‘It’s a Hockey Night in Pittsburgh,’ But Not in Springfield — Opinion

When I was in sixth grade, just a few weeks before Christmas, my father told me to go out into our minivan because Santa had dropped off an early present for me. In the car, wrapped up in an old mini-Christmas tree box, was a Marc-André Fleury jersey and two tickets for my first ever Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game.

As you can imagine, I was incredibly excited. Watching Pens games in our household was a nightly tradition when games were broadcast on television. Recently coming out of a lockout and a soon-to-be Stanley Cup Championship, Pens games were a treasure to my father, and soon became treasures to my two younger siblings and me.

Each season from then on, my father and I would pile into our minivan and head into downtown Pittsburgh. I only got to see one game at the Mellon Arena while Consol Energy Center (now PPG Paints Arena) was being built across the street. As I grew older, this one-game-a-season was the best present I could receive.

Then came college, and with college, Pens games were even more treasured than before. Roughly four hours away from home, not only could I not watch Pens games, but I couldn’t watch them with my family. I surfed Wittenberg’s cable channels game after game, but struggled to find Pens games to watch. Online streaming services weren’t helpful, and I was only left with radio stations on a Pens app I have on my phone.

It wasn’t until the Stanley Cup Playoffs began last April that I could finally find games online, and if I was extremely lucky, a game was on television.

This year, I had high hopes that with a change in cable provider and seemingly more sports networks, I would be able to catch a few games. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With the same pattern as last year, I doubt that I will see a Pens game on television until they make the playoffs, which looks likely as of this point in the season. For now, I am stuck listening to iHeart Radio broadcasts of my go-to radio station back in the ‘Burgh. It’s both convenient to listen to while I work on homework, but also annoying because I loved sitting in front of the television with my family. And when the Pens scored, Dad would turn the volume up to its loudest setting, and the whole house would shake from the goal-scoring sirens.

To top off my distress, the Pens were Stanley Cup Champions last year, so shouldn’t some of their games be on television every now and again? Sure, I have probably missed a few due to my hectic schedule, but being the recent Stanley Cup Champion should get you some games across the nation. Springfield is only a four-hour drive from the ‘Burgh, so why not broadcast a game or two?

As a hockey fan, I don’t mind watching a couple of Columbus Blue Jackets games every now and then, but shouldn’t more teams get their chance on television in such a diverse area as Springfield? We are about 45 minutes from Columbus, but still, there are other teams close enough to Springfield that should get their chance, such as the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings.

I’m not really sure who this article is a critique on – Witt’s cable provider or the inability to easily find hockey games other than the Blue Jackets in this area of Ohio. Either way, as a girl who once touched the Stanley Cup, I wish I could scream at a television set on game night every once in awhile.

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