FAN FRIDAY WITH PAUL AND CHANTAL OKENov 4, 2016
(November 4, 2016)… Season ticket holders Paul and Chantal Oke have a passion for Rochester Knighthawks. What started as a late-minute trip to a new city to see a new sport has turned into a weekend ritual for the couple from Waterloo, Ontario.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Paul and Chantal made their first trip to Rochester. It was lacrosse that first brought them to the Flower City in December of 2008. In just eight short years, they have really fallen in love with the City of Rochester.
In our first Fan Friday, we talked to Paul about his love for the Knighthawks.
What first brought you to a Knighthawks game?
My first game was done as a spur of the moment, last minute idea. Myself and two buddies decided to go to Rochester with the idea of cheering on the visiting Toronto Rock. It only took me about seven to eight minutes to realize I had found my true passion and my new favorite sport and team. The atmosphere at The Blue Cross Arena that night was amazing. The Knighthawk fans were so passionate and knowledgeable about the sport, and everyone seemed to be having such a good time. By the end of the night, I was absolutely hooked on box lacrosse and the Knighthawks. The next home game, I took my wife to her first ever game as the Hawks beat the Bandits in overtime. She was absolutely hooked from that point on.
What is your favorite part of the game(s)? Do you have any interesting rituals or good luck routines?
Our favorite part of the game is EVERYTHING!!! What's not to like? Faced-paced action. Hard hits. Great saves. Highlight-reel goals. Music playing throughout the game. Tremendous fan interaction. It pushes all the right buttons. If I had to pick a favorite thing, it would be the highlight-reel goals, especially guys like Cory Vitarelli scoring from behind the back, or Dan Dawson flying through the air across the crease or Cody Jamieson unleashing his incredible shot past a bewildered goalie. Awesome!
As for good luck routines, I usually stand most of the game from our seats at the back of Section 221 and wave my giant white, purple and teal Knighthawk flag with every goal and great play. Chantal loves to sing and clap along to the music, and to yell "Boom, Boom, Boom, let me hear ya say, Keogh, Keogh.” We both keep hoping that chant will catch on with all Knighthawk fans.
Favorite memory as a fan:
Chantal and I both have many, many great memories. However, the greatest moment ever for both of us was seeing the Hawks beat Calgary at home in the 2014 NLL Championship Game #2 and mini-game. We both literally held our breaths for the entire mini-game, and then to see Craig Point score that winning goal on a blistering shot past Mike Poulin was just incredible. I swear the fans were going to blow the roof of The Blue Cross Arena. What a wonderful night!
Additional information you would like us to know:
I was once granted the great honor of traveling with the Stanley Cup during a period of 1997 to 2000 while I was employed with the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. I was very fortunate to travel all over North America, along with Sweden and Czech Republic with various members of the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils. I was very fortunate to be picked for such a tremendous responsibility, but – as much as I love hockey and the Stanley Cup, being allowed to hoist the Champion’s Cup with the permission of Mr. Cody Jamieson was a thrill I will never forget.
One final thing:
Chantal and I travel from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada for the home games. It is approximately three hours and 45 minutes each way, but we love making the trip for all the games, and we make each home game our "Lacrosse Nirvana in Rochester" day.