Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Big East Basketball

Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline (who I've never heard of before today) wrote an article that really upset me, and I have no idea why. Basically, he wrote that the Big East conference is really good at the top and really bad at the bottom. The more I think about this, the more I think that he's probably right. Pitt, Syracuse, Marquette, UConn and Georgetown should all have great seasons. Meanwhile, Rutgers basketball has been terrible, DePaul has been disappointing and St. Johns is down at the moment. With 16 teams in the Big East, you can't expect all of them to be great.

With that said, how is the Big East different than any other conference? Every major conference has some elite teams and others that are not. Please show me a conference with no bad teams. You may say the ACC. Well, Miami is 4-3 with losses to Northwestern (who lost to Cornell!), Buffalo and Cleveland State. Who has Virginia Tech beat?

That's my rant for today. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Random Thoughts

* When did Britney, Paris and Lindsey Lohan all become such good friends? And who is watching Britney’s kids while she is out partying? I cannot see K-Fed taking on the responsibility of babysitting his kids.

* Is anyone going to see "Apocalypto," Mel Gibson’s new movie? I have heard no buzz about this movie except for seeing a few commercials.

* You heard it here first. Barring injuries, Robert Morris’ men’s basketball team is going to make the NCAA Tournament. A.J. Jackson, who is currently averaging 24 points and 10 rebounds a game, is a really good player. I’m looking forward to see how he matches up against Pitt’s Aaron Gray, Levon Kendall and Tyrell Biggs on Wednesday night.

* While it’s not a new show, I’ve recently discovered "Criminal Minds" on CBS. I’ve liked the storylines the few times I have watched the show, and Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and Greg (Thomas Gibson of Dharma & Greg) work well together. Plus, I don’t feel completely lost like I (partially) do with "Lost" and "Heroes."

* I’m somewhat famous! I was featured (I’m generously using that term) in Blog 'N' Gold on the Post-Gazette website. Thank you Blog 'N' Gold!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Season Over

For once, Steelers fans cannot blame a loss on Ike Taylor, special teams or turnovers. The key to the game was the offensive and defensive lines where the Steelers were totally dominated by the Baltimore Ravens. Offensively, the Steelers had only 21 yards rushing and Roethlisberger was sacked NINE times. Ben was probably pressured another dozen times. Defensively, the Steelers never pressured McNair and didn’t force any turnovers. The finals score was 27-0 but it wasn't even that close.

At 4-7, there is no hope for the playoffs. Five straight wins are not enough in a very competitive AFC. I also do not want to hear any discussion about trying to get a high draft pick. Although the Steelers have not played well much of this season, they are not going to have a Top 5 draft pick…Arizona, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Cleveland, Houston and Tennessee are all teams that are worse than the Steelers.

So what can the Steelers do to improve next year? The obvious answer is for Roethlisberger to cut down on interceptions and for the Steelers to get back to running the football. When Parker runs well, the Steelers win. The offensive line has to get better. Hartings may be at the end of his career, so the Steelers need to determine if part-time rapper Chukky Okobi is the answer at center. Defensively, the linebackers have not made as many plays as you would hope or expect. I think an outside linebacker may be on the Steelers wish list. While Ike Taylor has struggled this year, I still think he can be an effective corner. However, depth at corner is a must. I also hope that Willie Reed can stay healthy to be the answer as a kick and punt returner. Punter Chris Gardocki is probably done as well.

I’ll still watch the season’s final five games but my sports focus is now on the Penguins and Pitt basketball.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The 100 Greatest American Albums

On Thanksgiving Day, Pittsburgh radio state WYEP (91.3fm) had a countdown of the 100 top American albums as voted by the listeners of the station. Since we were listening to part of the countdown, my brother and I debated various albums and artists that should be included on the list. As a countdown of only American artists, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Police, Celine Dion and MC Snow are not included. Our initial thoughts were that Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys would be at the top (we were right). We didn't count Jimi Hendrix because we thought that some of the members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience may have been British. We also decided that we would only choose one album per artist; therefore, we had Nirvana and Pearl Jam in the top 10 (in actuality Nirvana was 11; Pearl Jam 12).

There are many problems with the list, but I'll share just a few. Tori Amos is at #30 and Ben Folds Five (who I like a lot) is at #40. Fleetwood Mac is at #65 with Rumors, but half of the group is British. Even if you do count them as American, how can Tori Amos be 35 spots ahead of them? Michael Jackson is missing from the list as are many Motown acts and artists such as Whitney Houston, Madonna and Mariah Carey. Oh, I have no idea why the Grateful Dead would ever be in the top 10.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November Referrals

I don't want to watch the Madonna concert special or pack for my trip home, so I though I would share this month’s referrals with everyone. For the new readers out there, I borrowed this referral idea from Sarah. These are real searches (usually from Yahoo or Google) that people used to find and visit this place.

dave wannstedt los lonely boys
I don’t see the connection unless Wannstedt is recruiting the Los Lonely Boys to play defense. Maybe they can stop the run.

lip incompletion surgery
Wouldn’t you want lip completion surgery instead?

star of quaker
I’ll go with William Penn since he is the most famous Quaker I can think of. It’s good to know that I remember something about Pennsylvania state history from elementary school.

lyrics crocodile dundee down under
That’s not a knife!

Who is shorty in Las Vegas
I think this is a reference to the mother of Flavor Flav’s next child. I guess what happens in Vegas…

jamal lewis's amusement park
Watch the roller coaster go up and up and up as Lewis runs for 2,000 yards in a season. Uh oh…Jamal Lewis goes to jail, so the roller coaster plummets downward.

tone loc funky col medina lyrics
I think it’s actually Funky Cold Medina, but that’s OK. The one line I remember was "I went up to this girl. She said Hi, my name Sheena. I thought she'd be good to go with a little funk cold medina." Plus there was something about the Love Connection.

Why football coaches don't wear suits
According to Bill Cowher, "I'm not a trendsetter with fashion statements." That doesn’t seem like a good reason. Cowher also said, "I just wear what they put in my locker." That seems more like it.

sitting on a woman's lap
I got nothing. What were you trying to find?

bendick olds
Don’t say Olds say Bendick Olds!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tabloid Fantasy League's Bill Simmons wrote an article last year with an idea about a fantasy celebrity league. I learned last week (thanks to the Washington Post Express) that this type of league now really does exist. According to the site,, the "celebrity fantasy league games follow a photo-based scoring system using TABFL's "Big Four": People, Us Weekly, Star and In Touch. Celebrities with the most photos will score the most points and help you win prizes. Each week we tabulate the pictures and record them in Tabloid Fantasy League's Celebrity Box Scores. Score with your favorite celebrities every week at TABFL. If your celebs are in, you win!"

I actually want to try this. I haven't done much research other than just visiting the website, but if you're interested in joining a league with me, let me know.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Prison Break, Heroes and Football

That's a pretty good Monday night! While I know that Prison Break is extremely unrealistic, the story is good and you become invested in the characters. And who doesn't like a little government conspiracy? Plus the show is easy to follow...unlike Heroes. It doesn't help that I've missed the first few episodes, but I have no idea who is who and how everyone is related. Who are the good guys and bad guys? I'm guessing we're not supposed to know. Over the past few weeks, Heroes has become a must-watch show for me. Are there other people who read this who watch the show and can fill me in? Is this like X-Men where the people are mutants who are misunderstood by everyone else? The person responsible for the tagline "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World," which has been featured in ads for weeks, deserves a lot of credit. I'm guessing that more than a few people tuned into the show just to see what that means.

While I'm sure some of you are expecting me to write about the Steelers, I'm going to wait until next week. To me, next Sunday's game at Baltimore will define the season.

It's halftime of the Jaguars-Giants game. I'm rooting for David Garrard and the Jaguars defense to have a good second half and hope that Jeremy Shockey does nothing. Here's how you (well, me) know that you have a fantasy football problem: I'm going to go to bed soon, but will not sleep well tonight because I'll be thinking about whether or not I won this week.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

TiVo Questions

I've talked about TiVo for months, and I think we're finally close to getting it. I do have a few questions for any TiVo folks out there. There's a current offer for a free 80-hour TiVo Series2 DVR. For $70, I can get the same thing except with the ability to record two shows at once. There's also a 180-hour series for $170. We can probably get by with the 80-hour model, but is it worth $70 for record two shows at once?

I'm also weighing the costs/benefits of the monthly versus prepaid plans. The prices for the monthly plans are: $19.95 per month with 1-year plan; $14.95 per month with 2-year plan; $12.95 per month with 3-year plan. The prepaid plans are: 1-year for $199; 2-years for $299 or for a limited time offer, 3-years for $299. If you use TiVo, what plan do you have? Any recommendations?

Feel free to post a comment or email me at seanramblings [at] yahoo [dot] com or my personal e-mail if you have it. Thank you!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ohio State-Michigan

I'm having a hard time with today's game. I received my graduate degree from The Ohio State University and attended about ten football games when I lived in Columbus. Granted, I was OSU the last two years of the John Cooper era, so the team was not as good as past and present Buckeye teams. Therefore, as an OSU alum, I am rooting for the Buckeyes.

On the other hand, I really like Steve Breaston, the leading punt returner in Big 10 history (I believe), who went to my high school as did Michigan's Ryan Mundy and Ohio State's Devon Lyons, but as a sophomore, Lyons does not play much. Besides Breaston, I'm kind of rooting for Michigan because of the passing of Bo Schembechler yesterday.

Well, I guess I'll just watch the game and appreciate some (hopefully) really good college football.

Oh, I want to thank ABC for showing Ohio State's marching band (TBDBITL). You have to get goose bumps watching them do Script Ohio.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random Ramblings

* Did you know that Ohio State and Michigan are playing each other on Saturday?

* For years, I have seen NFL coaches on the sidelines and thought they looked ridiculous wearing sweatshirts and track suits. It's actually refreshing seeing Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel wearing a tie on the sidelines. Apparently, there's a reason why NFL coaches don't wear a coat and tie anymore; the NFL has a rule requiring coaches to wear apparel from NFL-licensed suppliers on the sideline. According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, San Francisco Coach Mike Nolan has been permitted to wear a suit this weekend as a tribute to his dad. That's very kind of the NFL. Just a prediction: you'll see Nolan wearing a 49ers hat or tie.

* This is a few days late, but Andy Katz of ESPN wrote a nice article about the Duquesne basketball team. The team and entire university have gone through so much over the past few months when five players were shot. Sam Ashaolu is making a remarkable recovery. You can't help but root for the Dukes and although it was only one game, it was great to see them win.

* We ate at a restaurant next to a Best Buy tonight, where we saw people camped out in tents for the PlayStation 3, which goes on sale on Friday. Is it really worth it?

* After losing to Cortland last Saturday in the Cortaca Jug game in overtime, Ithaca College football ended the season 7-3 and did not make the Division III playoffs. Surprisingly, Cortland (9-1) also did not make the Division III playoffs. Anyway, the Bombers ended their season with a 7-3 record and only one school at any level of college football has a longer streak of winning seasons than the 37 Ithaca has recorded. I don't know what school has more than 37 straight winning seasons.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Links Part Two

I'm a little disappointed that no one else posted a comment about their celebrity matches or if the accent thing worked. Please feel free to add your comments.

I've also written about Chunky's Click for Cans. A few weeks ago the Steelers were in first place just ahead of the Bengals. The Packers have now taken a commanding lead with over 558,000 votes, almost 100,000 more than the second place Steelers. Great job by the Jets fans in having a whopping 3,228 votes. That's about the same number of Kevin Federline CDs sold.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fun Links

Here are some fun links if you are looking for something to do besides (or during) "Dancing With The Stars."

What American accent do you have? Click here, answer about 15 questions and get your result. Apparently, I have a Midland accent, which means I am from Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois or Missouri. That is true. One flaw in the quiz...there is not a category for a Pittsburgh accent.

Have you ever wondered who is your celebrity match? All you need to do is enter your birth date and the site gives you five matches. Here are my celebrity matches:
- Miriam Pielhau (No idea who she is)
- Christina Aguilera (I always thought we had a connection)
- Lisa Snowdon (The name was familiar but I didn't know why. She was the host of VH1's "Rock the House" and the BBC's "Top of the Pops" so that may be it. I guess she was also involved with George Clooney.)
- Cat Deeley (No clue)
- Amy Jo Johnson (She was the pink Power Ranger and I always thought she was cute. I don't think she's done much since leaving "Felicity" except for being on the pilot of "What About Brian." If she was still on the show, maybe the ratings would be better.)

I love fantasy leagues. I've written endlessly about fantasy baseball, football and television. Here is a new league that I probably won't enter: Fantasy Congress.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Follow Up to I Am An Idiot

Despite a 4:15 kickoff for yesterday's Steelers-Saints game, I was at the stadium by 1:30. I just wanted to make sure that there was no problems with the tickets. I made it to the specific gate and window as instructed and hooray the tickets were there. I handed the person at the ticket window my credit card and was told that it was cash only. Therefore, I had to go to the ATM where I had to pay the $2 service fee.

(Just as a side note, I really hate ATM fees and never go to ATMs other than those of my bank. Al Franken wrote a very funny book called "Why Not Me?: The Inside Story Behind the Making and the Unmaking of the Franken Presidency" where Franken's entire campaign platform was eliminating ATM fees.)

I paid the money, received the replacement tickets and entered the stadium. About 45 minutes before kick-off, Heinz Field security came by the seats to check the tickets. They wanted to make sure that the tickets we had really were the replacement tickets. If they were the real tickets, I'm not sure what would have happened. Maybe we would have got ejected or maybe the season ticket holder may have had his tickets revoked. I'm not really sure.

As for the game itself, it was nice to see the Steelers win. They really needed it. Fast (but maybe needs to be a step faster) Willie Parker had a huge game with over 200 yards rushing, but was tackled twice after 70+ yard runs. Yesterday really showed what happens when the Steelers have success running the ball and don't turn the ball over.

The Saints are a legit team. Marques Colston looked like Jerry Rice. I can't believe he is only a rookie. With Drew Brees, Colston, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn (when healthy) and Reggie Bush, the Saints could make a nice playoff run.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I may have done the dumbest thing ever in my life today. In fact, they should feature me in a commercial where I would get hit in the head by a Vonage box with the tag line "one smart decision among many, many stupid ones." I was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike less than 50 miles to Pittsburgh and 3.5 hours into my drive when I realized that I LEFT THE TICKETS TO THE STEELERS GAME IN MY KITCHEN IN VIRGINIA! My only thought was that #(&%, I'm going to have to turn around and drive back to Virginia. Of course, being on the PA Turnpike, I had to drive another 15 miles to actually get to an exit.

When I reached the exit, the phone calls began. I called my parents, who suggested that I call the Steelers. Fortunately, Joey Porter was not answering the phones. The ticket office asked if I was a season ticket-holder. Nope. However, the tickets were from a season ticket-holder. (Specifically, the tickets were a gift and came from a season ticket-holder. Does that make sense?) After about a dozen phone calls, the season ticket-holder (how many times can I use this phrase in a paragraph?) contacted the Steelers and I am OK. I have to go to a specific ticket window at Heinz Field, pay for the tickets, and when I get home, I will mail the original tickets for a refund.

The morale of the story is that I made a dumb move, but things will be OK. At least I realized the tickets were in Virginia today and not on Sunday.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


In case you were wondering (or even if you were not), here are some updates of things I have written about in the past few months:

- I finally switched my shampoo from Pert Plus to Vive pro for men. This is a "daily thickening 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner." After only a few weeks, I can already feel that my hair is approaching the fullness of Fabio's hair. OK, maybe not.

- In my first year as part of the Alison LaPlaca Open (fantasy TV league), I am currently in 2nd place out of approximately 100 entries. I've mentioned this before, but the purpose of the open is to pick 10 TV shows that will be cancelled. Of the four shows that have already been cancelled this season, I picked three (Runaway, Kidnapped and Happy Hour). Of my other picks, Seventh Heaven has received a full-season order and I'm worried that FOX will never cancel The War at Home.

- My fantasy football record is 8-1 (1st place) and 6-3 (2nd in points out of 16 teams). Having LaDainian Tomlinson in both leagues has been helpful.

- Joey Porter must know that I'll be at Heinz Field for the Steelers-Saints game on Sunday. In today's Post-Gazette, Porter is quoted as saying "We will come back with a victory on Sunday." The Steelers have not lost a game I attended since the AFC Championship Game in 1995. They are unofficially 10-0 (I don't remember how many games I have seen in person the past 10 years) in games I have attended since.

- The referral entry I have each month is taking a short hiatus. I save all of the "cool" referrals in a Word document. When my computer died over the weekend, the files were also destroyed. I'm sure you are all disappointed in missing the latest ways people find this blog by typing Suzy Kolber, Flavor Flav or "How Can I Get You Alone" statements.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night

According to MSNBC, with 1% of the votes in, Ben Cardin will defeat Michael Steele for the open Senate seat in Maryland. While the result may not be a surprise, Steele is currently LEADING 55% to 43%!

With millions of votes still to be counted, I'll predict that the Democrats will take over the House while the Republicans will hold the Senate but only by a slight margin.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are equally concerned as to who is the better dancer: Mario Lopez, Emmitt Smith or Joey Lawrence.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I feel somewhat fortunate that I missed most of the Steelers-Broncos game yesterday. I do have some comments from what I did see.

* Ben - It's OK to throw the ball away when you are being pressured and don't have anyone open. The interception Roethlisberger threw when the Steelers had the ball inside the 20 at the end of the first half was terrible.

* Coach Cowher - It's OK to run the ball. Steelers football is all about running and defense. We tried the air attack offense with Tommy Maddox a few years ago with poor results (6-10). I know the team was down much of yesterday, but only 19 rushing attempts compared to 54 passing attempts! The running game was actually decent averaging 5 yards per carry.

* Based on Miami’s win over Chicago and Detroit’s win over Atlanta, I think it’s safe to say that the only team in the NFL worse than the Steelers are the Arizona Cardinals.

So now what? This season is over, but what can the team do to return to the playoffs next year? This is a fairly difficult question because the Steelers self-destruct more than their opponents beat them. What personnel moves should be made? Is Willie Reed the answer to return punts and kick-offs? Will Cowher stay?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Vail Updates

* When I departed from northern Virginia on Thursday, I was excited to leave behind Jim Webb and George Allen advertisements as well as the Ben Cardin and Michael Steele commercials. While I haven't watched much TV, I already hate Marilyn Musgrave and Angie Paccione, who are running for Congress.

* I am staying at a beautiful hotel and have a comfortable king-size bed. However, is it really necessary to have 10 pillows? TEN! Four of the pillows are decorative so I just throw them on the floor. That leaves six pillows which are just way too much.

* The good thing about being in Vail this particular weekend is that the Steelers game is the local TV game. They really need to beat the Broncos today, especially since I'm going to the Steelers-Saints game next week, and I don't want to watch a 2-6 team.

* This just in...Vail Village has many ski shops.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Greetings from Vail

If I ever write that I am about to go mountain climbing, please stop me. When I arrived in Vail, Colorado yesterday, I had a headache and was nauseous. Apparently, I had altitude sickness. I took some Bayer and didn't leave my hotel room from 5:30 last night until 7:00 this morning. I feel much better today and am drinking gallons of water, which is supposed to help.

In case you are wondering, there is some snow on the ground, but the ski slopes don't open for another few weeks. The current temperature is in the low 40s.

Two quick items from today's Vail Daily. The front page discusses two bear cubs that were captured in West Vail. The cubs' mother was killed after repeated home break-ins and apparently the cubs are learning from mom. Yes, this is the front page.

The other highlight is that Sara Fisher is running for Commissioner (I don't know of what). Her ad features a fish with the slogan "Fish for Commish." Nice catch phrase.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Truly Reality

Flavor Flav is expecting his seventh kid and I am shocked that the mother is not Deelishis, the winner of Flavor of Love 2. Fortunately, the mother is NOT New York. According to People, all Flav would say is that the mother is "shorty in Las Vegas." Maybe it is Celine Dion.

In the article, Flavor Flav insisted that his relationship with Deelishis isn't over, and said he recently met her family in Detroit and they loved him, despite his reputation as "the black Hugh Hefner." I have never heard that reference before.

Anyway, good luck to Flavor Flav, and I hope that his new album does well. I think he's going to need the money.