February 6, 2011: Washington’s Super Bowl of Schadenfreude

I’m declaring February 6 a new and permanent holiday, unique to Washington:

Shit the Bed Sunday by the ‘Burghers.

Or, the Super Bowl of Schadenfreude.

Let us have commemorative flags for all our autos — black and gold in color, obviously — calling out the feats of infamy yesterday carried off by the heroes of our friends from Western Pennsylvania.

Up and down Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues, on the Beltway and in both directions of I-66, each and every February 6 hereafter these memorial car flags would proudly hail our empathy:

‘2/6: Way to come up small, ‘Burghers’

Twice in the span of 10 hours yesterday the twin claimants to civic pride in Pittsburgh staked claim to significant glory, in both instances on national television. Both came up short. For Washingtonians, in novelty and euphoria, it was like weekend ski lodge hot tubbing with super model twins. Let us give thanks that Big Ben wasn’t in our hot tub with our girls.

One of the Penguins — perhaps it was Tyler Kennedy, or worse, Max Talbot — went on television Friday night in the immediacy of his team’s triumph over Buffalo and boldly predicted victory at Verizon Center Sunday, before settling in with Terrible Towels for the other big game. Instead, Terrible Tears were absorbed by the hankies.

What other jurisdiction holds on to the same handcloths for generations?

It wasn’t a Super Sunday of much shakiness for Michal Nuevirth, was it, Coach Bylsma?

“Before the game, I remembered when he said that,” Neuvy told the media in yesterday’s postgame, alluding to the Pens’ coach and his HBO-aired snipe at the Caps’ young goalie, “and I kind of looked at him during the warm-up and told myself that I got to shut these guys out tonight.”

Mission accomplished.

Pittsburgh has no hoops team, of course, and Washington of course has no professional basketball team, but by 10:00 last night you got the feeling that if Pittsburgh had a team and if they’d hosted the Wizards yesterday, our beleaguered hoopsters would have notched their first road win of the season. Victory yesterday just wasn’t meant to be achieved by this locale, with so much at stake. Let’s be thankful there wasn’t a Middle East peace summit in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Try and argue to the contrary: February 6, 2011, must rank as the most wretched and vexing sports day for the mulleted and Iron City swilling in the history of that city. Next up for them on the sporting calendar: opening day for the Pirates.

It is our birthright as Washingtonians, native or naturalized, to luxuriate in the agony of Western Pennsylvanians in such moments. Nobody put a gun to their heads and ordered them to wear their Steelers’ jerseys all weekend long in our pancake houses, or graffiti-ing the aisles of our supermarkets with their obscene fashion. It seems uniquely the psychology of the citizen of the mid-sized, Rust-belt American town: come to the big city (where there’s work) and presume that we your employer are impressed by displays of your out-of-town sports allegiance. The irony of course is that you want credit for association with the town you abandoned.  To be thought of as some super-fan whilst . . . a refugee. We locals however most respect those who toughed it out, the resolutely indigenous who manage to work and raise families and fill the rink and stadium of their local heroes. Those are the true super-fans.

I’m going to infer from Christina Aguilera’s national anthem performance that she has deep roots in Pittsburgh.

On the two most significant weekends to date for ‘Burghers in 2011 the Capitals have played serious spoilers in both.

In your offices and schools here this week expect some manner of wounded-chatter from the towel-toting themed on how they were proud just to have advanced to so notable a stage as Sunday delivered. Reply: That is the talk of losers.

Tell them also: your quarterback is a predator, keep him away from my daughter, and assuming Sidney is returned to the lineup on February 21, tell him to skate with his head up.

This entry was posted in Morning cup-a-joe, National Hockey League, Other sports, Pittsburgh Penguins, Schadenfreude, Washington Capitals, Winter Classic 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to February 6, 2011: Washington’s Super Bowl of Schadenfreude

  1. Darb says:

    Who has two thumbs and is Rocking the Red in Pittsburgh today?

    This guy.

  2. Pingback: Who would wanna kill the cook(e)? – Mr. Green | Chirps From The Ledge

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