Big Lead Sports Bar

1/04/2007

Pittsburgh = Bizarro World

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Any Superman fans out there? Anyone familar with the villain Bizarro? The guy who's like Superman, but totally reversed?

Well, today I'm more convinced than ever that Pittsburgh is Bizarro World. It's 60 degrees outside in the beginning of January, when the average for this month is 26. I just paid $1.75 for a $2.35 gallon of gas (thanks to Giant Eagle FuelPerks). All seven copies of Artie Lange's Beer League were rented out at Blockbuster. This is a movie that did $472,000 at the box office. Bill Cowher is out as the Steelers coach after 15 years. The Penguins are talking to Kansas City about relocation. Up is down. Black is white. East is west. It's Bizarro World.

I was debating today with Ramon Mondesi (my younger brother) about which story was bigger, Cowher or the Penguins? I realize even the premise of that argument in most towns would be ridiculous, as the obvious answer is a team potentially leaving. But this is different. Pittsburgh is one of those towns where you can even float the argument, simply because the Steelers change coaches about as often as some teams build new arenas.

While our current coach is on the way out (as he reportedly told his assistants on Thursday), the local officials are optimistic that they can reach a deal with Le Magnifique. That's obviously good news, but I wish it were a bit sooner. Nothing like waiting until there's 1 second on the clock to throw up the hail mary. I just hope Ed Rendell is a good quarterback. And if he is, after all he did to chase the Penguins away, that would truly signify the dawn of the Bizarro World.

10 comments:

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

This is about MONEY. Nothing else. Anyone who says different is full of it.

I'm not placing blame on either side, Rooney/Cowher. However, if Cowher shows up coaching in Miami, or someplace else, without having spent any precious time with his family, I will feel like I've been lied to by my favorite coach....and, yes, I'll be pissed.

If Cowher wants $8 MM/yr and the Rooneys are offering $6 MM/yr, then the coach has every right to look elsewhere for a salary that he considers to be fair.

By the same token, the Rooney family has proven that they can successfully operate their business and we, as fans, have no reason to believe otherwise. After all, Dan Rooney is the man who hired both Noll and Cowher. I trust in his ability to find identify and hire the next coach of the Steelers.

In closing, I've always been a Cowher supporter, even in the 1998-1999, 2003 years, and I think it is appropriate to mention a favorite BILL COWHER MOMENT from over the years, so I'll add mine:

SEPT 6, 1992 - Steelers at Oilers - The new coach calls for a fake punt to Warren Williams and it becomes readily apparent to everyone watching the game that the Chuck Noll years are over, and there's a new sherrif in TAHN. The Steelers go on to upset the favored Oilers by a score of 29-24...and a new era of Steeler dominance is born.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

One more thing...

Kaye Cowher = Yoko Ono

Jon said...

I only vaguely remember Chuck Noll, he really didn't have the personality of Kahr and I was barely a teen when he was coaching. It's gonna be wierd for sure, but I hope the next coach we do get is the right one, which I trust will be. And one place I don't want to see ol' Billy end up is Dallas, but after thinking about it, there is only one other place besides Pittsburgh that I can see him coaching, and that is Cleveland. I think it would be awesome to see us go against him twice a year. I don't know, where do any other people see him coaching next?

tbart213 said...

I think it's the age old Steeler story. No one player/person is bigger than the team. Cowher has earned the right to persue things to their fullest, but the team also has th eright to not be held hostage in terms of money or a part-time coach. So a natural, respectful, dignified parting of the ways is in order. It's all much classier than J.Johnson, Parcells, Gruden, or any other coaching move I can think of.

If the Steelers go outside of the organization, one name to keep in mind is Jim Caldwell of the Colts. He's not exciting, but he's smart, organized, and polished. I watched him closely at Wake Forest before his long run under Dungy, and think he could sneak past the others. I also think that Grimm might be ahead of Whis if we stay in house.

I think Cowher is likely to end up in a solid organization. Miami and the Giants are openings that would appeal to him out of this years candidates. Perhaps Dallas, perhaps not. Ditto with the Skins. Both are good teams that are owner created goofy.

I also think there is an outside chance that Cowher might just find the easy money of TV is too easy to sacrifice everything else for. To coach well, you have to sell out a great deal of your life.

Brad said...

Watch for the Jaw to potentially pop up in DC next year. I can't see Gibbs putting up with another year of this crap, and Snyder will meet all of Cowher's demands. (salary, personnel decision authority, etc.) Watch for Ferentz (iowa) to get some mention for the steelers job(Upper St. Clair native, Belichick coaching tree), as well, though my personal choice is Whis or Grimm.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

TBart - well put.

As for Cowher's future, I see the following dominos set to fall:

-John Fox is allowed to coach the 2007 season for the Panthers with a "Win the Super Bowl or You're Out" edict. If the team falls short, Fox is gone.

-Joe Gibbs, who was long rumored to coach only 3 yrs of his 5-yr contract, will decide to step down after year 4, creating a vacancy with the Redskins in 2008.

Cowher takes 2007 off and does some TV work, then comes back as coach of the Panthers or 'Skins in 2008.

The Redskins will offer him $10 MM/yr, but the Panthers are much closer to Raleigh, obviously. He'll have a tough decision to make. Money or family...

hyzdufan said...

I have a friend who works for a paper in the area that said Mario and the city are negotiating more today. Sounds good from everyone's point of view.

Al said...

The Pens thing is still just a bunch of posturing on both sides at this point. Mario has to look into other options just to get some attention. Otherwise these same creeps that have been dropping the ball on the arena for the past 10 years will continue to do so.

I hate how people in the media and fans are giving Mario/The Pens crap over it. He could have let the team leave town years ago, but didn't. I don't think he'll let it happen again unless the local authorities screw it up. All Pittsburgh has to do is match whatever else is on the table from these other places and the Pens stay. Now let's see if they can... judging by the track record of this town when it comes to making good decisions, I'd say we might be in a little trouble.

What bugs me is that an arena is much more of a community center than those tax funded stadiums will ever be. Concerts, rodeos, religious revivals, monster truck bashes, all the failed other arena sports (lacrosse, soccer, football, The Xplosion) all rely on an arena... yet the city always turns this into a Penguins thing. Granted they are the most important tenant, but this goes way beyond hockey... the city needs an arena. Why do Mario and the Pens have to always carry the cross for it?

Now if Cowher was threatening to take the Pens with him, that might set the wheels in motion.

Bye Bill... have fun yucking it up with Duante Culpepper in Miami. You always did like overrated and underachieving athletic quarterbacks.

Pie said...

Yes, but the pirates stil l suck.

think about that. :(

worstavid said...

I'm a Bill Cowher fan, but he totally lost me this year. He, more than any player on the team, couldn't come up with the much-needed ingredient to win in the National Football League: Intensity. Also, I feel that he made some of the worst personnel decisions I've ever this past year. His head was not in it and it really showed even more on game day.

Let's face it Steeler fans, The Jaw was a mere shadow of himself all season. Heck, it took until the last game of the year to see him blow up on a player (Willie Colon).

Bill is burned out. He won't admit it, but he is. Here's the good thing though, if you're him: He can take a year off and still not lose any money! Whoever hires him will pay him for that contract year PLUS what he would have made with the Steelers next year.

Hey, it's easy to spend the Rooney's money, but I'm sure they can find another really good coach at half the money they were paying Cowher, and for all of Cowher's good points, he also made his share of hard-headed mistakes too.

Let's face it, the Steelers have been very lucky with their last two coaching hires although their ownership skill has had a lot to do with their coach's longevity in both cases.

Chuck Noll's teams were very weak in the 80's and he survived. Bill Cowher received a contract extension every time his team went into a slide. Not many other organizations work that way in the NFL.

The reason the coaches survive so long with the Steelers is that the Rooneys LET them do their job without sticking their nose in every two seconds a la Jerry Jones or Daniel Snyder.

What's funny is that everybody says the Redskins or Cowboys could be Bill's next coaching challenge. Can you imagine Bill Cowher, after 15 years of coaching freedom with the Steelers working for either one of those goofs? He might sign a contract, but I doubt it'll run another 15 years. But then it's not about the money.

Although I like Russ Grimm and he's a "Pittsburgh guy", there's something special about Ken Whisenhunt to me that just screams "HEAD COACH MATERIAL". Grimm does not strike me in the same way although he's great where he is on the offensive line. Whisenhunt just seems to be more cerebreal which is what you need in a head coach.

I'd like to see Whis be the head coach and bring back Mike Malarkey as the O.C.. Not matter who comes in, expect a totally new coaching staff next year. Dick Hoak has already retired, Labeau could be next. Grimm will leave if he doesn't get the head coaching position and Spencer the special teams coach should be let go anyway.

Oh well, like Chuck Noll was always famous for saying, "The only thing constant in life is change".