Big Lead Sports Bar


A Bad Day

Yeah, Wednesday was a rough one for yours truly. I have an enormous amount of material to cover, and in the midst of it all, I had to be taken to the ER. Note to all of you: if you see about 60 bees flying in your shrubs, don't go near them. I got bit on the forearm, and it swelled up faster than Mark McGwire's in the 1990s. I also got one on the forehead, which undoubtedly expanded quicker than Barry Bonds'.
Ironically, when I was taken to the hospital, I was given a shot of steroids in my backside as a remedy. I now feel like I can go out and hit 73 home runs next season.
Now that I'm back in the saddle, I'm hoping that today goes a bit smoother and bee-free. Now, on to all the points I need to cover:
1. As you've noticed, my Deadspin Steelers preview did not run on Wednesday, as I was told and reported to you. Here's the skinny: due to the size and style of my article, it takes Deadspin a long time to format all of the photos and links that I use. Time that they didn't have on Wednesday. All of the other previews are a few simple paragraphs that they can copy and paste, but not mine. I insist on being Mr. Difficult. For that, Will Leitch, I apologize, but I answer to Steeler Nation. The good news is that I have been absolutely assured that it will run today, probably in the next few hours, at
2. There's just a few days left before the big ESPN Radio 1250 fantasy football convention at the Pittsburgh (Greentree) Radisson. If you've ever wanted to see John Clayton in person, here's your chance. The price of admission includes a Q&A with a walking encyclopedia of football knowledge (who uses no notes, mind you), as well as several fantasy experts, a memorabilia auction, and lunch. Plus, I'll be there. You can come and talk about bee stings with me.
3. Speaking of fantasy football, that was another one of the casualties of yesterday. I'll be setting up as many leagues as necessary over the next day. If we need one, five, 10, 20, I'll make sure everyone who wants a team gets one. Also, each league will have a prize.
4. I really was dying to talk about this Jerome Bettis book. I always thought Jerome was an absolutely brilliant businessman. By staying with the Steelers until the end of his career, and happening to win a Super Bowl to boot, I thought he'd cemented his status as a Pittsburgh athlete on a pedestal. Now, he's tarnished his legacy with tales of faking injuries and bashing Bill Cower's handling of Kordell Stewart, all in the name of selling books. Was it worth it, especially on the heels of openining a new restaurant? Personally, I don't think so. Steeler fans take things like this very (and perhaps too) seriously.
I've been fascinated with the local reaction. It was a shining moment for Mark Madden of ESPN Radio 1250, who's preached Bettis' selfishness for years. Callers who admittedly disagreed with him over the years have now seen the light. I also caught a call to 1250's "Yinzer Yap Line", where a caller said he would come to Bettis' restaurant and fake food poisoning. Was he joking? Probably. But you have to wonder, in a city that seeks out a quarterback's lawn to throw garbage on.
5. Here's some exciting news: I've been named as the "manager" of the 1986 Pirates in a re-creation of the 1986 season that will be done by The Sporting News beginning in the fall. Here's some of the highlights of the game:
"Using our Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online engine, our plan is to replay the 1986 season, game by game, with 26 prominent members of the baseball community managing the original rosters through the original schedule, and basically see what happens. So for example, as manager of the '86 Pirates, you get to decide which games Rick Rhoden, Rick Reuschel, and Bob Kipper start, where to bat Jim Morrison in your lineup vs. opposing lefties, and who comes off the bench in pinch-hitting and defensive replacement situations. Each night our game engine takes your settings and those of your opponent, simulates that night's game using the heralded Strat-O-Matic game system, and posts the boxscore to the site. We'll be doing this over the course of the coming offseason (October - April), following the exact pace of the original '86 schedule, and seeing if we can repeat history, or better yet, rewrite it.

And here's what's even cooler. We ( are going to be covering and reporting on the season as if it were 1986 all over again. That means not only will we have season-to-date stats, standings, and injury reports every day, just like any baseball news site covering a real-life season... not only will we have new content written by our lineup of celebrity managers and our daily beat writer, who'll do things like interview you to get your thoughts as manager of the Pirates... but we'll be re-posting actual articles from the original Sporting News magazine from 1986, as if they were hot off the presses. That means season previews like the one printed in the 3/24/86 issue, when Mets exec Joe McIlvaine called a young Darryl Strawberry a potential 50-50 man. Or reports on Lonnie Smith and 10 other Major Leaguers who were suspended on 2/28/86 by Peter Ueberroth for drug use. Or editorials like the one from 3/31/86, predicting that a then-35-year-old Bert Blyleven would be headed to the Hall of Fame. Man, everywhere we look is just DRIPPING with delicious irony."
Sounds like a lot of fun. If I suddenly start talking about the 1986 Pirates in a few months, you'll know why.
6. I have a pretty interesting interview lined up to run in the next few days. It's not anyone famous, but once I saw this, I had to talk to the man in charge and share it with you.
7. I'll be staying indoors today, secluded in my nerdery. If anything of interest crosses your path, please share it at


Free Pacman said...

As the manager of the 1986 Pirates is it possible to "accidently" end Sid Bream's career and subsequently help the Pirates win the NL Pennant in 1992?

GMoney said...

I hope you took advantage of the perfect situation to recreate the "BEES! They're everywhere!" scene from Tommy Boy.

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

Thank you for using the term "nerdery", paying homage to previously mentioned Tommy Boy.


Can you eventually put up a link to the coverage of that 1986 Pirates stuff on

Anonymous said...

1986. I was only 8 yrs. old.

I also love that you used the word nerdery.

Anonymous said...

Why 1986? Am I missing something?