This is Ed L. (@billcovw), and he was the most loyal Pens fan in February. He played the game and came away with the belt. He's headed to Philadelphia. The entire Internet probably wants to know how he reached a Bo Jackson Tecmo level of Pens fandom for the month of February, so we asked him about it, and he has detailed his road to glory.
His story is after the jump, as is a rundown of the controversy surrounding PensPoints...
"I am a season ticket holder, Section 230 Row E seats 8 & 9. I try to get to 10 games per year or so. They started the PensPoints Program about two-thirds of the way into February. I just happened to be going to the Wednesday Feb. 20 game vs. Philly with my son, and the Miller Lite Night was at Jergels, which is 2 minutes from [where I work], so we stopped in and got the points. Then we got all the points from the game, except the fact that they didn't show up for the post-game show. So I took a picture of my Lexus Club pass and e-mailed it to the PensPoints support team. They ended up creditiing me the points that I missed.
Friday night, vs. Florida, I took my other son. I needed to drop my other boys off at my parents' house in Verona, so on the way to the game, we stopped at Lot 17 in Bloomfield, and I was able to run in and get the points before we headed to the arena. Once again, I received all the points possible at the game.
Sunday night, my best friend came into town for the game from Norfolk. There was no Miller Light Night, but I still got all the points for the game. Then this week, with the Pens being out of town, I stopped at the North Park Deck House, which is on my way home, and scored the points there. Then last night, to secure the win, my girlfriend and I ran out to Robinson after work to have dinner and get the points that were available.
I have also used all possible social media points: mobile, Twitter and Facebook. So basically, with the points that I have received for games, Miller Light Nights, social media, season-ticket holder and bonus points every time I hit the 100-point plateau, I have gotten every possible point in the program!"
All-world performance by Ed L.
It didn't take long for the Internet to find the loopholes in the Loyalty Program. We saw the opportunity to job the system back when we took our first look at the program, but we didn't want to raise any flags and let any proverbial cats out of any proverbial bags.
As soon as the Program started, season-ticket-holder, waiting-list, IceTime, and Miller Lite Nights scan codes were popping up on Twitter and being retweeted to high Heaven. We were definitely scanning every code we could and high-fiving ourselves. Every Pens fan was living the good life.
But there is a dark side. The people at the very top of the standings are cut-throat and didn't appreciate all the codes being thrown around on Twitter. After all, they were all contending for the belt, and every point mattered in the race for the February prize. It was a stark reminder that this Program benefits the season-ticket holder more than "regular" fans and especially fans living outside of Pittsburgh. Over the course of the past week, people's points totals were getting all wonky, so you could tell the Pens Points people were making some moves behind the scenes.
We also personally witnessed the @PensPoints Twitter account confronting some Penguins fans on Twitter for sharing the scan codes. Those tweets have since been deleted from the account. As it stands, people are having points taken from their accounts left and right, and there are even some season-ticket holders who have had their points taken away.
There is also a huge scandal brewing about certain people having access to points that others do not. We would look further into it, but we don't have any interest in it all, and we like watching the world burn.
Fact of the matter is Ed L. is legit it as it gets. And the Program is now settling down to where people are getting points for stuff they're actually doing, which is the point of the whole program.
UPDATE: We forgot to mention it, but aside from the chirping of some fans sharing codes, the PensPoints support team is elite. They respond to tweets, concerns, and questions very quickly and appear anxious to look into any issues that come up. That's really all you can ask of a customer-support group.