Wednesday, June 13, 1984


Adam and Derek go back in time to the 1984 NHL Draft, innocently wanting to draft Gary Roberts and Patrick Roy with the otherwise wasted picks.
They return to present-day Pittsburgh and find that nothing is like how they left it.



Dude: Mellon what?

Us: Oh, no! The Pens left.

Dude: Are you high? You must be from out of town.
The Pens play on the North Shore.

We take a surprisingly free cab to the North Shore and cannot believe our eyes...

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...As we make our way to the North Shore, Pittsburgh looks different.
The buildings are clean, no homeless people walking around.
The only thing playing in the background is what sounds like the hosts of the B-94 morning show -- John, Dave, Bubba, and Shelly.
We ask the driver to switch to some DVE.

Driver: DVE? What is that?
B-94 is the only radio station in the United States.

But before we can digest that statement, we cross over the Barry Bonds Bridge.

We throw up in the cab:


Mellon Arena is there, sitting majestically in the place where Heinz field once stood.
But it isn't Mellon Arena. It is called The Arby's Dome.
We look over at PNC Park and see that it isn't PNC Park , but rather Two Rivers Stadium.
We look past the Arby's Dome and see a huge wall erected cutting off the view to the West End Bridge and the Ohio River.
What happened? What is going on?

Us: Driver, where is Heinz Field?

Driver: Heinz what?

Us: Heinz Field. Where do the Steelers play?

Driver: [ Looks in rearview mirror ] Where you guys from?

Us: Pittsburgh.

Driver: You've lived here your life?

Us: Yeah...

Driver: Is this some joke? What are your names?

Us: Derek and Adam. Just a couple of jobbers.

The cab comes screeching to a halt on Doug Drabek Boulevard. The driver turns to face us in the cab. We are astonished when we recognize the face.

Driver: You're a couple of what?

Us: Mayor Ravenstahl?

Luke: Mayor??? What are you guys talking about?

Us: You're the Mayor of Pittsburgh!!

Luke: Oh, my God.

Us: What?

Luke: [ Hurriedly puts the car in Drive ] We gotta get out of here. He may be watching.

Us: Who?

Luke: I can't say. If you say his name, your balls fall off.

Luke does a 180 and rockets toward the Liberty Bridge.

Luke speeds over the Liberty Bridge, through the tubes, and into Dormont, where he takes us to his apartment behind Eat'n'Park.



Adam: Marty! My pet chicken!

Luke: Marty? This is Miguel. Don't touch him.

Grab a beer, guys.
I can't believe this is happening.
I want you to listen closely...

On April 19th, 2000, I had a dream -- that I was sitting in the Montreal Forum, Section 6, Row 6, with Bob Smizik.

Us: The terd from the Post-Gazette?

Luke: No. He's a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Reading a sentence that he writes makes you black out.

Us: Whatever.

Luke: Anyway, I told my life partner, Mitch, about the dream --

Derek: I knew it.

Luke: To our surprise, he had also had the same dream.

My dream showed me being in the Montreal Forum on February 28, 2001, when the Pens played the Canadiens.
I bought two tickets for that game after talking with Mitch and went out to find Bob Smizik.
I had no idea where to find him.

Adam: Did you try every place where adolescent boys hang out?

Luke: Yeah, no dice.

I finally caught up with him at a seminar he was speaking at.
I made out with his bodyguard and got into his dressing room.
I recanted my dream to him and pleaded with him to go to the game with me.
He grudgingly agreed.

February 28, 2001 --We go to the game, sitting in Section 6, Row 6.
Halfway through the first period, a message appears on the scoreboard.

"Jobbers. LetsGoPens.com."

Moments later, a voice echoed throughout the Forum.

"If You Post, They Will Come."

I turned to Bob Smizik, and just as I was about to ask him if he had experienced the same things, a puck came and hit him in the head. He died later at the hospital.

Us:: Nice.

Luke: "Jobbers" -- Today was the first time I've ever heard that word spoken.

Us: If You Post, They Will Come?

Luke: After the game, I immediately registered a name on LetsGoPens.com and made a post about some minor-league players no one cares about.

Us: Hey, was there a guy named Kenny Melvin on that board?

Luke: Sgt. Melvin? How do you know the Chief of Police?

Within 5 minutes of creating a screen name on the message boards, I got a PM from some guy called "TheMayor."

The message:
"A Secret Lies With Stan."

After that, my account was suspended indefinitely.

Gentlemen, I have been waiting for this day for the past 6 years.
I thought this was all in my head.

I feel it is my purpose in life to have told you all of this.

Us: Wait a minute. Stop everything.
You're supposed to be the Mayor of Pittsburgh -- What happened?

Luke: What?

Us: We are originally from June 23, 2007.
We traveled back in time and changed the 1984 draft.

Luke: That was when we drafted Lemieux, Roberts, and Roy in the first round.

Us: YES! Exactly!

Luke: Did you "change" anything else?

Us: No. Nothing. Unless the dude that made our burgers at Rax that day was consequently obliged to stay an extra 45 seconds past his shift to make the sandwiches. That 45-second delay could have had astronomical effects on Montreal.
He leaves the parking lot 45 seconds later than he would have.
The dude riding his bike, who 45 seconds earlier, would have rode past the entrance to Rax unharmed, is douched by the worker leaving Rax.
The ambulance driver responds to the 911 call, running red lights.
All those people who would have otherwise proceeded through their green lights wait so the ambulance driver can fly past.
One of those people is a truck driver trying to make a delivery somewhere. He was late making his delivery. He loses his job, and his wife divorces him.
We could have basically changed the entire outcome of the world just by ordering a sandwich from Rax in 1984.

Luke: What are you talking about.

Us: Luke, where are the Steelers?

Luke: They were relocated in 2004. Balsillie packed them up.

Us: Wait -- Balsillie? Jim Balsillie?

Luke: Wow, you fellas really are out of the loop.

Us: Like how? How are the Pirates?

Luke: I don't know what it was like in your times, but the Pirates have been toiling in mediocrity for the past 14 years.

Us: Well, that hasn't changed.

Luke: So I guess you know about them winning the World Series in 90, 91, 92.

Us: What? They lost to the Reds and the Braves in the LCS those years..

Luke: No way.
Doug Drabek won the John Smiley Award those three years. He was incredible. He had an ERA of -0.45.
The Penguins released Tom Glavine, and he decided to play for the Pirates.
Drabek and Glavine won a combined 75 games in 1992.



Us: John Smiley Award?

Luke: Oh, it used to be called the Cy Young Award until John Smiley's first year here in 1986.
He pitched 22 perfect games that season.




Us: Unreal.

Luke: The Pirates won those three World Series behind Andy Van Slyke's dominance.

Us: He wasn't really that great.

Luke: You're right. He wasn't.

Until 1989, when Gary Roberts came out in the Pittsburgh papers and said Van Slyke looks like Huey Lewis.



This bolstered Van Slyke's confidence, and he became a driving force in baseball.

Us: How about Bonds?

Luke: Barry Bonds was a God in this city, and still is.

Us: Even with the steroids?

Luke: Are you kidding me? Steroids?
Barry Bonds didn't need steroids. He had Roberts.
But Bonds was killed in a bar fight at Froggy's in Station Square in 1993.
The city was never the same.

Us: What else has happened?

Luke goes on to tell us many things, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, Will Smith, Hugh Grant, Die Hard 3, 9/11, the Challenger explosion, and Linkin Park.

Us: Luke, we got to be honest. Everything else sounds exactly like our history.
How have the Pens been doing?

Luke: The Penguins have been money in the bank.
The U.S. Currency is now called Pens. They've been that steady.
You talk Pittsburgh. You talk Penguins.
They won 11 consecutive Stanley cups.
They would've won at least six more in that run if Mario would've stayed...

Us: Mario left? What?! What happened?!

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Chapter Three:

Thursday, July 5, 2007.
Midnight.

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