Thank you, wrasslin!

Wrestling has never really been the “cool” thing to like, aside from its Attitude Era in the late 90s.

The WWE is looked at by many as nothing but “fake”. And the second you mention wrestling to someone who is not a fan, they’ll make sure to tell you how fake it is as if they think you’re clueless to the scripted nature of the WWE (and wrestling in general).

But what else is scripted? The shows you binge on netflix, the movie series you obsess over. There truly is no reason why those types of programs are acceptable but watching wrestling gets one so judged.

It is World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT. We watch to feel entertained and to get that same addicted feeling that comes from watching your favorite TV show.

The difference with my favorite TV program is that it features men and women putting their bodies and honestly, their lives, on the line to make fans feel entertained. And those fans are the sold out crowds and millions of viewers around the world.

Scripted? Yes. Fake? No. The injuries are real and the moves are real as well, even if the impact on one’s opponent isn’t always real.

I grew up with wrestling and it got me through tough teenage years.

But now as a 23 year old adult it means more than it ever has. It unites me with family members, it unites me with friends, it unites me with people on the internet that I don’t even know.

It is also a much needed escape from reality in the same way that shows, movies, books, and sports are an escape for stressed out adults.

I am proud to say that I am extremely thankful for wrestling or “wrasslin'” if you will. I watch every Monday that I can, I watch the monthly specials, I watch the WWE’s own version of Netflix, I’m also currently reading an autobiography of one of the greatest wrestling legends.

My brother loves it, my boyfriend and his sister and brother in law love it, I have friends who love it, and I follow people on twitter just because they love it.

Wrestling has become way more than some scripted show for me. And while it’s annoying that people find the need to bash it or poke fun, that no longer stops me from letting everyone know how much I love it.

I can’t wait to buy one of WWE’s latest tshirts for one of the biggest superstars in the industry (AJ Styles) and wear it proudly!

Love what you love and never feel shame. I love wrestling and there’s no reason for me to let critics take it away from me.


So, I like a weird team… It could be worse!

Let me preface this by saying that there is absolutely no Philly sports team that I hate or even dislike. I may not care if the Eagles win each week (other than for wanting my boyfriend to be happy), but that does not mean that I want them to lose. I like who I like, but I’m never disrespectful about it.

I have no good reason for why I originally became an Arizona Cardinals fan other than the fact that I simply loved everything about Larry Fitzgerald. But that does not mean my being a Cards fan will end when he retires or would have ended if he had gotten traded in the past. It started with Fitz, but has turned into so much more. It’s the Cards first and favorite players second. Heck, the jersey I plan on wearing this coming Sunday isn’t even number eleven. It’s one of my other favorites, Calais Campbell.

I have never had a favorite team before the Cards, and I won’t have another one. This isn’t me just following a division leading team. I’m not jumping on a bandwagon here and do not switch teams. Just like I’ll always be a Flyers fan, I’ll always be a Cards fan.

There are way worse things that I could do instead of merely loving a football team that’s not the team in the city that I live in and have always lived in. But yet, people still think, somehow, that it’s disrespectful.

It is 100% true that you should never have to explain to others why you like something so much or why you are the way that you are. You should always be you and be proud. We like what we like, and if we are happy and aren’t hurting anyone, it shouldn’t matter.

But when someone says that what you like does not go along with how things are “supposed to” work, it’s insulting. You feel like you have to explain yourself.

I’ll admit… if you go through my FB history prior to the fall of 2011, you’ll see nothing about the Cards anywhere. But you also won’t see me claiming to be a fan of any other NFL team. What started to really bring out the Cards fan in me was my relationship with Dan because I stopped being a one sport (hockey) girl and began to follow the NFL closer.

But keep in mind: the Cards were not a playoff team during my time as a serious fan until just last season. I suffered through some awful QBs and frustrating trade rumors. Heck, our third string had to start in the playoffs this past January.

Being a sports fan is about going through ups and downs, being passionate, and having unconditional love for a team that you can’t control at all. If you do all that, then who is anyone to try and tell you you’re wrong?

Always, always, always be you and do what makes you happy.

I am an Arizona Cardinals fan, and that’s just who I am.

Hockeyville is a Symbol for the Whole Hockey Community

Last night was Johnstown, Pennsylvania’s time to shine as the first Hockeyville USA location. The atmosphere was wonderful and the excitement of all the fans in attendance was very clear to see. It was a preseason game, and not all the stars played, but everything seemed to go just perfectly.

This all got me thinking. The Kraft Hockeyville competition is the perfect symbol of the game of hockey all around the United States.

Think about it for a second. How many true hockey fans do you know outside of twitter and the online community? Maybe there’s a few fans you’ve run into at school or work, but the occurrences are certainly nothing like finding football fans. NFL jerseys are worn all over, almost everyone you know plays fantasy football, and you can probably guess how most of your friends are spending their Sundays during football season.

But hockey fans are a special breed. Personally, I did not have any hockey friends until social media and blogging became a part of my life eight years ago. Now I’ve found my community. I can go on twitter any time of day and year and I will see hockey tweets.

Unfortunately, many of us hockey fans have an inferiority complex because of this. We get upset when our sport is ignored on ESPN, when NHL apparel is hard to find in stores, and when the mainstream media considers hockey something that only Canadians care about. We’ll make a point to brag about why our athletes are tougher and our trophies are better. The constant need to defend being hockey fans and the sport of hockey in general is seen so often.

However, the way I look at this after a little epiphany last night reflects something different. For starters, who cares if a lot of people don’t love what you love? Do you enjoy hockey? Does it make you happy? Then don’t worry about what attention it gets. You’re giving it your attention and that’s what matters. Now, this specific epiphany came while reading a motivational book last night but the second epiphany ties into this thanks to the Hockeyville game I had the pleasure of tuning into last night.

Hockey is a community. Us as NHL fans are like the population of a small town. We bump heads over everything because we all like to think we know what’s best for the community and what goes on in it… (Fighting so much over what players can be your favorite, etc.)

But what we should spend more time doing is bonding over our uniqueness and small population. Of course growing the game is huge and I would love to see the NHL get more national attention. But for right now, I am thankful for the community that we are in. We all have been thinking about October getting here and it is just one day away. We watch any game that’s on tv even if it’s a preseason season game starring two teams that we don’t even like. Many of us blog about our opinions. We own shirseys and jerseys of so many players and teams. We are obsessed with any hockey movie. We tailgate the NHL draft. We’re such a crazy bunch, and it can all be seen in our passion on twitter.

I LOVE football, but I feel like people put their favorite team and their fantasy teams as priority. In hockey, I notice that I will watch any game and do that 7 days a week if possible. There’s just something different, and it is why despite my NFL team being 3-0, all I can think about this week is hockey.

I am so thankful to be a part of this small-town community that is being a hockey fan in the United States. Many of us take it for granted and get upset because of it, but it truly is one of my favorite things about the sport of hockey.

Kimmo’s Farewell Tour

It almost didn’t happen.

Leg and lung blood clots almost ended Kimmo Timonen’s career before he was ready. While we all knew this season would probably be his last, we didn’t expect a serious health scare to almost eliminate him having a final season on his own terms. Now things are starting to come together and it is looking like Saturday will mark the beginning of Kimmo’s farewell tour.

Kimmo even said himself that next season is not an option. So this is really it.

There is just one lingering question that remains: Is Saturday enough to spark some interest for teams who are looking to add a final piece to begin a run at the Cup? We of course won’t be able to answer this until the deadline passes on Monday.

But one thing is for certain. If Kimmo is not traded, we have at most 20 more games to enjoy this perfect Finn’s career.

He gave us ASG appearances, blocked shots, Olympic medals (for his home country of Finland of course), power play control, leadership, the best dry humor, sacrifice, and heart and dedication. I think we can safely say that Kimmo Timonen will go down as one of the best defensemen in Flyers history.

Personally I am crossing my fingers for a trade. This may seem crazy because I am such a huge Flyers fan and love Kimmo playing for my favorite team.  But Kimmo is a guy that you absolutely want to see win a Stanley Cup. Ask fans around the league and they will tell you how much they like him. It seems impossible to dislike him.

Whatever happens, I am going to enjoy every single game that Kimmo plays in. It doesn’t matter to me how effective he can be or how awful this Flyers team is.

It is hard to describe what a favorite player can mean to you. No one will every replace Kimmo Timonen as my favorite Flyer of all time. He will always be my guy. I got to see him play for the Flyers my 4 years of high school as I grew and changed as a person, and now I am about to be graduating college and he is still a huge part of me. Sound weird? Think of your favorite player of all time: Lindros, Modano, Selanne, whoever. I’m sure he means the same thing to you.

So let it begin. Kimmo Timonen’s career is almost over. We can finally say that for a fact. And it is so nice for him to get this mini farewell tour after almost having his season end without his discretion.

I urge you all to take this all in. We may have just one more game of Kimmo Timonen as a Philadelphia Flyer, but we also might have one more push for a Stanley Cup for Kimmo.

Here’s to him! I know he will make us all proud and already has with his determination to return. Kimmo is a special type of player that does not come around very often. Enjoying the little bit of his career that he has left is going to bring on countless emotions. But I am ecstatic beyond belief to get it started.

**preps tissues, shirsey, and jersey for Saturday’s game**

Go Kimmo Go!

Just Give Me an Entertaining Team

imageThe Philadelphia Flyers have just 9 wins in 27 games. Offense is a struggle, defense is a struggle, and special teams are a struggle. It is honestly impossible to come up with something good to say about this 2014-15 team.

But are all of the negatives the reason I keep wanting to skip out on watching games this season? Am I so spoiled that I can’t handle watching a poor team?

This is the question that confuses me.

During the 2006-07 Flyers season where the team had its worst record ever and finished dead last in the league, I attended my first ever Flyers game and had a blast despite how awful the roster of players was that year.

So why was it so easy for me to enjoy the team 8 years ago, but not now?

I believe there is a reason that has nothing to do with being spoiled by so many playoff teams.

No matter what you tell me, a team with Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier, and Wayne Simmonds should not suck this much. And if this team does indeed suck, these forwards should at least make them fun to watch. I said the same thing last season when the team struggled. I understand the importance of defense, but the fact that the offense is not producing either is why it’s so frustrating. This team is capable of scoring no matter what the coach does. Chemistry is important but it hasn’t stopped Jake. So why is it stopping the others? It’s almost like no one cares. The passion isn’t there. The games have become so boring to watch. Even bad teams can be interesting if they’re trying. This team is a total snooze fest.

I don’t want to be accused of being a fan who only watches and supports winning teams. I am a huge AZ Cardinals fan and have supported the team so much despite not seeing the playoffs in years. I can handle that. The team plays with passion. The team battles through every obstacle thrown its way.

All I want is for my feelings to change, and I don’t think they can with the way that the Flyers are disappointing. I want a great draft pick at this point (Eichel please!) and I honestly don’t even want to make the playoffs. But don’t get this confused with me wanting the team to tank. I want to see passion and effort that has not been there yet. If this team truly does suck despite all of the talented players that I mentioned, at least play some interesting hockey.

In a couple weeks, the day after Christmas marks the start of the WJC’s. I will certainly be watching all of the games and obsessing over how entertaining the tournament will be. I imagine I’ll also be picking any WJC game over any Flyers game that competes with it. I want entertaining hockey, I want passion.

Right now while the Philadelphia Flyers are playing like a bad team, that is the least of my worries. It’s all about the lack of entertainment. Even the Edmonton Oilers can be fun to watch. There’s just something about this team that upsets me and leaves me hanging. Don’t confuse me with wanting a division leader, all I want more than anything from this team is character, passion, and effort. Go out there and play like you enjoy doing it. I don’t expect towing gritty 1-0 or 2-1 games, but I do expect to be a team that can win those wild 5-4 games solely because our group of forwards is too talented not to do so.

Following Favorite Players

ImageWhile I have no rooting interest in the Chicago LA series and don’t dislike either team right now, the games have become unbearable to follow on social media. All you see is complaining about the Kings being called Flyers west by media and fans. Personally all I see is the complaining and not the actual Flyers west comments. But the complaining is just as annoying. Granted, those people have every right to be annoyed, but I personally do not get the big deal.

My current favorite NHL’ers are:
Kimmo Timonen
James van Riemsdyk
Mikael Granlund

You better believe that I will follow those three no matter where their careers go. Timonen is easy because he said he will only come back next season if it’s with the Flyers. But I make it a point to watch Leafs games when I can to watch JVR work his magic. And I will always root for the Wild in the west because I just love Granlund so much.

Of course I would love to see all three hoist a Stanley Cup. The Flyers will always come first, but those three are very important to me. I don’t care who they go on to play for, I will cheer them on like crazy.

Many Flyers fans loved Richards, Carter, and even Williams. So why shouldn’t they have every right to root for those guys to have success both individually and with their team?

Picture your favorite player. Does he play for your favorite team? If so, think of one you love who does not. I guarantee that the idea of him hoisting the Stanley Cup would make you so happy and proud.

So why aren’t Flyers fans allowed to root for the Kings? It’s just silly to act like they can’t.

Personally I love Brown and Quick for the Kings and Kane and HOSSA for the Hawks so it cancels out and I don’t care who wins. But if Timonen, JVR, or Granlund ever played for the Kings, they would put them over for me and I’d really be rooting for the Kings as long as they aren’t playing the Flyers.

I do not necessarily agree with having a second favorite team if you put that team ahead of your favorite team at any time. But I’m all for finding a strong rooting interest for a team with a player or players you really love on that team. Sports are a passion of mine and when I find players I have a passion to watch and root for, I am going to hope for all the success in the world for those players.

Please Excuse My Obsession, I Just Rediscovered My Passion

habsTwo years ago the Stanley Cup Playoffs were not fun for me. I resented at least 5 teams for the dumbest of dumb reasons. Let’s just say that I was adjusting to being in my first and current relationship. I was feeling out his friends and figuring out why he liked certain things that I did. His friendships with fans of numerous other teams were very strong. There is of course nothing wrong with that which I now know. But I was new and they had been around and had been through a lot with him before I ever came along. I had the wrong impression that my duty was to compete with them for his attention. But I now know that I should have been trying to get to know his friends and hope that they could someday be my friends too.

I was an immature 19 year old girl who knew nothing about relationships.

Thankfully two years later I no longer feel that way. I want to make up for lost times of getting to know Dan’s hockey friends and make up for lost times of not watching hockey games because of feelings of resentment, competition, and jealousy.

And on to the positives!

I am completely and totally swept up in an obsession with the Stanley Cup playoffs right now. I have watched at least parts of every game so far. It is all I think about lately. It’s just so good to be back.

I am thankful that I am able to watch this much hockey. Easter break helped and so does this semester of college coming close to an end.

I just can’t say enough about how passionate I am about the sport again. It has nothing to do with the Flyers either. They are just a bonus that makes me even happier than I already am. I know that I come off as a weirdo to family and some friends when all I have been doing for about a week is watching every hockey game on tv, but life is about doing what makes YOU happy.

I have a lot of regrets about how I treated hockey the past two years. I wish I could get the two years back because being miserable and grumpy about certain teams winning or being rooted for was just so immature and pathetic. How could I even think that way? Now I’m just grateful that I snapped out of it. I can watch all the games I want without feeling bitterness. I have rooting interests in some of the series, but they’re for normal reasons such as actually rivalries and wanting players I like to win or new teams to win.

Having something you are passionate about is very important. For me it has been hockey for 11 years now. I should have never abandoned that. I was dumb and deleted a twitter I had a lot of friends with so I could secretly not follow people I thought I was in competition with. I missed out on games. And I ruined games that I did watch.

But I should not dwell on the past and past regrets. I am back and that is all that matters. So please excuse my obsession! I will be tweeting every game I tune into. I will be posting selfies in all my hockey apparel. I will opt to stay home so I can watch hockey instead. I will sacrifice sleep and maybe some studying too. I will remember why I loved this wonderful game to begin with. I have rediscovered my passion for the sport of hockey and going all in during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. There’s no turning back now. This is who I am and I am absolutely ecstatic that I have found myself again.