The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals

“There’s no compromise, No second prize.”
-Airbourne, “Rivalry”

I was born in Washington, DC and have devotedly supported the area’s professional sports franchises for the last few decades. I do lean more toward the Orioles because the Nationals weren’t around when I was born, and they just can’t enter my life like some arrogant stepfather. It’s a relationship that has taken time, but I already have a dad (I mean, team) in my life.

As a Capitals’ fan, I would like to congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that being said, I don’t believe a Penguins’ fan would offer such a gesture if the Capitals were to ever win the Stanley Cup. I know a handful of Penguins fans – sadly, I’ve been to Pittsburgh more times than they have combined – and they just aren’t that type of person. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just makes it easier not to like the team or players.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just saying that because they’re rivals.
Me: Perhaps, but why?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: I’m asking you why we’re rivals?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Because we’re bad ass and you suck!
Me: Why won’t you actually answer the question?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!

I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s actually not a rivalry. A rivalry usually includes two teams or individuals that are evenly matched and equally decorated like the Celtics-Lakers in the 80’s or Federer-Nadal in the 21st Century. The Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry is completely one-sided and predictable. It’s similar to Ohio State and Michigan; a rivalry that has completely lost its luster because since 2001 the Wolverines have only one twice. Of course, they have a more storied history, but my point is that rivalries can become very bland and uninteresting.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: You already said that.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Fine, you’re bitter.
Me: That’s the same thing.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!
Me: Hmm…

I am bitter, I will admit it. However, Pittsburgh fans can’t say anything about it because they don’t know what it’s like. They’re spoiled brats when it comes to sports. Not in like an inherited classy New York way, or rags to riches Boston way, but more like a trailer trash wins the lottery kind of way (it’s a joke, not a stereotype, calm down, everybody). Let’s look at the Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry if it were between the two cities as a whole:

Super Bowls: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 3.
Stanley Cups: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
World Series: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
NBA Championships: Washington 1, Pittsburgh 0 (because they don’t have a basketball team).

16-4 overall. How pathetic. Rivalries aren’t supposed to be pathetic; they are supposed to move us, keep us enthralled, make us anxious, and make supporters from other teams tune into the matchup just because it’s an amazing unpredictable game. The Penguins-Capitals has become hardly that.

I always thought the window was closing for the Capitals the last few years, but I believe it’s now shut. The hope of just a shred of glory has drifted away; especially with the emergence of the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, and Sabres (you’ll see) in the East and the Predators and Oilers in the West. Las Vegas has once again given Washington high odds to win the Cup in 2018. Sadly, I wouldn’t take that bet. In my disgruntled eyes, the Golden Knights have just as good of a chance.

I will always support you, Capitals, but when the hell are you going to return the favor to the fan base? Forget about Pittsburgh and just rock the red.

The 2017 NBA Finals

“I’m free to bore my well-bought friends, And spend my cash until the end, ’cause I’m bored!”
-Iggy Pop, “I’m Bored”

Should ABC cancel the 2017 NBA Finals?

What an absurd suggestion. Who would think of such madness? A lot more people than you would believe. One of the greatest things about sports is that it is unscripted and there are no re-runs – in this case, classic games do not count, and neither do soccer matches with a time difference, and don’t even try to argue the fact that because you saved a game on your DVR and watched it after it was over or watched it again counts. However, the NBA is the one league where power has become unbalanced and results are as predictable as taxes and old people complaining about something.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are once again on an unentertaining collision course for the 2017 NBA Finals. This will be the third year in a row this matchup has taken place, and the seventh Finals appearance in row for LeBron James. If I watched a television program where the seasons and finales were always the same then I would get bored and soon the network would pull the show because ratings will drop. So what’s the difference here? This will sound awful coming from a sports fan, but I have failed to watch an entire NBA game this year – regular and postseason. With that being said, I already knew that the Cavs and Warriors would again meet in the Finals. No, I’m not psychic (even though that would be pretty cool) and yes, I’m aware that a fat lady hasn’t yet performed in the San Antonio Spurs’ and Boston Celtics’ respective locker rooms, but when the point differential in the first three Conference Finals games averages 17 points between squads, it’s a little unrealistic to think otherwise.

With the fact that NBA teams will now be sporting companies on their jerseys next season to increase revenue via tacky advertising, I can only assume that the league is failing. Considering the current trends of resting superstars during primetime matchups and overloading two out of the 30 rosters with the best talent to guarantee victory, it’s definitely a program that has lost its luster. Dear Commissioner Silver, either fix the league, or take your broadcasts to Netflix so viewers can binge watch the boring predictability of what was once fantastic and competitive entertainment.