The announcement of Crosby's return has made a lasting memory even before he stepped on the ice.
I was in high school, roaming the halls between classes, when I found out that Mario Lemieux was coming out of retirement. It was my neighbor who told me, though I didn't believe him at first.
After all, who in their right mind would, could, believe something like that, especially coming from a freshman? Verification was not easily accomplished. I didn't have a smartphone. Access to the internet was limited.
I shrugged the news aside aside. He was the only one who mentioned anything to me the entire school day. I went home, oblivious to the reality of the situation.
Then I fired up my computer.
Holy ... well, you know the second word. Mario was back. I freaked out, and walked around the room for a few seconds, muttering to myself like a schizophrenic, unable to compose my thoughts. What do I do? How do I handle this? I better call my dad.
Years have passed, and the memory of Mario's comeback announcement is still easily recalled. A major moment in the career of a generational talent, shared and fondly remembered with thousands of his closest strangers.
Pause. Back to reality. Back to Sunday.
Badly hungover, lying in bed and watching Shark Night 3D.
In between texts to my girlfriend, I'd occasionally refresh Twitter, and share thoughts on how to improve the remarkably awful product I was witnessing on-screen. How much was I truly missing out on by not watching this in 3D? These deaths are sadly unremarkable, and muddied by the overly dark picture. What a waste of a perfectly poor script.
I refreshed again, and saw a tweet just posted by the Post Gazette's Dave Molinari:
BREAKING NEWS: Sidney Crosby is making his return to the Penguins' lineup Monday night against the New York Islanders.
Wait, what? That's it? Just blurted out? After all this time, I expected seraphim blazing trumpets, and candy canes to fall from the sky. Dollar bills to pour out from my dresser drawers. Peace in the Middle East. Shark Night 3D to be less awful.
The big announcement didn't save the economy, nor did it introduce some form of divine intervention into my mundane reality, but it did solve how November 20, 2011 would become permanently seared into my memory.
The bleak landscape painting the afternoon sky, the unseasonably mild temperatures, my uncomfortably nauseous stomach.
Ask me where I was when I first heard about Crosby's return a decade from now, and that's what I'll tell you. Suddenly, an imminently forgettable day has become unforgettable.