It was Ice Knowing You
Summary: A final, semi-maudlin TV-news farewell to the Mellon Arena. Reporter: Dave Crawley, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 27 seconds on April 8 Highlights: * When anchor Patrice King Brown reports, "The Penguins' new home, Consol Energy Center, will be state-of-the-art. That was also true of the Civic Arena when it opened back in 1961. Tonight's final game, at what is now the Mellon Arena, will put some fond memories on ice." * When Crawley reviews, "Once the Civic Arena, now the Mellon Arena. But to Penguin fans, it's always been 'the Igloo.' Tonight's final game is bittersweet." * When a young, female Penguins fan laments, "The Consol Energy Center's gonna be nice, but there's a lotta memories here that I'm gonna miss a lot." * When Crawley recalls, "Andy Bathgate scored the very first Penguins goal at the Civic Arena, in 1967" -- and we see Bathgate in a photo wearing a blue throwback jersey ... before it was a throwback jersey! * When Crawley continues: "But the Heinz History Center Sports Museum reminds us that the Pens weren't the first team with a home beneath the dome. The minor-league Hornets moved to the arena when it opened six years earlier." * When Anne Madarasz, the director of the museum, explains: "People were knowledgeable. They followed hockey. They'd gone to the Gardens in Oakland. They came to the Civic Arena to see the Hornets. And the Penguins struggled those early years." * When Crawley says, "Their worst season -- '83-84 -- turned out to be one of their best. By finishing last, they got the first draft choice. The name: Mario Lemieux." * When Crawley relives some of the tragic and triumphant moments on ice as archival film rolls. * When Madarasz figures, "I think these moments where Penguins fans and hockey fans in the city live through the bad years, and then have seen the best of the best perform on ice there, are really gonna be what's kinda etched in our minds." What We Learned: I will never see Styx play at "the Igloo" again! Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto! Unanswered Question: So how many years until we need to replace the Consol Energy Center? News Value: 5. I'm impressed -- Crawley held back on the sentimental overkill enough that my sap-o-meter didn't ring the bell at the top. And Madarasz is referring to the Duquesne Gardens, considered the birthplace of Pittsburgh hockey. There is more history and some great photos at this Web site: www.pittsburghhockey.net.