Sunday, December 29, 2013

a Gonchar jersey and Groupon for groupies

     As black & gold player replica jerseys have become the staple of many men's and women's daily wardrobe in Pittsburgh, should I really have been surprised at how people in this town would react when they experience a rare, close encounter in a bar with the embodiment of the names that they have been proudly displaying and lovingly carrying around on their backs day in and day out?

     I've spent my entire 23 years of life here and I casually follow and sometimes even root for the Pirates(but the Indians have my heart) and the Pens( my family has been Pens season ticket holders for over ten years...not bragging,  just saying). My apologies to Steeler Nation, but I am a Minnesota Vikings fan. I will admit to owning a few black & gold tee shirts that I wear to sleep or run in. Jerseys? I have 2: Sergei Gonchar (Pens)and Jared Allen( +Minnesota Vikings ).  At the time Gonchar played for the Pens, I was a teenager and thought it was a cool name to wear. To this day, if Gonchar knocked on my door, I would have no clue who he was; unless, of course, he was wearing a jersey with his name on it.

    To make a really not that interesting of a story short, I was at a bar, The Urban Tap, (yummy, hot cider drinks) on the South Side and some +Pittsburgh Penguins  players were there. I am not going to name drop because this blog is not about them and, frankly, other than 1 player, I could not name them. What fascinated me, though, was the scene that unfolded around the players, as the 21 and over patrons turned into "cotton-headed ninnymuggins"(Thanks Buddy, the elf, for the perfect word) right before my eyes. Based on my observations, I would like to offer some do's and don'ts for when your black & gold idols materialize at a bar in your real world. Take it or leave's free. For ease of this blogger, professional athletes that you see outside of the venue they play their sport in shall herein to be referred to as PALs(Professional Athlete Live).
Stargazing. Location: South Side

  1. When you first lay eyes on your PAL, please refrain from shouting, "Oh, my god!! Oh, my god!!" While your PAL my be flattered you think of him as a god, others around you with different religious affiliations may be offended. And PALs are all about political correctness. Take this opportunity to be creative in your exclamation and wow your PAL.
  2. No open mouth gawking at your PAL for longer than 3 seconds at a time. Actually, no open mouth at anytime. Make sure you coordinate your gawks with your group so no more than 2 people are gawking at the same time.
  3. Always down your drink or a couple shots before you approach your PAL. He'll love catching a whiff of secondhand alcohol breath. 
  4. Ask for an Autograph? Heck, no! Who wants chicken scratch on a napkin when you can have a selfie with your PAL?
  5. PALs love when man-fans invade their space. I recommend going over one at time to meet your PALs and then going back to your other pals for a round of high fives. Bonus*girls love seeing guys go gaga over their PALs.
  6. Girls.. Always be prepared by wearing a dress at least two sizes smaller than you should. It's best to stumble up to your PAL in pairs. If your encounter involves multiple PALs, the PAL that acknowledges you is now your favorite, ever!! 
  7. It is NOT a subtle hint for you to 'get lost' if your PALs stop talking and making eye contact with you...and just ignore the eye rolls & chuckling, too, as you walk away...honestly, it has nothing to do with you and your gal pals...I, doesn't...
  8. For a less direct approach, try standing as close as possible to your PAL. If you can make physical contact, even better, and then act like you have no idea your PAL is right behind you.  If your PAL moves away, he probably didn't notice you. But if your PAL asks someone to move YOU away from HIM,...score!!.. he absolutely noticed you!
  9. If you can't tweet something nice,( like a sweet pic of you & your PAL that everyone will be so jealous of), don't tweet anything at all.
         During my extensive research for this blog  :) , I came across a tweet from the same night as I described above that had been passed along through several social sites and blogs. Some chick claimed that her PAL, (, declined a photo op with her and she immediately went to twitter to throw shade at her PAL and for some much deserved stroking of her bruised & delicate ego. I don't know if this story is true or not. I don't know if Mr. Neal was even at the Urban Tap that night; but, I did see several guys wearing a #18 Pens jersey..........

      I just hope my advice can help Fan(atic)s from ever having a negative PAL experience.

        Got a PAL story or advice?? Luv to hear it...

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