Wednesday, December 20, 2006

State of Emergency

You have to admit. That looks pretty solid.
Wait till the thousands of elementary school kids get to ask their teachers, "Hey, what's that building?" as they file out of their bus on a field trip to Carnegie Science Center.



The Pensblog commenters came through in fine style. You make every day worth living for us.

Due to the overwhelming number of comments we received today, the readers of The Pensblog have essentially written this upcoming post for us. We'll be grabbing excerpts from certain comments while giving our take on it. This is a collective post from the entire Pensblog Staff.

We're going to go right down the middle with our thoughts, although we may trail off towards the end into a mindless rage. Oh, but we won't make racial slurs.
Tsk Tsk.
But we understand.

We know everyone that either posted comments today and/or visit The Pensblog every day are just as big of Pens fans as anyone, including us.
This post is our "comment". We have this website, and that makes our thoughts more noticeable.
Our main goal on this site has always been to not be opinionated. We deliver news about the Pens and the NHL to people who are tired of reading the Post-Gazette. That's all we are.
And we have fun.


First off, we had plenty of mentions about Plan B.

Plan B

Our contention here has always been that because Isle of Capri and the Penguins signed an agreement saying the Penguins couldn't discuss Plan B publicly certainly didn't mean they weren't talking behind the scenes.
Numerous commenters mentioned how big of a blow the young politicians in the area would take if they just let the Penguins leave.

Joshua was on the comments board all day, keeping the discussion in check. As far as the tangent that we're on right now goes, he had this in one of his comments (from an AP article):

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind we will get an arena done," Ravenstahl said.

We're telling you right now that the Penguins ARE NOT leaving town. If you think they are, that's fine. Everyone has their own opinion on this, but there is no reason in the world for Ravenstahl to come out and boldy say that with, dare I say, the brass of a riverboat gambler.

The most important Luke since Luke Perry.
Pittsburgh 15222


Moving on.
We apologize if someone mentioned it earlier than Wes, but we're giving Wes credit for being the first to mention the racial implications in the Gaming Board's decision. We walk some fine lines on the Pensblog, but we can't touch this one.

When I read Wes' comment, though, it did make me stop and think.
It makes perfect sense.
But so does showering only once a week to save money on soap: It's a great concept and you can make an iron-clad case for it, but you'll still offend people.


I (Adam) personally felt that the most spirited comment that struck a chord with MY personal views on the subject was this one from Rico Fatastic:
If the Pens haven't been privately formulating a response to Plan B, then they deserve to disband for being a terribly run business. That being said, Plan B's going to happen. Too many young and/or up-and-coming politicans (read: Onorato, Ravenstahl) have too much to lose by botching this development AND losing the Pens. Same can be said for Governor Rendelphia. I think Plan B will happen, it's just a matter of how much the Pens are going to have to pay. Beyond the Penguins, this was a stupid, short-sighted move by the Commonwealth that will play a huge role in the continued, hoped for renaissance of this city. I think that too many people have failed to realize that all we do is talk about restoring the 5th/Forbes Corridor, yet we make no moves to reconnect the Hill/uptown/Oakland to the area. The redevelopment proposed by IOC could have been the uptown anchor the 5th/Forbes redevlopment that's starting with the new PNC Place around Liberty and Market. Instead, we get another freestanding establishment on the North Shore that will be surrounded by more parking lots and empty hotels. On the bright side, at least Station Square isn't going to be ruined.

No reason in particular, but it especially caught my interest.


On our rational side, we had to agree with Zarley Zalapski Is My Homeboy's comment.
It was a pretty long one, but just go into the comments and Apple-F (CTRL-F) and search Zarley.


Jake Wheatley is loving life right now. He was right. He got his way. At least the 7o people in the Hill District will be able to sleep tonight.

Jake Wheatley celebrates the Hill District not having to deal with a casino by retiring for the night in his Harrisburg Mansion, 400 miles from the Hill District.

Jerome Bettis is dead to us. We are boycotting Giant Eagle.
Did PITG gaming win the slots license because of Jerome Bettis? No. But did Bettis have to be a part of the PITG gaming? He knows the importance of sports in this town. To me (Derek), he is a sellout. My father pleaded with me not to think like that, but no way. He was a pawn in Barden's game, and it worked. But today, I lost all respect for Bettis.

Picture: Jerome Bettis running towards a $5 bill someone dropped in the end zone


Now we are left in the Darkest period of our sports lives. But there is hope.

  • Don Barden has pledged his money, and frankly, I can't blame this guy for anything but running a good campaign. He made all the right moves. And we better learn to like him, and fast, because he can help us.
  • This story is all over the news. The more exposure the better.
  • The Steelers organization has this to say:
"We are extremely disappointed in the decision of the Gaming Commission to award the casino license on the North Shore. It seemed it was a process that was designed to give little weight to local interests and the result is indicative of that. We will have to consider all of our options in determining how to respond to this decision." -Art Rooney, the 45th
  • Another person that could help the Pens: Bill Peduto. I noticed him when he was on Night Talk tonight. Peduto is serving his second term as a Member of Pittsburgh City Council. He is a huge Pens fan. He contacted us with an e-mail tonight:
"A mention of my stance for the past 12 months on the blog would go far. I will work and do everything I can to keep them here. The Pens know they can trust me and I intend to watch them here for the rest of my life."

Only Stephen Colbert rivals Bill Peduto in regards to true patriotism.

There aren't too many times in life where you imagine something sucking, then having it happen, and it sucking even more. I followed the events on this from the Post Gazette.

What a nightmare. We went from been being optimistic at about 11:30 am to despondent at about 11:32am, to catatonic at about 3pm.

It is almost impossible to be rational. But lets look at what we got.
Listening to a clearly bewildered Mark Madden, and watching various talk shows ( People almost fought on Night talk on PCNC), all we can say is this issue has divided a town.
And, finally....Gary Bettman had this to say:

"The decision by the Gaming Commission was terrible news for the Penguins, their fans and the NHL," Bettman said in a statement. "The future of this franchise in Pittsburgh is uncertain and the Penguins now will have to explore all other options, including possible relocation. The NHL will support the Penguins in their endeavors."


Tough Day.

The Good News?

Pens at Atlanta
Thursday Night
7:00 - FSN


Chris said...

Someone needs to break Kovalchuk's arm to make PensNation feel better.

Colcloughs Hands said...

until the uhauls back up to the igloo, we need to stay as upbeat and positive as possible.....its gonna get ugly....but maybe good things are around the corner.

Joshua said...

I am totally behind you colclough. Bitchin and moaning is gonna get jack done. Don't say goodbye until Mario says so. Its still OUR TEAM DAMNIT and it always WILL BE. Of course, I can be telling that to myself so I feel better, but its the best course of action.

What WAS DONE: Bunch of jagoffs visited the city to see what was best.

What SHOULD BE DONE: Have a vote in Allegheny county on who gets it.

They can take our lives...but not our Iceburgh!

Anonymous said...

incase nobody saw it yet


Mark Rauterkus said...

It was asked in the other thread, "is a gambling facility in the most impoverished area of town REALLY a great idea?! ... IOC should have offered to build the arena and some developments in the lower hill, and offered to put the casino somewhere else in my opinion.

Another twist to that question: why build a hockey arena in the most impoverished area of town too?

If the Giant Eagle / food store has problems with theft -- because The Hill is The Hill, then why build a new arena there???

Why don't we build the arena near the customers? Why don't we build the arena near the airport where there is a lot of land, lots of roads, lots of suburban residents, less traffic, less parking headaches, closer to where players and coaches could live and practice -- and out of town folks who might fly or drive here for a game.

The arena location so close to the slots parlor location presented problems that can now be avoided. Back to the drawing board.

The Pens need their own building to design, build, manage and operate -- forever. Ownership and management should be linked. And same too with closeness to customers -- and that isn't in The Hill nor the city.

seth said...

I honestly don't know what to say. I'm stunned and very disheartened

Washington85 said...

I hate Brenda Tinnen with a passion now that he said that

Anonymous said...

I have another post on the wall already but I don't want this to destroy my rep as a good commenter... but.

I'm glad bettis' father died cos he killed an equaly large part of me, in a second-hand sort of way.

Elly said...

Today has been so disheartening, so the end of the day, and with all of this plastered on the news, I don't think I can take any more in.

I've reached the point of emotional overload, and with 'Will the Pens leave Pittsburgh?' over every news channel (I find the publicity good, but it's like being punched in the gut every five minutes), I just keep thinking of two things: That we haven't heard Mario speak yet, and that we can't give up yet. There are still options to be explored, even that thin Plan B. As someone said before, I can't believe that the Pens weren't thinking of a net in which to fall if the Isle of Capri crumbled.

We can't give up hope yet. The Pens have been through a lot, and we have to support them during this tough time. Without hope, what are we left with? The Kansas City Penguins.

Gaundi said...

Listen close kids.

The Penguins will stay in Pittsburgh, at least for the better part of our lifetimes.

What does Pittsburgh have tog ain from letting a potentially great team leave the city? Nothing.

What do local poiticians have to lose? Everything... and to gain? A status unmet by any other recent accomplishment. Saving a franchise while saving a community. Will other city's try -- hell ya, because they see the gold-mine here.

The higher the demand gets for the Penguins franchise the more the city will have to realise that they NEED this team here. (and the price is already throught the roof)

The NHL has already made a point that they are NOT going to allow the team to move. Worste-case scenario is that we get a less than perfect owner who can't/won't spend to the cap. Best case is if we get an owner who will spend to the cap AND build his own arena. I think most of you know who I refer to, but there are more peoiple who have the green paper needed for such an effort.

The Pens still can get some years in the Igloo as long as they are in the process of designing an area plan and structure. They will stretch this out longer than yao ming in order to get this done.

You may think: He really doesn't have any hard facts, but think of this.
If the Pens leave, Pittsburgh will lose so much money and community support that the population decrease could skyrocket within the next year or two. A loss as massive as this could drive the city into the deepest hole it has ever been in. One that it may never clime from. The city could lose everything that a city needs (money and people) yet it could gain the same by builing an arena (for the penguins and a lot more).

The Penguins WILL stay, and I would expect an unoffical bidding war to begin on the franchise in due time. They still have some bang for the buck, and someone will be smart (and rich) enough to get the job done IN PITTSBURGH.

Lastly, if the deal doesn't get done and the team moves... plan on moving from the city after school cos you won't be making any sort of good living in this area for a long, long, time.

Lets Go Pens

CDY said...

According to the Trib-Review there are 6 potential buyers in the mix. Most notable among them... Ball-Silly and Mark Cuban. According to the article Cuban contacted the NHL about buying the Pens.

I remember reading an article early in the season about Cuban taking in a Pens game and regretting not making a stronger push to buy the Pens. This may be the second chance he was hoping for.

alexis said...

i seriously want to know if i can marry someone on the pensblog staff.

Anonymous said...

anybody else watch stan savran tonight?

ryan malone made a good point about the steelers getting a new place, the pirates, and now the penguins might get one and its basically bullshit on what we have to go through.

though he didnt say its bullshit, he sounded pretty mad though.

anyone else care to elaborate on what he said or possibly have the exact quote he said.


Derek said...


We are always taking offers..

Gaundi great stuff..

everyone we will make it though this bullshit!

kate said...

you all have really made today somewhat bearable... thanks for that.

keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

i was thinking we need to do soemthing as fans not so much to protest but to let our opinion known. I need to find a way to vent and i need someone in this government to yell at. But i don't know where, do any of you guys.

Gary Bettmans quote
"The decision by the Gaming Commission was errible news for the Penguins, their fans and the NHL, The future of this franchise in Pittsburgh is uncertain and the Penguins now will have to explore all other options, including possible relocation." However "The NHL will support the Penguins in their endeavors."

that scares me even more. CHRIS is right, i need a beatdown by someone to feel better. Someone better kick someones ass soon.


who's starting the bluejackets blog?

And Lange Will Lead Us said...

I don't live anywhere near Pittsburgh but I've been a fan for over 13 years and have visited the Igloo and enjoyed my stay in the city. As much as I read this blog to laugh, you guys and gals really have done an excellent job informing us out-of-towners on the specifics of what exactly is going on with the slots license and this whole process. The message boards at the official Pens site is a wasteland of mean-spirited nerds it seems to me. But that's not the case here at the good ol' Pensblog.

So kudos to you all for being civil and intelligent and amusing and informative all at once.

I have no ties to your city but I assure you I too felt like I got my man-nipples twisted hard by yesterday's news. Keep your heads up and just be good fans - loving a sports team shouldn't require a blood donation. Unfortunately this decision of relocation will ultimately be decided by men in suits.

Fortunately, Mario is one of them. You really think he wants to see his jersey hanging from the rafters of some crap house in Kansas City? Naaaaaaaah. I just refuse to believe that will happen.

But I also believe in Sasquatch, so...

Arlow said...

I see the people in 'ol Kansas City are wasting little time.


wes said...

"Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler; The song playing through my head over and over.

scott said...

An aside, regarding Bill Peduto: Please vote for this man in the next mayoral election. He is the only Pittsburgh politician who isn't part of the old boys network and who is willing to take a stand, be independent and do what he really believes is best for Pittsburgh. And that was true even before the slots license issue.

loralei said...

I'm not sure why i've stayed out of the debate this long (probably because i was wollowing in my own personal anquish) but I'm choosing to stay positive about this. There can still be an arena in Pittsburgh. The team can still stay. It will be like chinese water torture for the next 5 months (credit Joe Starkey) but all we can do about it now is continue to support our team. Personally i have my own feelings about the "fix" being on, but i'll leave those out. I just thank god that i chose to purchase the Hines Ward jersey that afternoon in 2003 and not the Jerome Bettis one. He is officially off my Steeler wall and will now take residence at bottom of a moldy box in the basement next to Johnny Damon.

Andrew said...

I'm not quite buying the KC thing, only because prior to this season their newspapers were giving a very Mark Madden-esque "It's a done deal" in regards to the Pens moving there. So, unless the Blackberry Dweeb and the PAGB's touch of the Down were all part of this plan to get them there, they are just writing what newspaper readers want to read.

I'm also pretty sure that the majority of Kansas doesn't even know what a Penguin is.

Adrienne said...

I woke up this morning to Lemieux's comment and seriously broke down crying.

As much as everyone expected the Isle of Capri to win, was it actual conviction, or blind faith? I know a lot of people who gave me shit because I had so little trust in the Slot bid. And here we are, living out my greatest fear.

It pains me to know that we are at high risk of losing our team. I still have ticket stubs dating back to the early 90's and from when we played against the Whalers in their last season. The devastation that took Hartford when they lost their team is something I would hate to see happen to ours.

That is an issue that both our city and state are not taking seriously. The loss of the Whalers totaled Hartford, Winnipeg suffered the same; and yet, (from an interview last year with Cliff Clinger director of Marketing from the CBJ’s) the introduction of the Blue Jackets to the city of Columbus revamped the city, saving it from being a ghetto to introducing the new downtown area of Columbus. I have a number of friends from Columbus that also confirmed this.

If it is a proven fact that franchises can save cities, and that the loss of a franchise can destroy them… What the fuck is Pittsburgh thinking?

For once, this state needs to think about the good of the city, as opposed to who they owe money to from previous elections.


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