The Steagles—photo from Temple University archives, via Philadelphia Eagles
By Ivan Cole
The inspiration for this came after it was announced that Justin Gilbert was given a year-long suspension by the league. We have become accustomed to players being unavailable for numbers of games, and even entire seasons. But what if that happened to an entire team? What if for some circumstance that is currently unforeseen the Steelers would not be playing for a season or more while the rest of the NFL continued?
This is not as foreign a concept as it might appear at first glance. In the days when the Steelers were, well, terrible, it was common practice for many fans to adopt a more competent, competitive team to root for. No doubt, this is how in current times many people may have come to be followers of the Steelers. Read more
As most of you who frequent this site know, I’m a big Shaun Suisham fan, and consequently was very conflicted about the upcoming kicker situation.
There is, after all, no getting around the fact that Chris Boswell, who appears to have ice water in his veins, kicked very well. Nor can one deny that he’s younger and cheaper than Suisham. Furthermore, he, like Suisham, appears to be a very solid human being, something which matters a lot to me.
Consequently I was viewing the coming camp battle between the two with distinctly mixed emotions. Neither man has done anything so far to deserve to lose the job, but somebody has to. The assumption was, though, that this decision would be made in August.
Recent events indicate that there is more to the situation than meets the eye. Two days ago Mike Tomlin kicked the tires, if you will, on yet another kicker, Roberto Aguayo. Tomlin was at the Florida State Pro Day on Tuesday, and attempted to ice Aguayo, as reported by ESPN: Read more
Stonn the Invincible
As fans we get caught up with our teams fortunes, for good or ill. This is what makes it fun, of course, but some of us take it way too seriously. Take my Steelers garden gnome Stonn. The picture at left is Stonn, proud and free, in the early days of last season.
The picture below is Stonn after the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs. I kid you not. Stonn resides on top of the bookcase next to my desk, angled just precisely correctly for maximum mojo. So imagine my surprise as I came into my office a few days after the Steelers lost to the Broncos to find him face down in my paper recycling bin. His little hat was broken off, laying pathetically on the floor.
I have no idea whether this was attempted suicide on his part or whether he was pushed, in a fit of temporary insanity, by Cato, my feline game-watching buddy. Cato is pretty laid back about most things, but he does take the Steelers quite seriously.
Of course, Stonn could have fallen after consuming too much alcohol, but I have no idea how he would have gotten a hold of any, unless he and Cato were drinking together. Cato does, after all, have a good deal more mobility than Stonn, but he’s pretty short on opposable thumbs.
However this tragedy occurred, it is an illustration of the dangers of making our beloved Steelers too large a part of our lives. Read more
Full credit for the “Zombie Football” part of the title goes to Ivan, as coined in his fine series about surviving the the off season, linked here.
The Super Bowl is over and we now enter the dark days of the year where “experts” both real and imagined (almost entirely imagined) make stuff up or just say stupid sh*t because they need to draw readers and there isn’t anything else to talk about.
While I was aware of this phenomena, Ivan induced me to pay closer attention and actually take notice, even before the Super Bowl, of the types of stories which start to appear in the long soulless void between now and training camp.
For your reading pleasure (scoff, scoff), I have assembled some of the more pungent examples for you. To render things a bit more palatable, I did discover a couple of good articles, while not all Steeler related, they were important articles which you might enjoy.
Back when I wrote for Behind the Steel Curtain I received a rather apologetic email from the man who was then the editor asking me to take on the task of writing a sponsored Super Bowl food post. I assume he was apologetic because it did look a bit sexist to ask the only woman on staff to do the recipe article.
And after all, there are plenty of women who can’t cook, and plenty of men who can. Most of the finest chefs in the world are male. And there was no reason to believe from anything I had written that I knew how to cook, either.
But I’m not easily offended and I have a sense of humor. I’m also a good cook, although I’ve never, ever thrown a Super Bowl party, and if I did the food would probably all come from Costco. (I had a friend back in the 80s who was a very good cook, but confessed to me after the first mega-supermarket made its appearance in Santa Fe, complete with upscale deli, that she now only “facilitated” food.)
So this post is not for those of you who have access to a Costco, which is stuffed to the brim with all sorts of lovely things you only have to heat up or put in bowls. It is also not for the sort of person who would make the “Snackadium” pictured above. Nor is it for those of you whose idea of cooking doesn’t extend any farther than the sort of things contained in the Hacker’s Cookbook I saw many years ago.
…and I’m in Colorado, visiting some of the grandkids. There will be posts, but I’m going to be looking around for some outside assistance. The Steelers apparently anticipated this need, because they posted a great video. I’m sorry I can’t embed it—you’ll have to click here.
This is a don’t-miss! Yes, it is the “Pittsburgh Symphony.” (Actually it is a quartet plus a flute player.) I don’t know about the others, but cellist Anne Martindale Williams, who is the principal cello for the Symphony (top of the depth chart : ) is a huge Steelers fan. Back before I was into the Steelers I attended a program in town which had been scheduled for months on a Sunday afternoon in January. It just happened to coincide with a Steelers playoff game. Anne came out all in black, took her chair, and got ready to play. She then whipped out a Terrible Towel, ostentatiously did a little “cleaning”, (a mere excuse for making sure everyone saw what it was) and then draped it casually over one edge of her cello.
The video isn’t a straight-up performance—it is clips of some of the pieces. The first one featured none other than Cameron Heyward on bass, as you see above. (He is getting some quick coaching from the actual bass player.)
I’m guessing he had some lessons about 15 years ago, enough to remember how to hold the bass and the bow, but not much more. He was not a success. It was a bit like St. Peter—he was sinking, yes, but at least he got out of the boat in the first place. Apparently no one else wanted to give it a try.
At one point the first violinist asked for some volunteers, and Tomlin made it clear there would be some. They played percussion, with varying success. It isn’t as easy as it looks.
Anyhow, it’s lots of fun. Enjoy!
Since this is such a critical game, and since feelings, and nerves, will be running high, I decided to put together a printable bingo card. This will hopefully have the soothing effect of removing some of the anxiety from the on-the-field action and transferring it to other aspects of the broadcast. So here it is: NFL Bingo.
Tot up your score and dominate your opponents! And Go Steelers!