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It's not about who wins.. It's about who you watch with.

June 6, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
I’m exhausted today, and not because I had a good workout or ate some of my son’s birthday brownie last night (sugar rushes leave me drained later).

I’m exhausted because the Pittsburgh Penguins took until 12:15 a.m. to drop a goal in the second overtime in their series against the Boston Bruins.

I’ll leave it to my Tweets from the game (you do follow me @Pablomg228 on Twitter, right?) and to the big-time sports pundits to argue the reasons for the game’s outcome. You’re hearing enough of that from everywhere else today if you’re a Penguins fan. My Tweets tend to be reasoned (yeah, right) fan Tweets, maybe saying what everyone is thinking at the time.

The loss was a tough one, but it brought to mind something else that is more important than sporting events in and of themselves. It’s the shared experiences with family that make the games special.

A few years ago, I wondered in my high-fiber (print) former column about whether I was generating sports memories with my son that are the equivalent of what I had with my father.

Every memory of a Steelers 1970s Super Bowl run is accompanied by memories of my dad. Ditto the Pirates teams until the big drug scandal of the early 1980s. Dad never watched a baseball game after that.

I tried to do the same thing with the Steelers after Roethlisberger’s indiscretions (alleged) a few years back. A lot of friends talked me into continuing to watch the game, as a game, not because of the people involved, and largely because I just might be denying my son those kinds of memories I value of sports with my dad.

Indeed, my son said as much. Plus, he knows me well enough to recognize that when people start talking about training camp, my Steelers antenna will begin pointing toward Latrobe, surely as sunflowers follow the sun.

Marcus and I both talked before the first overtime about the night we both stayed up waaay too late on a work night a couple Augusts ago to watch the suddenly competitive Pirates play 19 innings -- about 2 a.m. -- and lose. It was a heartbreaker, a game from which the team didn’t seem to recover that year. So, no, it’s not like winning a Super Bowl over Dallas. But it is a shared sports memory between father and son. Just like the Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII, which was followed by a late-night trip to Dick’s to try to get a shirt, only to find we had to go back the next day.

Or going to the motorcycle races at Mid-Ohio a couple of years ago. Or the Pirates’ double-header we attended. Or the year we froze at the Cleveland Grand Prix. Or all the times my daughter calls to discuss what just happened in a Steelers touchdown drive or a particularly interesting Penguins period. Or the fact that she reveals more knowledge about the Steelers every season than I ever will have.

It’s not about wins and losses. It’s a family thing. And for that, thanks, Penguins.

 
 

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