They say Coyotes fans don't exist. Okay, maybe the fanbase is not the largest, but it's one of the most passionate. If you ask from a Coyotes fan he's always proud of being one. Part of the pack, as the saying goes. I asked them on Twitter how they had become fans, and boy did I get great stories.
For start I'd like to share my own story. I can't say this is the best possible story, but it's important to me. This is how I became a Coyotes fan.
I can't remember the date, but it was year 2006. I was watching a random Coyotes game and obviously I had no idea I'd be writing this kind of story some day. One player stood out of all in that game, and since that night I've had a massive respect towards that player. Maybe you have already guessed he was Shane Doan.
Like a teenaged girl I found myself watching more and more Coyotes' games because of Doan. So maybe not the best reason to become a fan, but hey, Doan is the face of Coyotes.
I don't think Doan is the only reason though. I have always loved the never-give-up attitude of this team, fighting against the odds. Something just clicked with Coyotes. It's kind of magical.
So there's my story. Not so awesome huh? That's why I wanted Coyotes fans to share theirs. First story came from Sharon Conover. "It was natural progression from Phoenix Roadrunners fan to Coyotes". Not many people know that there was hockey in Phoenix way before Coyotes. Lots of Roadrunner fans turned into Coyotes fans. "I was hit in the head by a puck in '70, been a fan ever since", Conover told. She was taken to St. Joe's hospital to get stiches. Coincidentally that's where he has worked for the last 29 years. "I still have the puck, the scar and a great story".
I received another Roadrunner-related story from Katrina DeVinny. Her family moved from Oklahoma to Phoenix in the early 70's. Her dad got her into hockey. "My first officially attended hockey game occurred when I was one month and four days old". So it's a long way from there to this day, but still DeVinny remembers all those things. "I remember eating sandwiches from the cooler we had brought in and sitting on my dad’s knee learning about the players, the calls and the penalties".
Christmas 1984 was special for Katrina. "My dad brought out a huge box. This was a gift for the whole family he told us so my brother and I began opening it, and the smaller box inside, and the smaller one inside of that, and on and on. We finally came to a little box and inside were tickets to go to LA to see the Kings play a real, live NHL game!".
Hockey is usually a family thing and so it was in Katrina's family. She is very thankful to her dad. "I can honestly say that I would not have the passion that I do for the Phoenix Coyotes and for the sport of hockey if it wasn’t for my dad. Thank you dad and I am looking forward to this new era of Coyotes hockey for our family of desert dwellers. Go Yotes!"
Next story came from one of the most passionate Coyotes fans I know, Nicole Olivier. Here's what she had to say.
"I became a fan of the Coyotes late in the 2001-02 season. Funny, I've always seem to "care" about the score but never found interest in watching any of the games until a player came on the screen for a commercial of BAP Import Parts - a sponsor of the Coyotes. I was like "ooo who is that?" The game happened to be on after the commercial so I went searching for #23 - the only thing I caught of the man in the Coyotes uniform. Quickly learned by the intermission who HE was - from that point forward - my love for the Coyotes grew". In case your wondering - that player was Paul Mara.
Here I'd like to say all of these stories came from Twitter. More about that later.
Jeff Anderson is a rather new fan, but it doesn't take out the fact he's a real one. "I became a fan by attending 19 games on a partial season ticket plan in 2009-10. I just fell in love with the team".
This is becoming a long post, so maybe I'll start to wrap things up.
Coyotes and hockey generally are really important things to me. I would never give up on my team - whatever happens. Maybe we'll never get recognized the way we should, but does it really matter? Coyotes fans worldwide form a family - a pack. That's something I wouldn't want to give away.
I have talked to so many Coyotes fans on Twitter, and every single time I've had fun. This support I got to my article is just amazing. Huge thanks to everyone who took part.
I almost shed a tear last night when I was watching the season opener. Beginning of a new era couldn't have happened in any better way. We will experience something special in coming years. I know it.
Katrina DeVinny (@DesertTrina)
Nicole Olivier (@nicoleyoty)
Sharon Conover (@hockeybarbie)
Jeff Anderson (@SkyrimLord)
P.S. Sorry I didn't add the photos you sent me. My bad.