Category Archives: Commentary

Random Thoughts on Steelers @ Jaguars

Sorry for the lateness. Once again I’m in the Land of Enchantment [this is a reason, if not an excuse.] Two points if you know, without Googling, which state that is. Five points if you can name the State Bird. 10 Points if you can name the State Cookie. (Yes, they have one.) 20 points if you can name the State Song, and 100 points if you can sing it. Answers may be given in the comments below, and you may post a video of yourself singing the state song if you want to go for the Big Kahuna. It will probably go viral. But back to business:

This article was supposed to be titled “Random Thoughts on the Steelers’ Major Collapse Epic Comeback,” but the title box doesn’t allow for strikethroughs. And perhaps it’s best to dwell on the positive. So let’s begin, and I will endeavor to do so. No promises, though…

I guess Stephon Tuitt was even more important than I thought. And Daniel McCullers was even less ready than anyone thought. (Which in many cases was already not much.)

James Conner’s haircut is, I gather, one of a class termed “business in the front, party in the back.” Perhaps it is time for Conner to be all business. [Low blow, I know, but stay with me…]

Good Ben is unbelievable. Bad Ben isn’t even “decent, at best.” If only Bad Ben could be completely exorcised.

Watching the “Mic’d Up” version of the Panthers game (you can find it on NFL.com—I’m in too much of a hurry to post a link) is wayyyy more fun than watching anything but the last five minutes or so of Sunday’s game. (Actually, it’s way more fun than an awful lot of things which are way more fun than most of Sunday’s game. It was MT and Ben who were mic’d up, and it’s definitely worth the trouble to find it.)

Er, I’m not doing a very good job at staying positive. Let me reset and try again.

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 Second Quarter Report

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By Ivan Cole

It’s hard to argue with 4-0, though we know that some will manage to overcome this challenge. As we pass through the first weekend in November and into the second half of the season the September stench has dissipated considerably. The landscape has changed dramatically in Pittsburgh, the AFC North and around the league. Indeed, when both football and non-football occurrences are considered, who could have predicted where we find ourselves as we enter the heart of the holiday season.

In the NFC the Rams are proving themselves the class of the conference, if not the whole league. As Philadelphia suffers a particularly harsh Super Bowl hangover, Washington emerges as the Beast of the East. Similarly, another team with high expectations, Atlanta, has yielded to more robust divisional rivals in New Orleans and Pittsburgh’s Thursday night opponent, Carolina. The Bears impress in the North.

In the AFC the Patriots appear to continue to have an unfair advantage in that they are spotted six victories due to their inept divisional rivals. Jacksonville show themselves to be paper Jaguars as the Texans surge. That loss to the Chiefs looks more forgivable with every passing week.

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An Entangled Meditation on Browns vs Steelers Part Two

By Ivan Cole

It would have been a difficult weekend, even for those of us with the lightest, most superficial ties to the city and its culture (not to mention that of humanity writ large). However, for me and several others of this little online family of Steelers fans, it cuts closer to the bone.

Although I did not live in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, I am an alum of Taylor Allderdice High School, and that community was a major player and influence in my adolescent coming of age. I need not go through the mental gymnastics of trying to imagine the physical layout of the place, its rhythms, the mysteries of the bonds of relationship that define Pittsburgh or that particular part of the city. I lived it.

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Some More Random Thoughts on Steelers v. Bengals

Photo via Steelers.com/Karl Rosen

By Ivan Cole

Unlike Rebecca I saw the game in real time. These are the things that impressed me about this performance:

Meanness.

Rebecca and some others might have not have understood my comments in a previous post about Pittsburgh lacking a certain quality of meanness. I think this is because we often conflate ‘mean’ with ‘dirty’. This is, I believe, the Bengal’s fatal flaw. Cincinnati, as usual, was the dirtier team. Pittsburgh was the meaner team. What the highlights did not adequately convey was, despite the closeness of the score, how thoroughly the Steelers beat the Bengals up. The difference could be most clearly seen when comparing the play and effectiveness of Vance McDonald, who connects with Ben Roethlisberger through Bible studies and cancer survivor James Connor with that of Vontaze Burfict. Burfict played dirty. McDonald and Connor played mean. The result was a parade of Bengal players forced to the sideline, the locker room, and concussion protocol without roughness or unsportsmanlike penalties, while, despite threats and Cincinnati’s best efforts, the Steelers came through relatively unscathed. Read more

Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 First Quarter Report

Photo via Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

A Friendly Reminder

Watching the Steelers during the first quarter of the 2018 season has been a dispiriting experience. That being said, let me remind you of points made in the season preview and elsewhere which warn about the weight that is placed on early season performances. Off the top of my head, here are some of narratives that we have been treated to over the course of the first month of the season:

  • After a loss to Jacksonville, the New England Patriots were declared washed up They have, as of this writing, won their past two games, including an impressive win over the, then, undefeated Miami Dolphins.
  • Based upon that same performance, the Jaguars were anointed a beast in the AFC. The following week they managed to score all of three points against Tennessee.
  • Beware the Ravens after they thumped Buffalo in the season opener, then promptly went to Cincinnati and lost.
  • The Bills, after being slaughtered in their first two games, were declared the worst team ever, and then they went to Minnesota.
  • With quarterback Jamais Winston suspended for the first three games Tampa Bay was supposed to be in deep doo-doo. Not.
  • Philadelphia is going to cruise right back to the Super Bowl.
  • The Steelers looked bad against Kansas City, and how good could the Chiefs possibly be?
  • The New York Jets are on their way!
  • The Steelers are toast. Fire everybody.

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The Case for the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers

Karl Rosen photo/ Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

I begin with my usual disclaimer that I focus on potentialities rather than predictions. Many things can and will happen between now and February that impact outcomes. I will address some of these shortly. That being said, it’s not going out on a limb to assert that the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers are legitimate Super Bowl Champion contenders as measured by the accumulated talent, organizational leadership and support. Unfortunately, there is more involved. What follows are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse that alone or in tandem can undermine a season.

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Of Raps and Rugby: A Pittsburgh Steelers Housekeeping Post

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Although Ivan has pretty much sewn up the “think globally” part of the site writing, I’m going to dip my toes back into those waters before continuing with my profiles of the new players, because several interesting bits of news have hit the stands.

But before I speak of things particular to the Steelers, I’m going to tackle a league-wide issue which, strangely, does not effect the Steelers, thank heavens—the increasing fuss over the “working” conditions of the NFL cheerleaders.

I’ve always been a fan of the Steelers eschewing cheerleaders, and given what I’m reading, I’m even gladder, although I can’t see the Rooneys treating “employees” with the same disdain as some of the teams.

In case you’re wondering why I have italicized “working” and “employees,” it is because many cheerleaders are not, apparently, paid in any significant way.

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