We had so much fun last Saturday! As a family, we attended the Dallas Stars 2008 Icebreaker event at the Galleria. Not only are the Stars the first sports team that we've ever really gotten into as a family, but it's the only time I've ever heard of a professional sports team being so accessible. They really are very fan-friendly (as is apparent by the photo here Naomi had taken with her favorite player, Goalie Marty Turco).
The kids has fun ice skating as well. However, the main thrill was meeting players and having them sign our jerseys. We met Left Wing Steve Ott, who is essentially the reason why hockey first caught our interest. If you have an uncommon last name, seeing it on the back of a professional jersey can be intriguing. Anyway, all of the players were respectful, nice, good humored and very open to helping fans have a good experience. We met Ralph Strangis, who announces the games on the radio, who also gave us vouchers for free tickets to a pre-season game (we're going on Sept 25th).
In the end, I can't just be a typical sports fan who enjoys the athlete's efforts from afar. These men are not mere players; they're people. For this reason, I enjoy (and seek opportunities for this) interacting with such players personally. If I'm going to enjoy, and be inspired by, their exploits on the ice, it follows that I would also want to shake their hand and offer personal contact back to them. The 2008 Icebreaker was great because of the personal contact. It's great to be a hockey fan.