Sunday, June 14, 2009

So, yeah, I think this is why I love sports.

I've been asking myself for years why I enjoy sports so much... Why do I follow the same teams religiously? Why do I put so much time and effort into watching any and every game I can? I usually find myself asking these questions after one of my favorite teams loses. WVU football and basketball are gut-wrenching. The Pirates gave me the worst sports loss I've ever been a part of and then continued to lose for the next seventeen years. The Steelers had playoff loss after playoff loss in the 90s and early 2000s. Reggie Miller and my Indiana Pacers never won a championship, but were oh so close 5 or 6 times. And the Penguins.... oh, the Penguins... they won back-to-back championships in 1991 and 1992 under Mario's reign. However, at that time in my life, I didn't even know what a hockey puck was. I started following hockey in 1993. :/

That brings me to the point of this rambling post. Friday night was game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the evil Detroit Red Wings and my good guys, the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was for all the marbles. Win or lose, the playoffs are over. The game was in Detroit. Prior to this game, the Red Wings were 11-1 during the playoffs in Detroit. The Penguins were outscored 11-2 in Detroit and hadn't managed to pull off a victory there the entire series. And oh yeah, there's game 5 of this series where the Penguins were beaten 5-0 in Detroit. So, needless to say, I wasn't confident about this game 7.

The Penguins scored 2 goals in the second period. Both came from the rough and tough Maxime Talbot. They took that 2 goal lead into the third period. I kept telling my wife and 2 friends we watched the game with, "That isn't enough! We need a third goal." I wasn't convinced two goals would get the job done. However, to my delight, I was wrong. The Red Wings added a goal late in the third period to make things extremely interesting over the last 3 minutes, but the Penguins prevailed and won the Stanley Cup.

We've watched 21 of the 23 Penguin playoff games this season. It's been a long journey, but this year, it was rewarding. Watching the final seconds tick off the clock in game 7 was one of the best moments I've experienced since becoming a sports fan. After losing to the Red Wings in last year's Stanley Cup Finals and beating all expectations this year by winning a game 7 in Washington and Detroit makes it even sweeter.

This, my friends, is why I'm a sports fan. The lows make the highs so much better. The highs don't occur as much as the lows, but when they do, I'm pretty certain there's nothing in sports that beats that feeling. So, sit back, chill out and watch the video posted above. Maybe you can catch a little of that feeling as well.


  1. Good Job L.C. I watched the whole finish that you posted since I had not seen it. You are right. Sports is life accentuated. "The thrill of V., the agony of defeat", indeed. Hardwork, teamwork, highs to strive for; lows you cannot always control, but, must accept with the same amount of dignity and sportsmanship: always. (Remindful of the words of Rudyard K., eh?)

    I lost interest in ice hockey after the Flames left Atlanta. I was a hockey fan and even won four free tix to a game after being one of about 70 people that submitted "Atlanta Flames" as the name of "our" team in a city wide contest. It all started for me with the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon TV with the great Bobby Orr, Wayne Cashman, and P. Esposito. I finally got to see some hockey greats play live! So, I have had my time as hockey fan. It's just no longer my fave.

    Maybe it doesn't matter which sport, so much, as long as one has an appreciation for the struggle and the competition, whatever the contest. That you have it, is evident. Congrats again to you and yr team in believing in the struggle. Enjoyed your post! Later..

  2. Great Post! I always refer to my sports addiction by saying that it's something for me to stress out over, but I have absolutely NO control over it - and I love it.

    While I openly admit to only caring about hockey when the Pens are in the playoffs and to not watching every minute of the games even then, my heart beats faster and my palms get sweaty when I watch or listen.

    Even at the Pirates game last night - I found myself getting so excited and proud of the win!

    Great post!

  3. Artie...I didn't know until recently that the Flames started in Atlanta. That's pretty cool that you helped name the team and got to see all of those amazing players.

    Becky... I wish I had more control over it. Sometimes I sit and think about how I'd like to pick up a little Nintendo control and help them out. How about that Freddy Sanchez grand salami? That was probably pretty cool to witness in person.

  4. And just to add one thing... You can tell Marian Hossa to SUCK IT!

  5. Good call, Dan. I think that sounds like a wonderful blog post.

  6. Maybe it's all about teamwork which is inspiring.