Ah, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! The Penguins open at home tonight after three regular season games away in Edmonton (Oilers won), Calgary (Pens won) and Vancouver (Pens won). I love the Penguins a LOT so this one is about their legendary Center and now team owner, Mario Lemieux.
Mario Lemieux is one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game. Sports writers in the early 80s called Wayne Gretzky "The Great One" but when they got a load of Lemieux they changed their minds a little, naming him "The Greater One." One of the first posts I wrote was about Stuff That Should Be On YouTube and in the opening I mentioned that you can find footage of Lemieux's 6ooth goal there, which is awesome, but what's NOT there is his return to the ice in 1993.
In January 1993 Lemieux announced that he'd been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and would be taking time off for treatment. Two months of radiation later he skated onto the ice to play in Philadelphia just hours after his last treatment. Think about the grit that takes. Do you have it? I'm not so sure I do. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers have such an intense rivalry that tarps have to be spread over the walkways so that fans can't pelt the teams with crap on their way out. That night when Mario laced up and skated out the Flyers fans gave him his due: a five minute standing ovation just for showing up. He also scored a goal and an assist and went on to overtake Pat LaFontaine for the scoring title that year. After two months off to fight a deadly disease.
Today's video is a fanvid of a different kind. You can see what kind of player he was in this, scoring even while sliding down the ice on his back or with two or three goons hanging off of him. Thanks, Mario, and happy belated birthday.