Posts Tagged 'sports'

A Tale of Two Penguins

Like most native Western Pennsylvanians, I’m a huge fan of our Pittsburgh sports teams.  I cheered on our Steelers as they won the Super Bowl this year, I was as irate as any of our players and fans when the stupid Pirates management traded yet another of our best baseball players for more “prospects”, and I’m just coming down from the roller-coaster ride that was the Stanley Cup playoffs between Detroit and our awesome young Pittsburgh Penguins.  Living with men, I’ve come to enjoy watching most sports — but I have to say, Penguins hockey is my favorite to watch.  It’s just so fast-paced and physical.

Last year, our Pens also made it to the Stanley Cup finals, against the very same team — the Detroit Red Wings.  Well, the teams weren’t exactly the same; the core players were still there, but some of the personnel had changed.  The Penguins even had a different coach.  And the outcome — well, the outcome was a complete turnaround.

Even if you have no interest in sports, there are some interesting life lessons in our Pens journey to the Cup.  In mid-February, despite having some awesome talent on our team, we were in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and five points out of a playoff spot.  With a little tweaking (and a new head coach), the Pens were amazingly able to turn things around to secure a coveted spot in the final series.

Craig Adams, a winger we picked up from Chicago off waivers joined our team on March 4th.  If he hadn’t been picked up by anyone, his hockey career could have been over.  Instead, he took this new opportunity, played with gusto for his new team, and three short months later was hoisting the Stanley Cup, the pinnacle of success in the NHL, into the air.

Veteran player Marian Hossa was a force to be reckoned with last year.  He scored 12 goals and 26 points for our Pittsburgh Penguins.  Even though we didn’t win the cup, we realized what an asset Hossa was and offered him a reported seven-year, $50 million deal.  He kind of shocked the fans by turning down this vote of confidence and signing on with our opponent, the Red Wings, for a$7.45 million 1-year deal because he claimed the move gave him “the best chance to win the Cup.”  Talk about a slap in the face?  It’s kind of like those yoo-hoos on “Deal Or No Deal” who turn down a sure $250,000 for a shot at winning a million — or nothing.  And Marian kinda got nothing this year.

The seven-game series this year was phenomenal.  Both teams are fantastic.  I seriously believe it came down to who wanted it more.  Detroit wanted it, sure, but they had their turn last year.  The young Pens, who watched the Red Wings take victory laps around our home ice last year, “never wanted to feel that way again.”  And with a whole lot of heart and determination, they didn’t have to, at least not this year.

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The ‘Burgh is Rockin’

Sing along now:  PITTSBURGH’S GOIN’ TO THE SUPER BOWL!!helmet21


Not So Happy New Year in Sports

Pitt lost.  Penn State lost.  Our wonderful Pittsburgh Penguins lost.

Thank goodness the Steelers don’t play this week.

Let’s hope 2009 is nothing like the sad showing of the teams I was rooting for today.

Steelers Fans and a Very Cool Job

Okay. Everybody knows Pittsburgh sports fans are the greatest fans in the world. Even when they move away, they are still loyal to their “Stillers”, Pens, and Pirates, which is why even for Steelers training camp, people have traveled from as far away as Florida and Chicago this week to see the guys in black and gold. Youngest Son, who at the beginning of May had no idea what he was going to do for a summer job, is now finishing up his summer at his third and coolest job of all. He started yesterday working for the Steelers at their summer training camp.

I’m betting some people would actually pay to do this job, but Youngest Son and some other lucky students are actually earning some cash for school. I couldn’t wait until he came home yesterday so he could tell us all about the job. First of all, the spectators are all happy to be there to get a chance to catch a glimpse of their favorite Steeler in action and maybe even get an autograph. The weather was about as perfect as a Southwestern Pennsylvania summer day can get. And Youngest Son, one of the biggest sports fans on the planet, got to drive these awesome Steelers around the campus on a golf cart as part of his job.

It seems these players are as entertaining off the field as they are on the field. He said Ryan Clark and Willie Parker were really funny and very cool. Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu are also known as being super nice but since they were on the back of the cart, he didn’t get much of a chance to chat with them. The whole staff has been awesome to him and the other workers so far. It’s a great way for a sports-loving college student to spend his last couple weeks before hitting the books.

Hey!

Hey, Pittsburgh Pens!  There’s a whole 3 hours of my life I’m not gonna get back–watching you guys be totally intimidated by the Detroit geezers.  I think our young guys are maybe intimidated by their veteran players?  You are allowed to hit them.  They’re not gods.  The only guy on our team that really got tough with them was our 40-something year old, Gary Roberts.  But Mr. Roberts is always tough.  We’re behind you guys.  We love our Pens.  But play like men next time and maybe score one freakin’ goal, okay?


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