E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune
January 5, 2010
At the fanatic fandom level, meet high school pals (and season ticketholders) Mike Oganeku, 26, Oak Lawn, from left; Andrew Peterson, 24, Oak Lawn; Scott Dvorak, 25, Tinley Park.
Before every game the guys text one another — "Masks or helmets?" — to decide whether they'll wear these colorful souvenir goalie masks — $35 acquisitions from the United store — or their older, noteworthy foam hockey helmets. "Our section (333), knows us as the guys with the helmets," says Scott Dvorak.
Asked to run through the Blackhawks stuff they own, the fans, enthusiastically interrupting one another, came up with this list: neon light, T-shirts, flag, hoodies, fleeces, computer screensaver, sweatpants, winter caps, wristbands, cell phone wallpaper, boxers, hockey pucks, key chains, car stickers, beer mugs, ringtones, caps, jackets, scarf, posters, framed autographed jerseys.
"And a tattoo soon to come," said Oganeku, who estimated his cache of Blackhawks gear and clothes (including seven jerseys) at about $2,500. Peterson estimated his at $1,000, and "I'm a slacker" Dvorak at $700.
Oganeku and Peterson say their girlfriends understand their fanaticism. "My girlfriend is a very passionate sports fan," says Oganeku. Peterson says his girlfriend "might not like it, but she supports it. She buys me Blackhawks stuff. She's an enabler."