Thursday, January 27, 2005

Cowher Fired, Maddox Named Starter

At least that is what would happen if was up to the Pittsburgh sports fans. Over the past few days, I have listened to and read about the reactions of the black & gold faithful to the Steelers' first loss in 16 games. Most of the talk concerned 2 main issues.

1) The coaching decision to kick a field goal while down 14 points (effectively killing all momentum for a comeback). Hence the call to fire Bill Cowher.

2) The fact that Big Ben Roethlisberger, the rookie phenom, couldn't throw the ball anywhere near a Steelers player on Sunday. He instead chose to distribute his passes around the New England defense. Hence the suggested demotion of #7 to backup QB, or "most loved sports figure in town" as the position is known in Pittsburgh.

Everyone here knows that Coach Cowher is 1-4 in AFC Championship games (and 0-1 in the big game). When asked about his decision to send Jeff Reed on the field instead of going for the TD on 4th and goal from the 2, he said, "I'd do it again, too." We know. Please refer to the aforementioned 1-4 record in AFC Championship games.

As far as Ben's performance, he admitted in a press conference this week to being fatigued by the long season. That would have been great information to know before the game started. Tommy Maddox was kind of fresh at the time. Heck, even Brian St. Pierre could have stepped up. He played a part in the week 17 win over Buffalo.

But the season is over now and it is time to move on. Or is it? Since they have already decided on the need for a new coach and a new quarterback, the city's sports fans now have to debate Hines crying, the Bus retiring, Snoop Dogg as coach, Big Ben's broken toes, Big Ben's toes not being broken and how everyone in Pittsburgh is apathetic regarding the Super Bowl. It seems the fans here always need to talk about something.

And with hockey on hiatus, it is no use talking about the Penguins.

Friday, January 21, 2005

He Is Playing Basketball

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on the following headline while looking for some info about the Pitt Basketball team:

#3 Christ The King Holds On Against Xaverian

He is playing basketball now? Good for Him. He seems to have had a little trouble with Xavierian - but He won. Actually, He is undefeated this year. That seems reasonable to me.

I would imagine that the competition on the hardwood is getting tougher, and it is probably difficult to run the offense wearing sandals and the long robes, but come on. His God-given talents are incredible. My only question is about the #3 ranking. Who happens to be holding on to #1 and #2? I'm guessing that it is probably Holy Spirit High and St. Somebody's. But can they possibly beat Him head-to-head?

I just hope that Christ the King gets to play Brockport HS in the NY state basketball playoffs. You know, the Blue Devils. That would be one for the ages.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

[Insert Missed Field Goal Cliché Here]

Of course I watched the Steelers/Jets game. Yes I was feeling sick in the stomach. And the terrible towels did make many a twirl in my family room. I know that I don't actually play for the team, but my body doesn't seem to get that particular message. I do feel somewhat responsible for the interception that occurred between Jets' field goal misses, though, as I called it happening about 2 minutes before it did.

A new week will bring a new game, and luckily the Steelers will be playing in it. If Doug Brien made one of those field goals, the headlines this morning would be quite different. Instead, the NY media had to go through every missed field goal cliché possible. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came up with one telling the Steelers side of things.

"Whew!"

I couldn't have said it better.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hockey, Where Art Thou?

I am missing the NHL this year. Seriously. I mean, football is nearing the exciting end of its season, and then what? Hockey. But not this year. I am already dreading the void that will appear just after the Super Bowl and before training camp starts for next season. There is the start of the MLB season, when the Pirates will be contenders in the NL Central for about a week. Uhh. Then what? The NFL preseason starts in August...

In the meantime there will be a noticeable lack of the fastest game on ice. No checking. No acrobatic goals. No great saves. No Mike Lange telling Grandma to get in the fast lane (the bingo game is ready to roll). No grown men throwing down their gloves so they can throw punches. None of it.

I'm starting early and trying to replace my hockey. I actually watched the entire 2nd half of an NBA game earlier this evening - it was in HD so I figured I'd give it a try. I just can't get into it. Dunk, foul, lay-up, bad pass, turnover, foul, timeout. Not exactly thrilling. Then a fight broke out! Like hockey! These guys will probably be suspended for a few games, though, unlike the 5 penalty minutes they would get if it really was hockey. Oh, well. Nice try.

I'm not saying that there aren't great athletes playing the game. I just think that I may not be able to appreciate the NBA because I can't identify with the players.

Look at baseball - the post-steroid era ballplayers are just like guys you went to middle school with. In fact, Jack Wilson looks like he is still IN middle school.

In football there are chubby guys with bad knees and tiny guys who wear shoes that don't match. It sounds like a trip to the grocery store or a trolley ride into town.

And in hockey - I know tough and/or crazy dudes from all over the world. I know people with very few vowels in their last names. I know them. I am related to people like this.

I don't know any 7 foot tall bald guys with neck tattoos. And I for sure don't know anyone who can jump up and hang on the rim.

Now, I'm OK with the NCAA and the whole March Madness thing, when people discuss at length the toughness of the Valparaiso team this year (not because they have seen the team play a game, but because they wrote down "Valpo" in the second round of a bracket since it sounds neat). I love the single-elimination tournament aspect of it. The win or go home. It makes games exciting. That and the fact that at least a few of the guys on the court are playing for fun instead of bling. But the Madness only lasts for 3 weeks. Hockey needs replaced for 7 months.

I'm not sure who is to blame for keeping my hockey off the ice. From what I've read, it seems like everyone. But I don't really care. After the 6th of February I will enter the void, and it is not looking like the NBA will be able to have any effect. Even if it is in HD.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Vikings Acquire Rubberband Man

Was anyone watching the NFC playoff game yesterday? When did the Minnesota Vikings acquire the OfficeMax Rubberband Man? They must need office supplies replenished during the games. Or is that just Randy Moss with his cornrows released? You think I'm kidding? Take a look:



Or maybe Randy is passing out paper clips and printer cartriges on his days off. I can't see him wearing a tie, but I guess he really could use some extra cash to pay off his fines to the NFL. But I'll bet the real Rubberband Man could come up with a better touchdown dance.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

It Begins...

A new year brings a new outlet. This blog will be a place for of all my commentaries to live (instead of just hanging around in my head). These posts are for entertainment only, and sarcasm is included at no extra charge.