Category Archives: Frivolity

It’s Christmas Time in the ‘Burgh…


…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!


Your Gameday Bingo Card for Steelers @ Bengals

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 6.00.21 PM

Tot up your score and dominate your opponents! And Go Steelers!

The Bye Week Pro Bowl: The Prognosticators Among Us

Part of the fun of being a football fan is making pronouncements on all sorts of things, including some we probably know nothing about.

If we turned out to be right, we can call everyone’s attention to this. If we don’t, we keep very quiet and hope no one notices.

Unfortunately, one occasionally has the bad luck to make such predictions close enough to the proof to the contrary that it isn’t possible.

There are no quiet corners on this site. I have gone through your comments with a fine-toothed comb, and your predictions are now front and center. Naturally, most of these are from a while back, since it’s easier to see whether they were correct or not. Are You Ready?

At the end of the article you have the opportunity to vote for your favorites, and we will declare the champion afterwards. I suppose we really ought to vote for who was the most (or least) prescient, but that seems like a lot of trouble.

The numbering is, as always, reverse chronological.

Category 3: Prognostications: Psychic, or Not So Much:

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Homer’s Monday Post-Bye Week Wrap Up

USA Today Sports/Mark J. Rebilas photo

by Homer J. 

Christmas came early for Homer this past week.

The Poo-pourri he ordered from QVC arrived. That’s the stuff in the spray bottle that you spritz in the toilet before you do your business, and it makes it smell like lemongrass. Actually, speaking of lemongrass, it makes your business smell better than some Thai restaurants Homer has frequented on a single occasion.

There’s a holiday connection here, as one of the four spray bottles is called Santa Poo, and the bottle says it is a delightful blend of “holly, evergreen, and citrus.” So it’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas when Homer wallows in his own crapulence.  Read more

The Bye Week Pro Bowl: Best Comments from the 2015 Season

The Bye Week is a time of great restlessness in Steeler Nation. Especially in a year with a late bye, we’re either wanting to get the season over with so we can start talking about the draft (very uncommon,) we are frantically calculating play-off scenarios (standard,) or are already collecting recipes for our Super Bowl parties to cheer the Steelers to victory. (That would be steeler fever)

Unlike Patriots fans, complacency doesn’t seem to be warranted until after the AFC Championship Game is won for Steeler fans. If then.

We need some fun things to get us through this interminable week, and our writers need a break too. So I’ve decided to let you all do the heavy lifting. I have chosen some of my favorite comments from this season. At the end of the article you have the opportunity to vote for your favorites, and we will declare the champion afterwards. If you can choose. I like them all. The numbering is strictly reverse chronological.

And, lest you are wondering, like the Pro Bowl, the prize is pretty much just bragging rights. But if you like I’ll throw in a free one-year subscription to this site : )

Today’s category, since this is supposed to be fun, is just that:

Category I: Amusing, Ironic, or Just Plain Funny

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Steelers Rock the League Once Again By Rocking the Bumblebee Unis


Almost exactly three years ago, I published an article on BTSC about the then newly-introduced throwback uniforms. Here is how it began:

In a hard-hitting piece of uniform-related journalism, Phil Hecken of Uni-Watch reveals the questionable historical basis for the “1934” throwbacks. In a patient unravelling of the evidence trail, including a trip to the Pennsylvania State Library in Harrisburg, Hecken reveals the uniforms were first worn not in 1934 but in 1933. 

Hecken’s evidence is based upon viewing the microfilm collection of Pittsburgh newspaper photos of games in 1933 and 1934. According to Hecken, the unis were only worn once in a game, in November of 1933. (They were also worn in a team photo in 1934.) The game was vs. Brooklyn, and the Pittsburgh (football) Pirates were beaten 32-0. Thank heavens I didn’t know this before last Sunday’s game—I would have been even more of a wreck than I was. 

But, shocking as this presumably deliberate misinformation is, the scandal doesn’t stop there. According to Hecken’s evidence, the number blocks actually had a yellow background rather than a white one. Although the Steelers facility displays a jersey purporting to be from 1934 with white number blocks, its authenticity has not been confirmed. Will the deceit never end?

If you like people who are really thorough, click on the link. The article goes into minute detail about the originals.

Needless to say, my article was satirical (or ironic, which sounds more mature but less literary.) I thought it was time to revisit the issue, since our eyes will once again be assaulted by the brilliant coloring of the dubiously authentic ’34 throwbacks. Read more

The Good Guys – Tight Ends and Centers

via Post-Gazette/ UPI: Steve Yakub photo

In this edition of “The Good Guys,” I choose my favorite tight ends and centers.  While these positions don’t exactly exude glamour, this installment features four dedicated and hardworking guys who I admire.


No. 2.  Randy Grossman

This pick was more difficult than most.  I always liked Randy Grossman.  It wasn’t the out and out Steeler bromance I have with Lambert and Deebo (hey, if your name is Roxanna, you can handle the heat), but I liked him well enough. Although he was primarily a backup to Benny Cunningham, his great hands made him a solid contributor to the Super Bowl teams of the 1970s.  Grossman played eight seasons, from 1974 to 1981.  His most celebrated play was catching a touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw in Super Bowl X against the Cowboys. I selected Randy as my backup tight end, however, based on more arbitrary and esoteric criteria.

Grossman was an undrafted free agent in the days when undrafted really meant something. During the seventeen rounds of the 1973 NFL draft, 442 players were chosen, but Grossman was not among them.  The Steelers signed him the day after the draft for $15,000, the rookie minimum salary.  This year, the rookie minimum is $435,000. Read more

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