Sound-Off Archives - Total Steelers » Total Steelers

polamalu

To paraphrase Niemöller’s famous quote:

First the Steelers came for the pool table,
and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t play pool.

Then the Steelers came for the shuffleboard,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t seventy years old.

Then the Steelers came for the ping-pong paddles,
and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t play ping-pong.

Then the Steelers came for me,
and there were no games left to play. Continue reading »

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That man above is Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow is a football player in the national football league. Tim Tebow did not allow the temptation of Gator-Arm clapping Florida cheerleaders and cheap vodka fueled college benders undermine his Christian vow to keep his dingus in his pants until wedlock. Therefore, Tim Tebow is the most important football player in the National Football League. Don’t believe me? Don’t believe Steely McTebow will be mentioned every night on the NFL network?

Being that TotalSteelers is outwardly biased toward all things Black and Gold, I’ll just go ahead and say it: The media coverage of the NFL is horrid, particularly in regard to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not speaking of the geriatric staff behind the pay wall at the Post-Gazette, I’m talking about a country-wide epidemic. An epidemic that infects a station with the audacity to air this special…

One of, if not THE BEST, program on NFL network aired an hour long special about a backup quarterback for the overrated NY Jets. Unless the referee that saw that Ike Taylor pass interference is moonlighting as an NFL network production manager, it is incredible this actually made it to my TV set. Highlights included “He’s Left-Handed,” “He’s an Underdog,” and “Tebowing.” The latter, if you aren’t aware, is kneeling on the ground with your fist against your head like an asshole.

The coverage of the NFL has gotten so out of hand that I can’t stand to watch a single football-related program any more, which includes separating myself with a decade long love affair with SportsCenter. Unless Peyton Manning ate lunch, Rex Ryan said the Jets would win the Super Bowl this year, or Tebow threw a pass that didn’t flutter to the ground like a plague of locusts, the media acts like there is nothing to craft a show around. The season opener between Tony Romo and Peyton Manning’s brother had more pre-game mention of Peyton and his bionic giraffe neck than the fact that Eli, the guy who was actually playing that night, won last year’s Super Bowl. Disgusting.

So how do the Steelers factor in this rant? My news station of choice here in Nashville aired a recap of the Steelers-Jets game in between footage of the Titans’ Jake Locker nearly getting beheaded by the San Diego Chargers. In this recap, they wrongly credited Mike Wallace’s duck-footed sideline TD to Antonio Brown, gave a guy not even in uniform (Rashard Mendenhall) praise for an Isaac Redman run, and highlighted #89’s end zone grab by saying, “Ben’s short toss to Heath…” as if Heath Miller was their buddy from Saturday poker night. These were not cue card errors from a shoddy news station, it was another example of the NFL community failing to recognize the stars and names behind the Steelers.

The broadcast networks give the Steelers as much coverage as ESPN has given hockey since they lost the NHL contract. The Steelers win the Super Bowl and it’s talked about for two days then back to hand-wringing over Peyton Manning’s future and pointless discussion about the league’s most spectacular train wrecks (Jets, Cowboys, Iggles). Tebow scampered around for 20something yards on three plays, got his ass handed to him BLOCKING ON SPECIAL TEAMS, and rode the proverbial pine for the other 55 minutes, yet he somehow earned an entire show dedicated to his exploits? How have we gone from top ten “Best Rivalries,” “Best Players of All Time,” and “Best Defenses” to “Top Ten Moments of a Glorified Special Teamer?”

By the way, if I ever see Ben lined up on the left side to block for a damn punt, I am kicking Todd Haley in his angry red face.

The NFL is covered more like Jersey Shore and the Octomom kick than it is a gritty sport full of tough men. I don’t know whether to blame this on Fantasy Football, American Entertainment Culture, or just the declining metal capacity amongst the general population. Whoever captures the daytime viewer’s attention by tweeting their man-parts is held on a pedestal, while the true stars of the sport are kicked to the sideline when all they did is win the damn Super Bowl. Though this phenomenon is not limited to just the Steelers, I have a hard damn time finding any real coverage of them outside of Allegheny County. There are plenty stories of Chad Johnson arrests and Tom Brady highlights to go around, but hell if the stations that employ an army of sports reporters to cover sports 24-7 are going to update me on the team with a spot reserved in the playoffs almost every season.

I guess it’s not entirely a bad thing that our boys have avoided being plastered on GQ ads and Entertainment Weekly but I love watching anything and everything Steelers when it shows off the character and talent of the team.  So if other athletes get talked about for appearing in fairy-costume commercials with Deion or being popular on the Twitter, I want the Steelers to be awesome at that too, dammit. Then maybe next time #17 makes an MC Hammer looking touchdown catch, sportscasters from Nashville, TN to Stockton, CA will get the highlight right.

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Exciting NFL Combine Action

By Hennessy

Our job at TotalSteelers is to keep you, dear readers, entertained and informed on all things Pittsburgh Steelers.  Just like cliff notes in high school, our black and gold cover cuts through all the pointless information and distills things down to the essentials. It is for these reasons and these reasons alone that I will bring you up to speed on the action packed meat market that took place this past weekend.

Nothing. Nothing happened. As seen above, hoards of people gathered to witness the excitement and, next to a Colts home game, it was the least entertaining thing to happen all year inside Lucas Oil Stadium. What can you expect from a 250 man group physical exam?

“The combine gives us scouts an insight into the athleticism and physical commitment of the athletes!” said one pro-scout. “I get to look all official and stuff whilst observing athletic measurement at its finest!” said another.

In good faith, I will act like these good scouts and give you a quick breakdown of our 2012 draft, as told by the useless stats and performance metrics brought about by this charade. The NFL network was desperate enough to send out a camera crew for 24 HOUR COVERAGE, so I will humor them by telling you two things showcased by their efforts.
Continue reading »

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By Hennessy

Ladies and gentlemen, the Flying Circus has left the stadium. Ever since Bruce Arians took over for Ken Whisenhunt, February has traditionally been Fire Arians month. For all of the Bruce haters, your day has finally come. For his supporters? Stay tuned to see if he will be coaching Andrew Luck or if he will be getting coached by Peyton Manning. For me? The only intriguing part of the coaching change was Deuce Rooney’s gall to stick his fingers in the middle of the salsa, and then go back for the double-dip. Which, for the record, was a real jackass thing for any member of the Pittsburgh Steelers front office to do, Rooney or not.

Allow me to expand on my opinion. I view coordinators and assistant coaches with a passive eye.  The job of the coordinator is to develop plays that work for his team, put the players through practices that effectively hone their skill at those plays, and stand on the sideline calling said plays, hoping they are executed correctly. That’s it. Sure they have some secondary responsibilities, such as “motivating” their troops, but the Steelers already have people effective at that. He wears #86 and ESPN reports we are trying to shove him out of town prematurely.

When Todd Haley took over the offensive reins in Dallas, he did what a lot of lucky coordinators do. He rode out the storm until talent came along that could execute what he had been doing all along. They went from just over .500 to 13-3! It must have been because of Haley and newly appointed head coach Wade Phillips! No, it was because of a guy named Romo who at least started off his career playing great football.

Coordinators and assistant coaches are, to me, the equivalent of a swim cap or really tight bicycle shorts. They are an edge in an otherwise even sport, one which might pay off every once in a while when those fractions of a second matter. At the end of the football game, it is Wes Welkah that catches drops a pass to bring not bring the Lombardi back to Bahhhstahhn, and the coordinator doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. Just like the .0000001th of a second Michael Phelps gets from his latex head condom won’t win the meet if he hit the bong too hard before jumping in the pool.

Was Arians capable of crafting, teaching, and calling plays? Yes. Is Chief Haley capable of doing this? Apparently. Do I sense a momentum shift in the entire offense because of our new Fast & Furious leadership and the exit of Bruce the Bubble Screen wizard? Absolutely not.

I wish the best of luck to Bruce out in Indianapolis, and extend a warm greeting to Chief Haley. Fortunately for him and us fans of the Black and Gold, the offensive talent is already in place. It’s up to Haley to build on that talent and keep the playbook fresh. Here’s to many seasons of him not screwing anything up or yelling at players on the sidelines while hopefully Deuce Rooney keeps his mitts off the plate delegated to Mike Tomlin and his staff.

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By Hennessy

My apologies for dropping off the Total Steelers map the past couple weeks. If you must know, I let my confidence seep in to my gambling and have been in a perpetual “Tebow” since the close of the beat down in Denver. It turns out typing is not so easy when praising thy lord via fist on forehead. Let’s just say Mayor Ravenstahl’s PR photo-op was nothing on my two week long homage to Father Tim.

Now that I have stood back up and iced down my aching knees, I am being a good American and preparing for the biggest game in all of professional football. The final showdown between those two teams who have survived the gauntlet of late season football. The game that everyone eagerly anticipates whether our Black and Gold are there to represent the AFC or not.

It’s time for the PRO BOWL BABY!!!!

Setting my overly exaggerated humor aside, when is this game going to catch up with the times? MLB made their All-Star game important by awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the winner. The NHL added a roster draft so we can laugh at the last man picked like the fat kid in gym class. Oh, and they both have skill competitions which are usually way more exciting than the ACTUAL GAMES!!!
Continue reading »

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By Hennessy

The “Mile High” road to be exact.

Three days from now that is exactly where our boys in Black and Gold will be, and I guess I’m saying I like our chances compared to the alternative(s) that could have been bestowed upon us. Unlike Chris, I have a certain degree of disdain for Tebow his Highness, mainly rooted in my utter disdain for the “Media Tidal Waves” that like to make something out of nothing. Tim Tebow took the field behind perennially incompetent Kyle Orton. I mean, they had superfans buying damn billboards asking for Tebowmania to begin.  Anyone who didn’t expect some degree of improvement would be likened to a fool, and that’s exactly what it was, a degree of improvement.

WHAT A STREAK OF DIVINITY FATHER TIM!!! You beat seven teams that are watching the post-season from their local watering hole this year!!!

Tim Tebow is an average NFL quarterback. I am not jumping on the bandwagon of his unconventional style, as I don’t think it differs much from the last “Unconventional Wave” of Miami chewing on the the wildcat formation (Where did that get them?). Denver has a running threat behind center that has yet to prove he can throw the ball consistently. The only thing that he has proven is he is a better option than Kyle Orton. Hell, I would take my chances with Byron “One-Game” Leftwich before Orton.
Continue reading »

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By Hennessy

Here we go again…

We are coming up on our annual trip to Rust City and the finale to the 2011 regular season.  A few weeks back, the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched at least a Wild Card spot when my local team, the Tennessee Titans, got an early start on their charity and goodwill in Indianapolis. Before taking the field that weekend, Pittsburgh ended up in the playoffs as no worse than the sixth seed in the AFC.

Cleveland, meanwhile, lost any chance at the playoffs when they put on orange helmets and called themselves the Browns back in 2002. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Cleveland’s primary goal every year seems to be to try and ruin our season. The last time they did so was in 2009 when they crushed our playoff hopes with a week 14 win at home. We made amends last year in week 17 but, dammit, why do they keep getting chances at the end of the season?
Continue reading »

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(Editor's Note: Not Hennessy. That really is Santa, tho.)

By Hennessy

Christmas will soon be here! The time of year for cheer, happiness, good will towards men…

The time of year when you swim through hordes of over-perfumed or hygiene unfriendly shoppers to spend money on overpriced junk. Let’s not forget my favorite part of the Holiday season, the AIRING OF GRIEVANCES!!

Am I the only one who fumbled my cheer and recovered a pigskin of disappointment?

Last year, my fiancé spent hours locating and framing two poster-sized pictures for me. Be jealous. One print is of the USX Tower under construction in 1968, with my late grandfather-father almost visible as a foreman forging a symbol of the Steel City. The other is of Mike Tomlin, donning Black and Gold gortex as he guides our Pittsburgh Steelers through a playoff win en-route to a Lombardi Trophy in 2008.  My friends “watch” the Steelers with me whenever they have a national game.

Anyway, allow me to air my grievances….
Continue reading »

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And other things you weren’t aware of or may have forgotten.

Thursday football is back in Steel City! I must admit, I hated the idea when it started back in 2006, but it has grown on me. Nothing puts a stiff break in a long work week like watching my Pittsburgh Steelers. For those of you that like TNF, you’re in luck, because the NFL’s new CBA includes a provision that could mean twelve of them starting as early as next year. And, hey, the money-grubbing paws of our favorite pro sport might pay off for once.  Chances are coverage will go up for bid, so those of you who will miss out on tonight’s game because you didn’t shell out money on an upgraded sports package are in luck. Unless the NFL ransacks the cable companies like they did the players, I suspect we’ll be watching the games on CBS or the Four Letter next year.

As Chris alluded to in Know Thy Enemy, I suspect we won’t see an instant classic tonight. Unless Cleveland finds a bag of fairy dust in one of their abandoned office buildings, paper says we take this one decisively. Like the C-Man said, my hopes lie in getting done early and then blowing a few kisses to Hines Ward and the record book. Mike Tomlin doesn’t seem to be a fan of manufacturing the “milestones,” but if the opportunity is there I’m sure he’ll take it. At least if this was in Cleveland we could look forward to the Puppy Pound tearing apart that dump they call a stadium again.
Continue reading »

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Chris here. When Hennessy told me he was returning to the ‘Burgh for the holiday, I thought it’d make a great idea for a post. Also, with this piece, I’m formally instituting Steeler Nation Sound-Off a permanent feature going forward. So you Hennessy fans will be able to enjoy his musings on a regular basis. And best of all, you get a break from me! Take it away, Hennessy…

I hope everyone had a great Turkey Day. I was fortunate enough to make the travel back to Pittsburgh, and unfortunate to have done it during an away game. I froze my ass off at many late season Pittsburgh Steelers games and it would have been nice to go to one during our Thanksgiving heat-wave. Not that I mind prying frozen Ahrn City’s from my frostbitten hands, it would just be nice to make a trip home one time when it wasn’t a bye week or away game.

I didn’t get the chance to make it to Heinz Field, but then again not many members of Steeler Nation ever get to grace the bleachers to cheer on our boys. It is an experience unlike any other, and if you’ve been there I’m sure you will agree. For those that haven’t, put it on your bucket list. You won’t regret it.

The whole trip home this time made me realize just how different the ‘Burgh really is. I’ve been in Nashville for six years now, so maybe the little things that make that team and that city stick for generations are just setting in. Anyway, here are a few things being back in town brought to light.
Continue reading »

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