Big Lead Sports Bar


The News

--The Pens reached 100 points but suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers on Monday night.

Former Little League World Series hero Chris Drury put the winner past MAF at 1:46 of OT.

--JoePa turned down a chance to meet with Bill Clinton during his recent State College visit. Why? JoePa's a Republican. Which is interesting, considering son Jay Paterno is a staunch supporter of Barack Obama.

--You absolutely have to read this article about the new breed of "rock star" superintendents. Unreal.
--Did you catch the Milwaukee Brewers lineup, with Jason Kendall batting ninth?
"We've done studies on this," manager Ned Yost said. "It's not just that we come up one day and say, 'You know, Jason Kendall's gonna hit ninth.' recently had an article entitled, "How to root for one of the most mediocre sports teams ever", about, as you guessed, the Pirates. I actually got a mention in the article. Good to see that I'm so closely associated with mediocrity.
--How about some video of a fight in the stands at the Red Sox-Dodgers LA Coliseum exhibition game?
--Now you can Rent Dennis Rodman to Help You Dye Your Hair

--Here's a fresh article on the karate-chopping Greg Lloyd, who's had some legal troubles of his own in recent years.

--Just when you thought the Steelers’ offseason troubles were over, this happens…

"Davenport dumps out second seed Ivanovic

Thankfully, it was a story about tennis.

--Here's the real story about Wrestlemania: the pyrotechnic malfunction that left dozens in the stands injured. Says With Leather: "A suspended cable used for launching fireworks above the crowd snapped, showering the crowd of easily amused simpletons with sparks and rockets."

--Found this buried in last week's "News" folder, but here's a very interesting read about a now-former Michigan Wolverine blasting off on Rich Rodriguez.

--Ben Roethlisberger is set to return to Findlay, Ohio, on Saturday night, April 5th for his second annual fundraiser, "The Ben Roethlisberger Challenge".

--Is Idaho Football too sexy?

--Bugs and Cranks interviewed the author of a Roberto Clemente graphic novel.

--Buy Michael Jordan's old waterbed!

--Joe Theismann has a restaurant? Who knew? Well, probably a lot of people. But not I.
--Giant Eagle is claiming that they were overcharged for $200 million worth of chocolate between 2002-2007.

--From the "Let's Stop at the Headline" Department: 14 dead turtles found in feces-filled Uniontown house.

Top 10 most (and least) popular jerseys from the past 10 years

12 surprisingly and mind-numbingly controversial Wikipedia pages

The 10 Craziest Scientific Experiments Ever Conducted

The 7 Ballsiest Sports Cheats Ever

No April Fool's: Pirates Win in 12

PIRATES (1-0) 12

BRAVES (0-2) 11

12 Innings

Oh, those generous Pirates. I know they want to please the fans, but we could've really done without the free baseball they provided last night.

So we're cruising along in the 9th inning. The Pirates have such a lead that Bob Walk is actually suggesting that they're running up the score. I say to myself, "Might as well get a start on my recap." After 15 years, I don't know how I could've made such a mistake.

Here's how far I got:
Following a typical Pirate first inning in which Nate McLouth walked and promptly got picked off of first base, the Buccos settled down behind pitcher Ian Snell, who opened his 2008 campaign with a six-inning, seven-hit, four-run, three-K performance.

The Pittsburgh version of Murderer's Row chased future HOFer Tom Glavine by the fifth inning, as his 52-year-old arm (OK, 42 year old) had thrown 97 pitches.

Jason Bay, fresh off a rather outspoken offseason, promptly picked up where he left off last season, with an 0-5 showing.

And then, in the midst of my article, I paused. The Pirates were imploding before my very eyes.

It started with a walk by Damaso Marte. Then, another walk. Insert Matt Capps. Another walk. Bases loaded. Another walk. The Pirates lead shrinks to 9-5. Chipper Jones singles. 9-7. Mark Teixeira pops out. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

OK, there's two outs, two guys on, we can still get out of this. Brian McCann hits a weak pop fly to left-center. Game, set, matc...IT DROPS IN! Jason "E"Bay and Nate McLouth are staring at each other in disbelief, apparently still unable to translate thoughts like, "I got it" into words. It was one of the most embarrassing plays in Pirate history. Never before have I seen a ball so poorly misplayed, at any level. 9-9.

A Jeff Francouer flyout sent the game into extra frames. Oh joy.

Freddy Sanchez, one of the few Pirates who I feel has an actual pulse, doubled to lead off. Jason Bay continued his fantastic start with a line-out to second. Hans Klopek was intentionally walked, Professor X struck out, and Ryan Doumit popped out to third. Yes, it was your typical, "two runners left on" Pirate inning.

New Pirate Franquelis Osoria came on in the bottom of the 10th, and nothing against Franquelis, but part of me was hoping that Mark Kotsay would plant the first pitch he saw into the seats and get the inevitable crushing opening-day loss over with.

But Osoria actually had a productive inning of work, and he came back in the bottom of the 11th (yes, that means the combo of Bautista/Wilson/Osoria failed to win it in the top of the frame). Three up, three down. On to the 12th.

With Everybody Get Nated and E-bay on board, Xavier Nady crushed a home run to right field. 12-9, Bucs lead. Break out the champagne. Only three outs to go.

In the bottom 12th, with Osoria still pitching, Teixeira and McCann were disposed of in quick order. Francouer then sent a pitch into the seats, making the score 12-10. In the midst of Bob Walk trying to explain why giving up a home run is better than giving up a walk, Kotsay doubled and was singled in by Matt Diaz. 12-11, Pirates.

But you've never heard of pinch hitter Corky Miller for a reason, and he didn't make a name for himself on this night either. His fly-out to center put the final nail in the coffin. Congratulations, John Russell. Hope you realize what you've gotten into. Thanks for the free entertainment, Pirates.

A few quick notes:

--The Braves were announced one-by-one, while the Pirates got only a "Manager John Russell and the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates..." intro. Lanny Frattare delivered a strong lecture to the Braves on the radio end, and it was also noted on the TV side.

--Turner Field attendance was 45,269, or just 90.4% full. Not too hot for a home opener.

--Xavier Nady was 4-7 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 4 runs. On Opening Day last year, he hit the game-winning home run off of Brad Lidge in Houston, lifting the Pirates to a 4-2 victory in 10 innings. In 2006 with the Mets, he was 4-4. We need to convince him that every day is Opening Day, much like my plan to convince the Pitt Panthers that they're always playing in Madison Square Garden.

--The final line on E-Bay: 0-6, 3 left on base, a strikeout, a walk, a run scored, and that memorable play in the 9th. He's pretty much like Xavier Nady on Opening Day, only the total opposite.
--The aftershocks of a loss to the Pirates: on the Atlanta Journal Constitution's website, here's today's poll: Is it too early to panic over the Braves? And today's article, "Braves can do better than this".
--Your National Anthem singer: American Idol Diana DeGarmo:

--Next up: Pirates (Gorzo) at Braves (Jurrjens), Wednesday, 7:10 PM.


The News

--Your Pittsburgh Penguins are first in the East after a 3-1 victory against the Rangers. This game had it all: a rare glimpse of what Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa could do together, Brandon Dubinsky's skate cutting Geno Malkin's cheek and subsequent stitches, and the always-exciting Max Talbot goal.

A few notes:

-Malkin now sits at 46 goals, and 104 points, still trailing Alexander Ovechkin's 109.

-The Pens are 7-0 at home in March and 9-0-2 at home since February 13.

-Marc-Andre Fleury is 13-1 in his last 14 decisions

-The game was the 421st for Jaromir Jagr at the Arena. Could it be the last?

Only a matchup with the Rangers and two games with Philadelphia remain, and then you can buy your secondary-market playoff tickets.

--Speaking of the Rangers, did you know that Sean Avery's name turned up on the client spreadsheet of Manhattan madam Kristin Davis?

--Your Final Four is set: #1 seeds all around (just as I so gutlessly predicted in the Mondesi Madness poll, thank you very much).

--Floyd Mayweather KO'd 7-foot, 440-pound "The Big Show" at Wrestlemania 24. Doesn't look like it in this picture.

--George W. threw out the first pitch at the Nationals' new stadium last night. He also called the first home run in stadium history. Yes, that's really him and not Frank Caliendo.

--Happy Valley turned into Obama Country this weekend.

--81-year-old Joe Paterno broke his three-month silent treatment to talk about coaching 10 more years, his celebrity, and drinking bourbon. Seriously.

--The Pitt women are in the NCAA Tournament no more, dropping a 72-53 decision to Stanford on Saturday night. I'm guessing that wasn't on the minds of most of you when it played out around midnight on Saturday.
--Mike Tomlin is confident that the Steelers will be competitive in 2008. That makes one person.

--Cedrick Wilson was ordered to seek anger management. And not the cute, Jack Nicholson kind.

--Happy days are here again: Matt Kata has re-joined the Pirates via trade.

--The Pirates open at a lowly #27 in the PG's Power Rankings, ahead of only Houston, Washington, and San Francisco, in a poll obviously taken before they re-acquired Matt Kata.

--"Headline Says it All" Department: Nipples Nowhere To Be Seen On Wrestlemania Ad

--What does a crowd of 115,300 look like in the 7th inning? In LA? Like 25,000 people.

--Here's a hard-hitting interview with Reggie Bush squeeze Kim Kardashian.

--Hideki Matsui's porn collection is at 55,000 videos and growing. Strange, yes, but so was his introducing his wife by displaying a drawing of her.

--Kathie Lee Gifford returned to TV today, as she will host the 4th hour of NBC's Today show. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

--Read the story of Johnstown junk accumulater Dr. Chandan Vora, who carries her legal documents in BiLo bags stacked on a baby stroller.

24 best Wrestlemania matches of all time (T and Hogan vs. Orndorff and Piper only #24?)

11 Hollywood Tips on Becoming a Better Gambler

Bill Raftery Just Likes To Be Naked (Bill Raftery Quotes)

The Five Pirates Most Likely To Be Traded


Seattle Cook Adds Secret Sauce to Steeler Fan's Burger

In today's latest example that Seahawk fans dwell on that past a little too much, a Seattle fast-food cook was accused of spitting on a hamburger ordered by a man wearing Steelers attire. I'm guessing this happened because Seahawk fans feel the game was poorly officiated, as this Steeler fan obviously had a hand in the outcome.

The greatest part of the story was that when police visited the cook's house, they smelled marijuana in addition to the implied scent of sour grapes. The cook was later released after being booked for investigation of fourth-degree assault and possession of marijuana.

Seattle fans, you're just embarrassing yourselves at this point. A pot-smoking burger cook spitting on a hamburger, and two years after the fact?

But you have to put yourself in this guy's shoes. The Seattle Supersonics are leaving town, and you're resigned to asking Bill Simmons for help. You've already waved goodbye to A-Rod, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Randy Johnson. It rains all the time. Starbucks has overexpanded and is laying people off. And grunge music just doesn't sell like it used to.

So all of your hopes are pinned on the Seahawks, and that would make anyone depressed. This is a team that lists Franco Harris as one of their four Hall of Famers. They gave an 8-year, $62 million deal to Shaun Alexander, only to watch him pack it in. They employed human lowlife Jerramy Stevens. They got back at the Vikings' signing of Steve Hutchinson by signing WR Nate Burleson to a seven-year $49 million offer sheet. That's a fair trade. They watched Charlie Frye against the Steelers in week one and said, "Is there any way we could pry him away?"

Obviously, this is a desperate fan base. So if spitting on a Steeler fan's hamburger is going to make their day a little brighter, then maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge them.

Seattle cook accused of spitting on Steeler fan's burger [PG]


Yeah, I'm starting to believe the rumblings that Lebron and Gisele's Vogue cover might have a bit in common with this 1917 U.S. Army poster.

The News

--George W. made a quick stop through the Burgh last night, raising up to $1 million at a Sewickley Heights fundraiser.

--Xavier, guided by head coach and former Pitt Panther Sean Miller, knocked out Huggy Bear's WVU Mountaineers in overtime, 79-75.

--The Pirates made final tuneups to their championship 2008 roster: P Sean Burnett was sent to Indy; 2B Freddy Sanchez will open the season on the roster despite an inflamed shoulder; relievers Franquelis Osoria, Phil Dumatrait and Rule 5 draft pick Evan Meek made the team; Casey Fossum and Turd Ferguson (aka Jaret Wright) were unconditionally released.

--The Steelers re-signed Nick Eason, meaning that the Booger McFarland ship has probably sailed.

--Five more collegians met with the Steelers: Boston College OT Gosder Chrilus, Texas A&M DL Red Bryant, Kansas fullback Brandon McAnderson, Michigan State RB Jehuu Caulcrick and Hampton DE Kendall Langford.

--The Pacman Jones to Dallas trade is just about done.

--The Browns didn't want him, but LB Clark Haggans found a home with the Pittsburgh West Cardinals.

--Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo: secretly married?

--Deadspin shows The One Lonely UCLA Fan

--Big Mo the tortoise, the Pittsburgh Zoo's oldest resident, dies at 75.

--Brooks & Dunn and ZZ Top are coming to Burgettstown.


Koz: Ruuuuuutuuuuuuu


Thursday's game against the Isles was supposed to be about Sidney Crosby's return, but it was all Jarkko Ruutu. Ruutu had three points, including a fancy wrap around short-handed goal. In addition to being the game winning goal, it also won $1,250 of Mark Madden's Money for someone in B15. Ruutu had four penalty minutes and established himself as public enemy number one on Long Island. He drew several penalties, including a tripping call in the third that earned a 8.0 from the Finnish judge for his frog splash dive (that wasn't called by the refs). The Pens pest was constantly under the skin of many of the young Islanders. He also rang a shot off the post which could have been his second SHG in the game. Total domination from #37.

The win puts the Pens at the top of the Eastern Conference again. Thanks to a Rangers win over New Jersey, the Pens control their own destiny for the Atlantic Division title in the next two games against the Blue Shirts. Both games of the Pens/Rangers home-and-home series will be nationally televised (NBC on Sunday afternoon and Versus on Monday night).

March Madness – Penguins style: Check out the Mike Lange Tournament of Quotes. I like “Never Teach a Pig to Sing” as my upset special in the classic 5 vs 12 seed matchup in the Ron Francis bracket. Take that to the bank!

Sophomore Slump Staal – Jordan Staal's... uh, “stall” in his second season is fairly well documented. In the recent games I've seen, Staal has had excellent scoring chances but ended up hitting the post, missing the net, getting robbed by a stellar save, or having chances wiped out by delayed penalty calls like Thursday night. He's just missing. But two stats I recently noticed are very concerning:

Rookie Year: Led team in +/- (+16) and shooting percentage (22.1%)
Sophomore Year (entering Thursday's game): Last in team +/- (-5) and lowest ranked active forward in shooting percentage (6.8%)

So is this just bad luck? Maybe, but these are concerning numbers that tell about two separate things. It's one thing to struggle scoring goals; it's another thing to be a minus player. Of course, all the short-handed goals last year helped the +/-, but to fall from first to worst? Not good. We can deal with a Staal scoring slump because the team is deep in firepower and many will cite #11's value defensively... but what kind of defensive specialist ranks last on his team in plus-minus?

Hockey YouTube of the Week - I recognize I'm getting at this a little late, but in case you missed it, here is Patrick Roy's son, Jonathan (#30 in red), going absolutely berserk in a QMJHL game last week. What a psycho. He was suspended seven games; I'm not sure that's sufficient.

Do not adjust your Internet, this video is in French.


Scrawler: The Huggins or Dixon Debates

by The Backyard Scrawler

Comparisons are planted in our sporting discourse every day. They come neatly packaged in forced sponsored segments with a not-so-catchy name of, say, Cold Hard Fact or Fiction, Power Points and Six Pack of 60-Second Questions for the Hot-Seated Roundtable.

They usually involve some farcical apples-to-oranges debate that compares the accomplishments of an athlete from one era to another or even athletes from totally different sports. (Anyone wanna compare Tiger’s 15-foot putt in the Masters to Jordan’s fade-away jumper in the Finals?)

But there was one debate a few months ago with enough practicality that made me question Pitt and West Virginia basketball fans alike. In the November issue of the Pittsburgh Sports Report, the “Showdown” question was asked: “Who Would You Rather Have Coaching Your Basketball Program: Jamie Dixon or Bob Huggins?”

ESPN Radio’s Joe De Stio gladly did the honors on Dixon’s behalf and it seemed there weren’t any takers brave enough for Huggins, so Mike Mathison of the Steubenville Herald-Star had to suffice.

Pitt fans would find this resurfaced question somewhat convenient during the eve of watching the Mountaineers, and not their Big East Champion Panthers, play in the Sweet Sixteen.

However, with all the recent acclaim and reverence for Huggins and another Big Dance flop for Dixon, are there any others who are willing to turn to the Dark Side? How bout it, Bob Smizik?

How many NCAA Tournament wins is worth having your team’s grade-point average lowered a few notches? Does it really matter to you that your team’s players can win in March AND on Jeopardy?

Both coaches are winners. They are both proven recruiters with less-than-proven postseason resumes, only Huggins is a bigger name with a past that is ruffled more than Dixon’s hair is slick.

People like Junker & Crow with their “Five Burning Questions” seem to think that WVU winning one more NCAA Tournament game than Pitt is not as praiseworthy as the Panthers winning the Big East title. And there’s no telling how loyal or how sober Huggins will be in Morgantown. But as long as he keeps advancing the Mountaineers further than Pitt in the NCAA Tournament you can’t help but side with Huggins in this argument.

Additional reading for Pitt and WVU fans:

For Pitt fans, your hated rivals to south are also “a disgrace to all underdogs.”
For WVU fans, apparently Bob Huggins is healer of all Rich Rodriguez wounds.

The News

--ESPN ranks the top 20 receivers in the NFL, and the Steelers have two of them.
--A crowd shot with hockey action in the background is part of the new movie "She's out of My League," being filmed at the Mellon Arena. No, it's not a sequel to Sudden Death.
--The Cal U. Vulcans lost their Elite 8 game, 55-52, to Anchorage-Alaska, joining the legions of disappointed local college basketball programs.
--Could Troy Polamalu be forced to cut his hair?
--Here's the latest on the Booger McFarland saga.
--Why is this Clemson recruit holding a stack of cash?
--Duquesne's Shawn James may leave for the NBA.
--Have you seen the promos for the upcoming Bob Knight/Bill Parcells/Tony LaRussa ESPN Sunday Conversation?
--Is Ben Howland one of the best coaches yet to win a championship? Here's a strong argument.
--What the Sweet Sixteen coaches would do for a living if they weren't coaching hoops
--Rapper T.I. is facing up to 10 years in prision and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines stemming from a 2007 firearms arrest.
--Herb Peterson, the man who invented the Egg McMuffin, died at his Santa Barbara home on Tuesday at the age of 89.
--The first character in next summer's "G.I. Joe" film is revealed.
--A lottery winner who won $2.5 million goes back to work at McDonald's.


Looking for the World's Biggest Pirate Fan

The fact that the Pittsburgh Pirates have had a rough run since the conclusion of the 1992 NLCS is well-chronicled. But despite this decade and a half of less-than-spectacular baseball, fans continue to flock to PNC Park. Yes, there are certainly reasons other than the product on the field, but we're pretty sure that all 2,527,968 people didn't come to a Pirate game strictly for the fireworks last year.

You have to admit that there a number of truly die-hard Bucco supporters. And we're trying to find them.

We're looking for the people who show up year after year sporting the jersey of the current face of the team, be it Jason Bay or Jason Kendall; the fans who don't know the meaning of the word "apathy"; the fans that have invested thousands of dollars in decorating their game room in Pirate memorabilia; the fans that continue to wonder if this is the year. We want to hear their stories.

With that in mind, it's time to introduce the world to what we hope will be our most interesting contest ever: we're looking for the World's Biggest Pittsburgh Pirate Fan.

Here are the ground rules:

--Make your case in as many or as few words as possible. Photos are encouraged but not necessary.

--We will post (10) finalists chosen internally by May 1, 2008. The 10 finalists' stories and pictures will be up for vote by the public, with the winner officially announced on Monday, May 12th, 2008.
--The winner will receive the following prizes:

*A 20x23" lithograph featuring the authentic signatures of Hall of Famer Willie Stargell and artist Rich Marks.

This beautiful lithograph, a limited edition #2244/4000, features an authentic autograph from WILLIE STARGELL. It has also been signed by artist RICH MARKS.

The final size is a huge 20x23", and it is professionally framed and matted.

Value $200

*A pair of Freddy Sanchez's game used 2007 batting gloves (both signed). Value $100

Contest and prizes sponsored by Steel City Auctions
Please visit for additional rules and directions on submitting your entry.

Mondesi's House in Radio Form

Just wanted to make a quick mention that I'll be on the WDVE Morning show tomorrow (Thursday, March 27) at approximately 9:20 AM EST to discuss the upcoming Pittsburgh Pirates season with hosts Jim Krenn and Randy Baumann.

You can listen live on 102.5 FM, and for those of you out of town or without access to an actual radio, you can listen live on the internet. Just click on the "listen live" icon and you're all set - no registration necessary!

Get Motivated

This is totally off-topic and relative to nothing, but I just got these forwarded to me and felt the need to share. Somehow I've never seen this website before. Brilliant stuff.

Despair, Inc.: Motivational products and posters for pessimists, underachievers, and the chronically unsuccessful

The News: Afternoon Edition

A few quick links to wrap up the afternoon:
--Booger McFarland's agent says he's not a Steeler yet.
--Bob Smizik thinks it's time for Joe Paterno to agree to plan for a successor.
--Sidney will be back Thursday, and Ryan Whitney will stay at left wing.

--Former Pitt TE Kris Wilson emerges from the shadows of Tony Gonzalez and signs with the Eagles.
--13-year old Austin Lemieux teammate Nate Miller, who goes 6'3", 180, chooses hockey over hoops.

--Pittsburgh Slim has signed on for the movie "The Bleeding", co-starring DMX, Michael Madsen, Armand Assante and Vinnie Jones.
--Hillary Clinton visits the Trib...and slams Obama's minister during her visit.
--The Buccos sent 38-year-old reliever Hector Carrasco to their minor-league camp.
--The newly-opened SI archive has a great story about Howard Cosell by Myron Cope.
--In today's completely bizarre news, a geneology study shows that Barack Obama is a relative of Brad Pitt, and Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie.
--Justin Timberlake is going to host the ESPYs.
--It's a sad day in hoops, as Chris Webber retires.

That Didn't Last Long

One this year's more intriguing stories, "The Great Byung-Hyun Kim Experiment", didn't last long, as he was bought out by the Pirates for the bargain price of $300,000.
Kim's sparkling spring line including 5 innnings pitched, 5 HR allowed, and a 14.40 ERA. Given one more chance to not impress the team yesterday, Kim said he was ill and got permission to leave McKechnie Field. What a gamer.
Besides Kim, the Pirates made a fleury of moves yesterday:
--Nate McLouth was named as the starting CF, but Nyjer Morgan will stick around as a backup.
--Jaret Wright, aka Turd Ferguson, was released.
--The contracts of IF Luis Rivas and utilityman Doug Mientkiewicz were purchased from AAA Indianapolis, which means pitcher Jonah Bayliss will have the opportunity to watch Pacer games on a regular basis.
--They released reliever Juan Perez.
--Acquired reliever Tyler Yates from the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Todd Redmond.
--Kevin Thompson, Elmer Dessens and Casey Fossum were also sent to Indy.
--Designated infielder Josh Wilson for assignment and reassigned infielder Jorge Velandia to minor-league camp.
--Relievers Sean Burnett, Phil Dumatrait, Franquelis Osoria, Evan Meek, Hector Carrasco and Masumi Kuwata are battling for three spots. Osoria and Dumatrait are believed to be locks.
Just a few days left until Ian Snell and John Smoltz face off in Atlanta on Monday. Can you feel the excitement building? Me neither.


The News: Steelers Edition

A few nonviolent Steelers bits o' news:
--ESPN had their Steelers: On the Clock draft segment, hosted by Ron Jaworski, Mel Kiper, Chris Mortensen, and Mike Tirico. SOJ was kind enough to post the video.
--The Steelers brought in 300-pound DT Anthony "Booger" McFarland for a thorough tire-kicking. He missed all of last season with a knee injury and failed a physical for the Colts last month. You've got me sold!

--A&L Motors, creators of the beloved Penguins commercial with Malkin & Co., seems to have a little problem with Verron Haynes.
--Whew! The Steelers were able to lock up long-snapper Greg Warren for three more years.
--Arizona State RB Ryan Torain, Michigan OLB Shawn Cable and Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo visited the Steelers on Tuesday. They signed none of them, as that would be against league rules.
--No, not even the Cleveland Browns want Clark Haggans.
--The Steelers have a slideshow of their offseason workouts, for those of you interested.
--Want a job at Heinz Field? Here's your chance. Seriously, who wouldn't want to serve concessions to intoxicated Steeler fans on a frigid Sunday afternoon?

Adam The Penn State Fan is Alive and Well

There are a handful of Pittsburghers who have gained some level of greater notoriety through the wonders of the internet and specifically this site. Penguins fan GwenJen comes to mind. And who could forget the great Ronnie Florian, my personal all-time favorite?

But one colorful character from the past seemed to have completely vanished into thin air. He was known as "Adam the Penn State Fan", he was a local high school kid, and he was best known for his blind praise of all things Penn State Nittany Lions in the Mondesi's House comment section.
Adam's partisan arguments would bait Pitt fans time and time again, and the next thing you knew, we would have a full-fledged comment war on our hands. Judging from the recent survey I conducted, I know many of you long for those days.
After visiting and commenting on the site with consistent regularity, suddenly there were no more Adam comments to be had. As hard as it was to admit for them, many of Adam's adversaries have written and wondered about his whereabouts. I'd compare it to the reaction of Steeler fans when the Browns left town; they were rivals, but they enjoyed the fight.
Well, today is a lucky day for those of you who wondered what happened to Adam. I'm happy to report that he is in fact alive and well. How do I know this? Well, another loyal Mondesi reader happened to email me this clip from a recent edition of the Sunday night KDKA/#1 Cochran Sports Showdown. Guess whose anti-Pitt email is read by Jory Rand at the 7:15 mark? That's right, Adam the Penn State Fan, who appears to have graduated to griping on television as opposed to blogs.
Rebuttle to Mondesi's House Penn State Article (Adam the Penn State fan's blog)
We Are!!!....Not Thrilled With That... (by Adam the Penn State Fan for


Crosby-Less Pens Fall to Islanders

Captain Sidney Crosby missed his sixth straight game and 27th in 30, and the Penguins dropped a 4-1 decision hosted by the New York Islanders on Monday night.
Bill Guerin's goal and assist led the way for New York, keeping the Penguins' playoff hopes at bay for at least one more evening. "We just came out flat," Jordan Staal said.
You can always tell it's a bad sign when the highlight of the night is a mere photo op of Evgeni Malkin.
Ty Conklin got the start in goal and stopped 32 of 36 shots. The only Penguin offense came from Petr Sykora's first-period power play goal set up by Jeff Taffe and Mr. Kennedy.
The Pens don't have much time to dwell on this one, as they will be back at it on Tuesday night with a 7:00 date at New Jersey. A busy week then includes a rematch with the Isles on Thursday and PLAYOFF TICKETS on FRIDAY!

A Pitt Team IN the Sweet 16

Avenging their fallen male counterparts, Pitt's women's team advanced to the Sweet 16 on Monday night with a 67-59 upset of 3-seed Baylor in Albuquerque, NM. Guard Shavonte Zellous led the way with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while teammate Marcedes Walker (shown above) added 17 and 9.
It's the biggest win in the women's program's history and a nice story for a campus undoubtedly bummed about Saturday night's men's result.
Next up, Pitt will face the Stanford-UTEP winner next week in Spokane. Dare I say an Elite Eight spot is on the line?

The News

--It was a bitter end to the Pitt Panthers' season on Saturday night, certainly raising the old question of "how much energy do they burn in the Big East Tournament?"
Today, the PG looks back on what was a fascinating season, noting that seniors Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin won 101 games, went to four consecutive NCAA tournaments and won a memorable Big East championship while at Pitt.

--At least the Pitt women are still alive, as they face off against Baylor in the second round.
--This Steelers controversy isn't going away anytime soon. However, Steigy says that there is no double standard.
--In the "last week's news" department, the Steelers will play the Bills in Toronto in August, continuing the trend of pro sports leagues exploiting Pittsburgh and Buffalo teams in unconventional settings to sell tickets.
--Trying to get a status report on Sidney Crosby from the Penguins? Good luck.
--TMZ has what might be the greatest Bill Belichick picture ever:

--Straight Outta Johnstown interviews Megan from 'That's Amore'

--Penn State LB Tyrell Sales: innocent!


Koz: Get Back, Satan


by Koz
Saturday night’s game against the Devils was the most important hockey game I’ve attended since Mario’s comeback game in 2001, and the most important game for playoff positioning that I can even remember.

Lots of exciting things happened; here is my account from B15.

To start the game, the fans were well fired up, bringing the “Let’s Go Pens” chant out before the opening faceoff. Jeff Jimerson was not in the house to start us off, which was more than somewhat disappointing. He probably was playing a bat mitzvah or something.

The scoring started quickly with Jarkko Ruutu scoring his third goal in three games. I was sure Staal scored, but apparently one of the Devils was doing his best Nicklas Backstrom impression and beat Staal to the puck. This just continues Jordan Staal’s terrible luck this season. I swear he’s just missed about a half dozen goals in the last couple days. A few minutes later he will have a nice takeaway and shoot the puck wide. Later in the second period, he will fire a sweet backhand off the iron. He’s seriously cursed right now. A little more luck and he’s got 20+ goals and no one is talking about a sophomore slump.

If a goal on the first shot doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. Next thing you knew the Pens were on the power play. Unfortunately, this led to one of the sickest goals of the season. Brian Gionta batted the puck out of mid air and deflected a short-handed goal past MAF. If Crosby or Malking had scored it, we would be calling for the puck to be sent to the hall-of-fame. The first period ends tied at one after Malone misses a wide open net.

During intermission, I took a walk to the High School Hall of Champions behind the Igloo Club to pay my respects to the Chartiers Valley Colts hockey jersey. Good times.

Sitting in B15, the second period is when I hope to see more action at the other end. We were treated to a Matrix-moment when a puck shot by Mike Mottau rolled on edge past the goal post. If that puck would have gone in the net, it would have been a huge momentum swing. Not much else happened in the second until snake-bitten Staal took a penalty. Pascal Dupui and Ryan Malone busted out for a short-handed goal to give the Pens the lead. What most of you didn’t see was this short-handed goal led to the guy in front of me spilling his nachos all over the guy in front of him. It’s crazy things like this that happen when your team scores a short handed goal.

Short-Handed Goal!

Right before the end of the second, Tyler Kennedy had an amazing chance from the slot, and Brodeur just got a toe on it. Kennedy had an outstanding game, fighting for the puck and generating chances. Entering the third period, things were still close.

As the evening continued on this Easter Vigil, it was clear this was not the Devils’ night. Fortunately for me and the folks on the south end of the arena, the Pens saved their goal outburst for the third period.

The Pens first big scoring chance in the third involved snake-bitten Staal who put on the Ritz, put a shot into Brodeur, whose own player crashed into him and into the net. Player with puck in net = goal, right? No. Not here. Penalty was called, and play was dead. Seven seconds later it didn’t matter because Ryan Malone tipped a shot past a diving (as in acting for a penalty) Brodeur. No penalty, 3-1 Pens.

At 16:04 in the third, everyone in the arena crapped their pants when we saw Malkin down on the ice behind the Penguin net. After a sigh of relief when he got up on his own and returned to the bench, we only needed to wait about a minute more for Pascal Dupuis to lift our spirits, raise the volume on the “Marty! Marty!” chants, and send Brodeur to the showers.

On the way home in the car, The Ole 29er mentioned in 60 starts against the Pens, Brodeur has been pulled from 10 of them.

From here on out, the Pens just poured it on. The only question was whether Malking would finish the game with 100 points. He didn’t. He has 102 now.

Kevin Weekes deciding between crying and winding his watch

Therrien called for the fans to be loud, and they did a good job. I want to give a special shout out to the Cowbell Section in D9. These folks got it going on. Keep up the good work.

I was unfortunate to witness an incident of mullet discrimination when a gentleman was escorted from his seat behind the glass in A17. This man was ejected from the arena, allegedly for banging on the glass, but that didn’t seem like anything out of control. Like I said, mullet discrimination. I was lucky to find this man after the game outside the arena (no joke) near the Pens van that is parked by Gate 2. He seemed to be ok, though was still confused about his ejection.


Speaking of ejections, Travis “Don’t Call Me Pat” Zajac hit Gonchar from behind and earned a five minute major. That was bad. But Jamie Langenbrunner, apparently upset about having a girl’s name, decided to come from nowhere and mug one of the Penguins. Fortunately, Pascal Dupuis has committed to the flightless birds and beat him down. Chats of “Go Home Devils!” rained down and sent us all home to wait for the Easter Bunny.

Penguins TV Viewing Information: Monday’s game against the Islanders will be on Versus at 7 pm.


Mondesi Interview: Brian Powell of

We're right in the middle of March Madness, which means we'll be watching a lot of CBS (and after the games, ESPN) in the near future. With this in mind, I figured that we needed a little guide for watching the tournament. So who better to talk to than the #1 authority on all things TV sports, Awful Announcing's Brian Powell?
Brian started his website in 2006, and in that short amount of time it's risen all the way to #3 on the Ballhype charts. Yes, Awful Announcing has indeed struck a nerve with the TV-watching, blog-reading sports fan. AA has enough embedded video clips and screenshots to make your head spin, and as Brian will point out, there's always plenty of Erin Andrews references, for those of you into that. It's a highly enjoyable website.
Brian is a qualified professor in this topic, so sit back, listen (or should I say "scroll") and enjoy:
I see that we'll be getting the team of Gus Johnson and Len Elmore for Pitt's Denver region. The equation of Gus Johnson + high altitude = what?

Hopefully a few upsets and at least one buzzer beater. Gus seems to have the golden voice when it comes to calling epic Tourney games. Let's just hope for your reader's sake that one of those isn't Oral Roberts.

Bob Knight picked the Panthers to win the whole thing. Is that a wise choice from a coaching legend, or the ramblings of a crazy person?

I don't think it's necessarily a bad omen, but I had one rule when picking teams coached by Bob Knight. Never pick them past the second round. He's a great coach but later in his years his defensive minded teams just couldn't keep up with the game's new style of play. This Pittsburgh team reminds me of those old Hoosier teams that get it done on the boards and down low and that will either get them very far or not far at all.

Let's do some free association with college basketball talking heads. What's the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions...
Dick Vitale: Should be in the Hall of Fame as an ambassador to the game
Bob Knight: Plotting to kill Digger Phelps
Billy Packer: Old Curmudgeon
Gus Johnson: The People's Champ
Erin Andrews: Over hyped (I'm one of those to blame for this)
Bill Raftery: ONIONS!
Verne Lundquist: Lovable but past his prime
Jay Bilas: Growing on me
Joe Lunardi: Lucky (Making a career out of Bracketology blows my mind, but I have a website about Announcers)

A rare look at a bracketologist off the clock

Which personalities are you least looking forward to watching/listening to during the tournament?

Gus Johnson, Len Elmore (I need to give him another chance after the JB debacle last year), Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, and newbie Carter Blackburn.
How much time will you spend watching NIT games?

Well I spent one night watching my Terps win in Minnesota and I think that'll be about it. I'm actually more interested in the matchups in the CBI this year. I realize that most of your time is spent watching sports.
Any favorite non-sports programs you take a break to watch?

It pains me to admit this but I love trashy MTV programming. I have to shut my mind off from Sports from time to time and there's no better way. So here's the list of things I check out: The Hills, The Gauntlet, Rob and Big, Lost, 30 Rock, The Wire, Numbers, The Office, and anything on Adult Swim

Finally, the questions we're dying to know: who's going to win it all, and what do you foresee for Pitt?

I have Pitt getting knocked out by Memphis but that game could go either way. I just think Memphis' guard play will win out over the inconsistent Ramon. Fields will be everything to Pitt in that game and the Tournament and if they win that game look out. Any team in the bottom half is going to be in trouble.