“Are there slot machines in your cafeteria at school?”
“Do you live in a casino?!”
I was born and raised in Las Vegas and whenever I’d travel these were the type of questions I’d get on the regular. I’d giggle and always respond with:
“Nope. My school serves gross french bread pizza and I live in a house just like you.”
Then I’d follow it up with a big smile and say,
“My parents are both poker dealers though.”
“No way. Awesome!!!!” they’d say.
Growing up in Las Vegas might have been a different type of childhood than most, but I’ve never known any different and I’ve always loved my home. Not because of the 115 degree heat or the sagebrush (Nevada’s glamorous state flower), but because of the people.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of adidas.com. The opinions and text are all mine.
One thing’s for sure, I’ve NEVER been a super fan of a home town professional sports team. We’ve heard it all about why Vegas has never had their own teams.
“It’s too transient.”
“People don’t stay here long enough.”
“Nobody’s loyal to Vegas.”
“A professional sports team would never survive.”
My in-laws are from Wyoming and since I met them almost 20 years ago, they’ve always had a FIERCE love for the Denver Broncos. Living 2 hours from Denver made the Broncos “their team.” It was fun watching them get so emotionally invested in their wins and losses. One year Chris’s uncle and Chris’s dad got in a fight because the Raiders beat the Broncos and they didn’t speak for 6 months. This type of commitment to a hometown team I couldn’t understand… until now.
The Vegas Golden Knights were set to be Las Vegas’s first professional hockey team. Hockey, huh? To be honest I knew as much about professional hockey as I did about bio-chemistry. Zilch. I grew up in the desert and can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve been on ice skates. Nonetheless, they had a new stadium and we were thrilled our boys would grow up with something Chris and I never had before… a hometown team!
Then on October 1, 2017, Las Vegas experienced the deadliest single day mass shooting in US history. Nobody wants to be that record holder. Even typing the words brings a flood of emotions I would never want anybody to experience. I knew several people that were there that night. Two members of our gym. One that was shot several times. Another good friend of mine who happened to be a mom of three boys, who left her kiddos at home while she and her hubby went out for date night, just as Chris and I have done countless times. That day changed every single Las Vegan. Not a single one of us woke up October 2nd the same. It was too close.
But what happened in the aftermath changed us too. People stood in line to donate blood for hours. We did meal deliveries and fundraisers for the families impacted. #VegasStrong and #PrayForVegas hashtags flew up all over the city. We saw a city of “transients” come together as a family.
The Vegas Golden Knights had their first home game 9 days later. We all watched as the team honored every victim and the first responders in the pregame ceremony. It was then that I realized it didn’t matter that I had been on ice skates 5 times in my life or that I had NO CLUE what “icing” was. It didn’t even matter if this team was any good. The Golden Knights represent exactly who we are. We are more than casinos. We are mothers, brothers, coaches, fathers, athletes, friends, and community members that rally together. The Golden Knights won that first home game and the whole town smiled for what seemed like the first time since Oct 1.
Then the impossible happened. This new expansion team of misfits kept winning over and over again and the next thing we knew we were in the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Every game we’d get together decked out head to toe in our adidas Golden Knights Jerseys and apparel and watch with excitement as they won their way into the finals!
They might not have won the Stanley Cup Finals this year, but one thing’s for sure, the Vegas Golden Knights won our hearts. They gave this Las Vegas girl a hometown team experience that she’ll never forget. And if anybody ever tries to trash talk the Golden Knights in my house, I might just not speak to them for 6 months.
The 2018- 2019 hockey season will be here before you know it and you better believe we’ll be expanding our Golden Knights wardrobe. Did you know that adidas is the official jersey of the NHL? Head over to adidas.com to join me in supporting our favorite home team heroes, the team that helped us rally together in the worst of times and gave us a reason to celebrate in the best of times, the Vegas Golden Knights!