If I were to say I wasn't disappointed, it would be a lie. I am--terribly disappointed. But I'm proud too, damn proud.
It's funny. I was talking to my dad about this. There's just something about professional sports that bring a city together. When your team's doing well, when you're in the playoffs, you're in the playoffs.
I mean, it's silly when you think about it. They're just a bunch of guys--most not even from the States--traded, and scouted, and collected. They put on a jersey which labels them ours. But, somewhere in all that, something really magical happens. They represent us. We feel what they feel. And, even though "it's just a game" it really isn't, because truth is a lie and perception's what matters.
Tomorrow the city will be really down. Some people will be jackasses about it all. Most don't see the significance on this unanimity, a collective identity. But it's there, and it matters. I would say especially to a town that doesn't have a whole lot else that holds it together. I mean, you know that I worship the water Pittsburgh walks on, but I'll be the first to admit that regardless of how amazing it really is and all it has to offer, it's a dying city, with a shrinking population, a weak economy, and few new businesses moving into the region.
Our sports teams make a difference. And in game 5 when those stupid, and blatantly slanted announcers finally acknowledged the awe inspiring performance of the Pens with a "They were real warriors tonight," Pittsburghers everywhere swelled with pride, because, with that, we are all warriors too.
Congratulations, Pens, on a marvelous season. I hope that we see many of our free agents back next year. Until then, thanks, guys, for giving our city hope.