I’ve been getting season tickets for the Carolina Hurricanes games for five years now and have fallen in love with the sport of hockey.

But what’s ironic – I didn’t even like hockey until I moved to the south.

I grew up in Minnesota where hockey is king. Kids come out of the womb wearing ice skates, at least everyone except me.

When I was younger, I was all about basketball. I couldn’t care less about hockey, even though I was completely surrounded by it. I guess it was because I didn’t really understand the game or have any interest in learning about it.

It took me moving to Raleigh, NC, of all places, to fall in love with the game of hockey. I love it more than basketball now – completely hooked.

The games are also great because I get to go with one of my best guy friends. It’s where we catch up on our lives and watch players punch each other on the ice. Maybe something only guys can enjoy.

But seriously, you have to admit that hockey is the single best spectator sport there is. The game is non-stop action and the players are so incredibly athletic you almost forget they’re doing all of this on ice.

I also can’t get enough of the atmosphere inside the PNC arena when it starts rocking. It’s a great place to watch hockey and the Caniacs are awesome. People in this area are really die hard about the sport.

Another thing that makes hockey so different in the south is tailgating. It’s crazy to sit outside in the parking lot, grill some burgers and have a few drinks before going inside to watch a hockey game on ice. This is one of the only markets in the National Hockey League (NHL) that does tailgating and another reason I love hockey in the south.

So yes – I’m a Caniac. My only regret is moving here one year too late to see the Canes win the Stanley Cup. But I know we’ll be back!

I’m even raising my son, Luke, to be a Caniac. He definitely has the chant down and loves running around the house yelling, “Let’s go Canes!”