I hit the Pens parade today. Solo venture. Walked the upper parade route but settled in down near the end point... at the Point.
There were a bunch of high school kids sitting on top of a Pittsburgh city truck next to the Wyndham. Probably about 20 in total. One of them was particularly amusing. He shouted some great lines as the players drove by. I snagged the passenger window spot. So I had a nice, two step height advantage. I basically just clung to the vehicle door for about an hour. Killer vantage point.
10. Olli Maatta was one of the more inspired paraders. Slamming a can of Iron City no less. Running around, revving up the crowd. A couple weeks ago, Gigi called into the Mark Madden show on WXDX. She mentioned how his name bears a striking resonance to Ronnie James Dio singing "Holy Diver." And the SuperPenis regaled her... "Olli Maatta! You've been down too long in the midnight sea." Personally, I prefer the improvised... "Olli Maata, You've been scoreless too long at the PPG."
If I were to ever call in, here's my question. "Yeah, Mark. Big fan. Hey man, I was heading down to the Buccos game tonight. Do you know if the rain's supposed to let up?"
9. Speaking of Mark Madden, he was conspicuously absent from the parade. I imagine he would say that he prefers to NOT mingle with the throng of unwashed, backwoods yinzers. For a brief second, I thought I saw him coming down Commonwealth, but then realized it was a parade float dispensing confetti.
8. Ran into one of Gigi's co-workers. She asked me "how's it going" and I replied, "not good." Why, what's wrong?" "Well, I bought two tickets for the parade off Craigslist. I kinda feel like an idiot. Didn't know it was free." In all honesty, this didn't really happen. But it's a great line if you wish to besmirch or ridicule any transplanted Monroever from adjacent Turtle Crick.
7. Earlier, I referenced this one high school kid sitting on top of the city dump truck. When Jeff Jimerson rode by, he assertively yelled "Mr. Jimerson, you have such a beautiful voice. I love you Jeff. I'm in love with your beautiful voice." Very funny.
6. That same kid got a pretty raucous chant going when Patric Hornqvist went by. The crowd erupted with a lengthy, "Horny! Horny! Horny!"
5. Everyone knows that Pixburgh is a sports mecca. Except for Nutting's Pirates. Fun fact: a bunch of Penguins showed up with the Stanley Cup for last night's Pirates/Rockies game. Sid even threw out the first pitch. Congratulations are in order for Bob Nutting. He finally made good on his promise of bringing a championship to PNC Park. Lamentably, it was the wrong sport, wrong team. Right city though.
4. Attendance for the parade was said to be a hundred thousand more than last year. I concur. It was definitely more crowded... but 500,000? That's a half million. No fucking way. Our city tends to exaggerate crowd size. Almost as bad as Trump's inauguration. Almost. The media needs to examine their proclivity for over-analyzing every conceivable sports angle. Hell, I'm still waiting on the results of Iceburgh's colonoscopy. Inquiring minds are demanding an analysis.
3. Didn't see either of the born again religious morons: with their megaphone, monster signs and assorted literature. Every once in a blue moon, they show up at a Pens game. Apparently, the Bell-Dirty huffer showed up. Didn't make it to the parade but he was spotted hanging at the arena.
2. Having a bonafide interest in public safety and citywide security, I couldn't help but notice all of the municipal city trucks filled with sand and dirt. Obviously, in this day and age of random terror attacks on large crowds, it's probably a wise idea to take the necessary precautions to prevent a lone "rammer." However, Pittsburgh seems to take a slightly different approach. They leave just enough room so the cops, fire dept. and EMT's can jump a low curb and park right next to where they're personally stationed. I guess the risk/reward ratio isn't really worth having to walk an extra block. The selfish convenience of having your personal vehicle within 10 steps is paramount.
The city also put up plenty of caution tape for cordoned-off areas. But people just lifted it up and walked on through. Nobody gives a shit.
1. I sent my dad a Father's Day "poetic tribute." I usually make it about whatever's relevant in the news. Hardly my best material, but then again, it is what it is. If you appreciate the hostile, sarcastic cynicism, feel free to steal it.
Winning Lord Stanley, two years back to back
A stunning achievement, taking many aback
Back to back cups, in the era of the salary cap
The players and coaches, have earned their victory lap
Hockey's hopes and dreams, will never fade
So you can bet your ass, there'll be a parade
The band-wagoners and yinzer sheep, will bask in its glow
City police will admonish, scold... and contend with traffic flow
Hundreds of thousands, as far as the eye can see
Let's just hope the celebration, remains stampede-free
For games five and six, Matt Murray was in net
Back to back shutouts, the fans are in his debt
But there was never a need to worry
For our backup goalie was Fleury
The irony is comical, and even a bit funny
Because as I'm sure you know, it's all about money
Marc Andre will be cast off, to the desert in sin city
A consequence of the system, some would claim a pity
The fine line, between profit and pride
Takes all of society, on that inevitable ride
And while this might sound harsh and a tiny bit curt
You should get your ass to Dick's and buy a Pens shirt
Now some fathers might read this poem, and feel a bit shitty
But rest assured, it's just me... trying to be witty
Happy Father's Day!