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Pens' fan's animation saves the day

by Naomi Shimada / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins and PPG are working together on a series of stories to feature the most colorful fans in the game.

If you watched the Penguins-Panthers game on Feb. 8, then you saw Teddy Blueger score a goal. If you are on Twitter, you've probably seen the video, "Teddy Blueger Saves the World." Evan Huber, an animator and Penguins fan, created the video last summer on a whim.

"I've always liked sports, and I'm an animator. I wanted to kind of blend them together," Huber said. "I just really like Teddy Blueger's name. It just sounds like a cartoon character. I just kind of rolled with that. I wrote the script in one day and just made a cartoon in a week."

Tweet from @evanscotthuber: teddy blueger saves the world������💰: https://t.co/ZMsO7a9BtM pic.twitter.com/BShrxIgxDE

Blueger himself has seen it and laughed. A friend of his had seen it on Twitter and then sent it to him.

"I've seen it," he said with a smile. "Not everyone has a cartoon made about them, so that's pretty cool."

A native Pittsburgher from the Baldwin neighborhood, Huber has been a Penguins fan for a long time.

"I watched the Penguins my whole life, basically," Huber said. "I think the first game I vividly remember was the Mario (Lemieux) one where he came back and scored on the (Toronto) Maple Leafs - first game back from retirement. That's the first one I remember watching. I'm pretty sure I was taken to games before that, but that's the first one I remember.

"There are too many good memories," he said, when pressed for a favorite. "Actually, witnessing the '08, '09 Cups were pretty big. I have to say the '09 is probably my favorite because of the seven games. I went and saw Game 5 of the 2017 Cup. I was there for that."

In Huber's video, an animated Blueger rescues a turtle stuck in a tree, extinguishes a burning building and stops an asteroid from hitting the Earth before he saves the hockey game. The video is done in Huber's own highly stylized animation and uses a pun with colors because of "Blue"ger's name.

The video first premiered in 2019 after Huber was inspired by Blueger's name.

"I finished it over the summer," Huber said. "I was going to do it for his birthday in August, but then life got in the way. I finished it in September."

However, Blueger has become one of Huber's favorites now that he's been following his career for a while.

"He kind of became a favorite," Huber said. "It became a thing. I wasn't sure he was going to make it to NHL then suddenly he did. And then from there on, the video just got more and more traction."

The video has over 11,000 views on YouTube. For Huber, it's not only become a successful piece of art, but also a portfolio piece.

"It's gotten shared around. (Toronto personality) Steve Dangle obviously shared it. It's gotten around," Huber said.

It isn't just in Pittsburgh, though, that Huber's work is well-known. With the help of Dangle, Huber has a lot of fans in Toronto, though his heart still belongs to his hometown.

"It's pretty amazing actually," Huber said. "I'm big in Toronto actually. And I'm like, 'I don't want to be big in Toronto; I want to be big in Pittsburgh.' So, I shifted the focus there, and it's about equal now. It's pretty nice."

To read about more our Colorful Fans, click here.

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