Bettis Not Elected To HOF (And Other Super Bowl Thoughts)

 Posted by at 8:30 am  Super Bowl, The Bus  Comments Off on Bettis Not Elected To HOF (And Other Super Bowl Thoughts)
Feb 032014
 

Namath Fur coat

The 2013 NFL season officially came to an end last night with the Seattle Seahawks epic 43-8 ass-whuppin’ of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. In many ways, last night was something of a blast from the past. From Joe Namath big pimpin’ the coin toss in his classic fur coat look to Bruno Mars and his shitty Motown ripoff gimmick to the utter one-sidedness of the final score, yesterday’s Super Bowl was decidedly retro. And that’s not even counting the night’s best commercial which featured Alf, Jason Voorhees, and Hulk Hogan.

When I started watching football in the mid-80s, the Super Bowl pretty much followed the same pattern as we saw last night. The AFC would feature an offensive powerhouse who would go against a tough, defensive-minded NFC team and end up getting crushed. You youngsters out there have been spoiled as the last decade or so worth of Super Bowls have truly lived up to the hype. When I was a kid, it was usually a four hour one-sided beating. Continue reading »

Another Dismal Super Bowl For Steelers Fans

 Posted by at 5:23 am  Circle of Hate, NFL Playoffs  Comments Off on Another Dismal Super Bowl For Steelers Fans
Jan 132014
 

logo-patriots2

I’ve watched every minute of every Super Bowl from the opening kick-off through the trophy presentation since the New York Giants crushed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI way back in 1987. Except for last year. Oh, I watched the entire game, from the embarrassing power outage all the way until the blatant pass interference that ended the San Francisco 49ers comeback bid. Immediately after that ridiculous non-call, I turned on my PS3 and set to blowing stuff up because I’d rather have a colonic with a rusty drainpipe than watch the Baltimore Ravens hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Between the Brothers Harbaugh meeting in a battle of epic assholes to the endless stories about what a gift to humanity Stabby McStabberson Ray Lewis has been since the pesky little murder he aided and abetted ten years ago, they couldn’t have picked a worse Super Bowl for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This year’s match-up won’t be the Worst Super Bowl Ever but it’ll be damn close. Continue reading »

Aftermath Of A Devastating Steelers Loss

 Posted by at 10:36 am  Blog News, Casey Hampton, Hines Ward, Injury Report, NFL Playoffs, Offensive Line  Comments Off on Aftermath Of A Devastating Steelers Loss
Jan 112012
 

The mood in Pittsburgh is not good. How seriously do we take our Steelers football? The day after each of our two Super Bowl losses, a figurative dark cloud hangs over the city. I currently live in the ‘burbs but I was still going to CMU when Neil O’Donnell threw we lost Super Bowl XXX. Taking a bus through town from my off-campus apartment, I had never seen more somber expressions in my life. It was positively funereal.

Now that we’ve had a few days to digest what has to be the most devastating non-Super Bowl loss in Black and Gold history, it’s time to focus on the off-season. Before closing the book on the 2011 campaign, though, here are a few quick tidbits that surfaced over the past couple days.

— Pittsburgh’s esteemed Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, made good on his bet with the mayor of Denver by Tebowing for the local news media. Everybody knows the Boy Wonder is a diehard fan so I’m not surprised he made a city-to-city bet on a Wild Card game. I am a bit surprised by the stakes. What if the Steelers had won? Would Denver’s mayor have to break his foot, then do body shots with a skanky coed?
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Wild Card Recap: Hail Tebow

 Posted by at 8:12 am  Big Ben, Face Me Ike, NFL Playoffs, Recaps, Redzone Redman  Comments Off on Wild Card Recap: Hail Tebow
Jan 092012
 

The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered one of their most heartbreaking losses in recent memory yesterday, losing 29-23 to the Denver Broncos. Tim Tebow was absolutely masterful, throwing for a career best 316 yards and basically humiliating the NFL’s top ranked defense by making them look like a bunch of amateurs. Any doubts about Tebow’s ability to play quarterback should finally be put to rest. He repeatedly burned the Steelers secondary on big pass plays while showing the strength and maneuverability in the pocket of a young Ben Roethlisberger.

Meanwhile, the actual Big Ben put forth a valiant effort, particularly in the fourth quarter, but was a shell of himself for most of the game. Much like last week against Cleveland, Ben struggled in the early going, making terrible throws and displaying absolutely no mobility thanks to his sprained ankle. He rallied a bit in the second half, leading the team on two long scoring drives to force overtime, although once again it was a story of too many missed opportunities.

Not that Ben got much help from his teammates. As I predicted, the offensive line had all kinds of trouble keeping him upright. Ben was sacked five times with Robert Ayers, who at one point threw Max Starks five yards backward like a crash test dummy, notching two sacks to lead the team. Tomlin eventually saw enough and brought in Jonathan Scott to relieve Mad Max but there was more than enough blame to go around. Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller picked on Marcus Gilbert all day while Doug Legursky‘s errant snap cost the Steelers a shot at a field goal to close out the first half. They did a good job run blocking, with Isaac Redman running for 121 tough yards on 17 carries (Rashard Who?), which is about the only nice thing I can say about their performance.
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Jan 062012
 

Much digital ink has been spilled this week previewing the Wild Card match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most of the attention has centered around the two quarterbacks who’ll face off on Sunday. Will Ben Roethlisberger‘s messed up ankle be feeling better by game time? And how is Tim Tebow going to fare in his first career playoff game?

Before we worry about all that, let’s look at the big picture. The bookies have the Steelers listed as an eight point favorite and most media types are penciling this in as a victory for the Black and Gold. Even members of Steeler Nation, a notoriously pessimistic bunch, seem confident of a happy outcome. And it’s understandable, what with Denver losing three straight to end the season and backdooring into the post-season.

Not to throw a wet blanket Terrible Towel on all the optimism but keep this in mind. Since 2000, five teams with records of .500 or worse have made the playoffs. Four of the five won at least one playoff game. Most recently was last year’s Seattle Seahawks, who became the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing record (7-9). I think we all remember Marshawn Lynch going all BEAST MODE on the 11-5 New Orleans Saints to seal their Wild Card victory.

On any given Sunday…
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Sound-Off: Taking The High Road

 Posted by at 9:30 am  Big Ben, NFL Playoffs, Sound-Off  Comments Off on Sound-Off: Taking The High Road
Jan 052012
 

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 »

No Losers When Steelers Face Broncos

 Posted by at 10:02 am  NFL Playoffs, Ratbirds, Super Bowl Champions  Comments Off on No Losers When Steelers Face Broncos
Jan 042012
 

I have a confession to make. I’m a Tim Tebow fan. I’ve mentioned it in passing on this blog but never felt compelled to join the Tebowmania sweeping sports media by writing a full-fledged post about him. Since the Pittsburgh Steelers will be facing Tebow and his Denver Broncos in Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game, I suppose now’s the time to do so.

My reasons for liking Tim Tebow are twofold. And, not coincidentally, they are the exact same reasons so many people don’t like him. First and foremost, I like him because he’s a winner. He won a state championship in high school and a national championship in college. He took over a Broncos team that started the season 1-4 and led them to their first playoff appearance since the Steelers knocked them off in the AFC Championship Game back in 2005. Sure Denver has lost three straight and backdoored into the playoffs but if not for Tebow’s thrilling last-second victories in four consecutive games, they wouldn’t have even been in that position.

I’ve only purchased two non-Steeler jerseys in my life. One was a Doug Flutie #7 when he played for the Buffalo Bills back in the late 90s. I like Tim Tebow for the same reason I liked the Magic Flutie; they’re both exciting and unconventional quarterbacks who may not always look pretty but have an uncanny ability to get the job done. Flutie wasted the best years of his athletic life in Canada because the NFL’s cookie cutter mentality didn’t see him as a prototypical NFL quarterback. A lot of people dismiss Tebow because he also isn’t a classic drop back passer.

So? Doug Flutie ran around and made plays. Tim Tebow runs around and makes plays. You know who else runs around and makes plays?  Ben Roethlisberger. Outside of Pittsburgh, a lot of media types downgrade Big Ben because he isn’t a pure passer like Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers. Steeler Nation usually counters with some variation of “Count the rings!” Well, if you’re going to forgive Ben’s sandlot style of play because it works, why not do the same for Tebow? I also find it funny that some people criticize the Broncos for leaning on their running game to cover for their young quarterback as if the Steelers didn’t run the ball 60% of the time during Ben’s first three seasons.

Now we move on to the other reason Tim Tebow is a polarizing figure: his religion. The Baltimore Ravens’ resident loudmouth Terrell Suggs went on ESPN yesterday and made some pretty offensive religious based comments. The Ginger Dictator is quick to hand down fines when players flip off the fans or phone their wife to tell her they’re not seriously injured. What do you think the chances are T-Sizzle will be fined for his comments?

I find it a pretty sad commentary on society that anybody would have a problem with somebody being TOO religious. I’m not going to get into particular faiths but religion in general tends to stress honor, humility and respect for your fellow man (and particularly women). How any of those things could be considered “bad” is beyond me. Yeah, some religions have been tainted by scandal but so has the Penn State football program.

Besides, if any team’s fans should have no problem with ultra-religious players, it’s fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Tebow is the most up-front about his faith in football, Troy Polamalu has to be a close second. The man makes the sign of the cross before every play for crying out loud. And not so coincidentally, he also has the second best selling jersey, behind only Tim Tebow. Sure, some of that has to do with chicks digging Troy’s long luxurious hair but much of it is because he’s not only a great player, he’s a soft-spoken gentleman. You can wear a Polamalu jersey with pride and, if you’re an out-of-town member of Steeler Nation, without being barraged with rape jokes.

Another not-so-hidden message I put in many of my posts is the fact I find many athletes to be obnoxious. When I was a kid, I was lucky to grow up woefully ignorant of what our star athletes were up to. Carnegie Mellon hadn’t invented the internet and the media was better about keeping things secret. I had no idea Lawrence Taylor was banging 14 year old hookers or the Pirate Parrot was selling blow to half the team. Kids growing up today can click two buttons and see Antonio Cromartie forgetting the names of his nine children from eight different mothers or the semen stains Big Ben left in the bathroom of a dive bar down in Georgia. I saw Santonio Holmes’ horse-dick for criminey’s sake. And women whine about Victoria’s Secret babes causing an unhealthy body image. Regardless of personal beliefs, it’s nice to know there are still good guys out there like Troy and Tim.

Oh, about that other non-Steeler jersey I bought? As you may have guessed, it’s a Tebow. So no matter who wins on Sunday, I’ll still have a rooting interest going forward. Although for the record, I’ll be rocking my classic #86 during the game. While I may respect, even admire, this weekend’s opponent, my loyalties will never be divided.

Update: Tomlin Decrees Clark Won’t Play Sunday

 Posted by at 2:12 pm  Injury Report, Ryan Clark, Secondary  Comments Off on Update: Tomlin Decrees Clark Won’t Play Sunday
Jan 032012
 

As I wrote this morning, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was given the decision as to whether safety Ryan Clark will play this Sunday in Denver. Well, he’s made his choice and Clark will be inactive when the Steelers take the field against the Broncos. I’m not really surprised by this choice since it’s the same one he made the last time we visited the Mile High City.

A fully healthy Clark accompanied the team to Denver in 2009 and did some running drills to test how his body would react. While the sickle cell trait which flared up after a game against Denver in 2007 didn’t seem affected, it’s best to err on the side of caution. The first time, Clark lost his spleen, gallbladder and thirty pounds while the Steelers lost him for the season. A second flare-up could potentially cost Clark his life.

Now we know why the Steelers were compelled to re-sign Anthony Madison. Madison is primarily a corner but has played some safety during his time in the Black and Gold. Ryan Mundy, who has played very well when called upon this season, will start in place of Clark with veteran Will Allen also there for insurance. Keenan Lewis, who has been the team’s primary nickelback this season, wasn’t mentioned as among the injured despite missing time against Cleveland. Tomlin did say rookie Cortez Allen is questionable after suffering a separated shoulder. Allen comes in when Dick LeBeau goes to his six DBs formation so Bryant McFadden might see increased playing time on Sunday.

The bad news is our top ranked secondary just took a pretty big hit with the loss of Clark, who is by all accounts having a Pro Bowl caliber season. The good news is we’re facing the Denver Broncos, who are almost exclusively a running team. Last week in a game the Broncos thought they had to win to make the playoffs, Tim Tebow completed a grand total of SIX passes. Even against a depleted Steelers defense, I’d be hard-pressed to envision him throwing more effectively against us.

 

Injuries Mount As Steelers Limp Into Denver

 Posted by at 8:08 am  Injury Report, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Clark, Secondary  Comments Off on Injuries Mount As Steelers Limp Into Denver
Jan 032012
 

Maybe Mike Tomlin has a medical career in his future after all.

In his post-game press conference, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach declined to speculate on the injury to running back Rashard Mendenhall. He simply opined, “When a guy goes down in open grass not touched by anyone, experience tells me that’s generally not good.” Well, the diagnosis turned out to be as bad as we feared with Mendy suffering a torn ACL requiring immediate surgery. The Steelers placed him on injured reserve, ending his 2011 season.

Longtime members of Steeler Nation will remember Rod Woodson became the first (and as far as I know, only) player to return from a torn ACL in the same season when the Black and Gold made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 1995. Typically, that injury requires a 6-8 month healing period and even then players often take a few years to get back to where they were before. If they ever get there at all.
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Pittsburgh Steelers On Collision Course With Tim Tebow

 Posted by at 8:20 am  NFL Playoffs  Comments Off on Pittsburgh Steelers On Collision Course With Tim Tebow
Dec 122011
 

A Sunday isn’t a Sunday without the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unlike the last time I had a weekend without my beloved Black and Gold, at least my computer didn’t seize the opportunity to give me the middle finger. In fact, I was able to enjoy a stress-free Sunday of NFL action. And in the process it gave me a chance to size up the AFC Playoff picture.

It appears that Tim Tebow is a man of destiny. And that destiny is placing him and his Denver Broncos on a collision course with the Steelers.

The Steelers currently sit at 10-3, the same record as the Baltimore Ravens. I didn’t bother watching the Ratbirds this week because everybody knew they were going to hammer the gutless Colts. Instead, I kept an eye on our other AFC North rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincy lost a heartbreaker to the Houston Texans when somebody named TJ Yates led Houston 80 yards in the final two minutes to score the game-winning touchdown. The loss was killer as it dropped the Bengals from the second Wild Card slot to a game behind the New York Jets. I know that box I posted above says they’re also behind the Titans but that’s only if they finish in a three tie as Cincy holds the head-to-head advantage after beating them a few weeks back.
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