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Please recall the dastardly plot executed by a Montreal radio station in which a man in a cape and a pig nose placed a Montreal Canadiens jersey on the Rocky statue in Philadelphia. A potential plot by Pittsburgh Penguins fans to offer their own brand of desecration to the Italian Stallion landmark leaked yesterday, and sports radio station WIP 610 and host Angelo Cataldi sprung into action, asking for a thuggish Philadelphia Flyers fan (or any Philly loyalist) to protect the statue during the day. The Philadelphia Inquirer wonders if the damage may have already been done:

Problem is: The attack may have already happened overnight - just as a similar outrage was apparently committed by Montreal Canadien fans during the previous hockey series.

The evidence: On the pavement in front of the bronze Italian Stallion lay a black No. 87 Sidney Crosby jersey around 9:30 this morning. The sleeves appeared to have been cut off, perhaps to facilitate draping it over Rocky.

The jersey was removed from the statue as in the eaerly (sic) morning hours, either by a security guard or a stone mason who decided to stop by, according to Mike Prince, the 23-year-old Penn State grad Cataldi tapped to be Rocky's bodyguard.

As of this morning, no traces of a Rocky-as-Crosby photo on Penguins loyalists The Pensblog and Empty Netters, where we'd expect such tomfoolery to turn up. If the Penguins fans failed to accomplish the mission, Flyers fans aren't about to hold back retaliation. The following appeared on the Pittsburgh section of Craigslist yesterday:

I am recruiting a Philly native and loyal Flyers fan that is living in Pittsburgh to place a Flyers jersey on a significant landmark in Pittsburgh (panther statue on Pitt campus, in front of Mellon Arena or anything you can think of) and send me a photo of it to submit to The Philadelphia Inquirer. This is in retaliation for a similar plot to put a Penguins jersey on the Rocky Statue. Once you complete your mission I will submit the photo with your name (if you want to be known) and if it gets published I will send you a link to it. Vengeance Now!

The Pittsburgh media is already wise to this plot. Can't imagine where Flyers fans will turn next in their search for potential targets ... although this citizen-proposed bet between the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could also provide an interesting spot for a Flyers jersey.

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