The Penguins and Olympic by PPG are working together on a series of stories to feature the most colorful fans in the game.
When you're given the first name Malkin and the middle name Crosby, after Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, it was only a matter of time before Malkin Crosby Long would get to see his two namesakes live.
For Malkin Crosby, 2, that first NHL game came on Oct. 26 against the Winnipeg Jets, a game the Penguins won 2-1 in overtime, on a game-winning goal from Phil Kessel.
"It went a lot better than I expected," his father Jerome Long said. "The game held his attention, he yelled 'Go Pens!', he got his little yellow towel and waved it."
Malkin Crosby took in the game in the lower bowl and met Iceburgh, the Penguins mascot, which was exciting for the youngster.
"He was interested the whole time," Jerome said. "He understands the point of the game, to go back and forth and to shoot the puck in the net, but he's still a little young to be too well-versed in the game just yet."
While their son is learning to love the game, Jerome and Courtney Long have been Penguins fans their whole life, and hockey has played a significant role in their relationship. With Courtney finishing up nursing school and Jerome working long hours, it allows them to decompress, relax, and take a break from reality through a Penguins game together.
"I've been a fan for as long as I can remember," Jerome Long said. "Growing up in Pittsburgh, one thing you're taught is to love your sports teams. Back in the day, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, and Tom Barrasso. The Stanley Cup win in 2009 was a really cool time, with the Steelers winning around then too."
The decision to name their son Malkin Crosby stemmed just a few weeks before his birth, and after the initial thought, the idea stuck. It's been well received throughout the Pittsburgh area, especially among Penguins fans.
"My wife and I had a name in mind, but we changed our mind and I threw it out there," Jerome said. "I'm a big hockey fan, but she's probably the biggest fan of the house, so ultimately without her the name wouldn't have happened."
At just a few months old, Malkin Crosby had his first taste of the Penguins limelight. The Penguins posted a picture of Malkin Crosby on their official Twitter account, voicing their support as he was undergoing a surgery on his chest at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Malkin Crosby is walking around now, though he's yet to don a pair of skates. While the date of that is to be determined, his favorite player isn't up for debate.
"It would definitely be Malkin," Jerome said. "That's his name, he sees Malkin on TV, and they say Malkin's name on television and he gets super excited for that."