Call me a late addition to the crowd witnessing the New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game on NBC, but the prospect of a Philly vs. Pittsburgh Eastern Conference Final brought out my Pennsylvania roots and allowed me to accept a "better late than never" opinion of the game.
My entire family roots are from Pennsylvania. My uncle still resides in Lancaster and has lived in the Eastern Pennsylvania and D.C. areas all his life.
My dad spent his young life growing up in the area until he moved westward with his family. So being an Armer, I follow the prospect of a Penguins vs. Flyers Eastern Conference Final as major news.
My father was never really biased when it came to hockey. He supported players, but not really teams.
(Pittsburgh just won it, I must admit I’m pretty thrilled. I know my father would be going berserk right now and would undoubtedly abandon the Stars, whom he cheered for often because of me. But he and I both know he'd be cheering for his birth state's teams now.)
My father grew up watching hockey games, and mentioned going to Hershey Bears games often and paying a couple of bucks to sit in the nosebleed section.
(Calls Uncle and speaks to him for about an hour about everything under the sun)
My uncle loves his sports, and although he was heartbroken by the early exit of his beloved Capitals (he lived in D.C. for many years and loves D.C. teams). He has now given his oath of allegiance to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
My father, I feel, would be more drawn to the Flyers, but I could easily be wrong. Only one thing is for sure: he would be as giddy as a schoolgirl about this Eastern Conference Final.
I’m also sure he would be excited about the prospect of such a heated Western Conference Final if the Stars are able to win tonight and journey on the face the Red Wings.
To my fans who see me become a Penguins or Flyers fan, I am not doing it to step on other writers' toes. Nor, have I switched to being a fair weather fan of these teams. Instead, I am a fan for my father, my uncle, and all other Armer men who find hockey to be in their blood.
Congratulations to the Flyers on advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Congratulations to the state of Pennsylvania; having deep family roots to the state makes me at times like this feel like I myself am from there.
Also, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins; you have my Uncle Walter’s adoration. My cheering for this series will also lay with the Penguins, since they almost moved to Kansas City, where I was born and raised.
Go Pens! Go Flyers! And Go Stars!