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Rise and Fall

Who Do You Think You Are

The Pittsburgh Penguins watched as the last five seconds trickled down on the clock, and they lost for their fifth straight time and their eighth game in the last ten. As they walked down the hallway, and out of eyesight of the fans, Sidney Crosby threw his stick against the wall, causing it to break in half.
“What the hell is wrong with us?” he asked as the entire team entered their locker room. “Do none of us want to win anymore? Because I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of losing. This is getting old quickly. We need to get our asses together and win. We just lost to the last ranked team!” he yelled.
Everyone stared at him, not knowing what to say. This was how Sid always was after a loss. He hated to lose, and he always yelled afterwards. The press may have thought that Sid was a quiet captain, but they had never seen him after a five game losing streak.
“Does no one have anything to say?” Sid questioned.
Before anyone could answer, their coach came into the locker room. “Listen up, guys,” he yelled. Everyone turned their attention to him. “I’ve got some bad news. I’m out of here.”
“What?” the guys all asked.
“This was my last shot. They gave me tonight to prove that I could get a win out of you guys, and unfortunately the Islanders got the best of us. So, I’m out of a job,” he announced. “But, I just want to let you all know that I still believe in you guys as a team. I know you’re better than what everyone is giving you all credit for. You need to go out there, make the playoffs, and prove everyone wrong.”
As the coach left, Sid turned around to his teammates. “Do you see what we’ve done? We’ve caused an amazing coach to get fired just because we play like shit!”
Sid turned around to see Jordan Staal taking his skates off. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Sid asked him, crossing his arms over his chest.
“I’m changing. I’m going home and trying to forget how we played tonight,” Jordan replied, looking up at him before he took his other skate off.
“You’re not going anywhere,” Sid told him. Jordan looked up at him, wondering what exactly the captain was talking about. Sid turned around to look at everyone. “No one’s going anywhere. We are going back out onto that ice and working.”
“Who do you think you are?” Craig Adams spoke up. “Our coach just got fired. There’s no one that’s able to go out there and coach us right now.”
“So, we’ll go out there without a coach and work. We played terrible tonight,” Sid began.
“Yeah, we did,” Matt Cooke said. “Which is why we just need to go home and get some sleep. We’ll come back here tomorrow morning and we’ll have a killer practice. But for now, we all need to go home and sleep.”
“What we need to do is to practice,” Sid argued. It was very clear that he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
“I’m going home to my wife and kids,” Craig told him, not caring what Sid was saying. The captain didn’t understand what it was like to have a family at home waiting for you. Craig wasn’t about to keep them waiting by staying and doing extra drills, especially after they had just played an awful game.
Sid was about to say something before Max Talbot interrupted him. “Sid, come on, we all have someone we want to go home and see. Listen to Matt and go home and get some sleep. We’ll come back tomorrow to a new coach and we’ll practice. Let’s just go home for now.”
“You guys can go,” Sid said. “But, I’m going to go work because I actually care how this team plays,” he said walking back onto the ice.
“What the hell is wrong with him?” Craig asked, watching as he marched away. “I mean I know he hates losing, but don’t we all? It’s not like we go out there every night wanting to lose. No, we try our damndest, but it’s just not good enough right now.”
“And he wonders why no one sticks up for him out on the ice,” Brooks Orpik added, referring to an incident on the ice that had happened earlier in the evening. The Islanders were all over Sid, and Tim Jackman had been all over him, trying to fight him. At one point, they had had a bit of a shoving match, and to everyone in the crowd’s surprise, no one from the Penguins came over to defend Sid.
“You guys know that’s just how he is,” Max defended Sid, who was one of his best friends. “He hates to lose, and he takes it out on everyone,” he added. Max did know that Sid only acted like this when they were losing. The two of them were best friends, and Max knew that Sid was like a completely different person in the offseason or while the team was on a winning streak than when they were losing. But, now that they weren’t winning games like they should be, Sid was difficult to be around.
“He needs to get laid or something,” Jordan joked.
“That’s actually not a bad idea,” Kris Letang added. “I mean if he had some girl, he’d want to spend his time with her and not screaming at us about how bad we’re playing.”
“You know that’d never work,” Tyler Kennedy said laughing. “What girl would be able to handle his constant complaining of how the season’s going?”
“A puck bunny,” Marc-Andre Fleury suggested.
“Sid would see right through her, and you know he’d never go out with a puck bunny,” Max reminded them.
“Well, you need to find someone for him,” Craig said looking at Max. “Because if not, one of us is going to kill him.”
“Why are you looking at me?” Max questioned.
“Because, you’re like his best friend,” Tyler claimed.
“So? That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be able to find him a girl to get his mind off of losing,” Max told them.
“Well, ask Brooklyn,” Jordan said, referring to Max’s girlfriend of nearly a year, Brooklyn Jameson.
“Yeah, because she’s going to be able to find someone,” Max said sarcastically. “Come on, guys, let’s face it. Tyler’s right. No one’s going to be able to handle him during the season.”
“Well, I’m making it your job to find someone,” Craig said as he grabbed his things and began walking towards the door. “Because if you don’t, I may just pay someone on another team to take him out,” he said jokingly.


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