I know I’m a few days late on this, but I’ll put my thoughts down anyway…..
I’ve been a hockey fan since I was 11 which, for a kid from Houston living in Austin, that’s young. My brother got me into it. He was a HUGE Red Wings fan. So when I started to watch the game I picked my favorite team for two reasons - one, they were the only team in Texas and two, because they were a huge rival to the Red Wings….. but we’ll leave that last part out for now. I started watching the Stars and, instantly, like most people that watched the team they fell in love with an engaging player that just made the game seem….. effortless. He just made it look easy. Flying down the ice with his number waving off his back like a flag flying in the wind.
Fact is Mike Modano made an 11 year old Texan fall in love with a game that most people wouldn’t think he’d fall in love with. Texas kids should be out playing football or baseball. But even when I played little league baseball I only wanted the number 5 (Jeff Bagwell) or 9 for my jersey. And when I got home from little league practice or school I’d lace up my roller blades, grab my Easton stick, put my pvc pipe net in the street, and fly around like I was Mike.
Jump ahead 14 years and I’m now 25 and watching one of my heroes retire. I’ve been through this once watching Jeff Bagwell retire. But Jeff was different. I love the Astros, I’m from Houston. But I got in to baseball really because my Dad is a baseball fan. He took me to games in the Astrodome all the time. Hockey was my thing. My brother got me into it, yes, but it was my deal. It was my love. And, as he was the face of the Stars, he was the face of that love.
Thanks for everything, Mike. From that 11 year old boy and this 25 year old man that’s playing atleast 2 hockey games a week as a goalie and sitting here getting twitter updates about the presason while he patiently waits for October 7th - Thank you.