Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Oh, Great -- More Hockey

By Steven Lienert

The Phanatic Magazine

Pittsburgh may be on the other side of Pennsylvania, but it might as well be on the other side of the country. And like Dallas, New York and Boston before it, I now officially hate the dilapidated, rusted-out city from Pennsyltucky.

As a hockey fan, I should have thoroughly enjoyed Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Instead, Pittsburgh moved up my list of places that can be kicked into the Pit of Death by Leonidas.

For almost a month now, I have had to watch hockey with annoying, belligerent and, for the most part, drunk Penguins fans. Making matters worse, I lost a bet involving the Flyers and the Eastern Conference championship and have had to wear an Evgeni Malkin jersey for each game of the finals.

That led to a bunch of questions like, ‘Why are you wearing a Phillies hat, a Penguins jersey, and rooting for the Red Wings?’

I didn’t have to watch the game with these fans, but I did because I was trying to be a good sport and I thought it would add color to an otherwise drop-dead boring series.

The Penguins couldn’t score and nobody was going to fight. It was like watching Sidney Crosby do his best Kristi Yamaguchi impersonation.

Well, last night I reached my breaking point – and I snapped.

At the end of the second overtime, I had had enough -- I threw my buddies’ $175 jersey behind the bar and made a bee-line for the exit. Between my friend telling me we were watching a classic, that Malkin was better than Alex Ovechkin, and the penalties that were being called against the home team in overtime of the Stanley Cup finals, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

The more he downed his shots of Jameson, the more I wanted to strangle him. By the way, somebody should tell Malkin to give Harry Potter his cloak of invisibility back.

A mere 90 minutes earlier in the evening, the Red Wings were in the final minute of a coronation. Fans at ‘The Joe’ were calling for the Cup and Pittsburgh scribes were already writing about how bright the future will be for the Pens.

But as the Keepers of the Cup were polishing the chalice and the stands rocked in anticipation of an 11th title, Max Talbot whacked a loose puck past Chris Osgood to force overtime.

I was 34.3 seconds away from never having to wear a Penguins jersey ever again.

Instead, the game just wore on and on and on, and, according to the lack of a ref’s whistle, the Pens played pristine, penalty-free hockey for almost three full periods.

Yeah, I’m gonna have to call ‘bunk’ on that. But I digress.

For five-plus games, I’ve had to wear black-and-gold. Thanks to Petr Sykora, I’ll have to don that stinkin’ jersey for at least another two hours.

Truth is, I’d rather get slapped in the face with an Octopus.

Steve Lienert is an online sports editor for Comcast Interactive Media and can be reached at stevelienert@hotmail.com.


Unknown said...

It always cracks me up listening to how bitter Philadelphia fans can get when referring to Pittsburgh and the vast success their sports team have enjoyed. The jealousy is palpable... and it always brings a smile to my face.

Unknown said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I hate the Penguins and their whiney divey bullshit.