Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Wow, not even the Pirates perpetual sucktitiude could drag us down.
The Sporting News named Pittsburgh as the #1 sports city today.
Here's a small screencap of the magazine cover.
Here's the Sporting News article about this "prestigious" honor.
Lastly, here's our mayor still being a jocksniffing, pandering jackass:
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Just a few days ago I was talking about the uncertainty of the NFL right now, but after doing some reading the last few days I can say this, the Baltimore Ravens scare me. Preseason I think I even said that the hype on them was wrong and the Steelers would cruise to the AFC North title. Now I'm not so sure. The Ravens seem focused, real focused. Did you see the play Ray Lewis made to end that Chargers game? Plus stop if you've heard this before, they are coming off of a year in which a stout defense and rookie quarterback took them to the AFC championship game where they lost to the eventual champs. The last time that happened the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Today, all of the sites have out their "power rankings" which let's face it are just filler to get fans fired up in the middle of the week. But they all seem to have the Ravens in the number one spot, and I know I can't argue with them right now.
Monday, September 21, 2009
One Game is left in Week Two of the NFL season. I think it's safe to say that at this point the one thing we know, is that we and all of the "experts" don't know anything. Everyone's sexy pick to win it all this year the Chargers, barely beat the Raiders in week one, and lost to the Ravens week two. The late preseason sexy pick to win the NFC The Packers, well they went down to Cincy yesterday, who lost to the Broncos last week, who are 2-0 after drawing Cincy and the Browns in the first two weeks. Then there are the Patriots, the Vegas favorite to win it all just because Brady is back. Well, they pulled their usual Patriots magic to beat the Bills Monday night, but from what I've heard and read they were manhandled by the Jets yesterday. Oh, and I hope I don't have to hear Eagles fans brag about that great defense anymore after what the Saints did to them Sunday. And that brings us to our Steelers. As Bob Smizik points out, week one the Steelers won in part because Rob Bironas missed two field goals. Week two they lose in part because Jeff Reed missed two field goals. My personal opinion is that we're going to see the Steelers of the Mike Tomlin era always be slow starters. But then again, what do I know.
That's the pics you get when they lose. Friggin Steely McBeam.
Gack, what an ugly game that turned out to be. The Steelers kinda choked harder than Superfan Farley on his chicken wing bone.
Let's start with a couple goods, before we get to the understandable bads in a loss.
- Ben, again. He airmailed a couple passes and threw into coverage, but nobody's perfect. His consistent play was the offensive saving grace.
- Sepulveda. He's been kinda overlooked, but his punting is a major improvement from Mitch Berger (wait, on second thought...) and was/is going to be instrumental in giving the opponents bad field position.
- The running game. Ok, so maybe it wasn't "good", but it was an improvement. Mendenhall looked sharp in a limited role. He should get more carries from here on out.
- Reed. Sure he missed the two field goals, but he's been clutch for us so it's hard to get too down on him. He's not gonna make every single kick, but he still lands in the bad column just for yesterday's game.
- The defense. Yeah, we didn't give up a lot of points again and stuffed the run like they always do, but the secondary plays off the receivers too much. My biggest concern though is the pass rush. As in, where the hell is it? We have hurries, sure, but only two sacks total in the first two games isn't gonna cut it. I mean, Reed did miss kicks, but where was our defense when it mattered? We let Chicago go right down the field like they had a former Chicago superstar running back playing for them.
- Specifically with the defense is the secondary. More to the point is Tyrone Carter. Man was he terrible yesterday. He did make the big hit on Olsen, but he was slow to react to passes to the tight end up the seam and was slow to react on the Bears td that tied it up.
- Playcalling. I'm not buying into the "Holmes dropped an easy touchdown pass" in the 4th quarter. That's a tough over the should catch that he can/should make, but on 3rd and 2 with 3 minutes left just get the first down at that point. You get that first down and Chicago has to use their timeouts and it's at or just below the 2 minute warning when they get the ball back (still assuming Reed misses an even shorter kick). That was a bad play to go for the endzone there. Also, where was the no-huddle offense from the week before that worked so well? Bad, bad playcalling is an ongoing theme with Arians.
In the end though, we're 1-1. We weren't gonna go 16-0, but it does hurt to let one slip away. Let's hope that corrections are made and they take it out on the Bungles next week.
- Reed is embarassed by missing the 2 field goals. I'd say lock up all towel dispensers in the area this week so they don't get broken.
- The offense is still struggling.
- Smizik finds some silver lining.
- P-G game recap here.
- Trib recap here.
- Harris at the Trib plays some blame game.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Musselman at the P-G has an article today that pretty much echoes verbatim statements that I've been making since the Penn State game this past Saturday.
Penn State isn't going to do anything this year unless they can run the ball and that falls squarely on the shoulders of those turnstiles up front.
I didn't get to see the opening game against Akron, but I had a "what the hell" moment when I saw that they threw the ball 40 times. Yup, that's right, 40 damn times. Well, ok I thought, maybe it was just a matter of us wanting to get more reps for our new starting receivers, since our easy non-conference schedule amounts to preseason games anyway.
Well then what I saw the next game against Syracuse was my worst nightmare, we can't run the ball because our line stinks. Well, I really don't know if they truly do stink at this point. It's only been 2 games and they can still turn it around, but a shakeup may be needed.
Let's face the facts here fellow Nittany Lions' fans, if we can't run well and have our line make holes to run through against Akron and Syracuse, then they sure as hell won't be able to do it to Big Ten teams and we'll be in trouble. Our defense will keep us in games, but we're not going to win games with Clark throwing the ball 30+ times a game every game.
My second point is this; where is the spread option offense? Why is Clark merely a shotgun and dropback passer now? Where are the QB option running plays in short yardage situations? Why not at least spread the opponent's defense out with 4 wr's and run from that formation? Who's calling the plays? Why in the hell do we still have seperate coordinators calling running and passing plays? Oh, wait, I know the answer to that one.
Who knows, maybe JoePa is playing it safe in these games to not show much to future opponents. Somehow I doubt it though and our season may not be as good as it should be. Sure we'll compete for the Big Ten title, but I thought it was more a sure thing before the season started than it is now.
More on the line and running game here and here.
And lastly, I just wanted to say that so far, I'm looking like a genius here.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Let's put it this way... I see the Orioles getting at least 40 losses in their division..every year. That leaves 122 game sfor them to win 82. Is it really possible for the Orioles to win 82 of 122 of the other games ?? ...I think not.
The Orioles couldn't play .500 baseball when the Rays were bad, how can they possibly do it while the Rays are good ?? THEY CAN'T.
Cheer up Bucco fans !! Just like in 1971 and 1979 the Orioles are here to save us. My prediction is the Orioles will break the Pirates record of consecutive seasons of sub .500 ball 5 years after thye Pirates snap their own streak.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I just read this a bit ago, but the story goes as such:
The Tennessee Titans called heads, the coin came up tails, and while 65,110 fans at Heinz Field roared their powerful roars and waved their Terrible Towels, Ben Roethlisberger sidled up to a ballboy and made a four-word request.
"Get me my hat."
A brutally physical NFL season opener between the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans was deadlocked and headed for overtime late Thursday night, and the quarterback’s statement carried an unspoken but obvious tagline: Get me my hat, because I’m about to take us down the field for the winning points, and I want to cover up my sweaty hair when I do that postgame interview with Andrea Kremer.
And what did the ballboy do?
“He got me my hat,” Roethlisberger said about half an hour later as he undressed at his locker, grinning like a schoolboy who’d just drained a game-winning jumper at the recess bell.
So it's begun.
Last night the Steelers started another Super Bowl title defense season (that never gets old saying). I'm gonna try really hard this year to not bitch and moan about too much because honestly, we've won 2 Super Bowls in 4 years, we're still in a grace period.
The Steelers kicked off their season by whipping up the crowd in the usual Pittsburgh way, by lighting off fireworks, but enough smalltalk, let's move on to some points from the game.
1. Big Ben is indispensable. He is the one person that this team can't afford to lose. Right or wrong, he takes a lot of shit from time to time for his personality, but when it boils down to it I don't want anyone else as QB of this team. I'll explain that one later. He was rusty at first, underthrowing a wide open Wallace on the first series and forcing balls in the first half, but he got over it and led that dink and dunk no huddle offense to perfection.
2. Speaking of not affording to lose players, it appears that the Steelers will be without #2 most indispensable player, Troy Polamalu. Him being out 3-6 weeks, or whatever timeline they give, makes a great defense, perhaps the best in the league, a very good defense. Us Steeler fans have seen in the past how an injured, yet still playing, Polamalu does to our defense. The sad thing is, he got hurt on a fluke play; a blocked field goal. I mean seriously, how many field goals get blocked by a team during the course of the season? 1? 2? 3? Regardless, my question is: What is he doing on the field on a play like that anyway?
3. Jeff Reed is money, and speaking of money and in the immortal words of Teddy KGB, "Pay that man his money". Reed is playing in the last year of his contract. He's clutch. He's nearly automatic. He kicks in the tough conditions of Heniz Field better than anyone. Pay him.
4. We did have some fortunate luck last night. A couple big passes went off the hands of Tennessee receivers that would have given them killer first downs and they had 2 missed field goals as well.
5. Our defense looked very good, albeit understandably for an opening game, somewhat sloppy at times with blown coverages and too big of cushions on the outside. I mean, come on guys, Tennessee's game isn't to throw downfield, so why give those 10 yard cushions which effectively concede those out routes. I'm not saying that you have to blanket the guys, but a little tighter would be nice. Oh, and Lendale White can eat it now.
6. But I do have to give a long bitch right now, and that's about our still putrid O-line. Yes, I get it, we won the Super Bowl last year with them, but I tend to think that we won it in spite of them. They flat out stunk last night. Some credit has to go to the Flaming Tacks' defense, but still, there were no holes to run through (Parker and Mendenhall* did jack squat because of it) and Ben had to scramble more often than not. Which leads me back to Point #1, if you put Brady or Manning (the only QB's in the league who may be better than Ben) behind a line like ours, they would do very little. Give me Ben on this team all day, but just imagine if he had a good line to protect him and give him a running game to work with. The only reason Ben had time to throw in those last couple series is because they were doing 3-step drops and getting rid of the ball quickly and the Tacks were tiring from the no huddle.
* The best idiot fan moment came when the guy in front of me bitched in the 3rd quarter after a no gain by Mendenhall that he sucks and we should get Parker in there. He looked like some hippie just out of college anyway, so I loathed him to begin with.
So take the win and move on. It's a long season. There's a lot of good to take from the game, and there's plenty that needs improved on. I will say though that it won't be the cakewalk that many predicted if play continues like last night.
- Starkey has a list of points on the game, which I swear I didn't read until after I wrote my post.
- P-G's recap here.
- Collier on the poor running game here.
- Dulac's report card here. Come on man, an F for the backs but only a C- for the line?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
On to the Steelers, it should be a good year as usual. I don't think the Ravens will be as good this year, and the Bengals & Browns will be the Bengals & Browns. So it should be another playoff year by my estimation. If you want to read something annoying check out this post on Deadspin. And if you can find the part where hey actually say something bad about the Steelers as a team let me know. Looks to me like more of the usual Pittsburgh & Pittsburgher bashing.
Friday, September 4, 2009
- Mike Tomlin
Well said, even for Tomlin, who has "coachspeak" down to a science.
So today's cut day in the NFL. Rosters have to be cut from 75 to 53.
A reminder for those that do make the team in final cuts, you don't want to celebrate in front of guys that just died.
Stefan Logan cemented his name on the roster last night with his 80 yd punt return for a td being the cherry on top of a tremendous pre-season. Thank God we don't have to watch the likes of Moore and Closet Shitter return kickoffs anymore. Sure they were safe returners, but that's the problem. They'd take it out to the 25 and that's about it. This also allows Santonio Holmes to focus solely on receiving and not have to worry about an injury in the punt return game.
The only other "big choice" is whether to keep Isaac Redman or not. If Tomlin sticks to his quote, then Redman makes it (all he's done is score touchdowns when asked), but who's out of the backfield at that point? If Redman's cut, it's against what Tomlin stated, but on one hand is understandable with the depth they have at running back.
- Mike Tomlin
Well Coach, you've got a couple tough ones. Have fun.
More links for cut day:
Ron Cook on Logan here.
I'd love to post what Bouchette had to say about cut day, but the greediness of the P-G doesn't make that so. One question though, it's a "members only" site, does that mean you get one of these for signing up?
Here's the updated cut article, hot of the press from the P-G.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Wow, nuff said about last night's Pirates' game.
Now, of course, Cutch will rightfully so steal the headlines from the game, but Dejan is correct to point out some other highlights here:
> Joel Hanrahan pitched very well in a tough situation and, truth be told, the first of several versions of my story focused just on his work in the seventh. He has given up three runs in his past 19 appearances now, and I am guilty of not stressing more how well he has done.
> Brian Bixler did not do as the Pirates' baserunners are taught in rounding third passively -- go hard until you are told to stop -- but he still had the aggressiveness after his pause to make it home with a good slide.
> Easily forgotten, but Ross Ohlendorf also pitched quite well against a very good lineup. Jimmy Rollins is going to hit home runs. He never let it get to him.
> John Russell, for all the criticism he has taken here for his handling of the bullpen, made all the right moves leading up to Matt Capps. Took out Ohlendorf at just the right time. Read correctly that Hanrahan's stuff was right to get his two batters. Boldly went with Phil Dumatrait in just his second appearance since missing a year, specifically to go after all of the Phillies' lefties. Went to Jesse Chavez at just the right time, too. In fact, if Capps does what he is supposed to, it looks like a tremendous night for the manager.
> My personal favorite: One player told me afterward that there was no sense of deflation in the dugout after the top of the ninth. Capps was understandably down, but that was about it. "We really thought we were going to go out there and win," the player said. "We didn't think it would come that fast, but we'll take it. It's a great feeling. Good things are starting to happen here."
Now Cutch did misplay that liner in the top of the ninth.
I mean, they teach you in Little League that your first step as an outfielder should be back, because it's always easier to run in than back with your head turned, but that ball was smoked (Capps' fault, again) and I don't think Cutch would've gotten it anyway even with a good jump.
So hopefully he learned from that.
But last night was the first time in a while I've jumped off the couch in excitement and clapped hard and loud (after Cutch's homer) while watching a Pirate game.
So what does it all mean? It means the Pirates may have their centerpiece to build around in McCutchen. It means these Pirates are still playing hard and having fun. It means that they may be gelling as a young team. It means that players received in trades this year and last year are showing their value and worth.
Now I'm not saying that we'll compete for a playoff spot next year, but again, the future is much brighter than it's been in a long time in these parts.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Well, certainly not a poll (pole) like in 'Erotic City'. Get it? Get it?
But the official preseason football ranking are up.
They can be seen here.
|AP Top 25|
|1. Florida (58) 0-0 1,498|
|2. Texas (2) 0-0 1,424|
|3. Oklahoma 0-0 1,370|
|4. USC 0-0 1,313|
|5. Alabama 0-0 1,156|
|6. Ohio State 0-0 1,113|
|7. Virginia Tech 0-0 1,054|
|8. Mississippi 0-0 1,047|
|9. Oklahoma State 0-0 989|
|9. Penn State 0-0 989|
|11. LSU 0-0 914|
|12. California 0-0 746|
|13. Georgia 0-0 714|
|14. Boise State 0-0 659|
|15. Georgia Tech 0-0 593|
|16. Oregon 0-0 587|
|17. TCU 0-0 521|
|18. Florida State 0-0 307|
|19. Utah 0-0 289|
|20. Brigham Young 0-0 267|
|21. North Carolina 0-0 261|
|22. Iowa 0-0 229|
|23. Notre Dame 0-0 225|
|24. Nebraska 0-0 207|
|25. Kansas 0-0 134|
|USA Today Poll|
|1. Florida (53) 0-0 1,466|
|2. Texas (4) 0-0 1,386|
|3. Oklahoma (1) 0-0 1,358|
|4. USC (1) 0-0 1,321|
|5. Alabama 0-0 1,134|
|6. Ohio State 0-0 1,126|
|7. Virginia Tech 0-0 1,020|
|8. Penn State 0-0 988|
|9. LSU 0-0 917|
|10. Mississippi 0-0 889|
|11. Oklahoma State 0-0 861|
|12. California 0-0 711|
|13. Georgia 0-0 707|
|14. Oregon 0-0 694|
|15. Georgia Tech 0-0 559|
|16. Boise State 0-0 542|
|17. TCU 0-0 461|
|18. Utah 0-0 404|
|19. Florida State 0-0 371|
|20. North Carolina 0-0 293|
|21. Iowa 0-0 257|
|22. Nebraska 0-0 236|
|23. Notre Dame 0-0 194|
|24. Brigham Young 0-0 178|
|25. Oregon State 0-0 165|
Penn State is right where they should be, in the 8-12 range that I predicted. I'm not sure how Ohio State is so high with all they lost in the offseason, but hey, that's why these are just preseason polls.
I'll give anyone that $1 million in Penn State bucks if the polls end up like this at the end. Just think about some of the great things you could buy with that, like this for example.
Anyway, lastly about the poll, Florida is the consensus and easy #1. I hate Florida (who doesn't even play Ole Miss and Bama during the season). I hate Tebow. There I said it. I hate Tebow, and guess what, I didn't get struck by lightning after saying it. That whole Tebowgate thing from last month was pathetic. I mean, how dare somebody slight God on Earth himself, Tim Tebow. Hey Tebow, live it up now, because being a 4th round pick in the NFL won't cut it. Oh that's right, you don't. Which, when you had a girlfriend that looks like this, I'm gonna call bs on anyway. This guy here has it right, 15 pertinent questions for Mr. Tebow.