I wasn’t going to chime in so much tonight, in regard to my geeky love of hockey and respect for the Stanley Cup.
I watch a lot of hockey, but rarely write about it. It’s my one guilty pleasure, the last one I have left as a sports fan.
Tonight, the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup. They outplayed the Pittsburgh Penguins badly throughout this series. It probably should’ve been over several times two nights ago. If not for a lucky bounce and the most memorable of overtime periods, the Red Wings might’ve skated their Cup in front of Hockeytown at the Joe the other night.
Instead, I’m watching them skate the Cup at the Igloo in front of the Penguins fans. I’m just guessing, but I’d say that all 16,000 of them also have a Ben Roethlisberger hat in their closets they’ll be pulling out in six weeks.
And tonight, these same Pittsburgh “sports fans” – many of whom we’ve seen in living color on purple Sundays — were relatively boisterous in booing the Red Wings as they skated the Cup around the ice at the Igloo.
Now the part about booing a very nervous Gary Bettman, OK – I get that. He tried to move your franchise to Kansas City. Honestly, I’m surprised they let him into the city. This would’ve been Tagliabue presenting the Lombardi Trophy in Baltimore at Memorial Stadium in 1997.
But booing the winning team in the NHL?
Classless. They booed Osgood. They booed Draper. They booed most of it. Those who didn’t boo simply left. Many left before the last guys were done skating it, kissing it and mugging with it.
The Red Wings were a pretty classy bunch and the organization deserves a more momentous occasion for their special night. Winning the Stanley Cup is hard – the toughest thing to do it sports. I know they’ll get their own special time in Michigan over the next few days to celebrate with their own fans, some of the best in sports.
Hockey OWNS Detroit. Just know that!
Part of the cool part of hockey is the respect for the game, the Cup, the inscription of your name on the Cup and the tradition of “skating” the Cup. It’s what makes hockey cool, these incredible traditions built on the foundations of everything our fathers taught us about sports.
Learn how to be a good winner. Learn how to be a good loser.
The first rule of NHL playoff action is this: respect for the game!
When you lose, you line up and shake hands and show sportsmanship.
It’s a cornerstone principal of hockey and being a hockey fan. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing at this point with the breakdown of the civilization for sports fans.
If only the fans of Pittsburgh could learn the concept.