Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trivia Tuesday

I've mentioned my love of Sporcle at least once or twice. This week, we have three quizzes from the second best website in the world:

1. Name the Pittsburgh Pirates opening day starting line-up from 1991-2010 (15 minutes).

I scored a 109 out of 180 (77th percentile). Interestingly, my best years were 1991 & 1992 where I got 8 of 9 correct, but my worst year was 1995 (only 3 right answers).

2. Name the state(s) which fall into each of the miscellaneous categories (4 minutes)

18 of 30 for me on this one.

3. Name the artists who spent the most total weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 from 2000-2009 (5 minutes)

I scored an 11 of 20.

Take these Sporcle quizzes and share your results in the comments section below. Good luck!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Gift Certificate Story

When I lived in Columbus, Ohio at the turn of the century, the head of the organization where I worked gave me and my colleagues a $25 gift certificate to Columbus City Center. I worked at that particular organization for two years meaning that I received two $25 gift certificates. Between working several jobs and going to graduate school, I never made it to the mall before I left Columbus in 2001. Although I visited Columbus a few times since I moved to DC, I never made it to Columbus City Center. Of course, I also didn’t bring the gift certificate with me since it only seemed to appear when I packed before moving to a new place. Columbus City Center closed in 2009.

When I rediscovered the gift certificates last year, I noticed a card stating that “we will be happy to honor the enclosed gift certificate at any of these Taubman managed shopping centers.” It turns out that one of those Taubman shopping centers is in Northern Virginia. Score! Unfortunately, there was a note on the gift certificates stating that after three years of inactivity, 40 cents would be taken off the gift certificate per month. By my calculation, I would have needed to pay the mall in order to use the gift certificates.

Recently, I visited the Northern Virginia mall and took the gift certificates to customer service. They had no idea what to do with these paper gift certificates, so they had to take it to the important people upstairs (wherever that is). When I returned about 45 minutes later, the mall informed me that they accepted the gift certificates, but that I would need to exchange them with the current plastic gift cards. Although there was a $2.95 service fee to set up the gift card, I now have a $47.05 gift card to a local mall. Just think about how many slices of Sbarro pizza I can get with $47.05!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

23 Foods That Keep You Young

For some reason, there is a copy of Redbook magazine, featuring the lovely Kate Beckinsale on the cover with an article and pictures inside, in my home. Let me rephrase this. We didn’t buy the magazine, but a friend that subscribes to Redbook gave us this copy. That clears things up!

Anyway, the magazine cover includes the heading “23 Foods That Keep You Young.” The corresponding article lists foods such as apples, bananas, beans, berries, cabbage, canned salmon, kale, kiwi, oatmeal, papaya, spinach, whole grains, and yogurt. I don’t think the list even includes 23 foods. Nevertheless, I disagree with this list and decided to put together my own list of 23 foods that keep you young.

Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, Graham Cracker & Marshmallows – This was probably the only time during your adolescence when you were permitted to place a food item on a stick and then place the stick in fire. Sure, you usually burned the marshmallow or didn’t get it close to the fire, but you helped create AND COOK delicious s’mores. Making and then eating s’mores definitely keeps you young.

Popcorn – I’m not referring to microwave popcorn where a potential disaster awaits if you place the bag down instead of up or up instead of down. I’m talking popcorn out of a popcorn machine. Ground Round used to give free popcorn to every table. Movie theaters where you can add your own butter also gave away free popcorn (okay, it wasn’t actually free but it was significantly cheaper back in the day). A local video rental store used to have free popcorn for all of its customers. My dad occasionally stopped into the store asking if a movie was available even though he knew it hadn’t come out on video yet just so he could pick up some popcorn. Maybe that’s why the store went out of business! Anyway, this just proves that popcorn keeps you young.

Peanuts and Cracker Jack – Yes, this is 100% because of the song, although I don’t think I ever had these at the same time at a baseball game.

Orange Slices – We used to get orange slices as a halftime snack during soccer games. Yummy (and a rare healthy selection on this list)!

Nerds, Pop Rocks, Fruit Roll-Ups, Gobstoppers, Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum & Kool-Aid – You’ll feel like a kid if you eat or drink any of these.

Matzo Ball Soup and Cherokee Red Pop (or soda for those of you who refer to soft drinks incorrectly) – I used to have this combination regularly at Rhoda’s in Squirrel Hill as a kid.

Twinkies – Someone please make sure that Hostess doesn’t go bankrupt and can still produce these wonderful treats.

Peeps – You just feel young seeing this food. Plus, there’s a diorama contest dedicated to the joy of Peeps!

Lucky Charms – They’re magically delicious!

Jello Mold – My grandmother used to make these for nearly every family occasion. It never disappointed.

Apples & Honey – Look, I agree with Redbook on apples! I hope that they dip their apples in honey. Sure, I only do this once a year on Rosh Hashanah, but it’s still fun and keeps me young.

Hot Dog & Fries from The O – Arguably the least healthy food option of my list, but going to the O reminds me of being a kid again when I went with my family. I’m still upset that they ran out of beef hot dogs during my last visit.

So what foods keep you young?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where In The World Is Jerome Bettis?

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis retired from the NFL after winning Super Bowl XL in February 2006. Although he worked on NBC’s Football Night in America for a few years, have you wondered what Bettis is up to these days? Let’s take a look:

For starters, Jerome Bettis remains on the small screen by helping sell Papa John’s pizza with Peyton Manning. [The Business Journal]

Bettis will appear on NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are,” a show that traces the family trees of celebrities including Rob Lowe, Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, and (what do you know) Jerome Bettis! Season three debuts in February. [NBC]

He also continued to star in the Jerome Bettis Show during the NFL season on Pittsburgh’s NBC station. [WPXI]

Plus, it looks like Bettis promotes Orient Watches (like me) [PSAMP]

Bettis became involved in health issues and politics over the past year. First, he worked with Dick’s Sporting Goods to promote concussion tests for youth athletes. [ABC News]

Recently, Bettis visited DC (he didn’t call me!) and met with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Representatives Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania and John Dingell and John Conyers of Michigan regarding clear air and the EPA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule to enact strict clear air requirements. However, we learned that he’s not going to run for office. [Politico]

“I’ve never gotten the request to run,” Bettis said. “I don’t know if I could do it. I think it’s difficult, and I applaud the job that they do, because obviously it’s not easy. You have your constituents to reach out to and be accountable. … For me, the problem is, with football, it’s easy: You win or you lose. You give 110 percent every time, and that’s it. But in politics, sometimes there’s not a clear winner and not a clear loser. There’s a lot of gray. So I’ve lived in a world of black and white, and politics, unfortunately, there’s a give and a take. … It’s just an interesting dynamic that I’m not used to.”

Through this work, he filmed this commercial [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

The Bus has traveled the world during this football season. He went to London to promote the NFL game there in October. [ESPN]

He also traveled to Aledo, Texas to deliver the 2011-12 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year trophy to RB Johnathan Gray, a University of Texas recruit. I’m not sure why Bettis felt the need to tackle Gray though. [ESPN] (The video didn't seem to work here, so you'll have to click on the ESPN link to see what I'm writing about.)

He also went all the way to Panera in Wilkins and the Homestead Waterfront as part of a meet-and-greet. Panera donated $5 to The Bus Stops Here Foundation in the names of those who attended. [Peters Patch]

When I started the “Where is Jerome Bettis” posts a few years ago, I noted the numerous comparisons made to Bettis. Since he’s been out of the league, for about six years, though, these comparisons aren’t as frequent.

With that written, Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio compared Iowa RB Marcus Coker to Bettis. [Grand Rapids Press]

Plus, CBS’ Gary Danielson referred to Alabama RB Trent Richardson as a faster Jerome Bettis. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

Bettis still makes the media rounds too. He participated in an online chat on ESPN. Dan Gigler of Blog ‘N’ Gold scored an interview with The Bus as did Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times. Maybe next year, I'll score an interview!

Oh, Bettis also stays busy with his foundation and was recently named an NFL Hall of Fame finalist.

For more of the annual Where is Jerome Bettis series, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Islands in the Stream

Welcome to a new edition of Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge this week is to name the nation to which the following island or archipelago belong. This could be difficult, so I may include the list of 10 countries a little later if folks are struggling. There is also a bonus question below.

1. Canary Islands

2. Azores

3. Aruba

4. Galapagos Islands

5. Svalbard

6. Aleutian Islands

7. Cayman Islands

8. Greenland

9. Zanzibar

10. Chatham Islands

Bonus: In last night’s Australian Open Quarterfinals, #1 seed Caroline Wozniacki lost to the 11th-seed Kim Clijsters. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, #3 Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro, the 11th seed. Why is it that the 11th seed faced the #1 seed on the women’s side but the #3 seed on the men’s side? Shouldn’t the brackets be set up the same?

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, January 23, 2012

Schadenfreude Again

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens on their AFC Championship win according to NBC station WBAL in Baltimore!

Wait, the Ravens lost Sunday? In that case, let's share this wonderful picture taken by The Washington Post's Jonathan Newton on January 13, 2007:

I have used this picture of a distraught Baltimore Ravens fan being consoled by his son after his entire section cleared out as the Sean's Ramblings profile picture/avatar for 5 years now. This picture seems appropriate and relevant again after yesterday’s New England Patriots victory over the Ravens. Yes, this picture still makes me smile, and yes, I am still a terrible person.

I just don’t like the Baltimore Ravens, and I really don’t want to get into the psychological reasons behind my dislike of Ravens today. I'm just happy with the result of yesterday's game.

Now, time to root against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

h/t Nick for the WBAL screen grab.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Videos

Between writing my State of the Ramblings and sharing thoughts about a stolen tire, a $10 haircut, and Jackee Harry, it's been a busy past week or two here at Sean's Ramblings. Therefore, let's end this week with some music.

Although I'm not a fan of the video, Jessie J writes (or at least performs) a catchy song called Domino.

I just can't pass up posting Alex Ovechkin rapping in Russian. I have no idea what anyone says, but the guy who is not Ovie definitely includes a line about Ali, Tiger, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson and Bruce Lee, all well-known Russian athlets.

Puck Daddy has much more on this as well as a translation of Ovie's verse.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Jackee Harry Experience

Although I don’t mention it very often here, I’m a part of the Twitter universe. When I hit 226 followers, I posted the following Tweet:

@getfreshdesigns retweeted my clever message and several hours later, I saw this message on Twitter.

That’s right, Jackee Harry, the Emmy award winning actress of 227, was my 227th follower. Ms. Harry followed me on Twitter along with Pink, Tim Tebow, Taylor Dayne and Missy Elliott. I can definitely see the similarities between all of us.

Sadly, Ms. Harry stopped following me a few days later. I guess she didn’t appreciate all of my Tweets about the Steelers. Therefore, I'm back on 226 followers. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter and be my new 227th (or 228th) follower.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

State of the Ramblings

I recently passed the seventh birthday/anniversary of writing Sean’s Ramblings which must be about 70 in blog years. Since I’m an old man in the blog world, please bear with me as I rant a little. Get off my lawn!

I feel like I’m the last of a dying breed. There just doesn’t seem to be many personal blogs these days that are updated regularly. When I started Sean’s Ramblings and during the first few years of my blog’s existence, I read dozens of personal blogs updated daily, many that I discovered through DC Blogs. Sadly, most of these blogs are now retired or updated only occasionally. I believe that there are several reasons for this. First, it can be difficult and time-consuming writing a blog. Starting a blog is fun and exciting but keeping your energy up writing post after post after post is hard especially if you aren’t receiving many comments or page views. Second, sometimes you run out of items to write about. There have been amazing blogs that spent significant time talking about the dating scene or television shows. After someone gets into a serious relationship or the TV show ends, there’s not much else to discuss.

Personally, I think Twitter has significantly contributed to the decline of personal blogs. It’s so much easier typing 140 characters that can be published instantly rather than writing a multi-paragraph post and scheduling the post to be published the following day. So with that, rant over. I’m proud to have longevity as a blogger and appreciate the other bloggers out there that have provided me countless hours of entertainment over the years.

(Get it...Slevin for Seven!)

Since this is the annual State of the Ramblings, let’s briefly look back at the past year. Obviously, the most significant, life-changing event from the past twelve months was winning the Ted Marshall TV death pool. I guess becoming a new father is a close second.

I’m happy that I’ve chronicled some of the experiences being a new father, but I wanted to make sure that this didn’t turn into a fatherhood blog. With that written, my first post after my child was born is one of my favorite things I’ve written in the history of Sean’s Ramblings, and I love reading it again as well as going through other fatherhood posts.

Other highlights from this year was interviewing author, amazing blogger and friend Sarah Wendell after her release of Everything I Know about Love, I Learned from Romance Novels and interviewing the founder of Steeler Nation Israel. I reviewed a documentary about Canadian pop music in the 1990s and admitted to a childhood crush on Debbie Gibson. I found that there are other Sean’s Ramblings (or should that be Seans’ Ramblings) and posed the question about whether gay marriage could pass in Virginia. Even though I haven’t lived in Pittsburgh in many years, my hometown city is still a central part of my life. Besides writing about Pittsburgh sports (including the third annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament), I posted information about Pittsburgh being the center of rap/hip-hop universe and the home of Indian actresses.

(This picture of the Gilligan's Island cast has nothing do with anything in the post other than there being seven characters to match the seven years of this blog.)

As for the next twelve months, I don’t anticipate any changes to Sean’s Ramblings. With the Presidential election this year, I may have a few more political posts than usual, but otherwise, you can enjoy the same in-depth analysis and breaking news stories that you always do. That, or more about Pittsburgh sports, bad haircuts, Trivia Tuesdays, Metro experiences and ideally, another opportunity to have free food for a year.

Thanks again to everyone for reading and commenting this year and over the past 7 years. It’s amazing that Sean’s Ramblings has lasted this long, and I wouldn’t continue writing without your support.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Disney Villains

Let’s get right to the questions. Based on the names of the primary villains below, your challenge is to name the Disney movie.

1. Scar

2. Man

3. Charles Muntz

4. Ursula

5. Sid

6. Jafar

7. Stomboli

8. Madam Min

9. Hopper

10. Curella de Vil

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, January 16, 2012

The $10 Haircut

Remember my dilemma last week regarding the unlicensed barber shop? Well, I tried it over the weekend and wanted to share the results. Let’s start with the positive.

- I enjoyed the music selection of 90s hits including Mr. Jones, Wonderwall, and an ‘N Sync song that I can’t get out my head. While I can do without Aerosmith’s Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing and whatever Backstreet Boys song they played (Is Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely the name of one of their songs?), overall, the music was a plus.

- They gave me a hot towel at the completion of the haircut. Hot towels should be used and available in any personal and professional situation. They also provided a razor shave of the back of my neck and sideburns. I always think this is cool even if these razors could potentially cause lots of bleeding.

- I was treated very well and received excellent personal attention. There was my primary male barber and another woman who occasionally assisted. The female barber may have been the owner or it was a student-teacher type relationship where she was making sure he was doing everything was correctly.

- The entire haircut was $10.

Sounds like a wonderful experience, right? Well, here’s the negative:

This is a picture of the back of my head with a random gray stripe at the bottom. Perhaps the word “trim” was lost in translation. I don’t think my hair has been this short since my birth. Fortunately, I expect the hair to grow back...and then I guess I'll go back to Hair Cuttery for my next haircut.

Friday, January 13, 2012


It’s audience participation day here at Sean’s Ramblings. I have a true scenario and want your opinion on what to do.

I’ve mentioned several times that I get my haircuts at Hair Cuttery. The haircuts cost $16 (before tip) and the barbers/stylists are generally fine. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them to others and would certainly be willing to try somewhere else particularly since I don’t have much hair and cutting my hair shouldn’t be very difficult or time-consuming.

A month or two ago, a barber shop located in a house on a street near me opened. It seems a little sketchy or at least in an odd location, but they have a website and advertise $10 haircuts. They also have two positive reviews on Yelp.

(This is not the place near my house. I just liked this ad.)

Curious about this place, I contacted the barber shop by e-mail to make sure they are licensed. Since they haven't responded, I contacted Virginia’s Board for Barbers and Cosmetology, a division of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation ("DPOR") about this barber shop. The government agency quickly replied (typing those five words together doesn’t seem to make sense) stating:

We cannot locate a barber shop or cosmetology salon in our records under the name you have provided. If you believe that the barber shop or salon is operating without a license, you may submit a complaint to the Department’s Complaint Analysis section.

So here's my situation. Do I file a complaint with the DPOR? Do I try to get a haircut first and see how it goes even though they may be unlicensed? Do I do nothing besides ask a series of questions?

Update 1/17: So, I got a $10 haircut. Although it wasn't a good haircut, I'm not going to contact DPOR and will return to Hair Cuttery for my next haircut.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stolen Car Tire

After learning that someone stole my car tire yesterday, a family member jokingly said that they would read more about it on my blog. Am I really that predictable?

Anyway, let’s go back to that stolen car tire thing. When I went to my car Wednesday morning, I noticed that the car seemed a little lower in the front. My parking lot slants slightly downward, so I didn’t think much of it as I strapped my child into the car seat. I started the car and decided that I needed to scrape frost off of the windows. Although I cleared ice from the front windshield directly in front of the steering wheel and all of the windows, I didn’t touch the portion of the front windshield in front of the passenger side. I quickly returned to my car to avoid the cold and put my car in reverse. Unfortunately, the car didn’t move. I stepped on the gas with the same result. It was then that I walked to the front of the car and noticed that I was missing my front right wheel.

(This is not a picture of my car.)

Sometime probably Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, thieves took the tire and rim, but left my hubcap and the lug nuts (heh, heh) on the pavement. Although the hooligans didn't put the car on a block, according to the tow truck driver, it appeared that they gently placed the axel on the ground. There was no additional damage other than needing to replace the tire and rim.

I informed the police about the incident yesterday morning, and they indicated that they would let me know if this is a trend. When I posted information about the stolen tire on the community message board, I learned that another car in the neighborhood also had a tire stolen. Seems like a trend to me!

Of course, the police probably (and rightly so) don’t really care about a stolen tire. I’m not going to contact my insurance company about this either. Basically, I’m out a couple hundred bucks, but at least I found a topic for a new blog post!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Am a Terrible Father

The first few days after my child was born last year were a blur. I barely slept and constantly worried about how frequently he should eat and if he was getting enough food. I must have tried bundling my child in a blanket hundreds of times and changing diapers was a brand new experience. I think the only time I left the hospital was to run home to feed Ziggy.

I clearly failed as a father, though, since I didn’t release a song produced by Pharrell only days after my child’s birth and include my baby in the song. I hope my child will forgive me. Perhaps writing a blog post about being a new father will be a consolation.

I also apologize to my child for not naming him after a color or a Roman numeral/plant. I should have named him Red Cactus or Black Velvet* or something.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here for more information and to hear the song.

* Even if you don’t know the lyrics, I’m sure that this song will now be stuck in your head. You’re welcome!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

Welcome to a special picture edition of Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge this week is to name the ten people pictured that passed away in 2011.

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, January 09, 2012

I Scared My Kid

After trailing since early in the second quarter in Sunday’s playoff game, the Steelers tied the Broncos late in the fourth quarter on this touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Jerricho Cotchery.

Naturally, I was excited, so I jumped up off of the couch, screamed and waved my Terrible Towel. My child witnessed this and freaked out. This was a side of daddy that I don’t think he ever saw. He had a mortified look on his face and then started to cry. My child never cries. It took a couple of “Itsy Bitsy Spiders,” but he was back to his normal happy self in no time. I made sure to stay under control through the rest of the game (though nothing scream-worthy occurred during this time). Fortunately, he went upstairs at the end of regulation while I sat stunned as Denver won on the first play of overtime. It is also fortunate that we won’t remember anything about this game. Plus, by next season, he’ll be ready to wave the Terrible Towel himself!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Renegade (Steelers Pump-Up Video)

It's been a fairly lousy last few days to be a Pittsburgh sports fan. The Pitt basketball team lost to DePaul(!) on Thursday night while the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils defeated the Penguins in consecutive games. Meanwhile SMU crushed the Pitt football team in something called the BBVA Compass Bowl. I'm sure that the Pirates managed to lose in something this weekend too.

However, none of this matters if the Steelers win in Denver. To get you fired up for today's game, enjoy the latest video from Benstonium. In addition, please make sure that you "like" Benstonium on Facebook.

Go Steelers!

Friday, January 06, 2012

2011 Year-End Credit Card Spending Summary

Remember how I wrote that I enjoy numbers and statistics? Well, I had a terrific time reviewing my 2011 year-end credit card statement. Seriously. They have charts and percentages. Anyway, for no apparent reason, I thought I would share the top ten places with you.

1. Wegmans – I spend way too much money grocery shopping.

2. Target – This can be attributed to the new addition in our household. Hooray diapers!

3. Amazon.com – See Target. Hooray diapers and baby food!

4. Glass company that I refuse to name. I shared some of my frustration with this company before. Although the shower still isn’t completely fixed, I’m not contacting this company again. With that written, there may be a call to the Better Business Bureau or at least some negative online reviews in the future. Oh, the company that did the actual shower portion of the new shower would have been #2 on this list except that I used a different credit card for them. (Almost all of my purchases are on the credit card that is the basis of this list.)

5. Sun Refining & Marketing – I freaked out when I saw this company on the list. Who the heck is Sun Refining & Marketing? Did I get charged for something incorrectly? Turns out that this company is actually Sunoco. Freak out over.

6. Metro – Even though my company contributes money monthly toward my commute, I still regularly add money to my SmartTrip card to get to and from work.

7. Babies R Us – See Target & Amazon. Hooray diapers, baby food and anything else that I can’t seem to remember right now!

8. JetBlue – I wouldn’t be surprised if another airline actually earned this spot since there seems to be separate entries for reservations and bag fees. With that written, I love the fact that I can check my bag for free on JetBlue and that they still provide snacks for no additional charge. Live TV is also a nice bonus.

9. Safeway – The grocery store closer to Wegmans if only a few items are needed. They seem to have higher prices than Wegmans across the board, but sometimes, you have to go with the convenient location.

10. Eye doctor – New contacts and glasses were needed in 2011.

So where were some of the places that you used your credit card the most in 2011?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Pittsburgh Is In (According to the Washington Post)

As part of the Washington Post’s 2012 In/Out List, authors Monica Hesse and Dan Zak included this:

Hyperbole is out! The Mayans were right!

Of course, based on the title of this post, you know that I’m going to briefly discuss the Portland-Pittsburgh line. As a native Pittsburgher, naturally, I’m happy anytime that my hometown receives positive recognition. Sure, National Geographic naming Pittsburgh one of the 20 world’s must-see destinations was huge (Pittsburgh and Sonoma, CA were the only two locations in the US). All of the movies filmed in Pittsburgh in 2011 also provided wonderful exposure. However, living in DC and seeing this in the Washington Post was a nice surprise.

The cynical me might suggest that the Post’s inclusion of Pittsburgh in the "In" column could be related to the full-page ad by VisitPittsburgh promoting Pittsburgh on the back page of the December 11, 2011 Travel section. However, since I agree with this selection, I would never suggest such a thing.

The Post’s Maura Judkis has more about the "Pittsburgh is in" selection.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jason Taylor Retires, Status of Big JT Unknown

It looks like Jason Taylor from Woodland Hills High School and a former Dancing with the Stars finalist concluded his amazing NFL career on Sunday. Taylor, a 6-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All Pro, completed his 15 year career with 139.5 sacks. I remember Taylor in high school as an uncoordinated basketball center that didn’t yet fit into his body and a Tight End with inconsistent hands. Fortunately, Taylor developed significantly as a football player since he was 17.

Although I didn’t personally know Taylor, I have friends that did. I’ve never heard any negative stories about Taylor, and therefore, I’m not at all surprised by how humble he is in this video and how respected he is by his teammates.

Now that Taylor is retiring from football, the question that remains is what happens to Big JT? You remember Big JT, right? Let me refresh your memory.

With all of the Steelers injuries, could Big JT play running back or in the secondary this weekend?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2011 Sean’s Ramblings Visitors

I love numbers and statistics, so naturally I’m fascinated by the data related to where people live that visit this blog as well as how people find Sean’s Ramblings through searches primarily via Google and Yahoo.

Here are the results for 2011:

1. Pittsburgh, PA

2. New York, NY

3. Washington, DC

4. Chantilly, VA

5. Chicago, IL

6. Arlington, VA

7. Deerfield Beach, FL

8. Los Angeles, CA

9. Baltimore, MD

10. Columbus, OH

Pittsburgh-New York-Washington earn the top three spots for the second consecutive year. Only a third place finish by San-Ch’Ung, Taiwan in 2009 prevents this trifecta from back-to-back-to-back top three finishes.

Now for the top referrals of 2011:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers Mascot

2. LeBron James

3. Songs with Alcohol in the Title

4. Seans Ramblings

5. Jim Shearer

6. Top Songs of 2010

7. Erica Blasberg

8. Cosi Prices

9. Myron Cope Sound Bites

10. Sean’s Ramblings

11. Songs with Drinks in the Title

Seans Ramblings and Sean’s Ramblings together would have been #1, but the variations put these two at #4 & #10 respectively. Therefore, congrats to Pittsburgh Steelers Mascot for moving from #5 in 2010 to the top spot in 2011. Steely McBeam is quite happy.

Meanwhile, I am clearly the source for LeBron James news as evidenced by the impressive second place finish for LeBron James searches. In addition, Fleetwood Mac concert reviews, Hamburger Helper Rice Oriental and Spider Pig lyrics fell out of the top 10.

Please click here if you’re interested in seeing the search and location statistics for 2009 and 2010.

Trivia Tuesday will return next week though there could be a special edition later this week.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Deck the Broncos, They're Just Yoncos!

Although the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 13-9 Sunday, the Baltimore win against the Cincinnati Bengals means that the Ravens earned the AFC North Division title and a first round bye. Therefore, the Steelers as a Wild Card will travel to Denver to face the Broncos next Sunday afternoon. Despite the fact that the Steelers were 12-4 on the season while Denver finished 8-8 with three straight losses, naturally, Steelers fans (including myself) may be worried. Here’s why:

- Injuries. Pro Bowlers QB Ben Roethlisberger & C Maurkice Pouncey aren’t close to 100% with ankle injuries. Meanwhile, starting RB Rashard Mendenhall may be out for the year with a knee injury and LaMarr Woodley’s hamstring has caused him to miss six of the last eight games.

- Ryan Clark had his spleen and gall bladder removed following a game in Denver a few years ago due to some type of reaction to the high altitude. Clark, another Pro Bowler, may not play at Denver

- Every NFL analyst/expert will pick Pittsburgh to win. Remember what happened last year when the 7-9 NFC West division champion Seattle Seahawks hosted the New Orleans Saints, the defending Super Bowl Champs? Denver will certainly have the "no one believes in us" mentality, and it's always possible (though unlikely) that some Pittsburgh players could be overconfident.

- Weather. It’s Denver in January, so who knows what could happen. Snow and wind could give the edge to the Broncos who have the best rushing team in the league. The Steelers are clearly a passing team now. Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris aren’t walking through that door!

With all of this written, the spirit of Myron Cope will be on the Steelers' side. Prior to the 1984 Steelers-Broncos first round playoff game in Denver, Cope created this Christmas song, and the Steelers won.