The crowd was on their feet as the timer counted down, forcing the game into the first overtime. Miami was playing St. Cloud State, and the game was close: 2-2.

Even though the game was being held over winter break, the stands were nearly full. When Miami scored the winning goal, the crowd roared — erupting with applause and belting out the Fight Song.

But one man celebrated in a slightly different way, as he always does. He waved his red Miami flag, shouting, “Let’s go Redskins!” as he received cheers from the other fans around him.

Dubbed “Miami’s Ultimate Hockey Fan” by regular game attendees, Jim Bodmer hasn’t missed a home hockey game in over 30 years.

Most know him because of his ever-present support and affinity for shouting the school’s old team name, but many don’t know the story behind Miami hockey’s biggest fan.

Jim graduated from Miami in 1960 with a degree in marketing. He was an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi fraternity and the Naval ROTC, and he played multiple intramural sports.

And he is still just as involved today. He continues to be active in his fraternity and is a member of its alumni board. Jim was the first president of the NROTC alumni board and even won the Naval Science Alumni Sydney Souers Award for Outstanding Alum in 2006.

But no matter how involved he remains in the Oxford community, Jim always spends most of his time on campus at hockey games.

Jim initially fell in love with the sport while growing up in Cleveland, home of the AHL Cleveland Barons at the time. He loves the nonstop action and constant gameplay. Throughout his years attending Miami’s games, he has come to know the parents and many of the players on the team, which has furthered his love for the sport.

For Jim, it’s hard to peg a specific memory to be his favorite. He has certainly been around for a few memorable games — when Jason Mallon scored a goal in overtime to lead the Miami Redskins to their first title in the 1993 CCHA Tournament, when Mike Glumac scored a goal at 4:59.9 into overtime to defeat OSU 1-0 in 2001 and when Andy Miele won the Hobey Baker Award in 2011.

Jim’s dedication to the game hasn’t only been noticed by other fans, but by the hockey team itself as well. He was awarded the Seventh Man Award, recognizing his dedication as an ultimate fan, in the 2004-2005 season, for traveling all the way to Alaska for a game. He has also travelled to the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Bowling Green, Notre Dame and Ohio State. He attended the Frozen Four in Washington D.C. in 2009 and the Frozen Four in Detroit the following year.

And his loyalty isn’t stopping anytime soon. This year’s hockey season may be over, but Jim has already bought his season tickets for next fall.

Comments