Greetings Blackhawk nation! My name is Joe Kremel, and I have been a Blackhawks fan since I can remember. One of my fondest memories from my early hockey years was all the time spent picking out splinters acquired while playing hockey in the attic with my family in Berwyn. Growing up, Roenick, Chelios, and Larmer were my favorite Hawks. I even had the pleasure of hanging out with Chris Chelios and Steve Smith at Discovery Zone.
I played for inline and floor leagues growing up, finding my niche on defense and in net. I won a few awards for defense, and that knack carried over into my soccer career. I got scouted for the Chicago premier league, but tore a ligament in my ankle, and instead moved to Florida with my loving and supportive girlfriend. Due to financial and geographical restraints, I was essentially cut off from my Blackhawks. While in Florida, I saw a man in full Blackhawks gear and, a little perplexed, I asked why he looked as if we had won the cup. He told me that Bill Wertz passed away, and his son Rocky was taking over. I called my father immediately, and he said that Rocky was going to fix all the wrongs Bill had committed against the great Blackhawk nation. Eventually we moved back to Chicago, and back to having hawks on cable; all was right in the world again! The Olympics came in 2010, and that’s what really got my girlfriend hooked on hockey, and, overnight, our lives were vastly changed; Blackhawks were our top priority.
I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by family, friends, and co-workers who are all avid Blackhawks fans. In fact, it is due to my colleague, Ryan Merriam, that I am now a proud member of the Blackhawk Up team. He got me more involved in social media and encouraged me to be a lot more vocal. While this is supposed to be an introduction and not a thank you post, I wouldn’t be here without everyone mentioned, and I couldn’t be more excited to share my views with the hockey world.