I'm such a Negative Nancy when it comes to sports, especially with the teams from my hometown of Pittsburgh.
When we lose a game, I think, "That's it, our season is over."
At this point in my life, I've never seen the Pirates have a winning season. Needless to say, I've completely given up on them ever doing well. I still enjoy going to the games, but there may never be hope for them. Can you blame me?
I've seen the Steelers play in three Super Bowls and win two of them, so I don't think I can ask or even expect much more of them for a while.
But the Penguins; that's a different story.
During the Stanley Cup Finals series with the Detroit Red Wings, I've had approximately 11 heart attacks and prayed eight Hail Marys.
After the Penguins lost Game 2, I thought the series was over. And after Game 5? Well, I won't even say the thoughts running through my head.
Yet here we are in Game 7, the final game for the Stanley Cup. I can't help but feel optimistic, but I'm cautious.
Not to be dramatic, but I'll never forget losing in the finals last year. After the Penguins' triple-overtime win in Game 5, I thought for sure it was a sign from the hockey gods that this would be our year. Needless to say, it wasn't.
Would they really put us through losing the cup again this year?
I have absolutely no prediction for the game tonight, but for once, I do have hope.
I didn't grow up watching Pens' games like I did with the Steelers. I didn't go to my first hockey game until I was 16. I didn't understand what "offside" meant a few years ago.
But I went to the first game Sidney Crosby ever played for with the Penguins. He's not my favorite player by any means, but the way the crowd erupted when he stepped onto the ice was like nothing I had ever heard before. I was hooked.
And now, you can't stop me from cheering (well, more like screaming) for a team that deserves it more than anything. It's our turn.
A few years ago, it seemed that we wouldn't have a hockey team in Pittsburgh anymore. Today, we have a new arena being built and are in the Stanley Cup finals for the second year in a row.
I've seen the Penguins do some amazing things and overcome some difficult obstacles these past few seasons. Hopefully, they have just one more in store for us tonight.
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