Big Lead Sports Bar



First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who continues to send emails about my future mother-in-law's condition. Here's an update on her situation: after the initial surgery to remove a grape-sized tumor from her brain last Monday, she developed a leak of cerebrospinal fluid which required a second surgery. Since then, yet another minor leak has developed, so she will be having a third surgery very soon.
It's been a trying situation, capped off last night in the intensive care waiting room. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but the IC room probably isn't the best time for two 40-ish hippies to be playing "Dueling Banjos" on their guitars. I can say it certainly didn't ease the tension for any of the people required to sit and wait for news on their loved one.
But from the bottom of my heart, thanks for all of the thoughts and emails. It is much appreciated.
A few quick links for you:
--It's deja vu all over again, as the Brewers put up seven in a win versus the Buccos
Today I'll be doing a mini-mailbag, because I have some pressing emails of yours to address that can't wait until next week:
--From A.J., a regular and hilarious contributor who has made nearly every mailbag, comes thoughts on the news Pirates "Fan" ads :
I have a new pet peeve... for some reason, you're probably the only person who would understand. I have a new reason to dislike the Pirates. His name is Ronnie Florian. Otherwise known as that annoying yinzer from the We Will commercials. He may be the most annoying person to be featured in a Pittsburgh TV commercial since the guy from the Iron City commercials that "didn't get a set of these sittin' around pettin' kitty cats". Much like that guy from the VFW (pick any guy at the VFW), Ron manages to ramble on for 30 seconds at a time, and still say absolutely nothing. He loves Pirates baseball... but can't say why. He says that I need to just experience PNC Park. So far, I've experienced PNC Park 32 times since it opened... and I have yet to witness a Pirates victory while I was there. Now in tonight's commercial, he says something about "when you hear that song". I have no idea what song he's talking about... but apparently if it doesn't do anything for me then I'll "just need to watch a little more baseball". I have no idea what the f*** that even means. The absolute worst though is when he describes the excitement of finding out "where your seats are at". Way to leave the ol' participle dangling there Ronnie! Anyway... rant is over. I just needed to vent. I apologize if you are a Ronnie Florian fan. I for one say he needs to make next year's list of 79 reasons.
There is no doubt...Ronnie Florian is a comedic gold mine. But I think he might be topped by the family from West Virginia they showed in another ad--the ones who go to the games on Friday nights. I was left speechless after that one. I need to find YouTubes of both of those ASAP. They are feature-worthy...Mondesi's House first-ballot Hall of Fame material.
If anyone out there with more tech sense than me can either post these to YouTube or direct me to these on the net, I would be eternally grateful.
--Greg from Maryland gives us an update on former Pirate power-hitting prospect Ron Wright:
Next time you're in Idaho and getting a refill on your allergy meds, it might be this former Pirates power hitting prospect that hands it to you..

The Pirates aren't cursed.. Riiiight.
--Andy from the site Bugs and Cranks corrects yesterday's Deadspin Pirates-Golden State Warriors comparison:
I loved that you linked to the Deadspin Pirates piece yesterday. I was jazzed when I saw it yesterday, too. Unfortunately, the logic behind it was flawed! I explain the whole thing per capita consumption of Ho Hos. Personally, I like the Swiss Cake Rolls by Little Debbie, but they are essentially the same thing.
For a city that drinks case after case of Iron City beer chased by Primanti's sammitches, I'm not too surprised by this stat.
--Kip from Burgettstown, one of my W&J Presidents teammates, gave me a hard time for not mentioning the Presidents' success on the diamond this year. The Presidents are ranked 12-4 and nationally ranked. So congrats to my alma mater.
Yes, it's true, W&J's nickname is the Presidents. In a great play on words, when I went there, one of the intramural football teams was mostly made of up former W&J football players who quit the team for one reason or another. Their name? The Dead Presidents.
--David F. has a few questions that need answering...
I heard Mark Madden use a great nickname for Hines Ward today... Whines Hard. I don't know if he thought of it himself, but I thought it was clever and definitely appropriate.
I love the nickname. Maybe it's the position he plays and the need to be heard in a league of mouthy WRs, but he certainly has no problem airing his grievances on any number of topics these days. I nearly fell on the floor the first time I heard that nickname, though.
Also, what are your thoughts on the various Bucco broadcasters? I've seen you joke about Greg Brown a bit, and didn't know if it was good-natured ribbing or if you actually don't like the guy.
I think Walk is pretty solid, adds plenty of insight, and calls a spade a spade. He scored a lot of points with me when he chewed out Bay and Wilson in that St. Louis debacle last week. Wehner is a little too Yinzer-ish for my sounds like I'm listening to Bill Cowher announce baseball. Greg Brown seems like a genuinely nice guy and is also a blatant, over-the-top homer. But that's his job. Any ribbing of him is good-natured. Lanny is Lanny...I wouldn't compare him to Mike Lange or Myron. I'm kind of apathetic to him.
--Matt from Houston wanted us to pass along this information about Virginia Tech:

Hokie Hope - National "Orange and Maroon Effect" - Friday April 20

Virginia Tech family members across the country have united to declare this Friday, April 20th, an "Orange and Maroon Effect" day to honor those killed in the tragic events on campus Monday, and to show support for Virginia Tech students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and friends.

"Orange and Maroon Effect" was born several years ago as an invitation to Virginia Tech fans to wear orange and maroon to Virginia Tech athletic events. The Virginia Tech family invites everyone from all over the country to be a part of the Virginia Tech family this Friday and to wear orange and maroon to support the families of those who were lost, and to support the school and community.
On the web:
--Finally, a little personal congrats to my former classmate and great friend, Andy Lepisto, Ph. D., of Pittsburgh, who just got back from the American Association of Cancer Research's annual meeting in Los Angeles.
Two battling cancer, the other making wisecracks about the Pirates...I'd say we chose different career paths. Congrats on your Yahoo article!
As always, you can send your thoughts on anything to for the next installment.
And please include your city and state if you can.

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