Monday, May 11, 2009

Hockey... My Secret Love.

If you didn't already know - I'm a huge baseball fan. It's in the name of my blog. At age 12 I had Pittsburgh Pirates wallpaper and newspaper clippings hanging on my bedroom walls. I don't think there was a square inch of my room that wasn't colored black & gold. I've gone to Spring Training four times, now, to watch meaningless games played, many times, by meaningless players. I've been to the World Series in NY when the Yankees beat the Mets. I was at the last game at Veteran's Stadium and the first game at PNC Park. I'm also a descendant of Western PA - so I'm a football... no a Steelers fan, too. These two sports hold a very special place in my heart and in my life. They are more than a game to me... they are a bond with family and friends... they are a link to my past and a window into the future.

All of this being said - I don't think there is a more exciting sport than playoff hockey. Watching these guys, fatigued as hell, find the will to push on and play the game is utterly incredible. At times I catch myself thinking, "Holy crap! I can't even ice skate and these guys have done it for 60 minutes at full speed." Not to mention they have an actual purpose (not just skating around and around and around in circles.) Does it help that the Pens are an incredible team? Yes. Have I paid as much attention to the Pens in the past 15 years as I have to the Steelers and Pirates? No. But do I love watching this team in the playoffs? Absolutely. Sammy is still up and we are wearing our Crosby jerseys trying to will a win in OT against the Caps.

Sports are more than sports for our family. We're not crazy. We're not fanatics. It is just a bond and a kinship that is not imagined, but very real and very tangible.

Ovechkin scares the crap out of me.