Steelers' Ryan Shazier stands, cheers before Penguins game
The crowd at PPG Paints Arena roared loudly moments before faceoff of the Penguins' playoff opener Wednesday night.
But it wasn't for the Penguins.
Ryan Shazier had the honors of pumping the crowd up, standing as he held a microphone while the Penguins' mascot, Iceburgh, stood next to the Steelers injured linebacker.
"It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh," Shazier yelled to loud cheers.
Shazier then started a "Let's Go Pens!" chant, much to the delight of the 18,000-plus on hand to see Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against the rival Philadelphia Flyers.
Shazier suffered a serious spinal-cord injury during a game at the Cincinnati Bengals in December. He had spinal stabilization surgery later that week, and it wasn't until several weeks later that he publicly acknowledged being able to stand.
Along with many other Steelers players, Shazier has been a regular at PPG Paints Arena during the Penguins' Stanley Cup runs of the past two years. It was at a Penguins game in February when Shazier stood after being shown on the large video board, the first time he'd done so in a public setting.
The Steelers have already announced that Shazier will not play this coming season. The 25-year-old Pro Bowler has said he wants to play football again at some point.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.