It doesn’t get much more exciting than hearing “Pary Hard” by Andrew W.K. blaring through the PA after a Penguins goal. Sadly, you won’t hear that on a road game for obvious reasons, but it sure felt like a lot like a home one while I sat in Amalie Arena as the Pens took on the Lightning last Thursday.
As I arrived on the scene it dawned on me very quick, Pens fans travel well, they travel really well.
Living in Tampa full time, I attend numerous Lightning games since I love the sport, there is always something special though when your favorite team comes to town, but this was more than that. Pens fans show up in the crowd more than most other road teams that I’ve seen play here. It doesn’t even come close.
To put things into prospective, The University of Tampa (my alma mater) has a large majority of kids from New York or Massachusettes. The city of Tampa overall is a melting pot of North Eastern people mixed with a little midwest.
It is basically a city of transplant people, but certainly not many people from Pittsburgh. There was only about 2 people from there who went to my school. That’s why it’s crazy to see all these people in black and yellow as the game was on.
With the exception of maybe the Bruins, and that’s because they’re a division rival to Tampa, there’s no team with such a vast amount of road fans at these games. I’m talking more people than the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Flyers, and it’s pretty damn even with the Rangers also.
Even as a smaller city, compared to a New York or Chicago, Pens fans always show up. I lost count of the number of “Lets Go Pens” chants I got going at the game with such great response from the fellow Pens’ onlookers.
I don’t want to get these words twisted, the Lightning have awesome fans that make a great atmosphere, I’m just talking about the apperance of Pens fans who make it to these events.
You don’t see other teams with this kind of travel, giving “Geno” chants as Evgeni Malkin touches the ice, or showing props to Matt Murray when he makes a save. This is different than other team’s in the best way possible and you see it from city to city.
Shoutout to all the Pens fans who make the road games feel like the game’s taking place at PPG Paints Arena. I can’t wait to head back to here tonight for the same kinda turnout that the black and yellow will bring. Let’s just make sure the Pens come out with the win this time.
And if you don’t believe me, just watch this: