“I’d like to introduce petshark as our San Jose Sharks blogger.
“Even though she is not well-known within the hockey blogging community, I have a feeling she will be in few short months.”
I want to thank Kukla’s Korner for letting me through the door. I’m very grateful. I’m also a little terrified and excited and confused and hopeful.
I’m female, living in the Northern California wine country. I’ve been blogging, mostly about hockey, for a little over a year, but my blog got very little traffic. That was comfortable and familiar. Am I ready to be here? I dunno, but if you wait until you’re ready you never are. Just in case, I’ll hang on to my talking stick, my pen name.
I first noticed hockey in 1998. I’m one of those people, the ones who find their way to the NHL through the Olympic back door. It wasn’t just the Olympics. It was also the Czech Republic and, later, working night shifts at a hospital. That’s where I did my first travel adventuring- the Czech Republic, not a hospital. Because of the night shifts (at the hospital), the only event showing when I got home was hockey. The Czechs were winning. It seemed like the absolutely most significant and important thing I had ever witnessed. Yes, it was also very late at night.
I’d never had even the remotest interest in professional sports. Never gave them a thought. You could say I was blindsided. I watched a lot of hockey on tv after that. I have the tape to prove it, around here somewhere.
I went to a couple of NHL games, with people who remember the experience primarily as “cold, and the seats were uncomfortable. I didn’t remember it that way but they tell me that’s what it was like. I couldn’t get anyone to go with me to see Gretzky play. A friend told me, while declining to go: “Oh, Gretzky’s always talking about retiring. He never will.”
I don’t wait for my friends anymore.
At the time, I was young. I didn’t like going places alone, especially loud, crowded buildings for events I did not understand. DVRs didn’t exist. VHS tapes were unwieldy. I lost touch with hockey. I went back to trying to do The Things Of Weight and Gravity That One Ought To Accomplish by some deadline or another.
I don’t know if I would have come back to hockey if Jagr hadn’t come to find me. No, he didn’t really, but he surprised me by being on tv in the last Olympics. It was like bumping into an old friend at a minimart while driving across Nevada:
“Hockey! You’re alive! My god, what have you been doing all these years? I want to know everything!
“There was a lockout? How awful for you. Still haven’t figured out the concussion thing? Oh, honey, you have to sort that out! The Sharks are a good team? One of the best? Now I know you’re making fun of me.”
And so it went.
This blog won’t be about Jagr, it will be about the Sharks. They were there in the beginning too, even if I didn’t get to know those Sharks very well. I know these Sharks pretty well, at a fan arm’s length.
I will hardly ever use stats, because I can’t count. I often digress and talk about the experience of watching a hockey game. I think I’m still trying to figure out why I like it.
I don’t play hockey, I can’t skate, I have no desire to do so. I like to watch, like in “Being There,” the way Chance meant it, not the way Eve understood it. If that’s weird then the NHL and NBC are in big trouble.
I do get off the couch to ride and train horses. That’s just the same as playing hockey, right?
I’m on Twitter too, @petshark47. Be forewarned, I am also a Flyers fan. It may be a struggle, but I will keep Jagr and his new team out of this blog. Twitter, however, is a free-for-all in a snake pit.