Seems like yesterday when Bickell and Bolland each scored goals in the final 1:16 to give the Chicago Blackhawks their second Stanley Cup Championship in three years to finish off a stunningly spectacular season.
Well it's yesterday once more as another stunning and spectacular moment will take place tonight at the United Center when the Blackhawks unfurl and raise their newest Stanley Cup championship banner before the puck drops against the Capitals to officially begin the 2013 NHL season.
In honor of this event, we thought it would make perfect sense to unveil our Retailer of The Month for October in which we feature Clark Street Sports - one of the most famous and prestigious retail chains in the Midwest.
I had the sincere pleasure to speak with Sarah Yeazel - the uber enthusiastic Social Media Director for Clark Street Sports, about what it was like to be in on the action from her point of view (that's her in the cap & Retro Brand Blackhawks tee below).
Andy: I am SO PUMPED for the new NHL season to start tonight - hey my Islanders are a team on the rise! Again, speaking of rise, does Clark Street Sports and/or you specifically have anything special planned for the Stanley Cup Banner raising tonight?
Sarah: The Islanders may be on the rise, but the Blackhawks are on the prowl for another Cup victory! Clark Street Sports, as always, will be outside of the United Center to greet fans and make sure they have all the Blackhawks gear they need for the "Madhouse on Madison." We are also putting together a contest through our Facebook page to win two tickets to have your picture taken with the Stanley Cup. As the Cup makes its rounds in the Windy City, we are fortunate enough to be able to have two tickets for a lucky fan to get up close and personal with Lord Stanley, which is very exciting. We also have a few new designs we'll be rolling out for the beginning of hockey season to add a fresh look to the celebration of the Blackhawks, and one shirt we've done is a custom collaboration (see blue shirt below) with Retro Brand that we're very excited about. So, a lot is happening with the Blackhawks this year, especially at the start of the season, and we're very excited to celebrate the return of hockey with hockey fans.
Andy: Love the contest, Sarah. Before we get into the Hawks run from last year, I want to talk a little about what you do for Clark Street Sports. I mean I love your blog posts - so filled with passion, enthusiasm, sarcasm, and good humor. Which came first - your obvious love of sports or your skills of the scribe?
Sarah: Thank You! I grew up in a Chicago sports home in Indiana. I have always been a Chicago sports fan, and I've always loved writing. English was my favorite subject throughout school, and I have a degree in English. When approaching the blog for Clark Street Sports, I wanted to make it fun; it needed the perfect blend of Deadspin's sarcasm, the solid facts that every sports fan thrives on, and the die-hard Chicago dedication of Bill Swerski's Superfans. Clark Street Sports is more than a store; this is a community built of sports fans who love the players, the game, and Chicago sports culture. When I got this job, I not only wanted to convey that sense of community and fandom, I wanted to showcase it in the best way possible. I've always been a huge sports fan, and I wanted to construct a blog that was by an enthusiastic sports fan for other enthusiastic sports fans.
Andy: From one enthusiastic sports fan to another... it's working. Now back to the Hawks. Last year was simply a dream season for the team. Tell us how the amazing run affected you personally and professionally.
Sarah: Professionally, I have never been so busy at a job in my life. Every moment was making sure that shirts were in stock, making sure our various stores and tents had enough merchandise, and making sure that, as the director of social media, I was in the right place at the right time. Everyone was on top of their game and working long hours to make sure we could get merchandise to the fans. Everyone was incredibly busy and making sure we had enough merchandise for the fans who were getting geared up for the rally, the Blackhawks Convention, and other celebrations happening around the city. Personally, it was so much fun. I was in Wrigleyville on Clark Street with all the fans partying in the street the night that an amazing seventeen seconds got us the Cup, I attended the Blackhawks rally, and I got to see the Cup at the Blackhawks Convention. This year, as a Blackhawks fan, was one amazing celebration in Chicago. Personally, it was great to see strangers embracing each other as friends in celebration of the Blackhawks.
Andy: Sounds like you've got your dream job, Sarah - good for you! With all this talk of merchandise, I must ask what it is you like about our Retro Brand gear?
Sarah: Retro Brand gear is just great quality. I have personally recommended it outside of work to friends and family. The shirt quality, which I am a big snob about, is just fantastic and the designs are unique, straightforward and wonderfully done. I think Retro Brand offers great apparel that is both comfortable and a wonderful way to show support for the Blackhawks!
Andy: Appreciate all the kind words Sarah, and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you and Clark Street Sports. And just so you know, Retro Brand would like to throw in a few of our shirts as prizes for your "Up close and personal with Lord Stanley," contest on Facebook. Thanks again and have fun tonight!
In addition to her job as Social Media Director for Clark Street Sports, Sarah Yeazel is a major sports fanatic and big fan of the Bears, Bills, Blackhawks, Sabres, and Celtics (she's often conflicted by her teams battling it out). She looks forward to football season like small children look forward to Christmas morning. Check out what Andy has been fussing about here, and click below to enter the Cup contest!