Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Home Found

Our search for a new home may be over. The only problem is that the commute from Earleville, Maryland would be rough. Oh, there may be one other problem.

The 38,000 square foot, 9 bedroom/9 bathroom/3 half-bathroom mansion is just slightly out of our price range. The list price: $34,500,000!

This home is "a classical masterpiece by famed architect David Easton a two time winner of the coveted Arthur Ross award celebrating excellence in the classical tradition."

So what is better: David Easton winning the Arthur Ross award twice or Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin winning the Art Ross Trophy once?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: NFL QB Edition

The last few hours of Yom Kippur were fairly miserable for me. As I was standing when the Torah was going through the synagogue part-way through the final service, I broke out in a sweat, had a ringing in my ears and my vision became blurry. After the Torah was returned to the ark, I bolted to the synagogue lobby where I sat in a chair for a good 15 minutes before applying a wet paper towel on my face and returning to the service. I made it through the end of the service though I became nauseous when I stood for too long. Therefore, even though there is a portion of the service when you are supposed to stand unless you are unable to do so, I was sitting along with people with canes or walkers. Even last night after Yom Kippur concluded and after not eating or drinking for 25 hours, I didn’t have much of an appetite. The theory is that I shouldn’t have overextended myself on Sunday morning by working three games as a soccer ref and then barely eating lunch. My wife’s second theory was that I am old.

Then, when I turned on the computer last night, I learned that the Steelers lost to the Bengals. They were winning 20-9 when I left for services on Sunday evening! I still don't understand what happened. Not a great way to end the fast.

Therefore, I (and probably all of us) need some sense of normalcy. That’s what Trivia Tuesday provides. This week’s quiz is courtesy of “The First Official NFL Trivia Book” by Ted Brock and Jim Campbell.

Your challenge for today is to name the all-time top 10 passers in terms of QB rating as published in 1980. Please note that to qualify for the list, a player must have made 1,500 or more passing attempts.

As always, please leave your answers in the comments section and don’t use the internet to search for answers. Let's see how well you know your NFL quarterbacks prior to 1980.

Good luck!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Still Not Happy With the NFL

I originally shared by displeasure with the NFL changing the start time of Steelers-Bengals game in April. Five months later, I'm still upset. There has to be a really good reason for me to miss a Steelers game. Generally, this is limited to a natural disaster or the rare work obligation. I'm attending a wedding that starts at the exact same time as next week's Chargers-Steelers game, but I'm trying to figure out ways to watch the game, even though I'm not sure if they have any televisions where the ceremony and reception take place.* At a minimum, I'll catch part of the game or frequently call family/friends for updates.

Yom Kippur qualifies as a reason why I would miss a game. With the game at 1:00, I could easily see it and then attend services and begin my day of atonement. Since services start at 6:30, the NFL's decision to move the game to 4:15 means I won't see it. A 4:15 start at a West Coast opponent makes sense; a 4:15 start at Cincinnati, a city in the Eastern time zone, doesn't make sense. HOMER ANGRY!

* I'm not sure if the bride or groom read my blog, but I think (hope?) they understand that the Steelers game is almost as important as the wedding. I'm being careful with my words here, since if they do not agree, it could get a little awkward next weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TMI Thursday: Stressed

I don’t get personal very often on this blog. Well, there are those TMI Thursdays where I discuss bowel movements, but um, who doesn’t write about that? Anyway, I rarely get stressed, but I’m dealing with some grown-up stuff lately. Specifically, we’re in the process of selling our home and looking for a new place to live. The problem is that we may or may not break even on our home (hooray for the housing market collapse!), but we’ll have a much better chance of selling now while the $8000 first-time buyer tax break is still in effect. The other problem is that we still have a lot to do to prepare our home to sell, but don’t have the time to do it between the High Holidays, an out-of-town wedding and that whole work thing.

On the buying side, we can probably get more value for our money (hooray for the housing market collapse!) if we buy now. However, we haven’t looked at any homes since the late spring/early summer. Plus, we rushed into buying our current home, and we don’t want to do that again. We also decided that there is no way that we’re going to sell our home, rent a place, and then move for a second time into a new home. Oh, and where do people get money for a down payment and mortgage insurance payments? I feel like we’re okay financially and we’re not big spenders, but the amount we will need to pay for a down payment and closing costs seems excessive.

So this is my life at the moment. It’s been fun (please note the sarcasm) pricing storage units and learning about the costs associated with stretching carpets. I’d much rather spend my time focusing on the Steelers and my fantasy football teams.

Please make sure to visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yinz Luv Da Stillers and Contests

Here is your weekly Yinz Luv Da Stillers:

There are also several contests I wanted to share.

- Win a trip to Washington DC to meet President Obama. I can't wait to fly from Washington Dulles to Washington National if I win. Maybe I can drive to National and fly to Dulles; take the bus to West Falls Church; and then Metro to the White House.

- Steelers Today is hosting a Steelers-Bears haiku contest.

- Make your college football picks. (Go Iowa!!) [RizzoSports]

Random Thought of the Day

If someone told you 15-20 years ago that LL Cool J and Ice-T would be stars on two network television series and Marky Mark would be one of the top actors in Hollywood, what would your reaction have been?

Photo from NCIS: Los Angeles - A show that I probably will never watch.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

As promised, we're back to a "normal" edition of Trivia Tuesday. Given below is the name of 10 individuals. Your challenge is to name the city in which they were assassinated.

1. Martin Luther King

2. Robert Kennedy

3. John F. Kennedy

4. Malcolm X

5. William McKinley

6. John Lennon

7. Franz Ferdinand

8. Abe Lincoln

9. Mohandas Ghandi

10. Alexander Litvinenko

In case you're wondering, we scored an impressive 10 out of 10. How will you do? As usual, please leave your answers in the comments section below. In addition, please don't search the internet for answers. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Steelers-Bears Recap

I’m still trying to figure out how the Steelers lost on Sunday. The offensive line played much better than week one as Roethlisberger was sacked only twice (once because he held on to the ball too long) and the team rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries (4.8 yards per carry). The defense held the Bears’ Matt Forte, one of the best running backs in the league, to 62 total yards and Devin Hester had only 21 yards receiving and did little on special teams. So how did the team lose? I didn’t wear my Louis Lipps jersey or have my Terrible Towel with me. My bad. Wearing my Heinz pickle watch wasn’t enough, but I won’t let it happen again.

On the serious side, the Steelers played okay, but not good enough to win. As I mentioned, the running game and line were fine and Roethlisberger played good enough to win. However, he did throw an interception and the receivers (Santonio Holmes comes to mind) dropped several passes. Defensively, I mentioned the positives above, but the team only had one sack and did not force any turnovers. Plus, Jay Cutler was solid completing 27 of 38 passes for 236 yards, 2 touchdowns and no picks. Although the team went three and out on their first two series, the Bears ended up going 7 of 14 on third down conversions. The special teams was the big negative though. Mr. Automatic Jeff Reed missed both field goal attempts and Stefan Logan fumbled at the end of the game. Plus, Ike Taylor and Patrick Bailey had costly penalties on kick returns putting the Steelers in poor starting field position.

Back to the non-serious side.

* Where can I get a pair of Estrada sunglasses?

* When Bears' Jeffrey Knox made his first catch, I thought the announcer referred to the WR as Cox. Cox was covered by William Gay on the play. The inner-immature-7th grader in me chuckled.

* Afalava: Best last name ever. Sepulveda is a close second (he had another good game).

* During the telecast, there was an advertisement for free fantasy football on However, the text stated except in California and Puerto Rico. So if you live in CA or PR, do you have to pay to play fantasy football on If so, wouldn't you just try a free league on Yahoo or ESPN? Can someone explain how this works?

Big picture: The Steelers are 1-1 and a game behind the Ravens in the division. This loss is not going to make or break the season. It was a road game against an NFC team, so there are no concerns about the conference tie-breaks. Next week's game against the 1-1 Bengals is much more important.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Almost Famous

My TV debut on Rizzo Sports Live is now available on the Family Life TV website. Check it out and please let me know what you think of my performance. Personally, I'm impressed with how Michael Rizzo looks so interested in listening to my ramblings. He's definitely a professional!

To protect the station from me, there's a disclaimer at the end of the show stating that "views expressed are those of the participants." I wonder if there would have been an uproar if I said that Pitt and Penn State wouldn't face each other until Joe Paterno dies. (You may notice a dramatic pause when we briefly talked about Pitt-Penn State football since I really wanted to say this but thought it would be inappropriate.)

Besides my interview which I'm sure will be viewed by millions of people, I wanted to share a few other items today. First, Phil of Phil's Occasional Musings did a live blog of the New York Philharmonic's Opening Night. This could be the first live blog of its kind

Second, check out the Steelers pregame show by Tecmo and Cotter. It's still a work-in-progress, but they're better than me. Maybe I could be a guest star on a future episode!

With that, I wish you all a Shana Tova (Happy New Year)! Actually, even though he didn't invite me to the White House for the Steelers or Penguins ceremonies, I'll let President Obama get the final word today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

TMI Thursday: My Argument With a Pittsburgh Steeler

I am a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and I am about to reveal a story that I've never shared with anyone. Only the people who were there know this story, and I doubt that anyone remembers. In the early 1980s, I attended some type of event at Point State Park in Pittsburgh. I have no idea whether it was the Three Rivers Arts Festival, some type of children's festival or just my dad taking me down to see the fountain. I don't even remember if my mom or brother were there.

Anyway, I'm not sure if Ron Johnson, a Steelers starting defensive back at the time, was there as part of a program (like "Meet Pittsburgh Steeler Ron Johnson") or if he was just hanging out in the park, but a crowd gathered around him. As a child aged somewhere between 5 and 8 (again, I have no idea when this took place), I was small and cute enough to sneak to the front. The following conversation took place when I got there:

Me: Who are you?
Ron Johnson (or someone next to him): I'm Ron Johnson (or this is Ron Johnson) of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Me: Who?
Ron Johnson: Ron Johnson of the Steelers.
Me: You don't play for the Steelers.
Ron Johnson: Yes, I do. I'm the starting cornerback (or possibly safety).
Me: No you aren't.

This continued for several minutes with the people around us trying to convince me that Ron Johnson did indeed play for the Steelers. I knew Dwayne Woodruff (for some reason, my brother and I called him Woodel-Woodel), Donnie Shell, Mel Blount, but I was convinced that Ron Johnson was not on the team. Finally, my dad must have reached me and told me that, yes, the guy I was talking to, Ron Johnson, was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I don't think that Ron Johnson was happy being challenged by a kid. Naturally, I noticed Ron Johnson every time his name was mentioned in a game during the rest of the season.

So Ron, if you happen to read this, I apologize for not believing that you were a Steeler, and I hope that you're doing okay.

Please make sure to visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sean on TV

Unless you count about 15-20 seconds as an audience member on The Price Is Right, I made my television debut last night on the Family-Life TV station in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Preceding my appearance on this network was The Beverly Hillbillies, Three Stooges and Share, "a daily Christian variety program featuring musical talent, special guests, and testimonials." Why are you looking at me (through the computer screen) like that? Maybe the station wanted a Jewish voice other than the Three Stooges to wish everyone a Happy New Year since Rosh Hashanah begins Friday night.

Actually, I was a special call-in guest on Rizzo Sports Week hosted by Michael Rizzo (and the man behind We talked about the Steelers, Pirates, college football, and other Pittsburgh sports blogs and I displayed my versatility by discussing Juan Martin Del Potro and the U.S. Open. Overall, I thought I did a decent job, though I haven't actually watched the video yet. In addition, there may be a new drinking game where participants take a shot whenever I say "we'll see what happens."

The show is re-airing today at 12:30 PM Eastern time (you can stream the video at that time from the station's website), and I promise to share a link when the video is posted online so that you watch it whenever you'd like (over and over again). Yes, you are welcome to mock me and comment on all of the mistakes I made.

(Update 9/16 @ 12:33 PM - The show airing on Family-Life TV is definitely not Rizzo Sports. I have no idea what a Trinity Broadcasting Network is, but it does not include me.)

Update 9/17 - The video is now available on the Family-Life TV website.

While you're waiting for the show to air or for me to link to the video, here are other items on the internets to read:

A sad day in Washington as starting Monday, The Simpsons are moving from 7:00pm to 11:30pm on Fox5. Homer angry! [DCist]

Sarah and Lexa remember Patrick Swayze & Dirty Dancing [Smart Bitches, Trashy Books] & [Lemmonex]

The Children’s Miracle Network is joining up with Microsoft to award three network hospitals with a $10,000 game room upgrade that includes flat screen LCD tvs, X-Box systems, gaming computers. Please vote for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh here. [That's Church]

Finally, since I specifically mentioned them on Rizzo Sports Week, please check out PSAMP, One For The Other Thumb and Behind the Steel Curtain.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: NFL Stadium Edition

I apologize for the long delay between Trivia Tuesdays. The end of summer and certain obligations made it difficult to attend trivia night recently. We made it last night, so I’ll share those questions next week. In the meantime, as I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom this weekend, I found a book published in 1980 titled “The First Official NFL Trivia Book” by Ted Brock and Jim Campbell. There is some fascinating information and questions in this book that is now nearly 30 years old.

Your challenge for today is to name the stadium where the following NFL teams played its home games in 1980:

1. Baltimore Colts
2. Buffalo Bills
3. Los Angeles Rams
4. Minnesota Vikings
5. New England Patriots
6. New York Giants
7. New York Jets
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (since this question is way too easy for Steelers – and probably all football – fans, include what year the stadium opened)
9. San Diego Chargers
10. Seattle Seahawks

Please note that none of these stadiums had corporate names. In addition, although some of these teams may play at the same stadium now that they did then, I’m looking for the name of the stadium in 1980.

As always, please leave your answers in the comments section and don’t use the internet to search for answers.

Good luck!

Quote of the Day

"If anybody’s house is broken into tonight, I suppose I’ll be blamed." – Nikita Khrushchev after receiving the key to the city of Pittsburgh from Mayor Thomas J. Gallagher in 1959.

The quote is from a pretty good book I’m reading titled K Blows Top by Peter Carlson about Khrushchev as a tourist in America; however, the quote in The Bend Bulletin is slightly different (and not as funny).

Stop back later today for the return of Trivia Tuesday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Desert Storm Cards and More

I visited Pittsburgh this weekend to clean out my childhood bedroom. Specifically, I spent most of the time going through my thousands of baseball, football, hockey, basketball and Garbage Pail Kids cards. If Dave Magadan gets elected to the baseball Hall of Fame, I could be rich due to the number of rookie cards I have of him. Unfortunately, although I have some excellent cards of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Barry Bonds, Jaromir Jagr, David Robinson and most of the best players from the late 80s/early 90s, they are probably worthless. There was a huge saturation in the card market during this time, and everyone still seems to have their cards, unlike our fathers who had their cards thrown away a generation earlier.

One of the items I found was Desert Storm cards. While these cards seemed cool at the time, particularly the world leader cards (I found cards of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Richard Cheney), in retrospect, it seems amazing that these were made. The United States was at war, yet, there were companies profiting over Colin Powell cards. What a nice bit of propaganda!

So it sounds like I’m denouncing the industry here, but I guess what I’m getting at is, um, does anyone want to buy some cards? I have some sweet Felix Fermin and Bob Walk cards available as well as a Jeff Reed card when he was a Montreal Expo (did you know he was traded by the Twins to the Expos with Neal Heaton, Yorkis Perez and Al Cardwood in exchange for Jeff Reardon and Tom Nieto on February 3, 1987?) and Willie Parker when he was a Center for the Buffalo Bills (he was All-Missouri Valley in college during the 1970 campaign)!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers - Week One

Jim Shearer and company are back with the first video of the season (not including the Jack Ham interviews). Enjoy!

Oh, if you're in Northern Virginia today, join the DC SteelCity Mafia and Mike Merriweather at Tortoise & Hare in Crystal City at 5:00 PM. More information is available at the Steel City Mafia website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quick Steelers-Titans Notes

Just a few thoughts from Thursday night's Steelers-Titans game:

* I’m sure someone out there is going to say that Troy Polamalu got injured because of the Madden Curse. No, he got hurt since big, fat Alge Crumpler landed on Troy’s knee/leg.

* While the Steelers will obviously miss Troy for the 3-6 weeks he’ll be out, I don’t see the team losing a step. Tyrone Carter knows the system extremely well and is a solid replacement. Plus, we’ll get to see how Ryan Mundy performs.

* During training camp, there was a lot of talk about Willie Parker and whether the team would resign him (or if it was worth resigning him). Talk about how Mendenhall would perform in year #2 and if he would take carries from FWP. Isaac Redman and Frank "the Tank" Summers also got a lot of press. However, no one mentioned Mewelde Moore, who was only the best Steelers running back last night. I don’t think you could ask for a better 3rd down/2-minute drill back. He catches the ball well, makes smart decisions (see running out of bounds with 1 second left in the first half; of course, it got wiped out by a penalty), and can block.

* Although Roethlisberger threw 33 completions for 363 yards, you might have noticed that none of those completions and receiving yards went to Limas Sweed. Perhaps Rob was correct in his prediction that Sweed would have no more than 10 catches, 1 TD and 150 yards.

* I don’t remember being this excited for the Steelers’ special teams in years. Logan is an exciting returner; Sepulveda had a nice game; Reed is nearly automatic; and there was even a blocked field goal.

* Finally, this Ziggy did as much for the Steelers last night as Ziggy Hood.

Overall, the team is 1-0 with a win over a quality AFC opponent. Plus, the Steelers now get 10 days off until they face Chicago next Sunday.

As always, you can read more about the game on the Post-Gazette and by visiting the other Pittsburgh sports blogs listed on the right side of this page.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Steelers-Titans LiveBlog

If you're not at Heinz Field or the Pour House, where there is an extremely small chance that the Penguins players will celebrate their visit to the White House by bringing the Stanley Cup to a Steelers bar and hang out to watch the game, join me and the guys of White Nerdy Wonks for a live blog of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game. (That was one really long sentence.)

Besides the game, here's a question to ponder. Why is VH1 airing Behind the Music: Lil' Wayne tonight? Isn't much of his audience (and Lil' Wayne himself) football fans who will probably watch the first game of the NFL season?

2009-2010 Steelers Predictions

The NFL season (finally) officially begins tonight when the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers face the Tennessee Titans. As a preview of the 2009-2010 season, I decided to ask some of my favorite Steeler fan bloggers their predictions for the season. Unfortunately, they did not reply. Instead, here are the predictions from other folks! (A little humor for you!)

Before we begin, here are your fine panels of experts:

* drinkyourmilkshake of Behind the Steel Curtain
* Phil of Phil's Occasional Musings
* Michael Rizzo of Rizzo Sports (and the Rizzo Sports Blog)
* Messiah of White Nerdy Wonks
* Donald of Steelers Today
* Marc of White Nerdy Wonks
* Steve of Steve Is Alive
* Gobo of White Nerdy Works
* Sean of Sean's Ramblings (That's me!)
* Rob of The Bluey Blog

1. Number of sacks James Harrison will have this season.

DYM - 16, also the number of babies he will eat this season.
Phil - 15, though a few of them might be questionable when the QB falls down and covers his head as Silverback speeds toward him.
Michael - 17, He'll battle with Timmons of the team lead.
Messiah - He and Woodley will flip-flop on who is able to get to the QB more often. Let's go with 12 sacks for Harrison.
Donald - If the refs continue to let offensive linemen hold Harrison on every play, he'll have 18 sacks. If they don't allow him to be held, he'll have 79 sacks.
Marc - 19.5
Steve - 12 for James. Woodley leads the team with 15.5 this year!
Gobo - 12.5
Sean - 14
Rob - 23, breaking Michael Strahan's record.

2. Limas Sweed's numbers (catches, yards & touchdowns).

DYM - 25 catches, 400 yards, 5 touchdowns.
Phil - 45, 750, 7
Michael - 52 / 10 - He'll be the favorite receiver near the End Zone
Messiah - Limas will have a year reminiscent of Nate Washington two years ago. 30 catches, 450 yards, 5 TDs.
Donald - As longs as it's more than last year, I'll be happy. Ummmmm, except drops. I want to see less of those.
Marc - 30, 350, 2
Steve - 34 grabs. 765 yards 4 TD's. I think that is fair?!?!
Gobo - 45 catches, 625 yards, 5 TD
Sean - 35 catches, 475 yards, 4 TDs. Solid numbers for a 4th receiver (I'm considering Heath as #3).
Rob - Do you mean butterfingers? No more than 10 catches, 1 TD and 150 yards. Yeah, I'm serious.

3. Stefan Logan: Reminds me of Antwaan Randle El as a Steeler; Greatest returner in team history; or Another Allen Rossum? (Sean's note: This was a poorly formed question as I was only referring to Logan as a returner)

DYM - Better than Randle-El, easily gets in the end-zone at least three times this season.
Phil - I hope he's another Antwaan Randle-El. We're going to need a guy like that to compete in the new "all-Wildcat, all the time" NFL of 2009.
Michael - He'll be good.
Messiah - Too early to tell. I'd say he's not quite Twaan, but certainly better than Colclough.
Donald - I predict that Logan will become the greatest 5'7" returner in team history.
Marc - El, yeah
Steve - I think he will be in the middle. Randle El was one of a kind and contributed more on offense than Logan will (or is expected to). However, I do expect MANY game changing plays from the pint sized CFL star.
Gobo - Better than Rossum, not quite Randle-El because he can’t QB. I’ll go with 2 return TDs this year, with another 6 called back for holding.
Sean - I love any professional athlete that is the same height as me! He'll be solid and will finish 3rd in the AFC in average punting return yards with 2 TDs.
Rob - He's the real deal and will finally make us forget Randle El.

4. Will Jeff Reed be arrested during the season?

DYM - Perhaps if Chris Hanson starts "To Catch a Predator" back up.
Phil - Only by drunken, curvaceous women in Strip District bars.
Michael - Arrested - NO, he plays for the Steelers, which means people will go out of their way not to arrest him. He has a much better chance of being a honorary Allegheny County Sheriff, or being named ambassador to Luxembourg.
Messiah - Depends on how well the ball boys keep the towel dispenser stocked in the clubhouse
Donald - No. However, he will get several under-aged girls pregnant and secretly pay for them to have abortions.
Marc - No, during the off season
Steve - Only if Sheetz is out of paper towels again.......
Gobo - No, but shortly thereafter.
Sean - Some civil lawsuits, but no arrests.
Rob - Once, for drunk and disorderly conduct.

5. Who will lead the team in touchdowns scored?

DYM - Santonio Holmes
Phil - Santonio Holmes
Michael - Parker
Messiah - Willie Parker
Donald - Hines Ward. Or Willie Parker. Or Rashard Mendenhall. Or Santonio Holmes. Or Heath Miller. Or Frank Summers. Or.......Ummm, how many guesses do I get?
Marc - Holmes
Steve - William Parker. I guarantee a BIG season for # 39.
Gobo - Holmes
Sean - Fast Willie Parker with 10 TDs. I should have drafted him in one of my fantasy leagues!
Rob - Rashard Mendenhall

6. Season prediction (please include the team record) + Any other thoughts/predictions:

DYM - The Steelers will be awesome, #1 defense, top 10 offense, and another SB run. 13-3 record.

Phil - 11-5, AFC North champions. It's extraordinarily difficult to repeat as Super Bowl champions. I think we're going to have another good year and win the division but lose a close-game heartbreaker in the playoffs. Maybe that's just what I'm used to as a fan. Despite our success, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't have something to complain about when it comes to the Steelers.

Michael - 15-1 - The Steelers have a great chance to go undefeated. The Steelers should win another Super Bowl, if they get by Tennessee on Thursday, their only stumbling block to an undefeated season might be the Detroit [game].

Messiah - Willie Parker has a return to 2006 greatness, starts all 16 games, finishes in the top 3 in rushing, and will actually make people sad when he leaves after the season. Steelers lose to the Ravens at least once, go 12-4 (losses to Titans, Vikings, Ravens, Dolphins in meaningless last week), but win division due to Ravens' tougher schedule. Will get playoff bye, but facing Colts and Pats in back-to-back weeks could prove too tough, when the regular season schedule was relatively conflict-free.

Donald - 13-3. AFC North champs. AFC champs. Super Bowl champs.

Marc - 12-4 with some distance in the playoffs. Plus, Browns go 0&16

Steve - Take a look at the schedule again - there is no reason why the Steelers can't repeat as AFC North Champions. They play the entire AFC West (Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, and Chargers), the Lions, and the Browns twice - that is 7 wins right there, with the Chargers being the toughest game. I honestly truly believe (fan bias aside) the Steelers will go 13-3 and return to the Super Bowl. "Big Play" Willie Gay is going to have a breakout season and will lead the team in INT's.

Gobo - 12-4, win AFC North, #2 seed, have to go to Foxboro for the AFC Championship game. I’m not predicting that game because I’m afraid to predict a win, but
It’s too depressing to predict a loss. If they make it to the SB, they win. Lawrence Timmons will have at least 10 sacks and turnovers (INT or FF) combined.

Sean - 12-4 and another division title. I don't want to make any predictions about the playoffs since I may need to do a similar post in January! In addition, instead of the Summer of George, this will be the Fall of Sepulveda!

Rob - 12-4. Steelers beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XLIV

Feel free to add your own predictions in the comments section.

I also asked these questions to The Restaurant Refugee, and though he declined to make specific predictions, he shared this amazing story from a trip to training camp and meeting Mean Joe Greene.

As a native Washingtonian, it is frequently assumed that I am a fan of the hometown squad*. I take particular pride in resolving this misconception by stating “I am a Pittsburgh Steeler fan by birth and the grace of God.” My father was born in Pittsburgh and the first thing he taught me about football was “you love the Steelers… this is a football.”

As children, my sister and I went to training camps to see our heroes up close. One day my sister had to use the restroom as the practice was breaking. I got to meet Mean Joe Greene, and got him to autograph my jersey. My sister got a wait for the bathroom. Of course, I teased her about her poorly timed bladder and my good fortune. She wrote MJG a letter explaining what happened. He replied with a personal and hand-written note which read:

Thanks for being my number one fan. I am sorry that I didn’t get to meet you on your last visit. I hope these tickets** make up for it. I’ll see you in the stands.
Best Wishes,
Mean Joe Greene

As if this incredibly gracious gesture weren’t enough, Mr. Greene had his letter laminated onto a piece of wood with an autographed picture. It hung in my sister’s room until she bought her own place where it hangs prominently in her living room. I’m not sure where my jersey is.

Regarding this season, my best guess is that the Steelers get back to the playoffs with a first round bye. Beyond that, I have no predictions. I am comforted by the fact that neither the Cowboys nor the Niners are going to get anywhere near a sixth ring this year. We got six and the rest of the league can suck it until somebody else gets there too.

* I cannot believe that in the year 2009 we have a team in the NFL that still bears a name as patently racist and clearly offensive as the moniker of the Washington franchise.

** Tickets were to a game lost to the Bengals but who cares it was still an incredible thing to have done – and yes, we all got to meet him afterwards.

Finally, there will be a live blog here of tonight's Steelers-Titans game. Feel free to add your thoughts while watching the game. Go Steelers!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ted Marshall Picks

I thought about sharing the rosters for all four of my fantasy football teams here, but I know that you don't care. Therefore, following Dan's lead, I'll share my picks for the Ted Marshall Open - TV Death Pool instead. My predictions for shows that will end at the conclusion of the 2009-2010 TV season (from most points to least) are:

10. Lost (ABC)
9. Til Death (FOX)
8. Scrubs (ABC)
7. Chuck (NBC)
6. Sons of Tucson (FOX)
5. The Marriage Ref (NBC)
4. The Middle (ABC)
3. Smallville (CW)
2. Better Off Ted (ABC)
1. Gary Unmarried (CBS)

A few notes:

- I am positive that King of the Hill was not one of the choices when I picked shows; however, many people seem to have the show as one of their 10.

- With Jay Leno's new show airing at 10:00 Monday through Friday and CW no longer having any shows on Sunday, there are far fewer shows to select this year compared to previous years.

- I feel bad picking Better Off Ted. It's a funny show, but the ratings were pretty lousy last season.

- Gary Unmarried is the new According to Jim. I'm going to pick it every year and hope that it goes away.

- I think I should have selected the new CBS show Accidentally on Purpose staring Dharma of Dharma & Greg. (Yes, I know that her name is Jenna Elfman, but she'll always be Dharma to me. Just like Neil Patrick Harris will always be Doogie or Barney.)

Look for a special Pittsburgh Steelers preview tomorrow with predictions about the 2009-2010 season. If you'd like to participate, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Please Invite Sean To The White House

Unlike most of my blog entries, I’ll get right to the point. How can I score an invitation to join the Pittsburgh Penguins when they visit President Obama and the White House on Thursday? I unsuccessfully tried begging to join the Steelers during their visit this past May. Any chance Mario Lemieux or Joe Biden is reading this and wants to extend an invitation to a Penguins fan who remembers watching Penguins games featuring Rick Kehoe on WPGH?

Troy Polamalu - Thespian

We've seen Troy Polamalu star in Coke Zero and Nike commercials over the past year or so. Now, Troy shows his acting range in this Head & Shoulders commercial:

There's a second Troy/H&S commercial that I think is better than this one, but I can't find it online. I'm sure that you'll see it once or twice during the football season.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Five Days Away

I saw my first commercial on NBC for Thursday's Steelers-Titans game. Although this video wasn't the one I saw, it still gets me excited for the start of the regular season.

Go Steelers!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fun with Social Media*

I received an e-mail earlier this week from myself. Actually, I received the following message from Facebook saying that I added myself as a friend:

Hi Sean,

Sean [Ramblings] added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Sean in order for you to be friends on Facebook.

The Facebook Team

I didn't remember asking me to be my friend, so I went directly to Facebook. As expected, I didn't actually send the invitation to myself. I momentarily got excited since there is a semi-famous person (in some circles) that shares my name. Nope. I received a friend request from a high school kid in New Zealand. I think I'll ignore the request.

* I don't think I like the expression "social media." To me, it sounds like Brian Williams, Katie Couric, Stuart Scott, and Larry King are all hanging out together at a bar having a good time. Maybe they're singing karaoke with Dan.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

TMI Thursday: Sean On Fashion

My mom recently sent me an article by Elizabeth Wellington of the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding where men’s shirts should be buttoned.

"Buttoned all the way to the top is just nerdy, the second button is uptight, and the fourth button is all playboy," said Craig Arthur von Schroeder, 31, a construction law attorney behind fledgling fitted-shirt company Commonwealth Proper.

First of all, I’m not sure that I trust a guy named Craig Arthur von Schroeder. I trust someone with a short name like Mike Tomlin or Dick LeBeau. Craig Arthur von Schroeder? Not so much. However, it is the next sentence(s) of the article that attracted my attention.

In men's fashion circles, the debate is brewing as to where the tieless man should button his button-down. What's certain: Under no circumstances should undershirts show. (It's all about the deep V for today's trendy man.)

Apparently, Ms. Wellington doesn’t travel in Sean’s fashion circles as I wear a T-shirt under everything. A button down shirt for work; a T-shirt/undershirt underneath. A polo shirt for casual Friday or the weekend; a T-shirt as an undershirt underneath. The primary reason I wear an undershirt is because I really don’t want to impose my chest hair on everyone on the bus, Metro, office, grocery store, etc. The T-shirt also helps keep any underarm perspiration from staining the overshirt. (If undershirt is a recognized term, overshirt should be as well.) Noticeably wet armpits are not attractive. As for V-neck undershirts, I feel like they just push the chest hair out.

So what’s a (sort of) fashionable mid-thirties male supposed to do?

I realize that this is a fairly weak TMI Thursday; however, it’s not like chest hair is a common blog topic. Please make sure to visit LiLu for more (and better) TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

You can also view all of my fashion posts by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Greatest Hard Rock Songs

I'm shifting the debate about the greatest hard rock songs of all time here from Gilahi's recent post. Within the last year, VH1 presented a countdown of the 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs with Guns N' Roses' Welcome to the Jungle finishing at #1. Gilahi's opinion is that this is a travesty, though he points out that he is not among VH1's demographic as he fondly remembers the days of Glenn Miller Orchestra (this may be a slight exaggeration). While I don't have the exact list available (I'm sure the list is on Wikipedia or part of a Sporcle quiz), I feel that Welcome to the Jungle certainly deserves consideration and probably falls within the top 20. However, we're wondering if this a generational difference between me and Gilahi? GNR emerged during MTV's hey-day, and WTTJ was everywhere (at least to me) as I was a junior high and high school student at the time.

With that, I'd like to turn the debate over to you. Where would you rank WTTJ among the greatest hard rock songs? Please leave your opinion in the comments section. If you'd like please indicate if you are part of the pre-MTV generation, VH1 generation (meaning that you grew up on MTV but now realize that you're too old for the station), or current MTV generation.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

WaWa vs. Sheetz

I haven’t attended a trivia night in several weeks, so no Trivia Tuesday this week. We’re trying a new trivia locale tonight, so if all goes well, look for Trivia Tuesday to return next week. In the meantime, I thought I would try an interactive activity.

Hank Stuever of The Washington Post wrote an article last week comparing WaWa and Sheetz. So my question to you is simple. Do you prefer WaWa or Sheetz?

Cast your vote on the top right of this page and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

1991 Stanley Cup Finals Game Six Via NHL '94

Here is your opportunity to relive game six of the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars. While you hear the commentary by Mike Lange and Paul Steigerwald, the "video" itself is directly from the NHL '94 video game. While I'm sure that every Pittsburgh Penguins fan has already seen this, it's new to me. Incredible!

My personal highlight: Paul Steigerwald talking about how he went shopping with Jaromir Jagr when he first arrived in Pittsburgh. Jagr bought jeans and jean jackets to send back to Czechoslovakia (yes it was Czechoslovakia back then).

Bryan Trottier celebrating with the Stanley Cup is also cool. Plus, Joey Mullen had a huge game.

Here is one more link to the website.

h/t Chris