Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Does This Change?

The Penguins' loss to the Canadiens last night really helped to temper my disdain for Pittsburgh and its fans. Knowing that I won't have to hear about any Pittsburgh team for at least a few months is some comfort. I'm sure I'll still encounter my share of snotty Penguins fans who'll make fun of the Capitals for losing in the first round, but at least now, with the Penguins having come up short in these playoffs as well, I can feel a little more comfortable citing the Caps' regular season sweep of the Penguins as a counter-argument.

Do I still hate Pittsburgh? Probably, though it's a question I'm trying to give more thought these days. I have a couple of good friends who are fans of all things Pittsburgh, and they're pretty reasonable folks, guys I like hanging out with. I had a Facebook friend who was just horrible in his interactions with Capitals fans, but he has since been un-friended, so that's that.

There'll always be people who are nasty about their favorite sports teams, regardless of the team you're talking about. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and they want to be a part of a successful venture. Some people will react to that success with grace, and others will react with venom. It all depends on the nature of the person, not the nature of the team.

I'd like to think that I'm fairly gracious in victory, though in this town, that's not a characteristic we have to worry about too much. I do feel like I can now just sit down and watch hockey, rather than being worried about how far the Penguins will go and how much shit I'm going to have to listen to if I watch a game. And that feels good.

By the way, my new rooting interest has become the San Jose Sharks (starting in round 2, after they ousted my favorite Western Conference team, the Colorado Avalanche). I like Joe Thornton a lot, but more so I like that they had a reputation for being playoff chokers, and they're shedding that reputation before our eyes.

Also, they're freaking sharks! :)

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