Hi, I’m Michonne.
And I really don’t think I should be here. My friends and family made me come here. They think I’m obsessed. I just like the Red Wings, that’s all.
You don’t think you have a problem? There must be some reason you’re at the Sports Fanatics Support Group.
Well, sure, I’ve done a couple of crazy things, but I don’t have a problem. Certainly nothing that requires a support group. I mean, look at some of you, you’re painted in your team colors from head to toe.
This is not a place for criticism, we’re here to provide support. Besides, you came in your Yzerman jersey with matching socks and your shoes are red and white, not to mention your hat. And aren’t those Red Wings earrings?
Yeah, little hand-painted Russian dolls of Vladimir Konstantinov. Aren’t they great? I have the matching set of little Russian dolls at home. There are five of them – the big one is Steve Yzerman and the smallest one is a tiny c. They’re great. They look really cool next to my mini-Zamboni. And, uh ? never mind.
Anyhow, tell me about these “crazy things” you’ve done.
I carved the Red Wings logo into my jack-o’-lantern one year. It took me two and a half hours. But that’s nothing. That’s just being a fan.
Well, no. I paint the winged wheel on my big toenails during the playoffs. I used to paint it all with toothpicks, but now I have this really small brush to do it.
OK. Do you go to the games regularly?
I try to, but the Joe is always sold out. Tickets are almost impossible to get. I saved baby-sitting money all summer to buy tickets to a game in the 1998-99 season. My dad and I were across the ice from each other, he looked like a tiny speck. We lost to Dallas 5-1. It was great.
You thought a loss was great?
I was there, who cares? It took everything in me not to kiss the ground the second we got into the Joe.
You wanted to kiss the ground of a sports arena? Do you know what’s been there?
Do you think I care? I kissed the Stanley Cup after hundreds of people before me did, who knows what germs they were carrying!
You kissed something after total strangers slobbered all over it before you?
What do you think I waited four hours to do? Look at it? Come on, lady, it’s hockey’s Holy Grail. And how could I resist kissing it knowing Brendan Shanahan’s lips had been there?
You’re a Shanahan fan, I see.
I got really close to him at the second game I went to. I got to go to the first game of the 1999 playoffs against Anaheim.
I found out I could go down to the ice to watch the pregame warm-ups. I got so close to Brendan, I couldn’t speak; I was so excited. I even got to touch Chris Osgood’s goal stick. I was tempted to never wash my hands again.
I’m planning on getting Ozzie’s jersey next. I have Brendan’s jersey already.
So you collect jerseys.
Well, I try, but they’re really expensive. I collect lots of other Red Wings things. I’ve got hockey cards, a Christmas stocking, two of those Gordie Howe Hallmark ornaments, T-shirts, pennants, commemorative Coke bottles, an autographed picture of Mickey Redmond. Wow, I have a lot of stuff.
Maybe I do have a little problem.
Now we’re getting somewhere. When did this start?
With the 1997 Cup. I really didn’t care before then, but something about the playoffs that year really caught my attention. All I can tell you for sure is that once Stevie lifted that Cup for the first time, there was no going back.
We’ve been here a while, what time is it?
Is that a Stanley Cup watch?
Oh yeah, 1997 Championship watch. Wow, it’s really close to 7 p.m. I’m gonna miss pregame.
Wait! We’re not done, I think we were really making some progress.
Too bad, lady, if I don’t go now, I’m going to miss opening faceoff! Bye!
Michonne Omo, a State News intern, can’t stand the sight of Colorado Avalanche players and merchandise. Tell her where she can destroy all that is Avalanche hockey at firstname.lastname@example.org.