Last April, on the very day that the Penguins were set to take on the Flyers in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, my girlfriend of three years decided she was going to waive me from the team and broke up with me.
I was reeling and emotionally distraught, of course. I mean, why wouldn't I be? After all, I was in-love. It's a painful thing, right?
Little did I know how painful. Even though I was only half paying attention, I noticed the Penguins had blown a three-goal lead to Philadelphia and lost in overtime, 4-3. And that's when I realized just how crazy love can make us. That loss by Pittsburgh actually gave me joy, I mean, we're talking great joy, and I decided I was going to be a Flyers fan, at least the rest of the first round.
The Penguins lost again in Game 2, and were humiliated in Game 3 and I wasn't a shamed to show my joy in front of my friends and co-workers. They couldn't believe it and actually thought I was jinxing the team. Hey, tell that to my ex; she drew first blood, not me. The third loss was especially lovely for me since Sidney Crosby, the team's star and golden boy of hockey, acted especially punkish and was in the middle of a game-long brawl between the two teams. My ex girlfriend LOVED Crosby and thought he could do no wrong.
Pittsburgh mounted a comeback and won Games 4 and 5, but it was too little, too late, as the Flyers won Game 6 to clinch the series.
I thought it was poetic justice. When my girlfriend and I first got together, the Steelers, my favorite team, won Super Bowl XLIII. When she broke up with me for some other guy, the Penguins, their favorite team, lost in the first round of the playoffs to their blood rivals.
Some of my friends still can't believe I rooted for Philadelphia. To repeat: love will make you do crazy things.