By Corey J. Corbin
I LOVE LISTENING to sports talk radio when I’m driving in my car.
Usually, I listen to 93.7 The Fan when I’m going from Point A to Point B in Grove City, because they, typically, are discussing Pittsburgh sports, which I enjoy listening to.
But Monday and Tuesday, I intentionally chose to turn the station and listen to ESPN radio on 96.7, because I knew what The Fan would be talking about all day – Sidney Crosby.
I had no interest in listening to them talk about his return to the starting line-up after almost a year.
While they are a Pittsburgh team, the Penguins are in a category reserved for the New York Yankees, the Miami Heat, the Dallas Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens and any team from the Boston area.
In other words, I hate them with a passion!
I hate the Boston teams, the Heat and the Yankees, because the national media think everyone is as infatuated with them like they are. I’m so tired of having ESPN air every game of a Yankee-Red Sox series like six times a summer or the coverage they gave the Heat last year.
I hate the Cowboys, because they think they’re ‘America’s Team’ when they’re not. The Pittsburgh Steelers fill stadiums wherever they go. To me, that’s America’s Team.
I hate the Ravens, because they are the Ravens.
My hatred for the Penguins came about for an entirely different reason – their fans!
Penguin fans want to talk about how Pittsburgh is more of a hockey town than a football town.
They want to point to how well they support their team and how densely packed the streets of Pittsburgh were when they won the Stanley Cup.
The problem they ignore is they are bandwagon fans!
Mellon Arena was sparsely filled about 10 years back when the Pens stunk in between the Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby era.
Yet when the Penguins started winning once Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury, hockey fans started filling The Igloo in record numbers.
Sorry to tell ya folks this, but that’s the very definition of a bandwagon fan!
Meanwhile, the Steelers have sold out Three Rivers Stadium and Heinz Field for what seems like forever, but actually dates back to the 1970s.
Even when the Black and Gold stunk in 1980s, they filled Three Rivers Stadium to capacity and if I want my kids to get season tickets for the Steelers, I better sign them up now. Otherwise, they’ll never see them.
That, my friends, is the definition of a rabid fan base.
As far as Crosby goes, I’m glad he’s healthy, but aside from that, I could care less that he’s back on the ice. While I can see the importance of his return to the line-up, I question his importance to the team!
The Pens hovered around near the top of the standings all of last year even when he was lost for the season in early January and have done remarkably well without him this year.
I guess that makes him the Tom Brady of the NHL and not the Peyton Manning of the NHL!
In case you don’t understand the comparison, I’ll break it down for you.
The New England Patriots still managed to reach the 10-win plateau when they lost Brady for the year several years ago and had to start the completely inexperienced Matt Cassel all year.
Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts have failed to win a game this year after losing Manning before the season started to neck surgery.
The situations are all worthy of comparisons, because all three are quality organizations with quality athletes and lost their main star for a prolonged period of time.
OK now that I’ve wasted enough of my time talking about something trivial as Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, I’ve better turn my attention to more important things in the Pittsburgh sports world – the Steelers’ trek back to the Super Bowl!
Agree, Disagree or just want to comment contact Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org.