My wife and I became serious hockey (NHL) fanatics about seven years ago. Our favorite winter sport used to be NFL football, but I became exasperated with the inability of anyone to actually interpret the rules of football. Rules that seemed determined based on the star power of the player involved. The most glaring of these oddities was something as simple as what constitutes a good “catch”. No one seems to know and you could watch a hundred “catches” and no matter what you saw, or what the expert tells you on TV, the outcomes are very often different than expected.

I just decided one season to give up on football and take up a new sport, and for some reason, we chose hockey. This despite not knowing any of those rules and it’s been a steep learning curve. We also decided that the only way we would really get into it is if we picked a favorite team to follow and cheer along. Even stranger is that turned out to be the Winnipeg Jets. Now these handful of years later we are die-hard Jets fans!

In fact, we spent a week in Winnipeg in 2018 to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, and to attend two “home” games while we were there. We have since traveled to Nashville and Columbus, Ohio multiple times to watch the Jets play those teams live and in person. And with the NHL TV package we get to watch most of the Jets games live all season long from our television. It’s been a lot of fun to go from zero to “fan” over such a short period.

Tonight the pre-season gets underway for us as our Jets will take on the Edmonton Oilers. The off-season always feels too long and we highly anticipate the start of another new season. Tonight we will be home, in front of the television, cheering for the Jets.

I actually prefer the play-by-play announcing via radio. Listening is available via free streaming from a station in Winnipeg (which is how we follow the few games that are blacked out in our area), but turning down the TV and listening to the radio is maddening as there is a delay between the two. Technical details of long-distance fandom aside, we can’t wait for the puck to drop tonight and the new season to get underway.

Go Jets Go!