As we've mentioned several times before, one of the toughest things about being a sports fan is trying to change your feelings towards someone because they've changed teams. Tonight, obviously, is a key example of that. Regardless of how you feel about them right now, Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr have been Penguins heroes in the past. They've been major parts of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and fan favorites. They've scored huge goals and accomplished great things for the Penguins. They've both lifted Stanley Cups in black and gold. And now they return wearing orange.
As a fan, that's difficult to deal with.
Both men made business decisions in July. They decided, for their own reasons, that they wanted to play for the Philadelphia Flyers. As Pittsburgh Penguins fans, that hurt all of us. Everyone knows about the Flyers/Penguins rivalry, so it only makes sense that, as Penguins fans, we would all see those signings as a betrayal.
Now we're all in the tough position of figuring out how to feel and how to react tonight.
You've probably jumped out of your seat and cheered because of something Jaromir Jagr or Max Talbot did while wearing black and gold. They've both been responsible for some of the biggest moments in Pittsburgh Penguins history. You may own one or both of their jerseys. One of them might be your favorite player. But they're also both members of the Penguins' biggest rival. So what do you do?
Cheering for Jagr or Talbot tonight doesn't make you a bad Penguins fan. Neither does booing them. Tonight is no different than any other night. Cheer for the players you like. Boo the players that you don't like. Who those players are is up to you.
This is a tough situation for all of us and there is no right or wrong way to react tonight. Do what you feel like doing and enjoy the game.