Women Hockey Fans: Kiwirazzi

Meet @kiwirazzi!

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How Did You Get Into Hockey?
I was still a little kid when I first heard about hockey, have liked it on and off since, got fully obsessed with it in the mid-late 90s, because I was a sportsnut, anyway, and learning about the US leagues as well. Being that I am from Germany and had no internet until 1999, let alone pay TV, it wasn’t easy, but at least I got a weekly run-down on the NHL on a German sports channel. When I moved here to Berlin, I got hooked on it for good and there’s no looking back anymore 🙂

What is your favorite/least favorite part about the sport?
My favorite is the passion, the speed, the adrenaline, the rivalries – I cannot really put it into words, it is just such an amazing sport to watch. My least favorite is that the NHL hates us so much that we got regular, game deciding goals disallowed and that they decided to troll us and sent us to L.A. for the Kings’ opening night. 😉

Do you follow any other sports?
Way too many! Soccer first and foremost (my late Dad was a coach, albeit on amateur level), American Football (NCAA and NFL), swimming, MotoGP, handball (you might know this from the Olympics), basketball (NBA and NCAA), …

Are you strictly an NHL fan or do you follow other leagues?
Mostly NHL, but, as I have mentioned, I am from Germany, so I of course follow the German league DEL including sometimes attending games here in Berlin (not a fan of the local team, though!)

What is/are your favorite team(s)?
SAN JOSE SHARKS (including AHL affiliate Worcester). Soft spot for Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. Outside the NHL, I like Cologne. Thing is, Cologne was the first hockey team I had ever heard of, and I was a VERY little kid back then. I have followed them on and off for years, and well, their full name is Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks), they paved the way for my love for the San Jose Sharks.

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Do you have a favorite player?
My Hockey Boyfriend! Well, James Sheppard. I just admire his story, and love that the Sharks gave him a chance again. The career threatening knee injury he obtained while being with the Wild, and then being traded to us. He fought against the odds and while he may not be the most dangerous player in front of the goal, I truly admire how he never gave up but came back and is still playing hockey at a professional level. 🙂 (I basically love the entire Sharks team, though, because hilarious people.)

Do you follow/use/analyze with advanced stats?
Not really, I haven’t really had time yet to dedicate myself to that kind of thing, but you never know!

Do you have a favorite hockey memory?
When my Mom spontaneously decided to come with me to the Play Off finals over here between Berlin and Cologne. I wanted to get a ticket,  but had forgotten that she was coming that day when the game took place, so she asked if there were also reductions on tickets for retired people (she’s over 60), and I said yes. And she was like, “Well, then, buy a ticket for me as well and we’ll go together.” Cologne won that game 3-1, but eventually lost the series. However, I am still amused that my Mom decided to be cool about it and come with me to a game. Of course she was really impressed when I told her, “Cologne’s head coach, btw, is Uwe Krupp. He once won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.” First goal scorer for Cologne was a certain Marco Sturm: “Mom, this guy used to play in the NHL, also for my favorite team there, San Jose.” Her facial expressions were PRICELESS. (Uwe Krupp, however, got dismissed recently.)

If you could change one thing about how NHL hockey is played, what would it be?
The only thing I’d really LOVE to happen is that, aside from the Stadium Series, the NHL could do pre-season games overseas again (if I remember correctly they used to have something like that some years ago), or maybe pull something like the NFL does and play some regular season games overseas as well. I know, it’s a shitload of organization and logistics and yadda yadda, but it could be fun! Moreover, our ice rinks over here are bigger in size than the NHL ones, so this could be also interesting defense- and offense-wise.

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by men- either on social media or at games/bars?
They’re pretty cool about it, tbh. Since I am a huge sports nut, anyway, they mostly are impressed that a girl knows her shit. I recently went to watch a Patriots game with some others, and while all of them were long-time Pats fans, I only got into them earlier this year, but it was *ME* who without as much as batting an eyelid could tell Tom Brady’s full name. They were all like “Wow, you’re good.”

How has your presence been welcomed (or not) by women- either on social media or at games/bars?
Basically the same, most of them appreciate if there are other female fans.

If you interact with other hockey fans on social media, what are your favorite and least favorite parts?
The banter before and during games. It can be pretty funny, even if most of my hockey friends on Twitter follow other teams and aren’t particularly fond of the Sharks. But we pretty much all dislike the Kings and the Red Wings, so it’s all good. 🙂 Least favorite part was when once someone trolled me because I am a Sharks fan and told me I (and all other SJS fans) suck as much as the franchise. *yawn* Didn’t reply, though!

Is there anything else you want to share on your thoughts on hockey?
ICECOLD PASSION! No seriously, I love this game, and even if I live thousands of miles away from San Jose, I get excited every year come fall and the NHL season rolls around. While I cannot watch a lot of games due to the time difference between Germany and the US, I do keep up with my Sharks, mostly via Twitter or the Sharks official app. And yes, the games can affect my mood in a certain way. I remember walking into the office like a boss when we trolled the Kings in their opening night and banner raising ceremony because we had won in a shut-out. HAHA, IN YOUR FACE! Just like when I watch soccer (either in the stadium or via stream), I can get pretty unladylike on Twitter, but I love it. It helps me forgetting all the hassle and b/s I face every day, and I can “let it out”, so to speak.
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