Got Mongo? Feed On This!"
Become a fan of the STORE on Facebook. Click here.
Become a fan of the BLOG on Facebook. Click Here

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins Make the Impossible Probable

OMG! There, I’ve used my txtspk quota for the day. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed on Friday. I was in the Outer Banks on vacation for the majority of the series but caught the first four games at the house we were staying at. Game Five was the 5-0 shutout in Detroit and I only caught the tail end of that when we were about an hour away from home on the PA Turnpike. Game Six we watched the tail end of on Tuesday night after going out for dinner and that was a nail biter of a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh. Nothing could have prepared me for what was going to unfold in Detroit on Friday night. The odds were stacked heavily in The Red Wings' favor. No hockey team has ever won Game Seven of a Stanley Cup Series on the road. As far as Major League teams in North American sports the last time this happened was in Major League Baseball and that was the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore for Game Seven of the World Series. That’s 30 years ago. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen a lot. The NBA has yet to do it now that LA has beaten Orlando in only five games for the championship and we don't have a team so...go figure.

The other thing that hasn’t happened in a long time is Pittsburgh winning the Stanley Cup. The last time that happened was 1992, 17 years ago, against the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4-0 series shellacking. I was a junior in high school. The previous year was Pittsburgh’s first Stanley Cup victory over the Minnesota North Stars, now Dallas Stars, in a 4-2 series. I remember Game Six of that series, very, very, well.

I was a sophomore in high school and on May 25th, I was at a graduation party at the Indian Creek Valley Community Center in Indian Head, PA. Now, as a sophomore, one doesn’t expect to be attending a lot of graduation parties for his/her classmates. I was one of those weird cases where I spent a lot more time hanging out with the upperclassmen than my own grade. It was my first high school graduation party for a non relative and it was also my first taste of underage drinking beer at a party.

As kids, we all had our moments of sneaking a drink from our parents’ liquor cabinets or our Dad giving us a sip of beer during a Steelers’ Game, but this was the first real opportunity for me to partake in celebratory libations. I wasn’t even supposed to be driving a car after midnight at this point in my life. Luckily, I got a ride to this party because I was in no shape to drive by the end of the night, or so I thought.

This was 1991, a few years before the availability of big screen viewings of events via LCD projectors and the like. Those kinds of resources were for business meetings and sports bars. I was in a Community Center nestled in the foot hills of Western Pennsylvania. We had car radios to keep us posted on the NHL action. We made as many trips to the cars to get an update as we did the keg to get more beer. By the end of the second period we were all feeling pretty buzzed and our inebriation was directly proportional to our confidence in Pittsburgh winning the series. It was a foregone conclusion that Pittsburgh was going to win this game. After trading wins through the first four games, Pittsburgh picked up momentum in Game Five with a 6-4 win over the North Stars in Pittsburgh. Now all that was needed was another win in Game Six at the Met Center in Minnesota. The Pens were up 7 nothing and it looked hopeless for the North Stars.

Wait?!? Did Jimmy Paek just score? The Korean guy just scored his only goal of the playoffs? Are you kidding me? Scratch that, it was hopeless. No offense to Jimmy, he is one of my favorites and that’s not being condescending. As the first of only two Korean players in the NHL, he is the first Korean to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup and he has his sweater hanging in the Hockey Hall of Fame to honor that. Not bad. You have to respect that.

As I sat in the cab of a friend’s truck and cheered in a drunken state at the sound of the Pens winning their first Stanley Cup, ever, I was given some sobering news. The beer we had been pounding, heavily all night, causing us to run around like jackasses, whooping it up over a hockey game, was non-alcoholic. Immediately, the crowed stopped stumbling and started walking around, normally. A few us tested out our blood alcohol level with a self given, field sobriety test, just to make sure. Throughout this whole evening, we were only drunk on hockey and toasted the winning Pittsburgh Penguins with another cup of O’Douls.

He shoots he scores! Oh, buy Jimmy Paek a drink and get his dog one, too. Great job boys. Now if we could just get the Pirates to stop trading talent and start winning pennants we would truly be the City of Champions with no argument.

No comments:

Shredded Tweets