Sunday, October 31, 2010

Steelers-Saints Halloween LiveBlog

Happy Halloween! We're going to celebrate by watching and discussing the Steelers-Saints Sunday night game. Feel free to read our thoughts and share your observations.

Update November 1st @ 12:10 PM: Since the Steelers lost, I removed the chat as I want to erase last night's game from the records. Join us for our next Steelers live blog at a date and time to be determined.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Links and Videos

This is totally me and Ziggy, except that he runs to me when I get home, rubs against my legs and flips over so I can rub his stomach. Our cat might be a dog.

Oh, I've never offered Ziggy a picnic.

A recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies [Long and Winding Road]

A look at the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates 40-Man roster and payroll. Every player is in his 20s. [Pirates Prospects]

The greatest great Moments In Unlicensed Pittsburgh Sports Merch [PSAMP]

Cory interviewed Steve Braband. [Three Rivers Burgh Blog]

Finally, Republican candidate for the House in my Congressional District Keith Fimian said the following about DC voting rights, "The Founders were pretty bright people. They chose, for reasons that they had, to not have voting rights in Washington, D.C. The folks who live there know that. They can live there or they can not, and it's their choice to live there. I'm not in favor of tampering with the Constitution unless it absolutely must be done. It's unfortunate that they don't have the right to vote. ... The fact is that the part of Washington, D.C. that is in Virginia is now part of Virginia. Why don't we make the part of Washington, D.C. that's in Maryland part of Maryland?" Um, really? [DCist]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meat Salesman Arrested

Police arrested an 18-year-old man working as a door-to-door meat salesman in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County and charged him with burglary.

Devyn Shea of Fredericksburg, Virginia was arrested on Tuesday, October 26 after he allegedly walked through an unlocked door, entered a home and took a woman’s purse.

Police responded to a home shortly after 4 p.m. when the resident reported that a man came to the door offering meats for sale. After she said that she was not interested, she returned to another part of the home, heard her door slam moments later and saw the man walking into the van with her property. Officers began the search for the salesman and his white van; both were located a short time later near the Huntington Station Shopping Center where the suspect was taken into custody.

Am I the only one who had difficulty getting past the fact that someone sells meat door-to-door? Does he bring a freezer full of meat to each house? Are there people who think buying meat from a door-to-door salesman is a better idea than going to a grocery store, butcher or Omaha Steaks? I just really hope that the door-to-door meat salesman isn't a euphemism for something else!

This story is courtesy of the Fairfax County Police Department.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Live From South Florida: Steelers-Dolphins Recap

I traveled to South Florida to attend Sunday’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Miami Dolphins game at Joe Robbie, er, Pro Player, no, Dolphins, I mean Land Shark Stadium. No again? The stadium that opened in 1987 is now known as Sun Life Stadium since the company was unsuccessful in getting KC and the Sunshine Band to change its name.

Is the Sun Life Stadium name going to stick for more than a few years?

Before I discuss the game and my experience at the game, let’s take a look at the Sun Sentinel’s preview. Although the paper predicted a Steelers 24-21 victory, I thought the rationale in giving the Dolphins an edge in “intangibles” was interesting.

“This is the first 1:00 PM game of the season, and considering it’s still warm in October it’s possible the Steelers could wilt courtesy of South Florida’s heat and humidity. The Steelers have won the past four games in this series.”

So the newspaper suggested that it wasn’t hot during the Steelers’ training camp? It seemed pretty warm during Pittsburgh’s road games at Tennessee and Tampa earlier this season. I’m sure that players like Ryan Clark (LSU); Bryant McFadden (Florida State); Mewelde Moore (Tulane); Troy Polamalu (USC); Maurkice Pouncey (Florida); Max Starks (Florida); Ike Taylor (Louisiana-Lafayette); Lawrence Timmons (Florida State); and Mike Wallace (Mississippi) aren’t used to heat and humidity. Besides, the fact that the Steelers won the past four games of the series indicates that the heat and humidity weren’t a factor.

Perhaps the paper should have given the edge to the Dolphins since the Steelers may not have been used to the alternating rain and sun throughout the game. Regardless, the Steelers clearly won the intangible battle thanks to the odd and controversial call by the referees. More on this momentarily.

The Dolphins had promotional messages on the scoreboard during timeouts of celebrities essentially saying Go Fins. Of course, some of the celebrities like Venus and Serena Williams and Gloria Estefan are actually part (I’m sure a very small part) owners of the Dolphins. This led to the following exchanges with my friend, a Dolphins fan.

Me: Are Cheech and Chong owners?
Friend: No

Me: Is Daniel Tosh an owner?
Friend: No, but he’s from here and is a big Dolphins fan.

Me: Fergie’s an owner?
Friend: Yes
Me: Really? Why?
Friend: I don’t know.

The best video featured Ozzy Osbourne. I have no idea what he said except for something like, “Are you ready to party South Florida?” To my knowledge, he never mentioned the Dolphins.

My guess is that between 1/4 and 1/3 of the crowd consisted of Steelers fans. This made for some good-natured trash talking in the parking lot and inside the stadium. There’s nothing quite like being with your mother when she talks smack.

My favorite “trash-talker” though was one Dol-fan who just kept yelling 305. 305 Baby. He totally disrespected the 954. Apparently, I was standing next to Pitbull.

After every Dolphins first down, the stadium announcer yelled, "That’s another Dolphins..." followed by the crowd responding “first down.” It was cute.

I enjoyed seeing two fellow Woodland Hills graduates live: Ryan Mundy for the Steelers and Lousaka Polite for the Dolphins, who did a nice job of blocking James Harrison on this play.

The Army Golden Knights jumped into the stadium during halftime. Simply awesome. The black and gold parachutes were a nice touch. Read more about the jump at the US Army Golden Knights website. What wasn’t mentioned on the website was the fact that it was quite windy during the jump. It was a little scary watching them land, but they truly are professionals.

OK, let’s talk about the play. Actually, today is Wednesday so both Steelers and Dolphins fans are tired of talking and reading about Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble and the referee’s decision. I will refer you to ESPN’s article quoting the former NFL vice president of officiating, Mike Pereira, if you truly want to read more.

The only negative about attending the game is that you have no idea what's going on. Specifically, it wasn't until I returned from the game that I learned about Aaron Smith's injury. Smith will be a big loss for the Steelers, but I hope that Ziggy (Hood not my cat) and Nick Eason can try to replace him.

Overall, the Steelers are now 5-1 and off to a great start to the season. Plus, I had a great time watching a Steelers victory.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

I haven’t finished writing about my experiences attending the Steelers-Dolphins game on Sunday, so you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to read my recap. In the meantime, have you ever heard of the word, ditloid? Apparently, a ditloid is a type of word puzzle in which a phrase or quote must be deduced from the numbers and abbreviated letters in the clue. You learn something new every day, though that generally doesn’t happen by reading my blog. Anyway, your challenge is to name the phrase based on the ditloids below. For example 50 S in the U S of A = 50 states in the United States of America.

1. 12 S of the Z

2. 16 O in a P

3. 13 in a B D

4. 26 L in the A

5. 4 L on a H

6. 2 W on a B

7. 52 C in a D

8. 2 P in a Q

9. 12 I in a F

10. 24 H in a D


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, October 25, 2010

Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers - Dolphins vs. Steelers

I'll have much, much more about the Steelers-Dolphins game tomorrow and/or Wednesday, but in the meantime enjoy Jim Shearer's (and Bat-Bat's) Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reading Too Much Into a Wendy's Commercial?

I spent most of Sunday at two different sports bars/restaurants watching football. Therefore, I also watched a lot of commercials including the Wendy's commercial below.

I know the guy started it with the "What do you ladies got there?" comment, but the woman on the right just seems mean. She's like the popular, attractive girl in high school who treats people beneathe her on the social scale like peasants. With red hair, maybe she's Wendy herself.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tiger Woods & Eric Wedge: Separated at Birth

In reading yesterday's Express, I noticed this small note about the Seattle Mariners hiring Eric Wedge to be their next manager. I'll be honest in that I had no idea what the former Cleveland Indians manager looked like, but I was surprised that he looks remarkably like Tiger Woods.

Am I being unfair to Express? I genuinely enjoy reading the paper on the Metro each morning. I just don't understand how any paper can make noticeable mistakes so often.

Oh, here's a picture of Eric Wedge from his introduction as the new Mariners manager.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Lee Edition

This week’s quiz is for fans of Robert E. Lee, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Lee Evans and Lee jeans. Your challenge is to name the famous Lee.

1. Subject of the biopic “Great Balls Of Fire”

2. Played Steve Austin, “The Six Million Dollar Man”

3. To date, her only published novel is “To Kill a Mockingbird”

4. Lawyer who defended Patty Hearst and O.J. Simpson

5. Directed “Brokeback Mountain” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”

6. Professional golfer nicknamed “Supermex”

7. The original and current lead singer of Van Halen

8. Delta blues guitarist who wrote “Boogie Chillen” and “Boom Boom”

9. Bassist and vocalist of the band Rush

10. Chrysler president who introduced the minivan.

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, October 18, 2010

Acting Opportunity for Steelers Fans

If you're a Steeler fan living in the DC area (or able to get to the DC area), I have an opportunity for you. Taylor of Brainbox Productions is looking for 4-5 people to act in a short scene. The scene involves watching a football game with some friends. That really seems like a stretch for most of you!

Anyway, since Taylor gets to do the casting and propping, this will be a group of Steeler friends hanging out! Some acting experience would be preferred, but not required. The shoot will be on Thursday during the day and you should be available all day (6-8 hours). This is a PAID gig!!

Taylor is also looking for a location to film in - a bachelor-style apartment or house. Something that looks like a bachelor pad, you know, big screen tv, leather couch, etc (Steeler memorabilia is a bonus!). In the past they have also used the party rooms at apartment complexes. The company will also pay for the use of location.

Some background about the project: It is a drug and alcohol awareness e-learning program for soldiers deployed overseas in the Army.

If you are interested, email Taylor at teekampia[at]gmail[dot]com with a picture and any relevant acting experience. I can also provide you with Taylor's phone number if needed. Please feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested.

Sunday Notes (Steelers-Browns Recap)

I know that you get your Steelers coverage from major media outlets and blogs dedicated to the Steelers. That’s why I give you other items that you can’t get anywhere else.

I’m not going to get into Ben Roethlisberger’s off-field activities. Simply from a football perspective, it was great seeing him on the field yesterday. The Steelers are clearly a better offensive team with Roethlisberger in the line-up, and with three touchdown passes, he showed again that he is one of the elite NFL quarterbacks.

While 27 is a lot of carries for 84 rushing yards, what stood out for me about Rashard Mendenhall’s performance was his excellent blocking in passing situations.

Yes, he got injured in the second quarter, but the defense and special teams did a nice job containing Steeler-killer Joshua Cribbs when he played.

James Harrison (11 tackles, 1.5 sacks) and Lawrence Timmons (11 tackles, 2 sacks) continue to dominate. There’s not a better LB combination in football.

The Browns may have finally found a franchise quarterback. Despite his two interceptions, Colt McCoy didn’t look rattled in his first NFL start. 23 for 33 for 281 yards, a touchdown and 22 yards rushing is a nice debut.

I get that NFL coaches aren’t going to wear suits anymore, but there has to be some type of professionalism. Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley wore a T-shirt during yesterday’s game against the Houston Texans. Haley couldn’t get away with wearing this shirt in 90% of the offices around the country.

I’d like to know the cost of all of the pink towels, hats, shoes, goal post pads, wrist bands, pom-poms, etc. displayed during NFL games to promote breast cancer awareness. It has to be in the tens of thousands, right? Who is paying for all of the pink equipment? The NFL? The individual teams? I hope that the NFL is donating at least the amount of money they are spending on the pink stuff to breast cancer charities.

I’m happy that Hiro of Heroes (Masi Oka) is getting some work in Hawaii Five-0.

Did you happen to see that DirecTV commercial that aired approximately 7,000 times yesterday where a guy steals films by shooting the employee with a blow dart? After the guy missed with his initial shot, shouldn’t the employee have tried to run? He just sat there as the attacker reloaded the second blow dart. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the “See It Before It’s On Netflix” video on the “What To Watch” section of the DirecTV website.

Next week in South Florida!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Song of the Week

I love the title of this post. "Song of the Week" implies that Sean's Ramblings includes a regular (as in weekly) feature about music. In reality, I'll occasionally mention some random musical thoughts like an embarrassing song that I like or share a concert review.

Well, this truly is a post about the song of the week. Check out the video below for Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons. While the band and song have been around in the UK for some time now, it's relatively new in the US (or at least to me). Enjoy this very cool song.

Oh, before you click on the video, you probably shouldn't blast this at work. There is a naughty word in the chorus, so you might want to wait to play this until you get home.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jerome Bettis Update

Welcome to third annual “What is Jerome Bettis doing” post. You remember Bettis as an NFL superstar with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then part of NBC’s Football Night in America in retirement. While Bettis is no longer part of the NBC team, he keeps busier than just about anyone (just look at the 2008 and 2009 versions of this). So let’s take a magical tour to see where in the world is Jerome Bettis.

- The Bus participated in Peyton Manning's annual bowling tournament along with Kurt Warner; Franco Harris; "former Pacers star Reggie Miller and first-round NBA draft pick Gordon Hayward; college basketball coaches Tom Crean, Matt Painter and Brad Stevens; former Purdue coach Gene Keady; Manning's wife, Ashley; his father, Archie and more than a dozen of Manning's teammates." I wonder if Bettis and Manning talked about the January 15, 2006 divisional playoff game. [NBC Sports]

- Bettis served as the commentator in the “Hoopin’ for Health” charity basketball game in Orlando between NBA Moms like Dwight Howard’s mother Sheryl Howard and mothers of NFL players. Orlando Magic players Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis along with former pro football stars Eddie George and Kenard Lang. “The NBA mothers easily downed the NFL moms 24-12 and Flo Allen-Hopson, mother of Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, took home MVP honors.” Bettis also almost started a bench-clearing brawl. [WDBO & Orlando Sentinel]


- Gansevoort, NY resident Nancy Needham was the national winner of the DiGiorno Pizza "You Bettis Believe" sweepstakes where she and her fantasy football league received an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas. Bettis coached Nancy in selecting the winning picks for her Fantasy Football Draft Party. [Digital Journal]

- The Berardi family of Irwin, PA won the Bus' Backyard BBQ Sweepstakes sponsored by S&T Bank to have Bettis host a cookout at their house. (WPXI]

- Bettis and Tony Dungy teamed up with Campbell's Chunky Soup to get Dads off the couch and on the field. [Chunky Soup's Facebook page and MarketWatch]

- Guinness teamed up with Bettis where you can win a chance to go to compete against The Bus in the perfect pint pouring contest. To enter, let Guinness know about a moment where you boldly stepped up and faced a sports or athletic-related challenge, mental or physical, and ultimately persevered. [Guinness]

(The Wall Street Journal noticed this contest too and discussed the Guinness advertising in America angle.)

Even though he's been out of football since Super Bowl 40, people still admire The Bus.

- Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden admired Jerome Bettis' full-steam-ahead style. [Sacramento Bee]

- University of Central Florida RB Jeff Brinson, diagnosed with asthma, considers Jerome Bettis his hero. "Jerome Bettis was because he had asthma and he did the things he did with asthma." [Orlando Sentinel]

- When asked what football player Gainesville, Florida's Keystone Heights RB/DB Zack Lambert pretended to be when he was younger, he replied, "I always tried to be Ray Lewis. Him and Jerome Bettis were always my favorites." [Gainesville Sun]

Newspapers and websites continue to try to compare current football players to Bettis:

- San Diego Chargers RB Mike Tolbert [SB Nation]

- "The Bus" is the new nickname for Vernon Hills, Illinois Cougars senior running back Brian Palmer. It was given to the stout 5-foot-9 Palmer due to his striking resemblance to former NFL star Jerome Bettis. Palmer also earned the title due in large part to his bus-like running style. [Daily Herald]

- Cleveland Browns’ RB Peyton Hillis runs like Jerome Bettis. [Canton Rep]

Bettis also stays busy writing for Sports Illustrated, hosting WPXI’s Jerome Bettis Show and owning Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36.

While all of this is impressive, I saved the best for last. Bettis hung out with Cotter of One For The Other Thumb, Tecmo of PSAMP and Ryan of Steelers Lounge among several bloggers. Yes, I am jealous.

Oh, I forgot to mention that The Bus has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not too shabby! [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Tim Burton Edition

If you like film director Tim Burton, this could be your favorite Trivia Tuesday EVER. Based on the years and performers listed below, your challenge is to name the movies directed by Tim Burton.

1. (1985) Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily

2. (1988) Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis

3. (1989) Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson

4. (1990) Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder

5. (1994) Johnny Depp, Martin Landau

6. (1996) Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close

7. (1999) Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci

8. (2001) Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth

9. (2003) Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney

10. (2005) Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore

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, October 11, 2010

Monday Links & Videos

I would like to thank Christopher Columbus for having a day. Therefore, with no work or soccer games, today was the first day I’ve been able to sleep-in in at least a month. Ziggy had different ideas and twice decided to make sure I was awake. I’ve essentially been awake since 7:45.

I can’t take Washington Redskins kicker Graham Gano seriously. All I think of when I hear his name is, “Not gnews is good gnews with Gary Gnu.”

Check out this photo essay of 20 of the most-unique homes ever built like this one. [Matador Life]

Ngewo attended his first Penguins game. [Ngewo's World]

Angelo Spagnola didn’t have the best golfing experience with Andy Van Slyke. [Pittsburgh's Black and Gold]

I’m the only person linking to a post/video on Deadspin that has nothing to do with Brett Favre or The Cigar Guy. [Deadspin]

Finally, I'm not sure whether or not I'll attend Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity, but I'm a big fan of what they are doing...raising money for the non-profit Trust for the National Mall. The Mall really does get overused with not enough money going to restore part of this nation's famous places. [Washington Post]

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity Location
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New Express Fail

I’ve written several times over the past few years about how the Express newspaper is part of my daily commute. It’s a good source for headlines, highlights of area events, and entertainment news. It’s also fun to find errors which occur regularly in the paper. Usually, the errors involve spacing problems or articles that end in the middle of the sentence, but there are sometimes larger mistakes like claiming that Kennywood is in Philadelphia.

Yesterday’s edition featured a new type of error. Click on the picture to see if you can find it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Benstonium Video

It's video day here at Sean's Ramblings. With the Penguins season starting in less than 24 hours, the guys at Benstonium created their latest (last?) in a series of Pens Withdrawal videos.

I have no idea why, but the line, "Oh, it is Snookie. OK. Yeah." cracks me up.

Yinz Luv Da Stillers

I like Jim Shearer. He agreed to participate in an interview with me last year, and I think that his Yinz Luv Da Stillers & Yinz Luv Da Guins videos are great. I'm not sure about VH1's decision to increase their weekly Top 20 Video Countdown from 2 to 2 & 1/2 hours, but if that means more exposure (and possibly more money) for Jim, then I'm all for it.

Therefore, while I don't want to relive Sunday's Steelers-Ravens game, it's always worthwhile to share Jim's work. Enjoy this week's YLDS:

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Sporcle is a magical website. I can spend hours taking interesting quiz after quiz. For this week's Trivia Tuesday, I've selected three such quizzes as your weekly challenge.

1. Name the Washington DC area landmarks. Considering that I've lived in the DC area for 9+ years now, I feel like I should have scored better than 16 of 20.

2. Name the NFL quarterbacks with the most 300 yard passing games since 1960. Although I answered 23 of 28 correctly, there were a few easy ones that I missed.

Bonus (3). Based on 7-10 second clips, name the song titles from 2005 songs. This was one of the toughest quizzes I've seen on Sporcle, so I was happy scoring 24 of 50. I listed this as a bonus since I think you have 12 minutes to complete the quiz.

Please share your scores in the comments section below. Good luck!

Monday, October 04, 2010

My 5K Experience

It seems like only days ago when I asked for advice for running a 5K. Fortunately, I listened to your suggestions, and they were extremely helpful. Well, with the exception of the anonymous poster who wrote, “Is it this weekend? Then you’re SOL.” Turns out I was SIL, or something. In my first ever 5K race, I finished in a time of 27:31. Considering that I didn’t train at all for the race, I think I did pretty well.

Naturally, I have thoughts about the race that I’d like to share:

- I don’t own an iPod, but I borrowed one for the race. The first song that played as I started was Linkin Park’s One Step Closer. Now that’s a song to get you pumped up! Unfortunately, much of the race consisted of songs by the Goo Goo Dolls, Cindy Lauper’s Time After Time and Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats, which were not quite the songs to get your adrenaline pumping (though I enjoyed ABBA’s Dancing Queen).

- Whoever designed the course needs to, um, not design courses anymore. Sure, it was nice that most of the first mile was downhill, but I probably didn’t take advantage of this as much as I should have as I was trying to pace myself. However, most of the last mile was not just uphill, but as steep as the Monongahela Incline.

Sure, I may be exaggerating a little, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a treadmill with an incline setting to match the closing climb.

- Bertucci’s Italian Restaurant sponsored the 5K benefitting the American Cancer Society. Therefore, the post-race food included pasta, bruschetta and pizza. These were all food items I had no interest in eating after running 3+ miles at 9:30 AM.

- You could tell that I was a running novice during the one water station at the race’s midpoint. I tried to drink some of the water while running, but spilled most of it on my shirt.

- I finished behind a guy who ran with a black lab dog on a leash. We were fairly even but he passed me as I struggled with the uphill climb.

- Conversely, I finished ahead of a teenager who looked like Rufio from Hook with almost the exact same haircut.

- The winner finished in a time of approximately 15:30. While I have no proof, I’m pretty sure that he cheated.

Finally, here’s a picture of me about to cross the finish line. I’m the guy behind the guy who decided to go with an all-out sprint at the finish (and mess up the picture). I was too tired to sprint.

Thanks to lacochran for organizing the race among DC bloggers.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Go Potters

A significant portion of my family is from East Liverpool, Ohio, most famous for being the "Pottery Capital of the World" and the hometown of former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. So when I saw that there was a video featuring the East Liverpool Potters on both Deadspin and Yahoo, I felt the need to post it here too to help represent my roots (my family not my football athletic ability). Enjoy.