Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Day The Earth Stood Still

As long as we run this blog, the date December 20th will always be a day we look back.

We'll look back on what was our rock bottom. It was the sum of all fears.
December 20th. The longest day of our lives.


If you haven't figured it out by now, December 20, 2006 was the day PITG Gaming won the gaming license.
At that time, the Penguins backed the Isle Of Capri slot license application, which promised to build a free arena if it secured the license.

At 11:32 am, the shot heard' round the Pens nation was fired quickly, harshly, and without remorse. If you followed the situation, you remember exactly what you were doing.

We were at work, and at the time, our friend and early co-founder Chris, posted one of the shortest post in Pensblog history:


At that point, we were lucky to get more than 10 comments a day.
The 79 comments we got on that post left us speechless.

Here are some of the best:
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[Picture+5.<span class=
What a performance.


Our follow up post was a mess. We both actually talked in the first person:


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

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:


It all seems kind of strange. A lot of the blogs we ready today weren't even around. In fact the NHL blog community wasn't even close to what it is now. There was no Puck Daddy, and we really didn't get turned on to Mirtle until shortly after. It is hard to believe it was only two years ago.

If the the community was as big as it is now, you could imagine how this quote from Gary Bettman would have been everywhere:

The decision by the Gaming Commission was terrible 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. The NHL will support the Penguins in their endeavors.



By the glory of Gore, [LGP] has archived previous threads.

If you have time and want to see how low we were here is the link:

An actual post:


There are so many other link and comments that could be brought up. But enough is enough you get the point.

Never forget.

Go Pens.


Nick Saia (usa) said...

go pens. god bless.

PittHockey said...

That day was a swift punch to the gut.

fleuryous said...

Believe in the #66.
Unreal human being.

Go Pens.

debrisslide said...

The YouTube is unreal. At the time I was 16 and way too busy with being a pretentious high school junior to give a fuck about anything else, but I still remember the hubbub about this shit. Dark days indeed.

mary the ice cube said...

Ugh, I remember that day and the days, even months, following. The non-hockey fans in my engineering classes at Pitt would always ask me if I thought the Pens would stay and I never really had an answer. Can't believe it's been two years.

TPSB Writer said...

wow, 2 years already? seriously... that seems like yesterday.

mmg said...

epic post

great_white_nwpa said...

jesus, i was living it up in iraq...i'm glad i wasn't here for this debacle...i might have "hung it all up in my closet" over this one

Docciavelli said...

I was in the dumps. My marriage was crap, the Pens were about to move, and I was painfully fighting through my third year of law school finals while dreading another holiday season.

Life sucked.

Little did I know that soon (a) I'd get good grades, (b) I'd thankfully lose that drag of a bitch, and (c) the Pens would be pulled from the morass by Buries It.

I don't even live in PA anymore, but the thought of the Pens in Kansas City or Hamilton made me vomit in my mouth. A year and a half later I'm in Philthadelphia talking shit to Flyers fans as we get ready for the Cup finals.

And for the record, Luke Ravenstahl and Jerome Bettis are still asshats.

Nulpher said...

I still call Ravenstahl "Ravenscheisse" (ravenshit) to this day.

Theres a reason I didn't vote for him or Rendtakesitintheassell. Dicks.

Allison said...

wow, i come here drunk as heell to sew flyer hatred and i see this video and eget all emo...that is not a time i wana remember... i ok with remembering all the bad year s od playing hockey and all the great loverable loserrs like rico fata , but that ay was one of the worst ever. it pains me to remember the months after of my senior year of highschool walking into mathe class and sitting behind this ranger fan kevin and kaving hime say 'so how areyour kansas city pengiunins"? badddd times

Nature Boy said...

What a terrible day that was. I woke up with a horrible hangover at 11 then got shit on by that announcement at 11:30. I can't believe it has been two years alredy.

J.S. said...

Rendelphia = solid name. I hate me some Philly.

and a +1 to the staff for this quote:
"Picture: Jerome Bettis running towards a $5 bill someone dropped in the end zone "

IceCold... said...

yes, i do remember this. it was senior year of college. the guy i was in love with went off the deep end and i had to break up with him. i realized that i didn't have any desire to use the degree i was about to graduate with. one of my best friends stabbed me in the back and told all of our friends i was sleeping with her bf, which wasn't true. my grandfather was extremely sick. then my other grandfather became extremely sick. and my parents were fighting so much that my dad said he might have to move out before christmas. and then this crap with the pens. the odd thing is that you think with all the other stuff going on the arena thing wouldn't have bugged me that much, but i still remember my mom calling me that day and telling me their decision. and then coming home and watching the news and wanting to cry, i was absolutely devastated.

but everything turned out as it should, and now someday my kids will get to cheer the PITTSBURGH PENGUINS!!!

Edward said...

Awesome post... I thought I was gonna trump the Pensblog by bringing this up tody with "WTF why don't you remember?"
Also, kudos to the PG for their pic of Maxime Talbot "celebrating a 3rd period goal with teammate Georges Laraque earlier this season"
Go Pens.

TIMKO said...

And now we're signing Talbot to 2 year deals for a million a year...wait...Eaton makes 2 mill a year...WTF!?
It's a great day for hockey and a great time to be a pens fan...those 2 years went by quick.

pens fan in philly said...

haha @ Edward I just read every post to see if anyone posted anything about that FAILblog PG picture/caprion so I won't be THAT GUY.....damn I need to wake up earlier

sven butenschon said...

what a kick in the mommy daddy buton
I was @ work and got the email & went from slightly cranky to full on rage in aout 2.5 seconds
THe pic of judas/jerome bettis running towards the $5 bill = epic

Dixie Normess said...

I remember thinking the night before about how I'd react either way. When the news actually hit, I was more resigned to a horrible fate, though. I remember Mario going to KC and vividly recall some KC newscast clips of him with voiceovers saying shit like, "Pens Flying In?"

Just makes everything now so much better, but for the faithful it was scary as hell. My Dad's buddy has been a season ticketholder since the early 80s, this guy knows his shit and even he was ready to pack it in.

unnerving. said...

I'm not from Pittsburgh.
I've only been there 4 times.
I live in Toronto, so I could easily support the Leafs or any other team in the surrounding area.

Because of Mario, I support the Pens.

I remember this day well. I remember telling my girlfriend (now wife) about it, upset that the Penguins might move.

She said "So? Why do you care? You're not from Pittsburgh. You have no ties to the city. This doesn't change anything for you."

But it did.

For some reason I don't think I could support this team if they moved. It's weird, I know, but it's true.

For what it's worth, my wife watched the entire playoff run with me (she never liked hockey before.) She now owns a Pens t-shirt and wants to see a game in Mellon Arena before it closes. She's a convert.

Just yesterday I was looking at the drawings of the CONSOL and thinking about what it would be like. I completely forgot about this day until you guys mentioned it.

The Goon Blogger said...

Buries It has never, and will never, let us down.

Go Pens.

btumpak said...

good thing 66 buried it....

The Pens story continues to unfold in unreal ways. We need the cup this year!

go pens.

KaylaJ said...

dec 20th, the day you realized that you used to think watching rico fata was the worst thing to happen to the pens. not living in pittsburgh it took me a bit to figure out what it meant, but i soon realized no matter how many players the pens drafted, it didn't matter if they had no place to play. as a fan it felt so unfair and i was angry at so many people, even those who only got a handshake from the enemies. i didn't understand anything except i wanted kansas city to explode. i had people saying "wouldn't you like it if they moved to houston?" but not understanding that it didn't matter where they were, they would no longer be my pittsburgh penguins. it wasn't just a day that made me realize i could lose my hockey team, it was a day that made me realize i could lose hockey. i have to admit if the pens moved, i'm not sure i could've moved with them.

obviously 2 years later i feel much better, but still wish a comet would hit philly and some of its particles would hit various people in Kansas City.

bayonetwork said...

December 20 is my birthday.

Kierstan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kierstan said...

Hell, the move to KC would've actually kind of benefited me since the Pens would've been much closer (with KC 3.5 hours south of me, instead of Pittsburgh halfway across the country), and I didn't want the move. You can be damn sure I would have begged, borrowed, and stolen whatever I could to get season tickets, but the team just wouldn't have been the same. Thank God(ard) the Pens had the uber-champion in Buries It.

Also, I'm really skeptical of NHL hockey working in KC. I think Omaha's more of a hockey town (for all it's smaller), and we lost our Calgary affiliate AHL team (which totally sucked, but at least we still have college and USHL).

jc said...

I actually live near philadelphia now... found out where Rendel's office is and went to have a chat with him. Unfortunately, i was not very smart and wore a Pens jersey and could not get past security.

FireFox said...

Yeah, I remember that day well. I was at work, pulled up the PG website and saw that someone took a big steamy dump on my computer. I found it incomprehensible that the commission actually didn't pick the IOC deal. It made absolutely no sense.

2 years later it seems more than obvious that Don Barden made some sort of drug deal with the commission to get get picked. And 2 years later, he is practically bankrupt and had to sell off most of his share of the deal to another company. And somehow we are supposed to believe the commission did proper research?

We still got our arena and we got to keep our Pens and for this I am grateful to the one man that really made it all happen, Mr. Buries It himself. But I still get bent at the thought of the greedy and illegal backdoor deals that Barden and the commission did that nearly cost us our beloved hockey team.

If anyone here gets the honor of meeting Mario Lemieux, don't ever pass up the opportunity to thank him for everything he has done for you. I'm sure he has heard it a million times, but that isn't nearly enough IMO. That man's integrity has no limits.


dying alive said...

I remember that day. I remember thinking that it was the worst day of my life at the time, little did I know that the situation would get a lot worse before it got better. I'm getting depressed just thinking about it.

dying alive said...

Oh, and every single member of the gaming commission that picked Barden as the "best" choice for the city should be behind bars. If not for anything illegal, for being dangerously stupid.

bayonetwork said...

what? no "happy birthday"? dicks.

Kenji said...

2 years later, Pittsburgh has half the starting lineup for the all-star game. Super Mario is a beast.

KaylaJ said...

happy birthday bayon, may it bring a pens win or at least get you drunk

Allison said...

Wow, I read when you said dec 20 is your birthday and said to myself, "wow, that musta sucked that year". And never put two and two together that duh, todays dec 20. I think I'm too hungover.


christina said...

That was a dark day. I remember watching the awarding on kdka and just lowering my head in disbelief when PITG got it.

I had gone to a game about a week before then (when Bing had 6 pts against Philly and took over the scoring race). I was a wreck, thinking it could be the last Pens game I see in the burgh.

Thank god for Mario.

Rico Fatty said...

I skipped 4th period English to watch the decision. That was my only class cut of my high school carreer.

bayonetwork said...

ha thanks

Stoosh said...

This was the official thread at at the time of the announcement. Scroll all the way to Page 24 of the thread to get immediate reactions to the decision.

Funny to re-read that thread and rehash the absolute hatred being spewed at Jerome Bettis.

Funny, also, how the only thing that went south quicker than Barden's fortunes since the announcement was Bettis's support for him.

Stoosh said...

THIS was the thread at LGP that a few of the more level-headed posters began contributing to in the wake of the gaming board decision.

I think a lot of people figured the fate of the franchise was directly tied to the Isle of Capri bid. There were a handful of posters over at LGP who tried to see a bigger picture...that the gaming board decision was just the beginning of what turned out to be a four-month long roller coaster ride.

This was something I wrote a couple of hours after the decision was reached...

"Plan B CAN be a worthwhile proposal for the Penguins. It's not the ideal plan that Isle of Capri was, but Plan B at least provides a good starting point.

If I'm reading this correctly - and I believe that I am - the funding coming from the Barden plan isn't just a gesture of good faith. It's actually a part of their slots plan. It's every bit a part of their plan as the slots parlor is, and as I've said, Onorato says he's got a legally-binding commitment in writing for Barden. That will go a long way towards kickstarting Plan B.

The rest of the terms of Plan B are negotiable, according to what Onorato was saying all last week (he's going to be on the Fred Honsberger show on KDKA radio this afternoon, if anyone is interested). So the Pens' share of the funding as written in Plan B can be negotiated down to be more in line with what the Steelers and Pirates contributed to their respective buildings.

On top of that, the terms of the lease agreement governing control of the revenue streams associated with the arena have yet to be negotiated. Control of these streams is where the money is for the team (parking, concessions, entertainment tax, revenue from non-hockey rentals of the arena grounds, etc). If the team is able to maintain significant control of these revenue streams, it will allow for a very attractive lease to be created. This is where Plan B can easily trump anything the Pens ownership (whoever they may be) could find in Kansas City, Houston, Winnipeg, etc.

The Lemieux Group/Pens franchise HAD to be prepared for this because this was a very real possibility. It might take some time and it won't present what the Pens wanted to be an ideal situation with Isle of Capri.

But the competition now shifts from IoC vs. Forest City/Majestic Star to what deal makes the most business sense for Pens ownership - Plan B vs. anything that is currently in existence at any other reasonable destination. Plan B can easily construed to give it the advantage."

MikeS said...

But, hey. Looking back, it's obvious that they made the right decision with PITG Gaming. Look at how great that new casino is running on the North, uh, nevermind...

dying alive said...

You know, it's remembering days like this when I get really irritated when fans of other teams say, "Oh yeah, you guys almost lost your team because nobody cared about them." Um, no, fuckface. We almost lost our team because the the corruption of our state and local politicians is exceeded only by their stupidity. The Pens almost leaving had nothing to do with the fans. Poor team management got the ball rolling (seriously, the other two teams in the city are getting new stadiums, and Howard Baldwin says NO?) but the government spurred it right along with their refusal to understand that the city needed a new multi-purpose facility. Not just for hockey, for other revenue as well.

I know I shouldn't get irritated by it, but I do.

jimmy-pop6996 said...

Rico Fata wasn't that bad. Just shouldn't of been a Top 6 forward getting that many minutes.

je2ms said...

Scratch that. I'm just retarded.

crmzak said...

Bergeron just went down HARD in Boston. It was pretty scary there for a moment, no movement, but then made it off the ice with some help.

James Harrison will taste Manflesh said...

It's widely assumed that everything would have worked out all rosy if the Isle of Capri bid had succeeded, but after two years I still haven't figured out how building two buildings, and only using one, would have been a successful business plan for them. I think it's likely that if their bid had won, they'd be in the same position now as PITG is.

christina said...

hope bergeron's ok, especially after last year. what happened?

Matt said...

During the 06-07 season I probably aged 5 years. Smug ass Caps "fan" friends in Bmore kept reminding me, and I spend half of each day clicking refresh on various sports news sites. It's easy to take it for granted now, but it was truly bad times back then. Never forget indeed.

meecrofilm said...

Strange... a lot of people here are talking about how it seemed like only yesterday to them. To me it just seems like it was ages ago. I guess I just wanted to drive that memory so far out of my mind. But with all of this, it's starting to come back again. Shitfucking times, man.

C-blog is intense today.

meecrofilm said...

And goddamn Philly is pounding the caps in the ass (just where they like it) right now. Carter with the 'trick. Briere needs to come back and bring that magic suckitude he has with him to they can start losing again.

Annie said...

Maybe it's fitting that today I wore my "66 Buries It" undies from storeblog...

Personally it's been a tremendously shit-tastic week, so I've been wearing my WWGRD wristband again, and various other Pens gear the last few days for some better mojo.

dying alive said...

Oh, and at the risk of being that guy who announces old news...Gaborik is hurt again.

Staal + Letang + picks for him. Make it happen, Shero.

wilsmith said...

I don't have anything to contribute, but you can all act like I just said something really moving.

J.S. said...

Max did sign for a mil, but I remember reading somewhere that he once said that he was having so much fun playing with the Pens that he'd even do it for free.

Joose said...

Flower just took the lead in the All-Star Fan Balloting. I am glad to say I was contributing to his vote tally when it happened.

sven butenschon said...

I remember in a drinken haze telling everyone that was within earshot the they could take the pens but there was no was in HELL they were taking the banners

Which prompted my friend to form the Lowell's Legal Defense Fund
Thankfully it was disbanded after buries it took gov pigface toe the woodshed

meecrofilm said...


Fleury's up by a measly 21 votes. He's objective A.

Do it.

Top 3 in the West looks to be Kane, Toews, and Getzlaf. Solid youth.

Soupy Cambell looks like he may pass Phaneuf for the second starting spot in the West's D. Chicago fans have stepped up bigtime. And Luongo isn't safe from Jiggy anymore.

And Gonch is about to pass Komisarek. (Hahah). But, really, Komisarek has 2 points in 15 games. Jeff Taffe has that many. Eric Godard has that many. Scuderi has Komisarek outscored by almost a 5 to 1 ration. So in short, fuck Komisarek anyways.

Stilly said...

@dying alive

That doesn't surprise me one bit. They claim it's soreness, but he might have re-aggravated the lower body injury he was out for months with. Anyone that sends more than a bag of pucks for the guys is getting ripped off. It's like he's made of paper mache.

Author E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Author E said...

you got the Bettis pic caption wrong. Clearly he was running for the jelly donut one of the cameramen was eating on the other side of the end zone...

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