March 6, 2007

Dear Pittsburgh Penguins Fan

Dear Pittsburgh Penguin fan,

My name is AJ, and I’m a Kansas City native and avid hockey fan still living in the Midwest. Like you, I am a sports fan who loves my hometown team. I live and die with every Mike Sweeney strikeout. My heart gets crushed every time Larry Johnson runs into the pile on 3rd and 20. Whether it’s the Chiefs, the Royals, Wizards, Brigade, Tom Watson, UMKC or even that lame ass team-tennis thing we have, I will root for any of them with my last breath because they represent my town.

I understand that you are in a slight bit of panic right now over the potential loss of one of your favorite teams, the NHL’s Penguins. I understand that this process is not fair and that the whole thing has been drawn out and tedious. I completely understand that no fan base (except for Husker fan..and let’s face it..they’re not going to lose their team anytime soon) deserves the pain of possibly losing their team. So for that, I feel bad for you, and I share in your anxiety.

However, in reading your dozens, if not hundreds of statements about the current situation between your team and their possible move to my hometown, I have become somewhat agitated by your constant pissing and moaning that emanates from your rusted out motor home. With that being said, I’m going to cut to the chase, and ask you what a lot of us Midwest hockey fans have been thinking:

Who the hell do you think you are?

You people act like you’re fans of the 27 Yankees. You didn't even get your team until the late 60's. You speak online and in newspaper letters to the editor as if you are doing the NHL a favor by going to games every night the past couple of seasons. I’m not sure if you know this or not, but the NHL is pretty much screwed with our without you. So you’ve sold out a few games this year? I’m pretty sure I could put the Penguins in Des Moines or Little Rock and people would come out to see the wealth of young talent you people have on your (or is it “our” team yet?). Where the hell were you after Mario retired? Where the hell were you when various owners asked for new arenas back in the day?

Speaking of new arenas, did you know that besides Kansas City, Des Moines, Oklahoma City, Omaha and even Council Bluffs Iowa have new arenas? You make it sound like building an arena is some sort of difficult task. Out here in cow country, they do grow on trees. Hell, within 15 miles of where I sit and type this letter, there are three arenas that hold over 7,000 fans. Not one. Not two. Three.

So you see, it’s hard for the rest of us to feel sorry for you when you turned your back on your team not so long ago. ANYBODY can root for a team full of young stars. Anybody can root for a team that has a 19 year old phenom. Hell, just THREE years ago you were DEAD LAST in attendance.

But what’s that? The Royals can’t draw anybody without the help of the Famous Chicken or Friday Night Fireworks? That’s fine, but what about the new-fangled arena football team that plays in a rat-infested toilet and still sells out? What about that little NFL team that has been in the top 3 in attendance every year since 1991? (That’s 78,000+ in case you were wondering).. Speaking of many of you have even been to Kansas City? I’m guessing next to zero, unless you count that time you drove to Vegas when you heard that Johhny Cash tribute band was playing.

“But Kansas City already had a chance at the NHL, and they lost them.” Uhhh…so did Denver and Minneapolis and last time I checked, they seemed to be doing pretty well with their brand new arenas.

But the number one reason I don’t feel sorry for you is the simple way of the world. Teams up and moving are a way of life. Did anybody feel sorry for me when I was 13 years old and the Kings left town for a crappy nothing town in the middle of nowhere California? No. Did anybody feel sorry for Cleveland when the Browns left? Well..OK..they did, so that’s a bad example.

The point is..this is the way the world works. You might think bringing a sign to a game or bitching at local politicians may help you, but in fact it’s completely hopeless. You are at the mercy of men in suits who have been jerked around for a very very long time. I’m sorry it has to come down to this, but contrary to what you believe, there ARE people who will follow the Pens here and there ARE people who are praying at night that they make it here. So stop with your whining. Stop with your pissing and moaning, and face the fact that you are an inevitable pawn in a giant game.

I don’t know if the Pens are coming to Kansas City, it’s not up to me. However, if they do come to KC, I won’t shed a tear as I watch Sidney fly around the ice at a jewel of an arena in downtown KC. For you see, I’m still waiting for Joe Axelson to say he’s sorry for breaking my heart when I was just a kid. Well I got over it and you will too, if and when the time comes.

Til that time does come, stop making idiotic comments about towns you know nothing about and just sit back and wait for the inevitable. Hey, at least you have IC beer. It’s not Boulevard, but it’s not half bad.

AJ – Future Kansas City Pens fan

PS - If you feel as I do, please contact the NHL and tell them you can't wait to see hockey back in Kansas City.

National Hockey League
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I am from St. Louis (and obviously a Blues fan), I'd love to see the Pens go to KC. Might screw up some realignment. Maybe Columbus to the Eastern Conference, and put the Pens in with the Blues?

12:07 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

It's my understanding that if the Pens move to KC, then Detroit would be the prime cantidate to move back to the East. (Which would make sense..although it woudl kill the rivalry with Colorado)

Dunno how it will play out.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

I want to have your babies.


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That wouldn't make the East overpowering at all.

I figured Columbus might make sense, especially since it is already basically in the eastern part of the US. You would have have more insight on this than me with your KC ties.

They could just drop the Blackhawks into the minors. They'd be playing against similar competition!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Tiger_on_the_move_75 said...

As every NHL fan can tell you AJ this charade with Pittsburgh and the Pens has been playing out since before the Pens won their first Cup. I can't understand how a city and a fan base that clains to "love" a team this much could have failed to build a new arena when they had three sure-fire HOFers and two brand-new championships. St. Louis built a new arena for the Blues and all they've done (before or since) is flame out in the postseason. Incidentally what are the fine people of KC going to call their new team? I vote they call them the KC Denkingers; then you'd have a great rivalry with us.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ, your a Wizards and Kangaroos fan? Somehow I doubt that.

3:08 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

I don't have anything against the Blues, but the second KC get's a team...the "Bluesh8er" site will be up and running.

3:13 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

HUGE ROOS FAN. (They still play downtown right?)

As for the Wizards, I've loved them ever since I could could walk. God I love Arena Football.


3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Ohio recently, about 4 hours from Columbus, but they had Blue Jackets games on t.v. I am not sure as to the packages or anything of that nature, but would a move to K.C. get the folks in the surrounding area, i.e. Omaha, more viewing possibilites via a fox sports net or something like that? If that is the case I am all for it. Even having the highest level of hockey in the world in close distance is more than intriguing.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man AJ! I thought you were my guy! HAHA :)

Blues/Pens could be a promising rivalry if it happens. Hopefully KC will end up in the same division as my Blues. Both teams are on the up and up. I'm surprised KC doesn't have a 3rd major sports team to begin with. Omaha/KC is a great hockey market.

Go Blues!

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im ready to get season tickets...

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha-fuckin'-ha, asshat. Looks like you're going to have to keep trying. It's a shame, that nice, big arena you got downtown is going to have to sit empty a bit longer. I'm sure you guys get enough monster truck rallies and motocross competitions to keep it busy enough. Meanwhile, I'll be cheering on my PITTSBURGH Penguins as they move into the Stanley Cup Playoffs...and I'll enjoy watching Mr. Crosby and Co. glide up and down the ice of our new arena- the home of the Pens for the next 30 years!!!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ, first off, I didn't even know Kansas City had a "downtown".

I don't believe there are any "rusted-out motor homes" around here. By the way, the large objects in the pictures are commonly known as "skyscrapers"...hence, they are tall enough to touch the sky. Seems to me, last time I saw a picture of downtown Kansas City, it look more like Youngstown Ohio with it's 20 story buildings. (maybe 15 stories actually)
AJ, I seriously think you need to look into getting a full time job. It is pretty apparent you have WAY too much free time on your hands. Then again, maybe the local gas station you work at has internet access for you to piss around on between customers. Here's hoping NO NHL or NBA team ever comes to your sorry city.....then you can keep your KY Jelly and rubber gloves out over your arena football team. YAY!

8:02 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

I've been to your town...and chuckle at your comments.

The KY line made no sense, the running joke around here is that I work at McDonalds NOT a gas station, and the "too much time on your hands line" was old about two years ago when I started this whole thing.

I do find it funny that I pissed you off enough to make you take time out of your Saturday morning to write in. So I thank you for that.

As for your hockey team...I think we'll survive here. I would have enjoyed taking your team just to watch the non-stop hissy-fit you people are throwing continue...but it became almost unbearable.

Thanks again for visiting, and please feel free to do your homework before you decide to hit the reply button next time.

8:45 AM  

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