Steelers 2017: Pink Chickens, Bill Fralic, Ellen DeGeneres, Lizards & Free Agent Gotta Gets & Gotta Goes! by Randy "Tank" Tantlinger
Pink Chickens, Lizards, Ellen DeGeneres & Free Agent Gotta Gets & Gotta Goes!
OK, so ask your self, were you happy with loosing to the eventual Super Bowl champions, The Patriots, in the AFC Championship game?
Of course you weren't!
So let's get “R-E-A-L” and talk “X's & O's” and how your Steelers can go to the big game in Minnesota next year!
And before we start let me say this. If you're a causal football fan or simply like the Steelers because their your home team and they give you a reason to party on Sundays; great for you! Enjoy your hangover.
I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who “LOVES” football. My love for her began when I was six and I saw Larry Czonka and the Miami Dolphins on an old Black and White TV in my Grandparents living room. Crashing into people looked fun.
My love for the game comes from being hit so hard once on a football field I stumbled off the field like the scarecrow in the “Wizard of Oz”. Then I proceeded to throw up on the side line.
After watching butterflies speak French to a pink chicken wearing a top hat for ten minutes, as I laid up against the team bench, I got myself up.
I went to our head coach, who looked like a eight foot tall pink Lizard named Larry at that moment in time and space, and put myself back in the game.
Then played the rest of the game. Incidentally, we won!
Another "hit" that rocked my world was bestowed upon me by 6'5 280LBS of Bill "Bull" Fralic during practice at PITT one day.
"Bull" is considered to be the "Greatest Offensive Lineman" to ever play college football.
At impact I knew my bell was rung. The cherry on top was delivered by 5'11 270lbs of Fullback named "Iron-Head" who then buried his helmet in my spleen.
More pink chickens singing, "What a long strange trip it's been" by the Grateful Dead filled my head.
I love football. I love the Steelers. Politics suck. The human condition has evolved very little in the last three thousand years. And basketball is senseless. So I choose football, white wine, the sweet science of boxing, blues music, golf and football!
So you casual fans will have no clue what I'm talking about when I talk about the changes the "Ler's" must make.
So go turn on Ellen DeGeneres or whatever the hell you watch in the off season.
I'm not going to throw out names. Just positions that need attention via free agency.
If I were throwing out names; I'd say go get me Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White and Troy on Defense.
Also please go get me Mike Martz out of the broadcast booth. Pay Bill Parcells whatever he wants to stand high in a tower above the practice field watching and observing.
Parcells, Tomlin and Martz can all talk behind closed doors. Then your offense that is more than capable of scoring 30 or more points per game, WILL!
Notice there was not mention of Todd Haley!
Now that I'm done talking about dancing pink chickens and my fantasy list. Let's talk turkey.
The Steelers heard Ben's message loud and clear. His days are numbered. And my friends “NOTHING” assures you of another super star QB in the near future after Ben retires. NOTHING. Need I mention Bubbles Brister?
A.B. “Ronald” Brown has a big bag of money now and is a Steeler for life.
Lev Bell is locked down for at least one more year.
Ben is healthy.
The O-Line might be the best Coach Tomlin has had in his ten years as the helm.
The Steelers needs are immediate if they want to get to the Super Bowl next year or God forbid the year after.
The Steelers have never been big on Free Agents. They took a huge chance last year on Ladarius Green and got torched for $10 Million big ones!
1/Find that “other” free agent wide-out that can catch the ball over the middle in traffic and down field. His number one job, become so formidable he takes pressure off “Ronald”.
2/Focus on the growth of Jesse James at TE. Look for a Steelers version of a “Gronk”. Not the “overpaid “Tin-Man-Ladaruis Green.
NOTE: His agent is the greatest of all time. He sold a damaged bill of goods for $20. Million Dollars to the Steelers! Cut Ladarius Green today!
3/Find me a Free Agent “Offensive Coordinator”. Todd Haley has gotta go!
NOTE: Watch my commentary above to learn WHY.
Haleys offense is a disgrace! And that's with one of the Top Five QB's in the NFL. One of the Top Three WR's in the NFL. With the most dynamic, well rounded running back in the NFL and the best rung back in Steelers history in Lev Bell. With a Top Five Offensive line too!
Imagine how bad Haleys offense would be if he had marginal, average or bad players!
“D-LINE”: I loved the growth of Hargrave, AKA the Jaguar, last season. But we all saw what happened when Cam Hayward went down. The Steelers need to find that lineman who can rush, bring pressure and be a force to be reckoned with. Thus freeing Safeties and Line-jackers up to roam free and to BLITZ at will.
Lawrence Timmons never lived up to his $47 MILLION DOLLAR contract he signed in 2011. For that kind of money I want "DOMINANCE". Not the occasional solid game.
LT is 30 years old, is due to be paid $15 Million this season. I believe last season was his last gasp at greatness. You will spend $15 Million on an average LB at best. Who may or may not be a force this season. Cut Him! Today!
I'd look to bring in his younger, faster, meaner, replacement NOW via free agency.
Jarvis Jones: BYE, BYE, BYE. By the end of the season he was ridding the pine. Coach Tomlin made it clear via not being clear that Jarvis was constantly out of position and out of focus in 2016. Get me that stand up outside speed demon. Oh, we have him. His name is James “T-REX” Harrison!
I need a strong safety who's molded in the image of Ronny Lott and Troy! And I need him now!
I do know one thing. If the Steelers keep Todd Haley, it will be a miracle if pure talent alone gets them to the Super Bowl.
OK, who stays and who goes amongst the Steelers free agents? If the old Tanker was G.M. of the "Ler's"; here's how he'd do it.
Timmons-Gone, you got the best of him last year and for $15 MILLION! I Can Load UP elsewhere. PS: I'd move "Chickalo" inside too!
Jarvis Jones-Gone, Gone, GONE! The game is too fast and too big for Jarvis....Say hello to the C.F.L.
D Willamims-Must Keep! And pray Todd Haley gets it through his head to rest "Lev' Bell" and not run him 50 Times a game!
M Wheaton-Keep, but step it up son or it's the Greyhound Bus to Cleveland for you!
S Thomas-GONE! BYE! C-YA! The name of the game is "HITTING"!
L Jones-OK, fine. You can stay. I guess...stand there and don't do anything. Here hold this clip board....
David Johnson-KEEPER! KEEPER! KEEPER! ROCK SOLID! And on the cheap at $600,00! Ladarius Green was paid $10 MILLION last year! You figure it out!
R. Mathews-You can stay, but you're on notice! Get moving! Currently you're over paid by $550,000..........
Ume & Anderson-let's see what you got Kid!
And for goodness sake, Let's get "Big Al" signed so we can protect Ben's blindside!
“No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
I met Hunter S. Thompson when I was working for “The National Football League Players Association” in Washington D.C. In the early 1990's. Hunter was speaking at George Washington University and I had connected to him through the public relations department at the University.
Knowing full well Hunter was a football fanatic. I also knew mentioning that I would bring him an official “NFLPA” hat and tee-shirt and could give him a tour of our offices just might open the door.
That tale is for another time; but let me say it was fun.
So it is with Hunter in mind that I pen this prelude to the 2017 AFC Championship match up between my Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots. Or New England “As*****s” as Coach Mike Tomlin might call them.
The Steelers bought their ticket via their pathetic victory over the Kansas City Chiefs over the past weekend.
Pathetic? Yes, pathetic!
The defense and special teams looks spectacular. Like a finely tuned Swiss wristwatch crafted with all the skill and perfection of a ageless time piece; all parts clicked in unison last Sunday night in Kansas.
James "HOF" Harrison and Bud “Ba-boom” Dupree are now the most feared duo of outside linebackers roaming between the hash marks in the “League”.
Timmons and Shazier bring all the power and impact of thunder and lightning.
Ross Cockrell is the cerebral thinking man's corner.
The Rookies are playing like seasoned pros. And Sean Davis hits like a freight train.
Mike Mitchel is out to prove something!
All is right with your Steelers “D”.
Todd Haley's Offense was pathetic. But we will get to that loathing later.
Fear and loathing abound as we head into New England.
Fear them because they went 14-2 this season. Fear them because Tommy-boy has only thrown two INTS. Fear them because Tom Brady is motivated. Fear them because “Fish-Face” is a damn good coach. Fear them because they have home field advantage.
There is no doubt that the Patriots are the most loathed team in the NFL. Yes, all of the familiar elements are there as to why the Patriots are hated. Jealousy, envy and desire lead the way.
When others succeed and when we fail; the weak minded among us all too often let jealousy and envy creep into their hearts .
Loathing for someone else who is better off than we are bloats our belly's with envy and inflames our hearts with hate.
For the past sixteen years the Patriots have been the team to beat. This will be their sixth straight AFC Championship game. They have won four of the six Super Bowls they have played in.
Their star quarterback is damn good looking, married to a super model and has more money than many small countries. And arguably may be the greatest Q.B. to ever play the game.
I loath how he whines and cries like a schoolgirl after he takes the slightest hit. Remember Jim McMahon? Jimmy would just smile at you when you lacerated his kidney. Or Brett Favre? Hell, that boy would play with a punctured lung.
Loathing the Patriots for all those reasons is OK. It's human nature to want to knock the top dog off his perch. Especially a whiney dog.
Loathing the Patriots because they win through cheating is a whole other ballgame!
“In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Patriots most prominent cheating scandals began in 1982 when they were playing the Dolphins in a blizzard. Enter snowplow operator Mark Henderson. Henderson who had permission to plow the sideline markers took it upon himself to veer onto the field and clear the snow from the exact spot that the Patriots kicker, John Smith, was about to kick a field goal from. Don Shula and the Dolphins went nuts! Smith made his field goal. Final score Pats 3-Tuna fish 0.
Who could forget “Spy-gate” in 2007? The Patriots were filming everything they could. Like the scene in the 1980's movies “Porky's” when the horny teenage boys cut a hole in the girls shower and locker room and took all the free “peeky-poo's” they wanted.
Old "Fish-Face" was "looky-louying" anywhere he could.
The Steelers have had their sideline communications mysteriously malfunction during games at Foxboro.
41-27 was the final score of the Pats vs Steelers during the 2015 AFC Championship game. Many Steelers players believe to this day that the Patriots knew every play the Steelers ran. No one knows how. But they know.
NOTE: I do not count “Deflate-Gate” as a scandal. It was a mountain fashioned from the dirt of a molehill. Perhaps the NFL felt as if they had to penalize the Patriots in a similar way that O.J. Simpson was sentenced to thirty three years for “armed robbery” in Vegas. We all knew it was payback for Nicole and Ron. “Deflate-Gate” , although small in it's criminality, would serve as the conductance for justice for sins of the past.
The cherry on top is the fact that despite getting caught cheating the Patriots remain arrogant! That is the definition of an "A-hole".
If not the definition of a socio-path!
So in conclusion. Loathing the Patriots because they win is infantile. Loathing the Patriots because they win through cheating is just.
As for your Steelers Offense; fear and loathing abound for your author.
This might be the best offense that Mike Tomlin has had during his ten year stint at the helm. I believe it's a better offense than the one that won the Super Bowl in Tampa.
The offensive line under the tutelage of Mike Munchak is the best in the NFL as of today.
Ben is one of the top four QB's in the NFL. The other three are also playing this weekend.
Lev' Bell is simply a tapestry of power, beauty, rhythm and blues, a hurricane, a majestic Hawaiian rainbow, a Rembrandt, a marvel to behold, a delight, a ballet dancer, a sledge hammer and the best back in the NFL.
Antonio Brown is one of the top three receivers in the NFL. Dez Bryant and Beckham round out the trio.
My fear and loathing of the Steelers offense lays at the feet of Todd Haley. There is a reason there were six head coaching positions open in the NFL and his phone did not ring. There was a reason some cherry college head coaching jobs were not filled by him. Those who know football and make their livings off the game would rather keep Todd Haley right where he is. In Pittsburgh.
Please refer to below scores and numbers before we continue.
Eagles 34- Steelers 3
Dolphins 30 Steelers 15
Patriots 27 Steelers 16
Ravens 21 Steelers 14
Cowboys 35-Steelers 30
Steelers 24 Bengals 20 NOTE: Boswell six field goals.
NOTE: During these losses:
Todd Haley's Offense scored 42 Points
Chris Boswell scored 30 Points
Steelers 18 Chiefs 16 NOTE: Boswell six field goals.
Todd Haley is NOT A GOOD COORDINATOR! I have nothing against him personally. I'm sure he's a nice guy and would make a great special teams coach.
For the record. Todd Haley did not play high school football. Todd Haley played golf in college. Why is this relevant?
If you do not know the pain associated with the game. If you do not understand what it takes to get up and off the turf when you can't even breath and see straight. When you don't understand that even though most players are in excruciating, breath taking pain; they will tell you they are fine and not to take them out. That when you have never played the game at a superior level you have no concept of the flow and rhythm of the game.
I will now drive my point home! Mike Munchak was one of the greatest O-Lineman to ever play the game. He's been in the trenches. His technique was near perfection. He has the first hand knowledge of combat inside the lines. He knows what works and what does not. He has imparted this sage like wisdom onto to his students.
That is why he was able to shape and mold like clay a 6'6 330lb Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert who was tripping over his own feet and who was constantly reaching out to block a charging D-Lineman and turn him into a solid player, if not future Pro-Bowler.
Munchak played the game at it's highest level. Get my point?
It is simply inexcusable for the Steelers who have an abundance of offensive talent to have put up such dismal numbers during their losses. This offense should have been ready to roll on week one. We all expected them to put up thirty to forty points per game. Never happened.
More sickening and tale of the evidence as to Todd Haley's lack of talent is the fact that our kicker in both the Cincinnati and Kansas game's had to produce the points to win. If it was not for Boswell we loose in Cincy. And this weekend the Chiefs would be New England bound.
Haley had the ball on the Chief's 25 yard line or in the “Red Zone” seven times this past weekend and could not score!
I could go on and on about bad play calling, bad judgment, not using all of his resources, bad game planning and more; but to what good? I do not own the team. I'm not the team's head coach.
If the Steelers loose to "Fish-Face", Brady and all of New England; I simply will die a thousand deaths knowing in my heart of heart's that this Steelers team is as good if not better than the Patriots. They just have a bad offensive coordinator.
I have no clue how this weekend will turn out.
I have no clue if Todd Haley will suddenly figure out the secrets to football.
I do not know if the Steelers can win “despite” Todd Haley.
Like all of "Steelers Nation" I so badly want to beat New England because as Coach Tomlin said, “They're assholes”!
I want revenge for the 2001 AFC Championship here in Pittsburgh. Who amongst us thought we would loose?
I want a reckoning for the 2005 AFC Championship game.
And I want to soak up the sun of “Super Bowl 51” in Houston, Texas.
But most importantly like you, I bleed black and gold.
“And that, I think, was the handle - -that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting - -on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - -the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
Hunter S. Thompson-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Ladarius Green was paid a four year twenty million dollar contract.
That's five million a year. Plus, he got a nice $4.8 million dollar signing bonus.
So for the 2016 season he was paid $9.8 million.
Can we just call it $10 MILLION BIG ONES?
Here's what the Steelers got for their money.
In 2016 he played in six games. That means he was paid $1.6 MILLION per game!
Or if you like he had eighteen catches . That means he was paid $560,000. per catch!
Money well spent! Note: Sarcasim.
Come Sunday as the eyes of the world and Steelers Nation focus on the Steelers vs. the "Tuna-Fish of Miami";
one Steeler will not, once again, be in a uniform. Green.
Green who made his season debut in a black and gold uniform on November 16th
as the Steelers lost to the Cowaboys 35-30.
Where had all 6'6 280lbs of Mr. Green been prior to that? We don't know.
We could not get a straight answer from anyone.
Green had surgery to repair his ankle in January of 2016.
He missed all of Spring training and all of training camp in Latrobe.
Some suggested he spent July through November with his right ankle in an ice bucket. Some suggested he continued to suffer from concussions he sustained in 2014 and 2015 while still with the San Diego Chargers.
Green came here with the reputation as a game changer. Heck he had 37 catches and 429 yards rec in 2015.
(Note:) Remember that for later use "Cupcake"! No wonder we went after him.
He got a big bag of money; then we heard crickets. We got a quick look at him for six games
and eighteen catches. Then "BOOM"!
"Hello, is this 'The Concssion Protocol Clinic'? Yeah, Green again.
The kids got a rotten soft coco-nut for a head. We will need a bucket of cold water and a dark room again, please. How long? Who the hell knows!"
Look, in a modern era when we have players committing suicide, notably Junior Seau-God rest his soul, because of brain trama due to head injuries. If Ladarius has a rung bell again and can't go Sunday against the "Miami Tuna-Fish" ; I trust the doctors know what they're doing. The man's life is more important than football.
But what's got my goat is not the wasted $10 MILLION BIG ONES.
It's the fact that for every damn week since training camp all I kept hearing from Steelers beat reporters were questions to Coach Tomlin of the same damn nature.
"When's Green gonna play? OMG, OMG he's the second comming of Mike Ditka and Jerry Rice.
OMG, when he's healthy he's gonna be the missing link to our Super Bowl dreams.
OMG, I'm just simply gonna pee myself in anticipation."
All this said with all the giddyness of a sixteen year old girl on way to prom.
Then Steelers fans ,trusting that the "MEDIA" really knew anything about "FOOTBALL", bought into the hype around Green.
In the mean time, "The Outlaw" Jesse James, 6'7 281lbs out of Penn State, was going to work every day.
To date he has 39 catches for 338 yards rec.
Remeber we spent $10 MILLION BIG ONES on Green because he had 37 catches and 429 yards rec. in 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Remember? Good you get a cookie! Get the point?
All the while ,"The Outlaw" was learning from the very best the game has to offer in his tight end
Coach James Daniel.
You don't know Coach Daniel? You should egg-head. He's been on the Steelers staff for 13 years!
He made Heath Miller into "HEEEEEEATH!".
Oh, and on occasion "The Outlaw" learned a few things from perhaps the gretest offensive lineman to ever play the game and now Steelers O-Line Coach, Mike Munchak.
Did you actually watch Ladarius Green when he played his six games? I did with great intent.
I wanted to know what "GOD" looks like.
Could you hear the teen age prom queens gushing?
"2,4,6,8 Ladarius is GREAT! I just adrore him!", I over heard the prom queens scream after his first catch!
I watched too.
Let me say this. My eighty seven year old Father can block better than Green.
Hell, call up Conrad Dobler and his sixty two year old runied knees; he can block better than Green!
So listen up "Cupcake"! Get your chin up and buckle up that chin strap.
Because the Steelers will have their best tight end on the field come game time, "The Outlaw" !
Oh, one last thing. $577,228. That's Jesse Jame's salary for 2016. Money well spent!
"Jim" Delligatti”, a McDonalds Franchise owner passed away this past week. A man often lives his life in vain and quiet desperation longing and hoping for a better tomorrow. Often towards the end of his life he reflects on how he’ll be remembered.
No worries there for “Big Jim”. He can sleep in eternal peace knowing for all eternity that as long as the “Golden Arch’s” glistening and glimmer across the known universe proclaiming proudly “Over 10 Gazillion Served”; that he alone in his small way changed the fate of mankind.
Yes, like Ford, Carnegie, Bell and Jobs before him, “Big Jim” changed the world we live in.
Yes, like the sonic boom of the very first aero plane that burst through the sound barrier; in 1967
“Big Jim” created, right here in Pittsburgh, the very first “Big Mac” sandwich! The world thanks you, “Big Jim”.
On Thursday night December 1st, 2016 another delightful masterpiece was served up to hungry fans at the “PPG Paints Arena”. The chef was non other than Pittsburgh’s adopted favorite son Sidney Crosby.
With the Dallas Stars in town and the game tied with two minutes left in the second period. On the massive center ice screen suddenly there was a promotion for “A Free Big Mac for everyone in attendance if the PENS score with two minutes remaining.”
I’m certain that McDonald’s has done the actuary charts and studied with the precision of a “Mob” book keeper the odds of a Penguin actually scoring within this two minute promotional period. Most certainly the bean counters consulted with Ronald McDonald himself and said, “Let’s do this puppy. Ain’t no way in Hades no Penguin’s gonna score! Go for it Ronald!”
Well, “Big Jim Delligatti” had one last gift for the fans of the “Big Mac” and the “Penguins”. “Big Jim” and Sidney Crosy teamed together to serve up one last round on “Big Jim”.
Shortly after the big screen announced the free “Big Macs” if the Pens scored; Sidney Crosby put on his chef’s hat and with all the craft and culinary delight of a Parisian Five Star Chef he flipped his magic spatula and served up a piping hot, fresh and smoking hot “Big Mac Attack” complete with, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun”!
With just 21.5 seconds left in not only the period but more importantly the “Big Mac” promotion; Sidney Crosby with the help of “Big Jim’s” spirit flipped a go-ahead goal magically into the Dallas Stars net.
18,000 plus fans erupted in celebration. The Penguins danced on the ice as the horn blew at deafening decibels.
And somewhere in heaven the angels turned to “Big Jim” with special sauce dripping down their chins and said to him, “Thank for the memories “Big Jim”. That goal was for you!”
"The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust's mission is to ensure the continuation and integrity of this award."
This is what the Heisman committee tells us on their website.
If this is the criteria for the award; then simply PITT's James Conner must win come December 12th.
If not then like all things in todays America that seem tainted with superficiality, shallowness and immediate self gratification; the Heisman is a joke.
Let me state my case.
First the stats.
In 2014 he was the ACC player of the year.
In 2015 he ripped his knee apart.
In 2015 he was diagnosis with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
In 2016 he returned to the field of play after knee surgery and rehab.
In 2016 he returned to the field of play after suffering and enduring through Chemo to rid his body of the cancer within.
In 2016 he set the ACC All Time leading rusher TD record last week with 53 TD's..
NOTE: The ACC has been keeping records for sixty three years.
NOTE: PITT still has one regular season game to play at home against the Orangemen.
So based upon the Heisman's' criteria of " pursuit of excellence with integrity" and that "The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work."; there simply can be no other winner,
Stats and National Championships are good measures of a football player.
But if we are to truly believe the ethos that we are taught about the game that it builds character and it teaches us how to deal with life. And that the game is more than trophy's and awards that it is about character. Then James Conner must win.
If he does not; then it is all a myth.
Let's measure the man!
" Pursuit of excellence with integrity": My goodness the young man pursed his ACC rushing title while battling a torn up knee and battling cancer. All the while with a smile on his face, concern for his fellow patients who were also fighting the disease and all the while trying to keep his teammates inspired.
"The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.": My God, henceforth from today beside the words, "diligence, perseverance, and hard work" in the dictionary there will be a picture of James Conner.
The Heisman humiliated itself in recent history with awarding their trophy to Reggie Bush. Who after the fact it was found "did not" conduct himself with "integrity".
The Heisman humiliated itself in recent history with awarding their trophy to the boy buffoon; Johnny Manziel. Need I list the reasons why?
Oh, and if stealing crab legs and yelling obscenities at young ladies is truly grounds for winning the
Heisman; then America "is truly done".
Knute Rockne said, "Four years of football are calculated to breed in the average man more of the ingredients of success in life than almost any academic course he takes."
James Conner is the 2016 Heisman trophy winner.
Sitting in my local "V.F.W." on a Saturday night, eatin' wings and smoking a Rocky Patel cigar; I came not expecting to see much of a game.
How could the Pitt Panthers with their journeyman QB beat the #2 ranked team in America? Playing Clemson was a tough enough task at hand. Combine that with playing at Clemson in the stadium nicknamed "Death Valley"; well certainly the "Grim Reaper" was sharpening his sickle in anticipation of roasting "Panther" meat.
If you missed the game; I feel sorry for you. If you missed every exciting counterpunch that PITT landed to answer the "Tigers"; I feel sorry for you.
This game represented several metaphorical "cornerstones" that are hallmarks of athletics.
1/The game represented everything we are ever taught about the nature of competitive sports. The saying goes, "On any givin' Sunday.."
That's right any man, any team willing to enter the arena and throw down his sword in combat just might strike a lucky blow that leads to victory. If that man never quits believing in himself. If he fights with all his spirit and might; lady luck may be with him.
2/The Pitt football program has been a mess for decades; no thanks to Steve, "I'm an megalomaniac", Peterson! Sure Coach Dave and his mustache gave a valiant effort. Until he was fired for no damn reason at all; other than being successful. WTF? Then came a series of misfits. Then came "Coach" N.!
I'm not sure why we believed in him from day 1. I don't know how he alone made a wounded and skeptical Pitt nation embrace him. But we did. Saturday in "Death Valley" our faith in him was proved to be justified. Coach set in place with a solid brick and mortar foundation a new highway of success for Pitt football for years to come.
3/Here you will have to forgive my bias. For I'm a Pitt Panther fan. Mark May hung in my high school locker. I attended Pitt football camps under Jackie Sherrill and Coach "Fazio".
The first day of practice as a Pitt Panther under the blistering sun of summer camp at "Edinboro"; I lined up across from the greatest lineman in NCAA history, Bill "Bull" Fralic.
For the record it took a bulldozer and a team of scientists to dig me out of the earths core after "Bull" pulverized me into the hot dirt and stones that littered the field back then.
Moving on. For those of us who have suffered for decades as Pitt fans this has been a season of immense
James Conner beat cancer and returned to the field of play. EPIC!
We beat PSU! EPIC!
We beat the number two team in the country on their home field. TIMELESS!
Hail PITT! Hail Coach Pat!
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