Monday, April 30, 2018

2018 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Recap

The 2018 NFL Draft occurred over the last few days, and I'm here to provide in-depth coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks. And by in-depth, I mean that I provide a meaningful (or meaningless) tidbit about each player, usually based on their name.

Terrell Edmunds, Safety, Virginia Tech

What a name. Think about it. Terrell Edmunds will now be only 4th player in NFL history* named Terrell after Terrell Davis, Terrell Owens, and Terrell Suggs. All three of these Terrells are in the NFL Hall of Famer or will be one day. Actually, based on this history, Edmunds should have been the #1 overall draft pick. Sorry Cleveland Browns fans!

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Nate Washington had an underrated career as a Steelers wide receiver. If James Washington matches Nate Washington's stats as a member of the Steelers, well, that would be a disappointment.

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

In cold December games in Pittsburgh, it's quite possible that Rudolph will get a red nose.

Chukwuma Okorafor, OL, Western Michigan

The name Chukwuma Okorafor reminds me of Chukky Okobi, the Steelers back-up center in the late 2000s. Okobi was also a rapper with his songs appearing on his MySpace page. I really wish his MySpace page was still around. It was awesome!

Marcus Allen, S, Penn State

Incredible player, but he's 58 now and making the switch from running back to safety could be tough. I guess he'll bring some veteran leadership as a rookie.

Jaylen Samuels, RB, NC State

Samuels had a now deleted tweet from 2011 where he wrote that the Steelers suck. Hey, we all write dumb tweets when we're young. I mean, I'm sure I wrote a tweet last week that I wish I could take back.

Joshua Frazier, DT Alabama

It's extremely important that Frazier stays on his feet and helps to stop the run since you don't want him to go down.

* This may not be true, but I'm going to say it is since it sounds better for this post. Seems like Terrelle Pryor should have changed the spelling of his name to Terrell.

You can view more of my amazing draft recaps of the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Second Favorite Sports Team

Recently, The Moose (now 7) asked me to name my second favorite baseball team. I replied the San Diego Padres, he said oh, and that was the end of our conversation.

His question got me thinking. Can you have a second favorite professional sports team per sport? Almost ten years ago (man, this blog is old!), I asked who you would choose if you are forced to cheer for a professional football team other than the team you currently support. This is a variation of that question. There is nothing forced here. You probably have favorite NFL, MLB, NHL, and/or NBA teams. That is the team you always want to succeed. In many cases, there is unconditional love and loyalty involved (and the teams know this which is why they sell so much merchandise and can require season ticket holders to purchase personal seat licenses). Anyway, my first question is can you have a second favorite team? This is a team that you want to do well but who you would never support over your favorite team. My example from the 2008 blog post was the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins. I'm always going to support the Steelers, but I like the Dolphins since they employed Pittsburgh legend Dan Marino as well as two people that went to my high school, Jason Taylor and Lousaka Polite. (Yes, everything comes back to Pittsburgh for me.)

In case you're wondering, the Padres are my second favorite baseball team from my time living in San Diego in the late 90s. I got to watch Tony Gwynn, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, play regularly and followed the team as they reached the 1998 World Series, including attending a NLCS game against the Atlanta Braves.

Although they are now division rivals with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets would qualify as my second favorite hockey team. This has more to do with history rather than the current team as I lived in Columbus when the team first came into existence. I saw many games during the team's inaugural season while working as a beer man roaming the upper level. Geoff Sanderson, Ron Tugnutt, and Espen Knutsen for life!

Please note that I'm leaving college sports out of this discussion since there are so many schools and affiliations. For example, I support the University of Pittsburgh teams and remember going to football games at Pitt Stadium as a kid. I also attended graduate school at The Ohio State University, so I root for the Buckeyes. My brother is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, so I was all in when the Rams were in the men's NCAA basketball tournament last month. (I could go on here about my affiliations with George Mason University, San Diego State University, Duquesne University, and others, but I'm getting off topic.)

So can you have a second favorite professional team, and if so, who are your second (and first) favorite teams?

Photos by the Miami Dolphins and Getty Images.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

You Can't Get A Slice of Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake at 4:31 AM!

Breaking news from the Fairfax County Police Department News website:

DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Fair Oaks Shopping Center (Cheesecake Factory), April 17, 2018, 4:31a.m.

Officers responded to the location for a report of a woman yelling and acting erratically. When officers tried to speak with the woman she continued to yell profanities while trying to enter the business. When officers attempted to arrest the woman, she tried to pull her arms away. The woman also spit on one of the officers. Caroline Wilson, 26, of Fairfax, was charged with assault on law enforcement, disorderly conduct, and drunk in public.

I really, really, really want to know more about this story. For example, how drunk do you have to be to not realize that Cheesecake Factory is closed at 4:31 AM? Did Ms. Wilson want a piece of cheesecake or something else? Maybe Ms. Wilson arrived at Cheesecake Factory when it was open but only decided on what she wanted to order many hours later after searching through the largest menu on the planet.

I will be happy to provide more information about this story as it develops.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Trivia Tuesday: 80s Baseball & The US-Canada Border

We haven't had Trivia Tuesday in a while, but I thought I would try it again. Today's questions are a mix of 1980s baseball trivia and items about the United States-Canada border. Good luck!

1. MLB personnel testifying at the famed 1985 drug trial of Curtis Strong included Dale Berra, Keith Hernandez, Vida Blue, and Kevin Koch. While not a player, Koch provided prominent professional players in Pennsylvania with cocaine while serving as what alliterative avian mascot?

2. The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is unusual in that the Canada-U.S. Border goes through the middle of the building. Name EITHER the Canadian province or the U.S. state that is home to this building. (Sean's Note: I just learned that this place existed and really want to go now.)

3. It is used for veterinary purposes as a hoof antiseptic and suggests that it can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff. But perhaps its most striking application was, in the words of author Mike McKenzie, briefly giving one future Hall of Famer "the ignominious distinction of hitting a game-losing home run" and another future Hall of Famer "a save by giving up a hit into the seats." Name this substance, now addressed in a comment to MLB Rule 3.02(c).

4. If you drive north over the entire length of Interstate 29 beginning in Kansas City, Missouri, you will enter Canada at the Emerson Port of Entry, which is located in what Canadian province?

5. He led the leader in batting average (1980), doubles (1981, 1983), and at bats (1982), but his name rarely evokes those things. Name this longtime left fielder/first baseman who is also not best remembered for being traded from the Chicago Cubs for Mike Brumley and Dennis Eckersley in 1984.

6. The border community of Warroad, Minnesota is perhaps best known for being the hometown of what American hockey player who scored four shootout goals, including the game winning goal, in a game against Russia at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics? This player played his first NHL game in 2008 for the St. Louis Blues, and currently plays for the Washington Capitals.

7. When completed, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will compete with what existing bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario?

8. He was the NL's DH for the first-ever AAA All-Star Game and reportedly the first minor leaguer to be kissed by the famed Morganna the Kissing Bandit. His brief MLB career with the Pirates and Astros was unmemorable, except that he remains, nearly 30 years later, the last left-handed thrower to play an MLB game at catcher. Name this player. (Sean's Note: This player has also been mentioned on this blog several times over the years. Actually, more than one person found my blog because they searched for "[Player Name] married" and discovered Sean's Ramblings.)

9. The only stadium to debut (and open) in the 1980s that remains an active MLB stadium is almost certainly the only stadium in the world that is 1,500 feet shorter than a building adjacent to it. Give either name for this stadium that, between 2008-13, experienced higher fan turnout for the NFL games it hosted than for its resident baseball club.

Please do not use the internet for assistance, and leave your answers in the comments section below.

These questions are from two recent LearnedLeague one-day specials. If you're interested in joining LearnedLeague, I have a referral for next season, so please contact me.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Maserati of SUVs

I'm not a car person. I just want something that is reliable and gets me where I need to go. Because of this, I also tend to ignore car commercials. However, I recently saw this commercial for Levante and it got me thinking. I'm at the point of my life where I own and need to drive an SUV since we have three kids. Maybe I've always wanted a Maserati. Now, I can have the Maserati of SUVs!

Of course, the end of the commercial I saw stated that this SUV starts at around $74K. And that's the point where I'm out. I mean, I draw the line at $72K!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sean The Matchmaker

After a long search, I finally found someone for musician Avril Lavigne.

You're very welcome for this 15+ year old song reference.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

2018 Celebrate Fairfax

It's early April, the cherry blossoms are about to bloom, and those of us in the Washington DC area should be enjoying spring. Instead, we're looking at the possibility of snow on Saturday. Still, spring really is coming and so is warm weather. Celebrate Fairfax feels the same way and has Super Early Bird tickets on sale now through April 10th. Before I get into ticket prices, you may wonder what Celebrate Fairfax is all about (though if you've read my blog over the years, you already know the answer).

The 37th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is being held June 8-10, 2018 at the Fairfax County Government Center in Northern Virginia. Festival highlights include family programing, craft beer, Virginia wine, a silent disco, 40+ thrilling carnival rides, nightly fireworks, and the following headlining performances:

Friday, June 8th: Good Charlotte

In my opinion, Good Charlotte was the last group to become big courtesy of MTV and may be underappreciated because of this. Good Charlotte is from Waldorf, Maryland so this will be a bit of a homecoming for the Madden twins and company.

Saturday, June 9th: Gin Blossoms & Sugar Ray

This should be fun. Somehow, I don't think I've ever seen the Gin Blossoms perform. That will change this year. Sugar Ray played at Celebrate Fairfax many years ago and put on a fun show. I'll just type fun one last time here.

Sunday, June 10th: Cracker

I like this song. If you're coming to Celebrate Fairfax on Sunday, you'll get Cracker and Sunday Brew, a pop-up beer festival featuring local and regional breweries and two stages of non-stop entertainment.

Besides the headliners, there are nearly 130 performances, 40+ food vendors, hundreds of exhibitors, and so much more. Plus, PSISTORM CUP VI esports Arena is Celebrate Fairfax!’s newest addition to the festival. The esports Arena will provide the ultimate fan experience by featuring “Open Play” all weekend and a 2-day StarCraft II Tournament. There will also be tournaments for Madden, FIFA, Smash Brothers and more!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Super Early Bird tickets are on sale now for only $14 for a weekend pass or $8 for admission for one-day. I know I say this every year, but you're going to pay more than $8 just for ticket fees for many concerts. Plus, there's so much more than the headliners at Celebrate Fairfax.

More information about the festival is available at See you in June!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Colin Moran: The Coin Man

On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Minnesota Twins 5-4 to remain undefeated through four games of the 2018 season. The Pirates scored all five runs in the first inning with four courtesy of a grand slam by one of the newest Pirates, Colin Moran.

Fun stat: Colin Moran is only the third Pirates player to hit a Grand Slam in a home opener. The others are Hall of Famers Ralph Kiner and Roberto Clemente. That's some good company.

After Moran hit the grand slam, the Pittsburgh Pirates twitter account sent out the following tweet:

Actually, the original tweet was: "CALL HIM THE MAN COIN MORAN!!!" It was quickly deleted but not before I saw it (though I wasn't quick enough to get a screen shot). I like The Man Coin as a nickname though The Coin Man is even better. So that's my suggested nickname for Moran. Just think of the possibilities. He "deposited" the home run into the right field seats. After making a nice defensive play at third base, he gobbled up the loose change. After a bases-clearing double, The Coin Man made it rain. Personally, I think The Coin Man nickname makes a lot of cents! (See what I did there?)

Wouldn't the post-game celebration for Moran be more fun with coins or at least chocolate gelt?

I hope this nickname sticks!

Photos by Justin Berl / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photoshop courtesy of Doug Vogel.