Ginger Dictator Fines Tomlin, Draft Pick Loss Pending

 Posted by at 5:37 am  Ginger Dictator, Mike Tomlin, NFL Draft  Comments Off on Ginger Dictator Fines Tomlin, Draft Pick Loss Pending
Dec 052013
 

Tomlin smirking tripping

Nearly a week since Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin executed the Two Step Heard ‘Round The World, Steeler Nation has been bracing for the inevitable consequences. Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell finally deigned to step down from Mount Olympus and pass down punishment for The Blunder. As usual when the Ginger Dictator deals with the Black and Gold, his punishments were both harsh and potentially very damaging. At least he’s consistent.

The first – and least – important part of Ginger’s ruling was a cool $100,000 fine for Tomlin. That may sound like big money to you or I but to a head coach making $5 million, it’s not much different than an average worker getting docked $150. As an aside, can anybody else believe that goof Tomlin gets paid five MILLION dollars to lie his ass off at press conferences and embarrass the franchise on national television? Meanwhile, a truly great head coach like Bill Cowher was sent into retirement because the team didn’t feel he was worth a top salary. Continue reading »

Mike Tomlin Sells Out To The Man

 Posted by at 6:26 am  Ginger Dictator, Mike Tomlin  Comments Off on Mike Tomlin Sells Out To The Man
Apr 102013
 

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is the newest member of the NFL’s prestigious Competition Committee. No, this isn’t some extremely late April Fool’s joke. The man in charge of one of the league’s most notoriously lawless teams has thrown in with the people responsible for making the rules his players are routinely fined for breaking. Talk about sleeping with the enemy.

When this story first broke, I saw some Steelers fans on Twitter all excited about the prospect of Coach T lending a Black and Gold perspective to the committee. Fools. That committee exists solely to rubber stamp the mandates put forth by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. What the Ginger Dictator wants, the Ginger Dictator gets.

And what he wants is a kinder, more gentle game. I know that seems contradictory to the inherent nature of football but with our increased awareness of the danger of concussions (and the huge ass lawsuit still pending from former players), there’s no going back now. Ginger wants to take the violent hits and hellacious collisions out of the game and no “recommendations” from the Competition Committee are going to change that.

The only thing having Tomlin on the Committee will change is how the Steelers play football. James Harrison and Ryan Clark, among others, have notoriously refused to alter their playing styles despite whatever rule changes were enacted. With Tomlin on the Committee making those rules, it’ll be harder if not downright impossible for his team to openly flout the edicts their own head coach had a hand in making.

Of course, that predisposes Tomlin has some measure of control over his players. If anything has become sadly apparent over the past couple seasons, it’s that Tomlin’s long boring speeches ring as hollow to the guys in the locker room as they do to the media in post-game press conferences.

Hennessy’s Rant of the Week: Scabs Scabs Go Away, Come Again Another Day (Or Not)

 Posted by at 5:10 am  Face Me Ike, Ginger Dictator  Comments Off on Hennessy’s Rant of the Week: Scabs Scabs Go Away, Come Again Another Day (Or Not)
Sep 282012
 

Last night’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns saw the return of the NFL’s regular referees and the official end of Zebra-Gate. Late Wednesday night, the NFL and the referees’ faux-union reached a reported 8-year agreement. This tentative agreement should keep the Zebras on the field for the foreseeable future, but based on the outrage caused by “THREE WEEKS AH’ CRAPPY OFISHEY-ATIN,” god only knows what else the media will turn from an interesting side story to the end of the NFL as we know it. Hot dog vendor strike? Unsafe working conditions for down-marker-holders? The creation of a kicker-punter-waterboy anti-defamation league (Chris is in trouble)?

Zebra-Gate was a horrible experience. Not the bad calls or the extra timeouts or SportsCenter actually receiving its highest rating ever due to the Packers-Seahawks debacle (more on that play later). The worst part was the fans, the media, and the overly exaggerated commentary on what was truly significant to the games. Sure, I hate the media and all, but allow me to offer my opinion on a few of the more outrageous lines of bullshit that were crafted to sell this as a potential NFL Armageddon.

The replacement referees HAVE OTHER JOBS!!!!

One of the most hilarious reasons for the scab’s unwarranted presence on the field is because they actually have jobs and weren’t in a secluded cult lair where they practice the art of flag throwing until the Ginger Dictator calls them into action. Nothing was more irritating than hearing “The guy is a BANKER in real life man, C’MON!.”

Let’s introduce you to the gun show himself, Ed Hoculi, or should we call him Edward G. Hoculi, J.D.

“After further review, my client is guilty as charged, penalty to be assessed 3 months from now at the spot of this trial”

That’s right folks, the Mighty Hocules spends his time in a court room when he’s not being a “regular referee.” When he’s not bench pressing the legal system, he’s busy being a PARTNER at his law firm. The idiots that think the unionized referees operate on a teacher schedule and take the summer off are exactly that – idiots. Big Ed specializes in Product and Premises Liability, as well as Transportation Defense. This is legalese for helping that guy who fell off the curb at Wal-Mart get paid. I bet I never hear an announcer scream, “What a horrible call by the guy who sued a Sheetz for making their coffee too hot!”

Ike Taylor was NO WHERE NEAR SANTONIO ON THAT PASS INTERFERENCE!!!

Well, I can’t really argue with that one… It’s true. It’s damn true. Next…

That guy can’t REFEREE in the NFL, he WATCHES the NFL!!!!!!!!!!

Scab Brian Stropolo was pulled from a game because he is an avid fan of the New Orleans Saints. Apparently Roger Goodell and his crack staff overlooked Facebook pictures of Brian in SAINTS GEAR AT A TAILGATE!!!!!! The NFL, in their ever widening quest to “protect the shield,” decided this was a no-no because apparently they think no referee, scab or regular, watches the sport and has a favorite team. The NFL is the most popular sport in America but because one scab is a fan like the other 300 million people he is banned from officiating??

Being this Total Steelers, let’s keep things Pittsburgh oriented ‘round here. The “regular referee” who worked last night’s game, the guy who got a STANDING OVATION from those mutants in Baltimore, was none other than Washington, PA native Gene Steratore. He still lives there despite its lack of anything except a snobby college and a few good food joints. Gene co-owns and runs Steratore Sanitary Supply and anyone born and raised in Western PA who sells urinal cakes is obviously a Steelers Fan, myself included.

Except for the urinal cakes.

Despite this local bias, Gene has still reffed many a Steeler game and nobody cried wolf then.

The refs are back because the SEAHAWKS SHOULD HAVE LOST THAT GAME!!!!

Let’s be clear about one thing nobody has the balls to say; the ending to the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday Night was NOT the most egregious F*!# up of the Scab Era. The play is a lot closer than the empty suits on ESPN have so far been willing to admit. Any line judge who goes by the letter of the law would correctly rule that catch a simultaneous possession and TD for Seattle. He would also overlook the pass interference because he should know that offensive and defensive pass interference occur on every Hail Mary so it is NEVER called.

The officials definitely had a bad game. Seattle only got to attempt a Hail Mary in the first place because of several botched calls. But where the Packers got screwed wasn’t on the field, it was in the replay booth. And the man in the booth Monday Night wasn’t a scab at all. It was Phil Luckett, who Steeler Nation will forever remember as the ref who couldn’t hear Jerome Bettis say “Heads” in the Thanksgiving Coin Toss Fiasco against the Detroit Lions.

At any rate, I’m glad this is over. I’m going to worry about something more important. Something you’ll never hear covered 24-7 on the World Wide Leader. I’m going to worry about the NHL lock out.

Jul 132012
 

Breaking news: Mike Wallace still has not signed his one year tender. In fact, if the local sports talk shows are to be believed, word is that the Pittsburgh Steelers have stopped negotiating with him completely. As I’ve covered here before, this leaves the two sides at an impossible juncture. Wallace insists he won’t report to camp until “he has to” while the Steelers could theoretically keep him on the team in perpetuity through Franchise tags and the like.

The Steelers aren’t the only team dealing with a disgruntled player. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints has been waging his own battle after he was Franchised over the off-season. He still hasn’t signed his tender, either, and reports are he has no intention of doing so by Monday’s deadline. Well, “deadline’ is a misnomer because if he doesn’t sign, the Franchise rules still apply meaning he can sign with another team but for the price of two first round picks. If nobody wanted to pay that price back in April, it doesn’t seem likely somebody will now.

Brees wants a long term deal and he’s not the only one. Wes Welker and Matt Forte were also Franchised and although both seemingly realized they have no choice but to sign their tender and play out the year neither is happy about it. Then we have our good friends down in Baltimore. They have two key players threatening to hold out over contract issues. Ray Rice was, repeat after me, Franchised and he, repeat after me, hasn’t signed his tender because he also wants a long term deal. Meanwhile, rabble rouser Ed Reed does have a contract but it’s the final year of his deal and he’s making noise about holding out until he gets an extension.

I bring up Reed because in comments to the Baltimore Sun, he told them “the NFLPA messed things up” last year when signing the new CBA. Gee, ya think? It became apparent about ten minutes after the deal was signed that the NFLPA basically folded up like a cheap lawn chair. But the deal is done and complaining about it now is nothing more than crying over spilled milk. Granted at least 50% of the NFLPA membership probably reads at a 10th grade level while the other half was probably more worried about making their child support payments than what the deal contained.

Still, it’s the job of the various NFLPA reps and the organization’s leadership to educate their members as to what they’re signing. I’m sure somebody over there knows Powerpoint. Hell, they could easily hire an artist to make some illustrated flash cards to explain how the deal worked. At least roll out a few pie charts. Casey Hampton would definitely pay attention to those.

The point is the deal is signed. They agreed to the tenets of unrestricted free agency and they agreed to the Franchise tag. So players getting huffy about the rules and refusing to abide by them is ridiculous. I understand football is a sudden, violent game and one blindside hit or bad landing on your knee and your career could go down the toilet. I understand that’s why players hate one year deals. But I also understand the basic concept of business which is “you sign a deal, you live up to the deal.” The NFLPA negotiated the new CBA, the players approved the new CBA, so you have to abide by the CBA. Which means if you get Franchised, you sign the contract, show up and play. And if you’re an unrestricted free agent and you get tendered, you sign the tender, show up and play. None of this pouting that you want a multi-year deal, none of this issuing threats and then holding out.

It’s not the teams’ fault they’re taking advantage of the system that was mutually agreed to. If you had a problem with it, last year was the time to enact a change. Now, it’s too late. And if you’re unhappy, there’s nobody to blame but yourselves.

Jun 142012
 

Terry Bradshaw dropped in for a visit with his buddy Jay Leno last night. Unlike most visits where TB is content to play the loveable yokel character he’s been perfecting ever since his memorable cameo in The Cannonball Run, this time we were treated to a rare appearance of his thoughtful and serious side. Naturally, the comment from Bradshaw which is getting the most play in media soundbites was his statement that he wouldn’t let his son play football.

Well, if he had a son. He does have two daughters, including the perplexingly hot Rachel Bradshaw, who like almost every other daughter of somebody rich and/or famous, is an aspiring singer. I’ve never actually heard her sing so I won’t speculate on her succeeding where such luminaries as Paulina Gretzky and Brooke Hogan have failed. In Rachel’s favor, though, her daddy actually had some pretty decent pipes back in the day.

TB isn’t the first notable to say they wouldn’t want their kid playing football due to all the injury concerns. Kurt Warner recently said he wouldn’t let his son play. Tom Brady‘s dad noted he didn’t let young Dreamboat play until he was 14 and had he known the danger posed by concussions, he may not have let Tommy play at all. I dunno, man, I might be willing to risk a little brain damage if it guaranteed me a shot at a phat-assed Brazillian super model.

Anyway, lost in the media’s obsession with one sentence sound bites is that Brad went on to say some really intelligent things about the NFL’s current handling of the concussion crisis. To wit, he stated what we all know but nobody affiliated with the league (outside of James Harrison) has had the balls to say which is they’re only cracking down on head injuries now because they’re being sued. The NFL, like all sports leagues, sees their players as disposable resources. They use one up and then bring in another to replace him.

Sports leagues have never cared about player rights, post-career health, or safety. Just like professional wrestling, which only enacted a drug testing program after one of its stars went on a kill crazy rampage, all sports leagues ignore problems until they’re forced to deal with them. The NBA doesn’t care if their refs are degenerate gamblers until one gets caught fixing games. MLB doesn’t care that half the players are juiced up ‘roid freaks until Congress starts asking questions. And the NHL doesn’t care about concussions until the best player in the world gets, oh who we kidding, the NHL still doesn’t really care about concussions.

A lot of people are snickering over Bradshaw’s later comment that violent sports like hockey and football will “slowly phase away,” in the future while soccer, baseball, and basketball get bigger because they’re safer. I think that idea, which echoes a similar one made by fellow Fox broadcaster Troy Aikman, is a bit overblown. However, in these reactionary times, where the mayor of New York City is trying to ban Big Gulps because people are too damn fat, it would be foolish to think if a high profile football player pulled a Chris Benoit that it wouldn’t trigger a huge backlash that ultimately damaged football’s popularity. Let’s just hope it never comes to that.

Steelers Benefit From Salary Cap Incomptence

 Posted by at 5:08 am  Free Agency, Ginger Dictator, Mike Wallace, Offensive Line, Redzone Redman  Comments Off on Steelers Benefit From Salary Cap Incomptence
Mar 132012
 

An already crazy NFL off-season is about to get even crazier. When the clock strikes four this afternoon, the league’s 2012 free agency period officially begins. There really wasn’t much free agent activity last year due to the lock-out and teams being reluctant to bring in new faces who wouldn’t have the benefit of an entire off-season to learn a new playbook. Prepare for free agency to return with a vengeance.

Speaking of which, the Pittsburgh Steelers got an itty bit of salary cap relief thanks to of all people Commissioner Roger Goodell. Over the weekend, the salary cap was set at $120 million, a negligible increase over last year’s cap. Considering the lock-out was fought over the players wanting 53% of the revenue while the owners tried shrink their share to 47%, it’s pretty clear who won last year’s showdown. Good job bending over for the league, Dee Smith.

Anyway, the league announced two teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins were being docked cap space for front loading contracts during the uncapped year. In other words, the Ginger Dictator is penalizing those teams ($10 and $31 million respectively) for violating the salary cap in a year in which no cap existed. And I thought suspending players for playing football set a new bar for insane rulings. Gotta love that monomaniacal douchebag.
Continue reading »

Sidney Crosby Is Back (And So Am I)

 Posted by at 10:28 am  Pittsburgh Penguins, Steel Dynasty, Super Bowl Champions  Comments Off on Sidney Crosby Is Back (And So Am I)
Nov 222011
 

Last night, Sidney Crosby returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins after suffering a concussion nearly a year ago. Today, I return to the blogosphere. What a great day for Pittsburgh sports fans!

Seriously, though, while football is my first love, hockey is a close second. I was born the same year the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first Super Bowl so I’m not really old enough to remember the Steel Dynasty. The first championship I actually experienced as a fan was the Penguins’ 1991 Stanley Cup. And to Tina DiCapula’s ever-lasting chagrin, you never forget your first time.

For those ex-‘Burghers out there, the atmosphere around town was absolutely electric once word got out that Sid was returning. We take our sports very seriously here and there has been no subject of greater importance or which inspired more angst than the condition of Sid’s noggin’. Once the game got underway, Sid rose to the occasion by scoring on his first shot roughly two minutes in. The crowd went absolutely insane and all was right with the world.
Continue reading »

Nov 112011
 

There were a number of ridiculous calls in last Sunday’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. The most inexplicable series of events involved Ryan Clark and Ray Lewis. Clark was flagged for “hitting a defenseless receiver” when he popped tight end Ed Dickson going down the middle of the field. You can watch the hit in question by clicking here. Meanwhile, Stabby knocked Hines Ward out of the game with a vicious blow to the head (if you watch a replay, it looked more like a forearm than helmet-to-helmet). No flag was thrown.

Naturally, Roger Goodell seized on these events to partake in his favorite hobby, fining players. And, as usual, the Steelers ended up with a losing spin of his Wheel O’ Justice. Lewis was fined $20,000 for knocking Hines out of the game. Clark was fined $40,000 for brushing up against Dickson in an aggressive fashion.

And he’s not happy about it.
Continue reading »

Bill Belichick Finally Says Something We Agree With

 Posted by at 1:44 pm  Ginger Dictator, Preseason  Comments Off on Bill Belichick Finally Says Something We Agree With
Aug 242011
 

Did you feel the ground shaking yesterday?

Some experts claim we experienced an earthquake.  Others say Casey Hampton merely fell out of bed.  However, I have a far more scientific explanation.  I read this article on Yahoo Sports and actually agreed with Bill Belichick.

The end is surely nigh.
Continue reading »