Posted by: analeeharriman | June 21, 2011

Baby Pucker: A Definition & Introduction

Hello, citizens of Adventures in Pucking!  My name is Analee Harriman, and I am what some people (namely myself) might call a “baby pucker.”

What does this possibly-obscene-sounding-if-you-read-it-wrong term mean, you ask?  Well, I’ll explain it to you, straight from the “Terms that Analee Made Up While Getting Ready For Water Aerobics Dictionary.”

Now available in stores!

A baby pucker is one of the following:

  1. One who is a new member of the hockey fandom
  2. One who was once a member of the hockey fandom, but for one reason or another left fandom and is now trying to return to said fandom

I fall under the second definition.  Some clarification, though, before we continue: there is no set time limit between becoming a baby pucker and becoming a fan.  A baby pucker can become a fan at any time they want.  If the baby pucker in question determines that they know enough about the game to become a fan, then they are a fan.  If the baby pucker chooses to just call themselves a fan and skip the baby pucker stage entirely, then they are a fan.  The decision to even be known as a baby pucker is up to the person in question.  Too long, didn’t read version: it’s all up to you whether or not you want to use this term to describe you as a hockey fan.

Now that the term has been defined and clarified, allow me to present my hockey credentials.  Because despite being out of fandom for years, I actually do still have them.  I found them under my Beatles CDs and my floppy disks the other day.

These are floppy disks, because there may be folks out there too young to know what these are. Oh God.

I live about an hour and a half drive from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and have for the last 22 years of my life.  When I was in 6th grade, my family discovered by accident that the Pittsburgh oldies station of choice for our family played Penguins games on some nights.  We found this out one night when, on a drive home from dinner, we had 94.5 3WS playing, and suddenly it stopped playing music and started playing a hockey game.  I was annoyed at first, but after a few times, I actually started looking forward to hearing the games.  That was back when Phil Bourque (he of the “Let’s see if the Stanley Cup will float in Mario’s pool!” incident.  Spoiler alert: it didn’t float) and Paul Steigerwald were the commentators for the games; I have no idea if they are still the commentators for the Penguins game, since the games are no longer broadcast on 3WS.

I stopped listening to the games shortly before starting technical college, because I didn’t bring my radio with me and I had a lot of trouble trying to find the station after they moved the game broadcasts.  So I’m estimating I was a fan from about 1999-2006.  I remember when Mario returned to the ice.  I remember when we got Ryan Malone and Marc-Andre Fleury.  I remember when Fleury was sent to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (affectionately known as the “Baby Penguins”).  I remember the mess that was Jaromir Jagr’s departure from the Penguins.  I remember when Fleury returned to the Penguins with Brand New Epic Goalie Skills, and I remember when we got our golden boys: Crosby, Staal, and Malkin.  I also, during 2007 and 2008, witnessed the events that led to the Penguins getting to stay in Pittsburgh.

Like we need an excuse to post a picture of Marc-Andre Fleury.

On the other side of the credential coin is Johnstown.  Johnstown is only a 30-45 minute drive away from me, and it is famous not only for its inherent ability to flood really terribly every few decades but also the fact that the hockey movie Slap Shot was filmed there.  It also was, at one time, home to a hockey team called the Johnstown Chiefs.  Sadly, we no longer have our Chiefs, through events that are still a bit murky but ended with the team moving from Johnstown.  But that’s another story for another post.

I’m honored that Emma and Krista are willing to let me share my journey from baby pucker to fan.  I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.  I hope we will.  We better.  I’ll pull a Tuukka Rask and throw milkcrates if we don’t.

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