May 31, 2008
Well, this is my first attempt to write down my feelings involving my absolute love of Pittsburgh Sports and the ups and downs that come with being a Pittsburgh Sports Fan. Obviously there have been a great deal of bright days in my life so far in regards to the successes of the sports teams here. I have witnessed the Penguins win not one but two Stanley Cup Titles in the early 90's and I watched in excitement as the Steelers won Super Bowl XL(40) back in February of 2006 which coincidentally was the same year I married my wonderful wife Kaz. I have watched and hung on every last second of the Pirates in my earlier years of life as they won and won and won only to lose to the Atlanta Braves in what seemed like every year at some point and time in the Playoffs. A trip to Georgia with my then girlfriend and now my wife led me to a little bit of closure with the Braves even though she nor her cousin or anyone of her family members who were there knew about it and still don't to this very day.
You may ask then, "what downs have you faced?" Well, if your able to read this then you probably know how to look at standings in the various sports leagues and you also can probably date back in history and see that in this current baseball season, the Pirates are set to quite possibly set a little history this year...and it's not the type of history you want connected to yourself. They may break the old record of consecutive losing seasons in Major League Baseball...and boy aren't we all as fans and fellow Pittsburghers just as happy as a greased pig about it!!! Things could change and they aren't too many games below .500 but at the same time there is several interleague series to come and most likely a lot of ups and downs among their pitching staff and lineups to come in the next few months.
We also have a little thing going on currently, namely the Stanley Cup Finals where our Penguins are facing the very tough Detroit Red Wings and right now the series has taken an uncomfortable turn as the Red Wings won again tonight 2-1 to take a 3 games to 1 lead over the Pens. The Series started off with not one but two consecutive shutout losses for the Pens and boy that was making for a very large and tough pill to swallow. Thanks to the grace of God, our almighty creator up above, the Penguins were able to win Game 3 in Pittsburgh. At that time their undefeated streak stood at 16 games at the Mellon Arena dating back to the Regular Season but of course tonight changed all that in that it ended their winning streak at home and left them in a pretty decent hole to climb out of against a very veteran and playoff experienced and tested team in these Red Wings. I have COMPLETE FAITH in the Penguins that they have the skill and the youthful exuberance to do it and end this season triumphantly as the Stanley Cup Champions, but if by some chance their efforts come up short either in Game 5 or 7 in Detroit or Game 6 in Pittsburgh, I cannot tell you...I cannot put into words just how very very Proud I am of this team and all they accomplished this year. If the Red Wings win, I will at least be able to swallow the pill...maybe not right away....that the veteran leadership and experience won this series as oppose to some fluky mishap as have occurred in years past in other sports. It will also give the Penguins an unmeasurable amount of playoff experience and will turn each and every player on the roster into a Playoff Veteran. Last year, we or should I say they being the Penguins lost to the Ottawa Senators in the very first round of the playoffs and look just what that experienced helped them to achieve this year.
All in all, this 2007-2008 NHL Season has been kind to us as Pens Fans. Our Captain was hurt and was not able to repeat, as he was favored to do as the Art Ross or Hart Trophy Winner as that distinction went out to another very deserving player and the only player that beat Sidney Crosby out for an award that he was favored to win and a player that along with Crosby will forever be connected to each other as they entered the NHL both as Rookies due to the lockout in 2004. Drafted in separate yet consecutive years they were both on display and herald as the Saviors of this game and that player's name is Alexander Ovechkin or just Alex as he goes by now.
I was hoping for the Stanley Cup to come back to Pittsburgh this year as this may also be the last year that several big name players are with the Penguins and it could also spell goodbye to at least one player that was picked up at the Trade Deadline to help guide the Penguins to the Finals and hopefully a Stanley Cup Championship, Marian Hossa. He could and most likely will get a BIG TIME contract elsewhere. If he wants to best help his own cause to win a championship and this might just be a little bit of Pittsburgh Bias but I am usually very fair and neutral in what is best for a player in regards to his family and his career, he would stay in Pittsburgh and help fuel a line of pure explosiveness. Imagine what one entire season of Crosby dishing to Hossa and vice versa could entail for the record books and the scoring title...now imagine several of those seasons...do you see the sky being the limit for those two if joined together cause I do!!!
No matter what happens Monday, I couldn't be happier or prouder to be a Pittsburgh Penguins Fan and if it goes to a Game 6 or a Game 7 that will only help to show why we all as Pittsburgh Sports Fans should be smiling and proud to call the Pens "Our Team."