PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Penguins fans are spoiled.
It’s ok. That’s not meant as insult.
It’s far from it, actually.
Let’s be honest: If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool yinzer sports fan, you’ve been spending your week chasing the ghosts of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady out of everywhere but from under your kitchen cabinets.
And believe me, if they thought they could get the Steelers signals from under there, they’d be there, too.
There’s a chance you’ve also been spending your week trying to ignore the fact that the Pirates could have retained some “financial flexibility” by not sending any one to the MLB Winter Meetings at all, since they didn’t actually do anything there they couldn’t have also done via post card or rotary phone.
Additionally, there’s a better than 110 percent chance you looked forward to Murray-Fleury, Part One like an early 90s heavyweight title fight.
The catch here, is that you didn’t really care who won. None of us really did. We simply wanted to see that ol’ familiar Flower smile through his cage after a big save; maybe even see him pull out one of those big flourishing glove saves on a Kris Letang ripper from the point (that actually hits the net).
He did one better, giving us a recreation of The Secret Service Save.
And if it had gone to a shootout and ended with Sidney Crosby roofing one over Fleury’s blocker to win the game, that’d be a cherry on the sundae of a night where the PPG Paints Arena sellout streak seemingly continued at an out-of-town venue.
Despite the Penguins’ recent struggles, despite their sleepy first 33 games, despite sitting outside of playoff position, despite the general manager threatening a “major move” if they don’t snap out of it soon, how many of us would have been disappointed if Marc-Andre had pitched a shutout? And how upset are you after another tough, 2-1 loss, the Pens’ fourth in their last five games? How many of you are more worried about that ‘L’ than watching Fleury?
None of us.
In fact, there’s a good chance you walked away from that game just as satisfied as if our favorite team had won.
Well, the first reason is obvious: Marc-Andre Fleury is a phenomenal human who will always be a Penguin, and more importantly, always be a Pittsburgher. There will always be a Stanley Cup with his name on it three times as a Pittsburgh Penguin. And more importantly, there will always be a park in McKees Rocks that he paid for and helped build. And his daughters will always be yinzers by birth.
The other reason isn’t quite as obvious, because I don’t think we want to admit to it yet: We’re spoiled.
Not the kind of spoiled where we don’t care anymore, or even the kind of spoiled where we’re numb to success. No, it’s the kind where we realize that because of those three Cups, and more importantly because of players like Fleury, that sometimes there’s more to life than winning hockey games in December.
So yes, Penguins fans, we’re spoiled.
We have Marc-Andre Fleury to thank for it, though.