FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For 70 years, the city of Fort Wayne has embraced Komets hockey and memories that have come along the way. After a difficult season where attendance was limited for most of the season, a near full-capacity crowd celebrated the Komets first Kelly Cup championship.
Emily and Adam Craig still remember the moment when the final horn sounded that night, when the Jungle erupted and Komets players dogpiled atop one another.
“It was absolutely incredible,” Emily said. “It was absolutely amazing to win a Cup this (past) season.”
The Craig’s are almost lifelong Komets fans. Adam started following the team in early 1990s, inheriting the fandom from his family, while Emily started attending games nearly a decade later.
Along with cheering on the Komets at Memorial Coliseum, the Craig’s have followed the team on the road, venturing to areas like Kansas City, Charleston, S.C. and even across the border in Newfoundland.
“Komets fans travel well,” Emily said. “Commentators notice it. Other teams notice it. They hear it.”
The two can also credit the Komets for the opportunity to meet one another. Thanks to a mutual friend, Adam and Emily met for the first time during a Komets game a few years ago. After getting to know each other through the years, the two tied the knot in early June.
Their wedding also coincided with the end of the Komets regular season, when the team was trying to secure a playoff spot. Their wedding was on the same night as the team’s regular season finale. Even on their special day, the Craig’s had the Komets game playing on a projector so they wouldn’t miss the game.
Once the Craig’s realized the Komets were in the postseason, the two held an intermission for their honeymoon so the two could head back to Fort Wayne and see their favorite team.
“We can’t leave and then risk the Komets going to finals and have us not be here,” Emily thought at the time.
Once the Komets advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals, the newlyweds travelled down from Connecticut to Fort Wayne. After winning the title, the two travelled up to Maine to finish their honeymoon.
As the Komets get ready for their 70th season, Adam and Emily are excited to get back to a normal year and reconnect with fans in the Jungle.
“It’s great to see people and go around the rink and say, ‘Hey, how’s it doing?’ and catching up, especially after this year,” Emily said. “There’s so many people we still haven’t seen since the games, and it’ll be nice to catch up with people.”
The Komets Kave
Over the years, Adam and Emily amassed a huge collection of Komets memorabilia – posters, pucks, sticks, bobbleheads, and anything else related to the Komets. Instead of tossing out those items or storing them, the Craig’s decided to decorate their house with these collectibles.
Ask Adam or Emily about one of the items in their collection, and they can almost instantly recall a memory about when they got that specific piece. Adam’s favorite item is his first Komets jersey, which hangs in a corner of the living room.
Some of Emily’s favorite memorabilia are old game programs and a framed photo of her with broadcasting legends Bob Chase and Mike “Doc” Emerick.
Adam and Emily’s collection draws a lot of awe and envy from fellow Komets fans.
“A lot of our friends think we should charge for admission because we have so much memorabilia,” Adam said. “This is like a hall of fame here in Fort Wayne.”
The two compare their collection to a living timeline of history, both for the Komets and themselves. Each item has its own story, a glimpse into how the Komets have shaped their lives and the lives of many fans around Fort Wayne.
“It’s always reminding me how great of a legacy the Komets have always had, and how many special people that we have both met along the way, and who knows who else to come.”