The Pittsburgh Penguins just won the Stanley Cup, becoming the second hockey team to go back-to-back in almost 20 years and their third under the leadership of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. While the players on the ice can certainly take the majority of the credit for the victory, I’d like to think that us Penguins fans also had a little something to do with the outcome.
Being the diehard yinzer that I am, as if they raise you any other way when you are from Pittsburgh, I am superstitious and take my contributions to this Stanley Cup run very seriously. Whether it’s positive vibes, good karma, or taking my fandom up another level, I do whatever I can to help the Sports Gods send some goodness the way of my Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here are four superstitious things that I did during this 2016-17 Stanley Cup playoff run which helped contribute to the Penguins winning.
#1. Mrs Bacon is from Buffalo and because of that we have Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres glass cups. During the Stanley Cup Final I made it a point to only drink out of a Pittsburgh team, Yuengling lager, or blank glass cups as to not upset the Sports Gods by cross pollinating sports fandom during such a crucial period of time. I need only positive Pittsburgh vibes going on. I estimate that I made a conscious decision on which glass to pick at least 10 times. Where this got tricky is when the dishwasher was full and we were low on clean glasses. The large Buffalo glasses would stick out, but in those instances I’d opt to use a significantly smaller, blank glass and just double up on my pouring.
#2. Last year I grew a playoff beard, took a picture of it every day on Snapchat, and then turned it into a time-lapse video documenting the Penguins journey to winning the Stanley Cup.
This year my playoff beard mindset was a little different as I didn’t want to just duplicate what I had already done. At the start of the playoffs I had a good, not great beard and was trimming it more on the shorter side because the weather was nice out in Chicago (I’m definitely seasonal when it comes to my beard game.) Then the Capitals series happened and karmically I knew that I needed to be all in.
I have the ability to grow a beard at the speed of Carl Hagelin in Game 6 so it was game on and I didn’t trim my beard again until after Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins had just lost two in a row, and even though my confidence in the team was still very high, I wanted to switch something up to change the mojo. I decided to trim my beard down to a 3 with the electric razor. Naturally the Penguins and the Sports Gods rewarded me with a 6-0 Game 5 victory and 2-0 shutout in Game 6. Sometimes you’ve got to go with your gut, something Mike Sullivan is great at.
#3. My attire for the Stanley Cup run was very consistent. It comprised of a New Era Pittsburgh Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup Champions hat and a combination of either my Sidney Crosby jersey (which I only dry clean once a year), an HBK Stanley Cup t-shirt that I bought after last years Cup, or a “City of Champyinz” shirt with cutoff sleeves. I wore this every time the Penguins played in the playoffs without fail.
For games that needed extra fandom I’d throw on a pair of Steelers socks so that I’d be wearing three articles of Pittsburgh attire. I know, freaking yinzers. My logic is simple. Add up the number of items of clothing that an entire fanbase is wearing and whichever one has the most gets positive favor from the Sports Gods. Good luck trying to figure out when or why breaks or weird bounces or calls in a game happen but they do. Even though there’s no way to prove where it comes from, my theory is the most believable that I’ve seen.
#4. I was a waiter at Applebee’s in college and because of that experience I have always been a good tipper (out of respect for others in the service industry.) During the Penguins Stanley Cup run I needed to make sure that I always had good karma on my side so any time there was a tipping opportunity I always made sure to add in an extra dollar. I also gave out my entire allotment of two dollar bills so that others could enjoy the positive benefits from them. When all else fails don’t underestimate the power of cold hard cash. As the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase said, “Everybody has a price” (even the Sports Gods.)
I know that I’m not the only one who does superstitious things to support my team. I want to hear from you. What superstitious things do you do in the name of helping your team win? Hit me up on Twitter @BaconSports or in the comments.