As an avid follower of the National Hockey League and a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan, I find it nearly impossible to give the Pittsburgh Penguins any credit or respect. Not only is Sidney Crosby a crybaby, but the Penguins are the reason Detroit did not get back to back cups in the ‘09 finals, those bastards.
Much to my discontent, the Pens went and got themselves their second consecutive Stanley Cup win this past Sunday and immediately began their wild celebrations. While seeing any team from Pittsburgh win anything from a spring training game to the Super Bowl makes my blood boil, what I witnessed from their championship parade on Wednesday gave me some solace.
As the parade rolled through the Steel City, standout defenseman Olli Maatta reminded me why I respect hockey players more than any other professional athlete. After multiple injuries, a World Championship trip with Finland, and a Stanley Cup win all in the same season, Maatta knew that it was time for him to let loose and that is just what he did. Though the parade started relatively tame, Maatta quickly made up for lost time by chugging more beers than Wade Boggs on a transcontinental flight.
Photos and videos from parade goers chronicle Maatta drinking practically every American light beer under the sun while hollering nonsense and stumbling like a high schooler after his first 4loko. Highlights from the parade include the blackout Finn screaming “back to back” while slamming Nattys, as well as numerous belligerent interviews conducted by Maatta asking fans about their preferred orders from Chick Fil A. Let this be a reminder as to why we are so fortunate to live in a country with the best cheap beer and chicken sandwiches in the world.
From SB Nation Pennsburgh:
The Penguins parade on Wednesday was a debacle in the best kind of day. The city estimated 650,000 came out in droves to get a glimpse of the back-to-back champs and enjoy the day.
But the star of the show was precocious Olli Maatta. And think of the year he had: starting in early September to get up and going with Team Finland for the World Cup of Hockey after a short summer. Playing for the Penguins. Suffering a broken hand in February. He would return and play all 25 playoff games, some up, some down but still a 20 minute a night guy on a Stanley Cup team. Gaining the reputation as one of the hardest workers off the ice, constantly working out, sometimes maybe even to the point of over-working himself.
Plus over the years dealing with the multiple shoulder surgeries, mumps, thyroid cancer, this year’s broken hand and all the rest of the bumps and bruises of NHL life. The young man’s been wrapped up in a lot, so if anyone deserves to let loose it would be him.
And boy did he. Enjoy some glimpses of Olli’s day and boy did Olli have a day.
After his second championship parade in two seasons, Maatta has acquired a taste for all of America’s finest alcoholic and fast food vices yet he could still take a lesson from the book of proper daylong protocol. After having the time of his young Finnish life, Maatta decided to call it quits soon after the parade’s conclusion by passing out half clothed on the couch of his downtown Pittsburgh balcony — the kid’s got a lot to learn.
While my disdain of the Pittsburgh Penguins will never be fully extinguished, I do owe Olli Maatta a thank you for adding a slightly happier ending to my nightmare that is the Penguins winning another Stanley Cup..
[via SB Nation Pennsburgh]
Image via Twitter/ @theinclinepgh