[Editor's Note]: This is the nineteenth in a series of user-submitted articles to Fear The Fin, detailing readers personal history following the San Jose Sharks. For archiving purposes this account has been republished. It was originally authored by schtimpy27 on January 25, 2009; the initial Fanpost can be found here.
I wish I had a cool story about how I came to the Sharks, but honestly, I'm not sure how it really happened. All I know is that in 1992-93, I was an awkward and shy 14-15 year old sophomore at a small all-girls Catholic high school in the SF Bay Area. I wasn't particularly smart, nor talented, nor into popular things my classmates were all over. I was kind of my own island. Sure, I had friends, but I had nothing to define myself other than being the awkward and shy sophomore who wasn't particularly smart, talented, or interested in what everyone else was into. Somehow hockey became that thing with which I was able to connect and create a bit of an identity for myself. And I've been obsessed ever since.
The Sharks stunk really bad that year. It was their second year, they were still playing in the Cow Palace, and they finished the season 11-71-2. I guess they, too, were awkward sophomores who weren't particularly talented. But hometown loyalty being instilled in me since probably conception, I was always behind my local team. My favorite players have never been Sharks (I knew if I "bonded" with a Shark I'd hate the team if he got traded, so I just picked guys who weren't Sharks to begin with), but the Sharks have always been my team in good years and bad. They drive me crazy, and I know better than to ever predict so much as a period ahead in time. I just enjoy (or lament) the moments as they come. Someday I hope I'll be able to enjoy a Stanley Cup, but I'll only know that day will come when it does.
Here are some more nuggets to either show my longtime fandom, or to show that I'm old:
- The first game I ever went to was vs. Chicago; we got stuck in traffic and got inside a few minutes into the game; the first sight I was greeted with as I stood at the top of the stairs of the SJ Arena was Doug Zmolek kicking the crap out of someone.
- The first players I ever met were Brian Hayward and David Bruce
- My first favorite Shark was Sandis Ozolinsh
- I remember Joe Starkey calling the games on KICU-TV, Neil Wilkinson getting busted for secretly videotaping himself with some chick iin flagrante delicto, Arturs Irbe getting his hand eaten by his dog, Todd Elik's awesome facial scars, Gaetan Duchesne (R.I.P) and his hairy back, Doug Zmolek's amazing crew-cut mullet, the Indian guy (Robin Bawa), the black guy (Dale Craigwell), the deaf guy (Jim Kyte), and Vlasty Kroupa
- And I'm not too proud to admit I had a huge crush on Rob Gaudreau, Ray Whitney, and Jimmy Waite (damn, he was sexy. He's still playing in Germany... and still hot).