On The Couch With Craig: Christina Priddy
The latest in a series of profiles of AZ Coyotes Insider founding members
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Christina Priddy and I have known each for a while but we finally got the chance to chat at the Coyotes’ paint-the-ice event at Gila River Arena on May 15. That’s where I met her adorable daughter Delilah, who will turn 4 in July.
Christina is a Valley rarity: an Arizona native who even did all of her schooling here. She also turned in the cleanest copy that this former editor has received for the On The Couch segment.
Today is Christina’s birthday, so please wish her a happy birthday. Christina, you have the floor.
Full name: Christina Priddy
Twitter account: @phxchristina
Birthplaces: Phoenix, Arizona
Current city of residence: Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona history: Fun fact: I've lived in Phoenix zip codes my whole life, except for the 3.5 years I was in Flagstaff at NAU.
Age: 39 today
Occupation: IT Professional
Hobbies: Camping, reading, following the Coyotes and hockey
Pandemic adopted hobbies: Does finding ways to entertain a 2/3-year old without going out in public count?
Little known fact about you: I've camped at the same campground in the White Mountains of Arizona almost every summer since I was in elementary school.
Describe how you became a hockey/Coyotes fan and your involvement with the team over the years.
I've always had a peripheral interest in hockey. Growing up, I was more of a basketball fan (Go Suns!), but the son of the woman who babysat me played hockey and would talk about the Phoenix Roadrunners, and so I would hear about it from him when he was around. I was excited when Arizona got an NHL team, but wasn't really following sports all that much at the time and really just followed from a distance.
In early January 2019, my husband's boss asked him if we wanted to go to a game. Having always wanted to go to a game, Joel and I jumped at the opportunity. Even though the Coyotes lost the game, we had so much fun and we were hooked. The atmosphere at hockey games is seriously unmatched.
I went a little off the deep end learning about the game, the players, etc. I started following some people on Twitter, found the Natural Hat Trick Podcast (👏), followed the r/coyotes subreddit on Reddit. We ended up going to most of the remaining home games that season, bought a ticket package the following season, and then went all in on season tickets for 2020-2021 (that we didn't use due to the pandemic).
I went to a couple games at the very end of this season (Leighton's ring-of-honor game with my mom), and then we took my brother and sister-in-law to the last home game of the season. We've tried to go to as many of the events that the team has hosted, too — those seem to be the activities that Delilah remembers (currently, she's still talking about painting on the ice and seeing Howler, but she has a soft spot for trick or treating around Gila River Arena). We are looking forward to being at a lot of games and events next season.
We have been watching some women's hockey, too, and had a lot of fun going to a couple of the Dream Gap Tour games last year at Oceanside right before everything shut down. We've also started following the Roadrunners and went down to Tucson for our first Roadrunners game in May. I expect we'll be doing that again.
What are your favorite Coyotes memories and what details do you remember from them?
Favorite Coyotes memories so far:
Being at the game for Vinnie Hinostroza's hat trick. How cool is it to see a hat trick in person?!
Hockey Fights Cancer night with Leighton. It's amazing how the Coyotes connected with Leighton and her family.
Watching Delilah dance and cheer at the games.
Another cool moment was Kyle Capobianco's first NHL goal. My brother and I happened to be sitting next to and in front of a bunch of his family and friends, so that goal celebration was extra special.
Is Coyotes fandom a family affair?
Our fandom is definitely a family affair. My husband, Joel, went all in on hockey and the Coyotes right along with me. I now find him watching hockey videos before bed almost every night. Our daughter, Delilah, was 2 at her first game. She loves to wear her Coyotes jersey and cheer for the team. I'm hoping this next season she'll be more interested in the games, but right now she mostly enjoys the atmosphere and watching for Howler.
She does a really good "Let's Go Coyotes" chant that she'll break out into randomly, and has been continually disappointed these past weeks when we're watching playoff games and none of the teams are the Yotes.
We've taken my parents and my brother and sister-in-law to games, and often make them watch games on TV on family nights, so we're doing our part to bring them into the fold. My brother (the biggest overall sports fan of the family) tells me the Coyotes are currently in his top-5 favorite sports teams. We've also gone to some games with friends and it's always fun to spot people we know in the stands or on the jumbotron or in the parking lot.
What line of work are you in and why did you choose it?
I'm a pharmacy systems admin and SME (subject matter expert) for the Albertsons IT department. I honestly never planned on pharmacy becoming a career. I worked for Walgreens in high school and started working in the pharmacy as a tech while I was in college. I always planned to get back to writing (I aspired at one point to be a journalist) or go to law school, but several pharmacies and many years later, I crossed over into IT as a way of getting out of retail pharmacy.
I worked at a local independent pharmacy for 10 years, and I've now been at Albertsons for 5 years, helping to keep the 1,600-plus pharmacies updated and working on projects to enhance the system. I love the challenge of working in IT and I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that what we do enables the pharmacy staff to take better care of our customers.
What are some of your other interests?
Growing up, we went camping every summer for vacations, usually for two weeks, and my love for camping has carried forward. Give me a camp chair in the mountains with a book to read and pine trees all around and you'll find one happy woman.
We try to go camping for at least a week every summer, and almost always go back to the campground that I went to with my family growing up: Luna Lake Campground outside of Alpine. Often, we end up there with at least part of my family; this summer we're looking forward to going with my parents.
Now that Delilah is getting older, we are starting to talk about visiting national parks, too. We took her to the Grand Canyon late last summer (we had to get out of the house!) and she STILL talks about it. We recently camped with some friends on BLM land outside of Tonopah and now that I've experienced dispersed camping I am looking forward to seeing where else we can camp and explore.
I love to read (pretty much anything and everything) and try to find the time to do that when I can (usually late at night). Growing up, I actually would get temporary library memberships to the little community library they had in Alpine and check out all sorts of books to read while we were camping. We would read books like “Nancy Drew” and “Harry Potter” around the campfire together, and in middle school and high school I went through a phase of reading all of Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonriders of Pern" series. I was actually just thinking recently that I might want to read those again. I read a lot of Michael Crichton during those years, too. Currently, I'm reading through the full J.D. Robb "In Death" series (I'm on book 42), as well as “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes. I'm getting ready to start a reread of the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon (local author!) ahead of the release of the next novel in the series later this year. I'm basically always reading at least two books at a time, if not more.
Most of my free time these days is wrapped up in Delilah and family. This summer we plan to swim a lot, hit up some splash pads, work with Delilah on writing letters and numbers, take some day trips, and hopefully go to a few museums. I took her to the library for the first time last weekend, and I am looking forward to many more trips there with her. Beyond that, we're enjoying watching the Suns play in the playoffs, watching all those other hockey teams play for the Stanley Cup, and are anxiously watching to see what happens in the offseason with our beloved Coyotes.
Editor’s note: Here is another photo of Delilah because it’s awesome.
Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter: @CraigSMorgan