Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PSaMP's Halfie Birthday Extravaganza: Awful Announcing


(To commemorate the 6 month anniversary of PSaMP, I invited some of my favorite bloggers to take over PSaMP for a week. I'm calling it, PSaMP's Halfie Birthday Extravaganza. Well, its been extended to an obnoxiously long two week blogapalooza, per se. Several kickass local and national blogs agreed to share their feelings on Pittsburgh sports. Hopefully, some will also provide a Mini Pony of the Day. In my mind, it will rule. I hope you enjoy it. Thursday's blogger is BP, the creative voice behind Awful Announcing. AA is one of the best all-around sportsblogs out there on the interwebs. If you don't read it everyday, you are stupid. BP is here to let you Pens fans know why the team lost to the Caps in 1994 in the playoffs. Unbelievable stuff.)

I wanted to take this space to bash everything that is the Steelers, but really what is there to bash as of late? They have a pretty great team, and now that Joey Porter is gone (BEEYAH!) you can't really make fun of them anymore. Well at least until I see their fans come out of the coal mines to make the trip down to Baltimore in December and experience yet another clash of Puke Yellow versus Purple Camo.

But no, I'd like to share another story that few have heard me tell. The year was 1994 and the Pittsburgh Penguins were staying in the hotel I was working at because they were in a heated playoff tilt with the Washington Capitals. The Caps were up 3-2 in the series and had a chance to close out the Pens the next night in a game I was going to. The Penguins had an entire floor and I was in charge of Room Service for the night. I had about 60 or so trays to deliver throughout the night and ended up meeting just about everyone on the team, but Mario Lemieux. Most of the guys were foreign and I couldn't remember who any of them were, but the last room I delivered to at around 9pm I recognized the players right away.

The very last room on the hall had three of the Penguins' best players in it just hanging out. Tom Barasso, Kevin Stevens, and in full mullet...Jaromir Jagr. Stevens told me to come in and roll the cart with the tray on it into the corner. As I did I noticed that they looked like they were getting ready for a night on the town. I asked where in Annapolis (MD) they were thinking about heading to thinking they'd grab a cab and make the 10 minute trip. Stevens relayed that they weren't allowed to leave the hotel room because they had a game the next day and that they were going to hang out in the hotel bar Secrets.

Now what you have to understand about Secrets was that it was single guy heaven. Before the term "Cougar" was invented this was their den. I bid adieu to the guys and as they took the elevator down to the lobby, I headed back to the Kitchen. My Manager (a 40 something year-old woman from New York) and the Assistant Manager (a gorgeous 30 something year-old woman from L.A.) were there to ask me how it went. I said fine and that some of the players were going to be hanging out in the bar. For some reason the two of them just started giggling and asked who was in there partying. I relayed that it was Stevens, Jagr, and Barasso and within seconds they were posted up at the bar with the trio.

I was only 15 at the time, but I was in good with the bartenders so they let me sit next to the bar and watch whatever sporting event was on at the time while I waited for my Mom to pick me up (it's actually where I saw Joe Carter's walk-off homer against the Phillies in the WS). I had never seen my two Managers act like this and at about 10pm I left to one of them sitting on Kevin Stevens' lap.

Fast Forward to the next day Thursday, April 28th. My mom was taking me to the game that day and I told her that I needed to stop by work to pick up a paycheck to cash so I could get some garb at the game. I walk through the empty bar at around 3pm and in to the Kitchen to find my boss telling a story to two other female employees. I asked her for my check and she tells me to hang on for a second. I make small talk with the dishwashers, but quickly grow impatient as she's whispering this story across the room. I walk behind her to hear her say the funniest and most shocking thing my 15-year old ears had ever heard.

"Kevin and I were up until 5am at my place just going at it. I've never been that wet in my life."- Manager Lady

She spun around to see me standing there, and immediately did the "you didn't hear anything" routine and to "never repeat what I had heard". I was a late-bloomer so I really didn't even know what she was referring to anyway. Well to make a long-story short it turned out that she and the assistant manager took all three players to her house and had an all-nighter that only her, the Penguins, and God know the details of.

Of course the Capitals won the game that night and eliminated the favorites to win the Stanley Cup from the playoffs. I don't know what they did to him but somehow Tom Barasso gave up six goals (one empty netter) in defeat. And I saw it all go down. It's moments like that I wish I had started my blog in the early 90s.

- BP, Awful Announcing



Pat said...

um...wow. I am completely in awe of this post. Jeff Reed is one thing, but Barasso, Stevens and Jagr up to no good is a horse of a different color.

TheStarterWife said...

Good show AA, you captured the early to mid 90's Pens perfectly.

(Meaning I think I am one of the few in Pgh never to bang a player.)

One more reason why hockey rules. The players are 1000 times more accessible, and they love to party.