Being a Pittsburgh Penguins fan since I can remember and growing up only 20 minutes east of the city, I’ve stayed loyal through thick and thin. I’m now in college and looking to graduate this December.
I had a chance to go to a game over spring break when we played the Florida Panthers. The game went into a shootout, where Evgeni Malkin scored the final goal, beating the Florida goalie so bad I thought Malkin had missed his shot since their goalie was on the complete opposite side of the net.
After the game I stayed outside where the players park their cars. I must say the success of the franchise isn’t just about Malkin and Sidney Crosby working their magic, but the loyalty and desire each player has for the team and the city of Pittsburgh.
I got to see Marc-Andre Fleury, Malkin, Maxime Talbot, Tyler Kennedy, Hal Gill and Ruslan Fedotenko walk to their cars and sign autographs along the way. People think it is just the superstars who make the Pens a great team, but in reality it is their team unity.
All of the players bond with each other so well and that is why they can score big goals and win important games when they need to. Every time I turn on FSN Pittsburgh, I see the Penguin players behind the scenes getting involved with the local community. I’m not exactly sure what other franchises are like, but watching the Penguins for years and knowing how they live their day-to-day lives, I don’t think I could ever be loyal to another team.
Mario Pasquino, Murrysville, Pa.