumper.

I’m not a baby anymore.

Being a Hockey Brownie was great. I got to spend a full season finger painting and splashing in the shallow end of the pool, but I’m ready for some real challenges. Hockey Girl Scouts are expected to learn a bunch of skills, and earn badges, and sell cookies and stuff. I’m ready. Now, please don’t expect this transition to be altogether graceful. Preteens are notoriously strong-willed and difficult to reason with, and I’m already displaying these unattractive characteristics in spades. Heh.


17 Responses to “Graduation Day!”

  1. 1 grrrreg May 13, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Hey! Joyeux anniversaire Katebits!
    It’s the passion that matters, not the number of years you’ve been following hockey… Here’s to an exciting second season of the Willful Caboose, whatever that means. Cheers!

  2. 2 Erin May 13, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Congratulations to you!! Now don’t go all statistics and negativity on us you seasoned vet, you!

  3. 3 jonhoepfinger May 13, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I think to celebrate you should have a Brownie shaped like a hockey puck. Mmmmmm Brownie hockey pucks.

  4. 4 Jennfer May 13, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Kate, you wear that green jumper proudly. I agree with Grrrreg, it’s the passion that matters. I know NOTHING about stats & stuff, I just know that I love the game of hockey, I love to watch it, read about it, etc. I just love it and that makes me a good fan, even if I can’t tell you which goalie has the highest GAA or Save% or which player has the best numbers. I like the players that I like and that’s it.

    Congratulations Katebits!

  5. 5 Schnookie May 13, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Awww! Baby’s all groweds up now! Congrats on the big graduation, Katebits. I just know you’re going to be a great Girl Scout!

  6. 6 Pookie May 13, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Mazel tov, Katebits!

    Considering how awesomely you aced Brownies, I can only assume that you’ll be snatching up those Hockey Girl Scout badges left and right!

    (The only thing I remember about being a Brownie was watching Schnookie use the little fish net to poke at the seahorse in the 3rd grade classroom fish tank. I think that’s pretty much what I’m doing now as a hockey fan, too, only subtituate “NJ Devils” for “seahorse”. I guess I’ve never graduated from Hockey Brownies.)

  7. 7 Schnookie May 13, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I really abused that seahorse; thanks for reminding me of it, Pookie. Of course, it, like the Devils, was sickly and not long for this world. But I do still feel guilty for making even just part of its brief time among us miserable. Because it, unlike the Devils, never did anything to hurt me. The life lesson I take from the seahorse and my moment of cruelty to it is this: only use the figurative little fish net to poke at sickly things that are malicious and harmful. Like your favorite hockey team when they’re being losers. And don’t let up. If you do it only halfway, you’ll just end up feeling guilty. (Oh wait, Erin said she doesn’t want to see you get all negative about the Sabres. Hm. Well, in that case, never mind! Don’t take any of my advice!)

  8. 8 Katebits May 13, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Thanks, guys. I’m sorry to have tell you this, but it’s going to be all negativity and stats from now on around here. And brownies shaped like hockey pucks. And sea horses.

  9. 9 Mags May 13, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Congrats on your one year anniversary, Kate! You’ve been a delightful breath of well, Kateness.

    I’m going to bake brownie hockey pucks now :D

  10. 10 Erin May 13, 2008 at 11:47 am

    I haven’t passed the one year mark on my fandom yet so I cannot tolerate any negative Sabres talk. They are perfect in every way!!! *covers ears and closes eyes*

  11. 11 danielleia May 13, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I’m in such a party mode right now, you have no idea. Happy Anniversary of your hockey love. And officially I greet you with, Welcome to Buffalo [Fandom]!

  12. 12 danielleia May 13, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    P.S. You may or may not get progressively more negative.

  13. 13 Katie May 13, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations, Katebits!!

    And the jaded negativity may never come…I’ve been a hockey fan for about 10 years, and I still consider myself an eternal Sabres optimist.

    Here’s to another great year of TWC, and a huge collection of hockey Girl Scout badges!!

  14. 14 Shari May 13, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    I can’t say anything bad about the Sabres either. I love them all! A couple more than the others!
    Here’s to another funfilled blogging, podcasting year with Kate!
    (Smashing Labatt bottles together!)

  15. 15 Patty (in Dallas) May 13, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Happy Hockey Anniversary, Katebits!

    Don’t get too tweener-moody. It just makes your shoulders slump. :D

  16. 16 KevinP May 13, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    “…it’s time to fess up that I’m not quite as dumb as I’d have you believe…”


    Another of my illusions shattered.

    You never had me fooled – thanks for sticking around.

  17. 17 Kathee May 14, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Ahh, the first year of fandom. Such a sweet, innocent time in the life of a hockey fan. May you look back upon it fondly and recall the joy you felt experiencing each “first”

    And no eye rolling, either, Miss Pre-Teen Fan!

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