Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Winter Classic Predictions

I am a Pittsburgh Penguins fan born and raised in Pittsburgh. I have also now lived in the Washington DC area for almost a decade, so I follow the Capitals rather closely. Therefore, I thought I would contact bloggers who are fans of the Pens and the Caps to get their takes on the Winter Classic, scheduled for 1:00 PM Eastern time on New Year's Day.

Your participants:

Ben of Capitals Outsider
Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Empty Netters
Sean Leahy of Yahoo! Sports - Puck Daddy
Rob of Storming the Crease
Brandon of This is Getting Old
Ngewo of Ngewo's World
Pat of Igloo Dreams
Cory of Three Rivers Burgh Blog
Sean of Sean's Ramblings

What a solid group! Anyway, I asked these folks the following five questions about the Winter Classic. Check out their responses.

1. Please predict Alexander Ovechkin's stats for the Winter Classic (ex. goals, hits, penalty minutes).

Ben -1 goal, 1 assist
Seth - 1 assist. The ice will be too slushy for skill player to do much. Expect some dirty goals.
Leahy - No goals, three hits, 0 PIMs

Rob - Ovechkin will register a hat trick, have 5 hits and 4 penalty minutes on Saturday. Or he could just skate around, hit people, and maybe register an assist. The Caps hope for the former, the Pens the latter. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Brandon - Ovechkin is always a threat every time he steps on the ice, but he has never faced a scenario quite like this before and will need change things up if he wants to be a factor in the game. Last Wednesday the Pens defense seemed to have figured out how to limit his scoring chances AND there is the potential for weather and ice conditions that will limit his mobility so his stat line will probably look something like this: 0 G, 1 A, 5 SOG, +/- 0, 4 Hits, 2 PIMS, TOI: 22:30

Ngewo - 1 goal, 3 hits, 2:00

Pat - One hit, where he tries to kill Malkin (again), but misses (again) and flies through the glass above the boards instead, knocking himself out of the game.

Corey - Oh man. Michalek is going to be like white on rice (if we are talking about white rice and not brown or Cajun rice) so it is going to be hard for OV to get a ton of opportunities. He will get his scoring chances and probably put one into the nets. You think the "refs you suck" chant was bad at the Steelers/Oakland game wait till you hear the boo birds for that goal announcement. He will probably take a run at Geno and get two minutes but it won't be a Penguins power play because Matt Cooke will probably breathe to negate any Penguins power play. I also predict that OV might step foot in his own defensive zone for the first time this season. I know this is a ballsy prediction, but someone has to go out on a limb and say it. No even going there on his double tramp stamp, can't imagine how his dad feels about that.

Sean - 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. Ovie gets all the pregame hype, but Backstrom will be the best player on the ice for the Caps.

2. Will Penguins' center Jordan Staal play and if so, how will he do?

Ben - Yes and he will suck.
Seth – No.
Leahy - No he will not.

Rob - If Staal can brainwash the Pens’ doctors, he’ll be back. If not, then he will begrudgingly watch from somewhere inside Heinz Field. If he plays, it’ll be mostly ceremonial.

Brandon - Wow, tough question. Jordan claims to be pain free and I'm sure he wants to get back out there as soon as possible but I just don't think this is the right game to do it. Even if he is cleared to play, his fitness and stickhandling will still take quite some time to reach where they were before his injury so I'm going to have to guess that he will be making his return sometime during the following week. But to answer the 2nd part of the question: If he does play, he will surely have a limited role. He probably won't be put on the penalty kill until everyone is 100% sure he is good to go. Finding a line for him is also difficult. I assume he will eventually center the 2nd line with Geno, but until his game is ready for that he will probably take most of his shifts with line 4. Can't see him being a major factor in the classic from there. That being said, I'd certainly love to have him back ASAP.

Ngewo - Yes, and he will get a SHG.

Pat - I have no inside information on this whatsoever, but my gut says no - the Pens are generally conservative and have a long term perspective. This is just another regular season game, after all.

Corey - Can't see him playing. As big as this game is to the fans and the NHL it is only one of 82 and it is the first day of January. No reason to rush him and play. He will be back later in January (hopefully) and be back to his dominating self shutting down power plays.

Sean - No but his brother will play in the Winter Classic next year.

3. How many times will Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau swear during the game?

Ben – All of it
Seth – A lot.
Leahy - I've set the over/under about 47, win or lose for the Caps.

Rob - The better question is “how many times will a microphone pick up Bruce Boudreau swearing during the game?” Seriously, he’ll probably be on his best behavior because of the national prominence of the event.

Brandon - Bruce certainly does like to use his favorite word quite often. He swears quite a bit when his team is doing well, and even more when they are not so I'm going to have to predict a number somewhere around 38.

Ngewo - 42 (36 of them will be F-Bombs)
Pat - On NBC? None. On HBO? 87 times.

Corey - Oh man. If there is a whole hour dedicated to the Winter Classic on 24/7 then I would put the number at like 78. It is not that even Boudreau makes sense when he swears. Like if you put out a book that taught you the proper way to drop the f-bomb you would see nothing from 24/7 on there. He is awkward saying things and you can tell he does it just for the camera. Maybe he is in with Vegas to try and win some money so he can buy some more Primanti's sandwiches when he is in town. He could also be shaving "points". Lord knows he isn't shaving any pounds.

Sean - Pretending to be on a Hadeed Carpeting commercial, Boudreau will be good.

4. Any predictions and/or funny comments for Friday's Capitals-Penguins alumni game?

Ben - Alan May will get into a fight.
Seth - Since Brian Bellows isn't playing for Washington, no.
Leahy - Don Beaupre is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree ... like old times.

Rob - Like everything from the past era of the Caps-Pens series, this one heavily tilts towards Pittsburgh. The roster imbalance is a joke, which either speaks volumes about the inequality of the two franchises’ alumni base or, more probably, the willingness of the Caps’ alumni to put themselves through the experience of playing in bad weather when they’re out of shape. Let’s hope the NHL doesn’t find a way to use this as a tiebreaker for the real players.

Brandon - I almost feel bad for Bondra. The lone man going up against HOFers like Mario and Coffey as well as guys like Roberts and Guerin who could still probably play today if they wanted. I'm interested to see how much intensity will be brought. Obviously, there won't be fighting or slew foots but I wonder if maybe Mario will try to split the D for ol times sake or Gary Roberts might give someone a nice smack into the boards.
-Pens Alums win by at least 5 or 6.

Ngewo - I got nothing for the alumni game, but I can guarantee that every time a Penguin gets a big hit during the Winter Classic at least 10 people will tweet (ugh, did I just use the word tweet?) that Goodell just fined James Harrison...

Pat - Nah - I'd love to watch it, but the last I heard, it wasn't going to be shown until January 5th or something like that...

Corey - This is going to be an absolute s**t show. It is going to be great to watch 66 be on the ice again and probably dominate anyone the Caps put on the ice but outside of him and some of the more recent guys that have played hockey in the last five years it is going to be pretty funny to watch. Just imagine your dad, or yourself, going out and trying to play a legit football game with his old buddies, or your alumni game if you were a college athlete. Exactly. Ton of fun for people to watch but don't expect a whole lot of great play.

Sean - Rick Tocchet will win a nice bit of cash on this game.

5. Who will win the Winter Classic (please include the final score and the player who will score the game-winning goal)?

Ben - The Caps, 4-3, Ovie will score the winner.
Seth - Penguins 2-1. Matt Cooke.
Leahy - Pens take it 4-2 with Chris Kunitz potting the third and decisive goal.
Rob - Caps 3, Penguins 1. GWG by Mathieu Perreault.
Brandon - Slushy ice and wind will probably = a low scoring game. Pens 3, Caps 1
-Backstrom scores for WSH
-Sid scores the 1st, Talbot gets the GWG, and someone gets an empty netter.

Ngewo - Penguins! 3-2, Malkin

Pat - Penguins 4, Capitals 3 with Mark Letestu getting the game winner.

Corey - The Penguins win that game like 4-2. Someone like Mike Rupp will score the game winning goal. Bing will have a few points, probably a primary and secondary assist each. Bruce Boudreau will probably consume 2.5 dozen of full wings in between the first and second period and then 4 dozen "wing dings" between the second and third period and wash it down with Diet Coke in order to "watch his girlish figure". I think the Penguins are just the better overall team right now and that will propel them to victory. I Caps are talented but I can just see Mike Green looking like a pylon and letting Mike Rupp sneak behind him after a 50 foot shot gets stopped by whatever jobber the Caps decide to strap goalie pads on. Either that or Backstrom will shoot it into his own net. It will be a good game regardless as both teams will probably be on the top of their games, as we have heard neither team cares for each other even though everyone from the Washington fan base to the management has an inferiority complex for the Penguins. So is life.

Sean - Pens 4-2. I'll go with Pascal Dupuis (the Iceman!) with the game-winning goal.

Thanks again to all of these great bloggers for participating. Please make sure that you visit their blogs. In addition, please feel free to share your own predictions in the comments section below. Enjoy the hopefully rain-free game!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Random Ramblings

* In reading baby books, one important aspect of being an expectant father is prenatal communication. This specifically means talking to my future child (is this a proper term?). I haven’t truly done this because I feel ridiculous talking to my wife’s stomach. I’ve somewhat made an agreement with myself, which I may very well break, that I’m going to wait until I feel my child’s kick to start my conversations. At that point, I probably won’t shut up talking about my day, what it means to be a Steelers fan, the joys of California Tortilla, etc.

* For the first time since my junior year in college, I am growing a beard. I haven't shaved since Christmas Eve, and I have to admit that my beard looks good. It probably won't last long, but in the meantime, I look like a young Don Johnson!

(Don or Sean?)

* I learned last weekend that I’m pretty good at Rock Band and Guitar Hero. I dominated the vocals of Styx’s Renegade, Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me and Muse’s Uprising.

* If you live in the DC area and have younger kids, I highly recommend attending the Frostival taking place at the Dulles Expo & Conference Center on December 30th through January 2nd.

* Pitt’s basketball team looked really good against soon-to-be formerly #4-ranked UConn on Monday night. I’m not sure if this is the year that Pitt finally reaches the Final Four, but at a minimum, they’ll get 25 wins and be fun to watch.

* When we first moved to Northern Virginia, we were friendly with a couple in which the wife worked on weekends as a meteorologist for a local news station. They moved to Boston several years ago, and I hadn't heard from them since. On Monday, I saw her on Good Morning America filling in for the regulary guy. Apparently, she's now a full-time meteorologist at an ABC affiliate in a major US city and big enough that GMA wanted her. Good for her! Nice person.

* Speaking of meteorologists, I don't expect the guy on the NBC station in Jacksonville to appear on GMA. The station interrupted Meet The Press to announce that there were flurries spotted in the Jacksonville area. He essentially said, "Although snow is not sticking, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY FREAK OUT BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A SNOW SIGHTING IN FLORIDA. PANIC PEOPLE! PANIC!" (or something like that.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

If you're on vacation, I'm sure that you could use something to stimulate your mind this week. If you're at work, it's likely quiet so perhaps you can take a few minutes participate in a few quizzes. With that, I am proud to present Trivia Tuesday featuring three Sporcle games. Good luck!

1. Name the Wide Receivers with 1000+ Receiving Yards in a Season (2000-2009). You have 9 minutes to complete this quiz. I scored a 169 out of 199. Amazingly, Limas Sweed did not make the cut.

2. In 8 minutes, name the towns of these Universities and Colleges? I may have shared this one in the past, but regardless, this is definitely in my wheel-house. I scored a 29 of 30.

3. Finally, you have 9 minutes to name the singers or groups who had these hit singles in three or more decades? I scored what I believe to be a respectable 33 of 40.

Your turn. Take one, two or all three quizzes and share your results in the comments section below.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yinz Luv Da Stillers

To celebrate the holiday season (isn't any time the Penguins defeat the Capitals and Steelers win on the same night a holiday?), enjoy Jim Shearer's latest Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers videos!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Scary Or Not

I need your opinion. Is Target's dancing robot Santa scary or not. Please discuss.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Greatest Video Ever (Updated WIth Commentary)

Apparently, a Norwegian television station gathered a group of "celebrities" to promote a new show or perhaps ever a new station. The result is arguably the greatest video EVER. Enjoy!

A few thoughts:

I love that Steve Guttenberg played Mahoney i Politiskolen. Of course, he also played Mahoney i Politiskolen 2, Politiskolen 3, & Politiskolen 4.

I understand lip-syncing Fab Morvan of Milli Vanilli but why Huey Lewis? I think he has a good voice.

George Wendt doesn't look happy being there.

I guess we learned that after all of these years, Right Said Fred decided to continue with the bald look.

Is Glenn Close upset at appearing directly after Tonya Harding? Maybe Harding threatened her.

The translation of "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" is "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." Seems like it should be something else.

Thanks to Messiah for sending this video my way.

UPDATE: 8:00 PM Eastern time I thought I would share some of the comments among friends made throughout the day. I found this just as entertaining as the video itself, and it definitely made my sick day better.

Bram: That was pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Since most of those celebrities were famous *some time ago* and haven't really been heard from since, I'm thinking "Let It Be" has to do with letting go of your ego (not in the Buddhist sense so much as the conventional sense) and going ahead and not being famous anymore or being hung up on the past. The ones in the picture album -- Pam Anderson, Leslie Neilson, and Micky Rourke -- stood out as being more famous and not as washed up, so I'm guessing they simply had something interesting to say on this TV show about fame.

The Katerina Witt / Tonya Harding pairing seems to emphasize letting go of old drama, but I'm curious why Glenn Close was thrown in with those two (and why Tonya seemed to have a huge bump on her head.)

I think the fact that obviously none of those actors were really singing, pokes fun at all that.

Really liked seeing the chick from Top Gun with long grey tresses.

Again, thanks for sharing, it's not a matter of if this goes up on my blog but the timing...


Gobo: Yup. Awesome.

Did anyone else wonder if the Milli Vanilli guy was lip-syncing?

I think the Steve Guttenberg-Philip Michael Thomas pairing was my favorite.


Nick: Loved the mini-Twin Peaks reunion.

This will clearly play well in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins have had 180 consecutive sell-outs and the Rednex version of "Cotton Eye Joe" has been playing on continuous loop in the arena.

As an exercise in restraint and moderation, it's wonderful. One more d-lister would have thrown this over the top.


Marc: Wow, I had to turn it off because it was making me laugh out loud - starting when Carlton appeared and getting out of control when Jason Alexander did a nice little dance at the 4 minute mark.

Corben Bersen has a really nice voice.

This sheds some light on the "why"...
This video is a promo for an upcomming season. I like Bram's disection of the choice of song...


Messiah: Who is the most random person in here? Benny from LA Law handling a high solo? Peter Falk waving on the beach? I think it might be a tie between Robert Englund and Glenn Close being paired with Tonya Harding and Katarina Witt. Also, Leslie Nielsen was clearly ailing by the time this was filmed, but is he drinking maple syrup? What else comes in a bottle like that? Also, I am disappointed that neither Eric Estrada nor Tina Yothers made an appearance. And as I wrote to Archi, is that person named Harpo actually a movie star, or did he appear in something or sing something called "Movie Star"?


Gobo: Well, Glenn Close seems to be the least washed-up person in the video, therefore was the person I was most surprised to see.


Sean: Thanks to the YouTube comments, Harpo actually had a song called Movie Star. My vote for most random appearance is the group who did Cotton Eyed Joe. Kathleen Turner also looked out of place.

After watching an episode of Family Ties last night, I'm surprised that Skippy or Nick didn't appear.


Nick: No way! Rednex are actually huge stars in Sweden. You may recall that their original label put the Rednex brand up for sale for $1.5 million US on eBay in 2007:
They are less random than the guy who played the janitor on LA Law/ Dr. Giggles. C'mon!


Sean: Fine, take your huge Swedish stars, Rednex.

By the way should we know Melissa of Falcon Crest? She seems to have a rather large scene.

One (last?) note...I'm happy that Dr. Alban made the video. Sing Hallelujah was a big hit when I was in Israel in the summer of 1993.


Marc: I'll take young Forrest Gump as the most random. Other categories:

Aged the worst: Kelly McGillis (honorable mention, Kathleen Turner).

Thought he/she was dead: Peter Falk

Should not have made the cut: Tonya Harding (honorable mention, Bud Spencer "Spaghetti-western filmer")

Should have declined: Glenn Close

Person I most wish they got: The other dude from Wham!


Sean: I just can't let this go. Marc, nicely done! I think Judd Nelson also gets a nomination for aged the worst. I didn't recognize him at all.

Maybe Glenn Close needs Damages to be picked up in Norway and this was the only way it would happen.

Who wins the best air guitar solo: Katarina Witt or Philip Michael Thomas?


Marc: PMT, by a mile.


Messiah: Marc, excellent call on young Forrest Gump. I think you are correct.

I think the Glenn Close thing is what makes the entire video so fascinating. It's got everyone that is so washed up, and then her, but it's not like they treat her any differently than Steve Guttenberg.

I was aware that Kelly McGillis is now awful looking (other interesting note: she is now a lesbian. Another interesting note -- she is actually younger than the Falcon Crest lady who Sean pointed out takes up an inordinate amount of time, and is pretty good looking for a 34 year old, let alone a 54 year old). I was unprepared for Kathleen Turner. George Wendt, in addition to looking unhappy (as Sean pointed out on his blog) appears to be colored strangely. Philip Michael Thomas' face looks liquidy, and Milli Vanilli looks like they did some Benjamin-Button-type CGI on him.


Archi: While I am definitely interested and amused by the existence of this, and why the hell some of them (mostly Close and Jason Alexander) chose to do it, I did not actually find it all that entertaining! I must be in the minority here. I actually still have to watch the last 3 minutes.

Bram - Katarina Witt was not involved in the Tonya Harding thing. That was Nancy Kerrigan. Katarina Witt did, however, display both East and West Berlin in Playboy several years back. It was pleasant.

Messiah - I am also confused about why some appeared to maybe be singing and others definitely were not.

Also Messiah and others: Kathleen Turner has been frightening for some time now. You may recall her playing Chandler's father on Friends toward the end of its run, and that was not a pretty sight. More recently she did a highly amusing, yet also kind of gross, turn on Californication.


Bram: Theo Huxtable, on the other hand, hasn't aged a day. His scenes got me to thinking they really need to do a Cosby Show reboot with him as the father of his own brood, and Bill can drop by every once in a while as the crazy-ass, inappropriate grandfather. It would be mad relevant!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

I have the flu. I'm not very happy about this particularly since I received the flu shot a few months ago. When I filled my prescription for Tamiflu, I asked if I could get a refund on the flu shot. The pharmacy said no because no vaccine is 100% guaranteed. Really? I didn't notice that! Anyway, although I feel miserable, not even the flu can keep me away from posting Trivia Tuesday.

Your challenge this week is to name the band that features a color in their name by the songs listed below. Good luck!

1. "Minority," "Longview," "She"

2. "Comfortably Numb," "Money," "On The Turning Away"

3. "Take Me Away," "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," "Burnin' for You"

4. "Fell in Love with a Girl," "Seven Nation Army," "Blue Orchid"

5. "Tones of Home," "No Rain," "Galaxie"

6. "This Love," "Makes Me Wonder," "She Will Be Loved"

7. "Hush," "Smoke on the Water," "Kentucky Woman"

8. "Give It Away," "Breaking the Girl," "Scar Tissue"

9. "Let's Get It Started," "Pump It," "Where Is the Love?"

10. "I Feel Free," "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Love"

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance.

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

Two Videos

If you couldn't figure out from the title, here are two videos courtesy of Jim Shearer. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1960 World Series Game 7 Tweets

Last night, for the first time since its original telecast, Game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees was aired on the MLB Network. The game was shown in its entirety, and the telecast included interviews by Bob Costas of members of the Pirates' World Series championship club including Dick Groat and Hal Smith as well as the Yankees' Bobby Richardson and Michael Keaton (who seemed to ramble on) taped during a viewing of the game at Pittsburgh's Byham Theater last month. It truly was amazing to watch. What was interesting is that there are no instant replays and the only graphic was the name of the batter when he came to home plate.

If you missed the telecast, I am proud to share some Tweets from the folks who write Three Rivers Burgh Blog; Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke; Ngewo's World; Pittsburgh Lumber Co.; Black And Gold Tchotchkes; current Pittsburgh Pirate Joel Hanrahan and me. Enjoy!

@ThreeRiversBlog I hope the Pirates win this game. It would be really good for the city

@seansramblings I demand to see the speed of every pitch. Why don't they have a graphic of this?

@MBandi I hope Mel Allen makes some crack about Dick Groat playing two sports, and Groat flips out and dumps a bucket of ice water on Bob Costas.
@seansramblings I can see Groat running around the locker room yelling "Where's Bob?"
@MBandi "You are a real man, Dick."

@seansramblings WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Home Run for Rocky Nelson. 2-0 Pirates. No fireworks though?
@whygavs John Galbreath is too cheap for fireworks! Sell the team!
@seansramblings Can we blame Nutting for not having fireworks at the 1960 World Series?

@ThreeRiversBlog Wait, this Pirates game isn't in HD?

@whygavs Seriously, imagine if a Pirate stood like that at the plate today. FIRE GREGG RITCHIE! WHAT KIND OF COACH LETS A GUY HIT LIKE THAT?!

@ThreeRiversBlog Is that Lastings Milledge in right field for the Yankees?

@seansramblings From the brief crowd shots, I don't see anyone wearing Pie Traynor throwback jerseys.

@ngewo I just keep looking to see if anyone has an onion tied to their belt...because that was the style in those days

@ngewo i think jamie moyer pitched in this game...

@seansramblings Top of the 4th. Should be about time for the AFLAC trivia question.

@seansramblings A lot of folks trying to bunt for a hit. I didn't realize Kenny Lofton played in this game.

@ThreeRiversBlog Man, a 4-0 lead, not even Sean Gallagher could choke this one away...just get us to Meek/Hanrahan/Dotel

@whygavs Roger Maris! What a bum. 39 homers this year? Total fluke. Never gonna happen again.

@whygavs You only have electric cars in 2010? No flying cars yet? WEAK\

@seansramblings I fell asleep for a few innings. Did I miss the pierogi race?
@ngewo They fired one of the pierogies for talking about ownership at a speakeasy

@seansramblings Who performed the national anthem for game 7? Jeff Jimerson? Donnie Iris?

@ThreeRiversBlog Clemente threw that ball underhand harder than most MLBers do overhand
@ngewo better underhand than doumit overhand, that's for sure

@seansramblings The ground ball the hit Kubek would now be shown on Sportscenter 100 times and sports talk radio would discuss the poor grounds keeping.

@seansramblings Looked like Smith may have gone around on that 1-2 pitch. They totally would have appealed to the 1st base ump now.

@sarah_sprague Not going to lie: Kind of nice not to have replay. Or Joe Buck.

@hanrahan4457 That ball was crushed!!!
@whygavs Mel Allen: "Hal Smith belts one of the most dramatic home runs in the history of the World Series!"
@whygavs Franco Harris is sitting right behind Hal Smith. This is incredible.

@seansramblings Richardson is smiling but you can tell that he's still upset about this game 50 years later.

@seansramblings No AC/DC song to get folks pumped for the 9th inning?

@whygavs The Pirates let Dale Long go for nothing! BingCrosby is cheap! SELL THE TEAM!

@whygavs Seriously, if the Yankees win this game, we’re still talking about that play by Mantle at first today.
@seansramblings Lyle Overbay would have made that double play.
@whygavs Bob Costas is now questioning Mickey Mantle. I repeat, BOB COSTAS is now questioning MICKEY MANTLE.

@ngewo no strikeouts in the game? psh, what kind of weird game is that? i guess mark reynolds didn't play in that one...

@hanrahan4457 That ball was even more crushed!!! Do work #MAZ.

@seansramblings And there was, noooooooooooooooooooooooo doubt about it!

@sarah_sprague Where Have You Gone Bill Mazeroski?

@whygavs Bob Prince's sport coat wins the internet tonight.

@whygavs What a game. Thanks to everyone tweeting and watching tonight. Someday, we'll have one of those to call our own. I hope.

@ngewo to all the bucco fans out there, thanks for making this such an exciting night. who knew it would be so fun to watch a 50 year old game...

@hanrahan4457 Alright y'all, I'm out, fun reliving or seeing the 1960 "game" maz is awesome, thanks @mlbnetwork, on the road tom, see y'all in iowa

It truly would be great to see the Pirates win the World Series again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sean Analyzes Popular Song Lyrics

Although I’m in my 30s, I like to keep track of music that the kids listen to these days. You know, I think this Lady Gaga could have a future. Only a few people know of her now, but she could be the next big star. Anyway, here are lyrics of songs from this year and my thoughts about said lyrics.

Mike Posner – Cooler Than Me

I used up all my tricks,
I hope that you like this.
but you probably won't,
you think you're cooler than me.

So let me understand this, Mike. You used all of your tricks, but the girl still doesn't like you, and the reason is because she thinks that she is cooler than you? Maybe it's you. Maybe you're a jerk and that's why she doesn't like you. Try to be yourself and that could help. Of course, maybe she is cooler than you.

Taylor Swift – Mine

Braced myself for the goodbye
Cause that's all I've ever known
And you took me by surprise
You said I'll never leave you alone

I think Taylor (we're on a first-name basis) wrote this as a romantic song, but this last line sounds a bit, well, stalker-ish.

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

I'ma get your heart racing
In my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight

Teenage dream? No Katy, you're the adult dream for many folks.

Flo Rida - Club Can't Handle Me

You know I know how
To make 'em stop and stare as I zone out
The club can't even handle me right now

I have no idea what the first two lines mean, so I'm just focusing on the last sentence. You know what the club can't even handle me right now means? It means that that he was an uncontrollable drunk and the bouncers kicked him out. The club can't handle him is a fancy way of saying that.

I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Sean Analyzes Popular Song Lyrics. Please join us again whenever I can figure out the lyrics of more songs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trivia Tuesday - Part II

I hope that you weren't sitting in front of my computer all day just clicking refresh to see if the second part of Trivia Tuesday will appear. Well, if you have, you can wait no more!

Listed below are the state nicknames either currently or formerly on license plates. Your challenge is to name the state. These are completely different states than those listed this morning. Good luck!

1. Treasure State
2. Beef State
3. America's Dairyland
4. Green Mountain State
5. Vacationland
6. The Natural State
7. The First State
8. Land of Lincoln
9. Pacific Wonderland
10. Garden State

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance.

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

Trivia Tuesday: Part I

Monday night didn’t go very well, but I’m not going to take it out on you. I’ll actually reward you, though I do need to share my frustration first, so bare with me (or just skip to the next paragraph). I lost in my fantasy football league by 1 point when I clearly should have started Matt Schaub instead of Josh Freeman. We lost trivia by one point. I had a streak of 11 on ESPN’s Streak for Cash but instead of selecting the New York Giants to defeat the Minnesota Vikings, I changed my pick to the San Jose Sharks winning a home game against the Dallas Stars. Naturally, the Giants won easily while the Sharks lost in a shootout. Streak over. Watching the Baltimore Ravens lose would have been a nice way to end the night; however, after completing an impressive comeback to send the game into overtime, Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans did his best Carson Palmer impersonation by throwing a Pick-Six. Oh well.

Tuesday is a new day, and I’m going to do something different. I am proud to present TWO Trivia Tuesdays today, one now and the second this afternoon. Listed below are the state nicknames either currently or formerly on license plates. Your challenge is to name the state. Good luck!

1. The Last Frontier
2. Live Free or Die
3. The Golden State
4. Empire State
5. Bluegrass State
6. Show-Me State
7. Volunteer State
8. The Silver State
9. Constitution State
10. Land of Enchantment

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Steelers-Bengals Video Recap

Here's all that you need to know about yesterday's Pittsburgh Steelers-Cincinnati Bengals game in several videos.

Down 7-0 with a fairly ineffective offense, the Steelers needed a spark. Enter Troy Polamalu.

With the game tied at 7, Pittsburgh got the ball at their own 20 with 2:21 left in the first half. Pittsburgh moved the ball to the Bengals' 40 when Antwaan Randle El made the big catch below. This led to a Shaun Suisham field goal to give the Steelers a 10-7 halftime lead.

The Steelers had a nice 15-play, 50-yard, 9:22 drive that extended from the third quarter into the fourth. The drive was highlighted by Hines Ward's 29-yard catch on 2nd and 30.

Although the Steelers didn't score on the drive, new punter Jeremy Kapinos pinned the Bengals on their 10 yard line. On the first play of the series, Carson "Mr. Pick Six" Palmer found LaMarr Woodley. The results were not very good for Cincinnati.

Honestly, this was pretty much the game. Suisham kicked another field goal and Polamalu had another interception which gave the Steelers a 23-7 victory. James Farrior, Ryan Clark, and Brett Keisel all had very solid games. Plus, remember how Terrell Owens had 10 catches, 141 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Steelers in week 9? Credit Dick LeBeau and the Steelers secondary to holding TO to only 1 catch for 22 yards.

Although this has nothing to do with the Steelers game, I can't stop watching this video of snow falling in the Metrodome as the roof collapses.

Next week: the New York Jets.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Links

I participated in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) where I created a new post everyday for the month of November. While I'm not participating in NaBloPoMo this month, my consecutive days posting streak continues. Anyway, here are some good reads for your Friday (or weekend):

Sarah is featured in the New York Times! I know her! [New York Times]

There were some complaints about the Florida Panthers yarmulke giveaway, but it's probably not want you think. [Puck Daddy]

Hire LiLu! [Live It, Luv It]

Remembering the Dave Wannstedt/The 'Stache era at Pitt. [The Fighting Wannstaches]

It's still amazing to me that the Steelers have only had 3 coaches since 1969. Here's a breakdown on how all the other teams have fared during this time, including the three coaches who lost their jobs this season. [Behind the Steel Curtain]

A salute to Bill Guerin. [Puck Daddy]

I like maps, including the one below. [DCist]

Finally, although this took place last week, props to Cory for putting together a roundtable of Steelers bloggers prior to the Ravens game. It seems like collaboration among the Pittsburgh sports blogger community isn't what it was a few years ago, so I'm glad Cory is bringing folks together. [Three Rivers Burgh Blog]

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pittsburgh Pirates Sign Rambo

After a 22-year absence from the organization, the Pittsburgh Pirates resigned outfielder Mike Diaz to a two-year, $4.25 million deal. Although I’m concerned about Diaz’s age and the fact that he hasn’t played in 20+ years, I’m excited that “Rambo” is back! Either my brother or I (or both of us) had a “Rambo” poster where instead of Stallone and guns, the picture was of Mike Diaz and baseballs. It was awesome, but sadly, I can’t find a picture online. I hope they create a 2010 version.

I’m sorry. I just learned that the Pirates actually signed Matt Diaz (pronounced Dye-As) formerly of the Atlanta Braves. I am less excited since he seems to pronounce his name incorrectly. However, if we all agree to call the new Diaz, Rambo, Rambo II or Rambo Jr., I think I’ll be okay with this. There’s more about this signing in the Post-Gazette.

Since I’m already on the subject of the Pirates, let’s look back at some predictions for the 2010 season made back in April. Our experts were Matt of Pittsburgh Lumber Co., Brad of This is Getting Old, Captain Easychord of Corsairs Affairs. Rob of my fantasy baseball league and me.

Andrew McCutchen’s stats (batting average, HRs, RBIs, stolen bases)
Actual: .286, 16 HRs, 56 RBIs, 33 SBs. I’ll give Captain the edge here with his prediction of .277/13/63/33

What current player will be traded before the end of the season?Captain and Rob both predicted Dotel. Rob also guessed Church. No credit given for the guesses of Iwamura and Donnelly.

Who will lead the team in wins?
Matt, Rob & I all correctly predicted Paul Maholm. Unfortunately, for us Maholm, and the Pirates, he only had 9 wins. Brad probably wants his pick of Charlie Morton stricken from the records.

Will John Russell get ejected during the season?
He actually got ejected twice. Matt was the only one of us to guess that this would happen, though he predicted only once.

Season prediction
The Bucs finished 57-105. Rob was closest with a guess of 65-97. The rest of us were way too optimistic in guessing 73 to 77 wins.

This will likely be my last Pittsburgh Pirates post in a while, unless the team signs someone named Matt LaValliere. I think we need another Spanky!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Trivia Wednesday

This just doesn't sound as good as Trivia Tuesday. Oh well. You want trivia, so I provide trivia. As a bit of a tangent, Good Morning America now has a brief "Tuesday Trivia" segment as part of their first weather report. My version is definitely better, but I feel like GMA should acknowledge my "Trivia Tuesday." I guess I should have trademarked Trivia Tuesday.

On to the questions. Listed below is the second part of 10 non-fiction book titles with the author and year published. Your challenge is to name the first part of the book title.

1. How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (Malcolm Gladwell, 2000)

2. A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, 2005)

3. Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (Ann Coulter, 2003)

4. How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Jared Diamond, 2005)

5. The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (Lynne Truss, 2003)

6. The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin, 2005)

7. Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog (John Grogan, 2005)

8. Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Barack Obama, 2006)

9. Why We Need a Green Revolution--And How It Can Renew America (Thomas Friedman, 2008)

10. How Religion Poisons Everything (Christopher Hitchens, 2007)

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

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

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Yinz Luv The Maccabeats

This is the second post in three days that is going to attempt to link Hanukkah/Chanukkah and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I recently (as in last night) learned of Yeshiva University's acapella group The Maccabeats. Check out their take on Taio Cruz's Dynamite. They are really good.

Speaking of Hanukkah, Sarah is giving away great prizes for each day of Hanukkah. Yesterday's prize was a Sony 300 Pocket. Make sure to enter for whatever she is giving away for the last two days of Hanukkah. [Smart Bitches, Trashy Books]

Of course, Hanukkah wouldn't be festive without a Steelers win. Enjoy the latest Yinz Luv Da Stillers video.

Trivia Tuesday may still appear today, but there might be a Trivia Wednesday instead this week.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Fancy High Chair

We went to a few baby stores for the first time this weekend. Holy crap am I overwhelmed! I knew that there are cribs, strollers and car seats, but I honestly didn't know that babies need to go in special bath tubs instead of, well, grown-up bath tubs.

Anyway, while walking around the store, we noticed high chairs, specifically the Bloom Fresco Loft High Chair pictured below. Doesn't this look like a barber chair? I don't know how much a barber chair costs, but it's possible that it is less than the $500 cost for this high chair. I obviously have no idea what I'm doing, but I think I'll pass on purchasing this particular product.

Now excuse me as I go stretch my car.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Steelers-Ravens Hanukkah LiveBlog

Happy Hanukkah or Happy Chanukah or Happy Chanukkah! So many different spellings, so let's go with Happy Sunday! Join us for a live blog of the Steelers-Ravens game. Will James Harrison get flagged simply for walking on to the field? Will Mike Wallace burn the Ravens secondary? How will the Steelers handle Ray Rice? How many commercials will we see for the new Depp-Jolie movie? We'll find out the answers to all of these questions and more soon.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

YLDS vs. Benstonium

I've hosted the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament the past few years, and plan to hold the 3rd annual contest in February. Although they are not bloggers, I've always wondered how Jim Shearer and Yinz Luv Da Stillers/Yinz Luv Da Guins and Benstonium would fare in a competition between the two prominent Pittsburgh sports video makers. Well, we don't have to decide. Simply watch their latest videos below and enjoy!

I really need to get back to Pittsburgh to check out this exhibit!

Update: I deleted Benstonium's video from this post because I think it was messing up my cookies. Now that's a phrase that had a different meaning 15 years ago. Anyway, while it like it user error, I encourage you to check out the video on Benstonium's website.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Alec Baldwin Loves Wegmans

There's probably not much that Alec Baldwin and I have in common. Yes, we probably both like 30 Rock (he has to like 30 Rock, right?), but he's an A-list actor who has won two Emmy awards, was nominated for an Oscar, dated Michelle Pfeiffer and Ally Sheedy and was married to Kim Basinger, regularly hosted Saturday Night Live and appeared in two Simpsons episodes. Meanwhile, I am not an A-list actor (yet), though I had some memorable roles in my high school musicals. However, there is one thing that we definitely have in common: a love of Wegmans grocery stores. Don't believe me? Check out these videos:

Baldwin's mother lives in upstate New York, and one of the reasons why she refuses to move to Southern California is her love of Wegmans. Really who could blame her? Wegmans is an integral part of my life as I'm there nearly every week. The proximity to Wegmans was a major factor when we looked for a new home last year. Anyway, back to Baldwin, he appeared on David Letterman earlier this year (see the video below) and shared the story about his mother and Wegmans. Apparently, not long after the Letterman appearance, Baldwin called CEO Danny Wegman and asked to appear in a Wegmans ad as a gift to his mother. Mr. Wegman quickly said yes as I'm guessing that Baldwin was the first A-list actor every to call him about promoting the store.

As you can tell from the videos, Baldwin is clearly not doing this to promote himself or his career. Wegmans is an upstate New York grocery store with some locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. I've never seen a Wegmans commercial in DC, so this must only air in upstate New York. So good for Alec Baldwin, good for Mrs. Baldwin and good for Wegmans!

There's more about these Wegmans ads on The Consumerist. I love reading the comments to know that there are others out there as obsessed with Wegmans as me.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pitt’s Home Non-Conference Schedule

A few weeks ago, the University of Pittsburgh’s men’s basketball team started the season by defeating the University of Rhode Island at Pitt’s Petersen Event Center. With that win and now four others at home to start the season, Pitt is now 80-1 (I believe) in nonconference games since the Petersen Event Center opened in 2002. This is an amazing record. However, after the Pitt-URI game, I saw someone on a message board post that they were not impressed with this record since “Pitt hasn’t played anyone.”

While my first mistake was reading a message board and now responding to it (this seems like the time I had an argument with a 16 year-old), I decided to look at Pitt’s nonconference schedule since they moved from Fitzgerald Field House. Sure, Pitt has played teams that never make the NCAA Tournament like New Hampshire, Maine, St. Francis (PA) and St. Francis (NY), Youngstown State, Howard and Penn State, but Pitt has also played some decent mid-major and major conference teams at home such as Ohio State, George Mason, Florida State, Georgia, Richmond, South Carolina, Auburn, Wisconsin, Dayton, and Oklahoma State over the years. Pitt’s only loss was to Bucknell during the 2004-2005 season, the same year that Bucknell upset Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Based on this list, I’m not sure who else the random message board guy wants Pitt to play prior to the Big East schedule. Generally, “major” conference teams play few true road games as part of their non-conference schedule as most games away from their home arena are part of a tournament at a neutral site. For example, Pitt already faced Maryland and Texas this year at Madison Square Garden in New York. Sure, there is the annual ACC-Big 10 challenge, but the Big East hasn’t had this type of arrangement. Yes, everyone wants to see more power conference teams play a more difficult non-conference schedule to include true road games at mid-majors, but that just doesn’t seem to be the reality.

Basically, Pitt has faced their share of tough home non-conference games over the years. That's what makes Pitt's home non-conference record so impressive. So, TAKE THAT, random message board guy!

(I really wanted to add the video of Ben Stiller from the final scene of Meet the Parents where he does that karate chop “take that” sequence, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. This was the last sequence of the movie, right?)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Major Announcement

Have you ever noticed that local news seems to have “Breaking News” nearly every day? It always seems to be a minor car accident or a cat stuck in a tree, but as soon as I hear breaking news, I stop what I’m doing and run to the television. I just hope that this major announcement lives up to the hype unlike the seemingly false alarms on local newscasts.

Over the past few weeks, Pink, Alanis Morissette and former Miss California Carrie Prejean all announced that they are pregnant. Well, I am proud to announce that I too am pregnant! No, that’s not right. I am going to be a father. To my knowledge, my pending fatherhood has nothing to do with Pink, Alanis Morissette or Carrie Prejean’s pregnancies.

So what does this mean for my blog? I can’t believe that you’re asking this! The birth of my child and the excitement of being father are much more important than this blog. What? You didn’t ask this question. Well, I’ll answer the question any way.

My wife isn’t due until early April, so I don’t anticipate any changes to the blog over the next few months. Once our child is born, I expect that my posts will be even more incoherent as I get less and less sleep. Otherwise, I may share some stories about being a new father (I can already see potential posts about the costs of certain baby products) and how or if I should hope that my kid becomes a Pittsburgh Pirates fan while living in DC. I'm sure that I'll still write about Pittsburgh sports and free food deals, so you may not even notice a difference.

So that’s my major announcement. Please drive through to the next window.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Mensa Workout Quiz

This is an extra special Trivia Tuesday. Why you may (or may not) ask? Well, today is also the last day of November. With this post, I have successfully completed NaBloPoMo and posted at least once per day for the entire month. Way to go me! If you're worried about there being fewer posts next month, well, that may actually happen. However, I have a bunch of things I'm working on as well as my big announcement which should occur in the next few days.

On to Trivia Tuesday. Mensa is a high IQ society that provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members. There are members in more than 100 countries around the world. Activities include the exchange of ideas through lectures, discussions, journals, special-interest groups, and local, regional, national and international gatherings; the investigations of members' opinions and attitudes; and assistance to researchers, inside and outside Mensa, in projects dealing with intelligence or Mensa. Yes, I took most of this paragraph directly from the Mensa website.

Anyway, Mensa also created an online workout quiz where you can see if you can be a Mensa member. Well, except for the fact that Mensa states that the quiz is provided for entertainment purposes only, it is not an IQ test and this score will not qualify you for Mensa. Instead, let's just see who is the smartest person to read Sean's Ramblings. Based on this last sentence, it is clearly not me.

The online quiz consists of 30 questions. You have up 30 minutes to complete the quiz, and, fortunately, the actual time taken is not factored into the scoring.

You can click here to take the quiz and then share your results in the comments section below. In case you're wondering, I scored a 23 of 30. Good luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Suisham for Mayor (Steelers-Bills Recap)

Yesterday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Buffalo Bills game likely took several months off of my life. I’m sure that it took several years off of the lives of Buffalo Bills fans. Here are my thoughts from the game:

- The Steelers dominated every possible statistic in the first half, but I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who was nervous since the team only led 13-0 at halftime. I guess I saw too much football over the weekend with Alabama crushing Auburn early before Auburn rallied to win.

- As a Steelers fan, I realize that I’m biased in that I feel like James Harrison plays the game hard and is one of the best linebackers in the NFL. With that written, I guess I can see how opponents feel like Harrison is a dirty player, and it doesn’t help that the league fines him for anything. Therefore, anytime Harrison makes any play, folks see it as dirty. For the second consecutive week, Harrison was charged with a roughing the passer penalty that I’m convinced would not have been called if the defensive player was anyone other than Harrison.

- Stevie Johnson had a breakout game last Sunday with three touchdowns against the Cincinnati and the “Why So Serious” shirt to counter the Bengals’ “star” receivers.” Johnson’s Q-rating continues to rise among football fans thanks to his drop on what should have been a game winning touchdown. I feel a little bad for Johnson since he seems like a likable guy. I hope he bounces back, particularly in weeks 16 and 17 against the Patriots and Jets respectively.

- By the way, we need a ruling. Is the Buffalo WR going to go as Steve or Stevie?

- Of course, Steve/Stevie’s drop wouldn’t have happened if Leodis McKelvin didn’t run into his teammate during the overtime kickoff return. The game really should have ended on that play.

- While Hines Ward had a nice statistics with 7 receptions for 107 yards, he disappeared after the first half. In the second half and overtime, Ward had only 1 catch for 24 yards.

- We interrupt this recap for another Steelers holding penalty.

- Even though he spells his name incorrectly, Shaun Suisham had a great game going 4 for 4 in field goal attempts, all over 40 yards. If he decided to run today, I think Suisham could win an election to become Pittsburgh’s mayor. Just look how happy he made Daniel Sepulveda!

- When I lived in San Diego, I regularly watched games at a Steelers bar where one guy yelled “Get some pressure on him” during nearly ever pass play when the Steelers were on defense. While I applaud the passion, it got a little unoriginal after a while. On Sunday, a guy yelled “Get off the field” every time Buffalo had a third down. This got old quick.

- I’m not an NFL General Manager, but I’ll play one on the internet. Why did the Bills draft running back CJ Spiller with their first round draft pick? Fred Jackson is a really good running back and the team also had Marshawn Lynch, a former first round draft pick, at the start of the season before trading him to Seattle for two undisclosed picks. With so many needs at other positions, that seems like a wasted opportunity for the Bills.

- I'm also not an NFL coach, but I'll play one here. Why didn't Bills Coach Chan Gailey challenge Troy Polamalu's interception late in the fourth quarter? Sure, Polamalu caught the ball cleanly, but he was down by contact at the one yard line. However, Troy got up and advanced the ball to about the six yard line. Although it didn't end up making a difference, pinning the Steelers extremely deep inside their own territory could have had an impact.

- Mike Wallace scored only a 2.5 on the judges’ scorecards for his overtime dive.

- Remember when Lee Evans was a decent wide receiver for Buffalo? Now all he does is recover a teammate’s fumble and go out for coin tosses.

- Did you happen to see Rian Lindell wearing sweatpants over his uniform pants on the sidelines? I’ve seen baseball pitchers put on a jacket to keep their arm warm, but I’ve never seen a kicker put on sweatpants to keep their legs warm.

- I’ll take a 151-yard rushing performance, even if it was on 36 carries, from Rashard Mendenhall any day.

- I really do appreciate the fact that CBS provides player statistics for other games during its telecasts. (Fox, you are welcome to do this as well instead of spending money on the ridiculous jumping robot.) This is huge help when I’m watching the game at a bar/restaurant and don’t have internet access. However, was it really necessary to include players from the Thursday night games in your fantasy leaders? If you didn’t know that Tom Brady had four TD passes on Thursday, you should stop playing fantasy football.

It was an ugly win, but a win nonetheless. The Steelers are now 8-3, and just as important, are 6-2 in the conference. Next week is the monster Sunday night game against Baltimore, who is also 8-3. Fortunately, unlike the Steelers previous Sunday night appearances this season, the Ravens did not lose to (or even play) the Cleveland Browns the week before the primetime game.

For more about yesterday's game, check out the game story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and ESPN.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Metro Times App

Tiny350Z is a long-time reader and commenter and recently asked me if I could promote an iPhone application. Even though I don't own an iPhone and barely know what an app is, I'm certainly happy to help. Anyway, Tiny350Z has a friend who developed an iPhone app called Metro Times specifically for folks in the Washington DC area. Want to find the nearest Metro station, and know exactly when the next train is arriving for that station? This app is for you.

This sounds like a great app, but again, with no iPhone, it is somewhat useless for me. However, I may have a code if folks want to try it for free and help spread the word. If you're interested, please leave a comment below or contact me at seanramblings at yahoo[dot]com.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ohio State University President Is Wrong

I hate Division I college football. I love the games and the atmosphere, but I hate the system. It's all about money, yet, every once in a while, someone comes out and says something stupid about the current Bowl Championship Series system because they don't want to admit that it's about the money. This week's winner is The Ohio State University President Gordon Gee, who believes that that even if TCU and Boise State go undefeated, they don't deserve to be in BCS title game.

"I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day."

Really? You play Indiana who just received $3 million to play a "home" game at FedEx Field outside of DC against Penn State. You play the 59th-ranked schedule in the country. You pay schools hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel to Columbus for an almost guaranteed victory (see the 73-20 win against Eastern Michigan, a team that also lost at home 71-3 against Northern Illinois).

Dr. Gee said the current system is better for the student-athletes. "It's not about this incessant drive to have a national championship because I think that's a slippery slope to professionalism," he said. "I'm a fan of the bowl system and I think that by and large it's worked very, very well."

A slippery slope to professionalism? Have you noticed that your conference created its own cable station, the Big 10 Network? You just added Nebraska to the conference so that you can have a conference championship game. Both of these moves show that you are already at the bottom of the professionalism slope.

Once again, it comes down to money. Division 1 football is the only college sport without a true championship. You could easily have an 8 or 16-team playoff system if the number of regular season games was reduced to 10 or 11. However, doing this would prevent Ohio State and other major college programs from hosting 7 home college football games. Ohio State makes millions of dollars for every home game. Why give up that paycheck or the money you receive from BCS games to allow schools from non-BCS conference (like Boise State or TCU) to get a share? You won't because the system works well for you.

In full disclosure, I earned my Masters degree from The Ohio State University. I have contributed money to the institution and consider myself a fan of the football team. I just think that President Gee is completely wrong here. Perhaps he should refrain from talking about the BCS and spend more time lobbying the Ohio legislature to give the institution more money.

By the way, tell me that this doesn't get you pumped up for the Ohio State-Michigan game? Go Bucks!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Woodland Hills Makes National News

I've given Express a hard time lately for various errors into their publication. Apparently, they got their revenge by featuring my school district on page 2.

I did some research, and sure enough, a bus driver for my former junior high school stopped at a police station to quiet the kids down. Lovely. Here's the entire story courtesy of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Woodland Hills school officials said yesterday they will discipline students who got so rowdy on an after-school bus ride the driver took them to the Swissvale police station.

The unnamed driver for A.J. Myers and Sons drove to the station Friday when the group of junior high students refused to settle down, said school district spokeswoman Maria McCool. The driver resumed the route without incident after officers spoke with the kids, McCool said.

"There were kids on board who were acting inappropriately," McCool said. "The bus driver felt they were out of control. They weren't listening to him. He felt it was an unsafe situation, so he stopped at the police station. The police came out, and when the police came out, they calmed down."

Swissvale police would not comment. The bus company did not return a call for comment.

McCool said 35 students were heading home on the bus after basketball tryouts and cheerleading at Woodland Hills Junior High in Swissvale about 5 p.m. The bus was close to the police station when a disturbance broke out, and the driver decided on his own to stop at the station.

McCool said students made threats, but she did not know whether they threatened the driver or each other. Police did not cite any students.

Although several children decided to walk home from the police station, McCool said nobody was ejected from the bus, and all were offered a ride home. She said the walkers had an option to call their parents from the police station.

The district was investigating the incident, and McCool could not provide estimates for how many students were involved or how many walked home. She said the district would identify the offending students and punish them based on the disrict's conduct policy. Junior high Principal Dawn Golden will determine punishment.

Earlier this year, Swissvale police arrested 11 students for fighting in the junior high parking lot, and police agencies reported they were called numerous times to Woodland Hills buildings.

"It's a privilege to ride the activities bus," McCool said. "This is not a service that everyone is just entitled to. You can lose bus privileges if you don't behave. We just want everyone to know that when there's this kind of problem on the bus, we will not tolerate it."

In other news, good luck to the Woodland Hills High School football team in the WPIAL Quad A Championship against North Allegheny on Saturday. Go Wolverines (as long as you're behaved on the bus)!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Message 2010

On this Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this message for you and your family:

Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmie Walker used to say Dynomite
That's right

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Time to get caught up on a few things.

1. There will be a major announcement on Sean’s Ramblings next week. I hope that you won’t spend the entire Thanksgiving weekend thinking about what I may write.

2. The winner of the Brand New Contest is:

Congratulations to Messiah, who provided comment #2. Thanks to everyone for entering and providing suggestions about places to go for a weekend vacation. Thanks to for providing this great contest. CSNStores sites are offering exclusive "Black Friday" deals that have already started and will run as long as supplies last. Please make check out their deals on CSN sites such as Every Game Room, Toys & Games Online and Fitness Equipment & More.

3. Thanks to Ile de France for sending me a package Camembert cheese. I haven’t had any yet, but I plan on bringing it as a Thanksgiving appetizer. Remember you can’t say Camembert without Ile de France. (There’s no chance that Ile de France uses this slogan, but I think it is quite catchy.)

4. Since I’m participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, I’ll be posting here tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and for every day in November. After spending hours at Black Friday sales, stop over to see what’s new in my world.

5. Bat-Bat is back on the latest Yinz Luv Da Stillers:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Your challenge this week is to complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with two words which are anagrams of each other.

1. The team stopped and ______ for 3 days at an oasis before continuing their journey across the ______.

2. Securing his eye patch, Bob hoped he wouldn’t encounter too many others dressed as _______ at the ______ he would attend this Halloween.

3. The scientist realized he’d _____ something new when the two chemicals _____ in the flask.

4. After the ghost covered the ghostbuster with ______, the ghostbuster no longer had a _______ on his face.

5. _______ members of the audience gasp as the magician moves the curtain and _____ that his assistant has vanished.

6. Much to the ______ of the young skater, she lost a tenth of a point for _____ her back too much during the spin.

7. The old witch had a large spell book that gave her many _____ of spells, incantations and _____ she could use.

8. With no moon out, the ____ was so dark that the hiker couldn’t see a ______.

9. The barista proudly ______ that he can distinguish the _____ of over 100 different types of coffees.

10. The scout told everybody to be ______ so that he could ______ for the sound of approaching hooves.

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. Good luck!

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pittsburgh Steelers-Oakland Raiders Recap

It was a glorious Sunday in Pittsburgh as the Steelers defeated the Oakland Raiders 35-3. In full disclosure, I missed much of the first half, so I didn’t see the Steelers trailing 3-0 after the first quarter and some of the early penalties. Here are my thoughts on what I did see:

- Ben Roethlisberger must have watched Michael Vick put up insane stats against the Washington Redskins last Monday night. How else can you explain Roethlisberger RUNNING for 55 yards and a touchdown to go with 275 passing yards and 3 TDs?

- When was the last time you saw an NFL player ejected from a game? (I remember a pre-game fight between Joey Porter as a Steeler and William Green of the Browns leading to both players getting ejected.) Well, congratulations to Richard Seymour for accomplishing this by giving Roethlisberger a nice cheap shot slap to the face?

- By the way, I loved the way the referee called the penalty. “Number 93 has ejected himself from the game for his actions.” Sure, he initially got the players number wrong, but I love the way he phrased this. I’m going to use this line the next time I give a red card in a soccer game.

- Mike Wallace is fast.

- I really hope Snoop Dogg got paid handsomely for appearing in this Pepsi Max commercial. ("I’m up to my knees in zero calories. Pepsi to the max so let’s drink all of these." Worst rap ever?)

- James Harrison hit Raiders' QB Jason Campbell in the third quarter just as he released the ball. It was not a head shot and Harrison did not go at Campbell’s knees. However, Harrison was still called for a personal foul, apparently, for driving Campbell into the ground. Campbell is 6’5” and 230 pounds. How else is James Harrison supposed to hit him?

- The overall rushing yards for the Steelers (33 carries for 162 yards, or 4.9 yards per carry) looked pretty good. However, the Steelers need to do better with Rashard Mendenhall, their #1 running back, running for only 59 yards on 23 carries and a long run of only 9 yards.

- With the Steelers winning 28-3 late in the fourth quarter, why was Roethlisberger still in the game? Sure, for fantasy football purposes I was happy that he threw a late touchdown pass to Isaac Redman, but there was no reason for him to be on the field with the game out of hand.

- The Steelers defense played great by giving up only 3 points and 182 total yards. Six sacks, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and allowing the Raiders to convert only 3 of 14 third down conversions is definitely not too shabby.

- Congratulations to Shaun Suisham for going 5-for-5 on extra point conversions! Maybe he can spell his first name correctly next week.

- Next week, the Steelers face Steve Johnson and the Buffalo Bills. How did Johnson not know that he would get fined for wearing this?

- By the way, check out the Steve Johnson press conference on the Buffalo Bills website. (The link takes you to the press conference page. You actually have to click on the Steve Johnson press conference once you get to the site.) It’s nice of him to dress up for the occasion.

Finally, last call to enter my new contest to win a $75 gift certificate to use at any of the 200+ CSN Stores websites. All you need to do is post a comment on the "Brand New Contest" post by Monday at 10pm to enter.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Videos

The Jacksonville Jaguars won last week on a "Hail Mary" on the final play of the game. Do you remember how the Jaguars won on the final play of the game 7 years ago?

Plus, Cotter and Tecmo unveil their [Unnamed] Steelers Preview for today's game.