Monday, February 16, 2009

Dear Mr. Celebrity - Dear Mr. Therrien

We forget. And for that, we apologize.
We sincerely apologize.
We forget where the Penguin franchise was three years ago before you were named coach (incase you don't remember, check your basement. Or below it.)
We forget how amazing it feels to have the phrase "It's a Great Day for Hockey" make us warm inside.
We forget how close we were to losing a sports franchise. If it wasn't for your quick turnaround, I'm not sure anyone would have cared enough to keep the Pens here (see: Seattle).
We forget how inspired we felt during last summer's magical playoff run. We probably still don't fully understand that the emotion we felt for your team was something completely unique to us (I challenge anyone to disagree that you felt more attachment to last year's Pens than you did to this year's Steelers).
We forget that you happen to be the latest victim of a game that holds coaches accountable for players' mistakes, a game that seems to have the shortest lifespan for the man in the suit.
We forget that the players of this game, especially young ones used to winning, can drop you just as quickly as they buy into you, because this game lends itself to short-term gain.
We aren't sure if your firing was the correct decision, but we forget that disappointment, more than anger, is the last emotion anyone wants to feel. And unfortunately, your team fit that description.
We forget that the only reason your team is seen as disappointing is because of the goals you allowed us to set for you.
We forget star players need leadership and motivation, and you gave them, and us, exactly that.
And for that, I say, "thank you."
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for holding professional athletes and coaches accountable for their mistakes - something that other sports unfortunately lack.
Thank you for never using injuries as an excuse (you left that to us).
Thank you for making me cry tears of joy (game five) and tears of sadness (game six).
Thank you for introducing us to something refreshingly different from the knockdown, drag-out defensive game that we've learned to love at Heinz Field and for giving us hope that a trophy not-named-Lombardi was within reach.
Thank you for giving us hope that a bunch of stars and castoffs could come together to give us the best season of our lives.
But most importantly, thank you, Mr. Therrien, for giving us reason to stand up and cheer.

Most sincerely,
The City of Pittsburgh

1 comment:

  1. How true this is. Unfortunately, it's not always coaching, but they are the first to go. I think Pgh fans liked him as a coach. Should be interesting to see how the next few weeks unfold with the new coach.