The Dallas Stars hosted the Nashville Predators in the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic one year ago today.

This game provided a lifetime of memories for Stars and Predators fans as both teams played in their first outdoor game. As a Stars fan since I was born in the ’90s, it was much more than a major sporting event.

Attending the Winter Classic saved my Father’s life. After contracting pneumonia, he had a heart attack and might not have been in the hospital if not for attending the game.

Having been Stars fans since the ’90s, we never dreamed of the Stars hosting the Winter Classic, so we couldn’t wait to go. We have spent lots of time together watching Stars games throughout the years, so an event like this is something we could never pass up.

Photo: Patrick Smith/Dallas Sports Nation (Stars Nation)

Gameday came, and we took the DART train to Fair Park. After walking down the long row of museums to the stadium, he had to stop a few times because he kept getting winded, which was unusual. Although it was only about 50 degrees, our upper deck seats were in the wind. Sitting there for an extended period is what caused him to get pneumonia. After a great game, we headed back to the DART station, having to stop a few times along the way. It didn’t help to stand in line for about an hour just to get onboard a DART train, causing extra strain on his knees and back.

The problems didn’t arise until January 3rd.

Although he felt bad on the 2nd, he got unusually sick on the 3rd. After a rough night of extreme coughing and general symptoms of a major illness, he went to the hospital, where they discovered he had a heart attack. He had surgery to correct this, but it was a real scare. It’s unclear when he had the heart attack, but they said it was during the major coughing sessions.

He made several lifestyle changes after this. He is much better now, and I credit the Stars playing in the Winter Classic to saving his life. The first symptom of artery blockage came before the game. Walking the long way from the train station to the stadium was the first sign of a heart attack because he had to keep stopping. I’m very thankful that everything is okay and firmly believe that going to this game saved his life.

I still look back with fond memories of the Winter Classic. The Stars’ 4 four epic goals were enough to give them a win to last a lifetime.

This was just one of the many memories my Father and I have of watching the Stars together over the decades. He is much better now, and we both are looking forward to the 2020-21 season starting.

Featured Image: Patrick Smith/Dallas Sports Nation (Stars Nation)
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