Big Lead Sports Bar

5/13/2009

MEET A TRUE SUPERFAN: STEVE MAZEFSKY




If you're a Pens fans, you've probably seen or heard of Steve Mazefsky at some point over the years, whether you realize it or not. He's a SuperFan in every conceivable sense of the word. To call his passion fanatical would clearly be an insult to the word fanatical.

He is the king of customized "jobbing" jerseys. His "Fartsmell" jersey, hand signed by Scott Hartnell himself, got a lot of attention around the web in the last round. And for the Caps series, he rolled out a new sweater, shown below. His dedication and creativity is unquestioned.
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So on the verge of one of the most anticipated games in Penguin history, I had a chance to chat with Mr. Mazefsky and get a little insight into what created this monster, and exactly what types of treasures he's accumulated over the years. As you can see, his love of the team has even spilled onto his body.
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MH: How long have you been following the Pens?

SM: I have been following the team since the US won gold in 1980, an avid Penguins fan since 1984 when the Pens picked number 66. Went to virtually every playoff game from about 1990 on. My two girls' interest in Sid when he was drafted upped the ante even more. It's great fun to go to the games together. We only miss about five home games per year, go to about three road games per year, and watch every game on TV, home games after we get home most of the time again on DVR.
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MH: What is it about this team that makes it so special to you?

SM: There are many things that make this team so special to us, like their never say die attitude and work ethic that came back from the time they picked Sid. The players are VERY nice, especially to kids.

Believe it or not, we had zero autographs prior to Martin Luther King day of last season.........zero! My kids wanted signatures all year long, never knew where to get them. I was told to go after practice. The players were so nice, and they had so much fun, it became addicting. Most of these players go so far out of their way to be approachable and friendly, I never forgot how nice some of them were to the kids, especially Gary Roberts, Sergei Gonchar, Sid, Georges Laraque, Petr Sykora, Fleury...
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MH: Do you have any approximate numbers of the size of your collection?

SM:
-7 signed sticks
-Whole team 07-08 signed pucks in a frame made of hockey sticks
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-About 60 jerseys, twenty of which are signed or so, including Lemieux Team Canada, Pens 92 jersey and Laval jersey signed, Crosby Pens, Winter Classic Pens, Team Canada and Rimouski jerseys signed, Malkin, Jagr, Gonchar, Letang, Fleury, 08 Team, Roberts, Laraque, Orpik
-8 full sized helmets signed, Malkin, Crosby, all three goaltenders on goalie mask, Laraque, Sykora, Staal
-4 game used sticks
-About 20 hats
-20 or more framed 16 x 20 photos by Frameworth or others, many of which are signed, including some Malkin pieces, some Crosby pieces and a piece signed by Crosby and Lemieux. Have the big Frameworth young stars signed......Staal, Lecavalier, Toews, Kopitar, Lundqvist etc.
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-Have several of the large banners that hung in the streets including the playoff banner from last year.
-WB Scranton XMAS and ST. Paddy's jerseys
-In the game room we have air hockey, arcade quality Superchexx hockey and a bench made of hockey sticks
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-And I gave away literally dozens and dozens of other items for "charity" or client relations

MH: Do you buy most of your items, or do you get them signed in person?

SM: Most of them signed in person.....the very large Frameworth I won in an auction this season, a couple others were given when I bought VIP packages behind the bench, but otherwise I got most signed in person.

MH: I'm sure it's hard, but do you have one favorite item in your collection?

SM: Favorites.....that is hard......a piece my daughter has.......Flyers jersey with the #75 and LAST CUP EVER as the nameplate signed by Gonchar at Nakama.....simply because of her excitement and his face trying to comprehend the jersey as he signed it..............the first Crosby jersey he ever signed for the girls and personalized because they were thrilled..............the three goaltenders on the goalie stick because it is cool and the Mario Team Canada jersey because it is Mario.
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MH: Among the players you've met, any favorite encounters? Any you'd rather forget?

SM: Several favorite encounters.......most favorite is a series of Laraque encounters culminating in he and his girlfriend Erin taking my whole family to dinner at Mitchell's Seafood in the Waterfront and spending several hours with us, allowing my daughters to interview him.......they felt so special, I will NEVER forget that he did that......EVER.

The short version of the origin is that I spent a lot of time late last winter and spring getting pieces of my collection signed for me, pieces signed to give to clients and friends. Georges was in high demand, as was Sidney and both signed many personalized items for me. As a result I put a $250.00 gift card to Ruth Chris Steakhouse in a card, signed by the kids and gave it to them one day instead of asking them for something. Next time down, BGL says he and Erin will not use the card unless they took us because nobody had ever done that before. He asked for my number, and much to my surprise called us and invited us to dinner the night after the Pens swept Ottawa. We met the next night and they were both so friendly and given all the other things they could have done...could not believe they spent it with us.

Another one involved a Pens employee I cannot name and Jarkko Ruutu........heard about a sick child with cancer who LOVED Ruutu..........bought him a Ruutuu jersey, got him to personalize and sign it, bought him the street sized banner from the Pens, of Ruutu and through this employee and Jarkko this child was able to go to the last game of last year and go into the locker room to meet the players.....the card and pix I got from this young man are some of my favorite Pens related items.

Ray Shero signing a 16 x20 photo of my bar and telling me it was awesome!

Ironically after MANY great encounters with Sid, my last few have not been so good.....have not been there but once or twice this year, but he seems to have me lumped into the category of dealer of merchandise, and has either skipped me or given me really bad signatures on my last couple of items....he is stalked and I think adults he was seeing with regularity causes a negative reaction.....if you would see how some of these folks act, I can understand it.........but really nothing horrible at all......they are very nice young men and it is one of the main reasons we love this team.

MH: What is your favorite memory in all these years watching the team?

SM: Memories.....again there are so many, but a few that standout;

The save by Pietrangelo;
Hextall chasing Robbie Brown after a goal in the 89 playoffs......just funny as shit.......;
Volek blowing the puck by Barrasso in 93 despite the fact that I had my Stanley Cup parade day planned since March of that year;
The final minutes of the game against Minnesota when it was apparent we were about to win our first Cup;
The tribute to Badger Bob after he passed;
Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley bring me the brandy as the clock hit zero v the Hawks.....
The goal to finish the comeback win in game one of that series....i was right behind that net!
Laraque goal in playoffs v Rangers cause I knew what it meant to him;
Talbot goal in Game 5 v Detroit, then Sykora goal hours later :)
Kaspar's goal v Buffalo to win that series;
Orpik's series of hits v Detroit
Just watching Sid play the first game and realizing we were heading back to prominence.
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Steve sporting another one of his creations

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14 comments:

Robert Ullman said...

AWESOME interview! What a cool guy! I loved the "Fartsmell" story, and I'm glad to know there so much more to it than that.

the nigerian nightmare said...

This was an absolutely fantastic post. My ultimate goal in life is to have a basement like that when I get a house.

okel dokel said...

Great post and Steve you are the man.

I am really fired up for tonight's game.

Snakes said...

I met Steve at game 3 of this series. Great guy! So much so I bought him a beer!

Let's Go Pens!!!!

makoman said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this article, yours is one of the best blogs on the net......Snakes thanks again for that beer bud.....next ones on me.........Conference finals here we come!!

royb said...

Hey Steve, cool article. Thanks for getting me into hockey and the best team in the league. It is by far my favorite sport now.

Shane

johnny griswold said...

Go Flyers.

makoman said...

shane, LOL, had no idea who RoyB was! Thanks! Johnny G. MAYBE next year bud, MAYBE next year.

David said...

Typical obnoxious pittsburgh jerk.

makoman said...

David,

Typical internet troll.........

Meadowbrookalum1 said...

Love the guy, but seriously, "the final minutes of the Minnesota game when we clinched the first cup?" Pens won 8-0. I think that game was won by the end of the second period.

jmarinara said...

Ok, maybe I'm stupid but. . .

I really don't get "Rum Rangers."

makoman said...

the p is blocked!! that would be rump rangers!

monessenmoon said...

This is pretty cool. If i bing search my email this site comes up. Someone on Youtube with the same name of this site (minus the www and .com) posted a video take took place at my school. I'm a Pens fan too!