The Citgo Petroleum power play is the most ridiculous term in all of sports. In your dreams you hit the game winning grand slam, throw the game winning touchdown, score the winning basket and the …..Citgo Petroleum power play goal? Who buys Citgo gas anyway? Everyone buys Shell, Speedway or even B.P. gas.

Citgo Petroleum tarnishes hockey’s power play like Charlie Sheen’s “winning” makes that word a defacto punch line even when used in a conventional context. Just try telling someone the Cubs are winning in the sixth inning on Opening Day without suddenly remembering that you have to hurry up and get tickets to see Charlie Sheen April 3 at the Chicago Theater.

The Citgo Petroleum power play breaks a corollary of the Golden Rule that states you treat others as you would have them treat you. You don’t pull on Superman’s cape, tug the mask of the old Lone Ranger or use the term Citgo Petroleum when you are chatting among friends about the Blackhawks game last night. The coach doesn’t give a pep talk between periods or draw a diagram including Citgo Petroleum when saying that the Hawks should ratchet it up a notch on the power play.

As a matter of fact, the only time you hear the Motorola empty expression Citgo Petroleum power play is during a radio broadcast of the Hawks game by the terribly verbose John Wiedeman, who has simply got to be in cahoots with Citgo Petroleum, just as I am in cahoots with Motorola Corporation, sponsor of my use of the word “empty.” I will say it again, “Motorola empty,” and now Motorola owes me ten dollars, or more precisely twenty dollars since technically I mentioned Motorola four times at five dollars per.

To Citgo Petroleum’s credit, the spiritless gasoline company gains significant name recognition by its mere mention on the Hawks power play. But does the soulless giant actually gain customers who happen to be driving with the Hawks game on the radio? If you’re driving down the road running low on gas while the Hawks are on the Citgo Petroleum power play, you aren’t likely to shift gears and seek out only a Citgo station, although you might shift gears if you are driving a car with a stick shift and you’re approaching a red light, or a Shell station.

I can’t wait until the Blackhawks switch sponsors and the voices of the team have to force themselves into a new term. Pat Hughes slipped up a few times last season when Jiffy Lube stopped sponsoring Cubs pitching changes. It would be a real boost to all of us in these trying times to hear Citgo Petroleum power play during a Hawks radio broadcast when in fact the sponsor of their power changed to Winning or Tiger’s Blood.

By Rob C. Christiansen