Jaromir Jagr Impersonators, the "Travelling Jagrs," to Show at Panthers Games Next Week
Jagr, playing for the Czech Republic team.
Photo by S. Yume via Flickr Creative Commons
Though the Travelling Jagrs are based in Canada, next week, they'll come cheer on their hero on his home ice for games Thursday, March 31, and Saturday, April 2. Jagr, age 44, has been sensational this season, breathing life into hockey in South Florida and spurring attendance at games. He recently moved into third place of all time for both points scored and goals scored.
Trevor Freeman — who dresses up as the version of Jagr when he played for the Dallas Stars — explains that he and his childhood friends came up with the costume concept during a guys' trip to Vegas during Halloween. One year, they went in a group costume as "sexy NFL refs with really short shorts and high socks." As they planned the next year's costume, one of the guys thought of Jagr, who "had played for like 16 teams at that point."
Soon they began attending hockey games in
Last year, the Panthers brought the Travelling Jagrs to Sunrise for two games. "Panthers are such a fan-friendly organization," Freeman says. The team has a lot of fun traditions, like throwing fake rats on the ice after a win or yelling "Luuuuuuuu" when goaltender Roberto Luongo keeps an offending puck out of the net. This year, the players have some kind of inside joke about actor Kevin
Freeman says of the Travelling
The guys met their hero Jagr briefly once in Edmonton but generally keep their distance and stay respectful. "We try not to disrupt his rhythm. He needs to do certain things. We don't want to make it a complete circus. It's an homage that's a little removed from him." During games, they drink beers, provide peanut-gallery commentary, and pose for pictures with fans.
Though it's all in good fun, Jagr's athleticism is serious. "We're fans of the guy for a reason, and he's definitely showing that right now," says Freeman. "The guy is so skilled and talented at the highest level... He kind of just dominates when he is out there."
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Freeman's also glad to see the superstar drawing more people into hockey — a game most Canadians appreciate. "No matter how bad a team is in Canada – for a team to be in the playoff run, the city goes crazy for it. Stands are filled, and jerseys are everywhere." So it's hard for them to understand when they see
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