The City of Champions will continue its reign. The Pittsburgh Penguins are your 2009 Stanley Cup Champions.
Of course, being a Pittsburgh fan I had to take part in the celebration. Me and my buddy Jared (the Indians fan) made teh trek to Pittsburgh to watch the game with thousands of other Pens fans. We made it to Jerome Bettis Grille 36, the place was rocking and jumping from start to finish.
It was too hard to get good pictures in the place. There was approximately 750 people huddled inside the restraunt around 48 plasma HD TVs. We stood the whole time as every table was taken.
The game itself was exiting. If you read my entry about Game 3 of the Stanley Cup you will know that I was on the edge of my seat for the entire 60 minuts of play. While I had no seat in last night I was trembling with nerves throughout the hour of gameplay.
When the Pens scored, teh place was hoppin’. Napkins were thrown in the air, confetti was shot all over and random people were high fiving and huggin.
At the end of the game, with the Penguins winning 2-1 a riot ensued. Beer was sprung all over place as people were shaking it up and pouring it over the neighbors. Fans were standing on chairs waving their towels and jumping all around. In the mob scene I came across a very familiar face.
This is Jon Anderson. Many of you may know him from “The ‘Mc” Effect”, he was across the street at PNC Park for the Pirates-Tigers game. Although he is a much biggers Pirates fan than A Penguins fan he was enjoying the celebration, in a Diamondbacks shirt no less. Stuck out like a sore thumb as everyone around him was wearing their balck and gold.
Now mind you, I too am a much biggers Pirate fan than a Penguin fan. However, its not every day a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals comes around. I was there to celebrate Pittsburgh, as was everyone one else and every proud citizen of the Steel City. Call me a front runner, tell me I’m jumping on the bandwagon, but I’m not. I’ve followed the Pens my entire life from Luc Robataile to Evgeni Malkin, I bleed balck and gold.
Anyway, teh celebrations took to the streets as the entire ‘Burgh was rocking. Car horns were blaring, people were screaming, random stuff was thrown about. People even jumped in the Ohio River for a victory splash in honor of the Pens.
The streets of the southside of Pittsburgh were flooded with people, cops, horses and tanks. You heard me correct HORSES….and….TANKS!
It was a riot scene as people were collaborating around cars, rocking them back and forth and jumping around on buildings. The SWAT team was called in to corall the crowd and keep people in check.
We were right in the thick of things and had one of the best adrenelline rushes of our lives. We were part of the mob, but were able to keep our cool, unlike some people. Chants of “Detroits Sucks” and “%&$@ You Hossa” -in refernece to former Penguin and current Red Wing Marian Hossa, echoed throughout the vicinity. Young guys, with a little bit too much to drink were acting beligerent and the cops there took them down, tasered them and cuffed them. It was actually very scarry and our hearts were racing a mile a minute. We stayed in teh area for a good hour but when a guy right next to us was grabbed by a cop, we knew it was time to get out of there.
As happy as I am for the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh, it is all very bittersweet. I am a Pirates fan first and foremost. With all the success and accolades of the Steelers and Penguins the Pirates are just an afterthought. In fact, on one screen at Jeromes the Pirates game was shown. People shouted “Get this sh*^ off Pirates Suck” and when the DJ at the restraunt gave Pirate score updates people yelled “Nobody cares”. Its really sad to see this, especially for me. Baseball is America’s sport, its a shame that the Pirates are treated so poorly in such a fine sports city. I guess thats what 16 straight years of losing will do to a community. However, I am one hundred percent confident that once the Pirates crack .500 at the end of a season the city will get back on board for the Bucs. Its been up to thr front office to lead the charge, but they have failed to do so. With guys like Andrew McCutchen, Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young, and Freddy Sanchez playing at the top of their game the Pirates may be inching closer to respectabilty. These things take time and for Pittsburgh baseball fans that time is running short.
Untill next time remeber…. PITTSBURGH IS THE CITY OF CHAMPIONS