RICHMOND, Va. -- In reading up on the long-gone Pittsburgh Pirates of the NHL, I was shocked to discover that their short-lived path crossed so legendary a figure as Georges Vezina in his final game, though he didn’t know it at the time.
Despite a fever well over 100 degrees, Vezina played quite well in his last hurrah, holding the Pirates scoreless for the first 20 minutes before vomiting blood and collapsing in the crease to start the second, giving way to backup Alphonse Lacroix. It was a brutal, agonizing end for the greatest goaltender of his generation.
On a much lighter note, I have to admit, I love the fact that all of the pro sports leagues had teams in town that were at some point called the Pirates, as if it were a requirement of some kind. In our current times, where every aspect of sports marketing is so very serious and where professional copywriters pen six paragraphs of flowery corporate speak to explain every single aspect of every minuscule logo or uniform change, I find the thought that back in the 1920’s someone said, 'Well, we play in Pittsburgh, so we’re the Pirates,' to be incredibly quaint and refreshing!