Big Lead Sports Bar


A Disastrous Weekend

This weekend was simply a disaster for Pittsburgh sports teams. Pitt lost control of the Big East to Georgetown. The Penguins suffered a bad loss to Tampa Bay. Even the XPlosion lost, dropping their record to 4-30 after a defeat at the hands of the Butt Daredevils. It was pretty depressing all around.

We'll go chronologically, which means the Panthers are first in the firing line. During the game, I made an executive decision. The nickname "T.O" is hereby taken away from Terrell Owens and now bestowed upon Pitt's Mike Cook. There's never a good time for a turnover, but the ridiculous move Cook made with under 30 seconds to go was the topper, passing up an open shot for a pass, which, you guessed it, was stolen by a Hoya. Game, set, match, drive home safely. The only thing that held me back from launching the remote through the TV screen was the fact that I'd have to buy my father a new TV.
I thought for a brief instance that I was Marty McFly, as I watched Pitt lose to a team coached by John Thompson that featured Patrick Ewing. Who's next on the schedule, Rollie Massimino and Villanova? The way Pitt is playing, they wouldn't beat them either.
As you can tell, I'm down on Pitt right now, despite their incredible RPI ranking of 6. When you take an honest look at their results, they've only defeated one team in the RPI top 20: the same Georgetown team they just lost to (16th).
The Panthers have picked the wrong time to put it in reverse. They have zero momentum right now. I don't think they've looked the same since that shellacking at the hands of Louisville. Even their wins over Washington and Seton Hall were much tougher than they should have been. If Jamie Dixon doesn't get this team straightened out soon, we could be shown the door in an early round once again this year.
Pitt has nothing on the Penguins, though. The Pens' 5-1 loss in the land of Jon Gruden, Bubba the Love Sponge and Dwight Gooden was one of their worst efforts of the season. In fact, they've only suffered two four-goal losses all year, and both were at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Watching their offense was like watching the Steelers' offense for most of the 2006 season: simply no rhythm whatsoever. The Pens could not even get near the net, let alone get shots off: 4 in the 1st, 10 in the 2nd, 4 in the 3rd. Ugh. This was one of the most difficult Penguin game to watch in a long, long time.
Tampa Bay continues their ownership of the Penguins, having now beaten them an amazing 12 times in a row. Jocelyn Thibault gave up three goals on 12 shots and was given the hook in the second period for MAF. But Fleury made little difference, because when you can't generate offense, it's hard to win games.
I'm glad the Pens picked now for such a horrible showing, especially after the valentine I wrote to them on Friday. But here are a few other things to consider about Sunday's game:
-Tampa filled the arena to a count of 21,119, or 106.9% full. And I thought it was a baseball town.
-Pirate Zach Duke is now 7-1 in Penguin games he's attended. And last year, Zach Duke was 10-15 in games he started. Maybe he should give up the baseball thing and become the new Penguins goalie.
-NL Batting Champ Freddy Sanchez gave Sid an autographed, inscribed baseball bat. That didn't help with his scoring: he's lit just one lamp in his last 13 games.
-The game had some chippy moments, as Ryan Malone dropped the gloves in the first period and Maxime Talbot threw down twice in the 3rd, including a spat as time expired. Unfortunately, we missed the start of both Talbot fights as a result of FSN not being able to switch cameras like a normal hockey broadcast should.
-The Pens were called for Too Many Men on the Ice in the 3rd period. No, they couldn't score with six guys either.
-Next up: Tuesday vs. the Devils. Maybe you'll see David Puddy there. Well, probably not. But you might see GwenJen.

Also this weekend:
--#1 Ohio State downed #1 Wisconsin, 49-48. Exciting, high-scoring Big Ten basketball at its best. And a classy move by novice OSU basketball fans, who rushed the court. Guys, stick to football. By the way, I think we're getting close to the point that the court will be rushed at the end of each and every college hoops game.
--Corey Dillon wants out of New England. Come on, Steeler fans...who's going to be the first to start the "Let's Sign Dillon" campaign?
--NFL players proposed a "three strikes and your out" conduct policy, as they've tired of the Pac-Men types now populating their fine league. Some of the attendees included Dan Rooney, Marvin Lewis, Lendale White, Steve Smith, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. When the meeting was over, Houshmandzadeh shined Rooney's shoes with a Terrible Towel.
--Kenny Wiz blames the motorcycle crash for Big Ben's struggles last year. As to who to blame for that horrific picture of Roethlisberger in the article, well, you can only blame Ben for that.
--The Denver Broncos added another chapter to one of the most tragic offseasons of any pro team ever. Running back Damien Nash collapsed at a charity basketball game. The game was a fundraiser for his 25-year-old brother, Darris, who had to have a heart transplant. This comes shortly after the death of Bronco Darrent Williams on January 1.
--Keep sending over those links ( and get an entry in the contest. I'm arranging an all-star link gallery for you to fritter away your Monday afternoon.


Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

The 21,000+ attendance mark was probably due to who they were playing more than anything else.

Older, more-established teams from northern cities that have lots of transplants in the Bay (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Boston, etc) tend to draw bigger crowds at the Forum than usual.

Otherwise, Tampa's not much of a hockey town. Not much of a sports town in general. Although, they have gotten better at supporting the Bucs the past 6 or 7 years.

(As you can tell, I have no beef with the actual teams, but think the Tampa Bay sports scene in general is pretty lame.)

Also, Ben's hair in that picture is genius!! See, he didn't have a mullet, but he wanted one for that picture. So, being the smart guy that he is, Benjamin carefully crafted his hair into a mullet with some hair gel!

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

By the way, Tampa's also not above trumping up attendance figures for local teams to make their sports seem more legit.

For example, apparently over 45,000 people go to every USF football game. DESPITE the fact that the upper deck is closed, and the lower bowl, except for the student section (they get free tickets by the way) is about 55% full most weeks.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I am tired of FSN Pittsburgh. Steigerwald can't hold Lang's jock, Errey is too cheesy and how come they choose to show MAF watching Talbot get slammed instead letting us see him getting slammed?

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I am tired of FSN Pittsburgh. Steigerwald can't hold Lang's jock, Errey is too cheesy and how come they choose to show MAF watching Talbot get slammed instead letting us see him getting slammed?