Sunday, January 29, 2012

7 Weeks Until Football in Pittsburgh!

Who is ready for some Power football?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Someone get Alexander Ovechkin a tissue.

Remember just a year or so ago when people actually wanted to debate whether Alexander Ovechkin was the best player in the NHL?  At least he was putting up stats to warrant such discussion.  He also had to dodge all of the complaints for his constant dirty hits.

Last year he put up 32 goals, far off his usual 50 goal pace.  At least he still had his dirty, errr "physical play."  Not anymore.  The NHL finally cracked down on Ovechkin for his patented style of leaving his feet to deliver checks.  No more charging, no more spearing, no more headhunting.  No more fun of any kind!

What is a guy with declining goal scoring ability to do now that he can't be a dirty player.  Apparently he is going to add being a whiny crybaby to his resume.  Ovechkin announced that he will not attend the NHL All-Star game as a result of his suspension. 

He also used the childish "Why didn't Michalek get suspended mommy" line upon learning of his suspension.  He also saw absolutely nothing wrong with his hit.  Nope there's nothing wrong with leaving your feet at all Ovie except for the fact it's against the rules. 

The fact he's gone this long without a suspension speaks to how much bias the league gave to its superstars.  Matt Cooke was a "repeat offender" and got the equivalent of an 18 game suspension at the end of last year's regular season and the first round of the playoffs. 

At least Cooke has shown the ability to learn from his suspension and has changed the way he plays the game.  I wonder if Ovechkin will be able to drastically alter his game by just staying on his feet.

It's bad enough he acts this childish, but this buffoon is the captain of the Washington Capitals.  That's right.  This level of stupidity is what passes for leadership for the hockey team that resides in the nation's capital.  

Of course what else do you expect from that city in which our nation's leaders are just as adept at pointing the blame to everyone else but themselves?  No wonder the Capitals never win anything.  There's no accountability.  Perhaps this is just leftover remnants of the Bruce Boudreau regime.

The best part of this suspension, and Ovechkin's refusal to play in the All-Star game might be that it should open up a roster spot for James Neal, who is more than worthy of getting a nod to the team. 

You just have to get past the temper tantrum to see the golden lining.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Joe Paterno's legacy is still unwritten.

Trying to sit here and sum up my thoughts about Joe Paterno isn't easy.  My entire childhood and early adulthood, I saw much of my grandfather Edward in Paterno and vice versa.  They were the same age and, in a strange twist of fate, both men died on the same January day nine years apart. 

Both men absolutely loved Penn State football, and could be cranky with the best of them.  Both men were also very loyal to their respective families.  There was nothing my grandfather wouldn't do for his children and grandchildren.  There was nothing Joe Paterno wouldn't do for his Penn State family, players and students alike. 

Just listen to all of Joe's former players on the radio today talking about how much they loved and admired Paterno, and how they wanted to thank Joe for teaching them how to be men.  Just look at how several former players were quick to come to his defense in November when he was removed from his position as head coach.

Paterno gave his entire life to educating young men and women to aspire to greatness.  "Believe deep down in your heart you are destined to do great things," is one of his memorable quotes.

The longer Joe Paterno continued to patrol the sidelines, the more familiar he became to generations of Penn State fans.  It's not often we see a coach last that long in one place.  In fact, I would argue Paterno was the last of his kind.  Loyal to the very end. 

The end of his tenure was straight out of a Greek tragedy, and not the way Paterno deserved to live his final days.   I am not attempting to downplay the awful things that Jerry Sandusky allegedly did to his victims, or the appalling lack of action by Penn State administrators after discovering what was happening. 

Paterno himself isn't completely blameless in all of this.  By his own admission he wishes he had done more.  He did what he thought was right, and many will argue for the rest of time whether he was right or wrong.   Show me a single person on this Earth who doesn't wish they'd done things differently in their past.   No one is perfect. 

All we can judge is the ideals and ways a person chose to lead their lives.  Paterno never seemed to put his needs first over Penn State.  He turned down offers of more lucrative coaching gigs because he believed in what he was doing at Penn State.   He also chose to give much of his earned wealth from coaching football back to the university. 

How fitting is it that the library at Penn State bears the name of the football coach while the stadium is currently named after a former university president?   It's usually the other way around.  And yet that's exactly the way Paterno would have wanted it.

People will always have their opinions of the man, and nothing you really say will change how they feel.  The fact remains that to many in the Penn State and State College community, he was like a grandfather to us.   His words of inspiration will resonate throughout Penn State University for the rest of time. 

I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite baseball movies from my childhood, The Sandlot.  "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die."

His death will not end our memories of him.   He lives on in the spirit of every student and player he inspired to be the best they could be. Future generations of Penn State students will be impacted by the donations he generously gave back to the school. His legacy is still being written.

I know that Nittany Nation will grieve over his death, but focus on the good memories.  Focus on being the great person he wanted you to be.  That is the best way to honor Paterno.  That's exactly what he would have wanted.

R.I.P. Joe.  You will be sorely missed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bruce Arians announces his "retirement."

Well Steeler fans, many of you have gotten your wish. 

Bruce Arians announced his "retirement" from the position of offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I use that word lightly because there are a lot of indications that the Steelers ownership wanted a change to be made.

During his tenure as OC, the team went to two Super Bowls and won one of them.  He was also the wide receivers coach from 2004-2006 which coincided with the 2005 Super Bowl championship run.

Were the Steelers an offensive juggernaut under Bruce Arians?  That depends on your definition of the term.  Under Arians, Ben Roethlisberger posted two 4000 yard passing seasons.   We saw six 1000 yard receiving seasons, Mendenhall hit the 1000 yard mark twice and we saw a 1000 yard season out of Willie Parker in 2007.

That yardage did not always equal success on the scoreboard.  The Steelers never ranked higher than 9th in the NFL during any of Arians six seasons.  Conversely during that time frame New England never ranked LOWER than 8th in scoring even when Tom Brady was injured for almost the entire season.

No one can dispute that the Steelers are usually able to move the ball up and down the field.  It's the redzone playcalling that leaves many Steeler fans scratching their heads.  Calling a delayed handoff when you are in the shadow of your own end zone and taking a safety is simply infuriating. 

Pounding the ball at the one yard line makes sense.  Giving it to Mewelde Moore instead of Isaac Redman does not. 

Now that Arians is gone the focus will shift to who will replace Arians as OC.  Some names have popped up immediately.  The leading internal candidate was running backs coach Kirby Wilson, but he remains hospitalized trying to recover from the horrible burns he suffered in a house fire before the Denver game.  

Quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner might earn a promotion if he has a strong rapport with Ben Roethlisberger, but if you promote from within you run the risk of falling into the same trap or running the current offense.  I think it's pretty clear the Steelers need to move in a new direction, especially with all the weapons they now have on offense.

If we look outside the organization we see names like Todd Haley and Jim Caldwell.  Green Bay quarterbacks coach Tom Clements is now likely out of the mix with Packers OC Joe Phillbin taking the head coaching gig in Miami.  Clements should earn a promotion to run the Packers offense.

I like Todd Haley.  He did a lot of great things with the Arizona offense that basically carried an 8-8 wild card team to within a few minutes of upsetting the Steelers in the 2008 Super Bowl.  If you upgrade the offensive line a bit, I think this offense would have an easy chance of being a lot more explosive than that Cards team.  Imagine how much Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace could improve with a teacher like that.

Jim Caldwell I'm not as fond of.  In my opinion, Peyton Manning ran that Colts offense, not his coaches.  The Colts completely fell apart offensively without Peyton in the lineup.  I think that shows how strong of a quarterback Manning as well as provide an indictment of how poor the coaches were.  New England hardly missed a beat when Tom Brady was lost for the season a few years ago.

Regardless of who the pick is, there is a lot of strong potential for this Steelers offense.  Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace are superstars.  Heath Miller is one of the most underrated tight ends in the game. 

You also have strong veteran presence in Hines Ward and Jerricho Cotchery if they decide to return to the Steelers next year.  Add in Emmanuel Sanders who continues to show improvement and that is a lot of weapons in the passing attack.

Also look at Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman and the pieces are in place for a solid running game as well, perhaps if the new OC decides to use a fullback we'll see immediate improvement.

No matter what though, many Steeler fans have gotten what they wanted. 

I just hope they don't come to regret it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Khem Birch needs to grow up.

So let me get something straight.  Khem Birch calls his former Pitt teammates "self-absorbed" but is upset that they didn't respect him because he was an "All-American?"  It's all well and good to exceed at the high school level, but once you move up to the college ranks and don a uniform for your new school, none of that matters anymore.

Maybe if Birch stopped being such a prima donna because he wasn't getting enough playing time and worked on improving his skills he would have gotten the playing time he craved.  Maybe if he had taken the time outside of practices and games to be part of the team socially, he would have seen that these guys are a team and want to win together. 

Jamie Dixon doesn't seem to care about egos.  If you play for him you know it is all about the team.  That's why I find Birch's comments about the team being self-absorbed to be laughable. 

I also find it laughable that Birch thought Pitt was going to play a fast uptempo game all of a sudden.  Maybe in a year or two as all the new recruits began to mesh together, but this year was always going to be the style of basketball Pitt fans have been accustomed to during this run of success.

Don't get me wrong, every player wants the numbers.  That's why we compete in sports.  We want to shine.  No one wants to be the worst player out there.  Birch wants to standout but I'm not sure he's willing to do the hard work.  His former prep coach said that Birch didn't like the physical play in games and of course we all know when the going got tough, he quit on the team. 

I think the best part was the fact he didn't even seem to know he'd lose some eligibility by transferring to UNLV.  Who the hell is advising this kid?  It's probably family members who have been feeding his attitude since he was a kid.  "You're better than everyone else.  It's not your fault, it's theirs." 

It's not easy to go from being the top dog and it's obvious Birch wasn't ready to handle the adversity.  It's just a shame he has to lash out at those he abandoned and try to tear them down just to make himself look better.  That shows an awful lot of immaturity.

Unfortunately these days a lot of people seem to be lacking the work ethic that used to define this country.  Everyone wants to take shortcuts.  Everyone wants to be handed a six figure wage fresh out of college.  No one wants to pay their dues or do the grunt work.

I don't even think Birch grasps the situation either.  In an interview earlier this week he was asked if he had any regrets about quitting on Pitt midseason and he flat out said no.  He doesn't think he did anything wrong.  What do you expect from someone who goes by @MTLsGift.  Yeah everyone is blessed to have this gift in their lives.

Time to grow up Khem...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Patriots-Ravens: Which is the lesser of two evils?

Steeler fans are used to rooting passionately against the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots. 

In terms of AFC teams, there is no bigger rival than the Ravens, although the Patriots led by Tom Brady are pretty close.

It's safe to say most Steeler fans were hoping the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans could pull off upsets in their divisional round matchups against these hated foes, but it wasn't in the cards.

So now we're left with the ultimate no-win scenario for Steeler fans.  Do you root for the division rival you despise with every inch of your soul or do you root for Tom Brady?   Gatorade Bath (Harbaugh) vs. Spygate (Belichick)?

This should be a question in the popular party game "Would You Rather?"  Would you rather see the Baltimore Ravens get over the stigma of being unable to perform in the playoffs or would you rather see Tom Brady's smiling face mugging for all the Super Bowl reporters?   Maybe this time he won't laugh if the Giants also make it and predict a low scoring affair.

So who will The Voice be rooting for in the AFC Championship game?  This might not be the answer many of you are expecting, but I am going to root for...

I think I need to pick the....

Give me a minute here.  This leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

I'm pulling for the...

                                                    ...Baltimore Ravens.

I cannot stand cheaters, and from the moment the Spygate scandal came to light, I could never respect the Patriots again.  For all the talk of how Belichick was some kind of coaching genius, it loses a ton of luster when we find out he had to cheat to give himself an edge.

The hatred for the Ravens is born from the fact that Baltimore and Pittsburgh are two teams that play football the way it is supposed to be played.  Hard hitting, tough, physical football.

We hate Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, and Ed Reed with a passion but only because they are a division rival.  I admire the fact there's another team in the NFL willing to play this style of football.

Granted, they need to learn a little humility and act like they've won something recently by not dumping Gatorade on their coach after a regular season victory.

Plus, look at the silver lining in this matchup.  At least one of them is guaranteed to lose next week.

I've met a lot of Baltimore football fans from my days announcing for the Erie indoor football team.  Baltimore was one of their big rivals for a few years and those guys love their football as much as Pittsburghers love the game.  You have to respect that.

Doesn't mean I have to like it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plans unveiled for a new stadium in Pittsburgh

There's going to be a new stadium in Pittsburgh by the end of the summer. 

Have no fear, nothing is going to happen to PNC Park or Heinz Field, and of course we also have the Consol Energy Center.  What we don't have is a home for two of the other pro sports teams that call Pittsburgh home.

The Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a member of the United Soccer League, announced plans to build a $7 million dollar stadium on the site of the Trib Total Media Ampitheater in Station Square.  The 3,500 seat stadium will be financed privately, which is a nice departure from how stadiums usually get built with taxpayer money in this town.

In addition to the Riverhounds, the Pittsburgh Passion women's football team will also play their home games there in the future.  The stadium will also hold concerts and other local events, which should help boost the economy.

The Riverhounds have not had their own home since they started play in 1999.   Recently they have been calling Chartiers Valley High School their home.  It should be a nice boost to finally have a place to call their own. 

The Passion should also get a nice boost as they move from historic Cupples Stadium in the South Side and head one mile down the river. 

I like the location for this stadium because there should be a lot more parking and easier access at Station Square, plus fans can also park downtown and take the "T" over to Station Square. 

There is also a lot of entertainment options at Station Square which should see a nice boost as a result of the new stadium.

Highmark has the naming rights to the stadium and Trib Total Media and #1 Cochran will also be contributing financially.   If you want to see a few pictures of what the stadium is going to look like check them out over at

I might even go check out a soccer game now.   Doubtful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Alabama is the 2012 BS Mythical National Champions

Alabama is your 2012 BS Mythical National Champions on the "strength" of a zero point showing by LSU.  Still trying to confirm if a number one team had EVER been shutout in their bowl game before and I'm not just talking about the BCS era. 

Come on LSU, even the Penn State Nittany Lions were able to score more points (11) on Alabama, and you guys had over 2 games of game time to do it.  92 yards of total offense?  From the number one team?  HAHAHA

Call me a hater but I absolutely refuse to call Alabama the national champions when they already lost to LSU earlier in the season, failed to win their divison and of course did not win their conference either.  

Here's hoping this game proves the need for a playoff or at the very least a slight revamp of the BCS matrix to force a team to win their conference. 

There's just no legitimate and fair way to take 120 teams at the FBS level who cannot remotely play each other and say which 1 loss teams are better than the others.  There is way too much bias involved.  The coaches poll is part of the BCS System yet not all of the 120 coaches get a vote in it.

It's all nothing but complete BS and in my opinion makes college football nothing but a bunch of glorified exhibition games.

Fans deserve better.  They deserve a playoff.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Standard Is Substandard: Steelers fall to Broncos in OT 29-23

John 3:16 in the bible says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Tim Tebow has quite a few more believers after throwing for, coincidentally, 316 yards and two scores.  The biggest pass play of the game was the 80 yard game winner in overtime to Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage.   I thought the NFL went away from "sudden death" this year. 

The Steelers were heavily banged up heading into this game, but coach Mike Tomlin loves to preach about how "The standard is the standard."  Well today, the standard was substandard.  

Even being down their starting center (Pouncey), starting running back (Mendenhall), starting safety (Clark), and losing Brett Kiesel and Casey Hampton early in the game, I thought the Steelers would have more than enough firepower to defeat Tim Tebow and the Broncos.   I was wrong.

Ike Taylor, who many including myself touted as a Pro Bowler, got shredded for over 204 yards by Thomas, to go along with the pass interference and holding calls he got flagged for repeatedly.  He looked clueless out there.  Worst possible time to have his worst game of the year.

The Steelers dropped some easy catches early on to fizzle out promising drives and the Broncos took advantage with a huge 20 point outburst in the second quarter to take early control of the game.

The Steelers got things under control and a late fumble by Willis McGahee allowed the Steelers to score the game tying touchdown.  The Steelers even had the ball at the Denver 50 yard line with time ticking down in regulation but could not get the ball into Shaun Suisham field goal range. 

They elected to bypass a 67 yard attempt as time expired.  If you have no faith to at least let the kicker try it from that range in Denver of all places, then why is he on the team in the first place?

You have to credit the Steelers for fighting all the way to the end.  It would have been very easy to knuckle under when down 20-6 but the team did a great job getting the game to overtime. 

Major kudos to Isaac Redman who ran for 121 yards on 17 carries for an astounding 7.1 average per carry.  He ran hard and with a purpose and should factor prominently in the backfield next season. 

Overall it was just way too many mistakes for the Steelers to overcome.  The effort was not good enough against a team many called "the worst playoff team ever." 

Maybe God really is a Tebow fan after all.

Friday, January 6, 2012

AFC Wild Card Preview: Steelers Vs. Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) vs. Denver Broncos (8-8)
Sports Authority Field - Denver, CO.
January 8th, 2012

The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos, champions of the AFC West division.   This will be Denver's first playoff appearance in six years.

Pittsburgh has been fighting the injury bug all season but has done well to overcome them and post a 12-4 record.  They will have to continue to live up to Mike Tomlin's expectations of "The standard is the standard" if they want to come out of Denver with a win.

The Steelers have struggled on the road this season, posting a 5-3 record away from Heinz Field.  Normally this might be huge cause for concern but Denver hasn't played very well at home this year, going 3-5 at Sports Authority Field. 

Pittsburgh lost starting running back Rashard Mendenhall last week to a season ending knee injury and will now hand over the starting job to Isaac Redman.   Redman has had a solid season averaging 4.4 YPC, which is better than Mendenhall.  He's not as big of a passing threat out of the backfield, however,  and is not as adept at picking up opposing blitzes.  This could be a key matchup against the strong front seven of the Denver Broncos.

Ben Roethlisberger apparently suffered a setback in his recovery from a high ankle sprain during last week's 13-9 victory over Cleveland, so it will be interesting to see how much it continues to hamper his mobility, which is a big part of Roethlisberger's game.   Even at 50% he is a better passing threat than Tim Tebow or even Brady Quinn if the Broncos decide to start him.  Quinn reportedly has been taking some first team snaps during practice this week.

The Steelers wide receiving corps is considerably more dangerous than the Broncos.  Antonio Brown was named team MVP after becoming the first player in NFL history to have both 1000 yards in receiving and return yards.  Mike Wallace has struggled a bit in the second half but is still a Pro Bowl caliber wide receiver.  The Steelers also have experienced veterans in Hines Ward and Jerrico Cotchery, and Emmanuel Sanders could also play a key role as he slowly recovers from an injury.

Denver's wide receivers have struggled to find consistency whether it was with Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow at the helm.  At this point I think the Broncos best chance for victory is to keep Tim Tebow in the game.  Putting Quinn in for his first start in over two years against the Steelers defense isn't exactly the smartest strategy right now. 

Pittsburgh should have LaMarr Woodley back for this one, which would be a huge boost for the Steelers pass rush and ability to contain Tim Tebow.   It will allow the Steelers to move Lawrence Timmons back inside where he plays a lot better.  

Maurkice Pouncey, the all-pro center for the Steelers, will miss this game, which limit the Steelers ability to protect their hobbled quarterback.  Missing starters on the offensive line is nothing new for the Steelers who have been juggling the line constantly for the past two years.  No one can seem to stay healthy.

Keys to the game
  • Pittsburgh needs to avoid turnovers.  I think the Steelers have too much experience and offensive firepower for the younger, inexperienced Broncos.  If the Steelers start turning the ball over it will keep Denver in the game longer and give Tim Tebow a chance to pull one of his fourth quarter miracles.
  • Feed Isaac Redman the ball.  Ben is hobbled, so you shouldn't force him to be the centerpiece of the offense this week.  Yes you'll have to pass to maintain balance in the attack, but Redman should be able to generate some offense against the 22nd ranked rushing defense in the league. 
  • Tim Tebow needs to keep his composure.  During the Broncos winning streak, Tebow was praised for his ability to avoid the interception.  He's not going to win the game for the Broncos but he could certainly lose it for them if he's careless with the ball.
  • Denver needs to attack the Steelers depleted offensive line.  If they can get to Roethlisberger early it could force Ben into making some errant throws and lead to some turnovers.  Denver will be without Brian Dawkins, so the two safeties will be extremely inexperienced, so Denver cannot give Ben time to find those receivers open downfield.
  • If Pittsburgh can open up the game early, I don't see Denver having much of a chance.  If Denver manages to keep the game close, it could come down to a game of field goals, which I feel could favor the Broncos.  Matt Prater has hit from 59 yards out and hit on 76% of his kicks, whereas Shaun Suisham has hit on 74.2% with a max range of 51 yards.   
Even with the injuries,  I still like Pittsburgh's chances in this game given the amount of playoff experience they have as well as the fact they flat out have the better quarterback.  It's not likely going to be an offensive explosion, but I think Pittsburgh will advance to play either the Patriots or Ravens next weekend.


Also I'll make my other wildcard predictions.
New Orleans over Detroit 38-24
Cincinnati over Houston 21-17
Atlanta over New York 28-21

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Penn State reportedly hires Bill O'Brien as the next football head coach

Penn State certainly took their time finding a new head coach to replace Joe Paterno and that exhaustive search has led them to...Bill O'Brien.  O'Brien will take over as the first new head football coach at Penn State since 1966.

I'm going to pause while some of you use Google to look up Bill O'Brien.  He is the current offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

In case you aren't familiar with how former Patriots offensive coordinators have done away from the hub of the recording industry, a.k.a. Spygate, here's a few names for you.
New PSU head coach Bill O'Brien

Charlie Weis coached five years at Notre Dame, compiling a record of 35-27.  He started off with two strong seasons (9-3 and 10-3) with losses in the Sugar and Fiesta Bowls, but then he went 3-9. 7-6 and 6-6 over the last three seasons.  He recently signed on as the head coach at Kansas.

Josh McDaniels compiled an 11-17 in two seasons with the Denver Broncos.  From the start he mismanaged a possible trade with the Patriots for Matt Cassel and lost the trust of his quarterback Jay Cutler, who demanded to be traded.  Missed playoffs in first season despite starting 6-0.  The team was also involved in a videotaping scandal, which he clearly learned from Bill Belichick

Now we have Bill O'Brien who, like Joe Paterno, went to Brown University.  That might have been a good school to hire from in 1966, but not sure how relevant they are in major college athletics these days.

O'Brien's coaching resume includes stints at Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duke, and the New England Patriots. 

I love how Duke's offenses were terrible under O'Brien but he got hired to coach in New England and now gets some credit when really it's Tom Brady being Tom Brady.  If Brady could magically regain some eligibility and come play for PSU, then we might have a strong hire here, but as it is I am extremely skeptical.

O'Brien intends to remain the offensive coordinator for the Patriots for as long as they remain in the playoffs.  If that includes a Super Bowl appearance, then O'Brien won't take over fully until just two days before Letter of Intent day. 

I realize the situation at Penn State made the likelihood of getting a big name coach very small, but there had to be coordinators out there, much like recent Pitt hire Paul Chryst, who would still welcome the chance to take over a program like Penn State that's in a major BCS conference and plays before one of the largest stadiums and fan bases in college football.  

Do we really need a guy like O'Brien whose made to look better because he has a future hall of famer at the QB position?

As always I'll take a wait and see approach, but I just don't think this is the right guy to lead Penn State back to glory.  I just don't know that PSU had much of a choice given who they finally picked. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

LeBron James is engaged. What, no primetime special?

LeBron James completely dropped the ball on his proposal to his new fiancee Savannah Brinson.

Look back at all the TV ratings and money he raised for charity when he had an ESPN prime time special to announce he was taking his talents to South Beach and turning his back on Cleveland.

Imagine how much publicity he could have earned if he had set it up reality TV style to pop the question on national TV.  Hopeless romantics everywhere fall hardcore for this stuff. 

You could have gotten Jim Gray to reprise his role as useless commentator during the special. Even better, just get Gray himself to ask her the magical question. I'm sure the girl doesn't really care, all that matters is that she is now engaged to one of the wealthiest men in the country.

You could have made it a $4.99 pay per view movie On Demand and people are dumb enough to pay. 

Maybe ABC should have courted "The King" to be on their reality show "The Bachelor".  Could you imagine the ratings for that?  

Why stop there?  Seeing how much publicity the Kim Kardashian five second wedding to NBA star Kris Humphries generated, shouldn't the competitive fires in James inspire him to outdo one of his NBA peers? 

I really think the King James marketers dropped the ball here.  The NBA really needs some positive publicity in the wake of the NBA lockout.  This would have drawn in casual fans who have nothing better to do than stalk a celebrity.

Oh well, congratulations to LeBron and Savannah.  Wonder how long the marriage will last?

Pittsburgh Steelers Have No One To Blame But Themselves

We know now the playoff situation in the AFC.  Pittsburgh had a chance to sneak into the #1 seed if New England and Baltimore lost this Sunday. 

New England fell behind 21-0 to the Bills, who then absolutely imploded and let the Patriots rattle off 49 unanswered points.  Let me repeat that because it just SOUNDS ludicrous.  The Patriots scored 49 UNANSWERED points against the Bills. 

Cincinnati had the ball at the Ravens 33 yard line with a chance to tie the game but could not come through.  Because of Denver, Oakland, and the New York Jets losing, the Bengals still made it into the playoffs.

It would have been nice for Pittsburgh to at least get into the number two slot but they have no one to blame but themselves.

Look back at the second matchup with the Ravens.  The Steelers pinned the Ravens at the eight yard line with just around two minutes to go the length of the field for the winning touchdown.  A field goal would not do, it had to be a touchdown. 

Surely the choke artist named Joe Flacco would implode and the Steeler defense would win the day but alas that wasn't the case. 

Flacco found Torrey Smith in the end zone with eight seconds to go and the Ravens had the season sweep.    If the Steeler defense held, the Steelers would be AFC North champions and have the number one seed via their tiebreaking head to head victory over the Patriots. 

It's a lot easier to win as the one or two seed as opposed to the five, but the Steelers made their bed and have to sleep in it.

Fortunately, the wild card matchup with the Denver Broncos looks to be a favorable one for the Steelers.  I am not on the Tim Tebow bandwagon, and in fact his play during the last three games is proving a lot of his "haters" right. 

It's going to be a tough road for the Steelers, who are only 5-3 on the road this year.  They've done it before, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Happy New Year!

Midnight bells have tolled across the east coast, so let me wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! 

It's been a fun 2011 for me here, as the blog is starting to get some more readership and I am finding a few more opportunities for my voiceover/broadcasting career. 

My son will turn 1 in 25 days and I still love my wife as we will celebrate four years together in May.

Whatever you are doing in your life, I hope you have a wonderful 2012.

Oh and hopefully the Mayans are wrong, haha.

Happy New Year!
-- Dom