An Open Letter To The City Of Pittsburgh

Daniel McCarthyCorrespondent IJune 8, 2009

To whom it may concern,

I for one am sick and tired of Pens fans lining up to take shots at the Wings over and over again, and calling it a tradition.

Let me break it down for you. Bringing your couch to watch the game OUTSIDE the arena is not a tradition, especially if you have only been doing it since last season. A tradition is tossing an octopus on the ice for over 50 years to symbolize the eight wins it took to win the Stanley Cup in the 1950’s (when the only teams in Pittsburgh were playing on a field and a diamond). Heck, our team even boasts the FIRST player to pick up the Stanley Cup and skate with it, in what is now the grandest tradition of the chalice. Saying that your team is a dynasty in the making because you have had THREE consecutive winning seasons does not make you a dynasty.

Those who say that Red Wings fans are bandwagon jumpers, you should look at your attendance record pre-lockout...Don't have the time? Don't worry, I'll give you a hint: it’s a four-letter word that rhymes with fast. Also, saying your team is so laden with talent is not a strong point. Lots of teams that finish in the bottom eighth of the league five years in a row draft well and bring in young talent.

Detroit is a team that, when NOT selling out it’s building, still has on average 3,500 more fans in the seats than your building when it sells out. Their fan base makes the Red Wings in the top three teams of the NHL in most successful profit via revenue year after year after year. Not to mention, Detroit has been in the top three for  game attendance since roughly 1993.

Let me explain to you what a Dynasty is. Nine consecutive 100-point seasons (an NHL record), 18 consecutive playoff appearances, six presidents trophies (the closest team has two), six Stanley Cup Finals appearances, four Stanley Cup Championships, and players drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds bringing home the Conn Smythe, Selke, Lady Byng, Jennings, and an MVP nomination. Not to mention a six-time (soon to be seven-time) Norris Trophy Winner.

You have a LONG way to go before you start comparing yourselves to the Oilers. A team with such a rich hockey tradition that it's owner had to threaten to move the team to Kansas City just to get a favorable arena deal (not to mention a team that teetered on the edge of bankruptcy because no one would attend games). Safe to say, this has not been the case with Edmonton.

Pens fans argue that Detroit fans and the team itself is classless, goonish, and lacks any real skill and stars. If you want to see classlessness and goonery, look no further than game 5, when the young and fresh Penguins couldn't contain their emotions and let frustration get the upper hand. You didn't see the old, tired, and worn down Red Wings let their emotions take control in game 4 did you? Not to mention your captain. A diver by trade, and a hockey player by chance, he would sell his own team out to embellish a call, and almost gave up a goal this way.

Win or lose this series, as a Wings fan who remembers his dad taking him to his first game in 1992, knowing our traditions and the NHL Legends who played in our organization pre-1991 will always trump being called a bandwagon fan and one who doesn't know hockey.

-Red Wings Fans Past and Present