Friday, June 12, 2009

Stanley Cup: A Tale of Two Cities

That's not my title, but from this article:

Stanley Cup: A Tale of Two Cities.

Not to be confused with CNN's Randy Kaye's piece: "Can Pittsburgh Save Detroit?"

Someone accused me of trying to prolong the metaphor of "My Tale of Two Cities" by invoking the G-20 Summit and the Penguins game. It is true that the movie ends with Pittsburgh's comeback story in some ways just unfolding. But it doesn't seem like it is quite there yet.

I was quite touched by someone who recently saw the movie and emailed me that she was living in Baltimore, but was longing to return to Pittsburgh-- asking wouldn't that be the happy ending we are looking for. And the answer is yes. (See her full email at on the word of mouth page.

The reason the Steelers' Nation metaphor is so powerful is that it represents all those who were forced to leave their hometown after the steel industry collapsed. That is who is waving all those terrible towels-- and a sizable part of those rooting for the Penguins.

My friend Bernie Goldmann (also in "MTOTC") said it best awhile ago-- Pittsburgh is an underdog story-- a bunch of people who you would not necessarily characterize as "winners" on first sight, but who all pull together, and somehow find a way to win. That's true for sports team, and often for the city itself. (See last post about the polio vaccine)

But it is Franco Harris who says it best in MTOTC-- that it is great that people go out and get a chance to explore, but what we need is for them to come back. So talent, people, come on back to Pittsburgh.

I think many people are coming back as we heard on our Pittsburgh Comeback Tour with the movie this Spring. But what they are asking is if they do come back, what kind of opportunities await them? And that's where those in Pittsburgh need to make sure that those opportunities are there.

More on that later. But for now-- Go Pens!

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