Thursday, May 28, 2009


I really don't know if anyone has ever tried to put together a list of the "Biggest Traitors in Pittsburgh Sports History" before, but I've assembled a top ten list that I'm hoping will spur some debate. Did I leave out someone? Very possible. Do you disagree with my ranking? Odds are that there will be some of that too. At any rate, I hope you enjoy (?) comparing this list to your own and offering some comments. So let's get started.

You normally don't associate Doug Drabek's name with this type of a list, probably because his departure was overshadowed by another Bucco at the time. Drabek left for more money elsewhere, a common thread, as you will find, among seven of our inductees.


Ryan Malone left the Penguins last year after Tampa Bay offered him way more money for way more years than the Penguins did. Very few people could blame him for leaving, in fact. That's how good his contract offer was. We felt bad including Ryan on this list, however, he is a native Pittsburgher so unfortunately we had to put him on it. Pittsburghers should want to stay here, regardless of the money in Tampa bay. Think about it, because of his greed, he's not playing for a Stanley Cup right now!

The only thing good that Mondesi did was to leave in such a colorful fashion that he'll never be forgotten. He was so desperate to get out of Pittsburgh that he completely concocted a story about his family's home being under siege in the Dominican Republic. After getting a release from the Pirates, he promptly signed with the California Angels. This guy was traitorous alright. But at least he provided a good name for my son's blog,

Leyland brought the Pirates to the brink of the World Series on a couple occasions then bolted after stars packed their bags. He ultimately guided the Florida Marlins to the best championship that money can buy and currently manages the Detroit Tigers. Leyland still resides in Pittsburgh which is an even greater irony. He has always maintained that his biggest thrill was the ovation he received during the All Star Game in Pittsburgh. He rewarded that ovation by bolting. Okay, we know the Pirates have had some lame front office people, but you ride these things out if you're truly loyal. Right?

Boy, if any of these traitors made a smart move in getting out of Dodge, it was this guy. After single-handedly costing the Steelers a victory against the Cowboys in Superbowl XXX, O'Donnell was offered a boatload of cash, for some reason, by the New York J-E-T-S JETS, JETS, JETS. O'Donnell was an abject failure in Gotham and no one lost much sleep over this. In retrospect, he saved Pittsburgh fans a lot of booing over the next few years.

Hossa is one of the few people on this list who may yet get his own come-uppance. After being acquired in a blockbuster trade at the deadline last year, Hossa helped the Pens to the finals. He then spurned a huge long-term contract from the team, accepting instead an offer from the Detroit Red Wings because he felt that he'd,... "Have a better chance of winning the cup next year with Detroit." Ouch, ouch and ouch.
Now the Pens stand poised to challenge for the cup again with only the hated Hossa standing between them and Lord Stanley. Talk about bulletin board material!!! In retrospect, someday we may actually say that Hossa provided us with the motivation to win that third cup, and for that we may owe him a debt of gratitude. But we still hate him now, nevertheless. You'll see just how much once the series moves to Pittsburgh.

It can probably be argued that Barry Bonds is the greatest player ever produced solely by the Pirates minor league organization. He was already one of the biggest names in the game, pre-roids, and had already choked in a couple NLCS series for the Buccos when he rejected an offer in excess of $50 million from them in order to play in San Francisco for his dad, Bobby Bonds, and his godfather, Willie Mays. The loss of Bonds set a series of dominoes in motion that still hasn't been reversed to this very day. Bonds subsequently began cheating with steroids and now has a gigantic head. Serves him right. Hopefully, if he goes to jail some day he can use some of those ill-gotten millions to buy himself cigarettes in the slammer.


Surprise, surprise! This guy came about a hair's width away from acquiring the Pittsburgh Penguins when, during Mario's darkest hour in Pittsburgh, he decided to sell the franchise because of his frustration over the lack of a new arena deal. Make no mistake about it, this vulture was anxiously awaiting the first opportunity to move the team to Canada when the NHL wisely intervened. People can call the NHL a garage league all they want, but they had the foresight not to allow anything to happen to the Pittsburgh market, easily one of the top three in hockey. Yeah, I'd consider this guy a major traitor and maybe we should put up a statue to Gary Bettman in front of the new Consol Energy Arena!

ABOVE: Jaromir Jagr in New York with some gold-digging puck bunny who wants to leave the show early.
I think the reason that Jaromir Jagr is so high on this list because he accomplished so much here only to make a ridiculous statement that he was ...,"Dying alive in Pittsburgh." This ingrate not only insulted every Pittsburgher with that remark, more importantly he insulted Mario Lemieux who shared in his victories. Jagr was highly-compensated while here, but it didn't matter. His gambling addiction was such that he needed every penny he could get his hands on. Now that he's no longer playing in the NHL, the Pens won't have to go through the embarrassment of seeing a player who has a banner hanging in the rafters of Mellon Arena being summarily booed each time he comes to town.

ABOVE: Jagr always possessed one of the greatest mullets ever in his youthful years.

HERE HE IS......
ABOVE: With a maniacal smile, Bill Cowher chucks a legacy as Steeler coach so that he can sound the hurricane siren before the Carolina Hurricane's final game against the Penguins.


Wow. This guy has really gone off the deep end. In his latter years as Steeler Coach the once whispers became a constant drumbeat that Cowher had become completely "full of himself." So much so that the Rooneys didn't put up a gigantic push to retain him as coach. Many were surprised, but I wasn't one of them. Cowher had run his course with this team and I just considered ourselves fortunate that we finally did get that SuperBowl after so many AFC Championship losses and even our first SuperBowl defeat.

Bill Cowher, after leaving his job, decided to leave his native Pittsburgh as well, planning instead on moving into this $2.5 million mansion. Apparently Pittsburgh was a good enough place to earn his salary, but not a good enough place to spend it!

ABOVE: Casa De Cowher in Raleigh. Where a successful coach can live surrounded by truly quality folks.

Yes Bill Cowher became a most successful coach because of the unwavering faith of the Rooneys who stuck by him even after some poor seasons. Cowher, for his part, became synonymous with Steeler football, his square jaw, his scowling, his yelling at players and occasionally spraying saliva on them. He was a coach that the fans here could truly relate to because he was one of them! Which makes his recent Benedict Arnold act in Carolina even more difficult to swallow. Think about it: He traded his years of past popularity here and future icon status in order to sound a hurricane siren at a hockey
playoff game. Does this not make sense to anyone else besides me? I didn't think so.

ABOVE: Since leaving the Steelers, Cowher has been the object of many the photoshop artist. In this depiction he is clearing the shopping carts at the Mt. Ivy Wal Mart. Moments earlier he had helped Aunt Bea to her car.

ABOVE: Expect to see more than a few of these at Mellon Arena in the days ahead!

ABOVE: Is this photoshopper suggesting that Mr. Bill is now the "stupid" as referenced on the young, drunken lady's shirt? This just goes to show how far Bill Cowher has sunk on the respect chart in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, cranking that siren was worth the blow that his reputation has taken in these parts!

1 comment:

Toad268 said...

Think about it. It could be taken two different ways. It could mean last years finals, where we went down two games to none. We eventually lost in six to these same Detroit Redwings. It could also be referring to the Conference Semifinals against the Washington Capitals this year, where we ended up ahead three games to two and eventually won the series in seven games. What do you think? I have my opinion, and I think I am right.

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