A few months ago I went to the Steelers Super Bowl rally. At the time I wondered if I'd ever go to another sports championship rally. One seemed to be enough. But given another opportunity I just couldn't resist going to the Penguins rally. Different sport, different team, different season. And though the Steelers will probably always be Pittsburgh's favorite team, the city has clearly taken to the Penguins and I wanted to be part of the celebration. I turned out to be one of several hundred thousand!
I was less sure that the Penguins would have a rally than I had been about the Steelers. The Steelers had clearly been favored in their matchup, whereas the Penguins were a distinct underdog, particularly when they went down 2-0 and later 3-2 in the series. But they did it and made an entire city very happy for the second time in a year. Here are some pictures from the rally. (Sure hope I've identified everybody correctly...I was used to them with their playoff beards!)
The weather was great and the atmosphere festive.
People took every space available to watch the parade.
Mounted police clear the way (the crowd was well behaved).
Twice the savior of the Penguins, owner and hockey legend Mario Lemieux.
Broadcaster Mike Lange.
The guy with the oddest name, Miroslav Satan.
Wunderkind rookie coach Dan Bylsma.
Evgeni Malkin with his parents (who fast became Pittsburgh celebrities) and the Conn Smythe trophy.
Captain Sidney Crosby hands the Stanley Cup to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, whose last second save preserved the win.