Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Countdown Continues

That's right...Groundhog Day featuring Punxsutawney Phil is less than 36 hours away!! Oh, you thought I was going to talk about the Steelers. Give me a minute. First, the #1 team in the country UConn is playing the #9 team in the country the University of Pittsburgh. And I can't watch it at home. Instead, ESPN is showing Illinois-Wisconsin while ESPN2 is airing Florida-Mississippi.

On to today's Steelers links:

It's Michael Wilbon's turn to write that Detroit is pulling for the Steelers and that the Black and Gold is taking over Detroit.

Here's the Sean Morey story. Not only did he graduate from Brown and have side jobs in home construction and lobster fishing while trying to reach and stay in the NFL, but he was also told by Joe Paterno to give it up. Fortunately, he didn't listen to JoePa.

Finally, all of the attention has been on The Bus going home to Detroit. Larry Foote is also returning to his hometown. As an added bonus, here is a very nice article about Foote off the field.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Today's Steelers Links

Last week was odd. I was really looking forward to the Super Bowl, but a Sunday passed, and there was no game. I'm not a big fan of having two weeks between the AFC and NFC Championship games and the Super Bowl. Anyway, now that the teams are in Detroit, the hype and my excitement are growing. Therefore, I thought I would share some Steelers related links throughout the week.

Leonard Shapiro has a good article about the Rooney family in The Washington Post.

Since Deadspin linked to me last week, I'll return the favor. They have two stories from KDKA; one shows a Terrible Towel in Seattle's Space Needle, the other is a permission slip by Allegheny County Chief Executive, Dan Onorato to celebrate Black and Gold Week.

Thanks to Andy for sending me this article by Mitch Albom in the Detroit Free Press about Detroit rooting for the Steelers.

I'm sure there will be more links throughout the week.

Steelers' Anatomy

I've written this before, but Grey's Anatomy is my favorite show on TV these days. The preview for next week's episode, which will air after the Super Bowl looks great, although I have no idea what a "Code Black" means for a hospital. While I applaud ABC for showing Grey's Anatomy after the Super Bowl (a much better choice than Emily's Reasons Why Not), I don't know if I will watch it. If the Steelers win, I'll be celebrating and will be on the phone talking with friends and family for hours. If the Steelers lose, I will be extremely depressed and will have no interest in doing anything other than laying in bed in the fetal position. Another reason for me to get Tivo.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Help Answer a Question

I had a discussion with someone recently who said that at a previous job, the company had alcohol in the office and that people would drink at work on Friday afternoons, even before the end of the day. She said that this was especially true at law firms and offices on or near the Hill. I have only worked in education and at non-profits and have never seen alcohol at work. There have been happy hours at a bar or restaurant after work, but never any alcohol or drinking in the office. So I'm wondering if drinking in the office is common or if this person is just making things up or worked at a wacky place. Anonymous comments are certainly fine on this one.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm Popular Today

I just checked my blog for the first time since 7:00am this morning and saw that I have had 70+ hits today. Since I rarely receive more than 40 visits, the investigation began. It turns out that Deadspin, a website with sports news and gossip, linked to my entry about Big Ben and the Penguins. Thank you Deadspin! I've never heard of you before today, but I will definitely be checking the site out regularly now.

While I'm at it, thanks to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for adding Sean's Ramblings to their website.

Roethlisberger Leads Penguins to Victory

The Penguins broke a 10-game losing streak by defeating the Washington Capitals last night 8-1. Yes, the team actually scored 8 goals and only gave up 1 goal. Although Big Ben didn't play, he sat in the owner's box as a guest of Mario Lemieux. Although I have no statistical evidence to support this, I'm going to say that the Penguins are undefeated this season in games where Roethlisberger is sitting next to Lemieux in the owner's box. I'm sure that most of the credit for the win will go to Sidney Crosby, John LeClair and Mark Recchi, but Ben may deserve just a little bit of the credit. If you want to see Ben waving to the crowd, check out the picture here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Celebrity Feuds

VH1 regularly has shows about lists. I happen to be watching one of these today since I'm working from home. (Yes, I really am working; I need background noise plus I am writing this during my lunch break.) Anyway, VH1 has a show of the 40 Greatest Celebrity Feuds. At #12 was Nancy Kerrigan vs. Tonya Harding. I have no idea why this is not in the Top 5. This was worldwide news and really launched figure skating into the success it is today. If you don't believe me, check out the ratings for figure skating at the upcoming Winter Olympics.

OK back to work. The TV is being turned off since there is no way I can concentrate on work while "The Flavor of Love" starring Flavor Flav is on. I really hope New York loses; I'm not a big fan of her.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Steelers Notes

Can someone explain to me why the Steelers are 3 & 1/2 or 4 point favorites against Seattle? I can buy the explanation that the AFC is better than the NFC and that there will be more Steelers fans in Detroit. However, Seattle was 13-3 in the regular season, won 11 in a row before losing a game that meant nothing, was the #1 seed in the NFC and is coming off a dominating performance against a very hot Carolina team. Although the NFC was 30-34 against the AFC, that is a much better record for the NFC than the 2004 season. Plus, the Steelers were the AFC's #6 seed. It really seems like Seattle is getting no respect (I watched Rodney Dangerfield's Back to School on Friday night so this phrase seems appropriate). This scares me a little bit since I feel that this is extra motivation for the Seahawks. We'll see.

Here are a few Steelers links that are all over the internet. Thanks to Messiah for sending these to me: Steeler Baby and a nice montage to get you pumped up for the game.

I like the fact that the Steelers are wearing the road white uniform for the Super Bowl.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Non-Steelers Story

Don't worry; I'll write a lot more about the Steelers very soon.

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I watched the series premiere of ABC's "Emily's Reasons Why Not" with Heather Graham. It was a terrible show, and I turned the channel after about 10 minutes. ABC agreed with my assessment and cancelled it after just the one show. ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said that the show "was not going to get better and we had to make a change." Ouch. What I find funny/scary is that ABC spent millions of dollars advertising and promoting the show before seeing a script! Next time, have someone read the script. If ABC wants to pay me to do it, I will.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I Got A Feeling, Pittsburgh's Going to the Super Bowl!

There's not much else to say. The Steelers played a perfect first half and made plays when they needed to in the second half. Big Ben looked poised and made smart decisions and the defense led by Foote, Joey, Troy, Face Me Ike and Brett Keisel(!) really held the Broncos running game in check and forced Jake Plummer to look like the Jake Plummer of old.

There's a very good chance I'll be writing more about the Steelers over the next few weeks. It's going to be difficult to concentrate at work since I'll be thinking about the Super Bowl.

Killing Time

The Steelers-Broncos game is five hours away, and if you are like me, you need something to keep you busy until kick-off. I'm going to head to the gym and go to the grocery store. If there's still extra time (which there probably will be), there's always XBox.

If you don't want to leave your home, scroll down on this page to take the Super Hero quiz and share your results. If you want Steelers-related links, check out the Post-Gazette's Watching the Game with Myron Cope column by Chico Harlan and visit Joey Porter's website and Ike Taylor's FaceMeIke website.

GO STEELERS!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Louis Lipps Jersey

I won the EBay auction last week and the jersey arrived today. The jersey is now hanging in my closet where it will probably stay until next football season. The Steelers have won the past six weeks while I have been wearing a particular Steelers T-shirt, so I'm not changing anything now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Electric Youth

Is it bad that the only reason I may watch Skating with Celebrities is because I want to see how Deborah Gibson looks? I had a crush on her when I was in junior high and (should I really admit this to hundreds, OK ten, people?) actually went to see her in concert at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Monday, January 16, 2006

More Steelers

I can't see or hear enough coverage and stories about yesterday's Steelers-Colts game. ESPN played the radio call of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh radio broadcasts of Vanderjagt's field goal on Sportscenter. The Indianapolis broadcast team knew and announced that he missed it right away. However, I would have gone crazy if I listed to Bill Hillgove. He said that the kick was high enough, long enough and then finally, he and Tunch Ilkin yelled that it was no good.

Peyton Manning is taking a lot of heat for losing another big game and for blaming the offensive line for the loss. However, the Colts really could have won if Nick Harper went right instead of trying to cut left or if they got a little closer (they had 2nd and 2 from the Steelers 28) for the field goal attempt. If the Colts won the game, it would have been right there with Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series for the worst moment in Pittsburgh sports history. Fortunately, it didn't happen, so now we look forward to next Sunday against Denver. The Steelers were clearly the best team on the field yesterday and deserved to win. As for Peyton, he can spend the next few months coming up with the next MasterCard phrase. Cut That Meat and D-Caf are pretty good.

This just in...the NFL is saying that the referee made a mistake in ruling Polamalu's interception as an incompletion. The ref could have saved millions of people a lot of stress if the correct call was made during the game.

Superhero Quiz

Your results:
You are Superman

Superman
60%
Spider-Man
60%
The Flash
55%
Green Lantern
55%
Robin
53%
Supergirl
43%
Iron Man
35%
Wonder Woman
33%
Hulk
30%
Catwoman
30%
Batman
10%
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz


It appears that Superman barely won, but Spider-Man is demanding a recount!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

WOW!!

Is it possible to be exhausted after watching a football game? After today, I'm going to say yes. The Steelers-Colts game today may have been the most stressful game I've ever watched. After Manning was sacked with about 1 minute left, there were high-fives and hugs all around; followed by the complete shock of the Bettis fumble and then jubilation when Vanderjagt missed the field goal.

I want to give credit to Merril Hoge and Joe Theismann for picking the Steelers to win. They were the only two of eight ESPN experts to predict the Steelers win. All six of the Sports Illustrated experts predicted a Colts win.

Since there were about a dozen of us Steelers fans at the bar, they were nice enough to dedicate one TV to the Pitt-Louisville game. Big win for Pitt. They should be ranked in the top 5 this week.

As I wrote earlier this morning, GO STEELERS & GO PITT!!

A Good Day for TiVo

The University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team is one of only three undefeated teams and is ranked #12 in the AP poll and #11 in the coaches poll. Today, they play at Louisville against a team ranked #10 in both polls and who advanced to the Final Four last year. This is a fantastic Big East match-up and will be on ABC (I'm not sure if the game is being shown nationally, but it is on here in DC). However, 90% of Pitt fans WILL NOT be watching the game. The game starts at 1:00; the same time as the Steelers-Colts game. While some people may be able to switch to the game during commercials, I will be out at a sports bar watching the game, and I doubt they will be showing the Pitt game. With all that said, the more Pitt wins, the more chances everyone will be able to see them throughout the season and hopefully into the NCAA Tournament. GO STEELERS & GO PITT!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

eBay Question

To anyone who uses eBay or remembers the old Steelers jerseys: I'm interested in bidding on this Louis Lipps jersey. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Random Stuff

* Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien blasted the team to the media after losing 3-1 last night against Edmonton. This is from the Post-Gazette: "That defensive squad, I'm really starting to believe their goal is to be the worst defensive squad in the league," he said. "And they're doing such a great job at being the worst." The team must have been very encouraged by the coach as they were crushed by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-1.

* It could be just how they looked on TV this week but I think the woman that is not Alyson Hannigan on "How I Met Your Mother" and Elliot on "Scrubs" looked better than Heather Graham. Yes, this shows that I watched "Emily's Reasons Why Not." I won't be watching it again; however, "Jake In Progress" was decent.

* As we have learned in the past, Pat Robertson is great at making outrageous comments particularly since there are generally no repercussions. What happens when something he says comes back to bite him? We may see. Israel has suspended contact with Robertson after his comments about Ariel Sharon's stroke.

How about that for random? Did you ever think you would see something about Pat Robertson, John Stamos, Michel Therrien, Sarah Chalke and Cobie Smulders (the women from Scrubs and How I Met respectively) all in one place?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Things I Find Interesting

* All eight NFL divisions have one team remaining in the playoffs, no more and no less.

* All four NFL games this weekend are rematches of games played during the regular season.

* Courtesy of a piece by Michael Wilbon in today's Washington Post, Clinton Portis was fined $20,000 earlier this year for wearing the wrong socks and a tinted visor; Sean Taylor was fined only $17,000 for spitting in the face of Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman. What a joke!

* VH1's new show Flavor of Love. It's essentially the same as The Bachelor, but with Flavor Flav. It may be one of the worst shows on TV, but it's great to watch. I can't change the channel when the show is on.

Monday, January 09, 2006

One Year & One Day Anniversary

On this day, one year and one day ago, I started this little journal/blog thing. I've averaged almost a post every day (360), which is a lot more than I thought I would write. I've had 7,900 visits, which is a lot more than I thought I would have. Half of those visits have probably been by me, my wife or my mom, but that still means that I've had almost 4,000 visits by other people.

This has become a nice hobby of mine. It's the journal I never had. I like writing about what's going on in my life and sharing my thoughts on the important topics of the day (or at least topics like the Steelers).

So happy one year & one day anniversary to me. Here's to a great second year and second day!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Survive and Advance

As everyone who is reading this knows by now, the Steelers defeated the Bengals 31-17 earlier this evening. I'm sure Bengals fans are going to say that the reason the team lost was because Carson Palmer got hurt very early in the game. There may be a little bit of truth to this, but I don't think so. Jon Kitna is a good quarterback (in 2003, he threw for 3600 yards and had 26 TDs) and played very well in the first half. Plus, as a Pittsburgh fan, I fear the back-up player or the guy no one expects to do well (see Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and, I hate even writing this, Francisco Cabrera in 1992). However the Steelers made a great adjustment in the second half. It seemed like they blitzed a lot less and put more players in coverage. Plus, the Bengals defense showed their true stripes. They are suspect to giving up points. You could tell that the Bengals gave up as soon Cedrick Wilson caught the TD pass.

One final note...I went to Wegmans after the game and saw four other shoppers wearing Steelers gear. GO STEELERS!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

New TV Network

I was awake late last night and decided to flip around to see if anything good was on TV. Near all of the movie stations that rarely play good movies, I found a station that was playing music videos. I was intrigued since, as a part of the original MTV generation, I like TV stations that actually show music videos. The show was called "The Click List: Top 10 Videos" and was on the LOGO network. I have never heard of this station, but figured it was named either for Jerry West or possibly the old computer program I used in elementary school where you had a turtle and made a house (FD 50, RT 90, etc.). The first video I saw (#5 on the countdown) was the new one by Beyonce followed by a video by (#4) Mary J. Blige. Sometime in the middle of this video, I selected the info button on my remote to find out more about this countdown. Here was the description: "The top lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender music videos of the week." WHAT? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't see the connection. What does Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, James Blunt and Madonna (I watched the end of the countdown) have to do with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender music videos? Are there no current lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artists that have music videos? If not, you can always show old Elton John, Melissa Etheridge and George Michael videos.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

For Jeff, Marc & Brian

And all other Penn State fans and alumni out there. Congratulations to Penn State on their 11-1 season. I will admit that I was wrong in thinking that Penn State was overrated. They proved that they are the 3rd best team in college football. Linebacker Paul Posluszny and the entire defense were solid all year, and Quarterback Michael Robinson made big plays when needed.

Now that I got that out of the way, here’s my prediction for the 2006 college football season: Pitt will have a better record than Penn State. First, who would you rather have at QB: Pitt’s Tyler Palko or Penn State’s Anthony Morelli? Second, Penn State is really going to miss All-Americans Tamba Hali and Alan Zemaitis and nearly the entire offensive line. Third, Pitt is going to be better having played one full year under Dave Wannstedt and learning his system.

Of course, it would be great if the two teams actually played each other to determine which team is better. However, Joe Paterno does not want to have an even rivalry where the teams alternate home games. He would rather have two games at Penn State for every game in Pittsburgh. That seems fair.

It's Just Pat

Last August, I wrote "I'm waiting to hear Pat Robertson say that his quote about assassinating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was taken out of context. I'm sure that the liberal media twisted his words." While he did provide somewhat of a retraction at the time, he's at it again. This time, he is saying that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for dividing Israel. I'm going to go out on a limb and say probably not. There was a good 1,500 to 2,000 years when Israel was not the Jewish homeland and even when it was, it was divided among tribes and other nations. (I may be a little off on my history here, so please add a comment if I'm wrong.) Plus, Israel agreed to the 1947 U.N. partition plan which divided what is currently Israel into a Jewish state and an Arab state. But that's just history. Let's go to the present. Sharon was working toward peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Anyway, I'm getting away from my main point. Why is Pat Robertson still on TV? It seems like he says something outrageous every few months. Is it just so people don't forget about him and the 700 Club?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What to Write?

There's so much going on that I'm going to briefly touch on a few topics. I guess I'll start with the tragedy of the miners who died in West Virginia, and the mistaken report that 12 of the 13 miners were safe. Terrible story.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who suffered a massive, life-threatening stroke. I certainly hope that he is able to recover, but the initial reports are not good as he had/is having surgery to drain blood from his brain.

On a much lighter note, it is 10:30 Eastern time on Wednesday evening as I am typing this. Yet, the Rose Bowl between USC and Texas is only at halftime. This game won't end until 12:30. I'm not staying up for the end. Actually, I'm going to sleep now. Good night.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Sports Talk

There's a lot to talk about in my sports world, so here we go:

* Congrats to my grad school alma mater, The Ohio State University Buckeyes, on the impressive win against Notre Dame last night in the Fiesta Bowl.

* Congrats to one of my other favorite college athletics programs, West Virginia University (home of Mr. Pittsnogle) on the even more impressive victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Since the game was in Atlanta, WVU was essentially playing an away game. Although I was asleep at the time, what a gutsy call of a fake punt with less than 2 minutes to go.

* I wish I was kidding, but there are a good number of Redskins fans here in the Washington area who think the team is going to the Super Bowl. The reason: they beat Seattle (because the Seahawks kicker missed a field goal at the end of the game), Chicago and barely lost to Tampa Bay (the locals including Joe Gibbs blamed the refs for the loss).

* I saw a music video on ESPN2 the other day by the Cincinnati Bengals. It looked like Bootsy Collins was involved in the video/song, but he didn't seem like he knew how to play the guitar, so maybe it wasn't him. Anyway, the video got me pumped up. I can't wait until Sunday's game and I would love to see the Bengals lose. GO STEELERS!

* It appears that Jeromy Burnitz is going to be the new right-fielder for the Pirates. I don't like the deal. Why spend $6 million on a soon-to-be 37 year-old? I know that he hit 24 home runs and had 87 RBI last year, but he also batted .258 with 109 strikeouts. That is similar to what Craig Wilson (who is 7 years younger and $3 million cheaper) hit in 2004. There's more. In 2003-2005, Wilson hit .284 against left-handed pitchers. Why is that important? The Pirates also have Jody Gerut, who hit 22 home runs in 2003 for Cleveland, and hit .288 against right-handed pitchers in 2003-2005. Seems like a perfect platoon situation. The big assumption in my equation is that both Wilson and Gerut stay healthy.

* Oh yeah...Pitt is still undefeated!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Say It Ain't So

To anyone in Pittsburgh...I need some clarification. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Original Hot Dog Shop (better known as the "O") is for sale. However, the Tribune-Review is reporting that the O is closing. Can anyone tell me what's going on? Is the O really closed/closing? If the O is sold, is everything expected to stay the same besides the actual ownership?

End of FlyI

After about 18 months of service, Independence Air will be ceasing operations on Thursday. For people who fly in and out of Washington Dulles regularly, this will be a big loss. I have flown Independence Air for 4 or 5 times (round-trip) and have been very impressed with their customer service and especially the cheap fares. They just expanded way too quickly and did not budget for the significant increase in fuel costs. I received an e-mail from FlyI today saying the following:

"Today we must announce that we will be ceasing scheduled service operations this Thursday evening, January 5. The financial pressures in the industry have prevailed. We have run out of time.

It has been an amazing 18 months. We set out to challenge the status quo and to re-set your expectations about air travel. We set out to introduce you to lower fares and a new level of service delivered by employees who care. Currently ranked #2 in customer satisfaction among all US airlines, we are proud that we did indeed earn your respect and loyalty. We are proud that we built a brand so universally praised by over 8 million customers. We are proud of the mark we have made."

I'm guessing that the customer satisfaction is going to go down significantly especially from folks who have tickets for upcoming flights.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Sarah already touched on some of this, but it was really sad watching Dick Clark last night on New Year's Rockin' Eve.

I am tired of the Elton John glasses with the year on it. I'm looking forward to 2010 when they will hopefully stop making them.

Hilary Duff looked scary thin last night. Hopefully her New Year's Resolution is to eat something.

I didn't realize that 2006 is the year of Tab.

It was nice to see The Bangles back. While Susanna Hoffs still looks good, the bass player just looked scary. (Yes, I know I just described two people as scary.)

Memo to Chris Brown, I think we all know that many artists lip-sync these days (or at least use back-up tracks), but at least pretend like you're trying to sing. By the way, maybe you should pick a different name. Chris Brown is somewhat plain for a musician. C. Brown or Usher Jr. would be fine.