I never regret Penguins hockey.
I didn't regret it when I was a wee lad watching Mario Lemieux dingle and dangle his way to two Stanley Cups and Tommy Barrasso made me want to be a goalie. I was slow and I couldn't skate, so there was no way that I ever had visions of being Lemieux.
I didn't regret it when I learned about heartbreak a year later, when the New York Islanders etched themselves as being worse than the Devil for making the Penguins lose.
I didn't regret it when I went to the Mellon Arena for the first time a year after Lemieux retired for the first time. Sure, I didn't see him play live until late in his career, but I did see 5 goals as the Penguins destroyed Boston in an April playoff tuneup.
I didn't regret it when I hovered around the TV following the flurry of trades that brought Jan Hrdina to Pittsburgh, and then watched the lines and numbers for the new players so I could update my PlayStation roster.
I didn't regret it when I heard Lemieux might come back, and I sure as hell didn't regret it when I agreed to help out more around the house so I could watch his return uninterrupted.
I didn't regret it when we acquired Shawn Heins and I firmly believed we'd be chanting for "Heins 57" for years to come.
I didn't regret it when I plotted out how many games I could conceivably see my first year living in Pittsburgh as a college student, only to be hit with the lockout.
I didn't regret it when I thought crying would be normal after hearing the Pens were getting Sidney Crosby.
I didn't regret it when the league returned and I stood in line 17 times for student rush to get tickets.
I didn't regret it when I lost my good luck charm just before the Ottawa series two seasons ago.
I didn't regret it when I tore apart my knuckles from jumping in the air and smacking my hand off of the ceiling when Hossa scored against the Rangers.
I didn't regret it when I stayed up late into the night for the 3OT thriller against Detroit, because I believed that it wasn't over.
I didn't regret it when Hossa's last second shot scampered in front of the net and didn't go in in Game 6, nor when he bolted and left for the enemy.
And I don't regret posting all of this at 2:37EST on LetsGoPens after staying up to watch the Pens lose again on a west coast trip.
I don't regret it, because it's Penguins hockey IN Pittsburgh, when it could easily be in Hamilton, or Kansas City, or Las Vegas. I don't regret it, because it could be someone other than Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and others skating out there. It could still be Ramzi Abid and Rico Fata with JS Aubin in net.
I don't regret it, because it's Penguins hockey.