Here’s the thing.
I understand the need to keep a team in a city. New York has about a trillion teams and people still talk about when the Dodgers left. It’s a jarring thing to grow up rooting for a team and for the team to just up and leave.
You expect your team to be there forever. You want them to be there forever because they’re a part of you. It’s like when you first move out and you don’t want your parents to change your room. And it’s just as unrealistic.
Mario Lemieux made his annual remarks on how the Penguins need a new arena. Pittsburgh doesn’t want to spring for it, though. So now they’re once-again talking about using slot machines to pay for the arena.
I love the Penguins and their history, but come on. If you need to set up a gambling racket to pay for an arena, maybe it’s time to move the team. Does anyone think it’s OK to build a sporting arena on the back of an addiction? Why not just have a heroin drive then?
I’m not against gambling. I’ve been to Atlantic City. I cross against the light. I eat food from street vendors. But there’s a huge difference between lottery tickets and slot machines. It’s about the same difference between a cigarette and a crack pipe. One is a vice with potential long-term risks and the other just sucks people into its clutches and doesn’t let them out until they’re totally spent.
If the Penguins left Pittsburgh, countless hearts would be broken. But if the Penguins stay because of legalized gambling, countless lives will be broken.
Lemieux and the rest of the Penguin owners need to realize that the city of Pittsburgh doesn’t want to build them a new arena. It’s unfortunate, but life goes on.
Maybe it’ll go on to Portland.