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Monday, April 26, 2010

Random Steeler Monday

For my first random Steeler card post I thought I would take a moment and bid farewell to a player that I have just become accustomed to tolerating.  You see, I am a defensive guy.  When it comes to a high powered, high octane offense, I have much respect for its ability to change a game and make it more exciting.  However, for me, I'd rather see those players get the snot knocked out of them from a punishing hit from a linebacker or free safety anyday. 

That being said, I have a chip on my shoulder for most guys on the offensive side of the ball for Pittsburgh because they generally don't stick around very long after they become "larger than life".  The last example was Plaxico Burress, although in hindsight, that was a great move on our part.  The latest victim of his own demise was Santonio Holmes.  If there is one thing I have learned through the years of being a Steelers fan is that you don't upset the apple cart.  That "cart" in this case is the Rooney family.  With his legal troubles just beginning to come to the surface and his highly publicized romance with M.J. (not from Spider-man), it was time for him to go.

The next on the chopping block is Big Ben.  Despite the lack of conviction or charges being brought against him, there is no doubt that his actions show a pattern of poor judgement.  I just hope for his sake (and ours) that he fixes himself right quick.  Or at least, gets a better group of bodyguards.  But enough about him.  This post is to bid a final farewell to SanSmokio Holmes.

We will always remember your tap dance in the endzone that won number 6.  I will always remember all your TD catches against the Ravens, especially the one that got us there.  I could have gone my whole life without a shower scene memory other than from 'Psycho'.  The camera man mugging in the game against the Chargers was priceless.  The diving catch against the Titans into the endzone was one of the best.  My cardboard favorites...
A Shiny

A Thug-ery

An Artifact-y

Holmes has now been moved to the back of the book in my Steeler album and had the obligatory Kordell Stewart card added to each page. 

R.I.P. Santonio.  You are dead to me now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cardboard A.P.B.

This is an all points bulletin for a card that appears to be missing from a little set I thought I had.  Anyone out there have this?  Let me know.

2002-03 Topps Rookie Reprints Andy Moog #8

Friday, April 23, 2010

Had A Bad Day #4.5

I think I want to change my vote for bad day number 4 to yesterday.  Here is why...

1.  The Pens lose to Ottawa in triple overtime.  TRIPLE OVERTIME!!!!  That's like losing two games at the same time.  I don't know how you bounce back from that considering we now have to play in Ottawa with all the momentum swinging in their direction.  Plus with Philly beating the hapless Devils, the underdogs have suddenly become the favorites.  Good Grief!!  Second liners are going to have to step this thing up.  We can't rely on Crosby and Malkin to save the day.  Fleury sure isn't.

2.  The Pirates lose to the Brewers.  First I'd like to say that I am not a Brewers fan, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be.  For that reason alone, when the Pirates lose to the Brewers it makes me annoyed.  So rather than actually show up to the game yesterday, they took the day off and allowed 20 runs to be scored.  20 FREAKIN' RUNS.  We have had many, many, MANY bad years with Pirates baseball.  But in 124 years of existence on this earth, the Bucs have never lost by that large of a margin.  8-0?  Yeah, I've seen that.  Like the FREAKIN' DAY BEFORE against the Brewers.  But 20-0?  McCutchen was throwing batting practice.  No wonder his ERA is over 14.  The Brewers outscored the Bucs in three games 36-1.

So for the second year in a row, the Pirates make history and not in a good way.

3.  In day 1 of the draft, the Steelers didn't trade Big Ben and ended up with a impact player at center that they wanted in last years draft.  Wait, you say?  You have a potential franchise center and got to keep your troubled, yet arguably top 5 quarterback in the league?  How can that be a bad day?  Well, it is.  Tim Tebow was picked in the first round and now I am out $50 because of a stupid bet that I thought I was guaranteed to win against another blogger/Florida Gators fan/closet homo...sapien.  I'm sorry Denver but I don't care what happens down the road with his career.   Even if he is the second coming of John Elway, so be it.  I still won't apologize.  You wasted that pick.  He is over-rated, over-hyped, and over-exposed.  There I said it.  Call me old fashioned but I'd rather have an alleged, and never convicted or charged with anything, sex offender that can throw and make plays as my quarterback than this guy.  Or take your pick...a dog abuser, alcoholic, possible steroid abuser, cocaine addict, reformed felon.  I'm just saying.  Anything would have been better.

I don't really understand where all this pent up anger toward Tebow comes from.  Oh, wait.  Yes I do.  I THINK HE IS A PHONY!  Of course I have no proof of this and I hope he proves me wrong but I stand by my opinions.  Four years is all I give him before he crashes and burns.  I think that is being generous.

Had A Bad Day #4

4. 2007-08 Stanley Cup Finals Game 6 - The Wings beat the Pens 3-2

This one still stings because it happened so recently. Winning the Cup the following year in an epic rematch was sweet justice but the Pens had a team that was built to win at that moment. They were the obvious underdogs against the favored Wings team and the fact that it even got to 6 games was a miracle. The Pens nearly tied it in the closing seconds but fell short in the end. I can go on and on about this game but it was so recent that most hockey fans, and non-hockey fans for that matter, remember this one all too well. 

So rather than ramble on for five screens about my pain and anguish over this one, I will just leave it at that.  I now have a deep seeded hatred for the Red Wings and anything else coming out of Detroit.  Until then, I really was indifferent toward the Motor City.  In fact, I kind of felt bad for the city having to endure the hardships of the auto industry decline and the fact that three of their four major sports teams were pathetically awful.  Now, I hate them all.  The Lions, Pistons, and Tigers all will suffer my dislike and general disdain because they are guilty by association. 

Like I said, redemption was sweet a year later.  We will see we get a chance at a tie breaker this year.

Okay so I was being lazy on this one and kind of phoned it in, so to speak, but I promise I will do better next time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Well Thought Out Yet Completely Random Penguin Card of the Week

1971-72 Topps Syl Apps

Syl Apps Jr. played 10 years in the NHL, most of them with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He was actually drafted by the Rangers back in 1964 but didn't play a single game until 1970.  That same season he was traded to the Penguins along with Sheldon Kannegiesser in exchange for Glen Sather.

Syl racked up 25 points in the final 31 games of the season for the Pens and more than doubled that the following year, scoring 59.  His third year with the Pens is where he became one of their first stars, going on to play on the famed "Century Line" along with Lowell MacDonald and Jean Pronovost.  The name is due to the scoring of 100 goals and 200 points for four years in a row.

In the 74-75 season, he was awarded with his first and only All Star Game appearance and didn't fail to live up to expectations.  He scored 2 goals and was named the game MVP.  Syl scored 79 points in 79 games that season.  He followed that up with a 99 point season in 75-76.

During the 1978 season, the Pens traded him for Dave Schultz and a draft pick to the Kings where he would finish his career with some solid seasons.

How is this for a hockey bloodline?  Syl Jr. is, of course, the son of legendary Hockey Hall of Famer Syl Apps.  He is also the father of former Princeton star Syl Apps III, who had a short career in the ECHL.  His daughter Gillian Apps won gold at the Torino Olympics in 1996 for Team Canada as well as this year in Vancouver.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

R.I.P. Johnstown Chiefs

I was going to take some time out and provide some feedback on my opinions of last nights games and the shoddy coverage by VS.  Then I decided that I was going to focus a post around the inabilities for defenses to zero in on their primary purpose of preventing pucks on the net.  But after reading many of the sports-op articles this morning covering last nights games, I felt compelled to cover one of my favorite lost teams.

One of the first articles I read this morning came from the Ottawa Citizen written by Wayne Scanlan.  His piece was "Time Ticking Down On Senators Season After 7-4 Loss".  I always try to read the opposing teams local reporting just to get the proverbial "their side of the story".  Now one glaring error that I found in Mr. Scanlan's reporting was in his eloquent metaphorical comparison of Ottawa's play last night to that of the JOHNSTOWN Chiefs in Slapshot!.  You see, for those of you who haven't seen the movie, the Chiefs player personnel was built on the basis that the more aggressive and dirtier you play, the more butts will be in seats.  And of course, in typical Hollywood style, hilarity ensues....hold on a second...Anyone see the problem there?  JOHNSTOWN CHIEFS?  I believe that was the Charlestown Chiefs.** 

The Johnstown Chiefs were in fact an ECHL team that played in Johnstown, PA from 1988 to 2010.  The franchise packed their bags on April 3 of this year and moved the team to Greenville, SC.

As some of you might already know, I grew up in a south eastern suburb outside of Pittsburgh.  When I was in 7th grade, our family moved closer to our extended family up in the Laural Highland mountains about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh.  We were only about a 45 minute drive up 219 from Johnstown.  As I got older I was able to attend quite a few Chiefs games at the Cambria County War Memorial.  Plus, being in the virtual "hillbilly country" that we were in, the local media, including WJAC (TV and Radio), The Tribune-Democrat (local newspaper), and WNTJ (AM radio) all covered their games.  Until we got cable, it was very hard to bring the Pens games in over the shoddy radio that I had in my bedroom and the games almost always got bumped for some outdoor fishing show on TV.  [keeping in mind this is before Fox Sports Pittsburgh and the internet and our living room TV had rabbit ears]

The Chiefs were formed in 1988 when Johnstown was granted a team in the ECHL.  They were going to be called the Johnstown Jets, the real team that the Charlestown Chiefs of the movie were based on, but the name couldn't be wrestled away from the previous owners.  The Chiefs name was one of those public "lets name the team" contests that was held in the area.  Because the majority of the film "Slapshot" was done at the War Memorial and the fiction team was loosely based on the previous team that existed their, the fans in the area took to the name and they became the Chiefs.  When I was a kid, I always thought that they were a farm team for the Penguins because of their colors (black, white, and gold) but in fact they provided young talent for the Boston Bruins (hence the colors) early on and later the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, and Columbus Blue Jackets. 

I still remember watching Scott Gordon play back in 87-88 before he moved up to Quebec.  I remember feeling good about the Olympics in 1992 because we had a goaltender that I had seen play so many times before.  Unfortunately, that was the year Ray LeBlanc went gangbusters and I don't think he ever saw the ice.  They eventually lost to the Unified Team and then to Czechoslovakia in the Bronze game.  But this post isn't about the Olympics.

The War Memorial isn't going totally silent though.  The Wheeling Nailers are planning about a dozen games there next year, I can only assume to lure some fans from Western PA.  The Chiefs team name, logo, records, and history are apparently staying with the city of Johnstown as well.  The ownership doesn't plan on letting the name die completely and is anticipating another team being formed in the near future.  For the sake of hockey in that area, I do to.  

R.I.P. Johnstown Chiefs  (1988-2010...for now)

I was going to post some cards of current and former Chiefs players but I can't find them.  I used to have a player set from like 90 or 91 that had an awful yellow "peppermint" stripe border but I can't seem to find any of them.  I remember I had Perry Florio, Stan Reddick, and a couple other lesser known players (not that any normal fan of hockey would know who those guys were either).  I wonder what happened to those cards? 

I had to add this...One of my favorite scenes of Slapshot the movie is the opening sequence.

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

UPDATE**That was what was originally reported in the feed that I got this morning.  However, if you check out the article now, the error has been corrected.  Too late!!  I saw it!  I swear I did. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

101 Ways To Score Free Beer

Taking a page out of the Thorzul book of social revolution I decided to post a title that would cause a spike in traffic to the site just to see if it would work.  It did!  You are here, aren't you?

Ok, so enough sillyness.  I just wanted to take a moment and let everyone know that if I have been talking with you about a trade or just sending you some stuff, never fear.  I am still in it.  It is just taking me awhile to get to it.  I haven't had much time to sit in front of my collection and sort through things for a goodly amount of time.  I have already pulled a lot of what I promised everyone but have not gotten around to packaging it all up for the postman.  In the immortal words of Peter Steele, "Life Is Killing Me". 

If I can't get to this stuff this week, I am bound and determined to spend some time on it this weekend.  I think I have at least a dozen or so packages that I have begun assembling.  The post office is going to love me.

PS.  I am actually working on a post called "101 Ways To Score Beer".

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Overtime Winner

Colorado Avalanche MVP, Dan Boyle

There is nothing like a game winning goal!!   There is nothing like a game winning goal in overtime!!   There is nothing like a game winning goal in overtime of a playoff game!!  Hat's off to Dan for his great OT playoff game winner...

I know it is just a freak thing but, man...If I had a card of him that was signed, I can only imagine it would look like this on the back.


You just received a certified autograph signed in person by NHL defenseman Dan Boyle.  This card was signed in person and witnessed by Evgeni Nabokov and is certified in its authenticity.  Dan is the Colorado Avalanche Player of the Month for his outstanding performance in their latest playoff overtime win.  Enjoy your autograph card!!

I can't imagine he is a real popular guy in San Jose right now.

I'm beginning to think that the Sharks playoff membership card should be taken from them and given to someone else. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Had A Bad Day #3

3. 1992-93 Patrick Division Finals Game 7 - Islanders shock the Pens in OT - What does 56 wins, 119 points, the President's Trophy, 4 players with 100 points, 5 players with 30 goals, and a 17 game winning streak (which by the way, has never been bested) get you?


This was the year that Super Mario was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and he missed a ton of games (24 to be exact). If he played all year at the pace he set, he would have easily broke The Great One's scoring records for both points and goals. Not that it mattered that much, but it was also the year they traded one of my all time favorite Pens, Bob Errey to the Sabres for Mike Ramsey (third from the left in the top row of the picture.  He had 6 assists in the playoffs, but contributed little else to the team beyond that).  I'm not bitter about it though.  He is back with the team now, as a color commentator and analyst.

The Pens easily handed the Devils a 4-1 loss in their best of 7 series to open the playoffs and things looked great for Pittsburgh's chance to 3-Peat. The Islanders were the 3 seed in the Patrick going into the playoffs and in round one they took it to Washington, winning the series 4 games to 1.  The pending matchup looked to be a good one for the Pens against the Isles.  The Penguins had the regular season record over NY 4-3.  But as we all know, this is the playoffs and regular season records mean nothing.  The stars apparently aligned in a backwards, out of sync test pattern, pigs took flight, Satan (the real one, not Miro) strapped on his skates and the Isles took this to 7 games.

The game was a hard fought, back and forth battle that saw the Pens, as usual, outshoot the Islanders 45-20.  I still remember watching Kevin Stevens collide full speed with Rich Pilon, only to fall face first in a heap on the ice.  I thought he was dead.  So did half his Pens teammates on the ice, including Mario who quickly motioned for the trainers to get out there.  There was blood everywhere.  He was taken to the hospital right after that with a broken face.

Down 3-2, the Penguins pulled Tom Barrasso with about 1:00 left in the 3rd period.  In a frantic press in the Islanders zone, Larry Murphy stretched out to save the puck from going out of the zone.  He shot it toward the net and the mass of humanity in front.  It went through Rick Tocchet and was deflected off of Ron Francis' stick and went into the net behind Glen Healey.  3-3 with almost no time left on the clock.  These were the Cardiac Pens I had come to know and love.

But it all quickly came to an end.  With 5 minutes ticked off the clock in OT, David Volek took a shot from the corner and became the unlikely hero, stunning arguably one of the greatest teams in hockey history to not win a cup.  I think this was actually the last time the Isles won a playoff series that I can remember. Forgive me if I'm wrong.  Or don't.  This also ruined the "dream" matchup in the finals of Lemieux vs. Gretzky.  The Pens would have knocked of the Kings for sure but we will never know.  Montreal beat L.A. instead and won their 23rd Stanley Cup.

Mario Lemieux went on to win the Art Ross (Points Leader), Bill Masterson (Sportsmanship), Lester Pearson (NHLPA Outstanding Player), and the Hart (League MVP) trophies that year.  He also won the Sportsman of the Year Award at the ESPY's but I don't think anyone cares about those.  He would never hoist the cup again as a player which is why it made it that much sweeter when he was able to hold the cup (and have it at the bottom of his pool [rumor and innuendo, not really]) again in 2009 as an owner.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blog Bat Around - - "The $50,000 Shopping Spree"

So it is that time of year again when a seasoned veteran blogger, that being Gellman, over at Sports Cards Uncensored puts up his Blog Bat Around.  This time we are tasked with trying to unload $50,000 on Ebay purchasing the cards of our dreams.  The kicker is that you only have 15 minutes to accomplish the task.

After looking this over, I thought this was going to be the easiest task in the world to do.  Boy, was I wrong.  When you are limited to shopping for your hobby, you are usually pretty selective about the cards you try to acquire.  It takes time to look things over, do research, etc., etc.  15 minutes is hardly enough time to do much of that.  The purchases tend to become impulse buys and you may end up regretting what comes your way in the end.  But, with $50,000 of hypothetical Gellman Doubloons I thought I would take a stab at it.

I had two goals in mind here.  First, I was going to try to stick to a dozen or less auctions.  I figured that would give me about a minute or so each to decide if that was what I really wanted or enough time to move on to something else.  Second, I was going to go for quality and not quantity here.  Usually when I buy it is the other way around but in this case it was like gambling with someone else's money.  When in Rome, right?

Now, I am not the biggest supporter of graded cards.  I don't necessarily agree with thier practices and I hardly see the merits in having two dozen companies all doing the same thing differently.  I do, however, see where having a card graded can pay benefits in the long run with condition sensitivity.  I'm not necessarily going to argue over the difference between an 8, 8.5, and 9 on whichever scale we are using.  Most collectors couldn't tell you the difference either.  What I am looking for is some type of confirmation that they are in pretty decent shape.  I am not holding these as gospel, but they are a better indication than someone saying the cards are Excellent/NR Mint and when I get them they look more like VG-Ex.  That gives me an idea for another post too...

With my criteria in hand, I decided that I was going to go with a few for the PC and some vintage cards that I would never otherwise give a second thought to.  Cards that would normally seem out of reach for any Saturday morning collector like myself were now fair game.  I wanted to find some things that not only looked cool but had a story and were essentially pieces of history.  I suppose I should call this my entry into the Blog Slapshot Around.  Take a look and tell me how I did.

#1 Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby Upper Deck Artifacts Tundra Patch 1/1

Are there better combo cards featuring two of the greatest Penguin (NHL) players of all time?  Yes.  But this one just looks great.  It features the Reebok patches from their jerseys and is serial stamped.  Again, not a big fan of 1/1 cards because they are a bit too gimmicky for my taste but I couldn't resist this one.  It is a nice bridge between my Lemieux collection and a future Crosby collection.

$2,499.99 ($47,500.01 left)

#2 Mario Lemieux 2008-09 In The Game Ultimate Number Emblem 1/1

Another 1/1 Lemieux only this time, and ITG relic.  This is a number swatch from a #66 jersey, obvious by the giant "six" swatch on the card.  While not the best looking card in the world, I like to think this one tells a story and would be a good centerpiece to my collection.  You can see that ITG made 7500 cards for this set and this is the only Lemieux.

$5,000.66 ($42,499.35 left)

#3 65 Card Lot of Wayne Gretzky Cards from 1979-1989 all graded

This is the only multi-card lot in the bunch.  There are only a sampling of pictures above but you get the idea.  I had to go with this one because not only does it include both of Wayne's rookie cards in pretty decent condition, but it has the majority of his 80s cards in good shape as well.  I think all but 5 of them are graded higher than an 8 and only 1 isn't graded at all.  Never going to find all these gems in one place at one time in this condition.

$3,995.99 ($38,503.36 left)

#4 Gordie Howe 1951-52 Parkhurst Rookie Graded

The Rookie card of Mr. Hockey, himself.  Come on!  The guy's nickname is Mr. Hockey.  How can you not have this card as the cornerstone of your collection?  This is another graded card and is in pretty decent shape for being 60 years old.  Again, it's all about the history here.

$3,849.99 ($34,653.37 left)

#5 Lord Stanley 2007-08 Upper Deck The Cup Legendary Cuts Autograph 1/1

I think when you have an opportunity to own a piece of history that your entire sport is based upon, you take it.  Here we have a Legendary Cuts Auto of Lord Stanley. I can only assume that this says "Yours Faithfully" but I have no idea how you get Lord Stanley or Lord Stanley of Preston or Fredrick, Arthur, or Stanley out of that signature.  It looks like it says Judy or Katy.  You know, I only had 15 minutes here so I wasn't able to do any research.  So since this is hypothetical...let's assume this card is real.  And since it is "real", it goes into my cart.

$14,995.95 ($19,657.42 left)

#6  Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, & Wayne Gretzky 2007-08 Upper Deck The Cup Triple Autograph

Three of the top 5 players of all time on one card.  Three of the top 5 players of all time signatures on one card.  Here we have a grand total of 3911 Games Played, 5622 Points, and 1965 Goals (NHL statistics only).  You can't argue with that.  This one is numbered 7/10.

$5,000 ($14,657.42)

#7 Connie Smythe 1936-37 World Wide Gum Co. Graded

Another founder and builder with a trophy in their honor (Playoff MVP).  Conn Smythe owned the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1927-1961 and has the fortune of having his name on the Stanley Cup 11 times.  He fought in World War II and was instrumental in the construction of Maple Leaf Gardens.  Later in life, he oversaw the construction of the Hockey Hall Of Fame.  Smythe was a great man, of great character, who was never afraid to speak his mind and always stood up for what was right.

$5,000 ($9,657.42 left)

#8  Jean Beliveau 1953-54 Parkhurst Rookie Graded

The man with the most Stanley Cup victories, both as a player and as a team executive.  How many, you say?  How about 17...10 as a player and another 7 as part of team management.  Both a 500 goal scorer and 1000 point scorer, Jean was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972  Beliveau is arguably the greatest Montreal Canadian skater of all time.

$5,000 ($4,657.42 left)

#9 Lorne "Gump" Worsley 1953-54 Parkhurst Rookie Graded

The man without a mask.  Gump Worsley was one of the last goalies in the NHL to refuse to wear a mask.  He was asked several times why he didn't wear one, to which he responded "My face is my mask."  How can you argue with that?  While playing most of his career with the Rangers, a pretty pathetic Rangers, he had his most success as a Canadien.  He won 4 Stanley Cups with Montreal and became the first goaltender to go 11-0 in the playoffs.  He later went on to play for the North Stars.  Gump retired at third in games played and was the only player at the time to have won 300 and lost 300 (Cujo did it later in his career).  In his long career, he logged over 50,000 minutes of ice time which is the equivalent of about 35 days.  He went into the Hall of Fame in 1980.

$5,000 ($342.58 OVER BUDGET)

So I went over by $342 or so.  I could probably make that up by using the "Best Offer" option on some of these auctions.  I originally had 2 other cards here but they were graded rookies of two Steeler greats Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw.  Since these didn't really fit in with the rest of the hockey theme I decided to nix them from the batch.  That could have saved me some time to refine some of my other choices but I didn't realize I was over my budget at that point.

I think I came out pretty good on this one considering the time constraint.  If I had to do it over again, I would probably end up with 10 different cards but that is the fun part about playing the "What if" game.  Thanks goes out to Gellman for coming up with this difficult but fun task.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still More From the Mellon Send Off

Here are some last pictures of the event at Mellon Arena.  It was a great night for sure.  Bring on the Playoffs.

Here come the pre-game warmups.

Fleury warming up.  This is going to be a great night...I can feel it.

The coach, Dan Bylsma.

The Three-Stars of the Game...

Sidney Crosby

Evgeni Malkin...and

The myth, the man (er, penguin), the legend...Iceburgh!!

One of the memorable characters from Mellon/Civic arena days is Elvis.  The background here is that Mike Lange, longtime Pens announcer, used to quip "Elvis has just left the building" after a game ending goal like a GWer or empty netter.  Eventually a costumed Elvis began appearing throughout the crowd at the Arena on game night.  Hopefully he will be carried over to the new home next year.

The Consol Energy Center directly across the street from Mellon arena.

If you never saw the video, it's worth a look if not for nostalgia sake.

Goodbye Mellon. Thanks for the memories!

Completely Random Ramblings

Since I don't have much time to post, I just thought I would let my mind wander in a random posting smorgasboard.

--So after going home last night from work, I did my normal routine as always.  Until I realized...there are no hockey games on for two days.  Oh, the humanity!!  Playoff hockey is here and I couldn't be more thrilled.  The NHL playoffs, in my opinion, are some of the best games played in any sport...period.  Go Pens!

--So if you believe all the rumors and innuendo (truth) about Upper Deck and their cancelling/postponing their release dates then you may be worried like I was.  When your primary collection is only produced by Upper Deck, you tend to get a bit nervous when the thought of no more product being produced comes to light.  Now, the latest is that UD is going to meet their hockey deadlines that have already been set.  Plus, I got this email this morning...

Congratulations DFG!

We shipped the following redemption(s):

RJ7WN67PJ 2009-10 Fleer Ultra Hockey Rookie Redemptions Tyler Bozak - #14 Gold

Please allow up to 10-14 business days for delivery. We hope you will enjoy your new collectible! For more information on Upper Deck products, please visit

Thank You,
The Upper Deck Company, LLC
So I guess that answers that question.  Although in 10-14 business days they could easily declare bankruptcy and disappear from the Nevada desert.  I'm just saying.

--Speaking of Upper Deck, I had sent in a damage claim to them in regards to my box of Champs I purchased at the Sun Times show a few weeks ago.  A couple of the packs that I opened had cards that appeared to be creased right across the top.  They were all in the same spot, too.  It almost looked like someone had taken a pack and tried to fold it.  At any rate, they responded to me after two weeks and said that I should mail the damaged cards back to them so they can either replace them or give me something of equivalent value.  I'm not really sure what "equivalent value" entails.  Anyone out there have any experience doing this?  I'd be interested in hearing any damage claim stories.

--The season is 7 games old and the Pirates are still under .500.  Is it time to crawl back into my baseball shell yet?  At least they have some base running capabilities.  They have 8 stolen bases so far and haven't gotten picked off.  That's more than we can say for the pitching staff, who keeps getting picked off.  As they pointed out on Yahoo Sports, "In an eerie coincidence, the Pirates’ ERA (7.47) through six games matched the model of airplane (747) they flew out of Phoenix for a three-game series against the Giants".  Go Bucs!

--There have been quite a few emails flying my way asking for commentary on the Sansmokio Holmes thing.  Frankly, I have none.  Am I heartbroken that he was traded?  No.  I am more upset that they gave him away for $24 in trinkets and some small pox infested blankets.  But nonetheless, I think it just goes to show that the Rooney family and the Steelers organization as a whole has no interest in dealing with his shenanigans.  The did the same thing with Plaxico Burress when he became a diva and now he wears stripes for the state pen team. 

As for our billion dollar pimp quarterback, that's another story.  I guess he isn't going to have charges pressed against him due to lack of evidence or something.  I'm no lawyer (but I play one on TV) but I do know a legal goldmine when I see it.  I'd trade my job to be on his legal team just to collect all the retainer fees.  If the league does nothing to reprimand him for his ill advised behavior, then the Steelers need to.  Sit him for a couple weeks with no pay and then move on.  That will teach Big Ben to keep Little Ben under wraps.  Go Steelers!

--I think I have more pics from the last regular season night in Mellon to post before all is said and done.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More from the Last Regular Season Game At Mellon

Here are more pictures from the last regular season game at Mellon Arena.  Most of these are of the inside before the game and during the ceremony at the beginning.  Over 50 members of the Penguins organization throughout their history were in attendance to celebrate that building.

Here is a shot from their seats.  There really wasn't a bad seat in the arena.  I remember having as much fun sitting on the glass as I did sitting in the last row by the roof line.  It was always a great night in Mellon.

Here is a great shot of the scoreboard hanging above center ice.  You may remember this scoreboard from such films as Sudden Death, starring Jean Claude Van Damme or more recently, She's Out of My League starring that dorky guy from the movie Knocked Up.  Not specific enough?  He was the really skinny one.

The ice got a little sick before the game.

The pre-game ceremony showed videos and images from the Penguins history and featured various players who have made an impact on the Pens organization.  I believe this is a shot of Syl Apps who was in attendance. 

Here is the video that played on the scoreboard.

The Pens logo at center ice.

I can't really tell who this one is but I think it's Crosby.

Here is a shot of some of the veterans as they lined up on the red carpet.  I wish there would have been more shots of this but that's ok.  I was able to record it as NHL network showed the whole thing.  Awesome!

Another shot of the red carpet event.

Jimerson in the house!!

--More later