my Marty story is pretty weird. My dad wasn't a hockey fan at all, and I grew up playing it but didn't really hVe a team or even watch the sport until I was 7 or 8. (1998ish?). My cousin, a year younger than me, was a huge Rangers fan. One day after school I went to his house to play NHL97, I think. He picked the Rangers, I asked him who their rival was, he said the Devils. If you had asked me before that game who my favorite team was, I'd say the Trenton Titans, that was the only game I'd ever been to. I played as the Devils and he out-shot me something silly, 50-12 or something, and I won. Looked up the goalie, Mart-in Bro-Dwewer? wrote that on a strip of stick tape on his goalie mask he had downstairs and would pretend to be "Brodwewer" when we'd play footy. A few weeks later my dad took me to my first Devils game. A season later I watched every game. 12 years and 3 cups later we became season ticket holders.
Tonight is so much more than a hockey game to me. It's the culmination of my growing up. Brodeur wasn't just a goalie, he was part of my family. When I failed a test I had Marty pitching a shutout to take my mind off of it. When I got dumped, Marty came back from injury with a 38 save shutout. When I got into my dream school, Marty made that sick glove save against the Flyers. I fell in love with my current girlfriend at a Marty-led playoff win against the panthers. He doesn't know me, and I don't know him, but he was next to me my entire life.
I can't remember ever feeling this way about a person I've never met. I love Marty Brodeur, I love what he has given me as a sports fan. I love him in ways I won't ever love another sports figure.
I will yell, sob, and scream until my throat runs dry tonight.
Thank you, #30.