The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated a HUGE win on Saturday night. Pens Nation and our little C-blog world then mourned a huge loss come Sunday morning.
His name was Matt Moran. He was a hell of a friend, a professional jobber, a Sergeant in the US Army, and a Pittsburgh Penguin fan. In the land of C-blog, he was known as freecandy44.
Matt recently returned stateside after a tour in Iraq. For reasons we will probably never know or understand, Matt took his own life sometime on Saturday night.
Matt was one of those Pens fans that loved every inch of this team. We shared a fondness for former players that most of you jokes would job the hell out of us for. His love for Rico Fata was unfathomable. Matt began an unreal jersey collection thanks to our unhealthy obsession including Fata, Kris Beech, Ian Moran, the 1st ‘Superstar' jersey Talbot had ever seen and one of his more famous purchases, THE Chris Bourque jersey. I had the honor of wearing that jersey at the Pens vs Avs game on December 3, which ended up being Bourque's last game as a ‘guin. Say what you will but the Team Bourque vs Staff was fun while it lasted. Matt's appreciation for the "goat" players lead to one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. A few months ago, a package from Matt arrived in the mail containing a game-worn Josef Melichar jersey. We'd joke that anytime I wore it, I wouldn't be able to lifet my arms above my head & I'd instantly be a -4 walking into the igloo. Job all ya like but once upon a time ago the great MeliScoods combo was all us Pens fans had. It will always be one of most prized ‘guins possessions and I can never thank Matt enough for that.
Matt Moran was a buddy guy. He had hundreds of friends and deep down truly cared for each and every one of them. There has been an incredible outpour on his Facebook wall. Hundred of messages sharing stories and of people thanking him for always having their backs. Maybe with all of this love & support he gave to his family, friends, and brothers in the Army, it left him with little for himself. It's hard to say, really. When someone takes their own life, that question of ‘why?' will just never be answered.
Matt gave such extraordinary dedication to everyone he knew, his country, and The Pittsburgh Penguins. He has definitely left quite a hole in many of our hearts.
It's amazing how this little universe that is The Pensblog has created such a supportive community. Since it's conception, I have met & made some of the best friends I will ever have in my life. Matt was one of them & I know this place affected Matt in the same way. The Pensblog gave him a circle of some of the kindest people anyone could know and reunited him with some long-lost pals. It helped him get through the days spent over in Iraq for sure. I just wish he could have made it through a little longer. Matt was due to return to Pittsburgh at the end of May.
Matt, you will never be forgotten, ya jag off. I ask of you that in his memory, please continue giving support to our troops. Those brave men and women need it more than we will ever know. And as a final farewell, I'll leave you with some words from Dr. John Dorian. Matt was as obsessed with the TV show Scrubs as I am & I know he'd like what JD had to say. Cue the daydream head tilt, Zach Braff voiceover, and the sad piano sound:
"Things rarely go exactly the way you want them to, so sometimes you make due with whatever you can get. Endings are never easy; I always build them up so much in my head they cant possibly live up to my expectations, and I just end up disappointed. I'm not even sure why it matters to me so much how things end here. I guess it's because we all want to believe that what we do is very important, that people hang onto our every word, that they care what we think. The truth is: you should consider yourself lucky if you even occasionally get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better. After that, it's all about the people that you let into your life."
So please raise an appletini for Matt. I know he's probably raising one back at us.
Give Herb & Badger Bob our love, Matty. And may you rest in peace.
Matt Moran 1986-2010.