Friday, July 1, 2011

Shero to Jagr: Offer Revoked

We were all set to welcome him home. Our mistake.

By GTOG Staff

We've seen some pretty dramatic comebacks in Pittsburgh.  But this is right up there.  Months of speculation culminated this week with every hockey blogger on Twitter trying to track Jaromir Jagr's flight to JFK, combing the Internet for scraps of news from some Russian website or updates on the turtles patrolling the runway, and generally devoting their whole lives to #jagrwatch.  It was all worth it.  News just broke - finally - that Jagr, 39, the second greatest player in team history and one of the top 10-15 players in NHL history, will indeed return to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  [Link]

And yes, GTOG's official singer/songwriter Daniel Marcus is all over it, with his new song, "Jagr" (to the tune of "Lola" by The Kinks).  You can listen below, download the mp3 file here, or, as always, subscribe on iTunes.

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No one could have foreseen the journey we took to get to this point.  Jagr was one of the most popular athletes in the city's history, but he threw it all away when he told us he was dying alive on the Penguins bench in 2001.  So traumatic was Jagr's departure, we remember exactly where we were when we heard the news of the trade to the Capitals.  And of course we remember the other players involved: Ross Lupaschuk, Michael Sivek, Kris Beech.  The fact that those players never amounted to anything doesn't change the fact that their names are emblazoned in our minds forever, like a deep scar.  Every time Jagr returned to Pittsburgh in an enemy uniform, he was roundly, albeit unjustly, booed.  He went to the almost equally hated Rangers before shipping off overseas for the tax free dollars of the KHL.

Over time, resentments faded.  Watching Jagr at the Olympics in 2010 and at the World Championships this year felt a little like stealing once last glimpse at a magnificent glacier before it melted into the sea.  We thought we were saying goodbye.  But we were also saying to ourselves, "He can still play."  And now?  Now he's back.

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