Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day Two-Hundred Forty: Alice Kilgore's Story

Around this time in 2007, the Pittsburgh Penguins got some press for the way they'd chosen to distribute season tickets to a few lucky fans: Pens players and coaches, including superstar Sidney Crosby and then-barely-English-speaking Evegeni Malkin (*knock knock knoc* *door opens* "Hello. Peesburg Pengueen Teekit."), traveled to a few lucky fans' houses and hand-delivered the tickets. (Don't worry, the Pens' front office called ahead of time to let the folks know when "a Penguins player" would be dropping by)

One of the more memorable visits--and the one that generated the most Internet buzz--was Crosby's delivery to an older woman named Alice Kilgore. Alice had been a Pens fan since just about Day 1; she'd been with the team since they were the laughing stock of the league, when they were back-to-back Cup champs, when they almost left town twice, when they were bottom-dwellers for about five years again, and clearly, through the recent resurgence a la Sid, Geno, Flower, Staal III, etc.

Anyway, two years ago, Sid visited Ms. Kilgore in her home. It was pretty awesome. She kept saying things like, "I can't believe it, Sidney Crosby is in my house!" She gave him (and the camera crew) a tour of the place, including her Penguins' room, which included a souvenir puck from the first Pens game in 1967. Crosby was impressed at what a super-fan the woman really was.

As he was leaving, Sid asked Alice if she thought they were going to win it all that year. Without hesitation, she replied, "Not this year. Nope, not yet. Maybe next year, though." Sid was a bit taken aback, but he laughed and said, "Well, we're going to try anyway?"

And what happens? The Pens go to the Cup Final, and ABC finds Alice at game 4 and asks her about her prediction. "I'd love to be wrong!" she assures the broadcaster.

But Alice wasn't wrong. Not about 2007-08 not being the Penguins' year. Nor, it turns out, was she wrong about the "Maybe next year" part.

Well, Sid remembered Alice, and...well...gee, those young Penguins are just such nice boys!