I have a confession: I am a half-hearted Pittsburgh fan. Or, better put, a third-hearted fan. Because, while I am about as obsessed a Steelers fan as you’ll find, I have never felt a pull to the Pirates or Penguins. Well, aside from a middle-school crush on Pirates outfielder Andy Van Slyke.
My parents were not hockey fans, so they didn’t take me to Penguins games as a kid, or teach me the names of players or rules of the game. When I moved to Florida, it was a hockey-less state. We didn’t even have an ice skating rink in Cape Coral, let alone a semi-pro team, or a Stanley Cup champion two hours north. My only link to the sport of hockey was a last name one letter from one of Chicago-Philly-Phoenix-LA-San Jose’s finest.
But Lindsay sure talks a mean game about this mean game, and it sounds like a sport I could get into. Especially now that the most exciting young player in years is wearing the black and gold. Now is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Why not, right? I did it with the Mets in the 80s, and I still haven’t fallen off. Also, where else would I wear the “I Heart Sidney Crosby” T-shirt I just bought?
So, last night I began my journey to become a Penguins fan. Lindsay and I left work at 6, walked west on 34th to Madison Square Garden and I watched my first live Penguins game. It was a fun time. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Sid the Kid play, and Pittsburgh lost 5-2. But I did get to wave my Terrible Towel after each of those goals. Who says you can’t mix and match your Allegheny allegiances?
(The action wasn’t all that hot, but the between-period entertainment wasn’t bad. Those are all former Rangers racing ice karts …)