Thursday, October 23, 2008



Actually, it started a few weeks ago. But they did not play the first games in the States. They actually played them overseas. My beloved Pittsburgh Penguins had their first two games in Stockholm, Sweden against our biggest rivals . . . the Ottawa Senators. We won the first game. We lost the second.

I have been a huge fan of hockey since I was seven years old. This was still during the time when broadcast television (CBS mostly) still showed all the games. I would sit there about two feet from the screen with my small hands balled into fists as I chanted, "Fight . . . fight . . . fight," thinking my mental powers were so great that I COULD get the players to drop their mitts and slug it out. I cannot think of a more amazing sport where two men can get into a fight while keeping balance on two thin metal blades and standing on slippery ice. I would like to see boxers or those guys in the fight club try to do this.

Anyway, back when I was a kid I could care less which team was playing so long as there was a good fight on the screen. Then I grew older and my interest in the game waned. I stopped watching hockey for about 20 years.

How did I get back into the game? Three reasons.

Reason number 1:
The radio station I listen to while writing started broadcasting Pens’ games since 2006. I gained a new respect for the mechanics of the sport. Listening to it instead of watching the game just makes me feel more connected with the players. Frustration. Elation. I could be typing in a story about a person hearing a ringing cell phone in the crack of the cement who discovers a murder mystery that involves balloon animals. Then all of the sudden my arms are pumping in the air and fingers are making the "V" sign when the team scores a point. It helps that the radio announcers are easy on the ears. They are fair minded in their analysis. They praise both the home team and the opposing team whenever a good goal is scored. Although they are Penguins fans, they love the game for the game and you can hear that in their voices as they give the play-by-plays.
Reason number 2:

This is an official Pittsburgh Penguins hockey stick autographed by #44 Bruce Orpik. He is the right defenseman on the team and alternate captain. You kinda get into the sport when you get a souvenir.
Reason number 3:

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


  1. Wow! Now THIS is MY kinda post!! (Not that your other posts aren't, ya know...)

    That was a good fight. And fighting is an integral part of the game, unless you happen to play for the Wings. About which: this.

    I also assume you know about Hockey Fights-dot-com, right? If and when you get bored, go there and search on "Probert." He was once the heavyweight champ of the NHL, and I got to see him play during his heyday in Deetroit. Probie is in the "B" tier of my heroes, BTW.

  2. lol... too funny!

    hey, i'm a canuck, see this all the time during hockey season ;)

  3. Great souvenir, Michelle!

    I learned something new...I didn't know that fighting was allowed, in any sport! Amazing.

  4. Buck: Yah...I know! :)

    I never heard of Hockey fights Thanks for the link!

    laughingwolf: This is why I envy canucks. ;)

    Sandra: Thanks Sandra! Actually, they end up getting penalized. Also, the fighting sometimes helps rile up the fans and the teams during a lackluster game.

  5. Left a comment yesterday, but it got eaten by Blogger for some reason. Really good post, kid! I like how you're unafraid to fess up to liking the fights. Lots of folks pretend not to :-)

    For Sandra: There are players generally known as "enforcers". These are big burly types who attack anyone who attacks the stars on their team. Keeps the scorers safer, generally. These guys are kept around mostly for their fighting abilities, although some good fighters have also been decent players, too.

  6. one can always move, border's not far from you ;)

  7. lol! how funny. I didn't know fighting was allowed! the refs were there like boxing match referees!

    so you're not into the steelers, huh?

  8. Suldog: It's okay. Blogger was acting funny with me too.

    If you truly like hockey, then you have to like everything, including the fights. They are necessary for the game, in my opinion.

    laughingwolf: True...and the government was crazy enough to give me a passport. :O

    Chris: It is allowed up to an extent. Unneccesary roughness will get you thrown out of a game or even penalized from playing several games.

    No, I'm not into the steelers. I just never found the same fascination for the sport as I do hockey. I believe it is the most physically challenging sport there is, and it is very endearing to see the players go at it heart and soul.

    *YAY! There is a game on tonight too. Pens vs NY Islanders. I am so going to tune in!*


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