In case you didn’t know, I’m a HUGE hockey fan. I was introduced to it in 1990 when the former ECHL Knoxville Cherokees were the big attraction. It was some of the best hockey at the time. I even helped put them on the web as the Internet age came into being in the late 90s. It seems like yesterday, sometimes. My nostalgia for the 80s and 90s never gets tiring.
The ECHL grew by leaps and bounds, but unfortunately outgrew Knoxville. The United Hockey League spent about 3 years here before the team went belly up and then the Single-A leagues came in and have done very well for hockey in Knoxville. The SPHL has been strong over the last 10+ years and it looks like the Ice Bears will be around for at least a few more years. The arena, however, is terribly obsolete and needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
I kinda slacked off last year, and didn’t attend any of the Ice Bears games except the last game where they won the championship. I had high hopes for the Nashville Predators but they still need one or two players to complete the puzzle, methinks. They’re good on goaltending, good on defense, but need just a tad bit more on special teams. Maybe another power forward to really make it work. We’ll know soon enough.
In the meantime, enjoy part of my collection. Yes, part of it…
As you can see, I’ve splurged over the last 20 + years. I own about 50 jerseys, replica, authentic, and game-worn. Some NHL, lots of minor league stuff, and a couple of college jerseys here and there. Even some novelty jerseys are in the mix.
Some of the jerseys are good to wear around the house, others I wear to the games, or around town or even to work on “casual Fridays“. I seldom part with them, because I typically associate them to a particular time or place in my life when I got the jersey that brings back good memories. Some of them, to me, are priceless. That North Dakota Fighting Sioux jersey in the lower right, for example, I purchased while on a family vacation to Iowa in 2009 (along with the Michigan jersey). I’ve never been to North Dakota, but support the college using the “Fighting Sioux” nickname.
One of the San Jose Sharks‘ jerseys (upper left) was purchased soon after I met my wife. Her mom sewed a patch on it for me and repaired a small tear in it. The Clerks jersey in the lower right I got while working at Blockbuster Video in the mid-90s. I love the movie, and it reflected my job very accurately.
Hopefully this year I’ll be able to get back to my ways of being a rabid hockey guy. If the Predators do well this year it’ll be more likely. Hopefully I’ll catch a game or two.