From icky, ill-colored, not sewn…but (audible gasps!!!) silkscreened Pittsburgh Penguin Winter Classic fake memorabilia.
The Third Official National Hockey League ‘Winter Classic’ will be held THIS Saturday, at a specially frozen rink set up at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field (the Stillerz are in Cleveland n’at, so its okel dokel that Mario’s franchise ‘borrows’ the facilities for the day).
For those of you who aren’t Hockey Zealots (and you know who you are!) the Winter Classic is the PREMIER, non-play off game of the NHL season, played at an outdoor sports venue and broadcast across North America by NBC. This year, for the second time, the Pittsburgh Penguins (captained by Canadian Olympic Gold Medal Winner/NHL Star Scoring Leader/NHL marketing bonanza, story book persona and all around ‘good guy’ Sidney Crosby) will host the Washington Capitals (who have the ‘anti-Sid the Kid’ Russian, Alexandr Ovechkin as their leader…ha…think Cold War/Red Army type who plays in OUR Nation’s Capital–cleverly named franchise, huh?–and soooo telling of the political climate in DC). NBC is even running a promo commercial showing cutie patootie, all(North)American looking (he’s Canadian) Crosby staring down the clearly Commie Ovechkin…and it starts to storm; and the stare gets ‘colder’ and it turns to a fierce blizzard (and I am NOT talking cute WordPress snowflakes either…) No. Its North America (sortof American, in a NAFTA way) vs. the Commies (who are mostly North American’s also…but that doesn’t make for a ‘fierce’ NBC promo).
As our esteemed Veep, Joe ‘BiteMe’ Biden would say…’its a big effing deal.’
All 65,000 plus seats (along with standing room only) sold out minutes after they went up for sale online. Hockey fans (and native, holiday returning Yinzers) from around the world are flying into the (Ice)Burgh for the game. Hotel rooms are booked; restaurants will be filled; limo drivers hired…you get the picture. And like every sporting event…there must be souvenirs. Right down to the morphing of Pittsburgh’s iconic Terrible Towel into NHL/LemieuxGroup/MyronCopeTrust officially licensed terry cloth.
And into the fray came the counterfitters…with Replica Jerseys that are NOT officially licensed. Okay…I am a conservative…I fundamentally agree that copyrights must be protected (along with intellectual properties). And I concur that those who own that Penguin likeness deserve to be the only ones to sell it…but does it REALLY TAKE THREE!!! federal alphabet agencies to save the hockey fans of Pittsburgh from silkscreening?
The United States CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION; along with US POSTAL INSPECTORS and (here it comes!) THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ALL, repeat, ALL played a roll in confiscating 792 NHL fake jerseys.
Whew…as a resident of the Pittsburgh metro area I CAN REST EASY tonight.
Our southern border (and I am NOT referencing West Virginia!) is wide open. And ‘Big Sis’ is worried that someone might get a fake Malkin jersey? (I personally see Janet as a HUGE Gino fan). Please…someone tell me that maybe one ‘agent’ from each of the listed US governmental branches just exchanged an email or two…and that the Pennysylvania State Police (or Pittsburgh’s finest in blue) pulled over a tractor trailer for, say a broken tail light, and poof…792 ‘fakes’ fell outta the back. Because I cannot ‘rest easy’ (as a Yinzer, a hockey fan, or an American) if it has really come down to our Federal agents infiltrating junk jersey web pages and being all ‘so, does that look like official Penguin ‘ice blue’ to you Agent Williams, or do you see THAT blue as more of a robin’s egg hue?’ Or, ‘Agent Gonzalez, did you see the crappy stitching on that retro skating Guin decal? Oh snap, that is soooo bootleg and will totally unravel after one or two washes…quick…get the warrant and the media!’ J. Edgar Hoover, during his ‘dress up days’ never was so concerned about shades, tones and stitching…as the Penz most excellent radio announcer, Mike Lange, would say (and I see him referencing Napalitano here)…”she wants to sell my monkey…” but only if its officially licensed.
Let’s go Pens!!! And let’s ‘get real’ Feds…