- The horror show for the Pirates that is the NL Central Division continues as the Bucs drop the first two games of a series in Milwaukee. The Pirates have run roughshod over the NL East and NL West, but their record in the Central now sits at 21-31. This is the same bug-a-boo that haunted them in 2014, and it continues, almost inexplicably, deep into 2015.
- Twenty-three of the Pirates remaining thirty games are against Central opponents. They better figure something out, and quickly, starting tonight in Milwaukee.
- Have you caught the trailer for the movie, "Concussion", that will be released in December? This looks like a "must see" movie, Will Smith looks like a lock for an Oscar nomination, and it looks like the NFL will be putting its massive PR machinery into high gear to discredit this one. What I am looking forward to seeing is whether or not the network television partners of the NFL will do the League's bidding in attempting to quash this movie as well. (See trailer at the end of this post.)
- Speaking of the NFL, the federal judge in New York City is due to hand down his ruling on this deflated footballs nonsense tomorrow. I want to go on record today and predict that Tom Brady will not miss a game this year as a result of his draconian suspension handed down by Czar Roger. At the very least, he will be playing next Thursday night in the opener against the Steelers.
- Speaking of the Steelers, based on very limited viewing of their practice games this summer, it appears that they will be involved in a lot of games that will end up with scores like 47-42 and 38-35. One can only hope that they will be on the positive sides of those scores more often than not.
- Also, the Steelers had better hope that Ben Roethlisberger can stay healthy for 16 games. Without him directing the offense, and given the nature of the defense that they appear to have, they won't be going anywhere in 2015.
- And how about that Martavis Bryant? It has been pointed out that, at least where marijuana is concerned, that it is very difficult for an NFL player to screw up so badly that he gets suspended for marijuana use, but somehow some way, our guy Martavis managed to do it. For that effort, let us bestow the coveted H.A. Citation upon Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant. This one's for you, Martavis!
(Photo courtesy of Dan Bonk Enterprises)
- Pirate Chat Night at PNC Park took place three weeks ago, and the game lasted over five hours and fifteen innings. For all that, it was a terrific night. During the tense extra innings of that ball game, the pre-recorded organ music treated us to such toe tapping melodies as "Mexican Hat Dance", "Turkey in the Straw", and I am drawing a blank on some of the other equally irrelevant tunes that were rained upon us. Did I mention that this organ music is pre-recorded? Vince Lascheid, God rest his soul, has been dead since 2009, and the Pirates have long since jettisoned his Wurlitzer (probably to make space for yet another bar area at PNC Park), so I think it is long past time to can the canned organ music.
- I hope, at the very least, that the Pirates are paying some kind of royalties to Lascheid's family for the continued use of this stuff.
- Pitt Football opens yet another "new era" this Saturday against the mighty Youngstown State Penguins, who carry a one game winning streak against the Panthers. Leaving no cliche unturned, HC Pat Narduzzi said that come Saturday it will be up to "the players to play, the coaches to coach, and the officials to officiate." YEAH!!!
- BY all rights, Pitt should roll over YSU on Saturday, but we all know what happened three years ago, don't we? Also, YSU has a new coach too, and it is an experienced and "big time" guy, Bo Pelini. Hope the Panthers don't take this one lightly.
- Wisconsin, under their new HC Paul Chryst open up this week against Alabama. Good luck with that, Paul.
- While driving on Saturday afternoon, I listened to part of the Steelers radio broadcast. On one play, our boy Billy Hillgrove went into ecstasy over a terrific catch made by Antonio Brown, only to be advised by his spotters that it was actually DeAngelo Williams who made the catch. Oops.
- You can say that there are five major sports "franchises" in the Pittsburgh market: Pirates, Steelers, Penguins, Pitt Football, and Pitt Basketball. The play-by-play radio duties are handled by the same guy, Hillgrove, for three of those five. That must be a tough pill to swallow for younger up-and-coming play-by-play guys.
I thought that I would close with a a clip of the trailer for the movie alluded to above, "Concussion".