On a beautiful North Carolina afternoon yesterday, several of my friends and I gathered around a TV at a local bar to sit on the edge of our seats for 2+ hours and watch the gripping hockey gold medal game. We did all of the things good hockey fans do; yell and pound on the bar when the US scored, scowl at the Canadian family over at a table when they cheered the opponent’s goals, laugh at the southerners who yelled “SHOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!” during a power play, bemoan the US’s dump-and-chase offensive strategy down by two goals in the second period, and grimce when Sidney Crosby (on the one day that I’m not sticking up for him and trying to point out that he really is as good as people say and here’s why) scored the gold medal winner.
There was one very odd moment early on in the game, though. When noted Pirate fan and NBC play-by-play guy Doc Emrick mentioned that the Pittsburgh Pirates were gathered around their TVs watching the game in Florida, all of my friends stopped and stared at me.
“What?” I said, looking into my beer. “It’s not like I’m the only Pirate fan in the world.”