Volume 94, Issue 63

Tuesday, January 16, 2001


Grozelle leads way out of slump - Western destroys Mac 92-73

Lady Mustangs get their revenge

Mustangs fire too many blanks

Mario Lemieux needs a reality check

Close but no cigar

Mario Lemieux needs a reality check

By Jessica Leeder
Sports Editor

Mariocentrism /maer-eeo-sen-trism-adj. 1. The outlook on life of Mario Lemieux. 2. The tendency of Mario Lemieux to believe the world of professional hockey revolves around him. 3. The belief of Mario Lemieux that the world is a better place since he has come out of retirement. 4. The delusional pre-occupation of Mario Lemieux wherein, he insists things in the National Hockey League, such as the quality of the officiating, have changed drastically over the last two weeks.

The Globe and Mail reported Sunday that Lemieux said he has noticed the officiating standards have been "starting to slip" over the last three years, although more specifically during the last two weeks. Funny how the time period he specified relates directly to the length of time he has been back on the ice.

Since the return of hockey's quasi-god to the ice surface this month, the world has apparently become a better place, while the officiating in the NHL has taken a rapid downturn, according to the Penguins' very own owner himself.

Mariocentrism is the term I have coined to describe the phenomenon that has taken place, and continues to develop, while Lemieux adjusts to his new, self-imposed, front row seat at each and every Penguins' game.

Apparently it's quite different from the view of the press box – it might have something to do with participation.

Lemieux's own line mate and protégé Jaromir Jagr disagreed with his teammates' view, noting that Lemieux misses the "little things" in hockey. Translation: Lemieux is having a tougher time than he thought he would returning to the perils of a contact sport.

I think he needs a reality check.

It seems ironic to me Lemieux is using his history, his ability and his connections to get his opinion "out there" in the form of news. Between the lines, all he's trying to do is induce a third wave of sympathy and complacency to save face in the case his comeback doesn't turn out to be the spellbinding, nostalgia-ridden spot in history he would like.

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