List #205: Hockey

If you're not from Pittsburgh, and certainly if you don't follow hockey, you might not know that the Pittsburgh Penguins are running a 14 game winning streak. We've made some trades, we're at the top of the standings, and the last two games ended in shut-outs. It's entirely impossible to not get caught up in the fever of hockey in this town right now. Unless you're the group of guys behind me in Subway this afternoon. And if that's the case, I'll be sure to cast you the evil eye. And oh boy, is it fun and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

I won't claim to be the biggest Pens fan in Pittsburgh. Hell, I'm not even the biggest Penguins fan I know. One of my friends has gone to hockey camp with Mario Lemeuix, another had season tickets delivered by Sidney Crosby, and another can rattle off old roster numbers faster than I can name all of the books I've read this year. But through the years, being around all of these wonderful people, watching Penguins win Stanley Cups and more Stanley Cups, going to games, and just generally having the nicest group of players ever in your town, you start to really like hockey. Confession (and borderline blasphemy in Pittsburgh, though becoming more and more acceptable) I usually prefer the Penguins to the Steelers.

So when we won tonight. And my favorite player scored twice (though I missed them due to yoga), I screamed a little bit in my living room. Got very excited. And then started thinking about all of the things the Penguins are attached to in my memory:

  • Coloring "Let's Go Pens" signs in the '90s to hang in our windows. 
  • All of those Black & Gold days in school. And all of those days that I wished for a Pens t-shirt (We didn't have a lot of money those days. The girl in the house wasn't getting the shirt first) and wore Black & Gold combinations of clothes.
  • Naming our family's second rabbit Stanley, after Lord Stanley, of course. 
  • Running into Pascal Dupuis getting coffee at Starbucks. Multiple times.
  • Running into Pascal Dupuis at Giant Eagle. 
  • Wishing Pascal Dupuis a Merry Christmas.
  • My first Penguins game in the Civic Area.
  • Taking an ex-boyfriend to a Penguins game. Seeing a hat trick and having him not even get up to cheer. He was a winner that one.
  • Making it to the Jumbotron.
  • Getting tipsy, and eating wings, in a bar with a boy I very much liked. And some quiet things whispered in my ear during commercial breaks of very early playoff games.
  • Losing my voice at games.
  • Old students drawing me pictures of the Penguins logo in their homework assignments.
  • Slyly hanging "Let's Go Pens" signs in my classroom (so that the school's director wouldn't see) during playoffs. 
  • Winning a signed Malkin jersey.
  • Running around outside, with an ex-boyfriend who bought me Pens t-shirts, when we finally did win another championship.
  • Generous friends with season tickets and the energetic text messages they send.
  • Cowbells.
  • The esoteric game "Penguin Sex."
See, I told you those Penguins are tied up in a lot. Now, let's go Penguins. 

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