If you're a reader of this blog or my live game logs, you may have seen mention of the The Tennis Balls. They're Dawn and Lewis, a husband-and-wife duo of diehard Ducks fans and season tickets holders who wear neon yellow sweatshirts to every home game. They sit a few rows behind the net in section 215 at Honda Center, and certainly stand out in a crowd. They were even more conspicuous when they attended Game 5 of Coyotes-Predators in Phoenix, when they were two very noticeable blips among the otherwise whited-out crowd at Jobing.com Arena.
Jenelyn Russo, who writes a very good blog for OC Family called When Girls Love Hockey, just put together a very nice piece on The Tennis Balls, including this insight into the history of their sweatshirts:
Dawn doesn’t recall the year exactly, maybe 2005, but she and Lewis were on their way back from a trip to Mammoth and had to rush home and get changed before heading to the Ducks game that night (totally committed fans, of course). They ran out of the house, wearing only Ducks t-shirts. When they got to Honda Center, Dawn knew she would be freezing inside without a sweater or a jacket. So they grabbed the only thing available to wear—bright neon yellow sweatshirts that Lewis had in the back of their car. A custom home builder, Lewis had purchased several of the sweatshirts for his employees and sub-contractors. They had no idea that wearing those sweatshirts that night would have such an effect on their lives as hockey fans.
In the midst of a frustrating multiple-game losing streak, Anaheim won that night and all of their fellow Ducks fans who sit around them declared the day-glo sweatshirts the reason for the win. And they insisted that Dawn and Lewis wear them to every game going forward. So for the most part, they have.
As expected, the Tennis Balls (who have "adopted" the Coyotes as their playoff team), are at Game 5 between the Yotes and Kings at Jobing.com Arena tonight.