Although we’ve come [clap] to the end of the road [clap]

The thing about that song is once you start it, you can’t stop.

‘Scuse me.

Still I can’t let go. It’s unnatural. You belong to me. I be–

Okay.  I’ll stop. But you’re totally singing it in your head now. Mwah-hahaha! I’m coining this the Boyz II Men virus. You’ve been infected. There is no cure.

This post is weird. I’m not drunk either. Just sad.

We’ve come to the end of the road for the Penguins 2011-2012 hockey season and we did it in one of the worst possible ways we could. To the Flyers. [patooie] [stabs the Hartnell voodoo doll in the crotch with a rusty shiv].

I have a lot of anger.

The only thing that would have been worse would be losing four games in a row to the Flyers [PATOOIE!].

So that’s my comfort. We scared them a little bit. We made them play two more games than they needed to. We wore them out a bit for their next opponent. We got in their heads for a moment in time.

And that is little comfort when they’re gloating in this fashion:

(h/t to Mikey for finding this)

Oh, the gut punch. It hurts.

Yesterday hurt. It was painful to watch. My father came over for dinner last night and as we chatted about the game I asked him if he watched it, as he believes he is a jinx and if he watches it, we’ll lose. Yes, my father, the minister who believes in the Bible and God and a higher power and predetermination is no different from any other Burgher who believes something as small as their eyeballs on the screen or their chosen seat on the couch will alter the outcome of a professional sporting event. It’s awesome.

He said, “No. After church I was on my way home from the hospital after visiting there and I heard the score was 4-1 and I shut the radio off. I knew it was over.”

I said, “It was painful to watch. And so frustrating. It was like trying to start a car with a dead battery. You keep trying and trying and turning that key and hoping and praying something would sputter to life, but then nothing happens. It’s dead. And you sit there and you cry and you sob and you shake your fist at the sky and WHY, GOD, WHY?! … WHY?!?!?! [blink] I need all the wine.”

I may have overreacted.

But isn’t that what YOU watched in this game? A team that kept turning the key — a team that wanted SO VERY BADLY for that engine to rev up so they could step on the gas and get going — and can we just stop for a second and talk about that? I think my least favorite phrase in all of sports other than “We’ll be back after these messages with Mike Milbury’s take on the game” is “they wanted it more.”

Ugh. Okay, yes. Maybe in a regular season baseball game or a regular season hockey game, one team might want the win more. Maybe they NEED the win more. But in the big games, the important games, EVERYONE wants it just as badly as the next guy. Hartnell doesn’t want to hoist the Stanley Cup this year more than Geno does. Wanting it has nothing to do with all the coaching, games, injuries, penalties, obstacles, calls, bounces, luck, practice, strategy, and mental toughness that goes into winning a championship. There are way too many factors — legitimate factors that create a championship team, that boiling it all down to “wanting” it is a disservice to our boys.

They wanted it, damn it. They wanted that car to start so badly so that they could run over the hated Flyers with it. They just couldn’t do it.

But let’s end the season on the bright side. The Pens made the playoffs. Um. They didn’t go out without a win. Um. Max Talbot and Letang (French for “Le Mmmrowr”) look like they made up. Um. We don’t have to watch Sid’s patchy beard grow in and transform him into a gross porn star. Uh. Jagr can kiss my fat ass. Uh –

Poop.

Also, there’s no way the Flyers are winning the cup or I’m switching religions if they do.

I’ll call it the Church of Nutella. I’ll need some deacons, if you’re interested.





21 Comments

  1. spoon
    April 23, 2012 10:35 am

    Dear Flyers, you’re gloating after a round 1 win, talk to us when you hoist that cup above your heads.

    Quick fact: only 3 Flyers were even alive when they last won a cup and they were in diapers.



  2. Marisa
    April 23, 2012 10:36 am

    Salvation will come when Philly goes down.

    Hartnell, however, will burn in hell for all of eternity. If you looked up “douchebag” in the dictionary, his photo is assuredly next to the word with a reference to “see also: flaming asshole”.



  3. Leslie
    April 23, 2012 10:39 am

    I am applying for head deaconess.



  4. Suz
    April 23, 2012 11:08 am

    I’m just a novice, not ready to be a deacon(ness), but please
    consider my application anyway. Head is already firmly embedded
    in the Nutella jar. If we could only have played any other team
    except the Flyers! Waah! It will be a long five months with
    no hockey in ‘da ‘burgh.



  5. mindybakes
    April 23, 2012 11:09 am

    I realized watching the Caps last night this is the first time I can remember I didn’t wish the team that knocked us out would take The Cup. Historically, at the very least, I had some respect for the team that beat us and wanted to lose to The Winner. Not this time. I am very sincerely hoping that they get their asses swept like the trash that they are right back into the Philthy gutter they came from. They don’t deserve to win it all.

    That said it made me sad to see the season end, especially in such an epic fashion and I will count the days til the boys retake the ice in the fall. You can’t win it all every year. It was a great season with some tremendous hockey. Thanks Penguins!



  6. Christina
    April 23, 2012 11:10 am

    I can sign everything you wrote. I HATE that people say “They did not want enough”, because they wanted it so so so badly. Have you seen how hard Letang had to work to stop Flower from killing himself right on the ice after the horn? They all WANTED it, but for a couple of reasons we have now more time we ever wanted to discuss they could not.

    I love them anyway. I will always do. My biggest problem is the lengths of the upcoming off season. That is OUCH. And all organge is OUCH. It just hurts the eyes.

    Funny side note: My best friend in Germany, who used to not care about hockey, reads your blog, but she was wondering what *Patooie* means.

    Then just lately I could make her sniffing a nose of hockey coke and it worked (I admit a very nice picture of James Neal was involved as well). She watched the last 3 games. She loved it (not the final outcome though).
    And it took … like 10 minutes until I got messages from her like “These orange guys – human crap.” “Flyers are ugly.” “We CANNOT lose against this nightmare of a hockey team with its disgusting fans.”

    Pens hockey coke works fast and it does a real good job.

    And then I got an message after a not so nice scene last night with FLYERS *PAATOIE* *SPIT ON FLOOR* … “Now I absolutely know what Ginny meant!”



  7. AngryMongo
    April 23, 2012 11:52 am

    I knew they were done when everyone got excited that Philly scored first.

    I hate when they trot out those statistics like, “Fun Fact: The first team to score has lost every game in this series”

    Every sport does this. I think I remember some statistic that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Steelers were either going to win the Super Bowl against the Packers or at least make it to the Super Bowl this year.

    All those statistics do is provide you with a ridiculous coincidence that is going to be proven wrong by the end of the game.

    [patooie]



  8. Julia
    April 23, 2012 12:21 pm

    I remember telling my stepson that if we could just win one game in the series so the Flyers wouldn’t have a total sweep, I’d be ok with losing. I’m still sad, but it helps to think back to the 10-3 win we had in Game 4. How awsome was that?!

    Another consolation is that we weren’t the only top seeeded team to get eliminated (or close to being eliminated) in the first series by an underdog team. Last year’s Stanley Cup champs didn’t advance (I don’t think so, anyway), and at least 2 other insanely good teams went through similar first round losses. It’s not just us.

    The Pens are not an embarassment, and I’m not mad at them like some other fans. There’s always next year, and God willing, we’ll have the whole all-star lineup healthy at the same time. They all deserve a nice summer break for the hell of a great season they gave us.



  9. Heather
    April 23, 2012 12:24 pm

    I would like you to consider this my formal application for the Church of Nutella. I’ll be in charge of getting the Nutella communion ready. Yes!!

    And Philadelphia orange hurts my eyes.



  10. ali
    April 23, 2012 12:26 pm

    I’m with you Ginny – hate that “who wanted it more” statement – its something people say when they want to sound knowledgeable about winning and losing, even though we all know its a mystical thing that no one understands…. how else could one explain the fact that those orange bastards who shall remain nameless have moved on to round two?

    Anyway, I even wanted the Broncos to go all the way after they knocked out the Steelers in similar first-round embarrassing fashion. Not this time. I hope the Flyers are done in four. Make that one. We’ll bend the rules a bit.

    What happened between Letang and Talbot? Besides Talbot leaving us? And I didn’t see the exchange between Letang and Fleury at the end of the game, either. The alway-unbiased NBC broadcast had finally found justification to further proclaim the glory of the Flyers and stop pretending to even notice the other team on the ice….



  11. Joe K.
    April 23, 2012 12:30 pm

    You hit on one of my pet peeves for all sports, not just hockey. When a team wins they played with passion. When they lose they didn’t play with enough passion. It’s always the pat answer and is always a gross over-simplification.

    I went to Game 3 in Philly since I have an old roommate who lives there and he had a ticket. The emotional part of me wanted to burn my Pens gear since their performance in the first three games of the series was absurd. The rational part of me thinks we should give this group another year before considering radical moves as far as players and coaches.



  12. Noelle
    April 23, 2012 1:06 pm

    OMG, THAT SONG IS TOTALLY IN MY HEAD…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  13. MN
    April 23, 2012 1:44 pm

    The only good outcome in the three NHL games played yesterday was that my second-most-hated team the Canucks got eliminated too.
    My most-hated-team in all professional sports (Flyers) will now hopefully get their butts kicked big-time by whomever they play next. I will be rooting loudly against them! Sad, I used to like Max Talbot…never again!



  14. Stephen
    April 23, 2012 1:49 pm

    Well, the Pens clearly weren’t wanting very badly to win Game 3. They just wanted to be thugs. The Pens are a good team, but we shouldn’t let them forget that that game is a large part of why they are golfing later this week.

    Personally, as long as a team makes the playoffs everyone is doing their job. Calling for the coach’s head or demanding good players get traded away because we lost in the playoffs is silly–only one team can win each year, and it can’t always be the Pens.



  15. Butcher's Dog
    April 23, 2012 2:44 pm

    Q: What do you call it when the Flyers team bus goes over a cliff with two empty seats?

    A: A wasted opportunity.

    Philly’s going out in this next round because, frankly, their goaltending still sucks and their rookies are going to wake up and remember they’re rookies. Also, they won’t get to overtime in Game 1 because of a horridly blown offsides call. It’s good the fans wear orange, though. All the empty seats won’t be that recognizable.



  16. bucdaddy
    April 23, 2012 3:51 pm

    Playing hockey in June is stupid anyway.

    Like baseball in November, and football in February.



    • Butcher's Dog
      April 24, 2012 8:08 am

      Well, as we learned from Forrest Gump, Stupid is as Stupid does. We got this way as a society, so you’ll have that to hang onto anyway.



  17. Brett
    April 23, 2012 5:21 pm

    Amen to everything you wrote! I’ve not watched the last game yet, one of my work colleagues inadvertently let the overall result slip with his opening comments to me yesterday and it really set the tone for the day here in Australia.

    I would normally be happy for the other team, taking their next step towards the goal as I am when I watch MLB post-season, but it had to be the Flyers. They had to have that dreadful person Sideshow Bob, I mean Hartnell, playing for them and being a total dumb-ass (the politest comment I could make). For a team that represents the so-called city of brotherly love they could not be further from that fact. This is a team that took a mild (relatively) mannered happy player and turned him into another brain lusting, antagonistic, Pen hating zombie of a player. Yes I am referring to Talbot.

    People have said that we didn’t <emWANT the cup enough, I think the opposite, we wanted it too much, we wanted to beat the Flyers so badly that we were trying too hard. Rather than playing the great Pens hockey that I saw throughout the season and drew me to follow them we played some very disjointed hockey and I put that squarely down to wanting it too badly.



  18. bucdaddy
    April 23, 2012 11:20 pm

    Common lies athletes tell, but probably believe:

    1. We wanted it more.

    2. Nobody respects us.

    3. It isn’t about the money.

    Feel free to add to this list.



    • Brett
      April 24, 2012 12:14 am

      4. It was a bit of harmless fun when I called a , it was never personal.

      5. hurt my feelings when the called me a , it was a scathing personal attack.

      6. My equipment let me down.