Tag Archives: Pittsburgh steelers

Responding To Bob Costas

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After hearing Bob Costas during halftime of last nights Pittsburgh Steelers & Kansas City Chiefs matchup it’s quite clear that Costas does not have a clear grasp on what the NFL or sports in general is for that matter and that’s entertainment.

His browbeating of Stevie Johnson for his end zone celebration, which included a mocking of Plaxico Burress shooting himself in a NYC nightclub, was laughable and annoying.

Costas decided to give us a lecture on the elegance of the spiking of the football and led us into a few sentences of his own displeasure towards new school ways of celebration and self promotion.

The whole thing was dry, nit picky and even somewhat racist seeing as how every athlete highlighted in his montage was black.

A couple things for Costas; 1. This guy must really hate soccer if he hates celebrations. Matter of fact he must hate basketball as well especially when Dikembe Mutumbo would block shots and wave his finger like a mother would at her child for a bad act.

The point is that celebrations are a part of sport. Mockery of opponents happens after goals, touchdowns, big hits, fan chants and fight songs. Hey Costas, have you ever heard “Texas Fight?” The words go “Texas fight Texas fight, goodbye A&M,” a slight towards rival school Texas A&M sung every time they score a touchdown. How about those chants done by Duke fans? My personal favorite was “Sweat Gary Sweat” which made fun of Gary Williams perspiration issues. To call out athletes for mocking opponents after touchdowns is ludicrous because it’s in every aspect of sports culture on and off of the field from athletes to fans to marketing. Who has a Yankees T-shirt that read “Hey Pedro who’s your daddy?” Complete with a pacifier? Roger Clemens didn’t make that shirt Bob, the Yankees organization did.

Also if Costas feels the need to chastise self promotion then he really needs to do research and actually look at sports as a landscape.

Self promotion goes back to the days of Jack Johnson in boxing who reveled in the fact that he was a black man that had sex with white women and beat white boxers and let everyone know about it. Or how about the king of self promotion Muhammed Ali? Did Costas have Ali in mind during his little tirade?

Or just some food for thought how does Costas view Rex Ryan and his supreme braggadocio, or Al Davis and his leather suits and moniker “Just Win Baby!” Does Costas have an issue with the way Mark Cuban stays in the headlines for the Dallas Mavericks even though he’s never shot a basketball in his life?

If Costas has a beef with self promotion then he must have a problem with sports as a whole.

Personality and creativity are what makes sports a whole. Of course we love the games but we come for the little intricacies of the game. The things we’ve seen on TV that drew us in closer. Cardinals fans love baseball, the also love Ozzie Smith’s backflips, Bulls fans loved basketball, what drew them in closer was Michael Jordan’s tongue wag, there’s Jobs Chamberlain’s fist pump after 8th inning strikeouts, Jaromir Jagr’s military style salute after goals… things that athletes don’t necessarily need to do but do because it’s who they are. It’s a part of their character that we enjoy and emulate.

So if there’s no issue with those things then why is there an issue with touchdown celebrations? Stevie Johnson’s in particular.

Did he go to far by dropping to the ground which cost his team 15 yards? Yes. He knew the rules and shouldn’t have done that. But for Costas to say he cost his team 7 points is preposterous, especially when Chan Gailey decided to attempt an on side kick at his own 20 and give the Jets a short field to work with. Now that was the real stupidity. I guess Costas was too busy not paying attention to the game to realize that.

Lastly there’s the notion from Costas that players should be punished for their acts of creativity. Which is with me… As long as you fine Ryan for saying his team will win the Super Bowl and always falls short, you fine Jerry Richardson for saying his players shouldn’t get tattoos, you fine Jim Schwartz for mocking players on the field like he did Dez Bryant or any other self promoting figure in sports that isn’t just an athlete.

What Costas did last night was show how out of touch he is with the current state of sports and not just football. If you have a problem with self promotion and mocking opponents then you should just stop watching sports in general because it exists on every level.

It’s why Oregon and Maryland have eccentric uniforms, it’s why bands have lines in fight songs dissing their rivals, it’s why fans wear “Yankees Suck” tees. That’s just how sports works. Sometimes like Stevie Johnson we go to far, but it’s all for fun and intrigue.

So to Bob Costas, the next time you feel like attempting to mockery of someone or a culture, understand the landscape of what you’re speaking about. If you did then you would realize that it’s all over sports from football to hockey to soccer.

We all like to show off and rile up opponents, It’s how the game is and it won’t change.

(my last two cents on this is the following: I knew Costas was out of touch on this subject when on Twitter Rob Lowe was agreeing with him on the subject… Rob Lowe… Yep that’s when you had to sit back and laugh at it.

Also the biggest thing that Costas forgot was the guy and team Johnson made fun of.

The New York Jets are the biggest group of self-promoting players and coaches in the league that haven’t won anything. If any team deserved to be made fun of it’s them.

Finally he made fun of Plaxico Burress who shot himself in the leg with an illegal handgun at a nightclub when he was ruled out for a game two days later in Washington. So yeah, he kind if deserves to get made fun of for that.)

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Enjoy The NFL Season, Because I Won’t

It's going to be a long season for my Giants.

So football’s back… woo-hoo!!! But I don’t care really.

Yeah I’m bitter about my Giants I can’t lie, that’s what happens when you have your top defensive end act salty over not getting a new deal, you lose half of your team to injury in the preseason (its and exaggeration but losing 3 DB’s including your best one Terrell Thomas, your starting middle linebacker, his backup is not fun) and your division rival just bought half of the NFL including your best receiver. Also the fact that your GM just stood there and did nothing about any of this. Not that I’m salty or anything.

The Eagles offseason has put them ahead of the pack as the team to beat in the NFC and the NFL as well. Their acquisitions including Nmandi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Ronnie Brown and Jason Babin help to strengthen a team that won 10 games last year and could have them in prime position to knock over the defending champion Packers.

What you may have forgotten about the Packers is that they won the title last year with a depleted unit as well. starting running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley as well as several others suffered season ending injuries early in season and jeopardized the Packers playoff chances. Aaron Rodgers suffered two concussion last year as well and misses a game due to his injury. Yet they overcame those injuries to steamroll their way to the playoffs and eventually a Super Bowl crown. Now with everyone back healthy how can they not be primed for a second straight run?

That last paragraph gives me hope for the Giants but not really. Especially when the team that we share a stadium with is getting all of the buzz in the city of New York. Whether its Rex Ryan’s mouth, Mark Sanchez on GQ, or obtaining Plaxico Buress the Jets have remained the talk of football in New York and with good reasoning. The Jets have made two straight AFC title games under Ryan and are on the cusp of finally making it to Super Bowl this year… that is if they can’t beat the Patriots.

Nmandi Asomugha was one of Philly's many big splashes.

The Patriots did some retooling themselves after their 28-21 loss to the Jets in the playoffs this past January. They rescued Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth from poor situations in Cincinnati and Washington and Bill Belichick is working them into his system and despite some early concerns about their inability to learn the schemes you know both will be ready and that the Patriots, and Tom Brady will be in line at the top of the heap of the AFC.

So who else has a shot at Super Bowl 46 this year? who’s going to be fun to watch? Who’s not worth our time and who is dead in the water?… well I think I just named the basis for my blog today now didn’t I?

AFC

DON’T EVEN BOTHER WATCHING

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton and AJ Green could hook up to be a great combo in this league… just not this year. Dalton has targets in Green, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Greshiam but the Bengals have no defense to speak of and little depth.

(Side Note: how does Marvin Lewis still have a job? the Bengals have perennially underachieved under him and have had a string of poor behavior from their players. Yet he’s still there without an inkling of heat underneath his seat. Maybe Mike Brown is cheap but he can’t be stupid. If Lewis doesn’t get it done this year or next he’s got to go… right?)

Jacksonville Jaguars: you get on this list for firing your QB 5 days before the opener. That and having no real receivers to speak of after Mike Sims-Walker left for St. Louis and very little on defense. Hi Jack Del Rio, welcome to the hot seat.

Buffalo Bills: name me three Buffalo Bills… don’t worry I’ll wait.

DEAD IN THE WATER

Miami Dolphins: Reggie Bush looks like a new man, Cameron Wake is a top 10 defensive end in the league and the tandem of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith are one of the best in the league at defensive back. So why are they on this list? Chad Henne is their starting QB… no need to elaborate, let’s move on.

Tennessee Titans: Matt Hasselback is a good replacement until Jake Locker is ready to take the reins and Chris Johnson is in the fold again after signing a huge extension. Yet in a division with the Colts and Texans who made strides to get better in terms of depth , the Titans have a ways to go to catch up.

TRENDING UP

Denver Broncos: I have and always will like Kyle Orton. He is a capable starting QB with enough sense to lead a team to the playoffs. John Fox has made a lot of smart decision this offseason when it came to figuring out a better defensive scheme to make that poor unit better but his best decision was make Orton the starter. Tim Tebow as much as the fans love him is nowhere near ready to be on the field as an NFL starter. Hell Brady Quinn looked better than him this preseason… BRADY QUINN! As much as the fans were calling for Tebow and that John Elway loves him they all need to wake the heck up. Tebow Is not a starting QB in the NFL right now, if you start him you hurt your teams chances at making the playoffs and the Broncos can become a player if their defense holds up.

This is not how the Colts envisioned seeing Peyton Manning.

Oakland Raiders: Yep you’re reading that right. Even with the loss of Asomuha on defense the Raiders have more than enough up front to be scary led by Richard Seymour. My biggest concern with them is if they can score enough points. They have a ton of speed with Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden but can it be utilized by any of their QB’s?

Cleveland Browns: they’re not ready to compete this year, but I have a feeling that Colt McCoy and Joe Haden will give teams fits on both ends of the ball. I know Cleveland is wary about expectations but 9-7 isn’t crazy to me.

THEY CAN GO EITHER WAY

Indianapolis Colts: this isn’t just because Peyton Manning will miss the time due to his neck injury it’s because I don’t trust their wide receivers to stay healthy, their secondary to be effective and their front 7 to be consistent. However, if Manning does come back slinging it like he does then none of this will matter.

Kansas City Chiefs: this team would be a contender if someone other than Matt Cassel was their QB. He’s not bad by any means but I think he inhibits them offensively. As for the defense… hey Glenn Dorsey… DO SOMETHING!!!

San Diego Chargers: they’re in good hands with Philip Rivers but consistency on offense worries me. Also can Shaun Phillips make enough plays on defense to make them forget about Shawne Merriman?

EITHER GET IT DONE OR BE DONE

Houston Texans: If they don’t breakthrough this year then it’ll never happen. Peyton’s injured, the Titans and Jags are rebuilding and the Texans stand on the cusp of a divisional title if they can actually man up in big games (hi, Matt Schaub). With Wade Phillips running the defense they should improve and actually be marginally good against the pass. But it really it comes down to this; we’ve been saying now for the last two seasons that this is the year for the Texans… I’m not saying it. Either get it done or start over.

THE ONLY FOUR THAT MATTER

Baltimore Ravens: the only thing that worries me about them is Joe Flacco. After last postseason in Pittsburgh Flacco looks frightened of the moment to me and that could be an issue going down the stretch. Does he have the fortitude to lead the Ravens in late game situations or is he just an average QB? This year we’ll find out.

New York jets: no excuse not to make it all the way this year. they have the experience, the players and the coaching, now they’ve got to get over the hump.

Pittsburgh Steelers: so, you think Dan Rooney is happy that this offseason is over? James Harrison, Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall gave him heartburn with their off the field issues and left a stain on the Steeler logo. Well now that it’s over and football is all that matters the focus is there and Mike Tomlin won’t let it slip. The league’s best defense can lead the Steelers back to the promise land and make everyone forget about a forgettable offseason.

New England Patriots: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after a postseason loss to a divisional rival and all offseason to think about it? yeah, get scared.

NFC

CHANGE THE CHANNEL

Washington Redskins: their starter is Rex Grossman, they have no one to run the ball, and they have no real secondary… Washington is counting the days until the Capitals are back.

Good luck with this Washington.

San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith is still their QB…

THERE’S A CHANCE BUT NOT A GOOD ONE

New York Giants: no depth, no chance. Also… STOP TURNING THE DAMN BALL OVER ALL OF YOU!!!!!!

Carolina Panthers: very young, very raw, but very talented. Give them time to gel and check back next year or the year after.

Minnesota Vikings: Donovan McNabb’s number one receiver is Percy Harvin, Jared Allen is coming off of a poor season and needs a bounce back badly. Sounds like it’ll be a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson this year.

UMMM… I COULDN’T EVEN TELL YOU

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is in a make or break year for his career. If he can’t get to the playoffs this year and go deep then the Cowboys will look for a new QB to lead the team in 2012. The problem is does he have everything he needs to succeed around him. who’s the team’s number one running back? Can Dez Bryant step his game up and compliment Miles Austin on the outside? Can their secondary stop anybody? Will Jason Garrett strangle Mike Jenkins by year’s end? I would hate to be in Romo’s position right now.

Arizona Cardinals: Now we get to see what the big deal is with Kevin Kolb. If he’s all that he’s cracked up to be then the Cardinals will contend. If not then Ken Whisenhunt will be feeling a little fire under his seat.

Seattle Seahawks: all of these offseason moves to improve your offense and the best you can do at QB is Tavaris Jackson? Maybe they should’ve resigned Hasselback.

YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID… VERY AFRAID

Detroit Lions: if Matt Stafford can stay healthy… IF… then look out. This is everyone’s chic pick to be the breakout team in the NFL and it’s not hard to see why. The main reason is Ndamukong Suh who is becoming the best defensive player in the NFL leading a defensive line that once it gets Nick Fairley back will be one of the best in the game. However, it comes back to Stafford. He has shown in limited action that he can be a really good QB and can put lots of points on the board with Calvin Johnson. His health decides their season; if he’s healthy then they’re in the playoffs, if not… wait until next year.

St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford almost lead them to the playoffs throwing to Danny Amendola… the defense has been together for a solid three years under Steve Spagnuolo’s complicated scheme and is getting it down to a science… the other three teams in the division are trying to figure themselves out in all areas while the Rams are set in there’s… if they don’t win the NFC West then it’ll be a huge disappointment.

It's now or never for Houston.

(Side note 2: remember the 2009 NFL Draft where Aaron Curry was the next great NFL linebacker, Brian Cushing was a stud, Rey Maualuga was a huge playmaker in the making and James Laurinaitis had concerns that he wasn’t fast enough to be an effective NFL linebacker? Guess who has become the best young middle linebacker in the league? Yep the slow kid from Ohio State who won two Butkis Awards in college. You know I wonder if scouts actually watch college games sometimes.)

THE ENIGMA

Chicago Bears: Is the defense set? Yes. Is Jay Cutler mentally ready to lead this team after the controversy from the NFC title game? I don’t know. Cutler has always been mercurial and hasn’t seemed like the greatest leader in the world but it’ll tested more than ever this year. he has to have a strong year under center and make very few mistakes and do so without a clear cut number one receiver, no respectable tight end and an agitated Matt Forte. If he can keep it all in line then the memory of him on the sidelines while his team struggles for yardage in the biggest game of the year will be a memory.

THE FIGHT TO THE DEATH FOR THE PLAYOFFS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman… oh and LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams and a revamped defense looking to bring back the Warren Sapp days. Their out to prove that last year was not a fluke… and they will.

New Orleans Saints: they couldn’t get over the Super Bowl hangover until it was too late. Plus the fact that they lost to 7-9 Seattle in the playoffs still hurts. Expect them to come out lighting it up from day one with nothing but a Super Bowl on their minds.

Atlanta Falcons: Hi Matt Ryan, welcome to Alex Ovechkin’s world. You play for one of the best teams in the league and you have matched all of your hype except in one area… you can’t get it done in the playoffs. You’ve been twice and gotten beaten up both times. Last year you ran into a smoldering hot Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay and you couldn’t keep up with them. Well guess what Matty Ice, now you have an issue. You’re in your 4th year in the league and are considered an elite QB, so guess what were all expecting you to do now? that’s right, win when it matters. You can win all of the regular season games that you want but if you can’t win the close ones or get to the playoffs and win there then we don’t care. Your mission is to win the NFC South and make a Super Bowl run and nothing less. If you can’t do that then you’ll be sitting next to Ovechkin having a beer and wondering what more do you have to do to make your team elite.

THE CHAMP

Green Bay Packers: Clay Matthews had 17 sacks last year, mostly on a broken leg… he’s healthy now… every QB in the league just got scared.

THE MIAMI HEAT

Philadelphia Eagles: Vince Young said that they were a super team and with the moves that they made how can you deny that claim? Young, Cromartie, Asomugha, Babin, Brown, Steve Smith and a cast of thousands joined the Eagles within the span of two weeks and expectations catapulted the Eagles to the top of the NFC class. Paper does not make a champion, but it does create some fun banter. Can this team finally gain short yardage with Brown and LeSean McCoy? Can the offensive line protect Michael Vick? With the new additions to the secondary will they be able to stop the pass? We won’t know until week 1 and even then we need more proof. The City of Philadelphia has been all about big name acquisitions this year with the Phillies getting Cliff Lee, the Flyers obtaining goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and now the Eagles with, well everyone. Can they make the title game? Sure. But they have to gel first and get all of their parts in order.

Yep we're still here.

Funny enough… I think that they will, but they won’t win. The Eagles vs. The Patriots sounds like a great matchup for Super Bowl 46 and The Patriots sound like a good winner. The Patriots have lost their swagger from previous years and it shows in their games versus the Jets, Steelers and other in previous years. They are still one of the top teams in the league but they needed to get kicked in the rear to get it together. The Jets provided them with that spark last year and it will carry over into this one.

Well I hope the Patriots enjoy their title run, the Jets enjoy contending, the Eagles enjoy the hype and the Packers enjoy their title defense. I won’t enjoy any of it thanks to the gloomy outlook that the Giants are facing this year. Oh well, it could be worse, I could pick the Bengals to win it all again.

AFC EAST- PATRIOTS

AFC NORTH- STEELERS

AFC SOUTH- TEXANS

AFC WEST- CHARGERS

AFC WILDCARDS- JETS, RAVENS

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP- STEELERS VS. PATRIOTS

NFC EAST- EAGLES

NFC NORTH- PACKERS

NFC SOUTH- SAINTS

NFC WEST- RAMS

NFC WILDCARDS- FALCONS, BUCS

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP- EAGLES VS. PACKERS

SUPER BOWL- PATRIOTS VS. EAGLES

MVP- DREW BREES

DPOY- NDAMUKONG SUH

OPOY- BREES

COACH OF THE YEAR- RAHEEM MORRIS

OROY- MARK INGRAM

DROY- PATRICK PETERSON


Garrard’s Bad Case Of Deja Vu

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David Garrard's career in Jacksonville ended the way it started.

Here’s how cruel of a business the NFL can be… David Garrard was released today by the Jacksonville Jaguars only five days before the start of the regular season.

Jack Del Rio had grown sick of Garrard’s inconsistency and didn’t see enough from him in the preseason to keep him as the team’s starter.

Its a weird twist of fate as well as Garrard’s end mirrored his start. Garrard became the team’s starting QB in 2007 in similar fashion as the Jags cut ties with Byron Leftwich just days before it’s opener with Tennessee.

Garrard led the Jags to a 10-6 season and a first-round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. Ever since then Garrard has been an enigma under center and there was talk last year of him being replaced by Luke McCown before McCown went down for the season with an injury.

Garrard’s last few starts as a Jag were horrendous including a five turnover performance against the Redskins at the end of last season and in this preseason against St. Louis he went 1-5 and exchanged words with his offensive line. That may have factored into him not being voted a team captain by his peers and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for his days in Jacksonville.

Now McCown takes over for the Jags but the real question is how long will he be the starter before Blaine Gabbert takes the reigns?

Gabbert was the tenth overall pick in this years draft and seems as though he’s adapted well to the Jags offense. With the Jags in rebuild mode we could see Gabbert after the November 6th bye week versus Indianapolis.

As for Garrard teams like the Buccaneers, 49ers & Bengals could use a veteran to backup a young QB so who knows how long he’ll be out of a job for.

One things for sure, Garrard got a front row view of how harsh life in the NFL can be. Today he lost his job in the same fashion that he got it. It’s tough but if you don’t perform well you won’t have a job for too long.

It also doesn’t matter how close to week 1 it is either.


The Birthday Confessions Of A Sports Writer

Nothing will ever beat this game.

So I turned —- today (you’ll never get my age ever in life), and I’m currently nursing a hangover thanks to the normal heavy dosage of liquor consumption made possible by my friends (raspberry rum and soda and raspberry vodka and soda are two totally different entities, ugh).

This is hardly the condition I should be in to write a blog especially when there isn’t much to discuss right now.

However, in this silly mind of mine I decided to give you some of my sports confessions.

We as sports writers get our favoritism, views and beliefs in sports at a young age and two things happen; either you stick to your guns or you switch up sides.

I’m the latter of this. Truth is my New York sports bias is a recent thing. I used to…

Wait, let’s do this in a proper numerical style. I mean why give you a drawn out explanation then get into the confessions? I think we’ll do 24 facts, not my age but the number I wanted to wear if I ever got to play with Michael Jordan as a kid because 23 was sort of taken.

1. I hated New York sports teams growing up

Giants, hated them. Yankees, they sucked. Mets, them too. Knicks, yuck. Rangers… That’ll be number two.

My mom forged my sports life as a kid. I loved who she loved because she was a sports nut. She loved Joe Montana, Michael Jordan, and the Mets. All I knew was the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, baseball cards and that NY sucked.

I actually cried when the 49ers lost to the Giants in 1991 when they were trying to three-peat. That seems so weird now especially now that I scream at Eli Manning every two seconds and own 8 giants jerseys.

This is how I got into hockey.

(my favorite sports moment is still Super Bowl 23. Me and my mom watched that game on the couch together with me curled up underneath her. As Montana led the 49ers up the field on that last late fourth quarter drive my mom and I slowly pulled away from each other and moved closer to the TV until Montana hit John Taylor for the winning score. You should’ve seen us scream and parade around our house like we had won the Super Bowl. That will never be beat.)

2. I used to hate hockey.

I mean I’m black and from the projects in Brooklyn, NY. My mom hated hockey and so did I. She always thought it was a dumb sport and there were no black players so there was no point for it. Since I followed her lead with everything (except the mets, I wasn’t that dumb) I followed that philosophy.

Then the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup and I watched it all. That hooked me.

I was in Washington D.C. when it happened but I felt the energy of New York. I learned about the 54 year curse, how much of a hockey city New York actually is and how truly bad ass Mark Messier truly was.

After that run you couldn’t pull me away from a hockey game. Even when the New Jersey Devils killed hockey in the late 90’s I was still into it heavy.

(I guess you could say the Rangers made me a New York fan. After that run in 94 I felt that I had to like all New York teams because how could I like teams from other cities when I was a true New Yorker?)

3. I was a Michigan fan growing up. (Florida State too.)

In New York there was no college team team in the area that drew attention. Every Saturday the TV selections were Notre Dame, Florida State on ESPN and the Big Ten on ABC with Michigan on every single week.

Truth is I always wanted to go to Michigan. I loved the colors, the fight song, Brian Griese, Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson… And the fab five… And Glen Rice’s performance against Seton Hall in 1989….

I still have more great Michigan memories than Ohio State memories… AND I WENT TO OHIO STATE!!!

I could point out moments in great games like the Rose Bowl in 1997 versus Washington State, I cried when Kordell Stewart’s hail Mary beat Michigan in the Big House, I was so happy when we got revenge in Boulder some years later…

I should probably stop there before all of my Ohio State buddies kill me.

4. I never truly liked Tiger Woods

HELLLLOOOO HEISMAN!

There was always something off about him to me. He was too pristine, too clean. Me being from the projects I felt as though with black men there had to be some nasty streak in you somewhere. Jordan had one, Michael Irvin too, Jerry Rice was a prick at times but Tiger was too perfect.

I didn’t like how he always won and how everyone jumped on his bandwagon. I didn’t like how black people crowned him as our king of the moment when he didn’t seem interested in being black (whatever that means) I just never liked him.

When this scandal tore him down I laughed at him, but it didn’t bother me too much. It was just another athlete taking a nose dive. I don’t feel bad for him, I don’t care that he’s not playing well and honestly I dont care if he ever does again.

5. Maryland made me love Duke

I used to be the biggest Duke hater alive… They beat UNLV when I loved Larry Johnson, they prevented the Fab Five from winning a title, The Laettner shot that beat Kentucky made me want to stab myself… and I couldn’t believe that this many white guys were good at basketball and that they kept beating brothers.

(side note 2: for Grant Hill and coach K to criticize Jalen Rose for saying that Hill was an Uncle Tom because he played at Duke was silly. Everyone in the projects felt like that. We liked Kenny Anderson, baggy shorts and baldies. Hill and any other Dukie was a sellout to us. How could they play with all of these white boys and not there own people? Do I think like that now? Of course not. I understand what coaching can do and that you can ball no matter the color. But still you can’t criticize a guy for saying something that the majority of people like him felt was true.)

Then I moved to Maryland where they hate anything New York; Yankees, Jets, Metrostars it didn’t matter. I didn’t understand the hatred because one, New York wasn’t their rival in anything and two, because it didn’t make sense. It got to the point where I kept hearing Yankees this, Giants that, blah blah blah that I got angry and said that I would hate the Terrapins just out if spite.

And who do Terps fans hate more than anything?… Duke.

So there I was cheering for Duke, the team I always hated but because I wanted to piss Marylanders off I was forcing myself to like.

That’s when I fell in love with Jay Williams, Shane Battier and Carlos Boozer and they had me hooked.

It was Williams especially because he was a Jersey kid and I always liked guys from my neck of the woods. I loved his game, fearlessness and how he ate the Terps for lunch. His ten points in 58 seconds still makes me laugh.

Watching Maryland fans whine and cry more than made up for the Yankees not winning a World Series for ten years.

6. I didn’t care that Brett Hull’s skate was in the crease.

The skate had nothing to do with the goal. Get over it Buffalo.

Dumbest… Rule… Ever!!! So many goals were disallowed because of that dumb rule that never should have been made because half of the time the skates never interfered with the goalie.

Did Hull affect Hasek’s angle? No. Did Hull interfere with Hasek? No. Did he skate in late and come up on the side if Hasek an nothing to do with the goal? Yes.

Ok then. Sorry Buffalo deal with it.

7. My least favorite sports moment as a kid was watching my Oakland A’s get swept by the Cincinnati Reds.

How did Eck, Dave Stewart, Rickey Henderson and my favorite player Mark McGwire not only lose but look awful against the Reds? Was Jose Rijo that good? How about Chris Sabo and Eric Davis? That was the first time in my life where I went to school the next day after a game and couldn’t stop thinking how in the hell that just happened.

The A’s were so much better, they had the pitching, the hitting and the power and they lost to The Nasty Boys?

I need a juice box.

8. Syracuse-Georgetown is the best basketball rivalry in college basketball

John Thompson, Jim Boeheim, Billy Owens, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Sherman Douglas, technical fouls, physical basketball, a loud Carrier Dome and an even louder Capital Center… God I love the Big East.

9. I will always hate Texas A&M football

Why? Because they screwed Michael Bishop out of everything.

A title, a Heisman, and a pro career.

I only watched Kansas State because of Bishop and his speed, arm and instinct. I couldn’t name another Wildcat from that team but I just loved Bishop.

I didn’t care that he was six feet tall or needed some fine tuning. I just knew that once K-State got to the National Championship all the world would see his skill…

And Sirr Parker killed that.

I’m glad the SEC said no to you.

10. I really don’t care who did steroids in baseball

It was legal and it brought the game back.

Where would baseball be if Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa didn’t have their home run chase?

Steroids or not that was a magical summer where everyone sat in front if the television and their lives hinged on every at bat. It was awesome; McGwire found the fountain of youth, Sosa emerged as a superstar and the game was popular again.

As much as everyone hides it we love baseball. We all played it, watched it live and have fun at the yard whenever go. The game was suffering well after the strike of 1994 it needed a boost and this was it.

Yeah he did steroids... he also saved baseball.

Did the use get out of control? Yes, but to me it was worth it and I’ll always remember the summer of 1998 as the summer that baseball truly came back.

11. Steffi Graf is my least favorite athlete ever.

She beat Monica Seles who was my favorite women’s player at the time, she beat Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, she won seemingly every tournament she played and won with ease.

She wasn’t snooty, had no mean strike, no off the court issues… nothing.

She was just a machine, a well-oiled wrecking ball that made Saturday’s at Roland Garros and Wimbledon no fun to watch because you knew she was going to win.

She was the Bulls before the Jordan, golf before Tiger and Yankees before their rise…

And she was a total class act. That’s why I hated her I guess.

12. The only reason why I hate The Pittsburgh Steelers is Super Bowl 40

The Seahawks played against 17 men at a time, the Steelers and the refs. Quite honestly the worst called game ever and the Steelers acted like nothing happened. I still want Mike Holmgren to body slam Bill Cowher.

13. If Ohio State plays Syracuse in anything… I’m cheering for Syracuse

Buckeye Nation is really going to kill me.

Now I was a Michigan fan and I loved the Seminoles but I always wanted to be an Orangeman (and I would’ve if tuition wasn’t $42,000 a year).

Of course in basketball I loved the Orange and always will, however I like Syracuse football as much as I love OSU football.

Those were the Donovan McNabb days when he was slinging it to Marvin Harrison. I had a man crush on McNabb because he was just a beast. He could run it, throw it and make a three pointer every once in awhile. He was the first in the era of the scrambling QB and he made it work.

Harrison I thought was going to be the next Jerry Rice, and he almost was. He made everything look easy and could catch any ball thrown at him. With those two guys I thought it was the beginning if a dynasty at The Cuse on the field…

But we know how that went.

Fast forward to this year and The Cuse is on its way back. Coming off of an 8-5 year Syracuse has an outside shot at the Big East and could win 9 games. I’m honestly more excited for Orange football than Buckeye football.

Maybe it was the scandal, the tats, the selling of rings but I’m over it. I want to cheer for something I can believe in and right now my childhood favorites are trending up. I’m not totally abandoning Ohio State, but if they square off against the Orange I might be in a Syracuse Marathon Men shirt.

I’m looking so bad to the alumni right now.

My man Donovan.

14. I laughed at The Knicks when Reggie Miller scored 8 points in 17 seconds

I mean it was funny.

15. I still think the Ravens fixed Super Bowl 34

THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT BALTIMORE CAN SCORE 34 POINTS!!!! ESPECIALLY AGAINST A TOP FIVE DEFENSE!!! AND I’M STICKING WITH THAT!!!!

16. My first pair of basketball kicks weren’t Jordan’s… They were Ewing’s

That orange and blue with the basketball hanging off the side… C’mon son! They were way fresher than the Jordans.

17. As much as I loved Mark Messier my favorite Ranger is Adam Graves

You ever date a girl who isn’t prettier than other girls that you’ve dated, doesn’t have big boobs, doesn’t have a great body, but makes you happy and does all the little things? That’s Adam Graves. He wasn’t as well known as Messier or Brian Leetch, he wasn’t as rough as Jeff Beukeboom and he wasn’t Mike Gartner fast.

But he always scored goals when you needed them, always killed penalties well and always laid it out in the ice. I was more upset when we traded him to San Jose than when Wayne Gretzky retired… true story.

18. The first game that made me throw a violent tantrum and had me cursing up a storm was the Mariners-Yankees ALDS game 5 in 1995.

Literally cursed so loud that my mom barged into my room and caught me about to tear into my book bag.

I hate that the M’s got into the playlets in the first place with that late season run (I was cheering for then to make it at first because I loved Ken Griffey Jr… Learned that lesson) I hate that Randy Johnson was so unhittable and I hate Jack McDowell because he had no business being out there amongst other reasons for hating him.

When we fired Buck Showalter at the end of the year I was part pissed and part happy. I was happy he was gone but mad that he cost us so many games including that one.

19. Pete Sampras- Andre Agassi is still my favorite sports rivalry.

This was the first sports thing that me and my mom went at each others throats about. She loved Agassi, the image, the hair, the return game and that he seemed like a down to earth guy. I liked Sampras’s nerve, his serve, the way that he played the game. He was the first cerebral athlete that I admired because he always seemed in control.

She called Sampras snooty, I called Agassi a punk, yeah a tennis rivalry broke up our house, weird I know.

It was the tennis that was so great. They were constantly gunning for each other and only measured themselves against each other. Jim Courier, Boris Becker. Stefan Edberg, none of them mattered. Sure they were good competition but Sampras only cared about Agassi and vice versa

You know these Roger Federer- Rafael Nadal matches? Those were three to four times a year for Sampras and Agassi or so it seemed. They were epic and just had you sitting on your hands past the third set.

Man did they hate each other.

They wanted to kill each other I thought. It was the perfect match if wits; Sampras and his finesse versus Agassi and his power. The series never tilted too far in one way. Sampras won his titles as did Agassi but Each has their own bragging point; Sampras won 7 Wimbledon crowns the most ever while Agassi has the career slam.

(side note 3: you know how I know this rivalry was really nasty? Last year in a charity match Sampras teamed with Federer to take on Agassi and Nadal. Agassi and Sampras traded barbs that were more than just smack talk. The crowd and Federer and Nadal just stood there with the crackers looks on there faces. I guess time doesn’t heal all wounds.)

20. The biggest choke job I ever saw was at the 1994 World Cup when Roberto Baggio missed a wide open net in penalty kicks costing Italy a chance at beating Brazil

I didn’t understand soccer at the time and didn’t like it… But even I was saying to myself “how did he miss that?”

21. As much as I hate the SEC, Nebraska is still my least favorite college team

They are still the most overrated program ever. They never threw the ball and no one could stop them. I remember watching the 1996 National Title game against Florida (who I also hated thanks to my allegiance to Florida State) and watch them beat down a team that beat down everyone and I couldnt understand it.

That Tommie Frazier run was the perfect example. You know option right was their bread and butter, they were in position had him stopped, yet 65 yards later the Huskers were up 62-24.

I can’t believe in 1994 that Nebraska and Penn State both finished undefeated but Nebraska won the outright title. PENN STATE WOULD HAVE KILLED THEM!!! Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter and Kyle Brady along with that defense would’ve stopped that option I guarantee it.

Same with the split tile in 1997 with Michigan. Michigan was definitely the better team and had a better defense. However, everyone loved Nebraska, the loved Tom Osbourne a his gimmick offense. It ticks me off and I hope Ohio State beats them by 80 this year.

(by the way, you know what could’ve solved the issues of 1994 and 1997? A playoff… Just saying)

22. I still get nervous when I see a Florida state kicker kick

Wide right… Wide right 2… Wide left… That’ll do it to you.

Ugh!

23. I used to love Cal Ripken Jr an thought he was the greatest shortstop ever…

Then I moved to Maryland and heard about Cal so much that I wanted to puke… oh and Derek Jeter happened.

Cal made me want to be a shortstop. He hit for power, drove in runs and was great defensively. He had the iron man streak and everything pulled me in.

I had a serious collection of Cal Ripken cards that I wouldn’t sell for anything…

Then I got older and studied the game more and realized that he was alright.

One, that streak is the most overrated streak ever in sports. Of those 2600+ games only 200 of them were meaningful. He trotted out for so many bad teams and bad years that really the streak took on it’s own life because that’s all there was in Baltimore.

When you look at Brett Favre’s streak in the NFL it is way more impressive because Favre played in title games, won 3 MVP’s, went to the playoff in all but 3 or 4 years and carried his team to victory. Ripken wasn’t even close.

Then there was the fact that he wasn’t a great hitter. He always hovered around .275 and once his power went so did he.

Then there’s this fact… for all of the mess about Derek Jeter’s defense did you know that Ripken has more career errors, more 20+ error seasons and a lower fielding percentage than Jeter.

Maybe we should steer some of this overrated talk in Cal’s direction.

Ripken was good but he isn’t Jeter. Jeter has played in way more important games, come through in the clutch too many times and has made more ridiculous plays than Ripken ever did.

It’s not even close as to who’s better. Jeter is hitting almost .300 and playing decent defense at shortstop at age 37, Ripken was already tanking.

I’m sorry Maryland and baseball critics, Ripken was highly overrated. It just took me a few years to figure it out.

24. My middle school teacher Ms Rodriguez first put it in my head that I should be a sports writer.

We had a project where we had to write something and put it into summary form for class. I used the NHL all-star game for my project. I watched the entire thing took notes, wrote a three page report and talked about in threw minutes or less highlighting Owen Nolan’s hat trick (I still don’t know how he didn’t win MVP that year, the game was in San Jose… He was a Shark… silly voters),

Needless to say I got an A and she, as well as my classmates were really impressed. She told me to stick with it and that I would be a really good writer one day.

Overrated.

I hope she’s right. Writing a blog hungover while spilling your sports guts isn’t fun. However it may be worth it in the end and I might have many more happy birthdays in my future.

Thanks for reading and supporting the blog so far and letting me spew my ridiculousness for all the world to see. Now if you’ll excuse me my hangover is gone and I’m going to try to get a new one.

I might need a few drinks once I hear it from Buckeye fans about what I said.

Sometimes confessions should stay secret.


Get A Grip James

Damn damn damn James!

I’ve supported James Harrison through a lot of harassment at the hands of the NFL.

 

I’ve thought that Roger Goodell has come down way too hard on Harrison for his style of play, which has led to numerous fines from Goodell. I’ve thought that Harrison has been unfairly portrayed as a dirty player and reckless. I’ve though that he’s been a whipping boy for Goodell and used as an example of what happens to players for reckless behavior.

 

However, if Goodell and the NFL decide to fine him this time, I wouldn’t have an issue with it at all.

 

Harrison went all sorts of crazy in the latest edition of Men’s Journal magazine. In his highly candid interview entitled “Confessions Of An NFL Hit Man” Harrison blacked out on Roger Goodell as well as various teammates of his and the perception that his fines are racially driven.

 

Here are just a few excerpts:

 

If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it (on Goodell)

 

Fumble machine (on Rashard Mendenhall)

 

Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does (on Ben Roethlisberger)

 

I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20… You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell? (On race being a factor in his fines)

 

He also called Goodell such nice words as “Crook,” Devil,” “Stupid,” “Puppet,” “Dictator,” and a anti-gay slur.

 

He also called NFL analysts and former New England Patriots Tedy Brushi and Rodney Harrison “Clowns,” and said that Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing “Juiced out of his mind.”

 

James Harrison wasn't exactly nice in Men's Journal article.

Damn damn, damn James (yeah I just went Andre 3000 on you).

 

There are certain ways to exert your frustration and anguish towards your boss, but the way Harrison went about it was completely unacceptable.

 

Harrison was way off base in his comments, all of them. Do I believe that Goodell has been a bit of a pawn for the owners in this entire lockout? Of course, they pay him. However, there are ways of letting your opinion of him be well known.

 

Calling him a racial slur and a bevy of childish words isn’t one of them.

 

Harrison should understand that this is a business just as much as anyone. I understand his frustration with the fines and the lockout, but to get in a national publication and go in on the man that runs your league was completely wrong.

 

Harrison’s complaints and accusations were unwarranted honestly. The idea that his fines were racially charged would make sense if the hit on Drew Brees wasn’t his 4th infraction of the season while the hit on Young was his first. Goodell has been just as hard on white players as he has on black players (see Roethlisberger). It doesn’t matter what race you are if you mess up under his watch on or off the field then you will be punished.

 

Speaking of Roethlisberger, why go at him or Mendenhall now?

 

Where was this talk two years ago when Roethlisberger’s mind was off in lala land? Why talk now after he took responsibility for the loss in Dallas and has seemed to make a change in the locker room? Plus why go at Mendenhall’s issues on the field when he carried the offense at times last year?

 

Why not take responsibility for not stopping the Packers in the Super Bowl, you know like defenses are supposed to do? Where was the criticism of poor secondary play, pass coverage, and lack of pressure on Aaron Rodgers? Were we all not watching the same game James?

 

How should Big Ben feel about Harrison after the release of the article?

(Side note: you know what I really hate about these articles? It’s that the guy talking smack always retracts what he says. If you meant it James stand by it. Don’t get all shook once your QB calls you up and asks what’s up. Be the guy holding two guns in the picture at the intro of the story and stand by what you said. )

 

This is the last thing that the Steelers needed this offseason with the Mendenhall tweets about Osama Bin Laden and Hines Ward’s DUI arrest. Harrison’s comments come at a bad time and further hurt the image of what the Steelers stand for.

 

If I’m Dan Rooney I’m at my wits end with these constant off the field issues and I would start reaching into some pockets.

 

In the case of Harrison I think Goodell will reach into his once the new CBA is done and the NFL is operational once again. He, once again, has to make an example of Harrison and let players know that there are ways of letting your opinions be known and there are ways of going about them.

 

Hopefully Harrison learns this lesson and puts better thought into his words so next time he wont come off looking childish and nasty.

 

I can’t even defend him for that.


The Reason Why We Hate The Pittsburgh Steelers

Don't feel bad about hating the Pittsburgh Steelers. It happens when winning becomes a habit

Back in the 90’s when I was a San Francisco 49ers fan I remembered their rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys. It dated back to “The Catch” in 1981 (even though other than that game you couldn’t name me one big 49ers-Cowboys game from 81-92) and ran from their NFC title in 1992 until the end of the decade.

 

To be honest with you I couldn’t understand what the big deal was with the rivalry. I never really hated the Cowboys up until they beat the niners in 92 and then again in 93. Its not like they were in the same division like they are now with the Giants, they just beat my favorite team and then they continued winning.

 

That’s how most of these “most hated” teams in each sport become so hated, they win too much and we as fans become so sickened by them that we don’t care who beats them as long as they lose.

 

How do you think teams like the Yankees, Red Wings and Lakers became so hated? They always win.

 

I went to a Capitals game a while ago and I kept overhearing a bunch of fans screaming about how much they hated the Red Wings and I wondered why? The Caps and Wings have no history against each other (except that little sweep in the 98 Stanley Cup Final.). There are no classic games like there has been between the Caps and Pens. They just hate the Wings because the Wings always win.

 

I hate the Lakers. No reason in particular, I just do.

 

They’ve never killed the Knicks like Reggie Miller and the Pacers or Jordan and the Bulls, they just win a lot and I they always do it with ease.

This is why you hate the Red Wings... admit it.

When the Detroit Pistons played them in the NBA Finals in 2002 I remembered praying to God that the Pistons would kill the Lakers. Keep in mind, I’m also a Bulls fan… remember the Detroit Bad Boys of the 80’s and how they bullied Jordan and the Bulls? Yeah… I was hoping they beat the Lakers. I didn’t want the Lakers to win because they just won three straight titles. They didn’t need another ring. They cost Reggie Miller a title, and Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson, three of this generation’s best players. Winning another one would just be rubbing it in. its not fair I thought too myself, let someone else win who deserves it.

 

That’s why I kind of understand everyone’s hatred of the Yankees. The Yankees win and win a lot and they do it by spending lots of money (not that we should care because if you had 2 billion dollars wouldn’t you get the best players for your team?).

 

Every year we (the Yankees) shell out hundreds of millions to bring in Alex Rodriguez, C.C. Sabathia and others to put on the pinstripes and create a bigger gap between them and the competition. That’s why fans of the Royals, Rangers, Braves and Orioles hate us. There are no classic game seven’s like we had against the Pirates, or battles like we have with the Red Sox, it’s just you get tired of going to the ballpark and watching a team of triple A players and maybe one or two really good major leaguers to take on a bunch of guys who got paid a ton of money to wear the same jerseys as Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson.

 

The flip side of this is how people take their hatred of a team and somehow try to turn it into a rivalry. Living in Maryland I saw this with most of their fans mostly fans of the Orioles and the Terrapins.

 

People in Maryland hate New York for some odd reason that I’ll never understand. When the Ravens beat the Giants in Super Bowl 35 the entire city almost creamed on themselves they were so happy that they beat New York in something. It’s silly to hate an entire city because you can’t beat them and try to tell people that they are your most hated rival.

 

True hatred that isn’t intra-divisional occur when another team costs you a shot at a title or beats you too often you develop a clear hatred for them. Rivalries start when you actually beat the other team in a big time situation.

 

I have a reason to hate the Anaheim Angels. They beat the Yankees in the playoffs twice in the 2000’s and owned us in the regular season. However, it wasn’t a rivalry until two years ago when we finally beat them in the playoffs and went on to win the World Series. We beat our bully and got over the hump.

 

What makes the Orioles a rival? Nothing. Going to Orioles games is annoying because the fans chant Yankees suck, boo Derek Jeter and start fights in the crowd due to the fact that they feel we are their rivals. Um… it’s kind of hard to be rivals with a team who is terrible every year and allows Yankees fans to take over their stadium 9 times a year and turn it into Yankees Stadium South.

Orioles fans have one reason to hate the Yankees. Unfortunarly that doesn't make them the Yankees rival.

(What really annoys me is that the Red Sox do the exact same thing but the fans are ok with it. Boston owns Camden Yards 9 times a year and people in Baltimore walk around in Red Sox gear cheer for them and call themselves Orioles fans. They walk around the city and pledge allegiance to two teams, ONE IN THEIR OWN DIVISION! They say if they play each other I’m an O’s fan but other than that I cheer for the Red Sox. NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! WHO TEACHES YOU THIS ETTIQUETTE!!

 

You don’t cheer for a team with in your own division. Redskins fans don’t like the Giants, Braves fans don’t like the Mets, Twins and ChiSox fans don’t like each other because that’s just how it is. That’s why Baltimore is the most fair-weather town in America and only supports its teams when they’re good.

 

Sorry about that rant. Just annoys me that’s all. Ok back to the blog.)

 

Same thing for the Terps and their beef with Duke. I still don’t consider their battles rivalries because Maryland still hasn’t cost Duke anything yet.

The fighting Testudos have had better luck against the Devils in recent years but its not Duke-UNC nor is it even Duke-UCONN. Its just Maryland, who has no rival, starting a beef with a team that they hate just because of their name and pedigree.

 

Maryland can through insults, chant obscenities and wear F*** Duke tees all they want, but they still aren’t really a rival. They’re just a team trying to get under Duke’s skin and start a war that they really have no reason starting.

 

However, that’s how hate works.

 

That’s you and I take a disliking to certain teams. It’s a matter of the success of the team and the players on the team.

 

That’s why no one likes the Yankees, Lakers, Duke, the Red Wings and the Cowboys.

 

Funny thing is that I came up with this thought after looking at media day at the Super Bowl and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Actually it was a thought that lingered before the Super Bowl as far back as last season.

 

Like I said, I have no reason to hate Pittsburgh. They’ve done nothing to the Giants, they don’t play in the NFC, and they haven’t beaten un in the playoffs or in any big time situation. So why in God’s name do I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers?

 

In the beginning of the playoffs I remember looking at the AFC playoffs and saying how I hoped Baltimore, the Jets and the Steelers all lost.

 

I have reason to be mad at Baltimore (Super Bowl 35) and the Jets (intercity rival, plus the Jets act like they own the city when their only great player had more all-time interceptions than touchdowns.). Yet Pittsburgh I really have no reason to hate.

 

The Steelers just annoy me for some reason. Their fans travel in packs no matter where the Steelers are playing that week, the whole Steeler toughness thing gets overdone with their defense (I don’t think they know tough until Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Joe Greene get a load of LT, Harry Carson and Leonard Marshall) and it doesn’t help that their QB is an accused rapist yet the town acts like nothing happens. Not to mention those stupid freaking “Terrible Towels.”

 

More than anything they just win. They have 6 Super Bowls, they do physically beat up teams, they have their own theme song (Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow”)… their more successful than the Giants or your team and it gets on your nerves and mine because we feel like we can beat them.

More than enough reason to hate the Steelers.

They’re actually more annoying than the Cowboys or Red Wings or any other successful, except the Sox of course, because it’s the whole package of annoyance; legacy, winning and loads of fans. You can’t dis the Steelers because you have know reason to. So instead you sit around and hope they fail in the comfort of your own home and amongst friends. Its jealousy, its envy, its natural.

 

I should hope the Steelers tar & feather the Packers after what they did to the Giants in week 16 at Lambeau Field. The Packers cost the Giants a playoff spot by beating us 45-17, and it wasn’t that close. I should want James Harrison and company to beat Aaron Rodgers to a bloody pulp, yet I don’t.

 

I want to see Aaron Rodgers fully exercise the Favre demon once and for all, I want Charles Woodson to add a Super Bowl ring to his hall of fame resume especially after “The Tuck Rule” game, above anything else I just don’t want the Steelers to win another Super Bowl.

 

I cant take “Six-burgh” becoming “Seven-burgh.” I don’t want Roethlisberger to get another ring. Even though I like Mike Tomlin and the way he runs the Steelers I don’t like him enough to see him leading Pittsburgh to another title. It’s not his fault; he’s just wearing the wrong colors.

 

Call me a hater, call me whatever, but you feel the same way too. You sit at home as fans of the Bengals, Dolphins, Eagles or Jets and you don’t want to see it either. They’re not your rivals, you shouldn’t even care but you do. That’s the way it is. They’re not your team and they keep on winning while you have to settle for second place. Sucks I know but that’s the way it works.

 

About 80% of America will be cheering for the Green Bay Packers this Sunday in Dallas. 75% of us aren’t from Wisconsin. We have nothing in common except the fact that we hate the Pittsburgh Steelers 100%. Why? Because they win a lot and our teams don’t. That’s just the way hate works in sports. It’s not their fault.

 


Same Old Steelers

We should be used to this by now.

To steal a phrase from Rex Ryan… same old Steelers.

 

While Ryan and his New York Jets have set their status quo at just making the AFC title game, the Pittsburgh Steelers status quo is winning it. Lets just say that they follow through on that more times than not.

 

The Steelers defeated the Jets 24-19 to move on to their 8th Super Bowl, tied for the most appearances ever with the Dallas Cowboys. They did so in the way that the Steelers always do things, run the football and hit you in the mouth.

 

They jumped on the Jets from the get go with a 15 play, 66 yard drive that was capped off by Rashard Mendenhall who was a horse in the early going. The nearly nine minute drive set the tone for the Steelers who dominated the first 30 minutes of play. Despite an early Ben Roethlisberger interception the offense was a well-oiled machine. Mendenhall led a rushing attack that went for 131 yards in the first half, 95 from him and had the Jets defense gasping for air.

 

Even without star rookie center Mike Pouncey the Steelers controlled the line of scrimmage and outgained the Jets 210-55.

 

Defensively… well… it was the Steelers come on what do you expect? They held the Jets to three 3 & out and shut down any glimmer of a run game that the Jets thought that they had. They shut down former pal Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards and created 6 points for themselves thanks to an Ike Taylor sack and forced fumble that William Gay scooped up and ran in to give them a 24-0 lead. Total dominance.

 

It was so dominant that the Steelers sort of checked out of the game in the third quarter and gave the Jets life. After a field goal late in the half the Jets showed signs by cutting the lead to 24-10 on a Sanchez to Holmes connection. It lasted until midway through the fourth quarter where the Steelers showed their muscle and held for a goal line stand to eventually end Jets chances.

 

The Steelers now head to Dallas with a chance to add to their record number of Super Bowls (6) and for a little bit more.

 

This is now the era of the black & gold (or black & yellow thanks to Wiz Khalifa). The Steelers have moved past the Patriots for the title of the Superior franchise in the new millennium and past the Cowboys as the NFL’s number one franchise.

Big Ben has a chance to add to his legacy.

 

A win in Dallas at Super Bowl 45 would further cement their legacy and move them to a higher plateau on the NFL legends tower leaving the 49ers and Cowboys in a cloud of dust.

 

For Ben Roethlisberger another ring would equal him with Tom Brady and would give him a claim to the decades best quarterback. Despite his high profile off the field issues Roethlisberger is one of the game’s elite quarterbacks and has a chance to equal Brady in championships before the age of 30. It would put him in the rare company as being one of a handful of QB’s with three titles (Montana, Bradshaw, Aikman and Brady).  Not bad for a guy who at the beginning of the year didn’t know when he was going to get on the field.

 

For coach Mike Tomlin it would put him in a class all by himself as well.

 

He would be the only coach to win two Super Bowls before the age of 40 and you could make a case that he could be the Steelers best coach in their history.

 

Tomlin is one of only 3 coaches whom the Steelers have hired in the last 41 years (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Tomlin), yet his rate of success has been much higher than his two compatriots.

 

Tomlin won his first Super Bowl in his second year on the job; it took Noll 6 years and Cowher 14. Tomlin has six postseason wins through 3+ years when it took Cowher 11 years to reach that total and Noll 7 years. What Tomlin has done is take the Steelers brand of football and made it better. In the process he can put himself in a class all by his lonesome as the league’s number one coach elevating past Bill Belichick.

 

This is what the Steelers are and have been for the last 40 years. They are a model of consistency who just keep on winning no matter if Dennis Dixon is under center, an unproven Mike Wallace is their number one receiver or their head coach was non-existent when Noll lead the Steelers to their first playoff win in 1972.

 

They do it with little flash and lots of hard work, resembling the town in which they play. The end result is a franchise that teams like the Jets strive to be like at the end of the day, because while the Jets reached their level of normalcy, the Steelers are only at a level beneath what they’re used to.

 

Dallas, Texas in two weeks on the game’s biggest stage with the Vince Lombardi trophy hanging in the balance and the Steelers will be right there. Just like its always been, same old Steelers.