Sunday, September 27, 2009
Does anybody else see this face and wonder what a 40 calibre hollow point would do to a gold grille? OK, just wondering! Tough to watch a repeat of last weeks results........First, the good, I love what I saw from Mike Wallace, the Offensive Line kept the Bengals newfound sack machine at bay, and in the first half it appeared as if we had a running game. Finally Stefan Logan has added a nice threat in the return game. Now the bad........the Defense again folded when championship defenses close out halves and games. They gave up points at the end of the half and again to lose the game on the final full drive. Championship teams do not do that, much less twice in a row........The fourth quarter in general left the team with no offense, and no defense, and in what has become the norm, NO RUNNING game. Our top 2 draft choices from last year appear to be busts......Limas Sweed is a joke. Our "money" kicker has become money for the opposition. I take solace in two things from this game......first, and most important, the season is young, and a win next week at home will stop the bleeding a bit. On a less positive note, two of my LEAST favorite Steelers on a personal level contributed to the loss, "Skippy" the tough guy kicker and Ben "no tip" Roethlisberger with his pick six...........Any way next week is another week, and I still believe overall in this team.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
While attempting to buy some time before I have to dig into lots of reading for work, I sat down to watch the Pens game v Montreal. They just fell behind 3-2, not that this really matters. As I sit and watch the game I am struck by the manner in which the Pens have been built not only for winning NOW, but for the long run. Despite typically whiny remarks from GM's George McPhee of the Capitals, Brian Burke of the Leafs and former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke about the Pens being good now because of how bad they stunk for a long time, the fact is that the Pens have been ALMOST as successful as the Wings in the stretch from 1967-current. I will bore you with the details of my research there, but the short version is that the Pens have one or two fewer playoff series in that 42 year period, only one fewer Stanley Cups, many MORE scoring championships for its individual stars and so on. The Pens longest stretch of losing seasons 4 years. They saw the salary cap coming pre lockout, dumped there high salary stars, ate a couple of bad years and the results have been spectacular. Post lockout, the Pens had one very bad season, then made the playoffs, losing in the first round, then made it to the Finals losing in six to the Wings, and last year they won the Stanley Cup, the toughest trophy in sports to win. They took full advantage of their rough spell to draft Marc Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal with first round draft picks. All of these players are under 24, signed for the long term at "discounts" and elite franchise level players. In addition, many other key contributers such as Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Max Talbot, Tyler Kennedy, the now departed Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik all came up through Wilkes Barre to fill in other key roles as home grown players. As I sit and watch the Pens tonite you can see the future talent with Eric Tangredi and Luca Caputi both very capable looking top six forwards who will be power forwards in the near future flanking Sid and Geno and giving the Pens that nasty edge they had when Kevin Stevens was bulling his way to the net. Bill Guerin signing for two years at a significant discount not only shows how much players like to be here, but allows the Pens to nurture both Caputi and Tangredi until they are ready to make that leap. I watch Ben Lovejoy on defense and see a kid who is ready to contribute at this level, and watching Simon Despres, this years first round pick, you see a Scuderi type kid ready in two years to step up to the big club. Finally, Shero addressed the obvious lack of grit in the lineup by trading Whitney(another home grown kid) for Kunitz and Tangredi. He further addressed the grit and character issue getting Craig Adams off the waiver wire from Chicago last year and this guy played a key role adding some grit and penalty killing during the playoff run. While Philly fans are proudly proclaiming that the pick up of Pronger will bring the Cup home AND land Crosby and Malkin in the hospital the Pens have quietly built a line up that can match anybodys toughness if necessary. Jay McKee the free agent pick up from St. Louis blocked more shots last year than our shot blocking expert Scuderi, and plays a physical game, at 6'4" and 240 lbs. He can drop the gloves if necessary and PLAY the game. The same can be said of Orpik and newly acquired Mike Rupp from NJ adds a fourth liner at 6'5" and 245lbs who can play a fourth line role, crash the net and fight if necessary. Eric Godard is as good an enforcer as there is, and the Pens have Paul Bissonette or "Biznasty" and Wade Brookbank late of the Hurricanes both available to them, and both very willing and very good pugilists. Ask Kimo Timonen of Philadelphia if Chris Kuniz has some grit, and we all know what kind of sandpaper Matt Cooke adds to the lineup. Hey, in the salary cap era no team is without warts, the Pens could use another winger who can score and one more NHL ready D man for depth, BUT nobody has the talent down the middle with Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Staal that they have, and the core of their D is as good as anybody. They are one year away from addressing both needs internally and they have enough organizational depth with third and fourth line grit along with great prospects that they will be in position to start the season, evaluate their team over time and trade for any missing part they feel they need mid to late season. Make no mistake, this team is again loaded. Their challenge will be focus and overcoming two long seasons in a row.
I am not sure what to think about the loss to the Bears. I do not want to make too much of it, nor do I want to ignore some troubling signs..........Hey, da Bears were supposed to be a very tough team according to experts as they entered the season. The addition of Cutler was supposed to make them a legitimate contender this year, then a poor showing in the opener v Green Bay left many wondering about Cutler, and the Bears. So if you like the glass half full, the Steelers lost a very close game to a good team that HAD to rebound from a poor showing on the road to make amends during their HOME OPENER. OK. Add to that the fact that the team could have and should have won the game by their usual M.O. had Jeff Reed not missed TWO makeable field goals in the fourth quarter. The running game showed some improvement and even Mendenhall flashed some of the moves that made him a first round pick in last years draft. If Holmes catches that TD pass, the Steelers likely win. So, they COULD HAVE and SHOULD HAVE WON, but for some uncharacteristic mistakes. Right?? Well, maybe.........If you are a glass half empty guy you can say that AGAIN the running game was sub par, and the fact that they felt that they HAVE to throw the ball in third and short or fourth and short situations on a rainy day PROVES that they KNOW that they cannot line up and knock the snot out of somebody to take a yard when they need it! Or you can say that a championship defense does not allow a very mediocre offensive team to drive 97 yards to tie the game at the end of the first half, period, and does not allow a game winning FG drive to end the game, period! ?The Steelers allowed 10 fourth quarter points lose this game, and the defense also allowed the Cardinals to drive up and down the field in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, needing a miracle drive and play from Big Ben and Santonio Holmes to take that game back......so in two of the last three meaningful games the Steel Curtain has collapsed in the fourth quarter. You can also say that the Steelers look undisciplined, taking too many penalties and that this will kill them. Finally, you can say that with Troy on the sideline, mediocre to good teams should beat the Steelers if they just spread the field and throw 40 t imes per game, or that we have seen no evidence of that ferocious pass rush from the latest version of Quiver and Quake, Woodley and Harrison. You would not be totally wrong looking at this game from either perspective. I, for one suspect that this team under Tomlin will go back to doing what has been its hallmark since he took over, and that they will win far more of these types than they will lose. They have to if they want to repeat as Champs, and I think that they will.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Mrs. White.......keep Lendale away from the curb, it is trash day.......
Here are your Super Bowl Champs!!!
On a night in which Big Ben looked like he was worried about his lawsuit, Parker and Mendenhall looked like they forgot their skirts, the offensive line was well, offensive, the Steelers looked for much of the night like they were in trouble against a very good Tennessee team........BUT, as has become the norm, Big Ben snatches victory when the game is on the line, and we are 1-0. Can't wait for the next championship team from Pittsburgh to raise their banner on October 2.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Last years stomping of the Terrible Towel after the Titans whipped the Steelers has gotten much press........Yinzers everywhere are indignant about these two TOOLS stomping on the Towel. I did not like it either.......but not because I equated it to desecrating the American flag........no, simply because the lack of class and sportsmanship exhibited by two "professional" athletes was typically nauseating............just like TO stomping on the Cowboys logo, it was just child like and indicative of the tiny IQs of some pro athletes...........White stating he will do it again if given the opportunity puts an exclamation point on his stupidity.....but look at the brightside........we can watch the game hoping he leaves in an ambulance.......or a body bag........hell the only ones who would miss him would be the workers at Jose Cuervo......oopss.....they won't even miss him! Here is to LaMarr Woodley becoming a 260 lb necktie on this ass munch!!