TAMPA, Fla. — You meet a lot of Tampa Bay Lightning fans living in Tampa Bay, but how many do you know who have actually kicked their own car out of the garage to create a Lightning man cave?
“Wherever you see any Lightning piece on the wall, it’s my art. It’s my tribute to the Lightning,” said Frank Fury, a local Tampa Bay Lightning superfan.
Frank Fury is a diehard Lightning fan, by every definition of the word.
“Whether they win or lose, it could affect my day. If I have to wake up the next day to go to work, I’m affected by a loss,” said Fury.
But he hasn’t always cheered for the boys in blue. He’s a native New Yorker who cheered for the Philadelphia Flyers.
“Not to be mean to any of the Philly fans, but they weren’t my cup of tea,” said Fury.
Then back in 2015, he decided to move to Tampa, which was a longtime dream of his. And he made a big commitment to the Bolts before he even got here, by getting the Tampa Bay Lightning bolt tattooed on his neck!
“I went to a good buddy out in New Jersey, and I told him what I wanted on my neck, and he looked at me like I was crazy, and I said ‘no, this is gonna be my team, they’re gonna be special, wait and see,’” said Fury.
Well, Frank was right! And he has since dedicated his entire garage to Lightning memorabilia.
“I purchased a lot of stuff from the Lightning Foundation, one of them being a Kucherov game-worn jersey on cancer night,” said Fury.
He loves the team.
“This can here is special. There’s not price value on it, but this was thrown to me by Pat Maroon during the boat parade,” said Fury about a Stanley Cup Championship beer can.
But he also loves the fanbase and the way Tampa has grown into a hockey town.
“To live where I live, Downtown Tampa, and be right next to the team, and see the players in the streets, watch Alex Killorn across the street from me, go down to the water with his jet ski, or see Sergachev ride by in his Beamer, and to treat them like people. Pat Maroon used to live across the street from me, he would be walking his Frenchies, I’d be walking my Shih Tzu, and we’re talking about dogs,” said Fury.
He’s got high hopes for this team, and he’s sure the Bolts will take us back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
“We’re actually spoiled. I hope a lot of fans realize that. Enjoy every second. Cause it doesn’t last forever,” said Fury.
The Tampa Bay Lightning plays in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Semifinals tonight at 8 p.m. EST.