Monday, June 15, 2009



sports commentary
by Angelo Spagnolo, Editor

ABOVE: Get ready Pittsburgh, there could be an avalanche of celebrations coming your way!

On a picture-perfect day with 80 degree temperature, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky, it was another great day to be living in Pittsburgh...and another great day for a parade.

Pittsburgh has become synonymous with three things: Championship teams, fireworks and parades. Of course, we have long had our St. Patrick's Day parade and Thanksgiving parade, but lately, we've gotten good at throwing these gi-normous championship parades.

The Steelers just had one in February and now, just four months later, here comes a tribute parade to the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins. Pittsburgh has improved as a parade center. When you think back to the last Penguin championships there were no parades, just a rally and speeches by the players in Point State Park.

Today, the city is not only throwing a parade, but in tribute to the fans who viewed the games OUTSIDE of Mellon Arena, it erected a huge jumbotron screen to enhance the entire event. When the Steelers had their parade, students were still in school, and although many "were off sick" that day, today there will be no excuses necessary. This crowd could possibly exceed the 350,000 would attended the Steeler parade.

Truthfully, the Penguins have boggled the collective imagination of Pittsburgh fans. Their youth, engaging personalities, exciting style of play, incredible skills, their amazing owner and unbelievable journey through the Stanley Cup Playoffs made this championship one that will be savored for decades to come.

It is fitting that the town that is once again being called the "City of Champions" would honor their champions in the grandest style possible. Between the win in SuperBowl XLIII, the Penguins' third Stanley Cup win and the recent announcement that Pittsburgh will be hosting the prestigious G-20 summit in September, it is safe to say that the Burgh is on a roll like never before. With Heinz Field, PNC Park, the new Consol Energy Arena on the way, plus a world class convention center and the Rivers Casino soon to open and our many museums and stunning scenery, Pittsburgh is rapidly developing into a first class tourist destination.

Who would have thought that a city that was once more infamous for its' pollution could have come as full circle as Pittsburgh has? Seriously, we've never thought of our city as being a tourist destination, but that's indeed what it is rapidly becoming. It also doesn't hurt that Pittsburghers, along with being wildly supportive of their sports teams have also become known as among the friendliest people to be found anywhere in the world.

On a day like today, it certainly makes you proud to be a Pittsburgher. There are a lot of things that have been done "right" in this city over many years for it to be in the position that it is in now.

But could you possibly imagine the celebration that would break out for the Pirates if they were to win their next World Series?