Ducks Fans Share the Stories of How They Came to Love Their Team
Monday, 03.24.2014 / 2:45 PM / News
For a feature in Ducks Digest, we asked fans on Twitter, Facebook and the Ducks website to tell us the story of how they became a Ducks fan. We received far too many submissions to fit into the feature in the Digest, so we are running all of them below.
Note: Some submissions have been edited.
I started getting into hockey, as cliché as it sounds, back in the mid-1990s when The Mighty Ducks movie trilogy was becoming huge. With being a fan of Coach Bombay and his rags-to-riches (then rags again) story, I was inspired to start tuning in to more games. As time went on I continued to follow the Ducks’ franchise and befriended a girl in junior high whose father was a huge Ducks and Paul Kariya fan. The rest is history. My friend’s father was the guru that I was looking for and taught me about the basics of the sport and inspired me to follow the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. My room, which also serves as my office, is practically a shrine to my beloved boys in orange and black. I decorated my college graduation cap with the 3rd jersey patch logo, and rhinestones of course! I rock the old Wild Wing goalie mask logo on my car. I save money specifically to go to the Honda Center. If I can’t make it to a live game due to other “priorities,” I watch the games while I do homework. Ironically, my fiancé is a huge San Jose Sharks fan. I told him that if he wants to still be with me, he needs to deal with my die-hard ways and understand that our house is going to have to be divided by colors. Now that’s dedication! I am now on a quest to find a beginner's hockey league so that I can play the sport that I really love watching!
Nine years ago my husband passed away. One of my husband’s coworkers (Angel Metzger) was a Ducks fan and had season tickets. She took my oldest daughter Lorraine, who was 9 at the time, to a game and she fell in love with the Ducks. She ended up taking Lorraine to every home game after that. Lorraine liked to read the Ducks Digest and she learned so much about the game and the team in such a short amount of time. I was grateful that after losing her dad, she had something positive in her life. I will always be grateful to the Ducks, as they gave us something to look forward to after my husband passed away and going to the games is something g we do as a family.
March 3rd, 2001. After hearing very troubling news I called my friend Joel. He answered and heard the shakiness of my voice.
"What happened?" He asked.
"They traded Teemu," I said in a defeated, toneless voice. Joel would later tell me he thought someone had died. It felt like they had. I needed to talk to someone who understood what this meant and why it would bring me to tears. I was 17 years old.
I've always been a hockey fan. Some of my earliest memories are scooting around the linoleum in my kitchen on my socks playing pretend hockey with my little brother, each of us fighting over who gets to be Wayne Gretzky. We were a Kings household, no doubt about it. They were the hometown team and that's all we knew. But in the fall of 1992 that all changed, but I wouldn't know it for a while. My brother and I went to see the new Disney film The Mighty Ducks and it was marvelous. We loved it – what 6- and 7-year-old hockey fans wouldn't? When we left the theater they were passing out little green Ducks pennants. I promptly pinned mine on my wall above my bed. Something about seeing it on my wall made me yearn for it to represent more than a fictional hockey team. I remember saying to my brother, "I wish the Ducks were an NHL team. I want them to be my new favorite team."
Little did I know that an arena was being built on Douglas and Katella and Disney Chairman Michael Eisner was planning to make my dream come true. I'll never forget when my dad came home from work to tell me that the Ducks were going to become a real team.
Now I grew up a Kings fan but I didn't hesitate to switch to the team I was dreaming of despite my family despising the Ducks from day one. They wouldn't even let me watch the inaugural game on the TV in the living room. I had to watch it on my sister's fuzzy 13 inch TV, but I didn't care. I didn't care that they were getting blown out either. I was just so happy to have a new team that felt like they were made for me. When Sean Hill scored that first goal I jumped through the house screaming. I was one happy 9-year-old.
I'm so grateful to have been a fan from day one because I got to experience every great (and not-so-great) moment for this team. Everything from Kariya and Selanne dominating the league to the first playoff series win to Jiggy carrying us to the Final to Scotty hoisting the Cup.
I remember in the 2001-2002 season when things were real bleak. I was watching the Ducks lose badly to the Blackhawks (I believe). My sister came in and saw the score and said, "Why do you watch this team if they play so bad?" My dad chimed in for me, "Because he's a true fan." It was because they're mine. They're my team. Through the best times and the worst times they will always have me as a fan and I will always have them as my team.
I moved to Southern California from Philadelphia in 1991. I was always a big Flyers fan, but I wanted a local team to cheer for. Problem was, the Kings were loaded with players from the Flyers’ biggest rivals, like the Rangers and Islanders. Plus, I watched Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey and McSorley take the Cup away from my Flyers twice. It made me sick thinking I had to cheer for them. The day Anaheim was awarded a franchise in 1992, they became my favorite team. We didn't even know who the players were going to be. Didn't matter. All I knew was, we had our own hockey team, and I didn't have to cheer for Kelly Hrudey.
I was 9 years old when I attended my first Mighty Ducks game. My parents owned season tickets for 10 years. My brother and I grew up playing roller hockey in Huntington Beach and were in love with the Mighty Ducks from day 1. I cried when we lost the cup to New Jersey in 2003 and had a watch party for every game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007. I've always been proud to call myself a Ducks fan. Today, my husband and I have seats for half the season in section 424. We are such big fans that our third son, due to be born this June, is set to be named after Teemu – Jack Selanne Bailey, in honor of everything he has done for the game of hockey and for our club.
When I was a kid I didn’t have cable TV, so I often surfed the channels for something good to watch. One day, I just happened to turn to a channel a Ducks games was on and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. From then on I watched every game I could. My dad even bought me a Ducks sweatshirt which I wore every day , and the neighbors would “quack” at me as I walked down the street. Those were great memories, but this year has been the best year for me as a fan because I have the means to attend games and be more involved, like becoming a Die Hards member and joining the rookie league at Lakewood Ice. In 20 years I never thought I could play hockey. But thanks to the Ducks Learn to Play program I found out that I can! Much respect, love and thanks to my favorite team as I look forward to another 20 years of great Ducks hockey.
I'd like to start off by saying that I am as old as the Ducks organization, but for the first 16 years of my life, I paid no attention to the local hockey club down the street. I vaguely remembered watching the Mighty Ducks movie as a kid, and playing the handheld games based on the cartoon show, but never took any interest in the actual hockey team.
In the winter of 2010, I was at my boyfriend Hector's house half-watching the Canada -US Olympic Gold Medal game. When the United States tied it and forced the overtime, I found myself yelling out in joy. I'd never paid attention or cared about sports before, so this was quite a development! Even though the United States lost the game and won the Silver Medal, I was hooked just based on that one game.
Flash-forward a couple weeks. Hector and I are flipping through the channels, this time at my house. A Ducks game was playing, and we decided to stop and watch it. Hector tells me that he used to play hockey as a kid, and LOVED the Ducks and hockey in general. This was news to me! We'd been together about a year at this point and I'd never known any of this before.
The first game I attended was with Hector, against the Dallas Stars. The seats weren't perfect, but the feeling in that room was electric. Selanne was being honored for his 600th goal, and I will never, EVER forget that that was the game Nick Bonino got his first NHL goal (so proud of you, Bones!)! The Ducks won that game and I was absolutely thrilled and excited to be learning about something new.
From there it was a steady process of watching games, first only with Hector and gradually on my own, coming to realize the heated Ducks-Kings rivalry and taking part in it with fierce passion, attending team practices to get autographs, meet the players, etc.
I've come to LOVE hockey over the past four years and the Ducks are my end all, be all. I wear my Ducks jacket out and about on days they win to show how proud I am, and on days they lose to show my continuing support. I now know so much more about hockey than I ever would have thought myself capable of. I'm aware of what's going on in the entire NHL, and follow other teams that intrigue me closely. I've become a bonafide hockey fan in general!
I am so grateful for what the Ducks have done in my life. Though I haven't learned yet how to lose (for example, Me: "They lost against the Jets and break their win streak at home OF COURSE ON THE DAY WE GO TO THE GAME!!" Hector: "It was a great run, they're not going to win every game!" Me: "BUT THEY COULD WIN EVERY GAME"). I still get lost and can't see everything that happens on the ice (too many men on the ice?! I didn't even notice!), I am fiercely passionate about my love for the Ducks. I tell anyone who will listen about them, whether they care or not. Hector and I are planning on putting our future kids in hockey, boys and girls, and I am oh so ready and willing to take on the role of hockey mom. The Ducks have given me opportunities at work, too! My archaeology professor at Santa Ana College, David Cheetham, is a devout Montreal Canadiens fans, and we bonded over our love of the game. I'm now his teaching assistant and being given opportunities I wouldn't have had available if not for hockey.
I would like to thank the Ducks for everything they've given me over these last four years, and for what they will give me in the future. Thank you for making me cry over the club's absolute generosity and kindness by visiting children in CHOC, making me laugh with the off-the-ice videos and making me proud of how classy and fantastic the organization is. I flip out seeing players in person because to me they are so important. I fantasize about them coming into my Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (on 17th and Tustin, FYI guys!) and allowing me to serve them coffee. I'm proud to be a Ducks fan and I will be for life, that's for sure. My parents, avid Angels fans, have found themselves drawn into the world of hockey with gusto. My dad wears Ducks shirts with pride! You've given me seasonal excitement in the fall and seasonal depression in the summer, post-hockey. You've given me a reason to be proud of where I live and where I'm from (who says SoCal can't play hockey?) and yet another way for Hector and I to connect and bond (nothing is better than Ducks game dates!).
I was six years old when the Mighty Ducks began their inaugural season. My aunt had given my dad two tickets to a game that she could not make. Knowing that my mom is not a sports fan, my dad decided to take me to the game with him. The seats were really nice, about 10-15 rows up from the glass, right being the goalie. We took our seats as Wild Wing enthusiastically swung into the arena to signal the start of the game. The puck dropped, and I was immediately drawn to the speed and physicality of the game. Little did I know that in a few minutes I would get an up-close encounter of the toughness that so many hockey players and fans take pride in.
It wasn't even ten minutes into the game when a Ducks defenseman ripped a slap shot from the blue line. As the puck sailed toward the net, it deflected off a stick and started heading our way in the crowd (this was before safety nets were installed in areas). Everyone in our section shot to their feet and my dad reached for the puck. Just as the stick on the ice had deflected the puck over the glass, a fellow fan deflected the puck right before it got to our seats. However, this deflection ended up sending the puck right into Dad's face. I looked over at my dad as he covered his bloodied lip with a handful of napkins someone had handed him. Before I knew it, the concierge had taken us to the arena medical personnel, who started to work on my dad.
As my dad was getting stitched up, a Mighty Ducks ticket representative was nice enough to take me around the arena. My dad and I now joke that it was the luckiest thing to ever happen to me as a Ducks fan. I was able to meet Wild Wing, I saw the media room, and then they loaded me up with Mighty Ducks swag: duck calls, t-shirts, hats, and more! They even gave me two of everything because they found out I had a sister (who wasn't at the game) and wanted her to have some Ducks gear as well.
My dad returned with about 5 minutes left in the game, and we went back to our seats, where he was an instant celebrity, with all the fans checking out the new battle scar on his lip, complete with stitches. A fan generously gave us the puck that had hit my dad, saying he had earned it.
After that game my dad and I were hooked. We owned partial season tickets or mini-plans every year until I went to college.
Today I live in DC but still cheer on my favorite team, staying up late on the East Coast to ensure a Ducks win. And as I watch, prominently displayed on a shelf of memorabilia behind me is the puck that hit my dad, the puck that got me hooked, the puck that started it all.
I experienced my first Ducks game while I was in high school, but the story of how I really got into hockey is a bit more recent. I responded to a personals ad from a Ducks fan named Emily, and our first date was a road game for the Ducks against the Kings in December of 2006. Led by 2 goals from Teemu Selanne, Anaheim took an early lead and hung on for a 4-3 victory, bringing their record to a remarkable 20-2-6. In hindsight, I knew it was love when she invited me to another game at the end of the first period. Thanks to a friend of hers who was a season ticket holder, we managed to attend most of the rest of the regular season at the Honda Center. Even better, we were able to get playoff strips and went to every game of the 2007 playoffs. As luck would have it, I met my girlfriend the same year the Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup, and we still have memories from every step along the way. We’re season ticket holders ourselves now, and whether we’re meeting our favorite players at Faceoff Fest or celebrating another Selanne goal, we’ll never forget the Ducks history we’ve witnessed together.
My dad and I used to watch Kings games when they wore the purple and gold. Then The Great One came. Then the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals. In the fall of 1993 I went to the first-ever Ducks preseason game and witnessed Stu Grimson drop the gloves against the Penguins' Marty McSorley. Next thing I knew I was playing with the Ducks and getting smashed on EA NHL 94, Wild Wing was dropping from the rafters and err... jumping through hoops of fire, and I was walking around singing "Rock the Pond." Goodbye Kings forever. Let's Go Ducks!
When I started working for the Honda Center Ice crew in June 2002, I became a hockey fan. Hockey was mentioned to me before, but watching four seasons by the Zamboni tunnel –what’s not to like? I made great friends, lost one and proposed to my now fiancée at center ice at Honda Center, which makes it a home away from home to us.
I am from Australia and had never seen ice hockey until I watched the Mighty Ducks movies. When I found out that there was a team called the Ducks, I knew that they were going to be my team. I always skip school so I can watch the Ducks play.
This is dedicated to my brother, Denny Bartlett, who passed away at the age of 58 the summer before the Ducks won the Cup. It was very heartbreaking to have gone thru that season without him, as he was so excited about the Ducks for that season. He started the hockey craze in our family, and we have continued to bring fans into the sport ever since. We were all Kings fans before the Ducks came into the league. He attended every hockey thing that went on with the Ducks since he lived so close.
My son was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 4, and we still have the Wild Wing large doll my brother purchased at one of the functions and had all the team sign it for him. (My son is now 36, considered totally cured.) My brother was in the travel business, mostly taking winter groups to Canada; first Banff, then included Whistler. He played hockey with his Canadian friends in Banff and sold us all on the sport. When he heard about the Ducks coming to Anaheim, he immediately signed up for season seats. We started with 4 seats and loved our eventual move over to 411 now, center ice.
I so remember that first season, as we bought all the Ducks gear we could, especially for our kids at Christmas time. We live in Running Springs and would drive down every game, drop our kids off at grandma and grandpa's in Anaheim and head to the game. Stop and pick them up on the way home, soundly sleeping and head home. Some winter days were tough getting up and down the mountain to the games, but as dedicated fans, that's just what you do. And we are still doing that, except now our kids get to come to games (of course they are paying their own way now).
At playoff times, we would buy as many extra seats as we could. As the families got bigger, more of us wanted to go to the games. We rented a suite one year and ate dinner at Old No. 7 Club for my mom's 70th birthday. She was part of our original, inaugural season seat holders, too. She did get to attend the Stanley Cup Finals games before she passed away. Talk about emotional. I still have some of the confetti from that game. I have photos somewhere of those first days, my mom's b-day in the suite and of my brother. Of course, we are on the inaugural pillar at the Honda Center, and our family puck is up in the Team Store, top row. A wall in my garage is home to many of my Ducks team photos, pennants, flags, articles, hockey sticks, etc.
I distinctly remember the moment in 1992. I was a fan before the team even existed. After watching the Disney movie The Mighty Ducks, I managed to coerce my mom to take me to Target to buy a street hockey stick and ball. In our driveway, I put an orange cooler down sideways to serve as a goal. From then on hockey, and the Ducks, had me.
I was extremely lucky that my mom had the same skills of coercion (perhaps I learned from her). She convinced my father, an avid football fan with no concept of hockey, to purchase two season tickets for the new expansion team that would be playing at the Pond, only a few miles down the street.
I pretty much lost interest in other sports (except skiing) and got some rollerblades so I could start skating. By virtue of hockey, I found a new friend in my neighbor. We would play every day after school, all day on the weekends. Eventually, we both joined a roller hockey league. I remember the holidays that year, and the elation I experienced when I received the gift on the top of my list – a Paul Kariya bumble bee graphite Easton stick.
Not more than a year or two later while going to ski camp in Oregon, a random kid approached me. Apparently he and his father sat a few rows behind me at the Ducks games. It was quite a serendipitous moment. We instantly bonded and ended up winning the camp roller hockey tournament. To this day, we are still best friends and regularly attend Ducks games together.
I have been so fortunate to be present for some of the biggest games in the history of the organization –first-ever game, first playoff game, first playoff win, overtime win against the Devils in the Cup Finals, the Cup victory, Perry’s 50th and countless others. I have stacks of ticket stubs and fowl towels in my closet serving as concrete links to many of these experiences. All of those wonderful moments, and the fact that I have been able to share them with the people close to me, are the how and why I am a Ducks fan and will always be.
Wayne Gretzky coming to Southern California brought the NHL to my attention. It was love at first hat trick. I needed a team to call my own. When Disney announced they were granted a franchise I knew it was meant to be. I was at the first home game, the first playoff game, I took my wife to a Ducks game for our first date and celebrated with my newborn son when the Cup was raised. Now my kids play hockey and we regularly attended Ducks games as a family.
I live in Medicine Hat, Alberta and I am 13 years old. When I was about 7 I started to have an interest in the NHL, but I never had a favourite team. During the playoffs in 2007 I heard of a team called the Anaheim Ducks. I thought to myself, maybe this could be my new favourite team. When I watched their first game it was amazing. The only game I remembered clearly was the final game, when the Ducks beat Ottawa 6-2 at Honda Center. I was filled with joy to see the Ducks lift the Stanley cup over their heads and get their name on hockey’s most important trophy, and my dreams came true. Someday I hope to be a first round draft pick for the Ducks .
Joakim Sebastian "Joey" Welander
My interest in the Ducks and hockey in genaral began in the mid ‘90s when Selanne and Kariya played together with great effect. I was completely sold when I saw them play, and ever since I've been a huge fan of the Ducks. I also started playing roller hockey and later on real hockey. I wanted to be a fast-skating playmaker like Kariya, and I practiced almost every day. Nowadays I watch almost every game the Ducks play and also collect all sorts of Ducks stuff.
I live in Hanko, Finland, so Teemu Selanne is like a god to me. Once I saw him at the HSF restaurant in Hanko, and I waited for him outside to come out. When he came he signed my jersey and a couple of photos. After that he stayed and chatted for about half an hour. It was awesome. He is one of the friendliest and most kind people I've ever met. Thank you Teemu for being the best and friendliest hockey player in the world! When the Ducks played in Helsinki I went there to watch and it was like a dream coming true to see the team play. For several months, I've put some money aside, and on March the 29th I'll take some time off work and travel to Anaheim and stay for 10 days and watch two games (vs. the Oilers and the Jets). I'm really looking forward to it.
On October 8, 1993, a month before my 12th birthday, my dad took me to the inaugural game in "Mighty" Ducks franchise history. I remember it vividly. The crowd was electric. Wild Wing descended from the rafters, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Everything was great (with the exception of the Zamboni-riding, Beetle Juice-looking, Master of Disaster known as "The Ice-Man").
Although the final score wasn't pretty, my heart belonged to the Ducks from that moment on. That game inspired me and many other local kids to join youth hockey leagues here in Orange County.
Watching the team evolve over the years has been so much fun. Steve Rucchin is my all-time favorite Ducks player. I really enjoyed his propensity to get in the trenches and do the dirty work. His series-winning goal against Detroit was my second-favorite memory (right behind the hoisting of Lord Stanley's Cup). Sweeping Detroit out of the playoffs made me think back to that inaugural game when the Red Wings looked invincible. The Ducks had come so far and the best was yet to come!
The current lineup with guys like Getzlaf and Perry, along with the up-and-comers like Vatanen and Etem, ensures me and all other Ducks fans that we are in for a great ride for a long time.
Now, twenty years later, I take my own children to games. I have half-season seats in the same section I sat in with my father as a child. My 11-year old daughter loves coming to games with me. She's a big Teemu fan (which is funny because I was around her age when I became a Teemu fan). My 2-year old daughter enjoys watching the "hockey boys" (her words). Most recently in February 2014, my wife and I welcomed a baby boy to the family. He is destined to be a third-generation Ducks fan as well!
Hockey truly is the greatest game on Earth and the ANAHEIM DUCKS are the greatest team!
Maquivi De La Rosa
I became a Ducks fan the day I was born – June 15, 1993 – all thanks to my father, Maquivi. He was always a sports fan and hockey was on the top of his list. Even till this day he tells me about all the old games I was too young to remember. Then growing up my cousins played hockey, and I was always with them, so I got smothered by not only the hockey culture but the Ducks culture as well. I learned a lot at a young age, then one year at my elementary school, Greenville Fundamental in Santa Ana, they started having fundraising with Ducks tickets. So my dad and I (sometimes my sisters) would all go to the games all the time. It was an amazing experience, and it was nothing like I've seen before. The atmosphere was amazing, and it was the greatest sport I have ever witnessed! Since then I went to a ton of games with my cousin Daniel, since he and my aunt were season ticket holders and she had to work I was able to take her place. I've witnessed the Ducks win their Stanley Cup and I have been with them since the start – every win, loss heartbreak and the occasional lost hat to a beautiful hat trick.
I always knew about the Ducks from the movies and living in Southern California, but I was too young to fully appreciate it. At the beginning of the 2006 season, I was taken to my first game and immediately fell in love. I loved the newer jerseys at the time, the intensity and all the players. I loved our huge guy Pronger, and the clear leadership of Scott Neidermeyer. We ended up winning the Cup that year, which was awesome too. I have been a faithful fan since then in victory and defeat.
First of all, I am a Latvian. One year after Latvian Arturs Irbe and the Canes made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002 (I watched every game in that series), the Mighty Ducks and another Latvian, Sandis Ozolinsh, made the Finals once again. Both times my favorite team lost, and Carolina didn`t impress me that much (not sure why). But Giguere, Ozolinsh, Salei – they all left a big impact for me in those SC Finals in 2003 and I have been a Ducks fan ever since.
I was born in 1993, and I was a Ducks fan before I even knew what the NHL was. I don't remember the exact year because I was too young, but I was around 5 when I watched the Mighty Ducks movie. It was my favourite movie at the time. When my Dad told me it was an actual NHL team, that's when I started paying attention to the NHL Ducks. I've been a huge fan ever since. When I was a kid I actually thought Goldberg was the goalie for the Ducks, Charlie the captain and Bombay was the coach. To this day, my dad laughs at me because of that.
How did I become a fan? It all started with my sister-in-law. She grew up following the Ducks since they started. Her family figured, Why not follow a local Hockey team? Then when she met my brother, she got him into it. About a year ago they moved in with me, and I thought I would be annoyed with them watching hockey all the time. Sure enough I started watching it with them, then they took me to my first game against Minnesota Wild, and the Ducks won. I was hooked. Then I started to just learn more and more about the sport and the players. Now I can't imagine life without hockey and especially the Ducks. So glad that I became a Ducks fan. They are the best kind!
In 2003 my boyfriend (now husband) told me his favorite hockey team was going to the Stanley Cup Final. I had no clue what that was and didn't care much. In 2004, he brought me to an Anaheim Ducks game and I was hooked. I learned everything I could about the sport. And then the lockout happened. I didn't follow any hockey during that time, but once the lockout was over I've been a fan even more ever since.
My adventure started during the summer of 2006. I have a friend who lives in Ottawa, and he decided it was time I learned about hockey. In turn, he was going to learn all about NASCAR, that being my sport of choice. I knew nothing about hockey, yet I’ve lived in LACO my whole life and never followed it. The first thing he told me was I needed to pick a team to follow before the season started. He told me living in California I had 3 choices. Three!!! I knew of 2 but not 3. He told me the obvious choice would be the Kings, the Ducks, and my least likely choice would be the Sharks since they weren’t in the LA area. I told him I would have to think about it, which left him puzzled, considering I knew nothing about any of the teams and figured my easy bet would be the Kings.
A few days later I told him I made my decision, I chose the Ducks. He was really surprised and asked me why. I told him I rarely went on the 110 freeway north but always travelled on the 91 East which leads that direction. Pretty ingenious if you ask me! Well as it turns out I made the choice of a lifetime! That first season of watching the Ducks I learned a lot! Can you imagine…I didn’t even know what the boards were! He never lets me live that one down! I went to 12 games that first season and one game each round of the playoffs and the Finals. The most incredible part of that journey would be that the Ducks, my team of choice, and the Senators, my friend’s team, would meet in the Finals. I don’t know if a better script could have been written! Well, we all know the outcome of the Finals and I am now forever a Ducks fan through all their ups and downs. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. I go to as many games each season as I can, and I couldn't wait for the outdoor game against the Kings! I’m definitely a Ducks fan for life!
I was born in Brasil in 1994, and the Mighty Ducks Disney cartoon debuted in ‘93. I guess I became a fan way before I knew about it. My mom keeps saying I should be born in America because I'm not a real fan of soccer but a huge fan of ice hockey , even with the fact that Brasil ain't the snowiest country in the world and there are no ice rinks at all in here.
When the Ducks signed Paul Kariya, how could I not become a fan?
A friend took me to a pre-season game in 1993 for his birthday when I was 15 years old. I have been hooked ever since!
I'm an Orange County native, but I went to college in San Jose. While there, I became good friends with some of the guys on my school's club hockey team. They were huge NHL fans, of course, and I wanted to be included in their hockey debates. But first I needed to pick my team. I realized I could stick with my hometown Ducks or join my friends and start cheering for the Sharks. It was an easy decision, and I went all in as a Ducks fan. It was a good thing, too, since I got to cheer on my team as they went on to win the Stanley Cup!
I would be lying if I said the movies had no influence in my love for the Ducks. Not only did the movies get me involved with hockey but also the Olympics. It brought on that team motivation that followed me through grade school. I played street hockey with my friends and floor hockey in an after-school club in middle school.
For my 10th birthday I received a Ducks Starter Jacket, a jersey with my last name on it and a puck. My first hockey game was May 10th, 1994, as Caps vs. Penguins playoff game. Did I mention I am an East Coast fan?
Kariya, Selanne and Hebert were the Ducks whose names caught my attention when I first started watching. I even own a Guy Hebert action figure and now a Selanne jersey.
Their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals is saved away in newspaper clippings in a photo album. I cried when we hoisted the Cup the following trip to the Finals. And I finally got to see them play live on home turf when I was in California for a work trip – February 2009 against the Calgary Flames.
When they came back to play the Capitals this season I made sure I was there since this was going to be Selanne's last season.
Being such an avid Ducks fan has even turned my husband into a hockey fan (he's from Chicago but I still love him).
It is hard to tell when I actually became a fan. When the movies came out and the team started in 1993, I was slightly amazed of how the team came together, but had about a 20% interest in the team. When the 2003 Final against the NJ Devils came, my brothers started playing hockey and my interest got to about 40%. My brothers kept playing hockey at the rinks in Anaheim, and as I watched them play, the 2007 Final came and they won the Cup. After that I went to a few games now and then. My interest got bigger and bigger. My brother had gotten me stuff from Disney goals, Ducks shirts etc. I saw myself at Honda Center more often. So I was about a 80% fan by then. But when 2012 came and the Kings had won the Cup, I dedicated myself to the Ducks until this day to bring the Cup back to Anaheim. Now my room is full of Ducks jerseys, posters, t-shirts, hats, Even my car has its own lamp, and I light it when they win.
I always say I have been a fan since the movie. I was always an Emilio Estevez fan but knew nothing about hockey, so when the movie came out I went and saw it. Of course it was good, and I enjoyed it, and I started to find hockey interesting. I was a referee for soccer, so the rules were not too hard to pick up, so I started watching a few games.
Then Disney announced they were going to start a team and call them The Mighty Ducks, I was all in. I watched their first game on the TV and then arranged to take my younger brother and sister to a game. I bought us all a mock jersey from Sears (which I still have) and we went to the game. It was the most amazing experience, and that was from the nosebleed section. I was officially hooked.
Because of my work schedule I was never able to be a season seat holder, but I wanted to be. After that season I watched my first NHL entry draft and watched what would become my favorite all-time player get picked fourth overall. During the lockout I traveled to Utah to see the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks play two times for a total of four games where I met many of the players, including Joffrey Lupul, Shane O'Brien and Dustin Penner and was in Maine for the first game of the Ducks relationship with the Portland Pirates. I have also followed the team and watched them play in Nashville and Columbus and planned to see them in Calgary and Edmonton during the lockout season. I have also had the privilege to meet Steve Rucchin, but it is the tragedy of my life not to have met Paul Kariya. I have pucks commemorating the inaugural season, the playoff run that ended in game seven against New Jersey, the 10-year anniversary the first time they won the Stanley Cup and the 20th anniversary. I was also in Maine at the Portland Pirates when the Cup toured there and was able to see it up close and personal. One last thing is that all my pets are named after former Ducks, a cat named Kariya Lanne (after Paul and Teemu), dogs named Lupul, Penner, Ilya, Fedorov and Belarus (for Ruslan)and even a fish named Fishnevsky.
Back in 1996, my family had season tickets for the Dodgers, and once we moved, the distance just ended up being too much to handle. My parents then thought about changing things up and getting hockey tickets instead, since my dad had always been a Kings fan (back before the Ducks existed). Once our Dodger tickets were gone, he knew that he could choose between the Ducks and Kings. He then realized that the Ducks were much closer to us and made the choice to get Ducks tickets (thank goodness). This was the best decision he could have ever made for our family.
Hockey has become such a huge part of our lives, and we have now been season ticket holders for over 12 years. If it wasn't for my family moving and my dad deciding to choose the Ducks over the Kings, we would not be the die hard Ducks fans that we are today. The Ducks have changed our lives for the better and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Where I grew up in NC, hockey wasn't "the usual." We were all football, all the time. My boyfriend plays local league hockey in PA, and on one of my visits to see him he said he was taking me to a game his cousin was playing. I said sure, but I had never been to one before in my life, all 25 years of it up to then. I told him he'd have to explain the rules and regulations to me so I could understand what was going on. So despite my never ending questions for an hour and a half, I was able to learn a lot. And he didn't mind telling me everything.
Unfortunately, this was a bit of a sticky time to get introduced to ice hockey as this was still during the lockout. But fortunately for me, aside from the local league games, the IIHF World Championships were starting up. Naturally I pulled for Team USA. And so he and I watched it together, him still answering questions I had forgotten the answers to. And one guy that really stood out to me was John Gibson, their goalie. He never let me down when I was watching the games and he helped lead Team USA to gold.
After the tournament was over I was just left rather stumped. What was I going to do now? IIHF was over, NHL was still in lockout. So I started digging around and asking questions, asking my boyfriend, "Where does Gibson go now?" And he told me, he’d probably go back to play for the team he was drafted by. So I started digging around to find out who drafted him, lo and behold, here I am.
So imagine me still being very new to hockey and all hopeful to see Gibson keep playing only to find out he's still running with the Admirals in Norfolk. Much to my disappointment. But it has turned out AMAZING. Gibson not playing yet has allowed me to follow the Ducks for who they are without my favorite player. To learn with them, to grow with them. And I have to say I have been amazed by what I've seen. Such a well-rounded team, with lots of depth, that (usually) keep a cool head on them if the game is on the line. I couldn't be happier to be a Ducks fan. There is also a Duck, who shares my birthday down to the year. So I'll be sending a birthday card out as it gets closer, because that's just too cool! Favorite team, GREAT team and one of my guys has the exact same birthday!! But all in all, it's just amazing to be a Duck and watch as they continually get better with every game they play. Win or lose. They always take something from it, what they did well or how they can do better. KEEP ROCKING IT GUYS!!!!! Stanley is yours this year! Just keep doing what you're doing!
My father and brother have always been really into sports, especially Ducks hockey, but I honestly couldn't have been more disinterested. They have been trying to get me to watch hockey for years, but I just waved them off. For their Christmas presents in 2011, I was able to get them three tickets to a Ducks/Canucks game. I told them to bring my uncle but lo and behold, I got suckered into going with them instead. The minute the Ducks stepped onto the ice, however, I fell in love. I never knew how exciting watching a game live could be. Even though I didn't know many of the rules at the time, I had fun cheering and screaming with my family and the other fans. It was a nice added bonus that the Ducks won that game.
Things just took off from there. I started going to more games (sometimes without my brother and dad!), I did research about the club history and even picked a favorite player (Ryan Getzlaf). The best thing about this whole experience was how amazingly awesome the fanbase is. I was welcomed with open arms and met some pretty great people who I am happy to call my friends now. I'm so proud to be a Ducks fan.
Well first off I’m from Belleville, Ontario, and so here it begins. It all started when I was at a young age I was a Jets fan and my favorite player at the time was Teemu Selanne. Also at that time I was a huge Disney fan (still am)and my favorite movie (and still is) was The Mighty Ducks. In 1993 when Disney brought the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to the NHL I was in love and was sold from there. When Teemu came to Anaheim that sealed the deal.
Paul Kariya was my favorite hockey player when I was younger. I'd only heard of the Ducks through the Disney movie, and then I found out Paul was coming to the Ducks, and I was only 6 or 7. I remember watching the first Ducks game and instantly becoming a fan. I still have my youth small jerseys from when I was a kid. There are still no better linemates than Kariya and Seleanne. Playing hockey I've always worn number 9. I keep tabs on every game, and when the Ducks are in Colorado I always make it. It'd be amazing to go to a game at the Honda Center.
My wife and I have matching Jerseys with our last name on them and the numbers represent our wedding date.
As a big basketball player in high school, I never had much time to pay attention to hockey, but I had occasionally played some NHL 07 on Xbox, and I was always the Ducks when I played because of their killer defensive pair (Niedermayer and Pronger). After I graduated, my friend and I realized we needed to pick teams to root for, so I immediately thought of the Ducks, and with hard-working guys like Getzlaf mixed with up-and-coming stars like Fowler, it made it easy to love them!
Jorge Luiz Cambui Melli
In my childhood I watched a cartoon named 'Mighty Ducks', exhibited in the open TV in Brazil. I always liked this cartoon and it encouraged me to learn how to skate. After many years, I met a guy in university and he was a hockey fan, especially a Rangers fan. And I started to watch hockey with him, and I decided to support Anaheim Ducks. Nowadays I try to not miss any game! I love Ducks and Jonas Hiller!
Growing up in the city of Moreno Valley, hockey was completely unheard of. With both parents being immigrants from Mexicali, soccer was the norm in our household. Me, my sister and my parents would always visit our family back in Mexico at least once a month. In mid-October of 2000, I was in Mexicali with my cousin Francisco in his house playing Nintendo 64. He was eager to show me a new game that he had purchased that very morning – NHL 99. At the young age of 5 years old, I had never even heard of hockey. We inserted the cassette, pressed start and began to play.
We were completely overwhelmed by the action, the hitting, fighting, goals, intensity and excitement all in one game. What more can you ask for in a sport? The next day, we were anxious to find a way to play hockey outside on the front porch concrete. Within minutes of brainstorming through our five-year-old minds, we found ourselves playing hockey with brooms from my grandma’s storage closet and a grapefruit from her large front yard tree. That entire trip to Mexico was spent playing grapefruit hockey and Nintendo all day and night.
Arriving back to Moreno valley after a long four-hour drive that I had slept through, I rushed to my room. I was so happy Francisco had let me borrow NHL 99, and I found myself spending the next few weeks playing the game as soon as I got home from kindergarten until it was time to go to sleep. I always chose to use the team from the city I was born in, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. After a few months, now in the year 2001, skimming through the television, I stopped at the sight of a Mighty Ducks hockey game. I can remember the chills flowing through my body as I recognized each name from the team. This ignited the beginning of a love for the Anaheim Ducks that has only grown ever since.
My parents became fans when the Ducks were first established. We had season tickets while my mom was pregnant with me in 1994-1995. My first game was 3/5/1996 at the age of 8 months. Ever since that, I have been a fan.
We had season tickets in the nose bleed section, and my parents have told me stories that I accidentally vomited on the fans in front of us! Oops!! Guy Hebert, Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Steve Rucchin and J.S. Giguere were my all-time favorite players throughout the years. Selanne is my absolute favorite! I might cry once this season is over and he retires. I was able to attend the once-in-a-lifetime game (for Southern Californians), the Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium. It was the best game I have ever been to! This season I have been to nine games, and I try very hard to attend as many as possible.
I am 20 years old and a diehard Ducks fan living in Chicago, Illinois. I was originally born in Michigan, but I moved here when I was in 3rd grade. My parents are huge Red Wings fans (I know, it’s unfortunate) so my mom decided to go on a Red Wings online message board that was composed of Wings fans from all over the US. One of the fans she met was a lady from SoCal who is Wings fan and a season ticket holder to the Ducks. Since I was younger at the time she would always send me a bunch of Mighty Ducks apparel, many times signed memorabilia.
It was the summer that the Ducks changed from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to the Anaheim Ducks, and while playing NHL 07 I noticed the change of uniform. After leading the NHL 07 Ducks to the Stanley Cup twice that summer I decided I would follow the Ducks that season. That was the year the Ducks won the Cup, and I've been a Ducks fan living in the Midwest ever since. I've been to many Ducks- Hawks games, Ducks- Wings games, and last year on Easter Sunday I even took a road trip to Columbus to see a game. Then, this year my father and I flew in to LA for the Stadium Series game and the Thursday night game at Honda Center, and yes I did make him wear a Ducks jersey both nights.
I was 2 when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim started rocking the Pond (I do have “Rock the Pond” and “Bro Hymn” on my iPod). I would sit with my dad and watch games on TV. It wasn't until I was about 5 I went to my first game. At that game I got a Teemu Selanne puck from the Team Store. It has since been autographed by the Finnish Flash himself. I am currently up to six different Ducks hats, one that my parents gave me in '93 (it's been autographed by players such as Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz, George Parros, Rob and Scott Niedermayer and many others). I have two different Duck calls. I can't tell you my favorite memory is between meeting the Selanne, the Ducks winning the Stanley Cup or riding a Zamboni during an intermission. I'm a Duck now and forever. Even my dogs are.
When Disney brought in Teemu Selanne and had him play on the same line as Paul Kariya, I became an instant fan. Selanne/Kariya remains the greatest winger combo I've ever watched, and I still wear my Kariya jersey. Prior to 1996, I was a hardcore Kings fan since 1968, having grown up in Los Angeles. I am still a fan today of both teams, and I consider them both part of my family, and I still live in LA.
My brother was a huge Kings fan in the ‘90s, but I never really watched them. In fact, I recall thinking hockey was lame and left the room whenever he had the Kings on. I was 13 going on 14 when the Ducks came into the league. To this day I can't remember what it is that got me to watch those first games, but I did. Admittedly, I was a casual fan at first. Missing a game was no big deal, but I'd watch it when I was doing homework. Kariya became an idol and I'd use him, or hockey, for school reports. But then in 1996 my dad got me tickets to a game. It was against the Blackhawks and the Ducks got whomped 5-1 with Kariya scoring the loan goal, but I was hooked. Seeing the game live was like no sport I'd ever experienced in my life. To me, it didn't matter how badly they played. I was sold on the game for life.
After that I went to any fan fest (back when the Ducks still held those) I could afford, I have a jersey covered with autographs, and so much Duck gear I don't know where to put it all. Even moving up to San Francisco for school didn't deter my love for the game and the Ducks.
I was born in Lakewood and never liked the Kings. When the Ducks came into existence in 1993, I fell in love with this team. I loved how our team was the underdog, redheaded stepchild of the league, and I felt like I could really get into this team. Shortly after the Ducks announced their coming into being, my family was relocated to the East Coast. I followed the Ducks as much as I could, but back then, it was much tougher.
I joined the military in 2002, and went to basic training in the winter/spring of 2003. I missed our entire run to the Cup Final, the first in our franchise’s history! My dad would send me newspaper clippings and articles about the Ducks’ phenomenal run, and then toward the end of our training, one of our Drill Sergeants told us that he'd be watching game 6 of the Cup Final, if anyone wanted to join him. It was the first chance for any of us to watch TV since we'd been there! Obviously I was ecstatic.
And we all remember that game, the one where Paul Kariya came back after that hit from Scott Stevens and scored a monstrous goal. Just the other day, the Ducks broadcast looked back at the moment, and I still got shivers down my spine watching Paul score that goal. I've never been so locked into a team, and I'll always love my Ducks. I've not had the chance yet to see a game at Honda Center, but hoping that changes this postseason!
My father played ice hockey in Scotland, and when the family immigrated to Australia, he taught me to skate and play. I loved hockey but went for the no-pad tough Australian sports.
Many years went by, and I ended up in Seattle, where I got season tix to watch the Thunderbirds play. This really had the ice hockey pumping through my veins again. As my life had changes going on, I found myself living in California, and the opportunity came up to go to a Ducks game. I was hooked immediately. The playoffs were about to start, and I bought tickets to all home games. My stepson was about to head off to college overseas, so I introduced him to the Ducks and playoff hockey. He loved it and it was great bonding and memories.
During the offseason the Ducks contacted me about buying season tickets. I ended up buying a 15-game pack, preseason games and many other games as the season has gone on. I bought a Teemu jersey because of him, and my mother in-law is Finnish too. My experience this season has been out of this world. Opening night I was fortunate to get Teemu to sign my jersey, I got selected to go on the ice for $1,000 shootout (lost in a tiebreaker), I’ve gone to a watch party, enjoyed every game, and I’ve been taking my visiting mother-in-law to her first hockey games in 54 years. She's having a blast.
I travel a bit and you will see a picture I took whilst in the Caribbean.
My experience with the Ducks customer service and at games is one of complete fun. The Ducks team and organization are first class. I am happy and love being a Duck.
I am from New Minas, Nova Scotia, so I never really saw any Western teams play a kid. I first noticed the Ducks based on the Mighty Ducks movies, but that is not what made me a fan. I simply could watch TSN in Canada for highlights and just seeing the combination of Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne play so smoothly and have some amazing goals is what drew me in.
Through time, I am able to stay up later to see games on the West Coast, and technology has allowed better access. The 2006-07 season was really special in winning the Cup because they were playing a Canadian team (Ottawa Senators), and I was the only one cheering for the Ducks around here and had bragging rights over friends. That is also the first time I grew a playoff beard, and it seemed to work well and looked pretty decent for a 19-year-old.
I finally got to see my first Ducks games in 2012 at the end of the season against Boston and Edmonton. Ducks staff were really helpful in getting me good tickets. Unfortunately, both of those games were losses. The good news out of this is I got one of the surprise pucks at the last game of the year that led to me getting a team-signed jersey which I got framed as soon as it got to Nova Scotia.
Selanne may be retiring at the end of the year but there are lots of up-and-comers that Ducks fans should enjoy seeing for a long time.
I grew up in Downey, which is in the southeastern part of Los Angeles county near the LA-OC border sandwiched between Los Angeles and Anaheim. I started watching Ducks games when they were known as the Mighty Ducks on KCAL, as I did not have cable back then. I remember wearing my Mighty Ducks shirts to middle school and later there, found out one of the teachers I had was a season ticket holder to games.
My first game happened to be during Christmas period of 1995 when they played the Vancouver Canucks. They didn't win the game, but I was hooked. I still have my old Mighty Ducks whistle that I bought at the game and use it from time to time. I ended up moving out of state in 2002 and became one of the displaced fans. While I unfortunately have not been able to return to my home region on a vacationing basis since 2007, the year the Ducks won the Cup, I still cheer for the team as much as I can and follow them via social media and read as many articles on them via the team website, among other things. Always a fan, always going to wear my shirts, caps, jacket, and jerseys no matter where I go.
Well I was on my way home to Seattle from Disneyland at John Wayne Airport and I just happened to see a Mighty Ducks souvenir stick in one of the shops. I loved it so much that I had to have it to take home. Well as luck would have it, a year later the MD Animated Series came out, and I was a huge follower of the show. So it was cool to know that stick of an NHL team became a cartoon series. But I was a kid so I wasn't as into hockey until the ‘03 Stanley Cup run. Ever since I've been following the game and was so excited for the ‘07 Cup team to win it all, and to have been there when Teemu got his 600th goal.
Simply put, I grew up with the Mighty Ducks movies. As soon as I heard the NHL was to have an actual Mighty Ducks team, I knew right away who my favorite team would be. That’s despite being from upstate NY, and my entire family all being NY Rangers fans. My day in heaven finally came, when I got stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, I made a road trip to finally see the Ducks play on home ice!
I originally started coming to the Pond when the roller hockey team, the Anaheim Bullfrogs, played there. When the Ducks were announced, I bought a mini plan that year. I was hooked from the first game I attended. I've had season tickets for the past 20 years, and I was there the night they won the Stanley Cup.
It took some time to start cheering for a club that is a long way from home, but it started with Olympic 1998 when Teemu scored against Sweden. At that point I started following Ducks on the news and finally last year I was lucky to travel from Sweden to Anaheim to attend five Ducks home games. Since then I have followed the Ducks from NHL Gamecenter live almost every morning at my computer or my mobile phone.
I grew up on Catalina Island and am a very select few of the hockey fans on the island. My dad, when he was my age, grew up going to Ducks and Kings games, so he though taking me to a Long Beach Ice Dogs game would be a perfect way to see if I was possibly interested in hockey like he was. We made the hour-and-a-half boat ride over to Long beach from Catalina and I was amazed the second the game stared. Later that season I went to a Ducks game and a few months later, we hoisted the first Stanley Cup in California!
I was a kid with a bunch of friends who played hockey. I'm 26 right now. Although I never played organized hockey, I did play street ball with my friends every day after school. I really never had a favorite team until I was taken to a Mighty Ducks game with a family friend who has season tickets. Ever since that night I have been hooked on Ducks hockey. I think though the day I became a DUCK-A-MANIAC was in 2007 when the Ducks became the first CALI team to win the Cup. I was lucky enough to be there and watch the game. Plus the Mighty Ducks movies also were an influence. My girlfriend just bought me the trilogy, and I had a movie marathon.