An Observation Concerning… The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

“There’s no compromise, No second prize.”
-Airbourne, “Rivalry”

I was born in Washington, DC and have devotedly supported the area’s professional sports franchises for the last few decades. I do lean more toward the Orioles because the Nationals weren’t around when I was born, and they just can’t enter my life like some arrogant stepfather. It’s a relationship that has taken time, but I already have a dad (I mean, team) in my life.

As a Capitals’ fan, I would like to congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that being said, I don’t believe a Penguins’ fan would offer such a gesture if the Capitals were to ever win the Stanley Cup. I know a handful of Penguins fans – sadly, I’ve been to Pittsburgh more times than they have combined – and they just aren’t that type of person. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just makes it easier not to like the team or players.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just saying that because they’re rivals.
Me: Perhaps, but why?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: I’m asking you why we’re rivals?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Because we’re bad ass and you suck!
Me: Why won’t you actually answer the question?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!

I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s actually not a rivalry. A rivalry usually includes two teams or individuals that are evenly matched and equally decorated like the Celtics-Lakers in the 80’s or Federer-Nadal in the 21st Century. The Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry is completely one-sided and predictable. It’s similar to Ohio State and Michigan; a rivalry that has completely lost its luster because since 2001 the Wolverines have only one twice. Of course, they have a more storied history, but my point is that rivalries can become very bland and uninteresting.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: You already said that.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Fine, you’re bitter.
Me: That’s the same thing.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!
Me: Hmm…

I am bitter, I will admit it. However, Pittsburgh fans can’t say anything about it because they don’t know what it’s like. They’re spoiled brats when it comes to sports. Not in like an inherited classy New York way, or rags to riches Boston way, but more like a trailer trash wins the lottery kind of way (it’s a joke, not a stereotype, calm down, everybody). Let’s look at the Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry if it were between the two cities as a whole:

Super Bowls: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 3.
Stanley Cups: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
World Series: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
NBA Championships: Washington 1, Pittsburgh 0 (because they don’t have a basketball team).

16-4 overall. How pathetic. Rivalries aren’t supposed to be pathetic; they are supposed to move us, keep us enthralled, make us anxious, and make supporters from other teams tune into the matchup just because it’s an amazing unpredictable game. The Penguins-Capitals has become hardly that.

I always thought the window was closing for the Capitals the last few years, but I believe it’s now shut. The hope of just a shred of glory has drifted away; especially with the emergence of the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, and Sabres (you’ll see) in the East and the Predators and Oilers in the West. Las Vegas has once again given Washington high odds to win the Cup in 2018. Sadly, I wouldn’t take that bet. In my disgruntled eyes, the Golden Knights have just as good of a chance.

I will always support you, Capitals, but when the hell are you going to return the favor to the fan base? Forget about Pittsburgh and just rock the red.

WBG

GERMANY AND ARGENTINA AGREE: THEY CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF EACH OTHER

“A jealous passion towards a spirit stuck in contention and fame.”
-Taproot, “Again and Again”

That was more like it; that was a semifinal that everyone expected between two soccer world powers. It was obvious that the match between Brazil and Germany hogged all the goals; the second semifinal game was played with more urgency from both sides and each team provided the fans with excitement and close calls, great ball skill, and fantastic superstars trying their hardest to make plays happen. Also, it was the first semifinal in World Cup history to be scoreless in regulation. We once again reached extra time and beyond. Free soccer again and again, what a glorious tournament.

July 9th, 2014

Argentina 0 Netherlands 0 (Aregentina 4-2 on PK’s): The game was physical and worked in phases. It seemed both teams would offer minutes of offensive frenzies and then it was the next’s turn. Both countries came into the game without being able to manufacture many goals, but superb defense. Argentina had been playing that style all tournament. Who knows when the last minute was that Romero let in a goal (I’m sure someone will figure it out), and nothing changed in the penalty shootout. The Argentine goalkeeper stopped two penalties and the strikers held up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, Netherlands couldn’t put in Krul, the chess master of penalty kicks, because they had used all three of their substitutes before the shootout began. From one great coaching decision to poor management, they have plenty of time to figure that out after their fight for third place against an angry host. Now it’s time for Messi to reach the level or Maradona so the comparisons will finally dwindle and a new son of Argentina will reign. All he has to do is beat the country that his homeland has met two times before in the World Cup final and were once allies and then enemies during a pretty big event in history. A rivalry renewed and the world receives a great soccer matchup. Evitas vs. Beers, round three.

FBL-WC-2014-MATCH62-NED-ARG
Photo courtesy of o.canada.com

Championship Slate:
Brazil vs. Netherlands (Third Place Game): Saturday, 4pm EST
Argentina vs. Germany (Championship): Sunday, 4pm EST