This Is The End

Allow me to pour my heart into a post in the very moment the Penguins have lost a Game 7.



For starters, I hate the Rangers with a passion that you can’t understand unless you’re in your 24th year of hating a team with a fire of a thousand suns.  1990 was the year I did two things: became a hockey fan and decided I hate the NYR.  I am from New York, mind, and while I also hate the Yankees I was, as a child, setting myself up for a lifetime of “Whaaaaaaaaat?” from family and friends.  I don’t even respond.  One look of disgust is all they get from me.  If you never chanted  “1940!”, it’s tough to comprehend.  (Some of you can maybe claim longer.)  The Rangers beat the Capitals what seems like every year – and now this.  This is a particular hell for me, just so you’re aware.  If you’ve hated anything as long as I’ve hated the Rangers that was not a vegetable your parents tried to feed you in puree form, I applaud your staying power.


UFA yaaaas.

When I was in 7th grade, I went on a family ski vacation to VT with my BFF – a Rangers fan. Turns out I had a stress fracture and my doctor said no skiing. The only thing to do for a week?  Sit in the lodge and read some awful Rangers biography. In 1996, my high school boyfriend, a Rangers fan, won a bet and made me wear a Rangers jersey for a day.  There’s a picture of miserable me in our yearbook.


How many times do we have to tell you?

Secondly, I hate repeating myself.  But this Game 7, in which then Pens outshot the Rangers 250 million to one, is the very reason you cannot have a Game 5 or 6 like the Penguins did.  Last year it sank them too.  There are games where you lose, and there are games where you get beaten, like tonight.  Lundqvist goes ASDFGHJKL!@#$%^&&*()  and you cannot win.  Nothing you could have done, nothing you didn’t try.  That is why you don’t beat yourselves, particularly in the first ten minutes of an elimination game like Games 5 or 6.  This isn’t a genie in a bottle, Xtina.  This shit does not show up when you call it’s name, Pittsburgh.  You had your chances for two games: you were nowhere, you lost.  Tonight, you were HERE and you got beaten.  Those are different circumstances.  We’ve all had good nights and bad nights, we’ve all lost.  They are not the same.


36 shots. 1 goal.

My last and final point is this: I LOVE THIS TEAM.  Fuck everyone, I love the Penguins.  There is also a difference between hope and expectation.  I hope to win every year.  I don’t expect it.  Anyone who’s been around 24+ years (Old Lady Land) knows better.  Winning is… magic.  It’s impossible.  It’s so many factors times so many obstacles divided by so many things that could never have happened, expect for that time that they did and it was in your favor.

"It's a self-preservation thing."

“It’s a self-preservation thing.”

Winning is ephemeral and impossible and that, more than any blood, sweat and tears, is what makes winning special.  I felt it in ’09 when the Pens won the first round.  I felt it in ’10 when the Blackhawks won the second round.  I am not always right – far from it – but ask people who watched the Kings in 2012.  MAGIC.  They had it.  Watching that was intoxicating and addictive.  It’s what I look for now.  I want to see it every year.  But I don’t.  Contrary to all the evidence, I do not actually control the universe.  James Neal will remove his Gingerbeard and retire to a summer of white Ferrari cruises and tight t-shirts.  Sidney Crosby will shave off his first-ever respectable beard-type-thing and recluse for an off-season of pretending no one saw his girlfriend in the stands in Sochi or NY.  Bless their hearts, as they prepare to come back in October and do it again.  So will I.

Next year

Next year

I don’t believe in burning a team because they lost.  I have always been puzzled by the tradition of firing a coach, since they are the only person who cannot go out and score. This is not to say I don’t identify strengths and weaknesses in the Penguins’ system – or any team.  I do.  I critique.  But blind criticism is another thing and beware, Pens fans who were derided in a late-season article that called us “joyless.”  We are in danger of becoming that.  Entitled, expectant, the celebutantes of hockey.  The Yankees fans of hockey.  The only thing I hate more than the Rangers is the Yankees… it is a complicated life for this Upstate New Yorker.


Love, hate, it’s a fine line.

Luckily, there are a lot of Pens hockey fans (look at me, being generous in depair) who know what hockey is: love and loss and loving through loss.  So many of the people who read and comment or Tweet us restore my faith in hockey humanity on a daily basis.  You guys are the best.  Whether it’s a stupid joke about a turtle or a comment, that some find derisive but I find clever, about someone’s sass or face or post-game comment, you guys give me everything I need to stay with hockey year after year.  Teams lose.  I get disappointed.  I get angry even, and I want change.  I want wingers and no injuries and confident goalies and to clean up acts.  But more than anything, more than winning, I want you guys – my friends – to be part of this every year.  I want to be talking to you in May, or June, or even ending in April. Saying goodbye or saying “great job.”  You’re it, for me.


Hockey fans

Writing this blog is my favorite thing.  My daily (if I can make it that often) highlight.  It’s also a lot of freaking work.  My job… well, if they ever put in one of those internet time trackers, we are sunk, WUYS fans.  I wish every one of you could start your own blog and I would read it, comment and rejoice in the free time it leaves me.  But I write this because I love it and I love you guys – even the Rangers fans.  Yes you.  Teams aside, we are each other’s people.  You know what it’s like to be called “that girl/guy who loves hockey.”  My husband is a chef, and someone at his restaurant the other night told him, “You look like this hockey player, this guy Sidney Crosby.”  My husband said, “Yeah, so my wife says.”  But me?  I said, “Who is this person and do they want to be my best friend for life?!”  I almost chased a girl with Carolina Hurricanes license plate frames out of the parking garage at work yelling, “Here’s my number!!!”  So for those of you I’ve had the pleasure to meet in real life and those of you I have yet to meet, you’re the reason.  I want to win for you as much as for myself, and while I hate your teams, I know you love them.  I feel you. Thanks for being here with us through all of this and next year, well… I still hope the Pens kick your pansy asses.  But I know you’re thinking, “Right back atcha.”  Don’t let the haters get you down.  Don’t listen when the media (which someone once called us and I laughed till I cried) pretend they know better than you.

amy p

Suck it., 24 hour news cycle and Twitter.

My text messages are blowing up – think I’ll drop my phone in the bathtub.  See you in September.  Or when Southern Ontario gets to Instagramming this summer.

Love (and maybe a little wine), Pants


Signed. Me

PS: Let the record show I wrote this from a suite at the Ritz, for work, and near bottom of a bottle.  Thus my sympathies are such as they might not be otherwise.  Both for myself and for others (see: Rangers fans).  But hey, that’s hockey.  Time for a summer vacation for myself, I think.




Leave a Reply

  1. Megan Reply

    So perfectly written. I agree with every single word. (And on a side note, I drove 5 blocks out of my way yesterday following a car with vanity plates that said PENSFAN, complete with Pittsburgh Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup Champions plate holder…… in Nevada! You know not how rare such a sight is out here in the land of no ice.)

    From one of your faithful readers (but not so faithfully commenters)….. thank you for writing this blog. It gives me something to look forward to after every game (even tragic game 7s that shouldn’t have ever been played to begin with.) Love you ladies!

    • Stephanie Reply

      OMG you live in Nevada Megan?!?! I live in Vegas… The crazy one with Pens sticker and plate holder and Season Tixs to Coyotes, just to get my fix… email me! I need friends! 🙂

      • Megan Reply

        I do! Recently moved here from New Mexico (the one state with even less hockey). My office had season tickets to the Wranglers, so that helped by hockey fix, but no one ever wanted to go with me. I would love a hockey friend!

  2. Miabi Reply

    Thanks for putting your heart on your sleeve, Pants, and sharing your writing with us. And you know, for all those photos and gifs of stammer in shirts, nealer in glasses, and gabe the babe in anything all year long. I know it sucks so, so badly to go down to the team you hate. I’m a huge Rangers fan, so I know about disappointment. 🙂 I really appreciate your words about loving fellow hockey fans and respecting my enemies. It’s a great sisterhood! Thanks from all those ladies and gentlemen who just looooove your posts & your sense of humor, even when we totally disagree about teams.

  3. I feel your pain, or I may be feeling it any minute here. Hoping my team avoids elimination by the Blackhawks tonight, and Thursday, and every year hence. Unfortunately Crawford has found his game tonight.

  4. MB Reply

    Well put. I have hated the Rangers longer than you have — I’m older! — so I do understand. I am devastated by this loss, moreso because I fear the bigger loss to come (let’s start a new hashtag (or series of hashtags), #donttradeNeal #prettyplease #sugarontop). Thanks to you and your awesome blog, at least we have our boys of summer to look forward to. And October…Thanks, ladies.

  5. I’m sad.

    I live in Seattle. I have a WHL team, a subscription to Center Ice, a husband who works nights and girl friends who aren’t much for sports. I have a co-worker who calls Sidney Crosby “Cindy Crysby” unironically and a collection of NHL shersey’s that are most often mistaken for other sports [Phil Kessel isn’t Matt Cassel]

    And I have y’all. Y’all who make me laugh and don’t think it’s weird when I want to cry and don’t think it’s silly that I like hockey. This blog reminds me that I’m really only alone geographically in my hockey fandom and that’s worth so much to me.

    No matter how the ride ends [and this year the ending really sucked] – hockey season springs eternal and I’m glad I got to spend this one [at least virtually] with people who appreciate Harry Potter gifs, hockey hugs and tight tshirts as much as I do.

    • Kim, there are female hockey fans in Seattle–I’m one, and I got indoctrinated two years ago. 🙂 Tweet at me!

  6. Anne Reply

    This season had the utter joy of my Blue Jackets, the team I’m in love with, making the playoffs and the devastating pain of them losing in the first round to the team I love, the Penguins. And then the pain of the Penguins losing. But in spite of this pain, I still love hockey with all my heart. My husband doesn’t understand; my father, who played club hockey, understands perfectly. There’s no game like it. Can’t wait until October!

  7. Pants, while I am overjoyed in a way that I can’t even find the right words to describe, I am sorry for your loss. And this post might be your finest piece of writing – I’m still a little teary after reading it.

    I know how much work you put into WUYS, but we are SO grateful for it. When a new post pops up on my daily click (ok, more than daily click – I am not a patient woman), I am honestly giddy to see what gift you &/or Chuck have left for us.

    So thanks for everything. Despite the fact that I hate both Chuck’s & your favorite teams, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather spend my time online than here. Drinks are on me any time you two want to come to NYC… although I might insist they come from a Rangers bar. 😉

    • Kate Reply

      Giddy is the *perfect* word. I live for new posts.

  8. Donna Thomas Reply

    Thank you, Pants. Although I really didn’t expect the Pens to make it really far without Dupuis, I am still sad.

  9. Oh, Pants! Once again, you so eloquently have said what my broken little heart is feeling! I LOVE OUR PENGUINS, too!!! SO MUCH! Can’t believe they blew it in Games 5 & 6 – and we all know that’s what doomed them. Gave the Rangers life & that was ALL they needed! Before this series, I did not hate the Rangers – even cheered for them on occasion. Now, however, all bets are off. Never again will I give them my support. And MARC STAAL?!? How COULD you, Ginger Staal??? I thought you were better than that, especially since you’ve had concussion issues of your own. You are dead to me, so please change your name to keep from shaming the rest of your family!!!

    Thank you (& Chuck!) for being here for us, day in & day out, in-season or summer! You’re the BEST blog on the interwebs & I tell EVERYONE I can as often as possible! I love you guys a ton & the sisterhood of hockey fans that you’ve created here is amazing!!

    Got a pic of Gabe the babe’s half-gingerbeard? That *might* make the morning a little more palatable. Ok, it won’t, but it will help. 😉

    P.S. Funny how a TON of Ranger fans were calling for a Richards buyout last summer, eh? This morning he’s the Game 7 Hero (well, after Hank, of course) & I bet they’re all back to crowing about how much they love him. Dummies.

    • Not all of us wanted him bought out. I’ve been yelling at NYR bloggers all season that they’d be glad we kept Richie when the playoffs rolled around. ZERO chance we make it this far without his leadership. And not for nothin’, but if Marc Staal is dead to you because of one dumb play, I hope you hold James Neal to that same standard. Just sayin’.

      • Oh, I know that not everyone wanted him gone. But, I follow quite a few Rangers fans on Twitter & saw a TON of “Use a Buyout on Richie!” RT’d onto my timeline last summer. What aggravates me isn’t that they wanted him to be bought out, but that TODAY those same people love him again!

        Regarding Marc Staal – if it WAS only 1 dumb play, it might be a different story. However, it was not only once. It was all series. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. YES, James Neal pisses me off with his stupidity – ESPECIALLY because he’s an elite sniper when he keeps his shit together. Sadly, that’s less often than any of us would prefer! :/

        At any rate, Good Luck to your boys. They wanted it more and earned it – that’s all there is to it.

  10. Martha Reply

    Oh Pants! I loved this post and I love your blog and I love the Pens and I love Sid and I must keep telling myself to never NEVER believe that I can love a team TOO much. It’s hard to be a fan, but the best things are difficult and sometimes heart-breaking and often take all our energy. So here’s to October, and I’m not even going to try to express what I feel because you already did it so beautifully.

  11. Kate Reply

    Pants, this is so perfectly written. I now have a neck ache from nodding my head so much and when I started to list all of the things I agreed with, I realized that I was basically copy and pasting your entire post into this comment 🙂

    I’m so sad, so disappointed. I don’t even know where to start. You’re right–the magic wasn’t there. Ugh. I’m not ready for the Pens season to be over and the idea of not seeing them play until October makes me feel vaguely panicked. And yet, I can’t imagine cheering for anyone else. I just love them and that’s why this hurts so much.

    Thank you for all of the time you and Chuck spend on this wonderful place. I stumbled across your blog by googling “James Neal glasses” (oh yes, it’s true!) and I felt like I found my hockey home. I live in Wisconsin, where hockey is only maybe discussed if the Badgers are doing well. I’ve found a few sort of, kind of Blackhawks fans (i.e. the ones who know Kane and Toews and that’s about it.) None of my friends are hockey fans and they find my obsession bemusing. It’s a lonely life for a fan, and this blog has been an awesome place to come and visit. And, even better, I’ve learned a lot about the game and the league since I started reading (and I found out about Jamie Benn!) I appreciate your perspective and the way you both somehow balance the serious, technical aspect of the game with all the ridiculous cuteness of these boys.

  12. Well put. A devastating night…but a good season. Let’s go Pens 2015!!

  13. Hugs to you, Pants. Great post. (And I want to know more about Sid’s girlfriend showing up in NY!)

  14. Stephanie Reply

    I feel you Pants! Heartbreak is part of this game… and while I’m sad the Pens did not lofty the Cup this year, I’m so glad they can breathe again and maybe enjoy themselves. Hockey is about fun too, those poor guys had the joy of the game taken away from them by greedy media and unintentionally coddled fans. As a Sabres Fan first, I am experienced at calling for change and then regretting it. I hope they don’t blow up the Pens because expectations are unrealistic.. beware what you wish for!

    Oh and for the record, I’ve got beat on the hate: I’ve hated the Bruins for at least 35 years! Go Habs!

  15. feochadn Reply

    Bravo! And thanks for all that, now and in future. As a lifelong Canucks/Mariners/Penguins/Twins fan, you have beautifully summed why I stick with sports and more importantly: the teams, players and fans year after year after year. I also don’t understand burning the team after a playoff exit, let’s hope the damage is minimal — look at the great example Vancouver set this season on what NOT to do…
    Have a great summer, and if you are ever in Seattle I’ll buy you a beer at the Angry Beaver (Hockey bar).

  16. This is my first read of your blog.. thanks because this hockey fan will chase people down with team license plates just to talk hockey. I was on I-95 heading out of FLA after going to the Frozen Four in Tampa – GO FERRIS STATE – and saw a plate from Ontario with Leaf Logo on the plates just like my Carolina Hurricane logo’s state plate.. 🙂 Actually ended up parking next to them at the rest area.. and talked hockey. As a woman hockey fan – it is nice to read actual hockey stuff – not the silly stuff – about hockey. I will be watching what happens to your Pens (sorry was cheering for Rangers) during the off season as closely as I will be watching my Canes and their changes. I do love Jussi and Brandon and will always appreciate Craig Adams for his contributions to 2006.. the best year ever. So until next season – GO HAWKS !! #IsItOctoberYet

  17. Angie Reply

    Thanks Pants! Much love back to you! Today it was at the car dealership when a guy asked me what was so important while I was reading your blog. I said “the Penguins losing” and he was like really they lost? I just have to remember you guys are there for us in times like these even if the rest of the world doesn’t understand! I love any team that will show so-called MAGIC during the playoffs so poor Pens, they just don’t have it this year. Hey, we always have summer golf pics and if we get really bored, more recipe postings!

  18. Kates Reply

    So well said. It was tough to watch and part of me is relieved that it’s just over and we can move on and focus on the future but the bigger part of me wants to still be in there fighting tooth and nail. I love this site and you ladies are always a highlight of my week. Thank you <3

  19. Lynn Reply

    I am a leafs fan because this is the team I grew up with, but in my heart and in reality, my team is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Being a Leafs fan, you grow up with disappointment, but the Penguins give you hope every year. It hurts that they lost because you have such high hopes every year. Granted, this year I didn’t have much confidence they would go far. But it wasn’t meant to be. Better luck next year is the common phrase this time of year. If the Habs don’t win tonight, that’s it. I’ve lost interest in these playoffs. A Leafs fan supporting the Habs is almost unheard of but I have actually always liked them (especially Price and Subban). Plus I hate the Boston Bruins so, so much! Go Habs Go!!

    • Let’s be friends, Lynn. You totally get me, haha.

  20. One guy at work today was all like there going to fire Bylsma and I was just like how many post seasons has Bylsma gotten the Penguins to and how many have you then he was all like there going to trade Malkin and I’m just like can you stop talking for life.

  21. Kierstan Reply

    Oh thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I didn’t know how to say what I was feeling, but you did. (Except for the cheering for the Capitals part – I don’t get it. And I don’t *completely* hate the Rangers. But anyway.) I wore all black to work today, and my coworkers knew better than to ask me about anything hockey today. It’s nice to have other women who get hockey…none of my friends here in Nebraska do (there’s good hockey here, just that none of my friends follow it). Keep up the awesome work, ladies. You rock.

  22. Dina Reply

    Dear Pants, I just wanted to say Thank You for this blog. I am german and, well, try being a hockey fan over here… and a Pens fan on top! There is literally no one else around who understands me. The most I got in the beginning from my very willing family: “Hockey? Oh, why don’t you go see a game of the Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks)?” (I know NOTHING about the Haie. Plus, european hockey is a whole other story) So, the internet it is. Thank god for tumblr and especially your blog. I only read this post today as I had to overcome my post-season funk first. But it is so good, so very good, and so well written, and it lifts me up and reels me in again and gives me feels. I’m going to save up and maybe in a year or two I can finally hop over and see the Pens live, that would be so great. Until then I live vicariously through you and your blog. So do me a favor, please? Never stop!! *hugs* (btw, I love that you are over thirty (as me) and married and NOT one of the many many baby fangirls on tumblr)