Big Lead Sports Bar



--You Pitt fans better print out these Fear the Stache signs if you're going to the game on Saturday. [The Fighting Wannstaches]

--Tough 3-0 loss for the Penguins on Tuesday night against Boston. Not only did they get shut out for the second game in a row, but they also lost Brooks Orpik in the first period after he smashed into the boards.

The Boys of Winter have now been outscored 13-2 in their last three games, Letang and Orpik recently joined the lengthy list of injuries, and their team president had a heart attack. In other words, it's been a long week for the champs. [ESPN, PG]

--Remember what I was saying about Rookie of the Year columns? SI's Don Banks lists his top three as Percy Harvin, Mark Sanchez (the caretaker QB of a 4-4 team) and Michael Oher (a lineman on a 4-4 team). And Mike Wallace is not mentioned why, Mr. Snap Judgment? []

--One Steeler made Peter King's Midseason All-Pro Team, and it's probably not someone you would think of. And no, it's not Limas Sweed. []

--For today's Pitt-Penn State debate fodder, how about this recent observation by Paul Zeise from Sunday's "#1 Cochran Sports Showdown" on KDKA:

In the past 10 seasons, Penn State is 5-20 against Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa.

In the past 10 seasons, Penn State is 5-10 against non-conference BCS schools with a winning record.

The title of the article is "How Good is the Penn State Program?" and as of this posting, it has 38 comments and counting. As far as I can tell, none are from Adam the Penn State Fan. [KDKA]

--The Cowboys' Jason Witten gave a 9-year-old student contest winner a ride to school today, and guess what? The kid is a massive Steeler fan, proving at a young age that he's smart enough to not get involved with the Cowboys. []

--Who's signing Larry Johnson? Not the Texans. And Mike Tomlin not saying anything about LJ is apparently a story in itself, even though he never talks about any free agent. [PFT]

--Former Bucco skipper Danny Murtaugh is up for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame on the 10-man Veteran's Committee ballot for managers and umpires. Hopefully he gets in, because I don't see the Pirates getting too many inductees in the near future. [PG]

--Matt Capps was recently offered in a trade to the Milwaukee Brewers for SS J.J. Hardy, who was instead dealt to Minnesota for OF Carlos Gomez. Hardy's numbers fell off a cliff last year and was welcomed to Minnesota with a "What Went Wrong with JJ Hardy" column. In the meantime, the Yankees and Red Sox are deciding which elite free agents to add to their already-loaded teams. Don't you love baseball? [PBC Blog,]

--In addition to Pitt-ND and Steelers-Bengals, there's a whiskey festival coming up at Heinz Field this weekend. And no, it's not being held in the parking lot. [Trib]

--In honor of Veteran's Day, here's's list of the 10 greatest patriotic moments in U.S. sports history. Not making the list: defending the U.S. flag against blatant disrespect by Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik in the mid-'80s. [ESPN]

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BURGH08 said...

Oh brother. I smell another crash and burn for the Panthers come Saturday.

Unknown said...

i wishful thinking that you wouldn't mention the pirates....don't you realize you are becoming part of the problem?

Unknown said...

well here is what don is convincing himself of:

1. the steelers don't need to focus on the run

2. the pirates are relevant

3. the pitt and penn state stuff is actually meaningful

4. the pens matter and a hockey game means anything at this point (shorten the season)

5. troy, troy, troy - let's get him in the discussion for MVP and stop the BS that Ed Reed is in his league

Unknown said...

to clarify: no 5 is not something don has discussed and therefore is a problem - troy polamalu is the mvp of the stillers!

Unknown said...

damn it.."has NOT discussed"

Unknown said...

1.They did alright with that strategy last year.

2. Some of us are still Pirates fans, we get it you don't like them, shut the hell up.

3. Two top 20 college football teams in your state sounds like something to talk about to me.

4. Since when does every point not matter? Last year the difference between the 4 and 6 seed and home ice advantage? 2 points. Shorten the season why?

5. You have already pointed out that this one is not an issue but I still feel the need to correct it just for fun. Troy and Ed Reed are both the best safety in the league, as they play different positions, I don't see how anyone could argue that.

Koz said...

Is Michael Oher the guy that movie is about (with Sandra Bullock and the Southern accent)?

Steve said...

Sounds like little Trent Beamer would change team allegiance no matter what NFL player showed up at his house. I'm glad he's now a Cowboys fan...maybe Witten can recruit Snoop Dog next by waving to him.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

@ Co-ey - If you hate the pirates so much, just skim over that part or don't read the link... it's just that simple. Shorten the hockey season? WHHHAAAA?!?!? What can i say to that? Except to roll up a newspaper to hit you on the bridge of your nose and say 'NO'! Just look at the comments section of any pitt-psu article and perhaps you'll be able to figure out why so many are writing about it. And if you're gonna be hatin on the author of the website then go read another. Everyone else comes on here cause we enjoy Don's point of view on all things pittsburgh! (By the way, see how i did this all in one post? ...i await your six post rebuttal)

@ Koz - yes, unfortunately it is.

bohica said...

Damn...I was really hoping that Lex Luger's slam of Yokozuna would have made that ESPN list.

AJ said...

Funny... I thought the name of this blog sorta implied that it was OK to talk about the Pirates.
I hate when people bitch about Pirates posts. Yes... the team sucks. True... they will probably continue to suck for the rest of my life. That doesn't mean that I or any other genuine fan doesn't care about news and events surrounding the team.

Choosing to not support the team financially by boycotting games is a sound personal choice. Simply ignoring the fact that the team exists and then pathetically trying to convince the rest of the fan base to adopt your personal apathy not only makes you a whiny bandwagon bitch, it makes about as much sense as some of the Pirates personnel moves. Go cheer for the Red Sox and let the rest of us enjoy our misery. We'll see you during the hockey playoffs when you decide its OK to cheer for the Penguins again.

BURGH08 said...

I agree with AJ. I used to have a partial plan to the Pirates in their last few seasons at TRS and up until after they did the price hike after the first season at PNC (and a 100 losses).

I won't follow them with my wallet by going to games, but can't stop following through TV or Radio. Although I follow them more like a train wreck than a baseball team, I can't just roll with another team.

I love the calls to the talk shows during baseball that says 'I'm not following them anymore'. Please.

Adam said...

First, and oddly not the most important topic of the day, Penn State.

Zeise is a homer, but I'll answer to his statistics anyway.

We sucked the first half of the decade. No Penn State fan will deny it. But what bearing does that have on the health of the program now? If you want to know how healthy a program is, you look at a 5 year recruiting cycle. In the last 5 years (with guys like Lee and Clark in uniform), we've won 11 games twice, and we're working on a 3rd 10 win season. I'd say that's pretty healthy.

By the same token, once Lee and Clark are gone, the 2005 season's effect on Penn State now will be irrelevent. It'll make for nice memories, but it's relevence to Penn State's players on the field today will be about as important as the game we lost to Iowa 6-4.

The point is, statistics any further out than 5 years are irrelevent. If Zeise could go back 10 years, why didn't he go back 15-20 as well? Because they won't make Penn State look bad. Going back 10 years insures that the bad years of the early part of the decade are accounted for, but the successes immediately preceding them in the late 90s are excluded.

But that's journalism for ya.

But now onto this idea that the Pirates aren't worth talking about.

It just goes to show that Pittsburgh is home to great teams but not great fans. Not only are you people ignoring the Pirates and not only are you hostile toward them, you're hostile toward anyone who supports them, and that's nuts. I mean, people aren't even complaining about the now daily coverage of Penn State on this blog, but they're complaining about the PIRATES being covered?

That's stupid.

Keep talking about the Pirates Don. I, as an actual fan of ALL Pittsburgh teams, appreciate the coverage. Let's Go Bucs.

Adam said...
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Todd said...

Pitt is gonna lose what's so scary about a mustache. Pitts coach looks like he should sign up for megans law. Go Irish

BurressWithButterflywings said...

ND's Coach looks like he should sign up for Stomach Stapling surgery....... oh wait, he did......and he's still obese.

Todd said...

I hate charlie too dont get me wrong hopefully we get john gruden next year.

Adam said...


I don't know if you're a domer, but dude, even I know you can't take a shot at the Stache, especially in Pittsburgh, when your own team is coached by a fraud.

At least Pitt's always getting better.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

Wannstedt's lip has more hair than Clausen's head. Pitt can't lose.

Louis Lipps Sinks Ships said...

Love that Peter King highlights two facts about Jared Allen while giving him two awards:

1. Allen has 7.5 sacks against the Packers' (patchwork) offensive line.

2. Allen has 10.5 sacks on the season. you're saying Allen padded his stats against the worst LT group in the league (Antwan Odom had 5 sacks alone against the same Packers group, which leads the league with 37 sacks allowed) and Allen only has 3 sacks in his other six games? Don't know that that's worthy of DPOY.

James Harrison has far more tackles (48 to 34), only 2.5 fewer sacks (8 to 10.5), and more forced fumbles (4 to 3 -- which King highlighted for Allen).

Steve said...

It's all about the flavor of the month. The last thing ESPN or similar wants to do is put a picture of Harrison or the Steelers up. Writers hate to go back to the well and talk about teams and players everyone already knows about and will always dig up BS stats to inflate their opinions. The same way they are trying to ignore last years flavor Harrison, they are just dreading the Steelers probable beating of the Bengals and seeing them atop the division again. "Hey folks, did you hear about this Roethlisberger guy...word is he's pretty good...almost as good as Orton!"

okel dokel said...

Scott Van Pelt had an interesting comment on the post-game Sportscenter.

He said something like. "You know we are always infatuated with the flavor of the month, like the Broncos, but the Steelers just keep getting it done. They are not flashy and people want to hear something different but they have the talent and the Steeler Nation is always there for them no matter where the game is played. Oh and by the way this Ben Rothelisberger guy is pretty good."

BURGH08 said...

So if Adam says that "statistics any further out than 5 years are irrelevent", why have I read countless posts of PSU's record against Pitt under Paterno that spans decades?

If you watched the segment on KDKA, Zeise used the numbers to argue that Penn State is not an elite program anymore. I think these number point out that case.

Hey, not many programs can be called 'pretty healthy', so I don't really understand why anyone would debate the numbers. They don't lie.

Adam said...

If the question was "Does Joe own Pitt" that would be the statistic I'd use to answer the question.

By the same token, if the question was "How good has Penn State been in the last 10 years in comparision to other programs", the statistics Zeise cited would be appropriate.

But the question was how good Penn State is today, and if Zack Mills isn't playing for Penn State anymore, I have a hard time seeing how his crappy teams in the early part of the decade have anything to do with how good we are now.

Zeise drew up a completely arbitrary timetable that included all of our worst seasons, but only our most recent success, and I think you know as well as I do that that's stupid.

The oldest Penn State players in uniform are 5-8 against OSU, UM, and Iowa, and while that isn't exactly sterling either, it's a more accurate representation of where the program is today than Zeise's arbitrary stats.

I'm not debating whether or not we're "elite", but who is really? It feels like Zeise was just trying to validate Pitt by saying "Well Penn State's not really that good", and if I'm a Pitt fan, that pisses me off. It's almost like he's lowering the bar for Pitt isn't it? Shouldn't Pitt want what we've had the last few years?

It'd be like me saying "Well Penn State isn't really that bad at basketball because Pitt hasn't made it to a Final Four in the time they've been good".

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Todd, I don't think that you "sign up" for Megan's Law... I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.

Adam, I commend you on sticking with the Pirates. But you do NOT root for all of the Pittsburgh teams. When it comes to college sports, you root for some team that plays in the middle of what I like to call "Pennsyltucky".

BURGH08 said...
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BURGH08 said...
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BURGH08 said...

Using your previous argument, one could say that PSU's record covers TWO 'five year recruiting cycles', which could provide a more consistent argument of where they are as a program in relation to their opponents.

It may "feel like Zeise was just trying to validate Pitt" to you because you are too entrenched in your own bias. Pitt being 8-1 or 1-8 doesn't change the facts that Zeise pointed out.

The sensitivity is showing, and really shouldn't be if you were truly being objective.

Adam said...

I get all the Pittsburgh channels on basic cable in State College, and the Pittsburgh media covers Penn State sports (although perhaps not as objectively as I'd like) regularly. Most of the locals (non-college students) are Pittsburgh fans up here across the board.

This place isn't exactly West Mifflin, but geographically it falls under the Pittsburgh sphere of influence like any other outlying town like Butler or Erie.

No, Penn State isn't a "Pittsburgh team", but more Penn State alumni live in Allegheny County than anywhere else in the world. It's a local team, and to say that Penn State fans can't be loyal Pittsburgh fans as well is excessive. We're not rooting for the Patriots here.

If you'd asked me how healthy the Penn State program was after 2005 or 2006, and I started talking about the '98 or '99 teams to argue that we were still a great program, you know your response would have been "3 of the last 5 years you've had a losing record!".

As far a Zeise goes, I could be the most biased person in the world, that doesn't change the fact that he brought it up in that context.

And by the way, his facts are wrong anyway.

Penn State has beaten OSU 3 times (2001, 2005, 2008), Michigan twice (2008, 2009), and Iowa once (2007). That's six, not the five he listed.

Also, the non-conference BCS record he lists is incorrect. Penn State beat Virginia in 2002, Nebraska in 2002, USF in 2005, Florida St. in 2005, Tennessee in 2006, Texas A&M in 2007, and Oregon State in 2008. That's 7. He said 5.

Either way, Zeise is a tool.

WKC said...

Again a joke of a Penn State fan. Losing those games is unacceptable, and when proven wrong again, you want to change the parameters of the discussion. We beat the teams we should, and the Iowa/Mich/OSU games are unacceptable in the real fan base of Penn State.


I don't know if Zeise is a tool, but at least he doesn't write for Black Shoe Diaries.

Adam said...

If losses to Ohio St., Michigan, and Iowa, are "unacceptable" then YOU'RE the joke of a Penn State fan.

In 2006 and 2007, the Ohio St. teams that beat us were ranked #1 in the country. In 2006, Michigan was ranked #2. You're living in a fantasy land if you go into those games EXPECTING to win.

You sound like the typical Pittsburgher: totally incapable of giving the opponent credit. I was at that 2006 UM game, and I don't think I've seen a team as dominant in person. Lamar Woodly knocked out Morelli and Clark IN THE SAME NIGHT. At some point, you have to tip you cap and give a great player like that credit for having a great game instead of telling yourself your own program stinks.

The "real" fan base understands that.

The "real" fan base also realizes that losses aren't "unacceptable", they're "disappointing". These kids don't get paid, they go to class every day. They work hard, and whether they win or whether they lose, they're still STUDENT-athletes, and that's really more important than anything else.

Anonymous said...

I'm a PSU fan and I want us to start beating OSU, Michigan, and Iowa. We've been the 3rd or 4th best team over the past 5 years in the Big Ten. With all the recruiting ties we have, the experience at coaching and the backing of school and fans we should have an elite program and perennial top 10. We haven't been at the level we should be and I'm disappointed and want us to do better.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very proud of our graduation rate, but I want a National Championship. There have been way too many games over the past few seasons where our team has come out completely flat which is unacceptable. I honestly believe we have more talent than Iowa and Michigan and we're close to OSU but for whatever reason we're not seeing the results on the field.

Also there are way too many PSU fans on these boards telling other PSU the right way to root for their team.

Adam said...

Well that's what happens when people with Pitt friends start calling out other Penn Staters to make their friends feel better about themselves.

I don't have any problem with where we are as a program. The 3rd or 4th best team in the league doesn't win the conference twice in four years you know. We're a strong 2nd to the Bucknuts, and I don't have any problem with that.

Do we come out flat sometimes? Yeah. But so does just about every other team in college football at some point in the season. That's why you have two loss LSU winning national championships and teams like South Florida and Boston College sitting in the top 5 some times.

Even Florida lost 4 games the year Tebow SMASH won the Heisman.

WKC said...

Pitt has nothing to do with it. Actually, the problem is teenage wanna-be Penn State students trying to tell me what my expectations should be being second tier in the Big Ten to Michigan, OSU, and Iowa.

I doubt Adam even goes to school at MY alma mater. Let alone man enough to come to my tailgate tomorrow and tell me how big of a 'joke' I am as a Penn State fan. I have been a season ticket holder for years, a donor, and have my tip out a stone throw away from the stadium.

There are plenty more like me (including Clint from what I can tell) that shares my opinion about the downfall of this program, much as you want to satisfy yourself over our soft schedule.

Tell you what big man, come outside of your 'blog world' and email me at:

I have it hooked up to my iphone, and will be glad to have you come over and tell me and my friends how big of a joke we are.

Something tells me you are just some jackass behind a keyboard wanting to google stats and make them into your own reality.

You are a disgrace to Penn State fans, and you should understand Halloween is over.

Dan Claycomb said...

Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast.

Brick killed a guy.

Adam said...
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Adam said...

First of all, an admirable, mature model Penn Stater like yourself can't start calling people names, then call them out for calling you names back. You called me the "joke" before I ever said anything to you. Grow up, hun, and stop trying to bully college kids. You graduated. Go beat up someone in IT.

Second of all, the person googling stats to make them fit their own reality is Paul Zeise, which is precisely the reason we're even having this dicussion.

Penn State is a good football program. We're not elite. If that's not good enough for you, then whatever, but don't be telling people like me who are happy with where things are and where they're going that we're jokes. It's unbecoming.

WKC said...

My offer still stands.