COLUMBUS (WCMH) – You would be hard-pressed to find CBJ fan Brooke Wildrick wearing anything other than Blue Jackets gear.
“My mom tells me all the time whenever we have a family dinner, she always wants me to dress decent and one of the things that she tells me is not to wear Blue Jackets clothes,” said Wildrick, who has developmental disabilities.
But that’s the kind of fan she is. Her grandpa played professional hockey so the sport runs in her family. Now, she’s a dedicated follower of her hometown team – and the feeling is mutual. For instance, her friendship with CBJ forward Sean Kuraly.
“Whenever I wait for him after the games, or if I come [to Nationwide Arena] for a signing, he always goes ‘hi Brooke’ and I go ‘hi’,” said Wildrick.
Their connection strengthened after Wildrick crocheted him his own doll, as well as other Blue Jackets players.
“One of the first dolls that I made for myself was a Jack Roslovic doll,” said Wildrick, “and me and my provider were talking and I wondered if the players would like their own doll.”
Recently, Brooke was able to personally deliver one of her dolls to Roslovic himself. The surprise meeting brought a smile to her face as she delivered the doll to Roslovic, who mentioned he received one last year as well, and would place the new one alongside the other one in his locker room stall.
“It’s fun. It’s awesome. It’s cool to get gifts like that. It shows that people care,” said Roslovic. “[It shows] that people want to be part of the team and that people are a part of the team. It’s awesome to have that kind of support and that sense of community around the game and around our team.”
Roslovic signed Wildrick’s jersey before leaving for practice. According to Wildrick, these kind of meet-and-greets with players have helped her combat her shyness. And her Mom says the crocheting has helped her motor skills.
Wildrick, who has been a season ticket holder since 2014, says she plans to be at the home opener on Friday, even making sure to call off of work so she can be there early when the players arrive to walk on the blue carpet into the arena.