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Fan Favorite Grand Prize Winner - 4/15/12

Sunday, 04.15.2012 / 9:15 AM PT
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The Daily Chomp
The results for the "Fan Favorite Award" were announced at  Fan Appreciation Night on April 7, 2012. Over 7,000 votes were cast and Patrick Marleau was named the "Fan Favorite" for the second year in a row. The Grand Prize winner received two (2) tickets to the Sharks “Fan Appreciation Night,” two Zamboni rides, the opportunity to meet their favorite Sharks player and receive that player’s jersey on the ice following the game. The winner also received a pre-game tour of HP Pavilion prior to the game. The grand prize winner, David Okimoto, gives us his account of this unforgettable night: 

This past Saturday was one of the most memorable evenings of my life, as it's not every day that a professional athlete shakes your hand and hands you the jersey literally off his back. While it's not quite mega-millions lucky, I overcame some pretty daunting odds to be the grand prize winner of the Sharks Fan Favorite contest. I can best describe getting the phone call notifying me of my victory as stunning. I was at work, didn't recognize the number and almost didn't answer the call! Once I found out everything I had won, time moved at a crawl until Fan Appreciation Night finally arrived.

The tour of HP Pavilion far surpassed anything I anticipated. The building is truly huge, and most people don't get to see a fraction of how big it actually is. The offices, locker rooms, press areas, and storage areas create a maze of passages that I was fortunate enough to explore. Seeing all the framed photos of every Sharks team in history was a big thrill, as was watching Doug Wilson walk right past me in the lobby. After touring the rafters above the ice, I felt a bit bad for Randy, Drew, Dan, and Jaime as their recent move to the rafters is way, way up where near as close as their previous perch from the front of the upper bowl. I guess my season tickets in the last row of the upper bowl are closer that I thought!

Riding the Zamboni at intermission is a thrill and experience like none other. It's a surreal feeling emerging onto the ice from the tunnel and being surrounded by a stadium of fans. I can only imagine what it's like for the players, playing on center stage below the cauldron of raucous fans. I have a greater appreciation of the home ice advantage that we can create as fans, because simply looking up at a mostly quiet group of fans milling around still gave me a slight sense of being a gladiator.

Of all the thrills and perks of the night, getting to go on the ice post-game, after an overtime victory over a bitter rival, and receiving the jersey of the player that most would agree has been the face of the franchise for the better part of two decades...words really can't describe. Patrick Marleau was incredibly kind and sincere, even chatting with me for a brief minute before we posed for a picture. I was sure to let him know that I hoped he ends his career here in SJ. I think he truly is a fan favorite in every sense, from his play on the ice to the way he carries himself off of it. He is a perfect reflection of the organization as well, as everyone I encountered all day, from blue coats to secretaries to our tour guide, was incredibly generous and kind.

A huge thank you goes to everyone involved in making Saturday an experience this lifelong fan will treasure forever.

Go Sharks!




1 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
2 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
3 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
4 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
5 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
6 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
7 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


J. Thornton 82 19 63 25 82
J. Pavelski 82 38 40 25 78
B. Burns 82 27 48 -5 75
P. Marleau 82 25 23 -22 48
T. Hertl 81 21 25 16 46
J. Ward 79 21 22 -15 43
M. Vlasic 67 8 31 15 39
L. Couture 52 15 21 2 36
J. Donskoi 76 11 25 4 36
J. Braun 80 4 19 11 23
M. Jones 37 23 4 .918 2.27
A. Stalock 3 5 2 .884 2.94
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