Punked.

Kansas City is pissed at Mario:

In other words, the Penguins held a gun to the head of local and state officials in Pennsylvania — and those politicians caved in.

I think I know who Yarone Zober gave his copy of Hyperbole for Dummies to.

Found in the comments to this article:

The wrong you do to others and stand there and laugh in there face will come right back to you double fold and I got a feeling he will be eating his word.

Which word?  Maybe “and” or “dinner”?  Please be specific.

Mario has a winning hockey team, two of the greatest hockey players in the league, and a new arena. I don’t see how this will come back to high-stick him in the face.  You got had.  So did we.

Also, commenter Gary said:

Listening to the comments from Lemieux, I could’nt help think that our worse restuarant is better than Pittsburghs best signed Steve Bono .

Is that English?

It was not WHAT he said, it was HOW he said it with a smile that was insulting. It made me feel like KC was dirt under his shoes.

Well, technically and literally, it was.

There are more comments here.

Most of Penguin nation lost respect for Mario when he was threatening to move the team so he is trying to get back in good graces with the fans.





32 Comments

  1. BIGGEORGE
    August 18, 2008 11:24 am

    WOW, My english ain’t(!!) the greatest,
    but even I know it is their no there.



  2. Brian
    August 18, 2008 11:45 am

    See, none of what Lemieux did bothers me. It’s business. It was tasteless for him to come out and say what he said, though, and I love Mario. But really, shut up, dude. You sound like a pompous ass, and the people standing next to you who helped get you the money kind of get pinched a bit too. I think most people here with common sense knew they weren’t leaving, and the NHL NEVER would have let this team flee the city. No way. Not with the ratings and interest for the Pens in this region.

    It also makes me laugh at people like Mark Madden who, when he was on ESPN 1250, would chide the media for their Steelers coverage and whine about how they were treated when, really, all he did was act as a Lemieux PR man during his show (he’s close with him; he knew the deal). So basically, he did exactly what he accuses local papers of doing for the Steelers but offered far more substantial evidence against himself than he has on the PG, Trib, KDKA, whatever.

    I am thrilled the Pens are staying and can’t wait for next season, but maybe my enthusiasm isn’t as high as most everyone else’s over this story because I knew they were never leaving in the first place. Hopefully when the team’s new building opens Mario can just say thanks and leave it at that.



  3. Monty
    August 18, 2008 12:01 pm

    Gary — After reading your comment, I cant’t’ help but point out that Pittsburgh’s Best Signed Steve Bono is more than Kansas City’s ankle love kordell Stewart.



  4. Pierogiekid
    August 18, 2008 1:07 pm

    This city has been punked on a near daily basis for the last forty years. A bigger bunch of saps north of the mason dixon line is near impossible to find.



  5. retiredguy
    August 18, 2008 1:45 pm

    Once again, Pittsburghers and Alleghenians are lied to, and we just take it like the dumbasses we are.

    Mario, here’s a hint: when you lie to your fans to get what you want, don’t tell them about it later, like it’s a complement.

    I can’t wiat to move out of this county. May 2010, bye-bye Agony County.



  6. Spud's dad
    August 18, 2008 1:48 pm

    Lemieux’s just trying to prove to his Sewickley neighbors that, after ~20 years living there, he really is “one of them” and not just some nouveau-riche piece of trash. “My God, the man MADE his money! He didn’t inherit a CENT!”

    Frankly, it’s gonna take a lot more than this to convince those Sewickleyites.



  7. joey
    August 18, 2008 4:13 pm

    Its one thing to play the city and the fans…its another to brag about it openly afterwards.

    F- Mario. Who does he think he is, a Rooney?



  8. Pensgirl
    August 18, 2008 4:40 pm

    “Most of Penguin nation lost respect for Mario when he was threatening to move the team so he is trying to get back in good graces with the fans.”

    MOST of Penguin nation? I’m part of that country and nobody called me to verify this. Penguin nation knew the ownership’s backs were against the wall. Just like we knew that they kept all the promises they made to the bankruptcy court and to we fans, while the politicians tried to renege on theirs.

    It’s called “business negotiating tactics.” I don’t see where Mario or any of the Penguin ownership did anything different than any other person in business would have done.

    “It made me feel like KC was dirt under his shoes.”

    As though it’s not?

    And as for the person who says Mario will face bad karma for this: Mario can’t rack up any bad karma because he already used up his lifetime supply…a zillion back surgeries, cancer, a premature son who was touch and go…keeping the Pens in Pittsburgh, and winning the Sid lottery, was the karmic payback Mario deserved for all that crap and for dedicating his entire adult life to saving the Pens over and over. Hopefully this will be the last time they need saving.



  9. bucdaddy
    August 18, 2008 11:39 pm

    I lost respect for Mario when for years he kept insisting against all evidence that he could still play a full season, thereby tying his coach’s and GM’s hands (cause they couldn’t trade/bench/demote/release him) and dragging his team down to worst in the league. Ah, but he got his gold medal out of it. “Oh-oh say can you see …” Oh, wait, that was Canada.

    But yinz are entitled to worship at his throne, I suppose, until he starts asking you to pay $100 for nosebleed seats in the Xanadu his chicanery got built. Just don’t come crying to bucdaddy.

    (OK, bonus point for his, um, honesty — or douchebaggery, if you’re reading in K.C.)



  10. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 6:57 am

    Too bad the county did not build Jenny Lee a new bakery after they had that fire, their back was against the wall too. They should of threatened to leave. That place has brought me much more happiness than 95% of Penguins teams through the years. While they are at it, they should build me a new garage, maybe if I threaten to move to Pihladelphia.



  11. joey
    August 19, 2008 7:04 am

    Mario can’t rack up any bad karma because he already used up his lifetime supply…a zillion back surgeries, cancer, a premature son who was touch and go…keeping the Pens in Pittsburgh, and winning the Sid lottery, was the karmic payback Mario deserved for all that crap and for dedicating his entire adult life to saving the Pens over and over.
    ————-

    Yeah…Mario “saved” the Pens cause he is such a swell guy. I’m sure it had nothing to do with, ummm, making money.



  12. Brian
    August 19, 2008 7:44 am

    I know Pierogiekid is being facetious, but I’m going to answer this logically. Coming from a person who’s a fan of the Jenny Lee bakery cake, that idea is ridiculous. As much as we may want to cry about money and who benefits how, the Pens and a new arena makes money for the county. Jenny Lee does not. A Stanley Cup run gives the Pens and the area national exposure. The tasty chocolate cake does not. So we can all whine as much as we want that the Pens are being handed a new building (they are putting in a good bit of money, too) but sports teams give the area a widespread identity that goes beyond delicious cakes and whatnot, so those palms always will get greased. The sooner we learn to live with this, the better because it’s how things work, like it or not.



  13. Teevee
    August 19, 2008 8:32 am

    Um, what do you mean “this was a business tactic?” Sports in this country is not a business, it’s a welfare state. Cities and states continue to bend over and take it whenever one of these zillionaire owners threatens to move. We subsidize stadiums, arenas, AND their ancillary real estate developments that aren’t economically feasible. And owners like the Rooneys and Mario continue to laugh all the way to the bank on our dime.



  14. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 8:45 am

    Pens and a new arena makes money for the county” Brian, show me some numbers please. This is such crap. You could take those public funds, buy 30 year treasury bonds and completely outperform( by an order of magnitude) any return you get on revenues generated for the county city coffers (both directly and indirectly)For a ton less volatility and risk. Funding sports complexes is one of the biggest misallocations of capital that local government and their cronies have ever stumbled upon. Everybody just takes it for granted that somehow this racket generates revenues, but nobody has ever presented decent historical numbers or forcasts that are remotely reasonable. Bunch of Saps I tell you.



  15. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 8:55 am

    “sports teams give the area a widespread identity that goes beyond delicious cakes and whatnot” And another thing, this is also bullshit. Brian over the last decade or so we have allocated public funds for THREE major sports venues. Probably in the neighborhood of a half billion doallrs. Do you want me to go through the list of how many corporations have picked up and left our fair city during the same period, or perhaps the statistics on population decrease over the same period? As a tatic to increase the exposure and the desirability of our region, I would have to say, the jury is IN on, on public funding of privately owned professional sport venues, and they say it sucks. Dude, if you would of taken half a billion or so out the region’s tax bill during the same period, OR allocated those fuds to improve transportation and edcuational infrastructure I think we would be looking at a mnuch different place



  16. Brian
    August 19, 2008 8:57 am

    Pierogiekid, I don’t disagree that funding sports buildings is shady and is money that best could be spent elsewhere. But you’re also dreaming with treasury bonds (in that they’d do this over building an arena, not that it wouldn’t work). And how do the Pens and the arena make money for the county? Hotels, restaurants, and merch sales (you know, from sales taxes), national and international exposure from televised games, advertising inside and outside of the arena, amusement taxes from events. There are multiple revenue streams that benefits the area. Sorry if your argument is based on that tried-and-true hipster philosophy that “sports are stupid games of mathematics” but you don’t need a spreadsheet to understand the logic. (Also, how will the treasury bond attract people from outside our region to this area? I’m curious.)



  17. Brian
    August 19, 2008 9:07 am

    Yes, we have had many corporations leave the city over that time period, and yes, there has been a population decrease. That’s not news. But we also have some of the highest property texes in the country, which forces many corporations out. Sure, it would be pie in the sky to come up with a scheme to change all of this (perhaps the slots will be an answer to it all). All I’m saying is you have to recognize what the sports teams do bring to the area and their value, the fact that local politicians will cater to them. But the new arena arguably is the most beneficial of the three new buildings because of the amount of dates it can offer, and fact that large touring acts whose stage shows don’t fit in Mellon (U2, McCartney) can be accomodated, and it might just help refgvitalize some of the dying uptown area. I’m not saying your arguments have no merit. They do. I’m just trying to be practical with what’s more likely to happen and figuring out a way it will benefit the region.



  18. Brian
    August 19, 2008 9:08 am

    Revitalize. Not refgvitalize. That’s not a word.



  19. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 9:09 am

    I am saying that if this is all about tax revenues for the county, they could just take those funds that they would of given to the penguins, pirates or steelers, and invest them in 30 year treasury bonds and earn a return higher than they would from all the tax revenues thet recieved from having these new sports complexes in the city both directly and indirectly. It is a bit tounge and cheek but I bet it is not far off form the truth. But go ahead Brian show me the numbers I am still waitng.



  20. pittgirl
    August 19, 2008 9:17 am

    Are you two going to start mooning each other?

    ;)



  21. Brian
    August 19, 2008 9:19 am

    Show me the evidence that your plan would even be plausible. And by that I mean that people would even do it. We can try to dream up a plan where we secretly leak into the sports teams’ bank accounts and shave a fraction of a penny each day, leaked into a secret account. From there, we distribute the money to the people. Could it technically work? Sure, maybe. Would anyone do it? No. So why even debate it? I think you have an idea on how the economics might work, but I don’t think you have any idea what it would mean to lose the identity of being the home to the Steelers, Pirates (maybe less so these days), and Penguins. I don’t think you have any idea of how they benefit the region. I really don’t think you have any clue as to that value, and I do not mean that as an insult. Yeah, I have no spreadsheets to hand you, but you have none to prove it’s not true. To add to that, the new arena is forcing changes to the Hill District where they are going to help help rebuilding that area and are in line to get a grocery store. I’d say that helped, even if it was strong-armed.



  22. Brian
    August 19, 2008 9:21 am

    Pittgirl, not this morning. No. Too tired. We haven’t called each other names though, so I think we’re still just in spirited debate mode. If it changes, you’ll know by the ass emoticons.



  23. bucdaddy
    August 19, 2008 9:38 am

    They’ll have to sell a hell of a lot of Penguins t-shirts to come remotely close to equalling the public money that got and will get poured into these buildings.

    Meanwhile, every serious study I’ve ever seen says publicly financing sports stadiums and arenas is a losing proposition (financially) for the city/county/state in which they are built.

    They also say that fans in cities that lose franchises don’t sit around moping, they spend those entertainment dollars anyway, at other venues. So the tax take is going to be roughly the same.

    I shouldn’t leave Mario roasting alone on the spit. The Pirates and the Steelers used the same shady ploy.

    The Steelers? Oh yes they did. I certainly recall the Rooneys dropping hints they might take their games elsewhere, because one of the places they mentioned was the stadium here at WVU. They even played an exhibition game here around that time, just to underline their threat.

    Meanwhile, Los Angeles doesn’t have an NFL team, and seems to be doing just fine without it.



  24. Brian
    August 19, 2008 9:54 am

    Dude, you CANNOT compare LA with Pittsburgh. You can’t. There are so many other things going on there (the beaches, the multiple entertainment options, the nice weather for outdoor activities all year round) that’s it’s like comparing an apple pie with one puny apple (there go those baked goods references again). This is not a major city. LA is practically a friggin state unto itself.

    The key to capitalizing on the sports venues is surrounding it with infrastructure so that the benefits of having 20,000-65,000 people ate a building can be spread around. The North Side has done it slowly, and now we have to see how the uptown area does. But if we lost the sports teams, WHAT WOULD WE HAVE LEFT AS ALTERNATIVES? Our music venues are spotty at best, we are only now crawling out from under the steel mill collapse, we have a nice cultural district, but not one that rivals major cities. We seem to be coming up with a lot of answers to the wrong questions.

    Agree with the Steelers point. They did do that, and they also threatened to head to Washing ton County. No one should have believed them.



  25. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 10:02 am

    “I don’t think you have any idea of how they benefit the region.” Do you? How much are the penguins worth to Pittsburgh? I know its hard to quantify, but if we are talking about investing money you need to have an idea of the return vs the risk. Without getting complicated, a 150milion in 30 year treasuries would generate around 5% a year or around 8 million dollars a year risk free. How much will this proposed new arena generate per year for the county ? What are the forecasts? How much do the penguins generate now?



  26. Lauren
    August 19, 2008 10:05 am

    Because the government has just done such a good job with the resources they currently have to help improve the city… Maybe they could get Dillards to move in downtown for a cool $10 million?

    Just accept the fact that the majority of our tax money is squandered on crap that really doesn’t show much return on investment. That crap might as well bring us entertainment and excitement, because Pittsburgh doesn’t generate too much of that without it’s sports teams.



  27. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 10:08 am

    BTW I am a little dyslexic please excuse the fukny spelling



  28. Brian
    August 19, 2008 10:31 am

    Dude, I type fast and screw up words constantly.

    It’s not just the Pens, though. This new building also likely will lure back the NCAA basketball tournament (and likely for a better slotting than opening round), larger music shows such as the Stones, McCartney, U2 (we could have lured an earlier Police show that wasn’t outside with a better building), potentially a UFC event with MMA now being legal in Pennsylvania, maybe an arena football team (and don’t laugh, because that league does quite well), PPV-level wrestling shows. The Pens are the primary tenant, but you have to think of the good the building will do for every event, not just hockey. I think you have to take everything that building will house and add it up that way. You also have to see how it affects the local establishments and if they have an increase in business.



  29. Pierogiekid
    August 19, 2008 10:49 am

    Right I am including that, so add it in. I still have not seen proponents of private stadium funding show the public any kind of numbers or forecasts of what we gain idrectly or indicrectly which leads me to believe the returns on this kind of investmment are terrible. What also what pisses me off is the fact that we (the public) get zero equity so we do not benefit from naming rights, or any upside that a new venue has on on the bottom line. Plus if these jagoffs are going to take public, they have to open their Goddamn books to the public, that really really pisses me off.
    BTW all those acts you mentioned played here in the last couple of years right? Do you really think they will pass on gig where they get a guarentee, becuase the venue is old? Would you not go see your favorite act becuase the venue is old?



  30. Brian
    August 19, 2008 12:08 pm

    No, those acts couldn’t bring their most recent shows here because the arena could not accomodate their stage shows. When those acts did hit town, it was with scaled-back shows or at other venues. They didn’t turn their noses up because the arena is aging, but because they could not get their stuff set up in there. I don’t think McCartney has been here in … 10 or 15 years? Someone correct me if I’m off on that. The recently announced Metallica dates don’t include a stop here (not shedding a tear on that personally, but they pretty much always play here). Some of the stories I’ve read (I think the P-G ran them) had comments that a new building could put Pittsburgh more in line to be a priority tour stop for larger acts, and as a cumulative effect, would make mid-level and smaller acts see Pittsburgh as a place to have to play.



  31. Soosak
    August 20, 2008 9:31 am

    Dan Rooney did the same. damn. thing. Steeler Nation had a heart attack as soon as the words “we’ll leave, so fuck you and the Bus you Steeler fans road in on if you don’t build us a shiny new stadium” left Dan Rooney’s lips, so the powers that be caved (for fear they wouldn’t live till the next election let alone be relected.) Mario = Dan Rooney in that respect. I, as part of Pens Nation, do NOT have a problem with what anything Mario said or did. Go Pens. And I might add I voted against public funding for the STeeler sand the Bucs becasue it did not also include the Pens. whateve. they get the money one way or the pother. Exxon gets tax breaks even though they made billions in records profits recently. screw the “we the people.”



  32. Sooska
    August 20, 2008 9:31 am

    I am so riled up (and after my vacation) that I can’t spell my own name.