The hardest part about living in Yinzlandia is football season. Y'see, in Yinzlandia they have a really really good football team. They've won an insane number of Superbowls. Everyone is a die-hard fan. Or so it seems. Then there's me. I love football. Just . . . not the home town team. My favorite team USED to be the Yinzlandia team's biggest rival. But, like the Yinzlandia baseball team, my team has been bad, nay, AWFUL for the last 15 years or so. But I'm not a fair weather fan. I will wear my colors proudly and just not go out of the house on Sundays in the fall for fear of outing myself. Very few people know my football obsession, and my true friends will tease me good naturedly, but too many here are not so nice abou it.
So what's a sports fan to do? Well, if you're me, you fall in love with hockey. I originally started watching hockey as an undergraduate. Hockey wasn't very popular where I grew up, so it's been a learning curve for me. One of our first Christmases together, Hubby got me "Hockey for Dummies." (I think he was tired of answering all my questions.) When we moved to Yinzlandia, we started going to hockey games. Now, this is just my opinion but there is NOTHING like live, in person hockey. To really experience it, go to a live game. If you must watch it on tv, be sure to listen to Mike Lange and Phil Borque instead of the tv announcers.
But I digress.
Our first season here was 2003-2004. That was the start of a rough period in Yinzlandia hockey. While the Pens acquired Marc-Andre Fleury (aka Flower), Le Magnifique was out most of the season with a hip injury. Bankruptcy, a 23 game won season and all kinds of ugliness follow. And yet, we still go. And I learn to love hockey. The Pens threaten to leave for Nashville if a new arena isn't built. We hold our breath, and we still go. The team starts to gel and win. And win. And finally I'm a fan of a winning team. It's very strange to cheer a winning team after being a lifelong fan of a losing team (even if it is a different sport).
In 2009 the Pen win the Stanley Cup, which is the most amazing thing I've ever witnessed, sports wise. It's the first round of the playoffs and the Pens are down 3-0 to the cross-state rivals. A best of seven series means it's win or go home time. And the Pens have pulled it off, winning 10-3. The most goals scored by the team since 1991.
There was a point, I swear. I just kept getting distracted by the hockey game. . .