Hennessy’s Rant of the Week: I Hate The Media (And Tim Tebow)

 Posted by at 5:50 am  Sound-Off, Steeler Nation  Comments Off on Hennessy’s Rant of the Week: I Hate The Media (And Tim Tebow)
Sep 212012
 

 

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.

Week 1 Recap: Tebowed Again

 Posted by at 5:37 am  Art Rooney II, Face Me Ike, Heath Miller, Recaps, Secondary, Todd Haley  Comments Off on Week 1 Recap: Tebowed Again
Sep 102012
 

Once upon a time, the prospect of playing the boys from the Mile High City was met with the same level of disdain Steeler Nation now reserves for the Ratbirds or Patriots. After last night’s game, I think it’s safe to say while the Denver Broncos may not be full-fledged members of the Circle of Hate, they’re definitely vying for a spot. For the second straight game dating back to last season’s Wild Card debacle, the Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in groan-worthy fashion, 31-19.

Where to start with this disaster.

How about new offensive coordinator Todd Haley? Some people view Twitter as a sign of the apocalypse (Follow me @totalsteelers) but I enjoy it because instead of waiting hours or even minutes to gauge reaction, you have it in seconds. It took roughly one quarter before the armchair offensive coordinators started calling for Haley’s head. His crime?

He was running the ball too much!

Yes, the same group who called into Pittsburgh sports talk shows whining about Bruce Arians and his Flying Circus offense for the past three years were moaning because Haley gave them what they asked for. More importantly, he gave Art Rooney II exactly what he wanted, a return to Stiller Football. And how did Stiller Football fare? Isaac Redman gained 20 yards on 11 carries while Jon Dwyer, one of the game’s lone offensive stars, chipped in 43 yards on only 9 carries with one big 17 yard gain wiped out due to a dubious holding call on Mike Wallace.

On the bright side, we totally dominated time of possession!

Seeing this offense try to relive the glory days of Franco and the Bus was PAINFUL to watch. Several times we had first and 15s and Haley elected to run on two successive downs. Only Ben Roethlisberger completing some big third down throws kept the chains moving. This team has one of the deepest and most talented group of wide receivers in the NFL. They shouldn’t be running to set up the pass, they should be passing to set up the run.

FORGET YINZERBALL AND PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS.

Ben is going to catch some flak for his performance last night, as he should. When your rep is being the best clutch player in football, you don’t throw a pick-six down six with 3 minutes left. Ben certainly had a Jekyll/Hyde game, making some great throws where he literally threaded a needle but he also made several incredibly dangerous throws which could’ve easily gotten intercepted. He also missed several big plays such as botching a sure TD to Heath Miller (who was open all day) and never seeing Wallace left wide open on a crucial fourth quarter drive. While I think it’d be totally unfair to pin this loss on him, Ben needs to play a helluva lot better if this team is going to win.

Especially if the defense is going to play like they played last night. Last year, Warren Sapp derided them as old, slow and done. This season, it appears they’re young, eager and over their heads. Despite obnoxious Cris Collinsworth occasionally getting up off his knees to proclaim “Peyton Manning is doing this to the league’s #1 ranked defense!” this is not the league’s top ranked defense. That was last year’s team with James Harrison and Ryan Clark and a healthier Casey Hampton and William Gay opposite Ike Taylor. Last night’s defense had none of those things and the results showed.

Manning was only sacked twice and one of those, by Jason Worilds, was a clean shot thanks to Manning mixing up the protection call. Other than a first quarter sack by Larry Foote, who was one of the few bright spots on defense, they generated almost zero pressure. Surely the altitude played a part but it doesn’t excuse anything. The bottom line is the Steelers offense held the ball for a whopping 10 minutes (35 to 25) longer yet the “exhausted” Broncos D held them to 19 points while the “rested” Steelers D allowed Pey-Pey to march right down the field on them.

Foote forced an early fumble although it was more luck than skill as he got thrown into the back and happened to knock the ball loose. That was it as far as highlights go. The D-line got pushed around on passing plays and couldn’t stop the run when it counted. The linebackers effort can be summed up by watching Peyton OUTRUN supposedly super-athlete Lawrence Timmons to the sticks for a 7 yard gain. Then we have the secondary. Youngsters Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen did their best B-Mac impressions, allowing generous 5 yard cushions on every pass play. And then we have Demaryius Thomas, who once again abused Ike Taylor to the tune of 5 catches for 110 yards.

Perhaps no play summed up last night’s debacle like the third quarter turning point when Thomas took a little slant and ran away from like half the defense on his way to a 71 yard TD. Of course the scab refs missed a hold on Ryan Mundy on the play but it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

What would have mattered was the facemask on Ben they missed on the Steelers’ previous drive which ended with a Shaun Suisham field goal. The game was an absolute fiasco from an officiating standpoint, with the scab refs saving their worst for prime time and most of their incompetence going against the Steelers. The lone time we got a call, on yet another boneheaded Mike Tomlin challenge which came in after a play had been run, it would’ve been better if they hadn’t. Meanwhile, Wallace’s hold wiping out a big Dwyer run and a crucial pass interference on Lewis late in the 4th were the definition of ticky-tacky especially after not calling worse against the Broncos. Evidently they did read the Illegal Formations portion of the rule book on the can before the game because that was one thing they called on both teams at least a good half dozen times.

Let’s not blame the scab refs on this fiasco. The Steelers played a terrible game last night. If Ben had Superman’d up and pulled out a last-second victory, it only would’ve been a Band-Aid on a gaping chest wound. The Steelers clearly have some fundamental issues they need to address on both sides of the ball. And they need to start by figuring out what kind of offense they want to run. Because what we saw last night isn’t going to get it done, not against Peyton Manning, not against Tim Tebow, not against anybody.

Oct 312011
 

Two out of three ain’t bad.

In my game preview, I listed three things I thought the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely had to do in order to defeat the New England Patriots. To be honest, I didn’t think they’d actually do any of them. Well, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, thy name is Bill Belichick.

The Steelers completely overhauled their usual game plan on both sides of the ball yesterday. The result was a convincing 25-17 victory over the hated Patriots. It was, by any measure, the team’s most impressive performance of 2011. If the Black and Gold goes on a run which culminates in another trip up the Stairway to Seven, we’re undoubtedly going to look back at week eight as the turning point in the season.

Longtime Steeler fans will remember an infamous Monday Night game many years back when the Patriots came out throwing on something like twenty consecutive plays. Yesterday, the Steelers gave them a taste of their own medicine. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 32 times. In the first half.

Ben would finish the afternoon 36/50 for 365 yards and 2 TDs. He came out firing and never let up, even when it would have been prudent to do so. I’ve been a Steeler fan for a pretty long time. While I’m not exactly reaching for Touch of Grey, I remember seeing John Stallworth catch passes from Mark Malone. I’ve never seen a better performance by a Steeler signal caller than the one Ben put forth yesterday.
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