Big Lead Sports Bar



We're finally entering the end of the sports black hole between hoisting the Stanley Cup and heading to Latrobe, and I, for one, couldn't be happier. Yeah, yeah, I know we have a "professional" baseball team in town, but they rarely score runs and seem to be focused on 2011 as a date to once again be competitive. So that leaves football next on our agenda, and we'll take it in any flavor at this point, be it professional, collegiate, or made-for-TV, like the taping of "Shaq Vs." on Friday night.

The Big Artistotle and the Big Benjamin took to Ambridge's Rubenstein Stadium and electrified thousands of onlookers who wisely seized the opportunity to watch two of the world's sports titans face off on the gridiron. It was surely a nice break from a stressful week for Roethlisberger, who whooped it up for the cameras and got some love from the home crowd, which camped out as long as four hours for the one-of-a-kind taping. Yes, more bad news could be coming for #7, but on this evening, it was all smiles for the two-time champion.

In the matters of real NFL news, first-round pick Ziggy Hood was all smiles this weekend as he agreed to a five-year deal, making him just the fourth first-rounder from the 2009 draft to do so. With Hood now in the fold, the Steelers expect to have all 80 players on their roster reporting when training camp opens on Friday. That's music to my ears, with the song being "The Steeler Polka", of course.

Hood will soon find out that teammate Ike Taylor is fast. Just how fast? He ran a 4.26 in the 40 at Disney's Wide World of Sports, prompting his speed coach, Tom Shaw, to remark, "Ike is the fastest kid I've ever trained."

Shaw's list includes such notable burners as Deion Sanders and Titans RB Chris Johnson, who ran the fastest time ever (4.24) at the combine. Again, this is all news that should make Steeler fans very happy.

Outside of Hood and Taylor, the Steelers have 78 other men under their wing going into camp, and the PG had a neat piece outlining everyone from Dennis Dixon to Greg Warren. I must say, there's some intriguing names on this list. Starting at the top, I think Mike Reilly is the prototypical training camp QB that fans could latch onto. RB Frank "The Tank" Summers is already an internet sensation and reminds Steeler fans of (drum roll, please...) Jerome Bettis. Stefan Logan could be verrry interesting. And putting all jokes from last year aside, I can't wait to see where Limas Sweed is at this year.

There are new starters (William Gay, Lawrence Timmons), and guys returning from injury (Rashard Mendenhall, Dan Sepulveda). There are guys with a lot to prove (Bruce Davis) and guys who are still hanging around from the class of '98 (Hines Ward, Charlie Batch, Deshea Townsend). And there are lots of guys in their contract years who want to break the bank.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to be thrilled about training camp, and the countdown is in the home stretch. Are you ready for some football? I am. I'm ready for lots and lots of football, as a matter of fact. We need to be patient for just a few short days, my football-loving friends. And the payoff, it shall be great.

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1 comment:

GIANTS FAN said...

This is a great sports blog you have. We sports bloggers have to stick together. Wondering if we can exchange links. Let me know what you think.