When her law school dance fell on the same night as a Panthers game, Kerry Donohue was crestfallen.
But her mission was clear.
"I had to at least represent my team and make myself a Florida Panthers dress!" said Donohue, who is rapidly shooting to the top of any and all "Dream Girls of South Florida" lists. "Since I had to miss that Saturday night game, I figured it would be fun to wear Panthers stuff. I just wanted to make a dress that definitely screamed 'Panthers fanatic' while not looking too tacky or insane."
(Eh, "tacky and insane" is already covered.)
A picture of Donohue's gown in action on the dance floor landed in the hands of Puck Daddy, a Yahoo! hockey blog that chronicles misfortunes in "jersey fouls." But nary a reader thought this dress crossed the line; in fact, it seems her self-sewn stylings have attracted quite a following. "I'm in love," one hockey fan shared. "My prom date just looked like a Panther. Whiskers included."
Donohue, who occasionally embellishes or re-styles team wear to give as gifts, said the dress took "a couple days" to make. Her boyfriend was willing to help pin it in the middle of the night, but stopped short at wearing anything matching -- he's a steadfeast Blackhawks fan.
Clearly, any devotee willing to wear her heart on her sleeveless dress, or travel to away games as Donohue does, is pretty die-hard. But Donohue's even a Panthers employee -- she enjoys slinging t-shirts into the crowd at the BankAtlantic as part of the Panther Patrol.
One thing her employer may not want to know: the Panthers aren't actually her first love.
Her homemade high school prom dress featured the teal pinstripes and logo of their neighboring baseballers, the Marlins.
Janie Campbell is a Florida sports fan who once rocked the daylights out of a t-shirt with Carlos Valderrama's face airbrushed onto it. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.