All Dallas Stars Fans Start Somewhere

“I dare you!”

Sometimes, you get a dare but don’t go through with it. Sometimes, you get a dare, and you run with it. In my case, I got a dare, and I ran with it. That dare was to learn about the Dallas Stars.

Before I dive into my article, I’m a journalist first and a fan second. I was born in San Jose, California, and partially raised in the Midwest and Western Canada. I majored in Communication Studies at San Jose State University. I started my journalism career as a San Jose Sharks reporter for Inside Hockey just days after graduating from San Jose State in the fall of 2015. I freelanced for many publications, such as USA TODAY, SFBay, etc. I’ve spent some time in Phoenix, Arizona, and St. Louis, Missouri — especially during the pandemic. I wrote a weekly column about the St. Louis Blues for SB Nation’s St. Louis Game Time. I was like a one-woman band that could write, report, edit, podcast, and broadcast when needed.

As the pandemic winded down, I decided I needed a backup plan. I applied to — and got accepted by — the University of Missouri and the University of Hawaii for graduate school to obtain my master’s degree, or so I thought. I didn’t necessarily need to become an MA or an MBA as I was a first-generation college student. I fulfilled my father’s expectations. My father went to trade school and had an excellent trade career, but he’s a huge sports fan, so I got my love for sports from him as a kid. And, despite having no background in communications, my father somehow helped me succeed in college. Thank you, dad!

I had an epiphany when I left St. Louis to return to San Jose. I had a layover at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ATX) in Austin, Texas — and yes, I just had to mention the airport code as an aviation geek and a former airport employee. I remembered the Texas Stars of the AHL. I watched and covered a lot of San Jose Barracuda games against the Texas Stars at the SAP Center. I may be biased, but I’ve always liked the Western Conference matchups, especially in the minor leagues.

I remembered a friend and former employer who gave me my first internship and bought me a Dallas Stars hat in 2016. At the time, I asked him, “Why are you doing this? I’m not a Stars fan. You already know this.” He replied, “I think you’ll make it to Dallas eventually.”

I lost my first Stars hat on one of my business trips, but let’s fast-forward to 2023 when I got discouraged about my journalism career. I got a new Stars hat from another friend and former employer. I didn’t have plans to visit the South, but I thought, “Maybe my friends were right, and I could cover the Stars after all.”

I needed a new NHL team to start over professionally and personally. I ended up with the Dallas Stars, which has been a unique experience thus far. I decided to express my hot takes in my weekly column like I usually did at other jobs, and one hot take could’ve ended my journalism career before it re-emerged, but I survived the criticism and discrimination. My mistake wasn’t fatal as it pushed me out of my comfort zone, tread water, and even contact a great person I should’ve contacted years ago.

You could say I’m a late bloomer with the Stars, but it’s better late than never, correct? If you’re in a similar situation, you can change your fandom.

Maybe it’s the California chill within me, but I’m just here to watch Stars games and write articles. So, if you disagree with me, we can agree to disagree, as there’s no need to hold a grudge against me.

Thanks for reading! If you like my work, you can follow me on Twitter @AnaKieu.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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