Well, well my first article. I suppose it’s meet and greet time with a bit of History, my favorite subject. My name is Paul. I am an avid Penguins fan with the dream of owning them (or part) one day. I have followed the Penguins from my youth which coincided with Jagr’s arrival to the NHL. Watching him I was mesmerized with his beauty as a player and person. He was an acrobat on skates! I was instantly drawn to him and thus the Penguins became my team.
Unfortunately I have never lived in Pittsburgh but I have been to a few of their games. The first NHL game I went to was in Mellon Arena and I was enraptured. I live in Rochester, home of Buffalo’s minor league team the Amerks. I will be writing on the Penguins, the Sabres, and the Amerks. @themackattack will just have to share his beloved Sabres with me. He is very passionate about them which I can attest to first hand, however the Sabres may just trade him, or me now for that matter, for a draft pick. I digress, more on the Vanek trade in a later article.
I grew up in Sabres territory but not from a hockey family. I never skated on ice regularly. About as close to ice hockey as I got was street hockey with friends who happened to be ice hockey players. Of course, I had trading cards and television to satisfy my needs. I did go to Amerk games and in the 1990′s for the AHL Rochester was the place to be. Back then the Amerks were arguably the best team in the AHL and they had this one fan called “The Masked Fan”. He was just a kid, younger than I even who came to the games wearing a lucha libre style mask to every game. He was the loudest, proudest fan at the games. He always cheered his heart out and started the chants. Even during all the Calder Cup finals my fondest memories is still what only a child would possess, playing knee hockey in the stairwell of the Rochester War Memorial during the games. Ages, 10, 12, 14, didn’t matter I still wanted to play hockey with friends.
I am 31 now and still as youthful as ever. I have a degree in history and love talking about history, any kind, any time period. I am a mix between a geek/nerd and an athlete; I love sports and I love knowledge. My favorite games are hockey, chess, Magic the Gathering, soccer, volleyball, carcarsonne. And I do love to write! You can always find me championing for just causes and equality – not just for gays but for all people.
Lastly this Brian Burke bear hug rule – well if need be i’ll gladly teach hockey players (free of charge) how to properly apply a bear hug. As a gay man it is nearly customary to hug one another upon greeting and the French-style kiss cheek to cheek. Businessmen shake hands, gay men hug. I’ll even teach them the finer art of a proper hug, none of this three pats on the back nonsense.
I would like to make a request that I begin with #68 Mr. Prague Spring Jaromir Jagr. Yes, Jaromir I know my history very well and have taught many lessons about the movement, Petr Novak, and the singing of “We Shall Overcome” at Wenceslas Square. Sidney Crosby also could learn how to properly hug from me and of course fellow mullet player and Buffalonian Patrick Kane should also be taught the bear hug rule.
Final line goes to someone else, not just gay men, who faced discrimination in hockey. Manon Rhèaume. I thank you for all you’ve done and challenging the hierarchy.