Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mark Madden's Twitter comments drawing some heat

Mark Madden is up to his usual tricks again, turning the Twitter universe upside down. 

After a Twitter battle with Ryan Clark earlier in the year, he's now "catching heat" for his comments towards Twitter user Lacey aka @ZbynekGirl.

Jezebel.com is up in arms over his comments about women.  Lacey herself seems to think she's going to get Madden fired and is talking lawsuits over the whole situation.   Seeing as she has "✔ ZbynekGirl verified" in her profile, she seems to have an inflated sense of worth.   The avatar pic of her cleavage is a nice bonus for her followers I am sure.

Last I checked Madden is just exercising his freedom of speech.  I might not agree with his comments, but he has a right to his opinion, just like his followers have the right to disagree with said opinions.  Lacey has a right to express hers as well, but if she thinks he's going to get fired over this or that she has a winning lawsuit on her hands, I think she's sorely mistaken.

When are people going to learn that Madden is the master of getting attention?  It's what drives ratings in radio and he's damn good at his job.   He's successfully carried over his radio shtick to his Twitter account.  This @ZbynekGirl seems to be getting a lot of extra attention from Twitter as well.  See how this works? 
@ZbynekGirl

The truth is people don't realize that Madden's Twitter feed and his radio persona are a character.  He knows the type of character that sparks controversy and he thrives on it.  It gets people talking about him.  How many other Pittsburgh radio personalities make headlines like this?  Most of them are boring, useless retreads that rely on callers to fill most of the time on the show. 

In case some of you think he just spews venom for attention, keep in mind he was one of the first reporters to report the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State.   The article is from April, months before the rest of the world started reporting on the story in the wake of the grand jury findings. 

Love him or hate him, Madden puts on an entertaining show that keeps people listening no matter what side of the debate they are on.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Barry Bonds Helps Debunk The Myth That Cheaters Never Prosper

Before and After Steroids
Two completely separate news events happened today.  Yet, in my crazy and twisted mind, they are both related.

Following an eight-year investigation into perjury and obstruction of justice charges, Barry Bonds was sentenced to 30 days house arrest, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a $4,000 fine. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parrella called the sentence a "slap on the wrist" and the fine "almost laughable".

Parrella argued that home confinement wasn't punishment enough "for a man with a 15,000-square-foot house with all the advantages."

So that's the going rate for lying to the federal government these days?  Even better, Bonds has appealed the decision.  He avoided jail time, but still wants to drag out the legal mess via appeals.  

I don't get it...

Also today, we have the go-ahead for a perjury trial for Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and former vice-president Gary Schultz, who oversaw the university police department.

Here's what I want to know.  Seeing how Bonds basically got away with no punishment for lying to the grand jury, why don't Curley and Schultz just cop a plea bargain, pay their fine, and stay at home for a month?  Seems to me the end result is going to be the same.  They have a lot of money and will find a way to avoid jail time while the state chases the real criminal in this case, Jerry Sandusky.

It would save the government some taxpayer money and would keep my Twitter feed clear from all of the same people reporting the same exact details of the trial word for word.  Newsflash.  I don't need to know every detail that was said in court.  Just write a nice article and tweet it when you're done. 

I'm not trying to say that Curley and Schultz shouldn't face consequences for their actions, but it would be rather laughable if they served jail time when Bonds committed the same crime and avoids the slammer.

I'm sure Roger Clemens will get the same luxury treatment when his day in court comes up.  Sports stars and celebrities always get away with things us mere peasants would not. 

Prosecutors spent 8 years trying to send Barry Bonds to jail but in the end he only has to stay at home in his lavish mansion for a month.  Some punishment.

My god do we live in a messed up society.

What kind of message does this send to people who would lie to a grand jury?  Apparently all you will get is a slap on the wrist.  No big deal.  How about the punishment fit the crime every once in a while?  Plaxico Burress spent time in jail for shooting HIMSELF!  He didn't even harm anyone else. 

If I'm Curley and Schultz's legal team, I'm pointing to this decision on Bonds today and asking why even bother with the charade of a trial.  It's just wasting everyone's time.  I guess it does fill the gaps in between Jerry Sandusky's lawyer offering up a bunch of BS.

I guess I'm just used to the goverment wasting our time and money, but that's an article for another day.

Feel free to weigh in with your comments below.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Todd Graham bails on Pitt, named ASU head coach.

Todd Graham is the luckiest man on Earth. 

Less than one year after realizing his dream of being the head coach at "one of the finest programs in the country" he has achieved another dream by becoming the head coach at Arizona State University.

Please note the sarcasm.

He promised the fans of Pittsburgh that he'd build a championship program, but the only thing he managed to do in his one and only year was completely fail on all levels as a head coach.

Throw your quarterback under the bus?  Check.
Fail to adapt your system to fit the talent you have?  Check.
Manage to blow several late leads, including a three TD lead on the road in Iowa?  Check.
Fail to win a weak Big East conference?  Check.
Leave town like a damn coward without even facing your now former players?  Check.

That's right, the man of high moral values, who wanted his players to do the right thing, sent a text message to an assistant coach to be redistributed to the players.  He didn't even have the balls to face the players face to face.

It's not like Graham hasn't done this before.  Days after receiving a contract extension and pay raise from Rice, he bolted for Conference USA rival Tulsa.  He only coached Rice for one year.  He learned from the best.  He was an assistant for another backstabbing traitor, Rich Rodriguez in 2001 and 2002.  RichRod bailed on WVU to become the head coach at Michigan. 

I want to know how much it'll cost PAT Transit to repaint all the buses with this snake oil salesman's face on it. 

If you're ASU, how could you even take this guy seriously as a candidate?  Barely went .500 in a completely weak Big East Conference.  Willing to bail on you after less than one season.  That's right.  this scumbag won't even coach Pitt in the Compass Bowl. 

I found this quote from ASU president Dr. Michael Crow to be rather amusing.  "What we sought in a football coach was someone who would be in it for the long term at Arizona State, who would build and guide a program that would be competitive in the PAC-12 and on a national level year after year after year, who would communicate and connect with the community, and represent our University with honor. In Todd Graham we have that person,"

If one year is your idea of long term, something is wrong with your head. 

What exactly has Graham done to make him a worthy hire in the first place?  5 years in Conference USA and he could never win that league.  One year in the Big East and he couldn't win that either, even WITH all the teams tyring their hardest to lose it.

Graham was supposed to be out on the recruiting trail bringing in players for Pitt but at the same time he was plotting his departure from the school.  Backup Trey Anderson said it well.  "I go take a nap and wake up to find out my head coach is gone."

Quite the vanishing act, but I'm sure now that he's found his dream job at ASU, he'll settle in for the long haul. 

So what happens now?  Pitt has had Dave Wannstadt, Phil Bennett (interim coach for last year's BBVA Compass Bowl), Mike Haywood, Todd Graham, and now interim head coach Keith Patterson who will lead the squad into THIS year's BBVA Compass Bowl.  That's technically five head coaches in the last 12 months. 

What kind of message does that send to recruits?  Chris Peak from Panther Lair has reported some Pitt recruits remain committed, including quarterback Chad Voytik.   Even still, Pitt fans have to be nervous until letter of intent day arrives and these guys officially sign the dotted line.

Who does Pitt hire at this point to coach the team?  You need to find a guy that truly is committed to the long term, regardless of whether the guy has previous head coaching experience or not.  Ideally you find a guy who has ties to the local area and won't go bolting for the next BCS job to open up. 

Before such a decision is made, you need to look at why Pitt is in this situation to begin with.  Maybe if Steve Pederson made better choices than Mike Haywood and Todd Graham, Pitt would not be looking once again for a head coach so soon. 

How does Pederson survive as athletic director in the face of this?  He made these hires and their failures on so many levels have brought a lot of shame to the Pitt program.  Pederson needs to be fired.

I may be anything but a Pitt fan, but their fans deserve so much better than this.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pittsburgh Power Announce Radio Partnership & More Player Signings

The Pittsburgh Power and TribLive Radio will be radio partners for the 2012 season.

All Power games will be broadcast live via the TribLive Radio feed (sportstalk@triblive.com).   Ken Laird (play-by-play) and Mike Logan (color analyst) will be calling the action for all 16 Power games this year. 

It also looks like my Power Talk show on TribLive Radio will now be the official pregame broadcast, which is pretty cool.  I'm looking forward to the challenge.

For those who didn't catch a Power game last season, you missed out on some very exciting football.  The best is yet to come as the Power have spent the offseason improving a roster that barely missed out on the playoffs a year ago.

Speaking of additions.  The Power have brought a few more players into the fold for the 2012 season. 

Josh Lay returns an interception
Bernard "Josh" Lay, the team leader in interceptions for 2011, is back with the Power.   Lay missed a few games due to suspension but still made an impact in the Power secondary.   He had 44 tackles, 7 passes blocked, and four interceptions in 2011, one of which he returned for a touchdown.  The local Aliquippa and Pitt standout knows how to play a physical style of AFL ball and should further solidify a strong Power secondary. 

Oderick Turner, a former Pitt wideout, will be competing for a position in the Power receiving corps this year.   He is the son of former NFL wide receiver Odessa Turner.  Turner spent last season playing in the SIFL.  Despite missing two games with injury, he finished second in the league in receiving yards, hauling in 68 catches for 1084 yards and 23 touchdowns.   He also earned a spot on the SIFL All-Star team.

The Power also signed former Baltimore Raven wideout Randy Hymes.  The former Grambling product has NFL experience with the Ravens, Jaguars and Vikings along with AFL stints with the Cleveland Gladiators and the Philadelphia Soul.  Hymes played quarterback at Grambling, so look for him to be a potential dual threat player for the Power, similar to the way Xavier Lee was used last season.

Former Pitt and IUP running back Tyre Young will join the Power this year.  The 6'0" 310 beast played for Milwaukee in 2010, amassing 65 rushes for 173 yards and 20 touchdowns.  He also plays some linebacker, so we might have another potential Ironman on our hands. 

Last but not least, the Power have signed WR Perry Baker from Fairmont State.  Perry is the younger brother of former Steeler wideout Dallas Baker.  Baker recorded 1,552 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns in his collegiate career at Fairmont State.

For the latest Power news, follow me on Twitter @SteelCityVoice, or subscribe to the blog.  You can also get information from the Power at their website,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pirates Welcome Nate McLouth Back To Pittsburgh

A few years ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded then All-Star/Gold Glove outfielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernandez.

Today, the Pirates officially resigned McLouth to potentially be their fourth outfielder.  So in hindsight, the Pirates got a solid pitcher with a lot of upside and a solid depth outfielder and end up with the original outfielder back.  That's kind of funny don't you think?

At the time, many fans out there blasted the Pirates for trading away such an important piece of the future.  Never mind the fact that 2008 was a career year for an otherwise decent but unspectacular player.  He has 81 homeruns and 270 career RBI in a 7 year career, and a third of both of those stats came in 2008 when he hit 26 HR's and drove in 94 runs for the Pirates. 

McLouth's playing time has been severely curtailed by various injuries during his stay in Atlanta, so maybe a return to Pittsburgh will be just what is needed to keep him healthy.

He won't be displacing regular superstar outfielder Andrew McCutchen, and I doubt he'll steal a ton of playing time from Jose Tabata in right field, so most of McLouth's time will be earned by spot starts and splitting some time with Alex Pressley.

Much like the Erik Bedard signing earlier in the day, this is a lower risk signing for the Pirates.  You're getting a guy who has done some good things at the MLB level.  Given the current outfield situation, there's no pressure on him to perform at a superstar level.

Yes the injuries have been a concern, but I'd like to think you'll get some pop out of him unlike Matt "Can't hit a single homerun for us" Diaz.

These are exactly the types of signings the Pirates need to make right now.  You aren't going to get top tier free agents to come here, but you CAN get players who are looking to rebound and need a place to prove they still have what it takes. 

Hats off to Neal Huntington for getting these deals done.

Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Erik Bedard, Who Starts The Other 75% Of The Year?

The Pirates have come to terms with free agent starting pitcher Erik Bedard on a one year deal.  The deal is worth $4.5 million.  It's a low-risk high upside type deal for the Pirates and I do commend them for it.

If Bedard is healthy, he can be a top of the rotation type of guy for a Bucco rotation that is lacking top end talent.  The problem for Bedard is he rarely makes it through a season unscathed.  You have to go back to 2006 to find the last time Bedard went through a season without an injury.

He's been a full time starting pitcher since 2004.  He averages 18.5 starts per season,  Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers made 34 regular season starts last year, so that should give you a good feel for how many games Bedard has missed.

For his career he has appeared in 168 games and started 165 of them.  His career W-L record is 56-50 and he's put up 926 strikeouts in about 950 innings of work.  He has a strong 3.70 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in his exclusively AL career, and those numbers could get better in the National League.

I've always though Bedard was an intriguing possibility for Pittsburgh mostly because he's a risky signing who could pay off big time.  I usually spend a late round pick on him in my fantasy baseball drafts, and the time he is healthy he puts up great numbers.  I just draft extra depth for those times when he goes on the disabled list.

His years with Baltimore in 2006 and 2007 are what standout the most to me.  He went 15-11 for a crappy Baltimore team and had 171 strikeouts, while putting up an ERA/WHIP combo of 3.76/1.35.  He got even better in 2007 when we went 13-5 with a 3.16/1.09 and an eye popping 221 strikeouts.  That's the type of numbers that draw you serious consideration for the Cy Young award.

There's never been a question about his talent, just his durability.  Even in the face of this problem, I'm glad to see the Pirates take this risk.  It's exactly the type of signing they need to make. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

NHL Realignment: What It Means For The Penguins

The NHL Board of Governors approved the realignment of the league into four conferences.  Two conferences will have eight teams in it, and two will have seven. 

It's a stark departure from the current format of two conferences with three divisions each.

The Conferences break down like this:

New Jersey/Philadelphia/Pittsburgh/NY Rangers/NY Islanders/Washington/Carolina

Boston/Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa/Buffalo/Florida/Tampa Bay

Detroit/Columbus/Nashville/St. Louis/Chicago/Minnesota/Dallas/Winnipeg

Los Angeles/Anaheim/Phoenix/San Jose/Vancouver/Calgary/Edmonton/Colorado


The top four teams in each conference will make the playoffs, giving the NHL their usual 16 teams. 

The new alignment also enables the NHL to create a balanced schedule in which all teams will play each other at least twice every season, once at home and once on the road, giving fans a chance to see every team and superstar in the League. The remaining games will be played within the conferences.

In the seven-team conferences, teams would play six times -- three home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the following season.

The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

I like that the Penguins seem to keep all of their rivals in their conference, so we'll still see them squaring off against Philly, Washington, NY, and NJ.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of the conference teams playing each other in the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Isn't that the purpose of playing each other five or six times in the regular season?

I'd rather see the conference number ones assigned 1-4, and the second place teams 5-8 and so on down the line.  You could even base it on record overall if you wanted.  I'm sure though some people will argue the rivalry aspect of the first two rounds will add to the intensity.  I guess we'll see.

Looking at the other conferences, how much sense does it make to have the two Florida teams in the same conference as Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa?  Nothing screams rivalry like Montreal and Florida.  I guess you could say Boston and Tampa Bay already know each other because of the Rays and the Red Sox, but this is a totally different sport.

Detroit wanted to move East, but it doesn't look like that necessarily happened with this choice.  At least they stay with all their current division rivals, plus they add Dallas and Winnipeg.

I wish they'd find a way to even out the amount of teams in each conference.  Find a way to add two more teams and give every team an equal chance of making the playoffs to start the season. 

Hopefully they come up with cool names for the Conferences.  Some people on Social media have already suggested naming the conferences after famous players.  I'd love to see Orr, Howe, Gretzky and Lemieux honored for their place amongst the all time greats. 

Is it a perfect plan?  Nope, but not everyone was going to be happy anyways.  You can always tweak the playoff format at a later time.  The main thing was getting the alignment correct, and for the most part I commend the NHL on a job well done.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BS National Championship Rematch

 
What the BCS Logo SHOULD look like
Well the SEC fans got what they wanted, bragging rights for a guaranteed SEC victory in the national championship, but the rest of the country continues to laugh at the complete farce known as the BS, errr excuse me, BCS system.

By virtue of the complicated computer and human rankings hodgepodge, they've spit out that LSU is the number one team, which no one can dispute at this point, and Alabama is the number two team.  They have already played this year, but who cares about that?

The regular season is SUPPOSED to matter! Every game is a playoff we're told, and yet Alabama gets a second chance to beat LSU. 

Alabama didn't win their conference, they didn't even win their division.  They had their chance and blew it.  If LSU beats them in the BCS championship game, all they are doing is reaffirming they are better than Alabama.  If Alabama beats LSU then the season series is tied 1-1.  LSU will still have the better overall record. 

Oklahoma State won their conference and they possess 3 victories against top 15 BCS teams, compared to one for Alabama.  Oklahoma State only has one loss just like Bama.  Looking at most of the Computer rankings for the BCS, Oklahoma State came in 2nd as opposed to Bama's average rank of 3rd.

The other major one loss team in the country is Stanford who lost to Oregon and lost their chance to play in the PAC-12 championship.  Similar situation to Alabama, but there's no SEC bias propping up the Cardinal in this one.

The truth in college football is that there's plenty of teams who are talented enough to win a national championship but you are forced to rely on a bunch of biased rankings to determine just the top two teams.  It should be settled on the field like it is in every other level of football and every other NCAA sport.

Look at the March Madness tournament.  There's room for every conference winner big or small along with plenty of at large bids for deserving teams.  You could limit it to the AQ conferences, (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, PAC-12, Big 12 and SEC) and two remaining teams as determined by the BCS rankings. 

If you aren't good enough to win your conference outright, you run the risk of missing out on the playoffs.  It's time to do away with the Beef O' Brady's Bowl, and give football fans what they want.  A real way of determining a national champion.  Maybe more people will start caring again. 

Going 10-2 should mean something in college football, but unless you play in the SEC, you're eliminated from the National Championship game.  Look at teams like Boise State who have proven over and over that they can not only compete with, but beat the teams from the major conferences.

They have no chance this year at a title because their kicker missed a FG at the end of a game, something quite a few kickers in the NCAA do.  Alabama's kicker missed four against LSU and they get to go try again.

It just makes no sense, and leaves you wanting more.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pittsburgh Power News - 12/02/11

The kickoff to the 2012 AFL season is coming up fast, and there's a lot going on with your AFL team here in Pittsburgh. 

Here's a breakdown of some of the latest news and happenings with the Power.

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Freezin' For A Reason
The Pittsburgh Power are proud to be supporting the Special Olympics by participating in the 2011 Pittsburgh Polar Plunge at Heinz Field. 

Chief Operating Officer Michael Gorham, Fullback/Offensive lineman Mike Lucian, and Offensive Lineman Sione Ohuafi are amongst the Power players and staff willing to jump into the frigid waters of the Allegheny River to support this wonderful cause.

If you want to help donate to one of their pages, click their names here. 
Gorham | Lucian | Ohuafi

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TV Coverage
The Pittsburgh Power will have a bigger television presence this season.

WPCW, the Pittsburgh's CW will carry Power games for the second year in a row.

After only carrying home games last season, they will expand their coverage to include some away games as well.  In total, the CW will have seven home games and five away games.

The NFL Network will also be airing four additional Power home games, giving them TV coverage on 16 of their 18 games in total.

Radio coverage for the 2012 season has not yet been announced.

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2012 Sparks Announced


The 2012 members of the Sparks dance team have been finalized.  Congratulations to the returning Sparks Veronica, Megan, Emily, Nicole, Shannon, Abby, Richelle and Sam.

Also please welcome the newest members of the Sparks!  Weatherly, Radine, Asia, Rudy and Renee.

Tryouts were on November 19th at Mullen's on the North Shore. 

The ladies will take place in promotional events around town and of course perform at all Power home games. 


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Merchandise & Tickets
The Power have opened a new kiosk at the Mall at Robinson where you can get "powerful" deals on tickets and great merchandise to show your colors with pride.

Speaking of tickets, you can save 10% off season tickets between now and Christmas, so be sure to get some great stocking stuffers for the sports fan in your life.

For the latest info about the Power, visit www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Future's So Bright, I've Gotta Wear Shades

The Pittsburgh Power have been assigned Callahan Bright (6'3" 340 pounds), a defensive lineman who played college ball at D-II Shaw.   He spent some time with the Philadelphia Soul and New Orleans Voodoo in 2011.

At one time, Bright was a top five recruit in the nation overall, and was ranked ahead of Ndamukong Suh by Rivals.com.  His brother, Eugene, saw some brief time on the Steelers' active roster. 

I found an article about Bright from Sports Illustrated.  You can read it by clicking here.

Coach Chris Siegfried's take on Bright, "Callahan is a big, strong lineman who can be a force on the defensive line and has the ability to play offense if needed."

Bright has great acceleration and strength,  and could potentially be a monster force in the Power's pass rush this season.

The only thing holding him back at this point might be inexperience.   He has the immeasurables you look for in an NFL level talent.  All he needs is some coaching to harness that talent and help him achieve those dreams.  Here's hoping he'll dominate in the trenches this year for the Power.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ESPN Has Some Explaining To Do

During the excessive coverage of the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, we heard from many analysts at ESPN taking the moral high road and calling for the head of Joe Paterno for "not doing enough" to report sexual abuse to the police.

Reporters were staked out all throughout State College, and the wall to wall coverage on ESPN's TV outlets, online website, and ESPN Radio was overwhelming.

Calls for PSU to forfeit the season, skip their bowl game, Fire Paterno immediately.  We heard it all from ESPN analysts.  Many said if they had known about sexual abuse they surely would have reported it. 

Robert MacLeish in story published by ESPN: “The victims don’t need his prayers right now; they needed his help when they were being preyed upon. Second, fess up.”

ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach: “Finally, adults with backbones and courage made a prudent decision at Penn State.  Paterno was fired because he failed miserably while making the biggest decision of his life.  He is guilty of gross indifference, if nothing else. Morally, Paterno should have done more”

ESPN reporter Howard Bryant: “There is no defense for the number of people in positions of authority who had an opportunity to stop Sandusky and did not.”

ESPN reporter Jemele Hill: “Paterno should never have been allowed to coach another game, but we’re free to judge Paterno outside the constricts of the law.”

ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz: “Well we don’t see it as our jobs to go to authorities with evidence that we collect…”

ESPN Senior Vice President & Director of News Vince Doria: “All journalists could be asking themselves this very same question: What role should journalists play in providing information that may or may not have been reported? It’s complex and something we must continue to evaluate.”

Ironically we find out a few weeks later that people at ESPN had a tape of one of Bernie Fine's alleged victims talking with Fine's wife.  ESPN themselves had evidence of Fine allegedly doing these things at least 8 years ago.  They didn't report it to the police.  Hypocrites...

You should hear the excuses flying from the "Worldwide Leader" as to why they didn't go forward with the taped phone conversation between Bobby Davis and Fine's wife Laurie.  "We wanted to be sure it was her voice before we proceeded," said reporter Mark Schwartz. 

Doria said, "From a professional standpoint our role as a journalist is to seek out information and vet that information and when we’re satisfied with the credibility of that information to report it to the public. It’s what journalists do. It’s not necessarily the journalist’s role to go to the police with potential evidence that at the time we didn’t believe was strong enough to report ourselves."

It took them 8 years to find a way to verify her voice.  Either that or they were never trying in the first place. 
Penn State lost a University president, the head football coach, the athletic director and a vice president for not doing enough, so what's a fair and just penalty for ESPN?  Who knew?  When did they know it?  Who did they tell?

More importantly, why did they wait?  Were they trying to be sure they got the scoop on an awful story?  Afraid of losing exclusive rights to the videotape?  How many victims were abused because they didn't report what they knew? 

ESPN wasn't the only media outlet who knew and did nothing.  The Syracuse Post-Standard was also told about the allegations and also failed to turn over the tape to the authorities.   Both of them felt it wasn't much of a story.  Regardless of the level of the story at the time we're talking about abused children here.  Isn't this what we heard ad nauseam from ESPN reporters and talking heads throughout their PSU coverage?

I want to know what ESPN's parent company, Disney, has to say about this situation.  I'm sure it reflects favorably upon a family oriented company like Disney to have ESPN become known for not reporting a suspected child abuser to the authorities.

In the end though, if we listened to all of the ESPN reporters and analysts, people had a moral responsibility outside of their normal duties to make sure this information made it into the hands of the police.  ESPN failed in this regards.  I wonder who out there is ready to take them to task for it?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Baltimore Ravens Win Their Super Bowl Again!

Someone needs to send a memo to the Baltimore Ravens and tell them that Gatorade baths are supposed to be reserved for when you actually win a championship.  These idiots have already doused head coach John Harbaugh twice this year after two regular season victories. 

The first one was after the Ravens beat division rival Pittsburgh to complete a regular season sweep.  While I could POSSIBLY understand that one, there’s no excuse for dunking the coach after beating a completely overrated San Francisco team.

Here’s a newsflash for you Baltimore.  You haven’t won a damn thing yet!  The only thing that matters in the NFL is winning a championship, and other than Ray Lewis, who else on the Ravens knows what that feels like?  

Maybe you guys have some sort of endorsement deal where Gatorade pays you each $10,000 when your head coach takes a bath in energy drink.  Maybe John Harbaugh doesn’t bathe enough and this is the player’s way of cleaning him up.

Whatever the reason, you guys look like complete tools for celebrating a bunch of nothing.  Win a meaningful game in the playoffs for once then you’ll actually have something to celebrate.   

Seriously it’s laughable.  Maybe the rest of us deserve Gatorade baths for doing regular stuff.  Check out the hashtag #BaltimoreGatoradeBath for some great mocking of the Ravens.

I want a Gatorade bath for changing my son’s dirty diaper!  How about one for putting the toilet seat down? 

Maybe you guys got so tired of choking in the playoffs you’ll take any chance you can get to celebrate something.  Learn how to win with some dignity.  Act like you’ve been there before.  Oh wait...you haven't!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New CBA to curtail Pirates ability to spend in the draft

The future of the Pittsburgh Pirates may have taken a huge hit with the announcement of the new CBA for Major League Baseball.

It's no secret that a small market team like the Pirates will always struggle to attract top free agents to play here when teams like the New York Yankees can spend endless amounts of money and only pay a small percentage in "luxury tax" payments. 

The one area the Pirates COULD compete was by drafting players and paying higher amounts of money (over slot) for them.  A bit more risky, but drafting and signing a player was the only surefire way the Pirates could get talent. 

Now that will take a hit.

MLB announced today that part of the CBA includes harsh penalties for teams that go overslot to pay players in the draft.  The penalties also include losing top tier draft picks as well. 

So let me get this straight?  Certain teams can spend anything they want on existing MLB players, but the small market teams can't spend anything they want on unproven talent?

Anything to keep the Yankees/Red Sox machines humming I guess.

I'm sorry baseball fans, I can't actually
hear your pleas for competitive balance!
Some people are praising the fact there is no work stoppage this time around for the MLB, but sometimes a stoppage gets results.  The NHL came back from their work stoppage with legitimate fixes to a broken system, and the result is true competitive balance, plus a salary cap AND salary floor.

MLB needs the same. 

I find it completely laughable that Pittsburgh finally starts to spend money through the draft and the rules are changed to make it harder on them.  

I'm sure Bud Selig loves being able to point to a random small market team that has one big year out of nowhere and claim parity, but the truth is the same big market teams are usually claiming the playoff spots.  Hardly ever a year goes by where Boston or New York aren't in the running.  Philadelphia, Los Angeles, notice a pattern? 

Don't get me wrong, the small market teams need to be smarter with how they spend the money and in fact, some need to SPEND to begin with.  This includes the Pirates.  But then again that's the premise of the whole article.  The Pirates finally started spending and MLB implements this to prevent them from spending too much.

What a joke...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hey! Did you hear that Sidney Crosby is coming back?

The day Penguins fans have been waiting for is finally upon us.  Months of speculation as to when he might return are over.  Sidney Crosby will put on his famous number 87 sweater with the captain's "C" once again tomorrow night as the Pens take on the Islanders.

The team has fared quite well in his absence, but make no mistake, he instantly makes this team a lot better.  NHL teams set to face the Penguins have to be wishing the comeback would have been delayed a while longer. 

I think the Pens were right to take the patient approach with Crosby.  Surely no one could have foreseen that it might take him an entire year to recover from the concussion, but this is something you don't want to be wrong about. 

I think I speak for everyone who is a fan of the Black and Gold when I say it's damn good to see Crosby back in a uniform.  The only thing left to wait for is Crosby to take his first hit and keep going, and of course, see him start to light up the scoreboard like only "The Kid" can.

The NHL needs their marquee player, what with ratings opportunities out there with the NBA lockout in full swing.  The Pens need him too.  This team was good enough to make the playoffs without him and maybe even win a series, but Crosby's talent makes them instant and legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

The puck drops at 7:00 PM against the Islanders.  Don't miss it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Power sign former Pitt defensive back Ricky Gary

According to Gregg Giannotti on 93.7 The Fan, and also Ricky Gary's Twitter account (@sticky_ricky26), former Pitt defensive back Ricky Gary has signed with the Pittsburgh Power.

The 5'9" defensive back recorded 66 tackles and 3 interceptions during his Pitt career.  He is said to possess excellent "man to man" coverage skills. 







Scout.com rated him the 26th best cornerback prospect coming out of high school, mentioning he had great anticipation and backpedal quickness.  His only knock was his size. 

His full name is Ricky Ricardo Gary.  Wonder if he loves Lucy?  Regardless he's the man with three first names.  That definitely makes him standout.

He is a cousin of Baltimore Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin and former Kansasy City Chiefs tackle Willie Jones.

The Power will have one more tryout for those who think they have what it takes to make the team.  It takes place this Saturday (November 20th) at Southpointe.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Anyone Else Out There SICK Of Hearing About Penn State?

Look, I'm not naive to think this story about the Jerry Sandusky scandal is dead by any means, but every article I read seems to rehash the same details as the other 20 articles on the same website.   I'm talking to you ESPN.  You put up an article about how JoePa was proud of the team, dedicating about 4 lines of text to his reaction before filling the rest of it with details about the sex scandal.

Even those who haven't bothered to read the 23 page grand jury report should now be intimately familiar with the specifics of the allegations facing Sandusky.  Lord knows we've been bludgeoned to death by them over the past week or so.

We've reached the point where every rumor and possibility is being overblown in the media and on Twitter. 

One of the latest rumors circling the net was that the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium is going to be taken down.  Immediately the comments filled up about how PSU students were surely going to riot when this news became official.

I'm not defending any of the actions, or lack thereof, of those involved in this mess.  Even if he wasn't the one committing the crimes, it certainly appears Paterno could have done more to prevent more victims from being harmed by Sandusky. 

Paterno was responsible as head coach for many things and as a result, had to lose his job.    It just seems like many people out there don't want to stop there.  Some would see Paterno go to jail despite the fact he committed no crime.  There are already talks about civil lawsuits, tarnished legacies, and other football related news (Paterno's name removed from the Big Ten Championship Trophy).

I've even read comments on ESPN articles from Big Ten Rival school's fans about how PSU deserves the NCAA death penalty.  Don't worry, PSU will take a huge hit in this for far longer than the NCAA could possibly impose a sanction for.

At this point, the legal investigations and trials need to run their course before any other action is taken.  I think way too many people are fanning flames that shouldn't be burning yet.  Even worse, so many uninformed people who haven't bothered to read the grand jury report continue to chime in their opinions. 

Armen Keteyian and CBS promoted an exclusive interview with Mike McQueary which was in actuality a 24 second conversation mostly with Keteyian putting words in McQueary's mouth.  One of the lamest and most over hyped interviews I have ever seen.  It seems to be a great symbol for what passes as journalism in this case.  Short, uninformed, and over promoted.

To be fair, Bob Costas had a strong interview with Jerry Sandusky, in which he asked very relevant questions to try and get to the bottom of Sandusky's inner psyche.  What we found is haunting to say the least.  The fact it took Sandusky about 3-4 seconds to try and answer whether he is sexually attracted to young boys is just sick. 

The media needs to stick to reporting facts instead of spreading every possible unfounded rumor they hear about this mess in an attempt to "break a story" first.   It's just irresponsible.  

I doubt it'll happen though because there are a lot of people out there who would rather get ratings and attention out of all of this than to see the truth or justice find the light of day. 

Power News (11-16-11)

Several pieces of news to report on concerning the Pittsburgh Power arena football team.

First up, the Power have added several more players to their training camp roster.

The Pittsburgh Power announced the signing of defensive lineman Aaron Harris.
Harris, at 6’5”, 272 pounds, was a key component of a strong defensive line that led the University of South Florida to bowl games each of his four seasons in Tampa and a peak ranking of #2 (including 11 first place votes) during the 2007 season.

Harris concluded his college career having played 46 games, including 35 starts, and recording 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.

“Aaron is a beast on the defensive line,” remarked Power head coach Chris Siegfried. “We look forward to having him here, he will help our defense immensely.”

The Pittsburgh Power also signed wide receiver Darius Passmore and defensive back Knowledge Timmons.

Passmore played two years at Marshall after starting his collegiate career in junior college, where he led all JUCO receivers nationally with 18 touchdown catches as a sophomore. Playing through injuries during his junior year, he caught 44 passes for 660 yards and 5 touchdowns. He followed that up with 56 receptions for 945 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 21 carries for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns as a senior, earning second team All-Conference USA honors and an invitation to the NFL combine in 2009.

In 2010 he played with the BC Lions in the CFL.

Timmons ran track in addition to playing football at Penn State. He was a key contributor on defense and special teams and finished his career with 51 tackles and an interception. He attended the Power’s open tryout in October and impressed the coaching staff with his coverage skills. He has also played with Sioux Falls of the IFL.

“Passmore has great quickness, good hands, and the fearlessness to make tough catches in traffic,” remarked Power head coach Chris Siegfried. “Timmons is a speedster who can help us in many facets of the game,” Siegfried continued.

(Player info courtesy of http://www.pittsburghpowerfootball.com)

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The 2012 Power schedule is now finalized.  We had dates and venues established already, but now the league has released the full list of kickoff times for the games as well.  I have updated the schedule in the sidebar for the blog.

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Want to be the face of the Power for their upcoming 2012 advertising campaign?   You can audition on December 1st at Mullen's on Carson Street at 2:00 PM.  At the very worst you'll embarrass yourself and still come away with a pair of tickets for a Power game this season. 

Click on this link to sign up.

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The Power will have one more public tryout to fill the remaining roster spots on the 2012 training camp roster.  Do you think you're destined for AFL glory?  Signup today through the team's website.

Last year's standout wide receiver Mike "The Joystick" Washington earned his way onto the team via the tryout, so why not you?

It does cost $75.00 so I wouldn't recommend trying out unless you have stood out at some collegiate level. 

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Looking for a great stocking stuffer for the football fan in your life?  The Power are offering 10% off season ticket plans for the 2012 season up through Christmas. 

Once you take in a game you'll be hooked.  Visit the Power's ticket website for more information. 

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That about sums it up.  Keep tuned in here and also follow me on Twitter @SteelCityVoice for all the latest happenings with the Power.

We never got to say goodbye.

Before I start this rant, I'd like it to be known that I do not condone what happened at Penn State. It's a tragedy of epic proportions and it could have been prevented.

So many people are bashing PSU fans who continue to show support for Joe Paterno following his dismissal as head coach of Penn State. What they fail to realize is that Paterno has been a grandfather figure to so many who follow the team. In fact, he was almost the same exact age as my own grandfather.

When we lose loved ones suddenly in life, what is the common thing many of us say? "I wish we had more time" or "I never got to say goodbye."

I'm going to focus on the second one. Paterno will not have a chance to coach another game unless some crazy athletic director decides to hire an 84 year-old coach to be the face of his program. Very doubtful since that same athletic director would promptly be fired for making such a move.

There will be no final home game ceremony to honor him. No final chance for the PSU faithful to shower him with accolades for all the good he's done in building Penn State into a national powerhouse.

The fans were robbed of that because of a scandal that also shook their pride in Penn State to the core.

Whatever you think of Paterno's involvement in this scandal and subsequent cover up, it doesn't change the fact he's arguably the greatest college football coach ever, at least in D-I/FBS football.

I fully understand why you can't honor him at this time, but that doesn't mean his fans shouldn't be allowed to share their feelings of support for what he did ON THE FIELD.

Penn State has always felt like a large family, and no matter what you think of a family member's failings, they are still your family.

Paterno is the grandfather of Penn State. Many out there, myself included, are still in shock at just how quickly he was gone. Just last week he won his 409th game as head coach, moving into 2nd all time in college football history. No one could have known it would be his final time patrolling the Penn State sidelines.

Yes he's still alive and facing the music for what happened but in terms of football he's dead. Let us grieve his loss however we see fit.

Instead of the negative, focus on the positive responses the student community and alumni have done since the scandal went public.

The candlelight vigil Friday night on the lawn of Old Main was emotional and proved that not all PSU students are interested in rioting to show support for Paterno.

At the time I write this article, Penn State supporters have already raised over $295,000 of their $500,000 goal to support R.A.I.N.N. (Rape Abuse Incest National Network).

McLanahan's Penn State will donate all proceeds from the sale of Nebraska Blueout t-shirts this weekend. They can be purchased online at www.pennstateroom.com

None of this will ever make up for the unspeakable tragedy that has occurred. It will never atone for the horrendous acts that Jerry Sandusky committed, and will never fulfill the moral obligations that Paterno, Mike McQueary, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and Graham Spanier failed to uphold.

It does show you that not everyone at Penn State are monsters. Many of us are fine upstanding individuals with large, heavy hearts in the wake of these scandals. We are just as disgusted as the rest of the world at these allegations, and fully support the legal process and hope the hammer comes down on everyone responsible.

On top of that though, we've lost a grandfather figure in the process. Let us deal with this in our own ways.

We are...Penn State.

We are...grieving.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Salute To Veterans

When I was a kid, I was taught to respect my elders.  Easy enough to do right?  If someone is older than you, you have to listen to them because they obviously know what they are doing.

There's only one problem with this line of thinking.  Age and experience don't always equal right.

I was taught as a kid that Penn State did things the right way.  I was taught that Joe Paterno demanded nothing but the best out of people.  He wanted his kids to do things the right way.   Unfortunately, as we all learned this week, that image of Penn State was nothing but a fancy mirage.

Our religious leaders in the Catholic faith have also faced their own demons for the same problem facing Penn State right now.  People looked the other way when they found out what a few priests were doing to kids. 

Political leaders are constantly found to be involved in scandals, whether it be sex scandals, kickbacks, political payoffs, lying, or what not.  I can't honestly believe a single word that comes out of a politician anymore, can you?

Financial leaders have also lost my trust as it seems like every month there's new meltdowns on the horizon.  Banks lent money to people who can't pay for mortgages and now the rest of us pay higher fees.  I better not get started on my rant about the nickel and diming of Americans via bank and credit card fees.

This brings me back to my original point.  Who is left for us to respect?

For me the answer is simple.  I'll tip my cap to the brave men and women who have served this country in our armed forces. 

Today is Veteran's Day, and I want to honor those who have sacrificed their time to freely do what they wish in order to protect this nation we live in.  Without their bravery, I wouldn't be free to blog about sports.

They are my true heroes, along with those who bravely serve in our police and fire departments.  Brave souls who risk their lives without a second thought all in the name of heroism.

They are the ones who deserve and receive my respect. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Joe Paterno fired as head coach of Penn State

A headline I never thought I'd see, let alone write, in my lifetime.  Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions.  

A few hours after Paterno indicated he would retire at the end of the 2011 season, the Penn State University Board of Trustees announced at a press conference that Paterno had been removed from his position, replaced by interim head coach Tom Bradley.  Joe Paterno was fired.

University president Graham Spanier is also out, replaced on an interim basis by provost Dr. Rodney Erickson.

I'm so glad my grandfather Ed isn't alive to see Paterno fall like this.  He absolutely loved Penn State football and I can only imagine the heartache he would feel tonight.  I only know the empty pit in my stomach.

I know this had to be done for the university to move forward, but that didn't make the news any easier to take.  What also didn't help the situation was the utterly stupid questions being asked by some people at the press conference.

A legendary coaching icon was just removed from a position he has held for almost half a century amidst scandal, and someone actually asked out loud "Why Why?" at the immediate announcement.

Someone asked about a severance package for Paterno.  Who cares?

Someone asked if the board thought they rushed to judgement.   Many out there would argue they didn't act fast enough.

NO ONE asked a single question about Spanier!  Glad to know what people's priorities are up there.

A headline I never thought I'd see.
I have a question that SHOULD have been asked at the press conference.  "Can you tell us if Mike McQueary, who WITNESSED a child being raped still has his job?  If so, can you possibly explain how?"  From all sources on Twitter, McQueary is still employed.  That's a joke.

On top of the "journalism" displayed at the press conference, Penn State students are on the verge of rioting. 

This situation continues to get worse and worse with each passing moment, and it all comes back to one simple fact.  It could have been prevented. 

Don't lose sight of the reason this all occurred tonight.  An alleged sexual predator was allowed to remain on campus as a result of a coverup.  The only innocent victims in all of this were Sandusky's victims. 

It's a sad day and it didn't need to be.

This Will Be Joe Paterno's Final Season

Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno announced today that he will be retiring at the end of the 2011 season.  Needless to say the circumstances of his exit are not what anyone could have envisioned for the 84-year old legendary coach.

I won't rehash the obvious reasons for why Paterno is making this move. 

Paterno issued the following statement:

I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.

I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.

That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.

This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.

My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.

Penn State's Board Of Trustees is meeting tonight to discuss several agenda items, most notably the status of President Graham Spanier and whether or not Paterno will be allowed to coach this weekend in the game against Nebraska. 

Paterno thinks he is coaching, but to be honest, that isn't his decision to make anymore. 

Spanier is expected to be out as president by the end of the night.

Keep tuned in for updates on this evolving story.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Graham Spanier, The Cowardly Lion

Penn State University continues to get it very wrong in their handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Head football coach Joe Paterno was scheduled to have his weekly press conference today in State College.  Penn State sent out a memo yesterday saying that the only questions that would be taken would center on the current football season. 

Nice to know the priority at PSU at this time remains football.

PSU President Graham Spanier
a.k.a. The Cowardly Lion
Twenty minutes before today's press conference was to occur, Jeff Nelson (Assistant Athletic Director of Communications) announced that the press conference had been cancelled and would not be rescheduled.

The silence from Penn State at this point is deafening and, to be honest, quite infuriating.  They have completely failed to handle an already volatile situation.  Talk about "Fail To The Lion"

The only official statement the school has made to this point are the release from University President Graham Spanier in which he tastelessly referred to the allegations as "troubling."  He also pledged unconditional support to AD Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz, the two administrators facing perjury charges.

No mention of the victims.  No mention of the University fully cooperating with law enforcement.  None of the usual PR buzzwords that you expect from leadership.  In fact, President Spanier has been completely invisible as the face of PSU.  Multiple sources report it was HIS decision to cancel the press conference today.

Why does Penn State have a PR department?  Where did they learn how to do their jobs?  Surely someone must think it's a good idea to try and get SOME information to the media camped out all over campus.  Why are the only ones talking the students and former players being interviewed by outlets like ESPN?

Spanier is the epitome of a coward.  A cowardly lion...  He may be king of the forest, but the forest is burning.  In the past he has never seemed to turn down an opportunity to get interviewed by the media.  He's the chairman of the BCS for god's sakes.  Talk about a prominent role in college athletics. 

Yet now, when the school needs leadership in the worst way possible, Spanier is nowhere to be found. 

Ignoring this won't make it go away.  More and more details emerge almost every passing moment on Twitter.  The only one who seems to be willing to talk is Joe Paterno and he was silenced by Spanier today.

What is the administration afraid of?  What could Joe possibly say to make this mess any worse?

There is no doubt anymore this is Paterno's last season.  Even if he somehow manages to remain the coach for the rest of the season (which he shouldn't) his contract is up.  Seeing as he did play a role in this mess there's no reason any PSU administrator could give for rewarding Paterno with a contract extension.  NONE.

Reports are already starting to swirl that Paterno's support with the board of trustees has eroded.  One report says he was asked to resign but refused.  Paterno's son has repeatedly said no such request was made.

Penn State can't even get their own stories straight.  Total lack of "institutional control" right now. 

What kind of message does this send to alumni?  What kind of message does this send to current students?  When the crap hits the fan -- hide?

The only thing I can take pride from in this entire mess is that just about anyone you talk to who went to Penn State is sickened by the ordeal.  We all want to see justice served.  We all want those responsible for helping to cover up this terrible tragedy to be removed from power and, if appropriate, face the full wrath of the law.

That to me is the definition of Penn State Pride, even if our pride is wounded today.

We obviously didn't learn it from our cowardly leader.




 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Continuing Coverage of the PSU Sex scandal

More and more details emerge by the hour in the indictment of former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.  It seems with every passing moment the administration of Penn State finds ways to make themselves look even dumber.

Graham Spanier, President of Pennsylvania State University, seems to think these accusations are merely troubling.  “The allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly,” the statement read. “Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance … I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support.”

Did he read the grand jury statement?  Plain as day it is spelled out all of the crap these guys have covered up, and yet he unconditionally supports them?

A suspected pedophile continued to get access to Penn State for years after he was caught in the act.  We now know the graduate assistant in the report is Mike McQueary.  McQueary reported the issue to Joe Paterno, who immediately notified Tim Curley of the problem.

That's all well and good on Paterno's part, but you have to wonder if Paterno bothered to followup on his reporting of the situation.  From all of the reports it seems like University Police didn't bother to fully investigate the claims. 

No one seemed to go and search for the victim...
No one seemed to care...

Paterno fulfilled his legal responsibility by reporting the matter, but I think he fell a bit short on the moral front.  That is why he is drawing a lot of criticism today from the national media and the public.

Joe Paterno was the king of campus during this time.  He wielded more power than Curley, and many are saying he should have been the one to report the issue to the police, particularly years after the fact when Sandusky still had access to the campus.

Curley and Schultz are in deep over this, and rightfully so.  Why lie about it to a grand jury?  Surely these well educated men had to see there was no saving their jobs once the truth came out. 

Although with stupidity running about on campus in the name of Spanier, who has given them unconditional support, maybe they need not have worried about job security.

At this point anything less than the resignations of Spanier, Curley and Schultz would be an outrage.  Curley and Schultz (allegedly) swept this entire thing under the rug, and Spanier is responsible for them all.

This also pains me to say it but Joe Paterno also has to resign in the wake of all of this.  While he didn't do anything wrong by reporting to Curley, I'm not entirely sure he made sure the authorities were aware of the problem either. 

Nothing stopped him from going outside the chain of command, no matter how painful it might have been to turn in an old friend.  In fact, I'm pretty sure when other head coaching jobs were a possibility for Sandusky, didn't Paterno offer up recommendations for the jobs?  I'm not sure I could recommend a co-worker for a job if I knew they were a pedophile. 

Paterno may not have a choice in the matter.  If Curley resigns or is removed from office, Penn State will have a new athletic director.  A new AD would deserve the opportunity to bring in his own head coach.  It's not like Paterno is the future of Penn State.  He's clearly the past. 

The only way to start the healing process in this whole matter is to remove all traces of the cancer from the body.  In this case those responsible, directly or indirectly, have to be shown the door. 

Anything less will only add to this travesty.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

PSU AD Tim Curley and VP of Business Gary Schultz Charged With Perjury

Maybe Pitt fans have it right. Perhaps the school will HAVE to change it's name to State Penn University.

Updating my article from yesterday. the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal just got bigger and who knows where the final axe will fall.

Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President of Finance and Business Gary Schultz were charged on Saturday with perjury and failure to report in an investigation. Schultz's responsibilities include overseeing the University Police department.

A good description of the mess involving Curley can be found at this ESPN Blog.

This is definitely not a good sign for the Penn State administration as it now seems very likely that some sort of massive cover up occurred at the school. You have to wonder how many other high ranking officials and coaches in the program knew what was going on.

It sounds like Paterno knew about the situation and reported it to his superiors. That's why he was not named in the perjury charges. I know some biased people will want to tear down Paterno's legacy but if he reported the situation to his athletic director, he's done his job. Had he not told Curley and tried to cover it up, then perhaps you could fault Paterno.

Why would Curley lie about it? If Sandusky did it, then deal with it by letting him go and don't lie to the authorities when asked about it. Nothing this big ever goes away. Hiding the truth only hurts the program more.

Curley and Schultz deserve jail time if we find out they did lie to protect a sexual predator. What kind of leadership does that show?

I am absolutely disgusted by this whole story right now and it looks like it's going to get a lot worse.

At least the state penitentiary isn't too far from campus.

Former PSU Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky Facing Felony Sex Crime Charges.

Penn State has a long standing reputation of being a moral compass in college athletics.  Head coach Joe Paterno has always focused on trying to recruit kids who will go to class and get an education on top of being pretty good athletes. 

It's what has made Penn State stand out over quite a few other noteworthy programs during his 46 year tenure.

I imagine I'm not the only Penn State alumni who is completely shocked to hear the news that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted on felony sex crime charges. 

According to the Patriot-News, Sandusky is facing 40 counts of various crimes.  A two year grand jury investigation resulted in the indictment.  The alleged charges range from 1996-2005.  Makes you wonder if Sandusky's autobiography, "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story", had more of a hidden meaning to the title. 

The actually name of Sandusky's autobiography.
You can't make this up...
Sandusky retired from Penn State in 1998, so going off the charges listed, some of this allegedly took place during his Penn State tenure.

Sandusky is the founder of The Second Mile, a statewide non-profit organization that plans, organizes, and offers activities and programs for children - and adults who work with them - to promote self-confidence as well as physical, academic, and personal success.

I am always in the camp of "innocent until proven guilty" but it's hard to look at all these charges that took over two years to be filed, and not think SOMETHING happened. 

The big thing one has to know, is who knew what and when in the Penn State administration.  Joe Paterno and athletic director Tim Curley both testified before the grand jury during their investigation.

Sandusky was often rumored to be the next head coach at Penn State after Paterno retired, and yet at the age of 55 he suddenly retired and disappeared from the limelight.  Makes you wonder doesn't it?

Several media entities around Pittsburgh (Chris Mueller and Mark Madden) are asking the same questions I am. 

What if Paterno and Penn State knew about this and covered it up?

How did no one in the Central Pennsylvania media hear about this before now?

What happens if we find out PSU DID know about all of this?  Surely some heads would roll.

It remains alleged of course, so I will wait and see what happens in the trial. Regardless, the whole situation disgusts me and I am sure many of you out there as well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Overhyped Quarterback...Ho Hum....

Excuse me if I refuse to buy into the hype ESPN tries to force down my throat every week.   It's always some up and coming quarterback ready to take their slot in the upper echelon of the NFL.

Last year it was Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman.  This year we have Tim Tebow, who gets more hype than guys who have proven it time and time again. 

I get the fact he's a "good character" who loves God and all, and loves to do his Tebowing on the field to show God praise, but as a quarterback he flat out sucks.   He should be praying to God every night for some quarterback ability.  I know God works miracles, but even that one might be out of his reach.

Tebow has played 14 games now as a quarterback and has a completion percentage of 48.1%  He got a ton of praise for beating Miami, who last I checked was an awful football team (0-7).  Why?  He completed less than half of his passes.  161 yards isn't exactly awe-inspiring

I know he's a solid threat running the ball, but he's a joke as a passer.  Still not sure why the Denver Broncos thought it was a good idea to blow a first round pick on him.  I remember laughing hysterically when they announced the pick, and I'm still laughing today.

Why don't the genuinely great passers in the league get more recognition?  Philip Rivers blew another game for the Chargers last night, and you keep reading articles about how Tony Romo can turn it around because he's great. 

You don't see much about Ben Roethlisberger except a bunch of haters commenting about his legal issues.  Is that the real reason ESPN and the other sports media outlets cling so tightly to Tebow?  In the hopes he magically becomes a great quarterback with strong morals that won't let them down?

I don't care about morals on a sports team, give me a winner with talent.  These guys aren't my role models in life.  In fact people who worship these guys and put them on a pedestal need to get their priorities straight.  These athletes care about themselves first and the only reason they acknowledge any of us is because the teams that pay their salaries MAKE them do it. 

I wonder who the Bronco fans would rather have leading their team right now.  Ben Roethlisberger or Tim Tebow.  I know who my choice is.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steelers Defense "Mans" up their coverage to hold Brady in check

The Steelers gave the Heinz Field faithful something to go home happy about after holding New England's offense in check during a 25-17 victory Sunday night.

Moving away from their usual tactics of zone coverage, the Steelers moved their secondary up close to the line, blanketing the Patriots weapons with strong coverage.  This allowed the Steeler pass rush to get some good pressure on Brady. 

On top of the strong defensive performance, the Steeler offense put up some huge numbers not only in yardage, but also in time of possession.  This enabled the Steelers to keep the ball out of Brady's hands.

This might be the first time in a long time I can say this, but the Steelers coaching staff definitely outcoached Bill Belichick's crew in this one.  Hats off to Bruce Arians for calling a strong ball control type offense instead of going for the homerun ball every other pass.  Hats off to Dick LeBeau for getting away from his comfort zone and allowing the Steeler secondary to force the issue in man coverage. 

This was an important game for the Steelers as it kept them ahead of the Ravens in the standings.  It gives the Steelers a tiebreaker over a potential AFC division winner, which could come into play for playoff seeding for bye weeks.

It also gives Pittsburgh a lot of momentum heading into next week's rematch against the Baltimore Ravens who embarrassed the Steelers in week 1.  That game is going to be a lot of fun.

Friday, October 28, 2011

World Series Jealousy

As I watched the final innings of Game 6 last night, I couldn't help but feel a lot of jealousy towards the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers.  I wish it was the Pittsburgh Pirates finally competing in exciting baseball games like we saw last night.

Hometown hero David Freese hit a walkoff homerun to give the Cardinals a thrilling come from behind victory over the Rangers to force a deciding Game 7.

Imagine if local kid Neil Walker was able to propel the Battlin' Buccos in the same fashion.  Pittsburgh proved earlier in the year that they would fill up PNC Park if the baseball product was good.  Imagine the drama of October baseball added on top!

Alas, it's been 19 years since a baseball game had anywhere close to the implications of last night, and it left me feeling jealous of the other teams in the league who get to experience that kind of feeling.

Sure we have the Steelers and Penguins competing for titles, but baseball was always my very first love, and I'd love to see the Pirates win a title in my adult lifetime.  The last one was when I was a year old. 

Sometimes it's okay to be jealous.  

Pittsburgh To Host the 2012 NHL Draft

The NHL announced yesterday that the Pittsburgh Penguins will host the 2012 NHL Draft at the Consol Energy Center.

The city of Pittsburgh will serve as the epicenter of the NHL for a few days, which should provide a nice boost to the local economy. 

This is the kind of event that wasn't possible while the Penguins still resided in the Mellon Arena. 

Rumors are already swirling that the Penguins will also be pitching for a future All-Star game, which would also be nice to see. 

This is why an arena like the Consol Energy Center is a bigger boost for the region than say Heinz Field. Kudos to the Penguins for landing this event. 

Right now the Penguins are one of, if not the, premier franchises in the NHL, and the league's best player happens to play for them as well.  Any chance the league can get to showcase the city and the players is a win-win for both the NHL and the Penguins.

Pittsburgh has hosted the draft once before, and we'll need to hope they land better players than the ones that got picked in that one.  (Robert Dome and Josef Melichar anyone?)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life isn't always fair

There's an old saying, "Life is not fair." 

People work hard their entire lives chasing their dreams, and many fall short.  You can have all the talent in the world, and still never get that big break. 

Sometimes it's the other way around.  Pitt's star running back Ray Graham suffered a season-ending knee injury in Wednesday night's 35-20 victory over Connecticut.  You knew it was bad when he began reaching for his knee before the play was whistled dead.

The silence from the Heinz Field crowd was immediate.  This wasn't just any player lying on the ground, this was the nation's 2nd leading rusher.  The heart and soul of the Panthers.

Graham had to be helped off the field, and as he exited the playing area, tears streamed down his face.  It's a hard thing to be so close to your dreams of playing in the NFL only to see them become uncertain in a heartbeat.

He was putting up historical stats this year, and you had to wonder just how good he could be.  Then in an instant that all changed.

I felt for the guy.  You never want to see this happen in sports.  Sometimes we focus too much on the highlights, and moments like this are too easily forgotten.

There's nothing anyone could have done differently on the play, Graham just went airborne and landed awkwardly.  A cruel twist of fate. 

Now the Panthers must forge ahead without their superstar.  Zach Brown, the Wisconsin transfer, and quarterback Tino Sunseri must reforge the offense into their own mold. 

What about Graham?  His NFL hopes have to go on hold for a while, and perhaps he will return for another season at Pitt.  There will be a lot of questions about his knee as he tries to move up to the next level.  This might even cost him millions of dollars in contract money, but right now I don't think that's the first thing on his mind.

Knowing Graham and the competitor he is, I would imagine he's already mapping out his rehab schedule so he gets back into top shape as soon as possible.

He has a drive most other college kids can only dream about.  It gives him almost an unfair edge.  Pitt fans should be honored he plays for their team.  

Even as a fan of another team, I still respected the talent Ray Graham had.  He was dynamic and exciting to watch, and it's a shame I won't get to see him play again this year. 

Like they say...Life isn't fair.