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Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks January 15, 2016

I have never been a hardcore sports fan. Meaning, I will watch the Superbowl for the beer and nachos, enjoy a basketball game for the, er, beer and nachos and, um, well, you get the jist. In fact, sports culture has always been lost on me. Feeling emotional over gorgeous men on my television screen, totally not my thing, right? Wait.

Uh oh.

It started innocuously enough. I ran into this adorable hockey comic on Tumblr called Check Please by Ngozi, and became intrigued with the language, atmosphere and culture surrounding the game. I was soon pointed to the GQ line of the Dallas Stars hockey club by Liz Keysmash and then, it was all downhill into the trashcan (my favorite place to be, honestly). I started in my comfort zone, which is to say, I read a bunch of RPF fanfic, as I began to appreciate the aesthetics of hockey. I delved into meticulous research of the game (Yeah, I did research. I’m still a nerd) in order to figure out the definitions of terms such as hat trick, celly and whatever the hell a scrum is. I listened to games on the Stars app and watched a few on tv, started following different players and teams on Twitter and, all of a sudden, just like that, I found myself genuinely interested in the sport. I blame the bro-feels, team vibes, fisticuffs, and, of course, the hot, muscular dudes who take totally platonic showers together, for reeling me into one of the most underappreciated sports in all of fandom. Go figure.