Photos From My First Ever NHL All-Star Game

Photos From My First Ever NHL All-Star Game

My star-studded All-Star weekend experience told through some memories I captured along the way.

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I finally got to cross one of my life goals off of my bucket list. Yes, attending an All-Star game was one of my life goals. A weekend full of fans from different cities, representing different jerseys and all of us with one thing in common, our love for the game. In this case, it was 2019 NHL All-Star weekend in San Jose, California. An All-Star game with a bit of importance because it would be in my home state.

Here is a photo journal of a weekend that I will never forget, and hopefully won't be the last of my long list of All-Star games I attend.

Patricia Vicente

There's nothing quite like attending this event without your other half that loves and appreciates the game as much as you do. There's also nothing like being in your boyfriend's hometown and having your own personal tour guide. And while we did get a lot of looks and questions of as to how and why we are even dating when we root for rival teams, let's just say that it gets a bit interesting when our teams play against one another.

Patricia Vicente

Do you want to know what's cool about being a fan of an opposing team in a rival town with the Stanley Cup in it? The fact that you can touch one of the most beautiful trophies in all of sports because your team has actually won it before. Unlike the host city fans that haven't been able to experience that feeling yet. Yes, it was great to be reunited with Lord Stanley because who knows when my team will win it again.

Michael Gutnick

Always represent your team with pride. Even if you are one of the ten fans representing that team over the weekend. It's even better when the name on the back of your jersey is the player people most people would never expect to see on the jersey. So, even if it means that I am that only fan cheering from the top of my lungs for our only team representative, then so be it.

Micahel Gutnick

A cheesy picture with a cheesy smile in front of center ice. I mean, did you really go to an All-Star game if you didn't take a picture in front of something that said so? Exactly. There's also nothing better than showing up an hour or so before game time to watch warmups, which is a tradition I have with almost every sporting event I go to.

If I'm completely honest, I think I cried a bit at some point during warmups. You reach a point where everything just feels surreal and you simply can't believe that you are actually living in that moment and that this is actually you are experiencing this. These are players you don't get to see every other hockey game, these are big-name players that you only see on television and when they are actually in front of you, it just makes you feel something special as a hockey fan.

Patricia Vicente

This picture simply does not do the sight justice. Listening to the national anthems with thousands of light up wrist bands lighting up in the nation's colors. It's a sight that I will probably never forget. And even though that wrist band turns on with every little bump, it will stay as a small reminder of me losing my voice from yelling at my team for losing 10-4 against the Central Division with my favorite goalie in net. But now when I look back at this picture, I will be reminded of the beauty of the game.

Michael Gutnick

While my favorite player wasn't in the All-Star game and has never been in one, I guess I can only dream of him eventually being a part of one. And it doesn't matter to me whether he's there or not, I will always keep on supporting him. Even if I do get weird looks and comments from people. At the end of the day, it isn't about how good a player or team is, what matters is the love you have for the game.

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are

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"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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