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Penguins Fans and You



Look, this self-referential biz gets old pretty quick, but just to set the record straight:

1) I think the Crosby pacifiers and their like are mildly funny, completely harmless, and great for the Caps, the Pens, NBC, the NHL and every blog in the universe, plus their associated Twitter feeds.

2) I think bad fan behavior in sports should be discouraged, and here I'm thinking of fans vomiting on each other, punching each other, setting each others' cars on fire, cursing at each other, hitting each other with baseball bats, and crashing over chain-link fences to pour beer onto each others' heads. I think some things--cheap beer, for example--can actually encourage such behavior, and is thus primarily a bad thing. Pacifiers distributed by 21-year old female journalism students, I'd argue, are unlikely to cause significant public unrest.

3) Some of what I do--like this, I guess--fits into the category of actual journalism. Some of what I do is just for you to waste time while at the office, and should not be confused with investigations into secret CIA prisons. My posting photos of Caps fans with pacifiers should not necessarily be construed as the end of modern journalism.

Deep breaths, everyone, deep breaths.

And now, a sample from my e-mail box:

* Crosby scores!!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah! Eat it Steinberg! Hack.

* Dan, Maybe you should write a column about caps fans unhealthy obsession with Sidney Crosby. This inferiority complex has gone far enough. Wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars to copycat something the Flyer fans did to Lindros? I can't believe you thought this was brilliant. Dan you really should show more class as a journalist. You have turned this column into the laughingstock of the journalism community.

* It must suck going through life classless and clueless. You can't even be considered a journalist. You write blogs. Apparently to entice people to do things that my three year old would think is childish.

* Caps fans, I'm one of you, but you should be embarrassed by your behavior. Dan Steinberg and the Post, you should be even more embarrassed for covering it. By the way, Crosby won the game and was voted 1st star by the Verizon Center media. I haven't heard that he gloated about it. I guess some people have class.

* DC sports are a joke. Pens win. Steeler fans outnumber Skins in their own house. Maybe you can cheer for the Ravens - oh wait - we own them too.

So much unhappiness. This is sports. Smile, no? Imagine what they'd be saying if I had gotten a copy of that sign from Sunday that read "Go back to Pittsburgh -- the job fair is over."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 10, 2009; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Comments

The point is to piss off Pittsburgh fans as much as possible. Looks like a job well done this weekend.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 10, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"* DC sports are a joke. Pens win. Steeler fans outnumber Skins in their own house. Maybe you can cheer for the Ravens - oh wait - we own them too. "

I've been hearing this one a lot this week. Then I remind them that the Pittsburgh superfans are nowhere to be found when the Pirates are in town. This despite the fact that the Pirates have been in Pittsburgh the longest, and have almost as many titles (5) as the Steelers (6) in their history. But last check of the standings showed the Pirates ain't so good lately.

You're frontrunners just like everyone else.

Posted by: bryc3 | March 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The fact they're sending emails like that make them classless. Nice double standard there.

Posted by: ewoldtk | March 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Steeler fans outnumber Skins in their own house." Uh, not true......

Posted by: MadDog20201 | March 10, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Only a j-hole Pittsburgh apologist would come to the Bog for Journalistic integrity.

The guy with the 'Job Fair' sign deserves a high five!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | March 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that they are so enamored with your blog and the Caps that they follow it so closely. Why the obsession with us? I know that I, for one, don't go to any 'burgh newspaper blogs and read what they have to say about us that's for sure. Seems to me like they are very worried about the Caps this year and with good reason.

Posted by: mikesgirl1 | March 10, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Steelers fans outnumbering Redskins fans is an exaggeration, but there is no doubt it looked bad for Skins fans... http://www.profootballtalk.com/2008/11/04/steelers-fans-disrupted-redskins-offense/

Re: bryc3: Then I remind them that the Pittsburgh superfans are nowhere to be found when the Pirates are in town.

Not true. Its certainly not on the level of the Pens and Steelers, but you will see a pretty good crowd for the away team when the Bucs are in DC. You certainly wouldn't think they had 16 straight losing seasons the way they show up...

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 10, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"The point is to piss off Pittsburgh fans as much as possible. Looks like a job well done this weekend."

The point of what?

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a lot of Steelers/Pens fans are also Red Sox fans... ironic

Posted by: HacksawJimDuggan | March 10, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"The point is to piss off Pittsburgh fans as much as possible. Looks like a job well done this weekend."

The point of what?

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 2:26 PM

Of the Crosby/Malkin antagonizing. Is to antagonize.

Posted by: ThisGuy | March 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Re: I find it interesting that they are so enamored with your blog and the Caps that they follow it so closely. Why the obsession with us? I know that I, for one, don't go to any 'burgh newspaper blogs and read what they have to say about us that's for sure. Seems to me like they are very worried about the Caps this year and with good reason.

Posted by: mikesgirl1 | March 10, 2009 2:12 PM

No doubt the Pens should be worried about the Caps this year. They're a great team. And anyone who says they don't love watching #8 just isn't a hockey fan. But IMO the biggest reasons you hear from Pittsburgh fans on this blog is
1. So many former Pittsburghers live in DC so naturally, they're vested in this specific rivalry and might even subscribe to the Post
2. This is the only rivalry with the 3 best players in the league
3. The Pittsburgh blogs are slow because Pirates are off today... although I may be the only one in this forum for that reason :)

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 10, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Go back to Pittsburgh -- the job fair is over."

Absolutely classic! I really wish I had seen that one.
Keep up the ENTERTAINMENT Dan. Its the main reason I read the sports section online instead of in the paper.

Posted by: MeatSweats | March 10, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Pirates attendance last year...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/attendance?sort=home_avg&year=2008&seasonType=2

Penguins attendance 5 years ago...

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2004

Pittsburgh is a fairweather sports town just like everyone else.

Posted by: bogman | March 10, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Also

Blogging for the Washington Post > Writing A1 articles for any newspaper in Pittsburgh

Posted by: bogman | March 10, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

only Pittsburgh fans would mistake the Bog as "serious journalism." Which isn't to say I don't think the Stienz and the Bog aren't great, its just, well, its not "investigations into secret CIA prisons."

I'm always surprised at the number of people that have moved to DC (and its not just pittsburgh, although Pittsburghers seem to be, by far, the worst) and then do ntohing but complain about DC and puff up their own city.

One, if your city is so great, why, again, are you here in mine?

and two, yes, I know, the myths and propaganda all says there not one person is actually from DC and therefore we must all be bandwagon fans and yadda yadda yadda, but, remarkably, a lot of us actually are DC area natives who grew up cheering for the Caps (and crying....). But, my point is, just because you came to DC doesn't mean I did, too, so please, stop insulting my city, stop insisting that I must actually be a bandwagon fan, and if you hate the city so much, please, move somewhere where you would be happier.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 10, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Caps have owned the Pens this year.
When your team owns somebody in sports, the fans get to gloat all they want. That's just how it works, it's the modern 2 (or was it 5?) minutes of hate.

Pens just suck -- their whiny star, their pretentious fans, their pathetic announcers.

Give 'em hell :)

Posted by: VladG | March 10, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

They went after other blogs, too: http://www.dccheapseats.com/?p=2210

There are plenty of calm, rational, normal Penguins fans kicking around; I've met them, they're not just urban legends. Why is it only the crazy ones who know how to use a keyboard?

Whatever. Keep up the great work, Steinz - Pens fans can whine and cry all they want, doesn't change the fact that they're just as insecure as they claim Caps fans are.

Posted by: SEvanson | March 10, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Sam Young supports the Caps.


let the yinzers be, why are you taking this stuff seriously?

Posted by: PindarPushkin | March 10, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@ RedBirdie - as someone who grew up close to the Burgh and now lives in DC, I totally agree. You won't hear me bashing this city. I love DC. That's why I'm here. And I HATE when away team fans come into Pittsburgh like they own the place. I was at the game after the Pens beat the Flyers in Pittsburgh in the conference finals, I think to go up 2-0 and the only 2 guys yelling in the bathroom afterwards were Flyers fans talking about how they're gonna win it in 6. So obnoxious... I'll be at the Caps games wearing my Pens jersey, but you hear much from me. Here's to hoping the next few people you meet from the Burgh are more like the ones SEvanson is talking about, calm and rational, and less like Flyers fans.

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 10, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else get the feeling that fans from Cleveland and Pittsburgh just don't get the joke? And they don't get the fact that when they don't get the joke, they become the joke?

Watch- one of them will respond to this with some brag about the great Pittsburgh sports teams and making fun of DC fans or some such nonsense.

And I will laugh at them. Again.

Posted by: Fozzie1 | March 10, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

LOVE the job fair sign! Instant classic.

Posted by: capsnumber1 | March 10, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"The point is to piss off Pittsburgh fans as much as possible. Looks like a job well done this weekend."

The point of what?

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 2:26 PM

"Of the Crosby/Malkin antagonizing. Is to antagonize."

Okay. And why would you want to antagonize them? Did every single one of them do something personally to you? And if so, what exactly?

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

LetsGoBuccos, thanks for being sane! A woman I work with is actually from Pittsburgh and I adore her, she's great, so not like the guys sitting next to me Sunday (who yelled the "O" in the national anthem, so I know they've been in the area long enough to pick up on that) who were just every bad Pens fan stereotype one can imagine.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 10, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Penguins attendance 5 years ago..."

"http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2004"

Okay, file this under the someone-has-to-say-it category.

At the time of those attendance figures, the gauntlet had been laid down, and publicly, by ownership........without a salary cap, and new arena, the team will move. So they stripped the team bare prior to the lockout so they could financially tread water until hopefully a radically new CBA would level the playing field. Fortunately both things panned out.

But as for the fans? It's one thing to expect them to show up when a team is losing. It's quite another to expect them to support a lame duck (or so it appeared at the time). That would be like if my girlfriend said, "Okay, I could dump you at any time, but until then you better not two-time me. If not, you're a fair-weather boyfriend."

Supporting a seemingly lame-duck franchise doesn't make you a "true fan," it means you seriously need some other hobbies.

And the Pirates? Well, hell, they didn't even sell out the last time they made the playoffs (early 90's), so at least Pirate fans are fairly consistent with them. The town has been football #1, hockey #2, baseball #3 for quite some time now.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Can you still be the The Next Greatest Hockey Player of All Time if you haven't won a playoff series?

Posted by: jayhum | March 10, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

So they come to a Washington sports bog and what are they expecting to find exactly? First of all, just go to your own damn bog. Second of all, FOR GOD'S SAKE IT'S A BOG!

Posted by: KireDCU | March 11, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

'"Go back to Pittsburgh -- the job fair is over."'

"Absolutely classic!"

And absolutely indicative of the common misconception. Go back to Pittsburgh? Naaa, more often they'd be going back to Springfield. And to Laurel. And to Baltimore.

The black/gold clad folks you see at Steelers and Penguins road games (and yes, even the Pirates when they came to Baltimore last season)? More often than not, they already live in the area. And usually with well-earned, good-paying jobs.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 5:01 AM | Report abuse

This is so funny to me. SOME of the people posting about class, are posting some of the most classless comments.

Pitt, Philly, and Washington fans have always given one another a hard time. Philly fans tend to be a little more over the top. Thats why they get more of the verbal bashing when they come to town. Its almost comical how serious some people are taking the comments that are posted on here.

I do know for sure though, if caps/philly/pitt advance further into the playoffs than the other you wont hear anything anymore from the fans that are out.

Posted by: CapsFan44 | March 11, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

the reason 'us' caps fans are obsessed with heckling Crosby is that he is the opposite of what we have come to love about our star, Ovie. Ovie skates every shift like it's his last, hits, attacks, shows emotion, celebrates, never complains, never dives, never whines to the refs. he's a hockey player in the truest sense. Crosby, sure, he's got skill. But he's also a one dimensional player who whines and cries and dives and complains when he gets pushed around in the corners. Think about it, this guy cries when Ovie celebrates after a goal. Imagine if in the NFL cornerbacks complained every time one of those idiot receivers made the first down gesture/celebration after making a catch. You score goals like Ovie does and you lay it all on the line like he does, every game, you can celebrate however you choose

Posted by: kennybanya | March 11, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

And the Pirates? Well, hell, they didn't even sell out the last time they made the playoffs (early 90's), so at least Pirate fans are fairly consistent with them. The town has been football #1, hockey #2, baseball #3 for quite some time now.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 10, 2009 9:53 PM

And what about the Pittsburgh NBA team? Oops, doesn't even have one of those. I mean as of today even Atlanta can support a team from all four major sports and it is probably the worst sports town in America.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | March 11, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

At the time of those attendance figures, the gauntlet had been laid down, and publicly, by ownership........without a salary cap, and new arena, the team will move. So they stripped the team bare prior to the lockout so they could financially tread water until hopefully a radically new CBA would level the playing field. Fortunately both things panned out.

The point is that not 5 years later, 75% of the Pens fans comments on the Caps board have the word "Bandwagon" or some derivation thereof.

If your team almost moved to Kansas City because no one was showing up to games, you're not allowed to call anyone else "Bandwagon."

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I love the whole Pittsburgh invasion mentality: taking over FedEx, Verizon, etc. Fact is, people a)leave that city for almost any other city on the east coast for a better quality of life if they have the means and b) are within a day's drive NY, PHI, BAL, DC for a nice weekend.

Combine the awfulness of Pitt with the attraction of other cities and it is no wonder they flock to our arenas. It is pretty much a one way street. NOBODY from NY, PHI, DC, BAL is taking day trips to Pitt, NOBODY.

I would also like to point out I saw a Pitt translplant yapping about how he has to keep his hometown allegiance. This guy was wearing a Pens jersey and RED SOX hat. I guess you only have to keep those allegiances when the team is good...

Posted by: makplan20002 | March 11, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"If your team almost moved to Kansas City because no one was showing up to games, you're not allowed to call anyone else "Bandwagon.""

Agreed--if that were actually the situation. It wasn't.

No, the team flirted with Kansas City because they hadn't finalized an arena deal. Even Lemieux admitted it was a ruse to light a fire under the local pols.

The attendance was not the issue. The attendance spiked dramatically after the lockout, and has remained steady since, even as the team basically sucked that '05-'06 season.

And anyone who follows sports regularly knows that if ticket sales alone were enough to help a team thrive financially, there wouldn't be this constant need for bigger and better facilities.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Agreed--if that were actually the situation. It wasn't.

You still aren't getting the point.

You even admitted that no one was showing up. Excuse it all you want, but any "bandwagon" comments lose validity when your attendance dips to the levels that theirs did.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"You even admitted that no one was showing up. Excuse it all you want, but any "bandwagon" comments lose validity when your attendance dips to the levels that theirs did."

I thought the unofficial definition of "bandwagon" is when you support them because they're winning, and abandon them because they're losing. And as I said before, during those lean years, there was a much larger issue than losing--the issue of not actually existing.

So if you think that shouldn't matter--that you should still support a team that openly admits they could leave at any time--then you're essentially expanding the definition of "bandwagon". And expanding it to something considerably more benign.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The reason there are so many Pittsburgh fans here isbecause nobody wants to live in Pittsburgh. Its a 'has been' of a city and since the local Wal*Mart doesnt have any more positions, the people from there have to go elsewhere to look for work.

I hear Pittsburgh was also voted the city with the ugliest people. This was so evident at Sunday's game. You could give me a line up of random fans in plain clothes and I could pick out the Pittsburgh fans by their mullets, acid washed jeans, high tops, missing teeth, and morbid obesity.

Crosby is the most overrated 20 goal scorer in league history. I seriously question and guy who wears a Crosby jersey. Why would you wear the jersey of a guy whose reputation league wide is of being a whiner?

Posted by: griz0615 | March 11, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

@ LetsGoBuccos

Pittsburgh blogs are slow because the fans are illiterate.

Posted by: griz0615 | March 11, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I've lived in DC my entire (40 years) life. My parents moved to DC in the early 60s from Pittsburgh so I was raised a Steeler fan and still am a Steeler fan to this day.

I know it hurts to hear this but the Skins were 6-2 going into a Monday night game against the Steelers and the Steeler fans came close to out-number Redskin fans. DC fans are about as fair-weather as they come.

1. Have you been to a Wizards game lately? Arena is half full.
2. skins vs. Steelers - need i say more.
3. Nats - they finished in the bottom half of attendance last year with a new stadium!! Are you kidding me???
4. Caps - the caps have a lot of passion and I went to the game a few weeks ago against Montreal and the arena was electric. They have a small, passionate fan base however, maybe 10K die-hards. The other 8K in the arena are band-wagons, which is fine. It's always great to watch a winner!

Anyway, DC fans are the worst. I bet the Nats don't average over 20K in attendance this year.

DC will also be on the bottom rung of sport cities nationwide. Fair-weather as they come.

Dan - love the blog. Go Steelers, Go Caps, Go Nats........

Posted by: Loggie1 | March 11, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And as I said before, during those lean years, there was a much larger issue than losing--the issue of not actually existing.

You continue to make excuses. The team "existed," they just lost a lot. Make all the excuses you want, but there was a team, the team sucked, and no one showed up to the games.

That's it. That's what happened. Try and rationalize it all you want, but it's the truth. The team stunk (for whatever reason), and the fans stopped showing up.

To turn around 5 years later and call other fans "bandwagon" is patently hypocritical.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

"You continue to make excuses. The team "existed," they just lost a lot. Make all the excuses you want, but there was a team, the team sucked, and no one showed up to the games."

Answer this specific question.....yes or no, do you believe a fan should be expected to continue to follow a team, even when there is a distinct, publicized possibility that the team can move at any time?

If you don't answer the question, you've effectively forfeited the argument.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

As with all things in life, if you're visiting a town, respect is key, to quote the crybaby. When out of town fans come in and start acting like they own the arena, yeah, to some degree, it warrants a response from the folks call it home.

Pens fans troll our bog because they feel they're helping their team undermine our team through their fans' blog space. That's as likely as Sidney Crosby inviting them over for dinner to thank them for their "efforts". It does make for some good laughs.

Great to be a Caps fan!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"Answer this specific question.....yes or no, do you believe a fan should be expected to continue to follow a team, even when there is a distinct, publicized possibility that the team can move at any time?"

Yes. You're either a fan of a team and you support them, or you're not. If you don't support a team, for whatever reason, you lose the right to call other fans "Bandwagon."

That's all. I'm not taking issue with Pens fans jumping off the bandwagon 5 years ago when the team almost went to KC (or didn't, you've changed this story a few times). If they and you feel that you are in the right for doing that, that's cool I support that decision.

But you *Absolutely* lose the right to label anyone else's fans as "BandWagon" as a result. Period.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"Pens fans troll our bog because they feel they're helping their team undermine our team through their fans' blog space."

"Your" bog? Uh, where exactly has that been established? Has there been a charter established somewhere? And, you do realize the Washington Post is a national newspaper, correct?

Also, isn't the title of this bog "Penguins Fans and You"? So wouldn't it stand to reason that "You" might see "Penguins Fans" here?

Seems so simple.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Short answer Yes. You think it is justifiable to for fans to completely give up on a franchise because of a POSSIBILITY of movement due to poor management? Look at the Save the Caps campaign by fans in the early 80s after talk of moving the team, that really began to get the franchise on solid ground.

Posted by: bogman | March 11, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@SamsDog:

In case it's not apparent to you, but lately, Caps fans have been accused by a number of Pens' fans of being bandwagon fans because they were winning a number of games. A number of Caps' fans take offense to that because they remember the years when the Caps weren't winning but they bought their tickets, sat in the stands, cheered on the team, even if it was to a loss. Now, with the issue raised that the years where the Pens' ticket sales were significantly lower because of the alleged relocation of the team, prompted many Pens' fans to rethink buying a game ticket, much less a season ticket, it would support the argument that when it got tough for the Penguins, the Pens' fans decided they weren't worth spending that extra money for a ticket. But when they got hot again, all of a sudden ticket sales go up.

To address your question about the expectations of fans to support a "lame duck" team, I doubt anyone but the Penguins would have had any expectations of the fans' continued support, even through the lean years. So from the team's perspective, yes, fans would have been expected to still support them. From the average fan's perspective, probably not. But then, that effectively makes them bandwagon fans or fair weather fans in anyone's book.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

ALso, FWIW, I disagree with the Jersey on the Right.

I don't think Malkin sucks. Given the choice, I'd rather have Malkin on our team than Crosby.

I just think it's weird how Malkin falls on the puck every single time that it's near the boards. Not just once or twice, but like 10+ times a game.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The title of the bog is only for this article, SamsDog. The article is to address the Caps fans and our relationship (extreme dislike for each other) for that silly team from Pittsburgh. And yeah, the fact that the Washington Post is a national newspaper is not lost to me. It's irrelevant but if you want to make that a point of dispute, then do it. And like most Capitals fans, I don't go trolling on the Pittsburgh newspapers in dramatic fashion to express my extreme distaste for an immature hockey player who hits people in the nads and walks around like he's God's gift to hockey with plays like that. But still, humor us about the gifted nad knocker you call a hockey player.

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 11, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Yes. You're either a fan of a team and you support them, or you're not. If you don't support a team, for whatever reason, you lose the right to call other fans "Bandwagon.""

Okay, fine. Then as I said before, you've expanded the definition of "bandwagon" into something much less significant.

"That's all. I'm not taking issue with Pens fans jumping off the bandwagon 5 years ago when the team almost went to KC (or didn't, you've changed this story a few times). "

Changed my story? Nope, sorry.

I'm talking about two different time periods, pre- and post-lockout.

Pre-lockout (and not coincidentally pre-attendance surge), there was of course no salary cap, and thus seemingly no chance of the Pens' staying long-term, arena or no arena. Unless you were certain Bettman would bring the players union to its knees like he did. Who expected that to happen? I sure didn't. Ken Sawyer, the Pens' CFO, emphasized repeatedly that the team would only be viable long-term with both a salary cap and new arena.

After the lockout and newly minted salary cap, the attendance surged to previous levels despite the team sucking that first year. Yes, after a couple years, threats of moving were renewed due to the stalled arena talks, but few people took it seriously, especially after all of the money showered at free agents immediately after the lockout. Not to mention all the gambling money that anyone who read the local news knew would be readily available and earmarked toward the new arena. It was purely a matter of hammering out the fine print, as is usually the case in these type of negotiations.

The threats were real before the lockout. After the lockout? Not so much, as Mario admitted. The fans pretty much saw through it.

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"But still, humor us about the gifted nad knocker you call a hockey player."

That I can do, because

A. He is gifted.

B. He's at least anecdotally a nad knocker. :)

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay, fine. Then as I said before, you've expanded the definition of "bandwagon" into something much less significant.

Again, rationalize it all you want. I take no issue with the Pens fans bailing on their team when they were sucking, for whatever reasons they want to rationalize. it's fine, I don't care.

What I object to is turning around and calling other fans "bandwagon." It's quite literally the definition of Hypocrisy.

You guys should make a new shirt "Bailing on a loosing team: it's not Bandwagon behavior when we do it."

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"What I object to is turning around and calling other fans "bandwagon." It's quite literally the definition of Hypocrisy."

Okay, then wouldn't the more logical response be to refute the claim with evidence, rather than just throw mud back?

Posted by: SamsDog | March 11, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

griz0615 "I hear Pittsburgh was also voted the city with the ugliest people."

Check out the link. Looks like you meant Philly... PLEASE never confuse Philly with Pittsburgh ever again... NOT the same... :) unfortunately, Pittsburgh is not on the list :/

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 11, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Sorry forgot the link...

http://www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2007/category/1/subcategory/2

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 11, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"Okay, then wouldn't the more logical response be to refute the claim with evidence, rather than just throw mud back?"

That's what was done earlier by citing attendance features.

Your response was some sort of canned dissertation that may as well have the same title as the t-shirt: "It's not bandwagon when we do it."

That said, any Pens fan who would say things like "Bandwagon" about another team's fans a) doesn't deserve a logical response, and b) wouldn't respond to logic in any constructive way anyway.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 11, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

makplan20002: "I would also like to point out I saw a Pitt translplant yapping about how he has to keep his hometown allegiance. This guy was wearing a Pens jersey and RED SOX hat. I guess you only have to keep those allegiances when the team is good..."

Can't speak for this guy but I have a Red Sox hat from the 04 season. At the time, they were the anti-Yankee. They represented the antithesis to all that was wrong with MLB, keeping teams like the Pirates from ever having a chance of winning another world series... the same applied last year in cheering for the Rays to beat the Yanks and Sox. So call me a traitor but my reasons for cheering for them were purely for the Buccos, as weird as that may sound... oh and I still like the hat :)

Posted by: LetsGoBuccos | March 11, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I would be vexed if I was from a nothing town like Pittsburgh too. I am glad that their sports teams make them feel relevant because the rest of the world has no idea where Pittsburgh even is. I would daresay that they know where the Capital of the Free World is. This inferiority complex is highly amusing. Thanks for sharing these emails with us, Dan! Keep up the good work!

Posted by: mjwies11 | March 11, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post is not a national newspaper. It has the best political coverage in the nation, and certainly breaks stories of great national importance, but you cannot get it outside of the greater DC area. (In fact, when I visit my mother in Delaware, I have to pay $2.00 for the privilige of being able to buy a Sunday copy, which is above the DC newstand rate.) I was visiting Columbus, OH, a state capital, and asked if the Sunday post was available, and try as they might, the hotel could not locate a single copy for me. At a hotel located across the street from the Capitol building and frequented by political types. They could get me the NYT if I wanted. I passed.

the Post is a WASHINGTON paper and it covers things important to those of us who live in Washington. Since politics is our business here and so many work in the business, its only natural that there is so much political coverage (and so much of it is really outstanding).

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 11, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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