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#StandWithUs: Help needed for original Preds 'superfan' hit in head with puck

(WZTV)

If you are a Predators fan, you're familiar with the slogan "Stand With Us."

And now, one of the team's biggest fans is in need of a little help standing.

Ben Butzbach was hit in the head by a slap shot while walking on the ice at a charity hockey league he started. It happened right before the Preds season and it literally took him out -- out of his season ticket -- out of work -- out of the game.

"The worst part is lights and noise it’s a direct head injury concussion and dealing with any type of loud noises," Butzbach said. "I can't drive at night, even looking at computer after 15 or 20 minutes, everything goes blurry.”

And he has been missed.

If you have been to a Predators game you have seen something hard to forget.

“Using my canvas as you will to cheer on my team,” "Big Ben" said.

Ben has been painting his ample belly since 2011.

"A different design every game, it always makes the Jumbotron and makes the crowd go wild," Butzbach said. "I think it was just something different, it was fun, it was just something fun to get the crowd going."

But, it was so much more than just fun. He became a co-host for 102.5 The Penalty Box and started a charity hockey league for police and firefighters. It even changed his legal status.

“I proposed to my wife using my bell, to say it’s a apart of my life is an understatement. I live and die Predators," Butzbach said.

But he also has a mortgage.

Ben recently went on Facebook to announce he was selling much of his hockey memorabilia. He has been out of work for 6 months now.

He briefly mentioned why he was selling and discovered something:

As much as he loves the Preds nation, they love him back.

Preds PA Announcer Paul McCann jumped in, starting a GoFundMe page. It's raised more than $6,000 so far.

“We really had to talk him into it, he has been such a part of Predators hockey, he is one of the original superfans," McCann said. "In fact, I can’t think of anyone in the NHL who is doing what he is doing.”

‘I was floored," Blutzbach said. "Blown away with messages of prayer and support. I knew there was a hockey family I didn't know how deep it was, this is overwhelming.”

If you'd like to donate to "Big Ben," click here.


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