Penguins fan Cy Clark, better known as the guy who dressed up as Hulk Hogan and sat behind the visiting bench in Pittsburgh, passed away this week. He was just 53 years old.
Scott Hartnell passed the news along via his Facebook page, on which he shared a heartfelt message sending condolenses to Clark and his family:
At the end of the 2012 regular season, Hartnell and Clark got into it a little bit at the Flyers bench. You can see the exchange in the video at the top of this post. When the teams met in the playoffs a week later and the series eventually came back to Philadelphia, orange tshirts with Hartnell's gesture and the phrase "WHATCHA GONNA DO?" were handed out to the entire crowd. Hulk Hogan himself even got involved, and the Flyers showed an in-arena video showing Hulk rooting on the Flyers:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a nice obituary for Clark today, in which they tell the story of how he took on the Hulk Hogan character:
“One day, we had a contest at work for Halloween. The way I was growing my moustache, I was looking in the mirror and was like “That looks a little like Hulk Hogan,’ Mr. Clark said in a 2011 interview with the Post-Gazette. "And considering the fact that I don’t have hair on the top of my head, I said I’ll do Hogan. Did the whole shebang. Dyed the mustache. The one manager walked up and busted out laughing and said ‘This is over. You won.” He didn’t even see anybody else. From that point out, I figured what the [heck]. I just said if Hulk Hogan can walk around 24 hour with a bandanna why can’t I?"
We often criticize Penguins fans who are new to the game, jumping on the bandwagon when they team got good again in the wake of drafting Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. But Clark was a great Penguins fan who had been going to games since 1967, their first year in the league. He seemed like a cool dude with a good sense of humor, and we're sad we won't see him heckling the Flyers at Consol Energy Center any longer. Rest in peace, sir.