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Back and to the right… Back and to the right…

The controversy over what Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did or didn’t do in his team’s Thanksgiving night loss to the Baltimore Ravens has reached new levels of absurdity. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. It was a national showcase in front of one of the largest audiences of the year. And with the year winding down and so many sites devoted to NFL coverage, these kind of “stories” are a perfect way to generate hits.

Although at this point, they’ve all but accused Tomlin of hiding on the grassy knoll. Continue reading »

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Antonio Brown Celebrates (1)

I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I was loyal to the Pittsburgh Pirates back when they were in the midst of yet another losing 90+ loss season just like I was loyal to the Penguins in the years B.C. (Before Crosby). Admittedly, the fact they offered Student Rush tickets to us poor college kids may or may not have had something to do with that. Point is, I stuck with those teams because even though they weren’t very good, they were my hometown teams. And I also stuck with them because while they may have not have been talented, they were comprised of decent guys who tried their best.

Well, maybe not the Pens the year they won the Sid Sweepstakes…

Which brings us to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I made the point last year that being bad is one thing, being tough to root for is quite another. Now I have no idea of this year’s team is one the precipice of turning the season around or if they’re destined for yet another miserable playoff-less campaign. What I do know is it’d be a whole lot easier to root for them win or lose if they didn’t employ so many thoroughly detestable characters.

Antonio Brown, come on down. Continue reading »

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The Pittsburgh Steelers had a bye last week. I’m sure most of them put the time to good use, resting some nagging injuries, catching up with their families… Perhaps a few even indulged in their favorite hobbies. For safety Ryan Clark that means finding the nearest video camera and blabbering away.

Clark appeared on his home away from home, ESPN’s First Take, where he had a chance to catch up with his old buddy Skip Bayliss. Of course the first question they asked was about the Black and Gold’s wretched 0-4 start. Not surprisingly, Clark downplayed the team’s woes, maintaining the team would rebound to make the playoffs. Shockingly, Dallas-based Bayliss agreed with him. Continue reading »

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Ben Dixon

While the Pittsburgh Pirates prepare to host their first playoff game in 20 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a week off to pick through the wreckage of their disastrous 0-4 start.  With the Steelers on bye, Mike Tomlin is evidently planning to skip his weekly press conference and pick things up next Tuesday. That should give him ample time to take up yoga or Tai Chi or whatever he needs to do to calm his aura. Because if Sunday’s post-game was any indication, Tomlin is currently a bubbling cauldron of rage threatening to erupt at any moment.

For those who missed it, Tomlin’s post-game remarks following the Minnesota game were something to behold. Usually Coach T is too busy drowning in his own BS to exhibit much in the way of emotion. After the Vikings loss, boy did he seem pissed. Welcome to the club, Mike. Continue reading »

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k-bigpic

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had his weekly press conference yesterday in which he described his starting quarterback as being “angry” over the team’s poor performance. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also spoke about the team’s 0-2 start, first in a post-game interview and later during his weekly appearance on a local radio station where he acknowledged being “frustrated.”

I try not to pick on Ben because nobody ever accused him of being a deep thinker. He’s a tough ‘ol sumbitch who gets the job done through a combination of talent, guts, and sheer moxie. That said, he played particularly poor on Monday Night, throwing the ball erratically on a number of occasions. Granted that is bound to happen to any quarterback after he gets hit so many times it’s impossible to plant his feet and deliver the ball with confidence because you know you’re about to get walloped. Continue reading »

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I avoid ESPN like the plague. I know it’s cliche to hate on the Four Letter but their virtual monopoly on the televised sports world never ceases to depress me. There is no player their hype machine can’t make me sick of, no team their smothering coverage can’t turn me against. If excess were a virtue, that network would be as pious as their man-crush, Tim Tebow.

One particularly irksome trend involves Pittsburgh sports teams. Since we’re a small market, the Four Letter deems us beneath their notice. The Pirates are the story of the year in MLB yet they’d rather put the 30 game out Phillies on Sunday Night Baseball than our Battlin’ Bucs. And hockey, well, even when they owned the rights to the NHL they barely covered hockey.

And then we have the Pittsburgh Steelers. Being one of the NFL’s premier franchises, ESPN couldn’t exactly ignore the Black and Gold like they do our other teams. However, they did certainly tried their best. While the Steelers were going to three Super Bowls in six, all they wanted to talk about was the Dallas Cowboys. It was infuriating but typical ESPN. Continue reading »

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Remember when we thought the image of Bill Cowher – giant fake choppers gleaming, sweat flying off his toupee – maniacally cranking away at the storm siren during the playoff series between the Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins was possibly the most disturbing thing a Steeler fan would ever see?

Think again.

About a month ago, Cowher was involved in a car accident in New York City. Thankfully nobody was hurt and it was such a non-news story, I never even bothered to mention it. The only notable aspect to the story was the addendum that Cowher had a passenger – a female passenger – with him when the crash occurred.

The Chin has a girlfriend….the Chin has a girlfriend… Continue reading »

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The enduring image from Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will be Charlie Batch blubbering like a teenage girl at the end of Twilight: Breaking Dawn. I focused on that in my recap because that’s all I want to remember from that game. However, something else happened which has been getting a lot of play on local airwaves and across the interweb. Evidently the bitter rivalry between the Steelers and Ravens has filtered down to their respective head coaches as evidenced by the awkward post-game handshake between Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh.

Since that video surfaced, yinzers have been in full throat decrying Harbaugh as a classless asshole. Well, duh. I’ve written time and time again about how both Harbaugh brothers are giant dicks. John’s equally obnoxious brother Jim had his own post-game incident last season when his “aggressive back-slap” of Lions coach Jim Schwartz set off a minor melee.

Unlike the Scwhartz incident, Tomlin holds some responsibility for the current controversy. Believe me, I’d rather let Ndamakong Suh punt my junk than say anything nice about John Harbaugh but fair is fair. It’s clear from the video that Tomlin had zero interest in shaking Harbaugh’s hand. Evidently Tomlin wasn’t happy with Harbaugh’s comment that “the tougher team won” following the Ravens victory a couple weeks back so he went for a drive-by but Harbaugh wasn’t having it. The look on Tomlin’s face when Harbaugh yanks him back says it all.

In honor of my favorite wrestler, Damien Sandow, I hereby dub Tomlin’s move the macte virtute acetum, the handshake of disdain.

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There were quite a few comical moments in Sunday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. We had Ben Roethlisberger trying to call a time out before a curiously early attempt at a two point conversion only to be denied by the clueless refs. Big Ben ran the play anyway, making the conversion but pissing off Mike Tomlin who glared at him from the sidelines thinking he ignored coaches’ call for time.

Then we had LaMarr Woodley making arguably the best catch of the night on his GINGERception of Andy Dalton. I’d like to say it was a great play by the much-maligned Steelers D but it was actually pure luck. Upon replay, you see Dalton actually lost the ball on a pump fake. The duck clanged off the back of a Cincy lineman’s head before falling into Woodman’s waiting arms.

On second thought, that was the best catch of the night.

But the Academy Award for craziness goes to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Early in the 4th quarter, Ben got shaken up after running for his life on a busted play. If the zebras had called an injury time out, by rule Ben would’ve had to go to the sideline for a big third down play (or the Steelers would’ve had to burn a time out). So what happened?

Manny Sanders went down like Bambi’s mother. He started clutching his leg and writhing in pain like the Nature Boy (WOOOOOO!) had just put him in the figure-four leglock. Trainers helped him hop off the field while Ben stood around collecting his marbles. It should be noted the leg he hopped off on was the opposite leg he was grabbing as he fell to the ground. Bobby DeNiro wouldn’t make that kind of mistake, son.

Meanwhile, noted Steelers hater Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels turned into stand-up comedians. Granted, it was the most obvious flop since the NBA Finals but they could still barely contain their mirth. Evidently, Sanders’ dive set the interwebs on fire as everyone from Huffington Post to some baseball player named Evan Longoria commented on it.

Collinsworth joked that Sanders might be “getting a letter from the league offices.” It’s true that a few weeks ago they sent out a memo chiding teams for faking injuries. And we know how the Ginger Dictator loves to pick on the Steelers. However, I think any fine would be pretty meaningless. The game is over. The time out was saved. It’s not like Goodell can go back and change any of that. Plus, I’m sure Ben and/or his teammates would be happy to “help out” if Manny were to accrue a fine.

In the meantime, I applaud him for the heads up play. He may not be the Steelers best receiver but he sure is the cleverest.

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When I wrote for my original Pittsburgh Steelers blog-that-shall-not-be-named, I got comments. Not a ton of comments, mind you, but I had a group of regulars who pretty much replied to everything I wrote. There were only two topics which sent feedback levels through the roof. Obviously the first was Ben Roethlisberger’s little fiasco down in Georgia. The second?

Super Bowl XL.

My blogging career began two years after that game so all my posts came well after the fact. And, to my recollection, I only wrote a few on Super Bowl XL anyway. Still, it didn’t matter. When I would devote an entry to Super Bowl XL, it would invariably set off a firestorm in the comment section.

Seattle Seahawks fans have never gotten over that game. What’s more, they have never gotten over the laughable notion that the were “screwed by the refs.” Because of this pervasive emo attitude from their neon clad latte sipping fanbase, whenever I’d write about Super Bowl XL, they’d swarm to my blog like a plague of flannel wearing locusts.

They’d post their usual conspiracy theories and whine about this that and everything else under the sun. In turn, Steeler Nation would rise up to defend their team’s honor. Arguments would break out, names would be called, Morrissey records would be played (in Seattle) and so it went. Every time, without fail.

Last night, Monday Night Football featured one of the great debacles in NFL history. The whole game was fairly atrocious as the scab refs threw about 75 flags during the course of the game. Towards the end, they backed Seattle up with two ticky-tack holding calls, then bailed them out with an equally ridiculous pass interference call on the Green Bay Packers. But they truly saved their best for last.

In case you went to bed at a reasonable hour and missed it, the above was the game winning play from last night’s game. One of the scab refs some how saw a simultaneous possession (which we all know goes to the offense) on that final Flutie-esque Hail Mary attempt by the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and awarded them the game-winning touchdown. Except it’s not a simultaneous possession. Not even close.

The Seattle Seahawks stole a game from another team. They’ve officially forfeited the right to be indignant about poor officiating ever again.

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