30 Years

It was the night they won–the Miracle On Ice Team. My then-husband and I had arrived in Pittsburgh, a day ahead of the moving van, and settled into a hotel in Monroeville, to discover the impossible had happened. The USA Hockey team had beaten the dreaded, overwhelmingly favored Soviets. We waited eagerly for the game to be shown later in the evening. Both of us  had connections to hockey, having become  friends with players for the Birmingham Bulls, a number of who had gone on to the NHL.

That my 30 year anniversary in Pittsburgh should coincide with another USA Olympic team, playing in a gold medal game, is fitting. To sit in the sports department, screaming wildly for Zack Parise and his tying goal. To collapse almost in unison with the fallen figure of Ryan Miller as Pittsburgh’s beloved Crosby of Canada dashed the hopes of the scrappy, young USA team. Surrounded by my co-workers, it was an appropriate exclamation point to three decades of amazing sports experiences, lasting and enriching friendships, and an appreciation for a culture of champions that runs deep in this city.

It was why I decided to come. The vision of The Chief beckoned, during a pre-game Super Bowl interview-talking about the friendliness of the people. People with whom I have shared Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, and MLB Division Championships (I missed the 79 World Series by half a year).

Now, 30 years later, I am sitting across from another remarkable Pittsburgh figure, Coach Dan Bylsma–not even 40–a winner of the Stanley Cup in his first year of coaching?!

And watching  an ESPN interview with Sidney Crosby, someone a number of us in the newsroom have had the pleasure to meet. The Face of Hockey, and a self-effacing one at that.

There have been remarkable, sometimes wrenching, news stories. Shanksville, Quecreek, Ivan, The Blizzard of ’93. Senseless, murderous rampages, heartwarming stories about the courage of children, the strength of charity,  and the birth of elephants and wild dogs. The list goes on and on. For all of us who are fortunate to cover the news in the City of  Three Rivers, it has been a rich tapestry of events.

Thank you to all of you who have shown  such good will and uncommon kindness. I intended to come for 3 years, and wisely, made it 27 more.

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