Tampa Bay Lightning fans usually cheer for their favorite players from a distance at hockey games.
But this time, athletes and fans played together on the same team and cheered one another at an inagaural event at the SoHo Sweetbay Supermarket on Wednesday, March 21.
The event was to introduce the new deli signature Lightning sandwiches that are now available at Sweetbay sub shops and during home games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Five lucky Lightning fans, who won by entering a Facebook contest last February, helped five players prepare their namesake sandwiches before a curious crowd who gathered with cameras and iPhones in hand at the grocery store at 2100 W. Swann Ave.
Tampa Tribune food writer Jeff Houck and Fox 13 feature reporter Charley Belcher were the judges who decided the best tasting sub, while Lightning feature reporter and in-arena host Brittany Zion was the emcee.
Lightning player Vincent Lecavalier and his fan Karen Brewer were the winners with the signature sub Captain’s Corned Beef (swiss cheese, corned beef, Jewish rye bread, and a secret ingredient).
The pair got bragging rights and each fan received a gift bag that included an autographed apron from their Lightning team-player.
The other signature sandwiches made with Sweetbay's Taste of Inspiration deli meats that were unveiled are: Nate Thompson’s "Turkey Thompson," Dwayne Roloson’s "The Roli Reuben," Ryan “Bugsy” Malone’s "Bugsy’s Special Roast Beef and Cheese," and Victor Hedman’s "Hedman’s Ham and Cheese."
Sweetbay made a $5,000 donation to each player's charity of choice.