Big Lead Sports Bar


Pittsburgh Sports Power Rankings

The Power Ranking. A totally arbitrary, meaningless poll that incites riots in chatrooms everywhere. Where Peter King can rank the Chargers ahead of a playoff team when they've already been eliminated. Where the Seahawks are currently ranked #1, even though they lost the Super Bowl. Of course, ESPN already played out the season and the Super Bowl, so there's no reason to even play the season anyway. But that's another topic. Power Rankings are meant to stir up debate, and they always do. Readers, here is the Mondesi's House Pittsburgh Sports Power Rankings: the 30 biggest newsmakers in Pittsburgh Sports. Owners, Execs, Players, Media, Coaches...they are all fair game. Enjoy!

1. Dan Rooney, Owner, Pittsburgh Steelers
74-year-old Rooney is a Five Time Super Bowl Champion, NFL Hall of Famer, and owner of a team worth an estimated $700 million. The patriarch of NFL owners, a key component of resolving labor peace in the offseason. Enjoys spending free time with down to earth peers like Daniel Snyder, Jerry Jones, Ralph Wilson and Al Davis.

Dan: "Can we photoshop Hank Williams Jr. out of this picture? "

2. Bill Cowher, Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
Finally won the big one in 2005 season, now a probable choice for the NFL Hall of Fame. Few know this, but has already signed to be head coach of the Carolina Panthers in 2008.
Coach Cowher, if he would have lost XL.

3. Ben Roethlisberger, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
24 years old, Super Bowl Champion, appears to be immortal after flying into a windshield with little if any long term injuries. Defining power moment will be in training camp when he declares he can't be forced to wear a football helmet.

Mario Lemieux, Owner, Pittsburgh Penguins
2-time Stanley Cup Champion and NHL Hall of Famer. Ready to cash in years of deferred money by selling the team. Demands to get a new arena are finally heard. Will get a taste of his own medicine when houseguest Sidney Crosby demands a bigger and better room this year.
The Stanley Cup, before it was at the bottom of Mario's pool

Ed Rendell, Governor, State of Pennsylvania
The President of Pennsylvania, this Philadephia Eagles diehard has tried to regain the love of the Pittsburgh region by a Plan B proposition to save the Penguins. Recently seen carrying a sack with dollar signs on it from the Harrah's Casino headquarters.

6. Kevin McClatchy & Ogden Nutting, Owners, Pittsburgh Pirates
Much maligned ownership pair is making money hand over fist in 2006 All Star season, despite overall last place standing in MLB. Set all-sports record for most anti-ownership fan websites in one season.

7. Bob O'Connor & Dan Onorato, Pittsburgh City Officials
This pair has dealt with numerous critics accusing them of being merely puppets for Governor Rendell throughout the entire gaming license process. Unfortunately, they're not cute puppets like Elmo and Miss Piggy, they're more along the lines of Rizzo the Rat and Oscar the Grouch.

Who elected these guys?

8. Dave Littlefield, General Manager, Pittsburgh Pirates
Responsible for returning the Pirates to the past glory of five winning seasons in the last 22 years. Has big plans for 2006 deadline deals, like acquiring major league ready players in the mold of Jody Gerut and Bobby Hill.

9. Ray Shero, General Manager, Pittsburgh Penguins
43 years old and freshly minted as an NHL GM, despite never playing goaltender for the Islanders. Will follow in the footsteps of NHL Legacy Craig Patrick, and try to live up to Patrick's past moves, like signing Andre Roy and trading for Jocelyn Thibault.
Boy, I'm glad I passed on that Islander job!

Sidney Crosby, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins
19 year old wunderkind was 2005 NHL Rookie of the Year runner-up. Tremendous potential on and off the ice as an ambassador of the game. Most importantly, he hits the difficult demographic of 13-to-19 year old girls for the Penguins' marketing staff.
No, I will not visit your MySpace page

11. Jeff Long, Athletic Director, Pitt Panthers
Responsible for maintaining the momentum of successful football and basketball programs. Has direct orders not to hire anyone who may coach into their 80s and refuse to resign.
I really don't miss Walt Harris as much as you think

Dave Wannstedt, Head Coach, Pitt Panthers Football
Former NFL head coach and Super Bowl assistant has the duty of bringing Pitt to national glory. Impersonates actor Dennis Farina in the offseason.
Can you tell which one is which?

Jamie Dixon, Head Coach, Pitt Panthers Basketball
40-year-old coach with heavy expectations for 2006, including a preseason top five ranking. Must work hard to fit Aaron Gray under the salary cap for one more season.

Jamie does his best Jim Carrey face

Kevin Colbert, Director of Football Operations, Pittsburgh Steelers
Maintains important working relationship with Coach Cowher, which previous DFO Tom Donahoe could not do; which is to say, agrees with Cowher on all decisions.
Cowher yukking it up on The Colbert Report

15. Brian Graham, Director of Player Development, Pittsburgh Pirates
Oversees the development of the Pirates of the future...that someday will go 30-60 by the All Star break.
The only known photo of Brian Graham. I'd keep a low profile, too.

16. Hines Ward, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl MVP, winning fans over with his tough style and persistent smile. Busy offseason including pageant judge, trip to Korea, and tracking Santonio Holmes' arrests.
I'm going to Seoul!

17. David Cox, Director of Basketball Operations, Pitt Panthers
AAU Power-broker
recently hired at Pitt, "responsible for the day-to-day operations of the men's basketball program, serve as a liaison to athletic department officials and coordinate the student-athletes' practice, game-day and daily schedules". Translation: "responsible with coordination of Pitt with his former AAU studs."

18. Joey Porter, Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
Outspoken backer who enjoyed Pro Bowl campaign in 2005. Plans on winning Super Bowl again so he can run his mouth about President Bush beforehand and then go curiously mute the day of their visit.
Joey Porter: Turning into Suge Knight more and more as time goes on. Maybe he will one day hold Vanilla Ice by his ankles out a hotel window, too.

19. Jason Bay, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates
Combination of slugger and face of the team; often compared to Alex Rodriguez, in a non-complimentary way.

Troy Polamalu, Safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
Long-haired Pro Bowl defender and
subject of his own song. Arguably the best safety in football, at least in the discussion. Hoping to not be involved in any Manning-related NFL interception conspiracies this year.
Polamalu, setting himself up for the inevitable Supercuts endorsements

Jim Tracy, Manager, Pittsburgh Pirates
Upbeat 1st-year Pirate manager. Has managed to alienate majority of clubhouse, especially anyone named "Wilson". Currently building upon strong 2005 campaigns of Chris Duffy, Zach Duke and Paul Maholm.
Jim Tracy, spouting jibberish that he will contradict at a future date

22. Freddy Sanchez, Third Baseman, Pittsburgh Pirates
Popular, hard-working hitter's hitter, currently leading the NL in batting average. Forced his way into the lineup despite management predisposition to free agent signee Joe Randa. Will lose his job in 2007 when the Pirates sign Vinny Castilla.
Pittsburgh's busiest face since Kordell Stewart

Mark Madden, Radio Personality, ESPN Radio 1250
Top rated sports voice enduring tumultous 2006 campaign, which included a heart attack during Super Bowl week and loss of his mother. Now forced to work side by side with arch rival Stan Savran. Instead of worrying about the negative, trying to focus on future assignments, like hosting another Wing Championship Series event in January and figuring out which car dealership he will be forced do his remote from next week.

24. Jerry Micco, Sports Editor, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Oversees entire sports department of Post Gazette. Includes writers with diverse races, demographics, and ethnicities such as Ron Cook, Bob Smizik, and Gene Collier.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette: a fine collection of whiny, white, middle-aged sportswriters

Tyler Palko, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Panthers
Fifth-year senior with plenty to prove. Early signs indicate an extremely sore back from carrying the team in previous seasons.
Coach Cavanaugh, turn me into another Kyle Boller

26. Ron Everhart, Head Basketball Coach, Duquesne University
Given the duty of turning around the Division I basketball equivalent of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team that has
two winning seasons since 1985. And no, for the 802nd time, he is NOT related to Angie.
I see no resemblance

J.O. Stright, Head Coach, Pittsburgh JOTS AAU Basketball team
Basketball pimp in the fine art of
steering players to certain colleges. Stands for everything that's right in a business where you can find listings of the top 100 4th graders if you look hard enough. Also, the worst namer of a sports team nickname in history.
You ARE going to Kansas State, right?

28. Tim Benz, Radio Personality, Fox Sports Radio 970
In a deadline deal, traded from ESPN 1250 to Fox 970 in exchange for Stan Savran. Will host Savran's old spot as well as morning duties on 105.9 FM. Dave Littlefield said he thinks the deal will give Fox more
payroll flexibility.

Tim Benz: needs some new pictures on Google Images

Bob Pompeani, TV Personality, KDKA Pittsburgh
KDKA Sports anchor and host of KDKA Sports Showdown on Sunday Nights. Occasionally a danger on the road because of the black and gold goggles he is constantly wearing.
You're a danger to us all, Bob

Stan Savran, Media Personality, ESPN Radio 1250 & Fox Sports Pittsburgh
Traded from Fox 970 to ESPN 1250 in exchange for Tim Benz and a
Colony to be named later. Currently in the process of pushing Eddy Crow out of his seat as Guy Junker's co-host.
Your days are numbered, Crow


Anonymous said...

great post. it is real hard to contain laughter in a quiet workplace. but i am sad to see the omission of lanny frattate, who actually has fans selling his signed scorecards on the internet from as far back as 1976....

Unknown said...

This list can only be described as "Raul at his best". But how could you leave out the "Freak Show" Greg Brown or Bill Hillgrove? I'd drop Onorato, O'Connor and Rendell entirely.

Mondesi you have to do a special in-depth report on the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports Department...truly one of the worst collections of (talent) in any metropolitan newspaper in the country. Do it as only you can do it Raul!

mondesishouse said...

Just as I hoped, this has stirred up some debate. Much like the NCAA tournament or MLB All Star Game, no matter how large you make the field, someone is slighted. To put it as eloquently as Ozzie Guillen, "You want to make the Pittsburgh Sports Power Rankings? Play better next time."

Anonymous said...

What?! No Doug Strange (assistant GM of the Rats)?!! Great list, Raul.

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Can you please devote a post to the ongoing charades that are Ron Cook's and Bob Smizik's PG pictures? Anyone who's watched the Nightly Sports Call isn't fooled by old man Cook's circa-1962 picture. As for Smizik, well, if I put on a clown wig while I was constipated, that's what it would look like...and what eventually came out would have more literary value.

Anonymous said...

Yoi...where's Jim Colony???

Anonymous said...

No Fedko?!?!?

Steeltown Mike said...

Occasionally a danger on the road because of the black and gold goggles he is constantly wearing.

Heehee. I have those same glasses.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the local ink-stained wretches, why is it that Newsday has this (the last phrase below) and our local papers don't ...

“The Pirates are so determined to trade their relievers that they have already informed their Triple-A relievers who will be coming up to take their place.”

Unknown said...

What, a list without the mention of growth hormone? What kind of list is that?