Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I bleed black and gold. I remember the Steelers winning Superbowls, cheering on the Pirates during the summer, and most importantly, the Penguins winning Stanley Cups. I am not on the bandwagon. Watching Pittsburgh sports teams is simply the way of life.
Even though I am no longer living in the area, I still watch the sports religiously. Whether it is on my laptop or in the lounge in my dorm, I always find a way to watch the game. I love all the sports teams, but hockey will always be my favorite.
I've always admired the teamwork of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. I remember watching Marc Andre Fleury as goalie, and now cheering on for Matt Murray. Watching Guentzel, Letang, Hörnqvist, Määttä, Rust, Sheary, and all the whole gang score goal after goal. On game days, I proudly wear my Phil Kessel shirt, even if those here in Philadelphia might glare at me for it.
With that being said, being a Penguins fan means knowing the PA rivalry between the Flyers and Penguins, hating Ovechkin, and hating Nashville during last year's playoffs and their catfish. You also praise Mario Lemieux as if he is god himself.
Hockey season is hands down the best season too. As a kid, especially in high school, my parents and I would get pizza and wings before the game. It was like a little ritual. Homework didn't exist when the puck dropped as whole focus was on the game at hand. I can even hear my dad screaming at the TV as if he was head coach if the other team scored. Hockey has been one of the many things that has made my dad and I bond too. We both get excited like children on Christmas when it's game day.
I also remember WDVE's skits and segments about Pens hockey like "Evgeni Malkin's diary" or the spinoff of The Ting Ting's "That's Not My Name" as if it were Malkin singing it.
If we were in the car, we didn't listen to music when the game was on. We always found a radio station that broadcasted the game and that would be our entertainment. My heart always raced hearing the excitement of the announcer calling the plays of each player. Our car would shake as if we were in the arena ourselves each time the goal horn would go off.
There is also this weird rush of happiness whenever a fight breaks on the ice. Maybe that is something we all acquire by loving hockey, or maybe it's just because I know the strength of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Now, the Penguins, the best team around, are in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third year in a row. They crushed the Philadelphia Flyers and are moving on to round two to defeat the Washington Capitals. And you know I'm screaming "#3elieve" from the top of my lungs.