...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

R.I.P. Myron

Sad day in Pittsburgh. Synonymous with Steeler football for as long as I've been around, Myron Cope was the guy you tuned in on radio during games, and muted the national broadcast for. While his detractors will point out that he stuck around the broadcast booth a couple years too many, and perhaps rightfully so, Myron should be remembered as the preeminent voice of Pittsburgh Sports for more than 3 decades.

Steeler haters can thank him for creating the Terrible Towel...those fantastic gold pieces of linen we wave in your face as we're kickin yer ass up and down the field.

So long, Myron. You will be missed. Double Yoi.

Steelers official statements from Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II GO HERE (thanks, Tirpak)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

one more note on the Hossa Trade...

rumor has it, the Hill District wants to know what's in it for them.

Hossa to Pittsburgh

Wow. I guess the Pens went with Plan B (Plan A being the Smith call-up below). Marian Hossa comes to the Burgh along with Pascal Dupuis in exchange for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and next year's #1.

When evaluating the deal, you gotta remember who got the best player in the deal. Hossa's a flat out stud, a winger that can score 50 goals/season playing along Sid, which is undoubtedly where he'll be plugged in. He was far and away the best player available at the deadline.

That being said, I'm sad to see Colby leave. Armstrong was a great chemistry guy, and Crosby's best friend. But as Mark Madden just coined:

"Chemistry doesn't score goals. Marian Hossa scores goals."

So I'm sure that sadness will wane after Hossa starts fillin the net and the Pens advance through the playoffs. Colby was known for how well he played alongside Crosby, but otherwise was a 3rd line type of player. And besides...who wouldn't play well alongside Crosby.

Erik Christensen was a good face-off guy, and automatic on shootouts. But with Sid, Malkin, Staal, and Talbot, he was the 5th best center on the team. And being good in shootouts is relatively...correct that...absolutely meaningless in the playoffs.

Angelo Esposito was a disappointment, and slipped in the draft because other teams knew he'd be a disappointment. That said, he may have had value where Shero drafted him at (#17, I believe). And with the youthful studs on this team that you still have to pay, like Malkin and Staal, giving up a #1 is not a huge deal, provided it brings success now.

The key: resign Hossa long term. If he's only used as a rent-a-player, and unless the Pens win the Cup, it's not a good move.

Re: winning a Cup. The Penguins immediately became the best team in the conference today. So they have a shot. With the Western Conference being stacked, getting there may be easier than winning it. But you also have to look at the moves the Pens made in context with the rest of the East. And the way I look at it...everyone else got weaker.
Brian Campbell left Buffalo for San Jose. Brad Richards is gone from Tampa. And Montreal, who'd looked to be one the top contenders in the East, gave up their #1 goaltender to Washington. I like the Caps moves, adding Huet and Sergei Federov, but they're not even in the playoffs as of now. Philadelphia got Prospal, but the fork was put in Philly after their 10th straight loss earlier this week. Also, you kept Hossa from going to any of your contenders, like Ottawa or Montreal.

With Ottawa sliding (they got embarrassed at home 5-Nil by Toronto last night), the Pens may just be the team to beat in the East.

So long, Colby. Hopefully, you'll be back sometime in the future. You never know. Mark Recchi came through Pittsburgh on 3 separate occasions, and he was a dick. I'd like to think there's a better chance for Armstrong to return.

Oh...and welcome aboard Hal Gill, as well. He's tall.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crosby, Fleury, Roberts, and Smith Ready for Stretch Run

Next week will mark the 6 week mark for Sid, so he should be expected back sometime soon after that. Gary Roberts is progressing, and he'll be ready to go by the playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury has been recalled from his rehab assignment.

But after grueling back-to-back OT losses over the weekend to Ottawa and San Jose, it's time for one more call-up from Wilkes-Barre...

Smith brings some extra grit to the Pens, an underrated shot, and great awareness on the ice. Critics will point out is lack of experience in the NHL, and the fact that he's a little puffy and bloated for this level. But Smith's saviness and intangibles, such as a cool blog and a love for Guided by Voices, should galvanize a locker room in dire need of a good time.

Tirpak, an EC correspondent, who just had beers with Smith over the weekend had this to say:

"He's a real grinder...a scrapper. He can put puck in net for organization, and then sit back and have a few. He's also a real student of the game. We watched a game at Primanti's, and the waitress forgot to bring blue cheese for his wings. She claimed he didn't order the blue cheese, so Smith gets up, and checks her into a bar stool. At the same time, he was able to keep 1 hand on his 20 oz. Molson draft. Then he sits back down and immediately comments how they need to get the power play going. Amazing...despite the dissension over his blue cheese, he kept his head in the game the whole time. Classic Smith."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All Stocked Up on Crazy

Well, it was a slow day around here. I was getting a lot of work done. Then the news just came that Mikey Therrien is starting Danny Sabourin in net tonight against the Habs...in like...a game that could...like...be for 1st place in the conference!!

Note to Therrien: WHAT THE F*$&@#@#@!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

In other news, Steeler OL and largest human being on the planet Max Starks got slapped with the Transition Tag today, which will pay him a salary comparable to the Top 10 Offensive Tackles in the NFL. A guy who couldn't beat out Willie Colon from Hofstra will get paid @ $6 million/year.

Alrighty then.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Moving Sucks Arse

yes. yes it does.

Champions League back in action today. My beloved Inter Milan vs. my beloved Liverpool. One of 'my teams' will reign victorious. Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll get to see any of it (see post title).

Moving can be a pretty stressful. Tempers flare, next thing you know, craziness erupts. The following vid reminded me of Jess at the Flyers game last week, trying to get a piece of Steve Downie (Jess, being the fan, of course)...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I officially loathe the "Great Guinness Toast"

Cute idea. And a fantastic marketing campaign...

Get a bunch of saps together to celebrate some annual made-up toast thingy to drink your beer at local establishments everywhere for the sake of saying it's a world record? Brilliant!

I get it. And from what I remember of the minimal times I've actually consumed Guinness, not a terribly bad brew. But when I lose my buzz (or can't order food because the kitchen closed during this whole fiasco) because I can't get served due to the stampede of amateurs who invade the bar for their stoopid little toast for 45 minutes surrounding 11:00pm...I boo your Guinness. Sorry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Skate Away, that's all

Not sure I've ever seen this before. Visor wearing Rollergirl Steve Downie gets into a scrap with Ruutu, decides he's had enough, and runs away. Pretty hilarious, and typical Flyer cowardness...

Didn't think it was possible to lose any more respect for Philly, but I guess I underestimated their lack of class. The Pens get a 4-3 winner Sunday, and followed by another Philly loss last night, we sit alone in 1st place in the Atlantic by 4 points on Philly (and 3 pts on the Devils)...with even games played.

After a 4 point game Sunday from Malkin, the big question in the Burgh is what to do with #87 when he comes back from the high ankle sprain. How can you possibly break up the Malkin/Sykora/Malone line? But who do you play with Crosby?

Imho, me thinks the one winger you pair him with is Armstrong. Sid brings out the best in Colby, and they've always had great chemistry when paired together. I also don't wanna split up the 3rd line of Staal/Christensen/Talbot. And even when Gary Roberts comes back, he's perhaps a bit too slow to play with Crosby. So with little options left, I think we need to go out and get another sniper before the deadline in 2 weeks. Mayor Luke agrees with me...

I'm not getting rid of any of the current studs. But what about pairing Angelo Esposito, last year's #1, with a #1 next year? You still have to sign Gino and hopefully Staal long term, so Espo and a #1 could be expendable. I'm not sure that'll be enough to land a Marian Hossa or a Corey Perry, but could it land a Vaclav Prospal from Tampa or Miroslav Satan from New York? Having a guy named Satan on the squad would be cool, and Prospal put in a deuce last night. I'll leave all the particulars to Ray Shero, but whatever the case may be, one more stud winger could be the final ingredient to a Cup contending team. And winning Cups can be good times.

Finally, Mikey Therrien must leave the 4th line together. These guys are the muckers and the grinders, the heart and soul, the grit and the glue of the team...

End of an Era

Chuck Noll won 4 Super Bowls, coached a couple of sucky teams in the 80's, then passed the torch to Bill Cowher. Mario Lemieux saved hockey in Pittsburgh (twice), then left way for Sid the Kid. Jason Kendall, who is now in Milwaukee but still may be the highest paid player on the Pirates current payroll, left town so Ronny Paulino could take over.

What's the point? I'm not sure. The moral of the story may be - when a legend finishes his final shift, you never know who will follow in their footsteps...Sidney Crosby or Ronnie Paulino. Or something like that.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

It's been awhile since I did a 'My Teams' update

Liverpool - d.u.n.

Pains me to say that. But 17 points back from Arsenal at this stage...it's over (it's actually been over for some time now). As long as Man U doesn't win it. So go Gunners, I guess.

Now my Reds need to scrap with some other back-of-the-packers (i.e. Everton, Aston Villa, Portsmouth, and Man City) to simply stay in the Champions League. Of course, Reading couldn't help us out today (thanks, Dan), dropping a 1-Nil to Everton.

Now we go to Stamford Bridge tomorrow without Fernando Torres, who was injured in Spain's win over France earlier this week. Seemed like only yesterday we stood a chance. These are the bad times.

Inter Milan - Best Squad in Europe

There. I said it. Arsenal has been surprising all year. Roma's held on admirably in Serie A. Real Madrid's play has been consistent. And Man Utd...well you know what happens when they play a superior Italian team. My beloved Nerazzuri is following up last year's record breaking season with another, going for their 3rd straight Scudetto. What a way to spend their 100 year anny.

And with the Champions League knockouts looming, it's the perfect time for Inter to get healthy. All world defender Marco Materazzi is back in the mix, veteran stud midfielder Patrick Vieira is back, and Luis Figo's started practicing again. Ibra's arguably the best finisher in Europe right now, and Julio Cruz has been so solid, the newly acquired David Suazo has been limited to mop-up duty on most occasions. We're loaded, we're deep, and with a comfy lead in Serie A, it's time to focus on the Champions League...where we'll beat another one of 'My Teams' (Liverpool).

Barcelona - still disappointing, but not dead yet

Xavi came up huge last week to save the 3, and he was awarded with a start and the captain's armband today (Puyol is still absent). He came up huge again at Sevilla to squander the draw. Diego Capel, Freddy Kanoute, and Dani Alvez were flying in the 1st half. So under different circumstances, a draw at Sevilla may be acceptable. But down 6 points from Real Madrid, we can't afford to be dropping points. Yeah, we've had some injuries, but this dream team of talent needs to start gellin...as in now.

Toronto FC - 2008 Starts Now

Schedule released...TODAY
! (thanks, Ned!!) So we start off the season with 3 straight road games. So we sucked on the road last year. I don't care because I'm silly like that. We open the season at Columbus. That crazy Crew. Sounds like...Winner. We then go to D.C. and L.A. If we can scrap out a win in Washington, I see us 3-0 heading back for the home opener...because we all know the Galaxy and Landon Donovan suck arse.

Got my eyes on a couple of games for the summer:
  • May 31 v. Becks, Landy Cakes, and the Galaxy. I'd luv to reign some streamers down on that ass bag Donovan.
  • June 21 v. the Main Street Wizards
  • August 3 v. FC Dallas

Friday, February 08, 2008

Radio Free Robert Morris

RMU Radio has kicked off:


Check out the "ANDREW & DAN in the Afternoon Show" every Monday and Friday from 3:00 - 5:00pm EST. Dan's a good pal o' mine, and Andrew's top notch as well (think...the Sal Paolantonio of RMU Sports).

Better yet...I'll be guest appearing this Friday...as in TODAY, 2 hours from now! Check it out...


Thursday, February 07, 2008

The New Pornographers in Pittsburgh 4/12

I'm a bit late on this...so HURRY, kids!!!! Tix go on sale TOMORROW, as in Friday 2/8 at 5:00pm. Reserved seating at the Carnegie Music Hall.

Go through Ticketbastard HERE.

$27 floor, $30 balcony (+ more than likely ridiculously high Ticketbastard charges). Still, we're pretty live show challenged here in the Burgh, so I'm pretty psyched for this one.

Per Gigawave at CMU, it looks there were a limited amount of tix available through the New Pornographers website on Saturday...but they no longer appear to be available. I snooze, therefore, I lose. Hopefully, there will still be some decent seats come Friday at 5:00. But I would not wait on this...as I'm fairly certain this will sell out sooner rather than later.

And from the sounds of things, the lovely Neko Case will be in attendance (unlike a few other times we've seen them).

(left click to play; right click to download)
:: The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic ::
:: The New Pornogrpahers - Sing Me Spanish Techno ::

Go pick up their new album Challengers over at Matador here. Personally, imho, Electric Version is their best, but they're all good times...including their latest.

Also on the bill, another fantastic band in Okkervil River.

Check their site for a live stream, fun stuff, as well as a free download of their Golden Opportunities Mixtape, a live collection of cover tunes recorded last year. Or check 'em out on MySpace here.

Okkervil River - For Real....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Superbowl XLII, everybody wins

Even the most diehard Patriots fan must admit, that losing the Superbowl was pretty hysterical. I think eventually, Bill Belichick will be able to reflect back and laugh about it. Sure, he was all mad and stuff as he left the field with :01 left, but he'll get over it.

Sean Salisbury lectured me this morning on Sportscenter. He said Eli Manning is one of the best QB's in the league now. He also pointed his finger, and said the Giants defensive line position played great. He emphasized this point by saying "period" at the end of his statement, so I assume he was serious.

More news surfaced yesterday about Belichick cheating, going all the way back to the 2002 Superbowl. I wish everyone would quit talking about this cheating stuff. The only thing it does is make the Patriots mad, and nobody wants that. And I don't believe there's any truth to the rumor that they ran outta videotape prior to the big game yesterday.

Randy Moss scored, and then appeared to part a sea of some sorts during his celebration. He's the best.

Hidden stat to remember: The Patriots were 0-1 this year when they lose.

I can't wait for the Pro Bowl next week. Until then...

Oh...and this is a great read (thanks, C!!):

The 5 stages of Patriots grief

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Funniest Thing Ever


Where's Belibitch going? The game's not over!!

Greatest Team Ever

The New England Patriots*

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Part of the Game

Someone told me the other day, that I shouldn't be an advocate for the "rough stuff" in hockey. That it ruins the game, blah, blah, blah. I say, screw that...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Those are not "boos"

You may not like Jarkko Ruutu. If he was on an opposing team, I probably wouldn't either. But the 5 minute major and game misconduct Ruutu got against Atlanta Wed night was a joke. The 5 for fighting, after simply standing there (gloves on!) and getting noogies in the back of the head courtesy of wannabe tough guy Steve McCarthy is even more atrocious.

In case you missed it (video below)...Ruutu went for a clean hit on Ilya Kovalchuk against the bench. If he would've hit him square, there would've been no penalty called. Kovy ducked the hit, and both players' knees collided. Ruutu clearly did not attempt to knee him, and he didn't stick his leg out. It was simply misfortune that their knees smacked, and even more misfortunate that Kovy was hurt. But it was by no means intentional.

Despite what the moron commentator says in the clip about the hit being "dirty" and "after the whistle," he's flat wrong. There was a delayed offside. A delayed offside is not a whistle. It's called playing to the whistle, ass bag. (I believe he corrects himself, later in the clip).

And furthermore...if you don't want anyone taking a run at your superstar, someone in the hockey hotbed of Atlanta needs to tell Kovalchuk: after you score, act like you've been there before. If you're going to skate by the opposing team's bench and point at them after you score, of course someone's gonna take a run at you! So enjoy your 2 games off from injury, hot shot.

Ruutu doesn't deserve a suspension...he deserves an apology from the NHL.

More Ruutu, kickin Darcy Tucker's ass early in January: Probably one of the better toe-to-toe's I've seen all year. The NHL needs its superstars, but it needs its grit just the same. Otherwise, you end up with a crap league that caters to prima donna slap silly gangsta bitches (see: NBA). I actually like Darcy Tucker, but he gets his face pounded here...