Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, March 30, 2007

...and then there was St. Mario of Pittsburgh....

Okay, saint might be taking it a bit far, but there are thousands of fans in the city of Pittsburgh who hail him as such. Whether it was on the ice, in the board room or watching the game from his lofty perch at the Igloo, if Mario was involved, the Penguins only got better. Through the thin years, of which there were many, to the great years which have bracketed those, one thing remains the same. Mario had almost everything to do with it all in the most positive way.

He played through pain like very few can imagine, and continued to build upon his legacy to hockey and the city of Pittsburgh.
I think it would be only fitting that since he was 95% instrumental in getting Pittsburgh a new arena, he should be immortalized out front.

He couldn't bear the thought of the Penguins being any place else but where they were conceived and after two bankruptcies and two decades of mismanagement, he finally pulled everyone together and made sure that for at least the next 31 years they will go nowhere.

Mario, l'affaire d'arène est magnifique aussi, juste comme toi.

For the non-French speaking readers, that translates (loosely) Mario, the arena business is magnificent too, just like you.

Thank you Mario for it was so wonderful to be able to shake your hand. I felt so honored to be in your presence at practices and share all your victories at the Igloo over the years.

We should have known we were never going to be saying goodbye forever. You faced cancer just like you did any other opponent, face to face with courage; and won! Back surgery did not stop you either; the scar being just another badge of your sport.

And unbelievable as it seems, there were those who had no respect for the fact that you were coming back from throat cancer. They would take advantage of that fact and try to further injure you, but you persevered and continued. Remarkable.

For anyone caring to read or contribute to the
Mario Lemieux Foundation.
I know that Mario would be so grateful.

And so on now to new things, the things that Mario has built. The proposed arena and perhaps someday soon a new player wearing a Lemieux jersey?
And now if I might present a couple of mini-Lemieux's. First 11 year old Stephanie, looking ever so much like her daddy.

Will we ever see that NHL testosterone wall come down again to allow another female player after Manon Rheaume slipped briefly through in 1992? One can only hope that we'll see more quality female players join the hallowed ranks of this organization.

And then there's Austin - a very diminutive and young 7 year old Austin Lemieux speeds across the ice surface to claim the distinction of being the first person to skate at The Rink at PPG Place in Pittsburgh after it was opened to the public. Onlookers smile and can only wonder if he'll be anything like his daddy.

We now have revisions to the arena design and they tell us that with only a few minor tweakings, this is it! A beautiful complex that borrows from the other arenas around the continent and adds the things that will make it unique to Pittsburgh as well - a grand view of their beautiful skyline. For those who still think of Pittsburgh as that grungy, dirty city of 30 years ago, shame on you! Pittsburgh was voted 3rd most beautiful skyline a couple of years back, beating out San Francisco by one notch and Maui - it's not the steel city of the 50's, believe me!

Anyway, I digress as usual. Here are the preliminary sketches for the (yet to be named) Penguins Arena.

It has been some time since I was here to edit this piece, but I wanted to wait until there was something 'concrete'...something substantial to add.

Well then, how about that new arena? We now have ground breaking and excavation to follow everyday. The arena will be called the Consol Energy Center and we have exciting news coming everyday now about it's specific features. Perhaps to be the best arena in the league they are saying. Is there anything more fitting? I think not.

For those who would like to see the groundbreaking ceremony slide show, click Pomp and Circumstance. The renderings slide show of the arena you need only click Arena. And the fly through video which is really a wheeeeee!

All Pens fans are going to have to wait til 2010 before they can enjoy the new seats and various other amenities of the Consol Energy Center though. The excitement continues to grow. Each new day brings more news about the arena - music to the ears for fans who have endured the oldest arena in the league all these years. Now they too will have what other fans have taken for granted at their hockey centers.

This is Saturday April 25, 2009. The Penguins are in the quarterfinal playoff series with the Philly Flyers and today is game six which if the Pens win means elimination for the Flyers.
It is all good. I am going to post a static picture of the arena's progress from this mornings web cam in Pittsburgh.

And lastly, music to a Penguins fans ears - the goal horn! Sing along now... Just for fun - no other reason.

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