Tag:Pittsburgh Penguins
Posted on: June 13, 2009 4:36 am

City of Champions...once again...

Originally I had no intentions of turning the television to that channel, last time I did, well, it didn’t end the way I would have liked it.  So last night I didn’t want to jinx them…but couldn’t resist the pull, the urge and here it was on NBC.  A little after 10:30 pm, I was on the edge of the couch, with six seconds to go, listening to the announcers discussing about the game maybe coming down to a face off. 

Then, there it was.  A great save by Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins would soon be hoisting the cup.  Through the game, they were giving credit to Crosby and Malkin but in the end, it was a team sport with a goal tender who struggled the last time he was in Detroit, shining through. 

So at the end, I found myself doing the same thing I did when the Steelers won the Superbowl in February.  Jumping up and down and screaming with excitement and crying…literally, tears streaming down my face.  This astounded my husband…he already knew I cried during football season, now I’m crying at hockey. 

While they were still showing the Cup being passed around, my daughter comes out and asks if we won the Powerball.  I told her no, almost as good though.  She knew I got excited at football, but she never saw me watch a hockey game.  She asked why I cared…I said, because they’re from Pittsburgh and I cheer on Pittsburgh teams.  “But you don’t live in Pittsburgh anymore”…to which I responded, I’ll always be a Pittsburgh girl at heart. 

So when it comes to hockey, don’t get me wrong, I know a little bit about it, but this is one sport that if someone would call me a homer, I’d agree whole heartedly that I was.  Ask me throughout the years, who I pull for, it would be the Penguins, win or lose.  No, they don’t inspire the same passion in me that the Steelers do, but I would never denounce them, either. 

It’s not that I’m clueless about the game, I would watch time from time before the strike, but somehow, when that happened it was a shrug of the shoulders and went on with my life.  Yep, I know what a power play is, I know what checking, high sticking and even what a face off is.  I kind of have an idea what icing is, but to be honest, the hat trick still baffles me. 

Last night what I knew about hockey didn’t matter.  I was watching a game, in hopes that a repeat of last year wouldn’t occur.  After all, this time last year, it was the Penguins skating off the ice in Pittsburgh while the Redwings were hoisting the Cup.  And for six seconds, a game that I watched with some interest, but little passion, had me on the edge of my seat.  It would not be Crosby or Malkin that would shine that night, but Talbot and Fleury.

So my daughter looked at me as I tried to explain with this look of “so?” on her face.  She didn’t understand the feeling of pride that went through Pittsburgh when not only the Steelers won the Superbowl, but the Pirates won the pennant the same year.  She wouldn’t, she wasn’t even a gleam in her fathers eye at that time.  What it was like to hear the city that you love was referred nationwide as the City of Champions.  Nor would she understand the excitement when the Penguins, with Lemieux and Jaggr at the helm when they tried for a three-peat in the 90s. 

She wouldn’t understand how storied this Penguins franchise will become in the future.  That a team, which was on the verge of being uprooted was purchased by a former Penguins Stanley Cup winner and other fans who did it to keep the team in Pittsburgh.  Or how that former player, battled his own adversities with cancer, to comeback and be considered one of the greatest NHL players in recent history, would turn the team around through his ownership and help them win the cup, despite a shake up in the team this year.

Guess if she did understand, she wouldn’t have shaken her head in bewilderment, when, towards the end of the celebration, the arena erupted into cheers and the cameras showed Mario Lemieux  hoisting the Cup over his head and there I was, tears flowing freely, clapping at the television because the moment I was waiting for finally arrived.

Last night, and for a little while, the City of Pittsburgh will be celebrating.  The second time they'll be welcoming sports champions home.  Make no mistake, Pittsburgh is the city of Champions.  The Steelers Superbowl win, being the first franchise to win six rings in the Superbowl era NFL...and now, welcoming back the 2009 Stanley Cup winners, with a two time former Cup winner coming back with them, very much a part of that team even though he's hung up his skates. 

For me, again, I might not be a part of the celebrations, but my spirit will be with them.  And my heart...well, you can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of her heart...nor can you take out the teams that represents...the City of Champions. 

Congratulations to the Penguins, 2009 Stanley Cup Winners.

Posted on: April 22, 2009 12:42 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2009 12:44 pm

Off-Season Blues...almost over

Well if you’re like me, you’ve probably looked over the potential draft picks, watched as many replays and NFL Films as you could, just to try to sedate your hunger for professional football.  Yep, there were some things that we could sink our teeth into and chew over a bit, like Jay Cutlers trade to the Chicago Bears, or the new rules instituted by the NFL for player safety. 

Still you have to admit, even with free agency, there’s that “dead” period between the end of the season and the NFL draft.  And yes, come Saturday, you’ll find me watching the draft.  No, I didn’t make up a mock draft, I leave that up to my husband.  He’s pretty good at spotting talent, but he usually does so only for trying to address the Indianapolis’s Colts needs.  Me, I groaned when the Steelers picked up a quarterback in the first round in the 2004 draft.  Then again when they picked up a punter in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.  So, hint, never listen to me about draft choices.

So we’re now three days away from the draft and not only are they gearing up for their picks, teams are starting to hold their voluntary training camps, including the Pittsburgh Steelers.  We now actually have activities that we can actually start watching and contemplating for next season. 

So there’s still a lot of the year to go before kickoff of the regular season, but hey, it’s promising.  Last years first round draft pick for the Steelers worked out with the team this week.  Running back Rashard Mendenhall had missed most of the season with a broken shoulder, so we really weren’t able to tell if the Steelers picking him up in the first round was a bust or not.  His ability is still promising…now if he remembers to lower his shoulder when he runs into Ray Lewis this season, which he will. 

With the departure of Nate Washington, this could be Wide Receiver Limas Sweed’s year to shine.  If he doesn’t try to watch himself on the jumbotron, he should be fine and could have a year like WR Santonio Holmes had in his sophomore year. 

The veterans who remained after the 2005 Superbowl win are looking to avoid the hangover that they experienced in 2006.  Okay, so it’s still the same old, same old, but hey, at least I get to see current pictures of players working out and don’t have to resort to watching repeat of cold weather games.

It hasn’t been that bad though.  I did manage to plant a butterfly bush which will probably bloom right about the time pre-season hits.  Sports wise, it’s exciting to see the Penguins in the hunt for the Stanley Cup and leading the current series 3-1.  Ya know, if the Pen’s do win the cup…wonder if there’s hope for the Pirates this season.

Okay…just three more days to go…can it get here soon enough?



Posted on: April 15, 2008 4:41 am
Edited on: April 15, 2008 4:52 am

The Homer in Me

Okay,. I'll admit it, I'm one of those kind of fans.  No, not with football, but with the NHL.  As with baseball, once the players went on strike, I lost interest in hockey.  Unlike football though, the only team I watched and still keep an eye on is the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It's the homer in me, they're a Pittsburgh team and I wouldn't be following hockey at all, if it weren't for them.  I guess it's a redemptive characteristic of mine that when asked who my favorite hockey team is, I admit the Pens, even in the bad years. 

This year definitely isn't a bad year and once again, I find myself excited for the Penguins, even more so, as they lead their playoff series with the Ottawa Senators at 3-0.  What's exciting me though isn't their run, but the surprises that I've been finding out about them.  I was joking with a coworker about Lemieux and Jagr being back together again.  Okay, they're not the team of the early 90s that tried to go for a three-peat, but there is that spark in todays team, a team which is very young.

The fire was lit last year when they made it to the playoffs, only to be knocked out by the Senators in a 4-1 series loss in the first round.  Now their back, not only taking the Atlantic Division but looking to advance to the next round.  Their shut out of the Senators in the first game had me bouncing in my seat and their win last night has me excited again for the Pens. 

Now it's just keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath and hoping that this passionate group brings the Cup back to Pittsburgh.  Only if the Pirates could find it in them to get a team together and make the same type of run.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com