Sunday, July 24, 2005

Defending the Black And Gold

When I caught wind that I may not like Erin's Ottawa Sun Column, I was okay with it, Erin's a smart journalist so whatever she has to say is going to be based on factual arguments. Plus, I was open to the idea of reading what my home and hometown team looks like to unbiased eye. Unfortunately, the only bright spot on this article is the SUNshine girl to the lower left hand of the page.

All I have to say is "OUCH". Honestly, I was never prepared for nor expected this kind of envy, jealousy, and outright hate from the fans. Before the NHL lottery, I felt that the Penguins just weren't lucky enough for the #1 pick and emotionally planned to be gracious to the fans and organization of whomever it was that got the "Sidney sweepstakes". I just never imagined just where the hate was going to come from. Like I mentioned before in another post, I read the spew of hate and envy from Crapitals fans, but where there was bad, I found some good fans who were openly gracious to the Penguins.

Erin's argument is symptomatic of OTHER Canadians have been jealous and envious since 20+ years ago Eddie Johnston announced in French aloud "Les pingouins de Pittsburgh choisissent le numero soixante six Mario Lemieux". To see another Canadian favorite son fly south for the winter is just another bitter pill for them to swallow.
Do you think Reebok could produce a special lead Penguins jersey for Sid to slip on during Saturday's draft in Ottawa? It would make for one hell of a metaphor.
See, this is what I mean. But, Ms. Nicks knows her audience and knows that rousing statement is sure to rally people to the anti-penguin jealousy cause. Canadians will eat up any propaganda that somehow states the Americans are "stealing away their game".

The problem with the old NHL was the snobbery and the elitist mentality that the Toronto's and Detroits still thrive on. They've all come to expect that hockey owes them everything and their teams should stay in tact. The real reason the NHL is failing is the inequality of the dispersal of players - a system that weighted too long in the hands of two few team owners. Okay, I'm sidetracked. This is an old argument for another day.

Erin's overall question to her readers is intended to be "Why does Pittsburgh get so many chances?" "Why is Quebec and Winnipeg left out when they deserve it more?" I believe the answer is simple. Many motivational speakers will tell you that we create our own luck. Mario is a good decent human with character. The owners of the franchises that packed their bags and left for another town only had the almighty dollar in mind.
But one is left to wonder just how many chances Pittsburgh deserves to prove its interest in the sport -- second phenom or not. How many chances did Winnipeg or Quebec receive?
Ouch! Those three franchises moving is not the Penguins fault and it's not their problem. Peter Karmanos took the Whalers into the Carolinas a la Mayflower trucks running out of Baltimore in the dead of night. The Quebec and Winnipeg franchises were victims of bad politics. Mario could have sold the team years ago, but it's his character that makes this franchise what it is. The fans and the city love this team. They will turn out en mass to save it from leaving. That's why they haven't gone the way of a relocated franchise.

Their ownership did not care. Despite the odds, Mario's group of ownership and Craig Patrick the GM is committed to making things work in Pittsburgh. Mr. Patrick didn't all of a sudden just get dumb after 1993. The problems of the Penguins were symptomatic of the problem the NHL was having. The out of control salaries were what drove the exodus of players out of the steel city.

I want to say that Erin's right. Pittsburgh's track record is hard to defend, but it's a new NHL and an entirely new economic system for Crosby to come into. He's not going to play for the team that finished last two years ago and barely breaking financially even. Stop being jealous, NHL fans. Crosby is in good hands. Pittsburgh is here to stay. Just deal with it.

I would expect a different slant if Ottawa or some bigger franchise got the rights to draft Crosby. The dissapointment is astounding in the interviews on TSN. Instead of asking Crosby in 1on1 interviews "How does it feel to be projectedly picked by the Penguins?" The TSN analyst says "How much of a dissapointment are you getting not going to your dream team Montreal?" F--K YOU, James Duthie! "You're not in one of those major markets. Are you concerned for your marketing aspect?" F--K YOU, James Duthie! "You look disapointed when your deam matchup of Montreal was called early?" F--K you, James Duthie!

Yes, I have an account on TSN, because I can trust Bob McKenzie. I watch the streaming video clips.

There's a satisfaction now that the elitist fans and the elitist TSN journalists are wringing their hands and I still got one over on Jimmy Mirtle.

Cooperate! Don't Playa Hate!!!
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