don’t believe the hype

Well, unless it’s these two.

Yesterday was interesting, to say the least. For a press conference that was essentially useless, we sure learned a lot about what the Winter Classic is going to be like. Of course, we expected this, but it’s nice to see the pieces finally star to fall together. This isn’t just the 2011 Winter Classic. For Pens fans, this is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. On one hand, we get new, shiny things. And on the other hand, we’re modernizing in a way that isn’t quite Pittsburgh, and is more global. I mean, we’re still surprised when we realize that people elsewhere in the world know that Pittsburgh exists. So when Bettman’s in town it’s always a surreal experience.

Mock-up of the rink. Not a terrible view, but depressingly horizontal. And we can peek a corner of downtown. Sort of. God, what desolation.

You gotta hand it to Pittsburghers. They’re the only people who would build a stadium that is largely bright yellow and not think it was the most obnoxious thing ever. We love tackiness.

Let’s examine this photograph for its subtext. First: the Pittsburgh Winter Classic logo is excellent. The yellow bridge, the black mountains, the river? Worth a thousand words about the heritage of the city. Good choice. Some graphic designer just did something good. As PH Staff comes from a town that has produced hundreds of ill-fated graphic designers, we are proud.
Bettman is in the foreground, saying something, we don’t actually remember what he was saying.
Sid is in the background, making a face like he just smelled shit–but looking quite striking in a nice blue polo.
This is basically the NHL’s strategy for marketing Crosby in a nutshell.
But I mean, at least he showed up:

Ovechkin didn’t. Now, this press conference was total BS (I mean they didn’t even provide any uniform info! but more on that later) and we totally understand that he probably had better things to do. Still, the fact that the Capitals are trusting their PR with guys like Knuble and David Steckel says a lot. First, both of those guys were class acts. Second, captains sometimes put aside “better things to do” to show up and support an event. David Steckel definitely didn’t have anything better to do yesterday. . .so it’s really nothing special.

Possibly the best thing to come out of the cast of characters present at Heinz Field:

Sid doesn’t know. Mike doesn’t know. Who knows?
Miracles up in this bitch.

but what caused the most media frenzy yesterday?

Max Talbot calling Ovechkin a douche on the radio. You can find it in the list of interviews here.
Of course, some people were upset and they were made fun of verily on Twitter and the like. We’re over it. Everyone’s a douche at one time or another.
We still want to get Sasha and Zhenya’s Comedy Hour back together. Doesn’t mean we want to hang out with the guy or anything. He’s probably an uncomfortable asshole, and we definitely have criticisms about his style of play and handling of media situations. Max Talbot can say whatever he wants. We don’t really hate anyone except like, Chris Osgood.

Now: the logo mysteries.
This excellent post at Icethetics basically says everything you need to know about the logos that were shown at Heinz Field yesterday up on the scoreboard.
Pensblog posted a large version of the Pens logo:

At the bottom of this post you can see that they also received a tip that the Pens might be using the weird jerseys that the Pens wore from 1977 to 1980, which, if we use the modern convention of dark sweaters for home games, they’ll be wearing a kind of dark blue. This doesn’t jive with the skating-penguin-in-scarf logo that we saw at Heinz, but okay. Either way we have to wait awhile before the jerseys are unveiled.
Then we have to decide which player’s name we’re getting on it to wear. As long as it’s not completely fugz.

This is going to be such a beautiful disaster.


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.