• Image of Mario Lemieux "66>99" tee
  • Image of Mario Lemieux "66>99" tee

In response to some other printers "borrowing" the Backpage Press 2012 original Mario Lemieux 66>99 idea, I offer the black & gold version of the design, using a specially-mixed "antique Pittsburgh gold" ink. I originally hesitated to offer this no-brainer version because I already had so many in that color way...but if it fits, it fits. I still love the original "chalkboard" idea, but I love a happy customer and a proud Pittsburgher more.

The Original write-up below:

Hi and hello, hockey fans. It's your old pal Dave Dameshek. When is 66 greater than 99? Well, listen here, fella, and I'll give ya the straight poop.

Wayne Gretzky may be The Great One, but he's not The Greatest One. That honor belongs to one man and one man only. The Pride of Pittsburgh. The Steel City Savior. A two-time Stanley Cup champ-een as a player and a third time as an owner, he's meant more to his respective franchise than any other athlete in the history of hockey, nay, professional sports. His name literally means The Best. I know him as 66. You can call him Mario Lemieux.

Unlike Gretzky, Lemieux came into the league on a terrible team with no supporting cast. And even though he played in an era when it was more difficult to score goals, Lemieux still matched or exceeded Gretzky's scoring pace. When Gretzky was setting his records, the league was all hooey and applesauce. Goalies looked like Mr. Salty and defensemen wore full-length trousers. Egad!

While Lemieux played his entire career in Pittsburgh and saved the Penguins not once, not twice, but three times from financial ruin, Gretzky played for Edmonton, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and New York, tarnishing his legacy with each subsequent stop. Gretzky never won another championship after leaving Edmonton. Yet how much did the Oilers miss him? They won the Cup two years after trading him. Know why the Penguins never moved Lemieux? Because you don't trade the best player to ever play the game!

Lemieux could do everything Gretzky could do, but Lemieux did it in a 6-4, 225-pound frame. Gretzky could never overpower opponents or carry defenders to the net like 66. Lemieux was simply the bigger, stronger man. Had it not been for his health issues, Lemieux would stand alone in the record books. He'll have to settle for rewriting math books. Because by any measure the equation proves true.


But before I go, let me just say blah blah spicy brown mustard. Blah blah blah breakfast meats. Blah pizza toppings blah blah. It's been a thin slice of heaven.

NOTE: Scheduling conflicts prevented Dave Dameshek from writing the intro to this shirt, which he helped create. So instead, here's someone pretending to be Dave Dameshek. Let it be known that Dave Dameshek has pledged to provide an official write up, which will be posted when said piece becomes available.

*This Lemieux 66>99 tee is printed on Chalkboard Green color premium American Apparel fine jersey tees. These tees are incredibly soft, comfortable, and flexible, and have all of the great qualities you have come to expect from AA. Be sure to go one size up when ordering American Apparel tees if you wish to have a roomier fit.


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