TAKING IN A PITTSBURGH PENGUINS HOCKEY GAME

T

he final stop on my 30 Plus Teams Tour of Pittsburgh was, what else?

Attending a sporting event.

This time because baseball season hadn’t started, and the football team, the Steelers had finished their season, I decided to see the team that just happens to be the defending hockey champions , the Pittsburgh Penguins .

It was the day after my birthday, the hotel is right next door, why not go?

No actually this is a 30 Plus Teams Tour and one the first things you do on a 30 Plus Teams Tour is check to see what teams are playing when you’ll be in the city.

I checked the schedule for the Penguins, found out that they would be playing the San Jose Sharks and called up a girlfriend who lived in the city and got us tickets for the game.

Penguins tickets are always hard to get because of the popularity of the team so I was really lucky to get these.

Word of advice from the Sports Diva, if you think tickets are too expensive on the team’s own website, try one of the second party dealers like Stub Hub, NBA ticket exchange, NHL Ticket exchange or even Vivid Seats .

Don’t worry if the name on the ticket isn’t yours.

More than likely, it’s a season ticket holder who for some reason or another doesn’t want to or can’t attend the game.

The night of game there was a lot of snow, and it was 25 degrees, but since my hotel was right next door, no worries .

As I was just getting over being sick you’d better believe that I was dressed warmly, even though I still was dressed like the sports team apparel fashionista that I am .

This arena used to be known as the Consol Energy Arena, but as with most sports arenas these days, when a company goes out of business and a new company takes over, they have the right to change the name of the arena to whatever they want , no matter how really silly the name sounds.

The arena is now known as the Pittsburgh Paints Arena , and our seats are in the 200 section.

That may seem high, but compared to other hockey arenas in the United States and Canada , it really isn’t .

We can see the ice, the flags of the United States and Canada and the five championship banners hanging from the rafters.

What you can’t see from your seat on the ice, just look up at the big scoreboard.

You’ll see everything there , including graffics urging you to make some noise .

As a New Yorker, I find this kind of funny.

You don’t need to tell us to get loud or make some noise at a sporting event or any where else.

It’s in the DNA, I guess.

I had been to a Penguins game a few times but this time I really noticed just how reserved and quiet the fans were.

The team does have a mascot, Iceburgh, who gets the fans hyped up with his antics and drum beating, and of course , fans scream out every once and awhile , “Let’s Go Pens!”

But once again, it wasn’t with the excitement and passion that I’ve heard at other arenas, like New Jersey, Philadelphia and Boston, let alone in Toronto at a Blue Jays baseball game .

Could it be that because the team has been doing well thst Penguins fans have been really spoiled by their team?

I don’t know .

I had a good time at the game as the Penguins won, but it didn’t feel like a sports atmosphere.

It felt more like being at a boring concert with people sitting on their hands waiting for something to happen .

Sorry Pittsburgh , I expected better from you when taking in Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game .

A VISIT TO THE FORT PITT MUSEUM

As I was walking through the city, I came across this museum, which is part of the Smithsonian, and the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh .

It’s the Fort Pitt Museum and it sits right where the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet.

It wasn’t on my list of places to see while I was in Pittsburgh , but the beauty of traveling ,whether you’re doing a 30 Plus Teams Tour or not ,is discovering places that weren’t on your list and weren’t even mentioned in a guide book.

The museum sits right under one of the many bridges that seem to line this city.

There are 446 of them by the way.

The bridge that’s near the museum is the Smithfield Bridge.

I paid my admission and went to explore this museum which tells the story of Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War , long before there was even a United States .

I discovered facts about the city that I wasn’t even aware of , even though I was a history major in college .

As you enter the first floor , right in front of you is a diagram of Fort Pitt, and what would become the city of Pittsburgh.

You also find out about the different Native American tribes in the area and which tribes sided with the French and who sided with the British as well as the Native Tribes who didn’t side with either the French or British.

Not surprisingly , many tribes didn’t trust either the British or French.

You can take pictures on the first floor only but not on the second floor of the museum , which is too bad, because there are a lot more interesting exhibits on the second floor , not to mention the really gorgeous view that you have of the Smithfield Bridge.

But because the artifacts are so delicate, it’s easy to see why they dont want you taking pictures on this floor.

On the first floor, you get to see how soldiers and ordinary citizens lived during this time.

There’s even a portrait of George Washington, who was a member of the Virginia Regiment of the British army.

It was Washington who was sent as an envoy by the British to ask the French to give up the Fort .

Since war came later, you can only guess what the French response was.

Besides the artifacts on the second floor, you get to learn who the major players were for the French, British, Americans and Native Americans .

I was surprised to learn that even back then, Benjamin Franklin was involved in helping the British.

How this would change many years later.

You also learn how after the French and Indian War, and even the Revolutionary War , nothing was resolved with the Native American tribes, and bitterness of some of the tribes seems to linger even until this day.

You might not want to spend that long a time at this museum , but believe me , if you want to learn about some unknown United States history and you happen to be in Pittsburgh visit the Fort Pitt Museum .

Fort Pitt Museum

601 Commonwealth

Plaza Building B

Point State Park

Pittsburgh , PA 15222

Open daily 10am-5pm

412-281-9284

A

dults $7

Seniors 62 years and older $6

Youth 6-17 and students with valid ID $3.50

Retired and active military $4

Children 5 and under Free

WALKING ON THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE BRIDGE

In August of last year, I wrote a post on my bucket list.

(Sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/My-30-plus-teams-tour-bucket-list-all-150-of-them.)

As of last week, I had only crossed off one of them off my list, number 57, the Mother Seton House in Baltimore .

(Sportsandtravelblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/28/hello-charm-city-baltimore-maryland-a-visit-to-the-mother-seton-house)

I was determined to cross another one off my list when I was in Pittsburgh and I did.

It was number 137, walking on one or all of the three bridges in town known as “The Three Sisters.”

Officially, the bridges are the Andy Warhol, Rachel Carson, and Roberto Clemente .

All three of them are named for icons in the city.

This being a 30 Plus Teams Tour , you just know which bridge that I decided to walk across.

It was the bridge that sits directly across from the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball park, PNC Park, and is named for the late great Pirate player Roberto Clemente , who was killed in a plane crash in Nicaragua delivering humanitarian supplies to victims of the earthquake there.

There’s even a statue of Clemente right by the bridge .

Walking across this bridge and seeing the other two bridges across the way was a beautiful sight.

I even forgot that I have a thing about bridges .

I don’t like them and I am really afraid of them.

This wasn’t like walking across the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges in New York .

Not everywhere has to build everything tall like New York City seems to do.

I liked the fact that people hung padlocks on the bridge like i seem to see in pictures of Paris and elsewhere.

I walked from one end of the bridge to the other end which was downtown Pittsburgh .

I can just imagine how it feels to walk across the bridge during baseball seaxon or in the summer even when there isn’t a game.

As it was cold I didn’t walk on the other bridges .

I had knocked off another thing on my bucket list.

Walking on one of the bridges was good enough for me, and it wasn’t as scary as i expected it to be.

It was now

time to explore more of the city.