I was lucky enough to spend last night at the Consol Energy Center watching the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the San Jose Sharks. I am grateful for the tickets and grateful my brother allowed me back into the area after the Pens lost the last game I went to.
Before I talk about professional hockey, I need to make a disclaimer. Although I grew up in a hockey-fanatic household, played the game for 4 years, and spent the majority of my childhood in hockey rinks, I would not say I have a lot of authority to talk about the actual game. It is almost impressive how much time I have spent around hockey and how little I have to say about the game after last night. At least I am honest.
Luckily, there are many sources for that type of information all of the internet. So if you want to read about the players and the plays, keep googling.
So, with that lens, it is easy to say my favorite part about the game last night: the energy in the arena. The spirit of Pittsburgh is best represented through it's sports teams, and you could feel that last night at Consol. The stands were a sea of gold. Everyone cheered and groaned at every play (except for when the Sharks scored their second goal and there was no audible reaction from the crowd... zero reaction). There are few things that bring so many yinzers together that are not sports games (except maybe big-name country music concerts). If you want to feel immense 'burg pride, be one in the crowd at a Pittsburgh sporting event.
I attended a game in February and the atmosphere for that game was much more somber. The comparison to last night was night and day. People chide "fair-weather fans", but I don't understand why, especially in Pittsburgh. It would be ridiculous for a team to succeed and it's city to not gather behind it. In Pittsburgh everyone always supports our teams, and that is a given. Even if they aren't winning, there is never a doubt that we love the Pens, Steelers, and Pirates. Yinzers should be able to flaunt their pride when there is something to flaunt! No one is mad when the area is packed full of passionate and noisy fans.
The energy last night was palpable. It was so great being a part of it. Wear you pens gear for the two weeks and become part of of the madness!
Obviously I took a lot of pictures: