One of the things I wanted to write about last week before my Internet died and I declared war on India (SHOCK AND AWE!) was a little gem found in the latest copy of ESPN Magazine which I would just like to once again remind you that I subscribed to ONLY so I could show you Casey Hampton’s gaping maw of a belly button.

You’re welcome.

Back to the little gem … the issue was all about number ones. The best. Tops. Can’t get any higher.

The issue included The Ranking List, which grades every team in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball, across eight categories — affordability, bang for the buck, coaching, fan relations, ownership, players, stadium experience, and title track.  The Pittsburgh Penguins came in at number five, just below the New Orleans Saints, the Orlando Magic, the LA Angels, and the Colts.

As an aside, does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with Peyton Manning? I hate him as a football player with his red-faced bitchy whining and arm-flapping, but he cracks my shit up as a commercial actor and makes me want to have a beer with him.

I apologize for the meandering path of this post.

The reason the Penguins are so high on the list is because A. they rock and B. they are the highest ranked professional sports team in the “fan relations” category.

That is church.

That is so much church. That is church with the little fat ladies wearing hats and waving handkerchiefs and shouting AMEN! while sweating through their Sunday best. That is church with a rocking choir and a screaming preacher all, “MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY! CAN I GET AN AMEN?!”

Especially in the last few years, the Penguins have completely ruled the world in making their fans feel loved. Players delivering season tickets to fans’ doors. Season ticket holders getting to have their Christmas pictures taken on the ice. The giant Trib Tron camaraderie. Twitter ticket contests. Jordan Staal showing up unexpectedly to take me to lunch … in Paris.

I might have pretended that last one. [sigh] [SLAP!]

We’re back.


Now, to answer your question, the Steelers are at number 28 and the Pirates are number 82 on the list of 122.

I’m not going to lie to you. I swear on the last Zima in America that I didn’t even think the Pirates would be on the list, because I thought that in order to quantify just how miserable the Buccos perform in the ownership, coaching, and “title track” categories, ESPN statiticians would have had to invent new numbers.

Like negative doomity suckiteen.

Can I get an amen?

P.S. Any other ladies out there can’t take their eyes off of that one section of Sid’s thigh up in that picture? Anyone? Anyone? Can I get an amen?!


  1. Jaime
    July 6, 2010 1:55 pm

    Ginny, you are not alone in your love/hate relationship with Peyton Manning. He and Justin Timberlake crack me up in the Sony commercials but as soon as he’s in the blue and white I want to have Casey Hampton sit on him. :)

  2. Beth
    July 6, 2010 2:23 pm

    Sid’s thigh (and the rest of him) is nom nomalicious. While Peyton Manning’s commercials do crack me up, I still refer to him as an “inbred pig f$*#er” everytime I see him on TV. He plays for another team. There’s no love.

  3. Cassie
    July 6, 2010 2:53 pm

    First of all, Peyton cracks my shit up. Plus, quick side story, my cousin was at a restaurant last year and was waiting for their turn to get a table. He had been waiting for well over an hour (it was a nice restaurant and were even behind on reservations) when Peyton Manning walked in. The maitre d’ said, “Oh, Mr. Manning, we have a table ready for you!” and he said, “How long have these other people been waiting?” “About a half hour or more.” Then he said, “Well, it seems I’ll just have to wait my turn then.”

    No joke.

    Stories aside, The Pens are made up of real people who care about the organization. They do good deeds and karma pays them a lot of respect. I mean, Max Talbot has to be practically dragged out of Children’s Hospital when they do their Christmas rounds. The guys all donate their time for good causes and it shows. Mario Lemieux Foundation anyone?

    Kudos to the Pens!

  4. Me
    July 6, 2010 3:06 pm

    Yep. Also have the love/hate relationship with Mr. Manning. He definitely appears in some of the best commercials on TV. And apparently needs to be the Duke of Fug’s mentor in how to easily gain yourself some goodwill among fans (if Cassie’s story is correct.) I’ve also heard a similar story about Rod Woodson. For whom I have nothing but love. Sigh.

  5. VAgirl
    July 6, 2010 3:12 pm

    Peyton, love/hate (hate the fact that he is one hell of a QB) for all the above mentioned reasons.
    Doesn’t surprise me about the Pens but am surprised about the Bucco’s. Was at the game Sat night and thought I was in Philly!

  6. facie
    July 6, 2010 3:25 pm

    Totally with you about Peyton Manning. He is so funny in pretty much any commercial he is in, no matter how many times I have watched it. But I have to say that once the Steelers won not one but two SBs this decade, I kind of got over my disdain of Peyton and my utter loathing of Tom Brady.

    I just love Sid. How can anyone not? When does hockey (and football) season start?!

  7. gunnlino
    July 6, 2010 4:21 pm

    You can have my Amen bro, er , ah Sis, sorry !
    About the Pens; class act, class ownership, class management what else is there to say.
    The Pirates; I’ll refrain from comment, they, might send ninja pierogis after me.
    The Steelers, another class act, class management with the greatest fans in the league, currently suffering as a result of dipshit Ben and his poor shenanigans.

  8. Becky
    July 6, 2010 4:26 pm

    That is one nomable thigh……..

  9. Pensgirl
    July 6, 2010 5:00 pm

    Word on Peyton Manning. I don’t ever root for the guy, but his commercial self cracks me up. My favorite is the Sony TV commercial where the chicken mascot goes all crazy on the guy who says he doesn’t really like sports, and Peyton holds him back and goes “Chicken, no.”

    Amen on the Pens. But even before the last few years they were great. What I appreciated most about them since the Lemieux Group took over was that they flat out told fans what was going to have to happen short-term in order to get them to be stable long-term. They viewed us as a partner and treated us as one, and now they’re financially solid and competitive and participants in their community, and we love ’em more than ever. They deserve to be #1.

    (And, um, that picture makes Sid’s legs look smaller than they are. His legs are downright barrels.)

  10. Mark
    July 6, 2010 6:19 pm

    AMEN and Yes, Lord!

    PS: again I remind you that gay guys and not just women like the glimpse of hottitude.

  11. bluzdude
    July 6, 2010 6:45 pm

    I was thinking about writing a post about the Pens ranking, having just heard about it a moment or two ago, but you beat me to it. I do admit that it would have been a lot lighter on the “nom-noms”.

    Two other areas to be mentioned are Shirt Off Their Backs Night and Student Rush. I know they downsized Student Rush, but a better business decision would be to kill it completely and they didn’t do that.

  12. mariabird522
    July 6, 2010 7:10 pm

    Don’t go writing Peyton Manning off as Mr. Nice Guy. While he may have grown up and changed his ways, he did have a very “Roethlisberger-esque” type moment back when he was in college. I think I remember reading that the girl ended up suing the university and Manning…

  13. Kathy
    July 6, 2010 7:11 pm

    oh, you’re so getting a call from your father on this one. “Don’t take the lord’s name in vein, Ginny, especially for your nom nomolicious posts. What does nom nom mean anyway?”

  14. Anne
    July 6, 2010 7:15 pm

    I was staring at the thigh too!! ohhhhh

  15. Trish
    July 6, 2010 8:17 pm

    @mariabird–the story goes that while Peyton was at Tennessee he teabagged a female trainer. She got a payoff but he and his dad trashed her in a book they “wrote” and that’s what started the lawsuit. But I can forgive Peyton all because outside of Betty White he hosted the funniest “Saturday Night Live” in recent memory. The fake United Way commercial literally put four people in my house on the floor screaming with laughter–and one of them was a Ravens fan who calls the Colts QB “Satan Manning.”


  16. Noelle
    July 6, 2010 9:02 pm

    Back in 2000 or 2001 I was walking out of the Woodley Park metro station in DC and found a big lost soul completely turned around. He was looking for a restaurant in Adams Morgan where I lived so I offered to walk him the 1/4 mile there. We chatted, he was completely lovely, absolutely engaged in the conversation about my job at the Smithsonian, and said he was visiting from Texas and meeting up with his wife who was a law student in DC.

    Once arrived I said my goodbyes and noticed his superbowl ring out of the corner of my eye. It was Troy Aikman and I never knew it.

    Same thing happened with Eddie Van Halen (but I knew it) who told me I had the coolest job he had ever heard of. I think being a total rock star for reals trumps a job at the Smithsonian but he disagreed. You just never know…

  17. cmd_45
    July 7, 2010 6:29 am

    I think Peyton is a heck of a QB but I can’t stand the Manning show on TV all the time. It was funny at first, but I’m sick of looking at him and Eli.

  18. Butcher's Dog
    July 7, 2010 7:04 am

    Don’t forget delivering pizzas to kids freezing their collective asses off standing in Student Rush line. Or delivering Thanksgiving food to the Hill. The Pens just get it, plain and simple.

  19. Angry Mongo
    July 7, 2010 8:29 am

    Hands down Pens deserve those accolades and are a great example of sports stars as role models.

    Yeah, I love/hate Manning. The SNL United Way bit softened my anger but I still call him a banjo playing mofo whenever I see him play.

    Whether or not he acted in the way Cassie mentioned, it makes me wonder if all NFL stars, and perhaps other major league athletes, will begin polishing up their social skills in light of Roethlisberger’s behavior this past couple of years.

    I’m sure their PR people are all over that as a way to boost their image. But, don’t ever ask me to go to a party with Ray Lewis, no matter how nice he’s being.

  20. CC
    July 7, 2010 8:48 am

    Same for me on the Manning issue. Can’t stand him as a player but really liked SNL.

    The Pens learned from their mistakes of the 80/90s when they went from terrible to Stanley Cup Champs. At that time they priced the regular fan out of the market by eliminating partial ticket plans, raising prices rediculously, etc. They paid the price when Lemieux was done and they went back to the cellar. But they certainly have a better marketing team now. Second to none as ESPN knows.

  21. bucdaddy
    July 7, 2010 9:31 am

    it makes me wonder if all NFL stars, and perhaps other major league athletes, will begin polishing up their social skills in light of Roethlisberger’s behavior this past couple of years.

    Ask Michael Vick.

  22. Ginny's Dad
    July 7, 2010 10:28 am

    @ Cassie

    I liked the story about Peyton at the restaurant. I couldn’t help but think, “How would Ben have handled the situation?” I think we all know the answer.

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