In 2013, Brandon residents Jason Earl (Glen Lea Golf Course manager/owner) and Marty Kauk (Wheat City Electric owner) along with a few friends felt that it was time to do something very unique with their winters. So five friends including Tyler Grime, Shane Cashin, and Brett Elder had the idea to buy some fighter pilot helmets and Jets jerseys and check out the Winnipeg Jets playing the Tampa Bay Lighting and Florida Panthers. So what is really the big deal? The group have made the Florida trip an annual tradition and have been dubbed the MB Helmet Heads. Now recognized whenever they visit they have become cult like icons at these games.
Over the years up to as many as 19 people have made the trip to South Florida to share some Canadian passion for the sport.
Jason Earl said so many things are different when you go to the games down south including some ticket prices being available for as low as $6.50 (which is cheaper than going to a AAA Midget game in Manitoba)…or for $25.00 you can have all you can eat Subway and beer.
Kauk said the people are beyond friendly to them and that it is almost a paparazzi like experience when they arrive. “Ushers and security staff go out of their way for us to feel welcome at the games”.
According to Earl, the other teams fan base looks forward to their visit each year and the lineup to take pictures with the group can become really large at times.
Some of the crew that have attended in the past include Glen Earl, Trevor Peters, Jim Kauk, Chris Bauman, Derek Stewart, Connor Thompson, Ty Froese, Greg Gaboury, Nathan Peto and Cam Toews.