We’ll see you at the Digital Zone
Being one of those people who is probably too honest for her own good, I’m not going to lie. The lockout really upset me. I was mad. Beside myself mad. I was at the point where I was hoping they’d just write off the whole season and let me get on with my life. BUT, being who I am and how big of a fan I am… of course I was first in line to get my tickets to opening night! I couldn’t WAIT to get back to The Rock!
Which brings me to the point of this post. The truth of the matter is- I wasn’t mad about the lockout because I couldn’t watch my favorite hockey team. I missed my friends. I missed all the staff members I have become friendly with over the years. Hockey, especially Devils hockey, is about so much more to me than watching a game.
Through the use of social media, I started talking to so many people. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t. However, we have one big thing in common: The Devils are OUR team! Through the Devils, we had something in common that got the conversations started. Later on, we would continue talking about ourselves and our other interests. We found out that we had so much more in common than just hockey.
Eventually, I got brave and started arranging to meet people face to face (in public, at the games of course!) that I had spoken to online. After I met one person, they introduced me to more. I made a few more friends on Facebook/Twitter. We met in person. I met THEIR friends… and it just continued! At one point, I think I spent more time running around the arena trying to find everyone than I did actually watching the game (and as much as I adore my friends, I DO want to watch the game!)
Then it dawned on me… why not meet in one place? So, I started arranging to meet everyone in the Digital Zone during the first intermission. Occasionally, I would make a Facebook “Event” for special games or when I knew someone was visiting from another country, or had a special event and said they wanted to meet other Devils fans. Then the photo taking became a tradition… and it has just grown! The crowd started at about 10 or so people… then grew to 20… then 40… by the season’s close last year we had over 50 people in our photograph, and many more that were not pictured! (and this is the short story!)
Then we had the lockout. Instead of opening night in October, we had no hockey. I was so sad. I missed everyone so much. Then the lockout ENDED. I got my tickets. And I sat around wondering what was missing… so I made an event. Within 30 seconds, 20 RSVPs. Then 30… 40… within a day or two, 50… 60… 70… I honestly cried I was so happy and so excited to see that my friends missed me as much as I had missed them.
On game day, I do believe we had over 80 people in our first intermission photo. There were so many people, the whole group didn’t fit in a single photograph. Some people are hidden in the crowd! It was a wonderfully chaotic moment filled with hugs and laughter, handshakes, and introductions. Some of us were re-uniting, and others of us meeting for the very first time.
Since the people and the friendships have become the best part of the ENTIRE experience as a fan for me, I have always done my very best to bring the same to others. It is my mission to bring as many fans together as I possibly can. I want us all to be a family, and all fans new and old to be able to make as many friendships and lasting memories as humanly possible.
I’m not able to attend every single game, but I hope to bring the very best of myself to every game I CAN attend. I hope to start a tradition that continues, so that every Devils fan knows that they can count on that person in the Devils sweater to stand by their side. Even if it’s only for the night, even if it’s only during the game, that one moment brings us all together. For some of us, perhaps the connection can become so much more! I have made some of the very best friends I’ve ever had from these meetings at the Devils games. I can’t think of a greater feeling in the world than being able to bring that experience to somebody else.
Posted on February 4, 2013, in Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, The Rock and tagged Devils Army, Devils Army Generals, Digital Zone, Fans, New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, The Rock. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.