As I sit here we are only a few days away from the start of filming for JET FUEL and the start of our WhiteOut Road Trip that will see us follow the Jets to Winnipeg, Chicago, Phoenix and stops in Vegas and Denver on the way home. It feels almost surreal when I look and see that on October 9 the Jets will host the Montreal Canadiens. I realize that 16 long years of waiting has finally come to an end and my team is back.
But is it my team? In name and spirit it might be but by every other stretch of the imagination it is not. There is no nostalgia factor, no similarity with jerseys, no ex-players in the front office. They are new and I for one am finally realizing that and appreciating it.
As I’ve played NHL 12 (on xbox360 gamertag is “wpgwhiteout”) I came to the eerie conclusion that using the retro jerseys wasn’t good enough I wanted the new look. I needed the new look even. It was at that point that I realized I had let go of the past and had embraced the future. This doesn’t mean I suddenly disliked the old logo and jerseys, it simply means that I’m falling in love with this team the same way I did 25 years ago when I was first old enough to understand love.
At that age it was simple I loved my mom, I loved my dad, I liked my little brother and I loved the Jets.
In 1996, I felt as many did; that a member of my family had passed away. The only difference was I knew that one day they would be back. Nearly everyone I talked to tried to counsel me as if I was suffering the stages of grief and hadn’t gotten through the acceptance stage yet. That wasn’t the case though as I had accepted the lose of the Jets and quickly passed through the other stages of grief and created a new stage. Faith; faith that the economic system that led to some of the struggles the Jets had would be fixed; faith that a new arena could be built and faith that the lock out would create a financial system in the league that could allow for Winnipeg to return.
My faith has been rewarded and I have no wife or kids so I can honestly say that when Mark Chipman announced the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers it was the happiest day of my life. I vowed that I would do whatever I could to be there for opening night. I refuse to encourage scalping so I guess not anything. As it stands now I’ll be in Winnipeg but we haven’t been able to get a ticket or access for filming our documentary. The steps outlined for us have been both clear and fair as to what we need, and at this stage we need your support.
We need funding and we need proven interest in the film to ensure a network will agree to broadcast it. Once we have that we’ll be allowed in to capture opening night for all of you that were unable to get tickets. This is a historic event and once again I am relying heavily on my faith that we will be able to accomplish what is needed to get into the building on opening night.
I promise that even a $1 dollar donation can make a difference because it will show to the networks that their viewers want to see this film. JET FUEL is about you the fan, it’s about your story, your acceptance of the new team, your memories of the old team and most importantly its about your undying passion for the Jets.
This is a film of raw emotion, no Hollywood scripts, no actors just real people and real love and the wrong that has been righted. This is the story of our lives.