We’re Catching Up?

Pittsburgh loves its 'kid'

Pittsburgh loves its 'kid'

This post has been pretty much spurned off of the Steelers 38-17 win against the Texans yesterday. So like many other Penguins fans, I’m a huge Steelers fan. Always have been, always will be.

However, as the Stillers (might as well throw a Pittsburgh accent in there) were celebrating yesterday’s solid win, I wondered about how popular are the Pens in Pittsburgh?

Well we DO know they’re more liked than the God-awful Pirates. Pitt freakin’ basketball is more popular than the Pirates. That franchise is a joke and probably will be for at least a few more years (ugh).

But what we also know is that the Steelers are king in Pittsburgh. Ever since the late 70s they’ve been on top of Pittsburgh and will continue to be on top for a long time. They’re one of the most successful franchises in the NFL and have been the only consistent winner in Pittsburgh.

But have the Penguins been closing the gap as of late?

My answer to interesting questions is…yes, they are. Mellon Arena has sold out the past 60+ home games for the Pens and I don’t see that ending anytime soon, especially with the new arena coming in a couple years. The first and second round playoff tickets for games 1 and 2 this year were sold out within a matter minutes. The demand for season tickets is incredibly high and have never been higher since. During March, April, May and June, there were Penguins billboards and posters all around the city and there was just a buzz about them. They were like a new breath of fresh air. No one was used to it yet they were loving it.

A pretty large reason why the Pens are gaining support and attention that’s close to the Steelers is because of one man, and one man only…Sidney Crosby. Basically when Ben Roethlisberger started doing his ‘thing’ with the Steelers, the women of western, PA went ‘ga-ga’ over him. Well when Crosby hit the ice as a young 18 year old and of course shining in his rookie season, the women of western, PA went ‘ga-ga’ over him. Hell there some men out there that go ‘ga-ga’ over Crosby (as scary and freaky that is). Point is, he’s a superstar icon in a city that loves and worships its stars. Go to a Pens game at Mellon Arena and you’ll notice at least half are wearing Crosby jerseys. He’s given fans of this city a reason to actually come to the games and spend their money on him and ‘his’ team.

Of course the rapid turnaround in the Pens play has obviously helped…how couldn’t it? Two years ago the Pens were one of the worst teams in the league and then all of a sudden the ‘kids’ are in the Stanley Cup Finals?! Yeah, I think that might have something to do with it. Even though what I’m about to say it’s sort of sad, most Pittsburgh sports fans are bandwagon jumpers. NO ONE was at their games two seasons ago. Now it’s almost impossible to actually go to a game. Pittsburgh loves winners and that’s what they’ve given them the past two years.

About the winners thing. Let’s face it, the Pens are going to be one of the elite teams in the league for a while now. They got their core almost locked up and with two of the three best players in the league, there’s no reason to think the Pens won’t win a Cup or two here in the next few years. You see that, I see that and Pittsburghers see that. They’ll always have their Steelers to watch in the playoffs of course, but the Pens are now an exciting team and growing one at that.

I also think the duo of Crosby and Malkin sort of brings backs memories of the days of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. Two incredible, breath taking players that can impact a game like ‘that’ creates buzz around the franchise. To have one of them on your team is something you should be thankful for but to have TWO is something amazing.

The Steelers will always be #1 in Pittsburgh, that’s obvious. In Pittsburgh they sure do love their Steelers and literally eat, breath and sleep Steelers football. But the Pens are closing the gap and are actually becoming a VERY close #2 team behind the Steelers…and that’s exciting.



One Response to “We’re Catching Up?”

  1. Hooper'sFudge Says:

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