As I start writing for the Faceoff Factor, I wanted to introduce myself to their faithful following. I may have an opinion you agree with or I may have an opinion that you disagree with, but never question my passion for the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m always for the Pens to succeed, but I do expect the best from them given their talent.

I began going to the Civic Arena in the same year that Mario Lemieux was drafted. Lemieux was my idol growing up and still is to this day even a handful of years after his retirement.

My father bought Penguins season tickets in 1973, well before my birth. Once I was born, I was being carried through the Igloo turnstiles by my father before I could even remember this old school maneuver being put to the test. We sat in section C-7, which was directly across from the red line and where the blue igloo seats would later be inserted.

I went to games before there were fancy luxury boxes or special sections that cost an arm and a leg to sit in. I was a fan of the Pens before they were good. When I was growing up and going to Pens games, my father taught me to support the Pens no matter what their record showed. My father’s most important message was never to leave a game early regardless of the score.

Agree or disagree, the only entertainment I go to see at the CONSOL Energy Center is the home team. With that being said, below is how I wish every Penguins game was attended by the home fans.

Pre-game warm-ups

Some of the concourse areas, especially on the second level, are a bit cozy. If I’m carrying nachos or a drink, I’d prefer to keep these items intact until I reach my seat. Please do not stop walking mid-stride when you have a line of people behind you trying to get to their seats. Pull off to the side of the road before you stop in the middle of the street creating a fender bender. I’m not trying to get nacho cheese and a five dollar RC Cola on my Lemieux jersey.

Show up on Time

If you are going to spend a handful of cash on a ticket, get in your seat on time. Weaving in and out of fans who stop mid-stride in the middle of the concourse is annoying enough. I can’t tolerate when I have to look around a fan who is standing in front of me during the play due to the fact that he or she was late to the start of the game.

Wait for a Whistle

This is on the fans and ushers. If you are trying to get back to your seat during game play, please wait for a stoppage in play. Back in the Civic Arena days, ushers wouldn’t let fans start towards their seats until a whistle. The same rule applies if you are getting out of your seat. I pay a lot of money for a ticket and I don’t want to miss a goal because you need a bag of skittles in the middle of a one-goal game. Please respect the view of fans around you.

Attire

This is a hockey game. If you want to wear a Pens jersey, fantastic. I don’t even mind if I see someone wearing an opposing team’s jersey, but please do not where your Steelers jersey. This is not a Steelers game. If that is all that you have in your closet, try donating to your local professional hockey team and get some Pens gear.

Dialogue

You should also respect the fans around you by choosing your words wisely. Don’t be using the universal hockey word while in the stands. In addition, don’t be cutting down your least favorite Pens player every time he touches the puck. Be positive and with your words when there are young children around.

Power Play

This fits right in with the dialogue. Stop yelling “Shoooot!” when the Pens are on a power play. I hear this time after time when the Pens player who possesses the puck should not shoot. Don’t get me wrong, the Pens’ power play passes up their fair share of opportunities to shoot the puck, but there is something called a shooting lane. There needs to be a shooting lane every time someone wants to shoot. There are also instances when there is a shooting lane when the puck shouldn’t be shot on net. Please stop constantly yelling “shoot” on the power play.

Expertise

I was at a game and saw Steven Stamkos take a slap shot along the ice fifteen feet from Marc-Andre Fleury. The puck was barely visible and Fleury made a kick save guiding the puck into the corner. I heard someone say that Fleury was giving up bad rebounds. Really? Try controlling a 100 MPH slap shot. Some rebounds are unavoidable and there is nothing a goaltender can do to prevent a rebound. Before you give an opinion, please have some sort of knowledge.

Crunch Time

This irritates me beyond anything else at a Pens game. The Pens and Flyers are playing and the Pens are down four-to-three with 4:45 remaining in the third period. Then a select crowd of Pens fans start leaving the game to beat the traffic. Are you kidding me? The climax of the game is going to take place. I can’t call someone a fan who leaves an overtime or one goal game early. That’s the best part of any game. The true Pens fans see this way too often.

Conclusion

I hope my passion for the Penguins has shines through as I am delighted to be a part of the Faceoff Factor team. I will do my best to write quality hockey articles ongoing into the future. Thank you in advance for reading anything I have or will ever publish.