The post title is not because I feel this way. I think I made my feelings clear when he was my Round 1 pick in Momma’s Mock Draft. But not everyone likes the pick as much as I do, and those who don’t have plenty to say about it.
I suppose part of the point of being a sports fan is to be passionate about your team. But I’ve always wondered if having a passion for something automatically makes you stupid. One would certainly get that impression from some of the things you hear on sports radio (mostly, although, alas, not exclusively from the fans) and particularly in the comment sections. Read more
Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
We’re getting into the area now where suboptimal picks can really hurt you. The question is, did the Steelers have any of those between 2010 and 2013? Certainly you can argue for at least one, and a few question marks.
The 2010 second round draft pick was one which is pretty difficult to characterize. It is fair to say, though, that the franchise did not, in the end, get as much as one would like to see from a mid-second rounder.
Jason Worilds didn’t contribute a lot in his rookie season, although he did play in 14 games. However, few people expected to see a rookie contribute much in a Dick LeBeau-run defense. Oddly, Worilds had the exact same number of sacks for the season (2.0) as tackles, and had one pass defense.
In one of the early posts in this series we looked at the practice routine of a professional musician and the workout routine of an NFL player. The musician was my son, and I just went to hear him play in Carnegie Hall, so I guess practice really does get you there. The NFL player was Clay Mathews, and he seems to have had a pretty reasonable career too.
But this does not mean that music cannot be an enjoyable avocation for a NFL player, and we’re going to look at some examples of this in the weeks to come, in varying degrees of competency.
The idea for this entire Football-Related Music series was actually spurred by Bob Labriola, whose “Asked and Answered” column on steelers.com is one of my favorite features. It has also resulted in ideas and materials for many a column on this site, which would probably annoy Labriola to no end, so let’s not tell him. Here is the item:
Q: The Pro Bowl is the least entertaining event in all of professional sports. Do you think it would, “spice up the game” by having players switch offensive and defensive positions? Meaning, if you are an offensive player, you must play a defensive position in the Pro Bowl, and vice versa. Some players have already made the switch during this contest anyway.
A: I say we give all of them musical instruments and ask them to play Beethoven. Read more
After a seriously disappointing Week 5, Team Antonio re-bonded as a team in Week 6. Of course, this was partly because the Week 5 partner switchup was over and Sharna was back. But it was also because Antonio cleared the air with Sharna, saying he felt she didn’t believe in his will to win. From the indications we’ve been getting all along about AB’s seeming sense of entitlement and lack of the little things, like showing up on time for rehearsals, she could be forgiven for this.
But perhaps seeing his chances fading jolted him into reality. Maybe he really did care all along and wasn’t very good at communicating this. Who knows? The whole point of reality TV seems to be to create as much drama as possible. If it doesn’t occur naturally, careful editing can manufacture it.
But Antonio was back, better than ever, with a jive that wowed the judges and pulled him off of the “danger” list. In fact it was former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie who went home after last Monday night.
Can Antonio sustain the momentum, or will he get complacent again? The latter would seem surprising, as he’s spent his whole career persuading people who thought he wasn’t big enough or fast enough or awesome enough to make it in the NFL that they were wrong.
Last week was a huge disappointment for Antonio fans. His dance, a cha cha with switched-up partner Karina, was fun, energetic, exciting, and fell flat with the judges. They criticized his timing, his technique, and the dance itself (which really falls on pro dancer/choreographer Karina). He received the lowest score of the evening, while usual partner Sharna received the highest—the first ten given all season—with temporary partner Nyle.
This week it was back to the drawing board for the reunited AB and Sharna, and let’s hope they have figured out how to make the judges happy again. The audience loves him, of course, and Karina was obviously stunned and upset with the harsh assessment of the judges.
But before we look at this week’s dances, let’s see how Hines Ward did in Week 6, back in 2011.
The answer was, just fine:
It was “Guilty Pleasures” night, and each couple danced to a song that the celebrity is a bit ashamed to admit that they like. (I think that was the point, anyhow.) Hines danced a Viennese Waltz to “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men, which he admitted that he likes to belt out in the shower. (He also said that he thinks of the water as his fans – not sure where that’s going.) [Ironically, Wanyá, consistently one of the top male contestants this season, sings with Boyz II Men.]
Last week Antonio and partner Sharna wowed the judges with his jazz routine. Although perhaps “wowed” is the wrong word, as I got the feeling this was what they’ve been hoping for, and even expecting, from him all along.
This week the show has thrown a monkey wrench into things by switching everyone’s partner for a week. AB will now be dancing with Karina, who usually partners another of the NFL guys, ex-QB Doug Flutie.
But before we look at this week’s dances, let’s see how Hines Ward was doing at this point, back in 2011. As I wrote then:
Ward was, surprisingly, subject to performance anxiety throughout the competition. He even admitted that he often felt like throwing up before going onstage. He was especially nervous about the week five rumba, as it is a slower dance that requires more control.
So what did the judges have to say?
- Bruno – “Ease of movement, musicality, and just the right amount of sensuality to make all the ladies swoon!
- Well played.”
- Len – “It’s not false – it has a naturalness, an ease and an elegance that is charming, and I think that’s probably your best dance.”
- Carrie Ann – “You make it look so easy – I’m getting worried for you because you make it look so easy, but that’s a good thing.” Read more
It’s Week 3, and things are heating up. Antonio Brown slipped from tied for second place (along with about five other people) in Week 1 to being in sole possession of fifth place. In other words, only four up from the bottom.
The buzz before the broadcast was that AB’s oldest son would join him for his Week 3 dance, and his son is a pretty cute kid. I’ve watched him run sprints with the players at training camp under the proudly beaming face of papa, and I’m guessing he will be quite the little showman.
But let’s see what actually happened. First, back to 2011.
Hines Ward: Samba
It was “Story Night,” and Hines’ “story” honored his mother. Hines requested a black and gold costume and pulled out a Terrible Towel to twirl at the end.
Instead of the current 2-hour format, at that time there were two one-hour shows on back to back nights, will the second night being the results show. On that occasion, when the judges gave their results, they stood up and twirled Terrible Towels as well.
Week 1 was fun, but Week 2 on Dancing With the Stars is where the pedal starts to hit the metal. There are no eliminations in Week 1, but one couple has to go during Week 2.
The first few eliminations are generally fairly easy, at least if the season in which Hines Ward competed is any indication. There always seem to be a couple of “stars” who just don’t have the, well, star power to overcome their technical weaknesses and lack of natural ability, and they generally get weeded out fairly quickly, unless they are happen to be very popular for some non-dancing reason. Then they may hang on for a few weeks longer than their Week 1 dances would have predicted.
So who is staying and who is going? Let’s find out…
As I noted the preview article, I will be not only reporting on how Antonio Brown is doing on Dancing With The Stars, but how it compares to Hines Ward’s appearance on the show five years before. So let’s get right to it. First, let’s see what I had to say about the whole idea, all those years ago:
When it was announced that Hines Ward would appear on Season 12 of Dancing With The Stars, the reaction from Steeler Nation was conflicted. On one hand, it would be great to let the world see Hines Ward the philanthropist, the untiring worker, the guy who loves his job so much that he pops up from even the most brutal hit—given or received—with a big smile on his face. But come on, it’s Dancing With The Stars. Steeler Nation had already moved on from and buried the memory of Lynn Swann taking ballet classes. We didn’t need any more of this dancing nonsense.
Ward ultimately decided to participate, and Steeler Nation was supportive because that’s what Steelers fans do. But it was with considerable trepidation that we watched the first show—those of us who could bring ourselves to watch, that is. Would Hines wear an outrageous costume? Was he going to forget his routine and look like an idiot? Would he remember his routine but look really uncomfortable…?
Happily, the answer to all of the above was a resounding “heck, no!” His costume was about as dignified as dancing costumes get. He certainly didn’t forget his routine. Most important, Ward looked like he was having a great time. Steeler Nation heaved a collective sigh of relief and settled in for the long haul, because by Week 2 it was obvious that Ward had what it took to last deep into the competition. Read more