Friday, March 13, 2009

Blue Jackets versus Penguins: a Fan’s Dilemma

Last night the Pittsburgh Penguins came to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets. As I have mentioned previously I have been a lifelong Penguin fan, though, since coming to Columbus I have become an active Jackets fan as well. This year the Penguins have been playing horribly and the Jackets, despite numerous injuries, have been playing very well. Now this statement needs to be placed into the context of the two teams. Both teams are in sixth place in their respective conferences and the Penguins, in fact, have a slightly better record. The Penguins, though, have Sidney Crosby and Evengi Malkin and went to the Stanly Cup last year. The Blue Jackets have Rick Nash and have never even been to the playoffs.

I have been to numerous Blue Jackets games, but have never seen the Penguins play live. Considering that I do not live in Pittsburgh and even if I did Penguin tickets, so I hear, for all intents and purposes start at around $100 this was an opportunity I did not want to miss. So right after class I went downtown to stand in line to get the Huntington green seats (nose bleeds) for $10. These go on sale two hours before the game. Unfortunately these tickets sold out just before my turn. This actually turned out to be a good thing since I then got on line for the Student Rush tickets which go on sale an hour before the game. I ended up getting a lower bowl seat for $25. (Just so you should know I was reading Miriam Bodian’s Dying in the Law of Moses while standing on line so I was not completely wasting my time.)I feel particularly fortunate to have gotten such a seat as this game set a franchise attendance record of 19,167. It seems that there were a lot of Penguin fans from Ohio and even Pittsburgh who had the same idea as I did.

So who to cheer for? Since I like both teams I wanted the game to go into overtime so both teams would at least get a point. I have been a Penguin fan a lot longer than I have been a Blue Jackets fan and I had come specifically to watch the Penguins. What decided it for me was the sight of all these Penguin fans; they must have made up at least forty percent of the crowd. Even the announcers were acknowledging the strong Penguin presence. For all intents and purposes the Penguins were not playing an away game. Pittsburgh fans are of course well known for their willingness to travel and as a fan of Pittsburgh teams I am really proud of that. That being said it got to me, as a Columbus person, that we were getting overrun in our own city. I never thought this would happen, but I ended up cheering against the Penguins.

The game was a classic, worthy of the more than nineteen thousand in attendance and worth every penny that they spent. By the early third period the Jackets had managed to build a 3 – 0 lead thanks to Steve Mason’s superb goaltending (By the end of the game he had faced forty one shots) and all round solid play by the rest of the team. Than in a span of less than four minutes the Penguins put up three goals. The Penguins are that good offensively. The Jackets though held on and managed to put the game into overtime and then into a shootout where Kristian Huselius won the game for them.

So I got my wish. The Blue Jackets won, but the Penguins still got a point.


Miss S. said...

So I got my wish. The Blue Jackets won, but the Penguins still got a point.

Actually the Penguins got three points...

Izgad said...

I was talking in terms of wins and losses. In hockey you get two points for a win and one point if you lose in overtime or in a shootout.

Miss S. said...

Oh ok. These things need clarification with us non-hockey fans. I'll go back to my March Madness bracket now.