40 days of jerseys – #1 Knoxville Ice Bears Team USA jersey

Knoxville Ice Bears - Team USA Special Jersey - #15 Mike Bulawka (front view)
Knoxville Ice Bears – Team USA Special Jersey – #15 Mike Bulawka (front view)

I thought it might be cool to do a series of posts about my collection of jerseys. If anything it’ll get me to looking forward to hockey this winter…

Jersey #1:Knoxville Ice Bears (SPHL) Special Event Jersey – Team USA

Style: Game-worn
Size: 54
Manufacturer: OT Sports
Obtained: Auction

So this is jersey # 1, it’s from the SPHL Knoxville Ice Bears in 2010 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Team USA Miracle On Ice from the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. I’d always wanted a team USA jersey and for once in my life had a little extra cash on hand to bid on it during the post-game auction.

After going toe-to-toe with a couple of other bidders, the price started to get a little too high for my allocated funds. However, my girls really wanted their Dad to win this jersey and even volunteered to donate their allowance money to help fund the jersey…quite loudly I might add. This might have been why the bidding stalled, perhaps the other bidders had sympathy for my kids’ plight…naaaaaah!!!

I reluctantly made a final bid (I forget the dollar amount) and ended up winning the auction for Mike Bulawka‘s jersey.

Mike Bulawka
Mike Bulawka and me with his jersey

Mike would become the team captain for the Ice Bears the next season (2010-11), his final year as a pro hockey player. He’s living in Colorado, got married, and had a baby recently.

He’s my favorite player for the Ice Bears and was a great leader on that team. He’s moved on from hockey as a player and probably wouldn’t remember me if I walked up to him on the street! I didn’t make it a point to stalk or drool over players (that was in my earlier years…) and I didn’t want to intrude on a players’ private time outside of the game. Still we are Facebook aficionados and every once in a while we’re Liking one another’s posts.

I’d bid on jerseys before but the ones I wanted would always skyrocket in price and go beyond anything I could legitimately afford. However this time I made a small exception, and that’s why this particular jersey is not for sale.

Tomorrow: What’s in a name?


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