Anaheim Ducks Fan Stories: I’ve Been Here Since Day One

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Todd Fedoruk #29 of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks looks to pass the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during their NHL game on November 3, 2005 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Ducks 4-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Todd Fedoruk #29 of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks looks to pass the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during their NHL game on November 3, 2005 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Ducks 4-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

**Editors Note** I would like to introduce you to our newest contributor at Pucks of a Feather, Michael Brenner. Michael’s passion for the Anaheim Ducks, his knowledge of the sport, as well as his innovative storytelling, makes him a perfect fit for this team. I hope you enjoy his first article and many more to come.

Hello, My name is Michael Brenner and I am an Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks fan. The Anaheim Ducks have been the majority shareholder of my sports attention for the past 15 seasons. I’ve chosen to write for Pucks of a Feather because I wish to share not only my opinions but share the opinions of other Ducks fans as well. We are in the golden years of Ducks hockey and I can’t help but think that this is a defining season for the franchise and where they are headed.

For me, being an Anaheim Ducks fan happened naturally. I grew up in Brea and my family moved to Huntington Beach when I was five. With my parents being from Pittsburgh, my early years were filled with Penguins hockey, but we were Angels fans. I still carry a polaroid of Reggie Jackson holding me as a baby.

So, let me digress to May of 1993, 4th or 5th grade, I can’t really remember. My first memory of ever mentioning the Mighty Ducks happened when I was out of on the playground. My friends and I were discussing the Kings, Wayne Gretzky, the Stanley Cup, etc. It was cool that Gretzky was here, just a short drive up the  405 freeway. On the other hand, the word was out we were getting our own team. Who needs the Kings?

Growing up with the Mighty Ducks

My dad purchased season tickets for the inaugural season, upper 3rd or so row, just behind the blue line. It awesome watching Wild Wing drop in from the rafters. Stu Grimson was always fighting, fans still cursing without fear of a millennial parent getting security.

This is was what I always envisioned games like. Grown men with a beer yelling obscenities at whatever. Oh, the quackers were the glorious icing on everything. Getting to toot that Duck Caller was a child’s dream come true.

Well, that is where the fun ended. I grew older and less interested in hanging with my parents. I didn’t want to go all the games. I saw plenty but I wasn’t beating down doors to get every game with them.

Ducks fandom was on hold and we had moved to New Hampshire where I finished high school. I even had a Bruins jersey… and a Red Sox jersey. Pedro Martinez is still my favorite pitcher of all time and I still have my jersey; I wore it the other day. How it still fits is beside me.

Regardless of my infidelity, I still checked on the Anaheim Ducks in the standings and wondered if they would make the playoffs. Here is where we get to what you all want to hear. My fanatical devotion to the team. We had moved back to California. Ventura which isn’t exactly a hockey fan hotbed.

The Return

Back in Cali, something drew me back to watching the Anaheim Ducks during the 2002 season. I mean they were good, then we got Rob Niedermayer and Sandis Ozolinsh and went on a run. It was inspiring hockey. All the grittiness that the team always displayed with a little star power and getting jiggy with Giguere.

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The franchise, in my humble opinion, took that leap into what all great franchises do at some point. Beat the bully on the block. Sweeping the Wings was incredible, watching the 5 OT game with Sykora’s goal was even better.

Getting to go to Game 3 of the Western Conference finals was the point of no return, this relationship was for real. I later returned for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals and witnessed what I adamantly argue is the greatest goal ever scored by a Duck. Sure, Selanne’s OT game-winner was great years later.

This goal, however, was magical. Whiteout at the pond, fans going nuts, Paul Kariya gets knocked out, comes back on the ice, and from the last row in the pond, you could see that shot as clear as day. The place went into a frenzy and it became etched in time as one of the greatest sports moments.

Since then I’ve done everything a fanatic would do. I’ve taken a day off to pretend I was in Calgary for a playoff game, even had friends and neighbors pretend to be opposing fans. I’ve flown last minute from all over the country to catch a game. I have forced my vacations to revolve around playoff games whether attending or watching on TV.

I now have my wife and two children that make all the fun things of being a fan harder. Nevertheless, I continue to plan hopeful trips to watch them play live.

My Favorite Anaheim Ducks Fan Experience

On one final note, my favorite night as was with my fellow Duck fan Joe, after the Ducks thrashed the Av’s in ’05. Getting under the skin of Av’s players after the game, meeting Jeff Friesen with his parents, and John Ahlers was at JT Schmid’s. Then we were walking back to our car at the Pond.

As we turn the corner, bright lights everywhere, was the legend, Teemu Selanne being interviewed but accessible. We didn’t ask for pictures or autographs that night. Just a simple handshake. We shouted his name all the way back to the car in euphoria. The rest of the night’s debauchery is for another time.

The Evolution of Paul Kariya. dark. Next

Thank you for taking the time to read my first article, and I look forward to sharing our passion for the Anaheim Ducks!