Saturday, January 31, 2009

Interview with Brian St. Pierre

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Brian St. Pierre, Boston College’s third all-time leading passer, in the fifth round of the 2003 draft. St. Pierre served as the Steelers #3 quarterback during the 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 seasons. In those last two years, it became a running joke whether or not St. Pierre was on the roster as the Steelers seemed to cut and re-sign him every week. However, St. Pierre does not have a Super Bowl ring as he was a member of the Baltimore Ravens during the 2005 season. St. Pierre now seeks his first championship as the #3 quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals.



In his six NFL seasons, St. Pierre has played in exactly one game, the final game of the 2004 regular season when the Steelers were 14-1 and had already clinched home-field throughout the playoffs. In that game, St. Pierre threw a whopping one pass (it was incomplete), handed the ball to Willie Parker in the running back’s first 100-yard game and carried the ball himself four times for -3 yards. (I believe that he kneeled down on the final three snaps). Based on his not-so-impressive resume, it’s amazing to me that St. Pierre is still in the league.

St. Pierre’s most notable moment at a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers was the fact that a man impersonated him in attempt to meet women. In September 2004, Brian Jackson of Brentwood "impersonated fourth-string quarterback Brian St. Pierre to woo a woman named Julie Valo, the affidavit said."

[According to the affidavit,] Valo met Jackson on the South Side, where the suspect told her he was St. Pierre. The two exchanged phone numbers, and they were in touch for two to three weeks, the affidavit said.

Valo told investigators that the ersatz quarterback would sign footballs for neighborhood kids and autographs for anyone who asked. The ruse was so deep that Jackson would discuss his "teammates," talk about Steelers information and tell Valo when he was going out of town, the affidavit said.

He even told her to watch a game. That was Jackson's undoing.

Valo turned on the Steelers one day and saw Brian St. Pierre on screen. Despite sharing a first name, Brian Jackson was no Brian St. Pierre.

After the game, the affidavit said, Jackson called Valo and she confronted him. He told her she was "crazy," according to the affidavit, and said he looks different on TV.


The old I look different on TV excuse. Anyway, St. Pierre has been popular with the media this week taking questions about facing his former team. He is also a member of the blog world sharing his Super Bowl week experiences for the Salem News, including his thoughts about media day when asked "Who would be your dream date?’. Fortunately, I was smart enough to answer that one by stating My wife, of course." Boring!



I should also mention that there is The Official Brian St Pierre Fan Club on Facebook. There are nine members of this group.

So I found St. Pierre’s e-mail address and thought I would ask him some questions. Enjoy!

First of all, congratulations to you and the Arizona Cardinals for winning the NFC Championship game and advancing to the Super Bowl. While I'm sure that you have heard this question several times before, how does it feel getting to the Super Bowl and having to face your former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Well Sean, it is wonderful to be here in warm Tampa facing my former team. This is much nicer than freezing my ass off in Boston. I mean...what? Ok, so I'm not actually that Brian St. Pierre, though you aren't the first to think so. (Sean's note: I SUCK!)

When he was actually on the Steelers I was on my way to visit my girlfriend (now fiance) at Penn State. I was boarding a plane in Pittsburgh, and when I gave my boarding pass to the inspector guy, he did a double take. Like a legit, cartoon-esque double take. He quivered as he asked "Are you Brian St. Pierre?" I was like, um, yes. "The Steelers quarterback?" all excitedly. (Now I am 5'10" and at the time was about 190, he is 6'3" 230. Not only that, the Steelers were on a road trip!) I should have played it up for fun, but I didn't. I quickly let him know that I was unfortunately not that Brian St. Pierre. It was a tiny plane flying to Penn State, so unfortunately there wasn't a first class. It would have been sweet if I played that off and got bumped up! That was the only time I have ever been mistaken for him.

Well, now you can say that a random blogger also confused you with the quarterback. Since we’re talking football, are you a fan of any particular NFL team? Who are you supporting to win this year’s Super Bowl?

I am a huge Pats fan. I am from Maine, and lived in New England all my life, so the Pats are far and away my team.

I guess I am going for the Cards, I have kinda always wanted to see them finally break out. Plus, I definitely don't want the Steelers to win. Big Ben is overrated and I am just not a fan.

Despite this last paragraph, Brian was a great sport about answering my questions, so I thought I would give him a brief plug about his profession:

I am a Strength & Conditioning Coach and Certified Sports Nurtitionist. (Sean’s note: If he didn’t use the Big Ben is overrated line, I might have corrected the spelling of Nutritionist.) I work full time at a private athletic performance facility for renowned strength coach Eric Cressey, called Cressey Performance. I also do online training and nutrition consulting through my website. I create completely customized training and nutrition programs for clients based on their age/gender/training age/goals/needs/health and injury history/etc, etc. To find out more about what I do, check me out at www.brianstpierretraining.com.

While his work at Cressey Performance is mainly in Hudson, MA, his personal work, online, is done with people from all over, so location is not a factor.


I apologize if you thought I interviewed Brian St. Pierre, the quarterback. Maybe I should have interviewing Brian Jackson, who besides impersonating St. Pierre was sentenced in July 2007 to 90 days in jail and five years on probation for impersonating Steelers tight end Jerame Tuman and convincing a woman to loan him $3,200, instead.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What Are You Wearing for the Super Bowl (and Predictions)

I contacted some of my favorite Pittsburgh Steelers bloggers* and asked them what they are wearing for the Super Bowl. Then I realized that the question sounded a little inappropriate at best and creepy at worst, so I rephrased the question to this: Is there something that you will wear or have near you, not including a Terrible Towel which is a given, on Sunday? This question was especially geared for the superstitious folks out there like me. There was also an option to submit predictions about the game and a final score.

Tecmo of PSAMP:

I'm gross. I have three pairs of Steelers socks. I wore a pair for the San Diego game, then took 'em off right after we were done, knowing I'd need 'em, unwashed, again. I wore the same pair for the Baltimore game, and immediately took them off once we won. They're still not washed, but I've only worn them during game-time, and I'll do the same Sunday.

This is in addition to my Hines Ward jersey and two Bettis Foundation wristbands. And my Terrible Towel that helped Doug Brien miss those FGs into the closed end of the stadium.

17-14 Steelers. We're trained to win games like that. They're not.

Judge Rufus Peckham of Carbolic Smoke Ball:

I will drape around my shoulders one of the original Terrible Towels that I have worn for every post-season game since 1975. I am assured that the smallpox that somehow had infested the cloth last season was driven off at precisely the time that President Obama took the presidential oath (the second time -- the first time didn't take).

Gobo of White Nerdy Wonks:

I’ll be wearing a Max Starks game-worn thong that I purchased on eBay, and nothing else.

As for predictions, I’m too superstitious to actually predict the final score, but I will predict that Roethlisberger will have a better QB rating than he did in Superbowl XL. I realize I’m setting the bar pretty low here. I’ll also predict that Lawrence Timmons will have at least one sack or near-sack. I think LeBeau will use Timmons instead of Foote more often than usual, to give the Steelers more pass-rushing options up the middle, so Warner won’t be able to know where the rush is coming from.



Cotter of One For The Other Thumb:

Depends who’s asking there, big guy? No, seriously though. I shall be donning my usual pair of jeans, same black studded "look at how punk rock I am" belt, the same Myron Cope Yoi (double Yoi on back) t-shirt (hmmmmhahh!), the same long sleeved black t-shirt with "Steelers" looking all mean across the front, the same Casey Hampton jersey that’s about three sizes too large, the same old raggedy ass hat from like 1985, the same fleece polo for before the game starts, and the same towel I brought to the Burgh for Super Bowl XL! Oh, and my Steelers socks and Nikes with black and gold trim. I haven’t been able to find contacts that have the Steelers logo in them, but I’m searching Google hard.

Prediction? There will be a game. Two teams will play. One from Pittsburgh, calling themselves the Steelers. The other from Glendale, calling themselves the Cardinals. The game will last for 60 minutes. (Sean's note: Apparently, Cotter does note see this game going into overtime.) Both teams will score points. One team will score more points. That team will win. Hopefully it will be the Steelers. Seriously, do it, Tomlin. Get ‘em in line!

Matt of Steelers Gab:

I'll be at the game covering, so question one probably won't apply since I'll have to dress professional.

As far as predictions, here's a couple to chew on:

Steelers will have 4 sacks of Kurt Warner. Lamarr Woodley will have two, and James Harrison one. Brett Keisel will also have one.

Willie Parker will score on a two-yard run, Santonio Holmes will have a 15-yard TD catch, and Heath Miller will pull in a 6-yard TD. Ben Roethlisberger will throw 19-for-27 for 289 yards with two TD's and no picks. He will be sacked twice.

The Steelers will lead 17-7 at the half, then the Cards will make it 17-14, but Roethlisberger's TD pass to Miller with 12 min left will make it 24-14, and a field goal from Jeff Reed will make it 27-14 with 6 min left. Arizona will get a TD with 3:35 left, but the Steelers will have enough to run out the clock and win 27-21.

(Sean's note: I wish Matt was more specific with his predictions!)

Jason of Jason Christ Superstar:

I'll be wearing my Tomlin "Yes We Can" T-shirt underneath my Miller (Heath not Jeff) Jersey. As for a score: Steelers 24 - Cards 17. Parker will have 67 yds no TDs, Moore, 75 total yds, Russell 14 yds 1 TD. Ben will throw for 230 yds, 1 TD, roughly 23-31. The D will have one TD. Warner will throw for 175 2 TDs, 3 INTs.

Mike of Steelahs.com

Attached is a photo of what I'll be wearing when I watch the Super Bowl. (Sean's note: The picture is below.) Plain old Steelers T-shirt on the left. Reebok Steelers hoodie on the right. Steelers cap on top of T-shirt.

It's important to not wear anything indicating past Steelers championships. Bad luck. The only thing in the photo I won't be wearing is the cap on the right. I had been wearing it for a few years and retired it after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. It was the official good-luck cap of 2005. The cap on the left would earn the same status if the Steelers win Sunday.

Not pictured is the Rolling Rock I will drink. I'll be enjoying the taste of Old Latrobe in New York or Massachusetts. Not sure yet where I'll be watching the game.

Prediction: Steelers 33, Cardinals 31
MVP: Santonio Holmes
Other stuff that will happen: Troy Polamalu will get an interception. Limas Sweed will make a key third-down catch.



The Starter Wife of Black and Gold Tchotchkes:

Not sure what I am wearing, but I might just have a diaper on underneath it, just in case things go great... or poorly.

Ryan of Three River Sports

-Like you I'm also very superstitious. I'll be wearing my autographed, very well-worn Hines Ward jersey that has been around since about 2001, but now sees action only for very important games, like playoff games. In addition I'll be bringing along my Troy Polamalu bobblehead to a Super Bowl party of at least 20+ people and insisting that each and every one of them give him a bobble before game time.

A Serious Prediction: Santonio Holmes goes over 100 yards receiving for the Steelers and scores a TD on a deep ball.

A Not So Serious Prediction: The Refs actually call a penalty on one of the Arizona linemen for holding James Harrison. This is obviously a joke prediction though, because judging by the past several Steeler games, the NFL's holding rules only apply to offensive linemen if you aren't matched up against Harrison.

To wrap things up: HERE WE GO STEELERS!

Brenton from I Bleed Black 'n Gold:

I will have my usual Sunday debate: Ward or Roethlisberger jersey. Then consume frothy beverages from the Steelers mug I got from CVS in Wexford. It came with a crappy shirt in it, but I drink out of it every game.

Final Score: Pittsburgh:31 Arizona:24
Gameday Prediction: Lamar Woodley will kill two Cardinals, on accident.

(Sean's note: I think two dead Cardinals would taint and overshadow a Steelers win.)

Messiah of White Nerdy Wonks:

I'll be wearing a Troy jersey, but nothing all that superstitious. [My wife] has a Ben jersey, [child #1] has a Hines jersey, and one lucky triplet gets [child #1's] old Hines jersey. The other triplets will probably be in black onesies. I've ordered a dozen smiley cookies and we're ordering pizza from a place that's run by former Mineo's employees and supposedly uses the same recipe.

I predict Warner to have 175 yards passing in the first half, and Willie to have 53 yards in the first half. Then the second half will be brutal (D will be king on both sides), with the Steelers ekeing out a 7-point victory.

Mike of Have a Good Sandwich:

I'll be wearing a Hines Ward Super Bowl XL jersey to the Super Bowl. I'll also have a Terrible Towel in my possession.

I'd say that Ike Taylor will drop precisely one potential interception.

I won't make a prediction because I won't jinx the team.

Donald of Steelers Today:

I will be watching the game naked. The nice people here at the institution don't allow me to have any sharp objects in my room. And during Steelers games, they remove anything that I could use to hang myself should the Steelers lose. Thus, no clothes allowed during Steelers games. The latest medications that they've put me on seem to be working well. The doctors say that if I continue to take my meds, I MIGHT be allowed to wear clothes while I watch Steelers games next season. As far as predictions, the Steelers are going to win. The voices in my head told me so.

Sean of Sean's Ramblings (no link necessary since you're already here!):

I will wear my Louis Lipps jersey which has been much more successful than the Kendrell Bell and Kordell Stewart jerseys. I also have my Heinz pickle watch.

My prediction: Limas Sweed will do something good. Even if Sweed does nothing, by his standards, I count that as good.

Steelers 27 - Cardinals - 17


Thanks to all of my guests for participating! If you made it this far, thanks to you for reading. Feel free to share your own answers in the comments below.


Programming note: There will be multiple posts over the weekend including an exclusive interview that I may not be able to write up today. I'm sure that I'll mention the Puppy Bowl at some point too!


* Since this is Super Bowl week, anyone who is from Pittsburgh or writes any type of blog that mention the team is a Steelers blogger.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

NOOOOOOOOOOOO

I just received an e-mail from NFLShop.com with the subject Steelers Fans: Pre-Order Your Super Bowl Champs Gear and this picture:



I really, really, really hope Cardinals fans also received a similar e-mail. Otherwise, Arizona is your new Super Bowl Champion.

Official Won’t-Be-In-On-Time Permission Slip

In celebration of the Pittsburgh Steelers appearance in Super Bowl XLIII, I hereby request permission to report late for work on Monday, February 2, 2009.* I plan to join the entire southwestern Pennsylvania region (aka Sixburgh) and Steelers fans around the world and participate in the following activities on Super Bowl Sunday:

 Shop for appropriate Steelers attire to wear all day and night of Super Bowl Sunday

 Stop by the nearest supermarket to stock up on all the Steelers essentials (chipped chopped ham, jumbo, etc.)

 Listen to "The Pittsburgh Steelers Polka" or other Steelers odes on the radio.

 Tune into the pre-game TV broadcasts and laugh at the stories showing the dirty, smoky city of yesteryear, knowing that Pittsburgh just doesn’t look like that anymore.

 Wave the Terrible Towel throughout the Super Bowl player introductions or until my arm gets tired.

 Chant "Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go" non-stop during the game

 Consume large quantities of pierogies, kielbasa, any Heinz product and, of course, Iron City.

All of these things will tire me out and make it necessary for me to come in late on Monday. Boss, I appreciate your cooperation in this important matter and sincerely thank you for your understanding that my heart belongs to "Sixburgh."

Sincerely,

(Insert name here)



* Even if you're not a Steelers fan, you can use the excuse that Monday is Groundhog Day.

Volunteer at the Virginia Wine Showcase

We interrupt our Steelers Super Bowl coverage for a volunteer opportunity announcement for folks living in the DC area. The Virginia Wine Showcase is taking place next weekend, February 7-8, 2009 at the Dulles Expo Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. Volunteers will receive free admittance to the event on a day they do not volunteer and the chance to sample the region’s finest wines. Plus, the Festival will make a donation to Volunteer Fairfax, a terrific nonprofit organization, for each volunteer recruited. Volunteers are needed the following dates and times:

Saturday, February 7 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Saturday, February 7 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Sunday, February 8 from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm
Sunday, February 8 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Volunteers will be working the front gate checking IDs and processing payments as well as assisting the event coordinators and the exhibitors. The minimum age is 16, but only volunteers 21 years and older may take advantage of free Festival admission. Please email aduffield@volunteerfairfax.org or call (703) 246-3895 with your shift preference or for more information by Monday, February 2.

And remember, Virginia is for Wine Lovers!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Steelers Links and Random Stuff

- Two fellow Woodland Hills High School graduates are on this year’s Super Bowl teams. I hope that Steve Breaston loses two fumbles on Sunday, but has 1,500 yards receiving and 10+ touchdowns next year (especially if he’s on my fantasy team). Meanwhile, is Ryan Mundy even on the Steelers' 53-man roster? Regardless, take that Penn Hills and Gateway!

- Sign up for a five-minute shift to be part of the world’s longest Terrible Towel Wave.

- Cotter wrote about the fact that there are 43 strip clubs in Tampa and the Cardinals arrival. I’m linking to the post because he is the first person I know to have bought a Snuggie. (One For The Other Thumb)

- Have you seen this picture (by Ross D. Franklin/AP) of Captain Bruce Meyer holding an Arizona Cardinals flag outside the cockpit window as the team arrived at the Tampa International Airport?



This doesn't seem very safe. Sully Sullenberger wouldn't hold a flag out of an airplane window!

- Your new addition to the Washington Nationals broadcasting team: Rob Dibble (DCist)

- Bob Smizik (Alf). He’s back. In blog (pog) form! Gold star to anyone who gets the Alf/pog reference. (Post-Gazette)

- PittGirl is also back, sort of. She is guest-blogging on Have a Good Sandwich.

- I found the message/question below on fellow DC area blogger Urban Bohemian, but the post has since been removed from Yahoo answers. There is no chance this is real, right?



(In case you can't read the picture or don't want to click on it, this is the text:

I’m concerned that my son has a secret girlfriend?

My 17 year old son has been very secretive with me lately, recently he has started to refuse to go to church with the family and tonight when I was going through his room I found a magazine with naked men in it. He obviously has a girlfriend that he is hiding from me that brought that magazine into my home and I am afraid they are having intercourse and I am greatly concerned that he is going to get her pregnant.

What should I do about this?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Lesson in US Geography

You may or may not know that the Senior Bowl took place this Saturday in Mobile, Alabama. The Senior Bowl is an exhibition college football game for many prospects hoping to get drafted by an NFL team.

Here is a brief recap from the Associated Press via ESPN:

Pat White had a message for all those experts who think the West Virginia quarterback might make a better receiver in the NFL: Not so fast.
A local hero from Daphne, just outside Mobile, White led two scoring drives and passed for 95 yards as the South defeated the North 35-18 in the Senior Bowl, a showcase for many of college football's top prospects.

"I'm just happy I had the opportunity. This was a great coaching staff that taught me a lot in a week," White said. "I'm looking forward to keeping working, trying to get better."

The most prolific running quarterback in major college football history, White stood out among a group of high profile signal callers and was the most valuable player of the game that featured many top NFL prospects.

If there were doubts about the strength of White's arm, he tried to erase them in the third quarter when he stretched the South's lead with an impressive 39-yard scoring toss to Mississippi's Mike Wallace in the corner of the end zone.


Based on this map, I always thought that West Virginia was in the North.



From the West Virginia in the Civil War website, West Virginia was created in the midst of the Civil War and provided the Union Army 31,872 regular army troops. It is also estimated that somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 men served in the Confederate Army. Therefore, based on the number of people who served the Confederacy and the fact that much of West Virginia is south of the Mason-Dixon Line, historically, I guess you could make a case that West Virginia is in the south.

However, the AP story ends with this line:

The North's Juaquin Iglesias of Oklahoma was the leading receiver with six catches for 90 yards.



I have no explanation.

Monday, January 26, 2009

TMI Monday

I realize that I’m three days early for TMI Thursday, but it’s not every week when the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Super Bowl. For the non-sports fan readers, you’ll have to excuse me for all of my football coverage this week. I plan to have some entertaining takes on the game as well as an exclusive interview, so it won’t be all sports, but my writing will tend to focus on the Steelers over the next week or so.

For this week’s TMI, I need to admit something that may or may not be a big deal. I really like Taylor Swift’s new song Love Story. While this alone probably isn’t alarming, I am seeing a trend I am not proud of. In May 2008, I admitted to liking a Miley Cyrus song; in December, I wrote that a Britney Spears song is catchy; and just a few weeks ago, I used a TMI Thursday to share my thoughts on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Am I turning into a 13 year-old girl? The only think I’m missing is a love for the Jonas Brothers. Well, approximately a year ago I wrote that the Jonas Brothers were no Hanson. Well, it turns out that the Jonas Brothers are bigger than Hanson could ever be.

While I'm not writing that I like the Jonas Brothers, I better end this post now before more damage is done.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Links

There is a sighting of Ramblings favorite Kevin Pittsnogle. (New York Times)

The Sports Guy’s "One final toss for The Dooze." Warning: It may get a bit
dusty at your desk/home near the end. (ESPN).

Mike Tomlin’s 2-year anniversary as the Steelers coach was yesterday. (PSAMP)

Chuck Noll was a great coach and is the rare great coach who didn't promote himself after retiring. (ESPN)

At some point today, I'll be part of Meeting People is Easy. (One For The Other Thumb)

I received an e-mail from Bodog with Super Bowl prop bets. If I’m a member of the E Street Band, I’m betting big money on this one:

What Song will Bruce Springsteen sing to begin his Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?
Born in the USA - 2/1
Glory Days - 2/1
The Rising - 4/1
Born to Run - 5/1
The Wrestler - 5/1
Radio Nowhere - 8/1
I’m on Fire - 12/1

A couple of cool pictures of the Terrible Towel across the globe. (Mondesi's House)

And a NASA video from space. (Blog 'n' Gold)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Go Habs Go

Before leaving for this year’s hockey road trip, I contacted the folks at the All Habs blog to learn more about Montreal and the Canadiens. To thank them for their suggestions, I agreed to write about my experiences and give my perspective of the Habs and the Bell Centre as someone visiting the arena for the first time. I’ll start by writing this: the Bell Centre has the greatest hockey atmosphere I have ever seen in person.

It starts when you first walk into the arena. Almost everyone wears a Canadiens jersey or T-shirt. When you enter the seating area, you are amazed by the dozens of banners commemorating the Stanley Cup titles and retired players.



This has to be intimating or perhaps inspiring for the Habs’ opponents. At the very least, it is significantly more impressive than the WBNA Attendance Leader banners hanging from the Verizon Center in Washington. The introduction prior to the game is terrific. About 15 minutes before the opening face-off, the scoreboard shows pictures of Canadian fans wearing jerseys or showing off a Habs towel or flag from all over the world such as the Great Wall in China and by the Sydney Opera House. Then, the scoreboard shows each individual player and some videos of Montreal greats. Of course, the crowd cheered for all of this with the loudest applause reserved for goalie Carey Price. Unfortunately, Price was injured and didn’t play in either of the two Montreal games I saw.

The Good:
- The crowd was loud and chanted Go Habs Go or the Olay, Olay, Olay, Olay song constantly throughout the game.
-Cool Zambonis



- The Canadiens are a fun team to watch. I forgot how great it is to see Alexei Kovalev with the puck.
- Robert Lang is such a solid player. He had two assists each in the two games I saw him play.
- Gregory Stewart – I don’t think he was even on the team in the first game. He brings a lot of energy and is someone that really stood out. I’d like him on my fourth line.
- Andrei Kostitsyn had goals in both games and could be on his way to becoming a superstar.
- Youppi



The Not So Good:
- There were way too many people and sections trying to start the wave. The wave was great 20 years ago; not so much today.
- Tomas Plekanec is useless. How is he on the first line with Kovalev?
- Tickets were far more expensive than those in Ottawa and Toronto.
- Georges Laraque was injured and didn’t play.
- From my seat in Section 334, Row FF, I couldn’t see anything in the lower corner to the left of the goalie.



The Other:
- I had recommendations to visit Le Keg in Old Montreal for dinner. While I didn’t eat there (we walked into the restaurant, but then had to move the car since we parked in a reserved area), we ate at Steak Frites instead. Great steak and service! By the way, Le Keg is a chain. It seems like it is the Canadian version of Outback or Lonestar.
- It was so freaking cold in Montreal! I’m never going there in January again!
- The Canadiens had a feature during a commercial break where they asked each player what they were secretly afraid of. Unfortunately, the players all answered in French so I’ll never know what scares Maxim Lapierre.
- I was expecting to hear Celine Dion and Nickelback during every stoppage of play. However, it turns out that they played a lot of music by other Canadian musicians like the Rolling Stones, U2, Linkin Park and Flo Rida.



By the way, attending a Maple Leafs game in Toronto was the exact opposite. More on that another time.

TMI Thursday: A Picture

While I didn't become Prime Minister for the day while I was in Ottawa (apparently, they understand what coup means in French), I did become a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Here's proof:



(I'm the one on the left.)

Yes, this is a pretty weak TMI Thursday, but I figure sharing a picture of a grown man with the RCMP bear is worthy of a TMI post.

As usual, check out Live It, Love It for all of your TMI Thursday needs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Return

Hi there. I’m back from my week-long hockey road trip which took me to games in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto with stops in Rochester and Buffalo to see friends. While I was away, I heard that there was some type of celebration in DC and a sporting event in Pittsburgh. I was without television or internet throughout much of the trip, so I’m not sure if these are just rumors by a Canadian conspiracy group.

Anyway, I’ll write a lot more about this year's hockey road trip and the Steelers going to the Super Bowl over the next few days. In the meantime, here are some questions that I hope you can answer (let’s call this trivia Wednesday):

1. What is the status of Hines Ward?

2. Did anyone go to the inauguration? If so, how was it? (You are not allowed to say that it was cold. The temperature yesterday afternoon in DC was at least 30 degrees warmer than Montreal.)

3. How was the Bloggeration Ball?

4. Did you know that Jock Callander is on the Stanley Cup?

5. What can I do with $3.50 in Canadian change in DC?

6. Why did I buy a copy of Monday’s Toronto Sun newspaper?

7. True or false: I enjoyed seeing the Andy Warhol exhibit in Montreal with dozens of loud, French-speaking middle school students?

8. True or false: Canada has exotic businesses called Starbucks, Costco and Sears.

9. True or false: The 2009 AAA Ontario tourbook says the following: Baseball fans can see the Ottawa Lynx, the AAA farm team of the Montreal Expos, play April to mid-September at their stadium, Lynx Stadium.

I had a great trip, but it’s good to be home.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

Greetings From Montreal

Bonjour! I am live from north of the United States border where it is freaking freezing. I don't believe that the temperature got above 0 either Thursday or Friday and the low last night was supposed to be about -15. My legs got numb after only walking outside for about 7 minutes yesterday. When I return to the DC area, I don't want to hear anyone complain about how cold it is.

Anyway, I attended the Canadiens game last night and am having a nice time touring around Montreal today. I went to an art museum that had a very cool Andy Warhol exhibit. Yes, I could go to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, but I had to come all the way up to Canada to see some of his works.

Off to Ottawa tomorrow, where I hope to be Prime Minister for the day. I promise not to do anything that will get me on the world news or cause an international incident. Then on Sunday, I'm looking forward to going to Rochester and Buffalo for the warmer temperature. Read that line again as I am being completely serious. It looks like I'll watch the Steelers game in Buffalo before going across the border (and back to the 69 cents per minute cell phone charges) to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and see the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Monday.

Have a great weekend and GO STEELERS!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vacation/Click for Cans

I'm heading out for my hockey road trip today and may or may not have e-mail access while I'm away. Between the AFC Championship game, the Bloggerational Ball and the inauguration, I'm going to miss a lot. I'll try to post from the road, but no promises as I don't even know if they have the internet in Canada (that's a joke). In the meantime, here is information about the Click for Cans online food drive:

In an effort to take hunger head-on in NFL communities across the country this season, Campbell’s Chunky soup invited fans of all 32 NFL teams to click for their favorite team and help tackle hunger in their community with the Campbell’s Chunky soup "Click for Cans" online food drive.

The contest is now in the postseason with the top four AFC teams and the top four NFC teams competing in the first-ever three-week Click for Cans playoffs, where they will have a chance to play for the Click for Cans Championship and the ultimate prize—thousands of cans of soup for their local Feeding America food bank. Among the AFC teams competing in the inaugural Click for Cans Championship postseason are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the playoffs.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Steelers trailed the Buffalo Bills by 18,000 votes with voting ending Thursday, January 15 at 11:59pm ET. In addition to the donations made to the conference winners (12,000 cans each) and the Click for Cans overall champion (an additional 5,000 cans), Chunky soup will donate 1,000 cans of soup to each team’s Feeding America food bank affiliate on behalf of the Campbell’s Chunky/NFL Tackling Hunger program.

So vote for the Steelers in the Click for Cans contest.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

Welcome to the first Trivia Tuesday of 2009! Given below is the fictional country and actor/actors. Your challenge is to name the movie in which they appear.

1. Tecala; Russell Crowe

2. Val Verde; Arnold Schwarzeneggar (two possible answers)

3. Isthmus; Timothy Dalton, Robert Davi

4. Matobo; Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman

5. Parador; Richard Dreyfuss

6. Florin/Guilder; Cary Elwes; Robin Wright Penn

7. Freedonia; The Marx Brothers

8. Krakozhia; Tom Hanks

9. Zamunda; Eddie Murphy

10. Genovia; Anne Hathaway

As always, please do not use the internet for the answers. Please leave your answers in the comments section. Good luck!

Thanks again to Stump Trivia for creating these fun quizzes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Morning Thoughts

While I must mention yesterday's Steelers game, I also have some thoughts on other topics below.

After seeing every road team win during this playoff weekend, the Steelers looked really good Sunday afternoon in comparison. Willie Parker had his best game of the season running for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 181 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly, had no interceptions or fumbles and was only sacked once. Santonio Holmes had a huge punt return for a touchdown, and the Steelers defense did a great job shutting down Darren Sproles who was held to 15 yards rushing and 91 yards receiving, 62 of which came on a late touchdown when the game was out of reach.

Next up is the Baltimore Ravens: Round 3. Remember how Baltimore Ravens fans complained after Santonio Holmes’ catch was ruled a touchdown on December 14? Well, they’re still bitter. Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun wrote the following after Saturday's Ravens win, "These Ravens won with some help from the officials. In a season in which it seemed as if they never got a break from the officiating crew, the Ravens got a big one yesterday: no penalty when the play clock expired before Flacco's 23-yard pass to Heap on the game-winning drive." I really hate the Ravens and Ravens fans.

I highly recommend Slumdog Millionaire, which I saw this weekend. Just a great story based around a game show, a scary childhood and a bit of a love story.

I watched part of the Golden Globes last night and felt bad when they introduced the star of Hotel for Dogs, Don Cheadle. Cheadle is an amazing actor from Hotel Rwanda, the Ocean 11 films, and Crash but because Hotel for Dogs comes out soon, he has to be attached to that film when presented?

The high in Montreal on Thursday is going to be -4 and then -3 on Friday. That’s the high! I can’t wait!

Based on this forecast, I’m not sure if my Louis Lipps jersey will make the hockey road trip as I may need to the room in my suitcase for multiple parkas.

Oh, I'm still looking for recommendations of things to do on my Canadian road trip, but I'm now looking primarily for indoor activities. Thanks.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Steelers-Chargers Live Blog

Since I'm watching the game from home, I might as well share my thoughts about the game with friends/fellow Steelers fans.

Weekend Links

Are you sitting around waiting for the football games to start? As I’m writing this, there’s still over 7 hours until the Steelers-Chargers game begins. Ugh. Well, here are some links to help you pass the time.

The New York Times has been busy writing about Pittsburgh this week with articles about how Pittsburgh thrives after steel, Dick LeBeau and James Harrison.

(h/t to Dan for the first two articles & Mondesi’s House for the third.)

Dave Siegel provides a guest post on Live It, Love It after meeting the beautiful Padma Lakshmi. (If you’re reading this from work, it’s probably PG-13)

I watched part of the Florida-Oklahoma college football game on Thursday (I refuse to call it the national championship because there is no such thing in Division I college football) and was amazed how announcer Thom Brennaman talked about Florida QB Tim Tebow. I’m surprised that Tebow hasn’t cured cancer or stopped global warming yet. Deadspin puts it better than I do.

Going Five Hole found a video of Mike Lange promoting the Advantage Van for Cliff Heath Ford. I remember the Bendick Olds advertisements, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Cliff Heath Ford. Are they still in existence?

Three River Sports, a relatively new blog on the Pittsburgh sports scene, ranks all of Dave Wannstedt's games as the coach of Pitt. Not surprisingly, the Sun Bowl game against Oregon State a few weeks ago didn’t make the top 10.

There are still spots available if you want to join my Rock of Love 3 fantasy league.

Finally, the Bloggeration Ball is only a week away. Although I’ll be out of the county/area, this sounds like a great event, so I encourage you to attend.



Go Steelers!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Canadian Road Trip

Let’s say that you are taking a road trip to Canada with stops in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Where would you go in each of these cities? The reason for this post is because I am taking a road trip to Canada with stops in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. What a coincidence!

I attended a wedding in Montreal almost 10 years ago, but don’t remember much about the city besides taking a river cruise and visiting the William Shatner Center at McGill University. I’ve never been to Ottawa, and figure that since I’m there, maybe I can be Prime Minister for the day. Toronto is one of my favorite places, and I plan on visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame on this trip since I’ve never been there before.

I’m heading to these cities as part of my third annual hockey road trip and will be attending NHL games in each place. Besides the hockey games, I’m looking for suggestions of things to do. Therefore, please feel free to add any suggestions about things to do and see in the comments section below. In addition, I’m also looking for ideas about places to eat/drink in each city, preferably near the arenas.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

TMI Thursday: The Secret Life

Some people have not been happy with my recent TMI Thursday entries involving my bathroom experiences. Therefore, I’m going to reveal something a little cleaner although probably more embarrassing. As a football fan, I obviously planned on spending all of last Sunday watching the NFL playoffs. I rooted for my second favorite NFL team to defeat the Ravens, but the Dolphins were unsuccessful. Then, I watched the beginning of the Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Vikings game. However, part-way through the first quarter, something happened that I never expected.*

During a commercial break, I went into the other room to see what my wife was doing.** She was watching a show on a station called ABC Family, which before Sunday, I would never be able to find. I caught a few minutes of the show, and went back into the living room. During the next commercial break, I flipped back to ABC Family, and as the afternoon continued, I ended up watching a marathon of the show’s first season and flipping to the football game during the commercial breaks. The show: The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

I admit it; I’m hooked on this show. I created a Rock of Love 3 fantasy league, but didn’t even watch Bret Michaels and company because I was watching The Secret Life. (VH1 will never air the show again, so how will I ever get caught up with the bus adventures?) On Monday night, as soon as the Rangers scored the empty net goal against the Penguins, I switched to ABC Family to watch the season premier. I haven’t been this into a drama since Lost or the first season of Heroes. And yes, I know that I'm 33.

The basic premise of The Secret Life (I think) is that a 15 year-old high school student got pregnant and everyone else in the show seems to be in a relationship or wants to be in a relationship with another character, both the teenagers and the adults, and then they rotate to a new person. Maybe that’s not the best explanation. Here’s a description from the ABC Family:

Amy and Ben are just your normal high school couple, except she's having a baby (and it's not his). Super-Christian Grace thought she and Jack were for keeps, but then he cheated on her with wild-child Adrian. This threw Grace into the arms of bad-boy Ricky (the father of Amy's baby). As secrets and scandals begin to surface at Grant High, will they bring the students and their families together - or tear them apart?


I missed the first few episodes so I don’t know how Ben and Amy got together or why he stayed with her after he found out that she’s pregnant with Ricky’s baby. Amy’s friends are also the worst friends a person can have.

OK, before you really make fun of me, I want to make a few points in my defense. The Secret Life features a pretty good cast including Steve Schirripa (aka Bobby Bacala), Molly Ringwald, Ernie Hudson, and Josie Bissett. Plus, I may have a new celebrity crush: Francia Raisa.



Finally, the ABC Family marathon included thousands of commercials for the Anne Hathaway-Kate Hudson movie Bride Wars. I think I’ve seen the entire move already. Plus, a brilliant move by First Response to advertise during this show.

Your turn. Are there televisions shows that you watch but are ashamed to admit liking?


* I’m trying to add suspense. Is it working?

** Proof that she’s not a football widow. Of course, the Steelers weren’t playing this past Sunday.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

State of the Ramblings

Tomorrow marks the fourth anniversary of Sean’s Ramblings. I never thought when I started this blog that I would make it to a second inauguration. I even surprised myself when I made it through the first inauguration which occurred only about two weeks after this blog began.

Anyway, each year when I write a recap of the past year and what I expect to happen over the next year, I tend to state something like "I don’t know where this site will go." I’ve never been comfortable about what I want this blog to be as I tend to write mostly about sports but also enjoy sharing my opinions on pop culture and certain experiences that happen in my life. Well, this State of the Ramblings is different. After four years, I’m finally comfortable with my blog and what I write about. I’m still going to write about Pittsburgh sports, but I’m not a Pittsburgh sports-only blog. I’m still going to write about what happens in my life, but not everything that happens in my life. In all seriousness, writing solely about my life would make a fairly boring blog as I would write countless posts about Ziggy.



I am extremely proud of the last year of Sean’s Ramblings. I gave a fabulous best man speech; received excellent opinions about whether to support the New Jersey Devils or Philadelphia Flyers; compared Edyta of Dancing With the Stars to Jason Taylor’s high school coach George Novak; informed the world about the Ebay auction where Greg Lloyd would watch the Steelers-Browns game at your house; teamed with lacochran on the "Does Wegmans Rule" experiment; bought Neil Diamond tickets from a bizarre 13 year-old; concluded my year of free burritos; questioned what NFL team Sarah Palin supports and if Hank Williams Jr. really is a Steelers fan; discovered that there are other Sean blogs out there; and had the opportunity to interview Olympian Ric Blas Jr. who represented Guam in judo.



I sold out a little bit this past year. A sports betting website contacted me and offered to pay me money just to have their ad on my site. I accepted. The ad was only here for a month since it didn’t seem to be a good fit for either of us. I also got paid for writing posts about a college football award. While the posts themselves were items that I wanted to write about, the deal was that I would provide a link and a logo to the contest. It was a worthy contest with money going to charities, so I don’t feel bad about selling out. I also received some free books just for a brief mention. I hope the trend of getting free stuff continues. As for having advertisements or getting paid to write about a topic, I guess I'll see what happens if the opportunity arises again. Just know that I write what I want to write about, and I'm not going to write about something I don't believe in just for money. (Sorry for the double negative there.)

As for where my blog is going in its fifth year, I think my general theme will be community. I attended my first blogger happy hour in November and really enjoyed meeting some great people. I hope to participate in more blogger meet-ups this year and getting to know some terrific bloggers better. I’m also working on something fairly big for the Pittsburgh sports blogs community and will have more information about this in February. Speaking of the Pittsburgh sports community, I got a comment from Cotter of One for the Other Thumb (a must-read Steelers and more blog) recently who wrote that it seems that I blog because I love doing it and that was awesome to see. That is as high of a compliment that a blogger can get, especially because it’s true. I really do enjoy writing Sean’s Ramblings and genuinely like where my blog is at this point of my life. While I would write this blog as my own journal, I really appreciate all of you who visit and read. Your support really keeps me going, and I thank you very much for that!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Referrals

To start 2009, I thought I would share real searches, generally from Google and Yahoo, that people used to find and visit Sean’s Ramblings

How do I return a movie to Redbox?

I know this is difficult so here are detailed instructions. Go to your nearest ATM, insert your debit card and enter your pin number. Select deposit and then place your Redbox movie into the deposit slot. That’s it!

What year did burritos start?

1998. There were no burritos before that year.

Daniel Sepulveda girlfriend

If she has a strong leg, perhaps she could punt against the Chargers on Sunday.

bathrooms on the fairfax connector buses

That’s cute.

Evgeni Malkin fort pitt tunnel

Over the past few games, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins couldn’t score a goal if the net was as large as the Fort Pitt tunnel.

crazy daisy sharm el sheikh egypt

So Daisy of Rock of Love 2 went to Egypt?

I hate manipulative people

Really? Well, I love manipulative people. Take that!

Steeler bohemian

I don’t know what this is but I’m guessing Edie Brickell is involved.

ziggy toy cat

Ziggy’s not a toy cat; he’s a real cat.

are you gellin? bitch get back to sellin

This may be the strangest search ever to find my website. I don’t have anything else to add.

That’s all I have for now. Trivia Tuesday will return next week and look for my annual State of the Ramblings sometime soon.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Pitt-Georgetown Recap

Did you know that the Georgetown University had a 28-game winning streak at the Verizon Center? The key word of that sentence is "had" after Pitt’s impressive 70-54 win on Saturday. Here are my thoughts of the game from my view in Section 404.

- When showed on the scoreboard, the national anthem singer looked like a frail, old man, who may not even make it through the song. Well, he quickly proved me wrong by belting out the anthem better than David Cook or David Archuleta ever could.

- Speaking of the national anthem, I hate the Baltimore-Washington people who yell "O" during the line "O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave." That is completely disrespectful and tarnishes the national anthem. Stop it!

- As for the game itself, DeJuan Blair is the man. I didn’t see the complete stats until I got home, but Blair had 20 points, 17 rebounds and added 3 assists.

- I noticed during the game that the Panthers seemed to have few turnovers. I was correct as they only had 8, none by point guard Levance Fields, who also had 8 assists.

- The game was tied 40 all when Pitt went on a dominating 17-4 run and closed the game by outscoring Georgetown 30-14.

- DaJuan Summers had 15 points in the first half, but only 7 in the second half, many of which coming on meaningless free throws in the last few minutes. Nice adjustment by Jamie Dixon and the Pitt defense.

- I was expecting big things from Georgetown’s freshman Greg Monroe. The box score shows that he had 15 points, but I barely noticed him.

- The only negatives about Pitt’s performance are the fact that they didn’t get to the free throw line often (only 6 attempts; 3 makes) and the team shot a poor 15.8% (3 of 19) from 3-point range. Jermaine Dixon had two points and was 0-for-5 from 3. That’s our starting shooting guard.

- Gilbert Brown and Brad Wanamaker continue to impress me coming off the bench. They combined for 14 points and 10 rebounds and only 1 turnover while providing solid minutes, energy and defense.

- The CBSSports.com recap of the game includes this statement:

In the second half, however, it was Blair who was thumping his chest while chants of "Let's Go, Pitt!" came from the thousands of upper-deck fans who made the trip to the nation's capital.


After living in the DC area for 7+ years now, I feel like it’s time to address this. Were there people from Western Pennsylvania who made the trip to DC for a Saturday game? Sure. However, my guess is that the vast majority of Pitt fans in attendance live in the Baltimore-Washington area. The Post-Gazette ran a three-part series a few years ago about Pittsburghers who moved from the area and included the graphic below about where Pittsburghers moved between 1985 and 1990. Five of those counties listed are in and around Washington. Now, how many people moved from Pittsburgh to this area over the past 18 years? My guess is tens of thousands and maybe over 100,000. How many University of Pittsburgh grads now live around DC? Perhaps several thousand. So that’s why there were 20,000-30,000 Steelers fans at the Redskins game this season. That’s why half of the crowds at Penguins-Capitals games consists of Penguins fans. That’s why there are even Pirates fans at Nationals games. After all of these years, why do announcers and columnists continue to write that Pittsburgh fans travel so well? Well, they do, but the bigger reason is that there are so many Pittsburgh fans already in the area. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.



By the way, in the Washington Post recap of the game, Liz Clarke wrote that, "the near-capacity crowd of 19,397 fell largely silent as Blair and the Panthers put the game out of reach in the second half, scoring on all but two possessions during a 14-minute stretch." It seemed pretty loud to me with all of the Pitt fans in attendance. Was Liz Clarke sitting in the locker room or was she even at the game?

Go Pitt!

Oh, one final note. I'd like to thanks Clyde's for being the first bar/restaurant in years for carding me. However, they used a Sharpie pen on my hand to show that I'm over 21 that I still can't get out.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Rock of Love 3 Fantasy League

Fantasy football is over and the baseball doesn't start until late March or early April. Therefore, I need to have some kind of fantasy league to occupy my time. Thankfully, Rock of Love is back with a third season. OK, thankfully may not be the right word, but the third edition of Rock of Love starts this Sunday. So I have created a Rock of Love 3 Fantasy league titled "Why is There a Third Season?" If you are interested in playing and watching this train wreck, please feel free to join. Actually, you don’t even need to watch.

To play the game, you select three characters for your team each week and get points based on a list of items including:

2 points for getting drunk
5 points for refusing to leave the bus
1 point for saying ‘bitch’
4 points for sleeping with Bret
-7 points if eliminated

To view the group, click on this link.
To join, click on this link.

Good luck and have fun!

Update: So Fafarazzi sucks. When someone tries to enter, and I click accept to allow them into the group, I receive a message with a green check mark that says that the person has been denied. After three attempts at this, I'm done. I guess I'll have to read more books or something instead of another fantasy league.

Update #2: Todd from Fafarazzi apologized and said they are fixing the bug today. For now, ignore the first update and let's see how this works. Feel free to join, but make sure you do so before 11:00am on Sunday morning.

Update #3: The show doesn't actually start until Sunday night, so feel free to join by 9:00pm tonight.

One more update: There are still spaces available, so if you want to join, click on the link above.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

TMI Thursday

I wasn’t planning on posting today, but since it is Thursday, I figured I would share a quick story. After eating too many dairy products over the past day or two (mmm...cheese) coupled with some alcohol last night, I managed to clog my first toilet of 2009 even with a courtesy flush. Contrary to one person’s opinion, I don’t think that I’m using too much toilet paper.

Anyway, on that note, Happy New Year!