One of the perks of being a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan is getting to meet the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew. The 18-woman PR/rink maintenance team do more than shovel snow and cheer on the Hawks during road game watch parties. These women are either college students or have other full-time jobs just to pay the bills. I just call it the best side job in sports. The story of how I became friends with them is like the story of the Blackhawks return to prominence in the NHL.
It all started during the 2008-2009 preseason. I was your standard 21-year-old struggling college student looking to make some more friends. When I got tickets to the inaugural Blackhawks Training Camp Festival, I met some of them, took pictures with them, and by the end of the day, I became friends with some of them. As the popularity of the Blackhawks increased during that season, so was the popularity of the Ice Crew. They were starting to become noticeable like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. As the seasons passed, some stayed and some left. For those who left, I tried to keep in touch with them via Facebook, twitter, or e-mail. The popularity of the Ice Crew reached national status when 4 of them were cast as extras in the 2011 comedy “The Dilemma” starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. The film was made during the summer of 2010; the year the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. During the preseason last year, alumni who worked with the Ice Crew had a get-together, a family reunion if you will, to share memories and to catch up with what’s going on in their lives. For Ice Crew alumni Ashley Lobo and Jenna Martinelli, being on the Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew became a launchpad for their new careers on television. (I’m still friends with them to this day.)
Well, that’s my story. Here’s the wallpaper:
And here’s a photo from the official Ice Crew alumni reunion held in November 2013.
(photo above is courtesy of majoronions.com)