Big Lead Sports Bar



Separated at Birth, Olympic hockey edition: Top-notch work by on this one. Niles Crane as Gonchar? I'm buying that. [SI]

Pitt up in rankings: A 2-0 week with wins over Marquette and Villanova moved the Pitt Panthers to #12 in the AP and #16 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, released today. Amazingly, that still ranks them only fifth among Big East teams. To reiterate, that's five of the top 12 teams in the country, for anyone who dares to say this isn't the best conference in all of the land. [ESPN]

Pirates' 2010 slogan? From reader Greg T.: "I was on my way home from the Vancouver Olympic games and had a layover in the Minneapolis airport tonight where I saw this advertisement for the Timberwolves."

They're not rebuilding, Greg, they're reloading. Reloading players to trade to the Yankees and Red Sox someday.

Pens. Caps. PNC Park. New Year's Day, 2011: The Winter Classic in the Burgh? That's the word from Frank Coonelly, who is trying to bring the frosty New Year's event to the Steel City. Hey, that park deserves some excitement now and again beyond the 2006 All-Star Game. [PG]

Carnell Lake out at UCLA: The former Steeler safety and college All-American coached the defensive backs at his alma mater last season under Rick Neuheisel, but stepped down today for "family reasons". UCLA ranked second in the conference in pass defense last season under Lake's tutelage.

Lake spent last summer as a coaching intern with the Philadelphia Eagles, along with former Steeler LB Greg Lloyd, who would make an absolutely fascinating coach in my opinion. [ESPN Pac 10 Blog]

Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman recently got signed by UFC for four fights and will be debuting March 31st in Charlotte for Spike TVs fight night.

Brenneman wrestled collegiately at Lock Haven, won the first season of Pros vs. Joes, and has an 11-1 record. []

New York Post, Uniontown Bureau: "A man clad just in his underwear jumped on the hood of his girlfriend's moving car during a quarrel in sub-freezing temperatures in Uniontown, Pa., police said yesterday. Cops got a report Thursday at 3:20 a.m. of a 57-year-old man sitting on the hood of the car yelling at the woman behind the wheel."

As usual, Uniontown continues to make the area proud on a national stage. But is the guy So U.T?. We can only wonder. [NY Post]

Anthony Morelli has not given up
: The former Penn State QB is holding a personal tryout for scouts and GMs at the combine in Indianapolis next Friday.

Morelli was cut in camp by the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 and worked out for Buffalo and Green Bay last season. Morelli signed with the Milwaukee Iron of the Arena Football League in November and has since moved to Indy, where he is being tutored by former Colts QB Jack Trudeau.

Morelli famously backed out of his commitment to Pitt in 2003, and still has his share of critics to this day in the city. Yes, it's been a long time to hold a grudge. But I always say that Pittsburghers have extremely long memories. [PG]

Poteat likes Pitt: Harrisburg (Bishop McDevitt) RB Jameel Poteat, who hails from the same high school as Shady McCoy, had a very good trip to the school over the weekend. One of the top backs in the country, Poteat also has offers from USC and Florida on the table. He hopes to narrow his list to a final five by July.

This Poteat quote will make Pitt fans smile: "I had that feeling. It just feels like you're at home and the coaches and the fans show so much love. My parents love it, too, and that's a big thing for me. And I love what Coach Wannstedt is doing with the program and how everything seems to be going right." [KDKA]

Cleveland tops the list of miserable US cities: What, you expected another city? This is the only competition that they can actually win. And if you think they're miserable now, wait till they lose Lebron this summer. [msnbc]

Tiger Woods, shafting people for years: Here's a fantastic recap on the series of events in 2004 that ended up with Tiger bailing out on the 84 Lumber Classic at Nemacolin Woodlands. If you didn't like Tiger before reading this, you definitely won't like him any more after reading this. [Rum Bunter]

Benson parodies the Steelers dismal season through one man's epic night of drinking in the new video, "Super Bowl Hangover". []

Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity to host Steeler Basketball Game fundraiser at Hempfield High School: Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity, an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, has committed to raising $4,000 by Saturday, April 17, 2010 for their Haiti Home Build Project. The $4,000 will be used to purchase a new Habitat for Humanity core home that will be built in Haiti for a family that lost their home due to the earthquake.

The signature fundraising event for the Haiti Home Build Project is a charity basketball game between the Steelers Footballers Basketball Team and the Hempfield Habitat for Humanity All Stars on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 8:00pm at the Hempfield Field House.

Tickets are $7.00 each and can be purchased at the Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the Norwin Hills Shopping Center, the Hempfield Athletic Office - Hempfield Area High School Campus, from any Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity Board Members, and from Hempfield Area High School Participating Athletic Team Members. For more information on the Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity, please visit or call 724-523-0308.

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PghSem said...

Re: Pitt and rankings

"Amazingly, that still ranks them only fifth among Big East teams."

That would be fifth, with a record of 3-0 against the top three, and 3-1 including the (away) loss to Georgetown.

Granted, there have been a couple of bad losses, but c'mon ... does any other team in the nation have a 3-0 record against Top 5 teams?

Unknown said...

By far, the best lookalike is #28 on their list. Couldn't be more accurate. :)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Hockey at PNC Park? Sure, but why not have it at the beginning of the hockey season so Pittsburghers under the age of 30 can say they witnessed one "Fall Classic" in their lifetime?

Adam said...

Yup. The Big East has five of the top 12.

If only Pitt were in the Big Ten, it'd probably be navigating it's 24th consecutive undefeated season.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

@ Steve, touche

I laughed out loud at the Susan Boyle comparison in Separated at Birth and of course Ovie/Mr. Larson never gets old.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

How could Pitt have 24 straight undefeated seasons in a conference that sends 7 teams to the Big Dance and the 8th team won the NIT?

I mean, the 8th team! Winning the NIT.

For those of you who didn't read Thursday at the Polls last week: The Big Ten sent 7 teams to the NCAA Tourney last year and the 8th team; Well, they won the NIT!

I am going to use every chance I get to mention that the Eighth Team won the NIT! 8th TEAM: NIT CHAMPS!


Anonymous said...

The best conference in the land, which hasn't sent a team to a championship in 5 years and has had fewer teams in the Final 4 than..wait for it...the Big Ten.

Now obviously 5 years in kind of misleading since the 2 years before that UConn and Syracuse won and the Big East is very strong at the top this year with 5 possible teams who could be seeded 1-4 but they haven't been that impressive outside of their conference so I think you could make an argument for other conferences.

(I would say Big East is best this season but I think Big 12 could make an argument. I'm just bored at work and want to try to start some convo)

BurressWithButterflywings said...

This is a summary of the records in the NCAA Tourney the last 5 years:

2009 Tourney: BE 17-7; Big 11 9-7

2008 Tourney: BE- 11-8; Big 11 5-4

2007 Tourney: BE 7-6; Big 11 10-6

2006 Tourney: BE 11-8, Big 11 3-6

2005 Tourney: BE 10-6, Big 11 12-5

Total: BE 56-35 Big 11 39-28
.615 .582

Adam said...

If you get your jollies out of making fun of the NIT go right ahead. Ain't no one here ashamed of it and ain't one of you gonna convince us to be.

Adam said...

Excuse how I fail to see .030 as statiscally relevent to your OMG BIG EAST BEST EVAAAAARRRRR BIG TEN SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11 argument.

Anonymous said...

My argument wasn't that the Big 10 is better. My argument is that the Big East isn't far and away the best conference, this season or over the past few. I do believe the Big 10 is better than people give it credit for but I still think the Big East is a little bit better, the move of Pitt to Big 10 (if it were to happen) would basically even things out though.

BURGH08 said...

I agree that Adam has no shame.

NickDawg said...

throw out the records and use the eye test...the big east is way better than a "little bit better" than the big tenleven.....

and adam...all my friends that are penn st graduates, 5 in all plus friends of theirs that are alumni, think the NIT trophy is a joke so there is a disconnect i guess between current students and alumni...they dont even recognize that tournament win as anything but getting a trophy for mediocrity

carry on my dear watson...

BurressWithButterflywings said...

Well, neither fact nor reason are ever validated when you are dealing with somebody like Adam who would probably drive an airplane into the Horseshoe during OSU's spring game.

Adam said...

If you're not proud of the NIT Championship, you're not a blue blood Penn State fan, simple as that.

Penn State sucks at basketball for the same reason it doesn't play Pitt: $$$$$$$

With all the games on the BTN, Penn State could not win a game for the next decade and the program would still turn a profit. So if you're Tim Curley, why pay a coach? To win? Fooey. As long as the basketball team is making money, no one at Old Main gives a hoot whether they're any good.

That's why last year was a big deal. On paper we're the mule at the Indy 500. Even Bill Carmoday at Northwestern makes about double what Ed Dechellis does, yet we finished with a winning record which was good enough for 4th place. Unfortunately, good ol' Curley packed the OOC schedule with cupcakes for more home games so our RPI sucked an we missed the tournament but...

We beat a string of great programs along the way that a program like Penn State has no business beating. At the end of the day, our guys get less support than some of the top A-10 programs, and yet there we were, walking into the national runner up's home and beating them on Super Bowl Sunday.

So tell your Penn State buddies to F off and root for someone else, because they clearly don't have a clue. If they're too ignorant to understand the circumstances under which that banner was hung, and they're not proud of David beating a bunch of goliaths on the way to winning a title they had no business winning, then we don't need them here, whether they're alums or not.

Anonymous said...

Oooo the eye test, how could I forget the eye test, the way most games are decided, by simply guessing who looks better, it's proved to a far better judge than statistics or actual results of games. Those things just cloud a fan's judgment.

In regards to the NIT, as a PSU fan it was cool to see them play through a tourney and win but the thing I was happiest about was it giving them momentum for this season. Since that didn't happen, it's a nice trophy to say we were about the 35th best team in the country. A great year for PSU's team, but not something to brag about as a BCS conference team.

Anonymous said...

If you're not proud of the NIT Championship, you're not a blue blood Penn State fan, simple as that.

And that's just dumb, I don't need to support everything PSU does to prove I love the school. It's because I love the school that I have higher expectations for them.

and they're not proud of David beating a bunch of goliaths on the way to winning a title they had no business winning

We beat one team ranked than us that whole tournament. We weren't David and they weren't Goliath.

Adam said...

@ Clint

Yeah, but Penn State isn't a BCS conference team, or at least, the athletic department doesn't treat it like one.

Penn State only won it's first A-10 championship in the '90s right before it bolted for the Big Ten. We're still at that level today, despite the giant building and TV contracts. It wasn't till Dechellis got here that the athletic department decided to give even a quarter of a crap and upgrade the facilities.

As far as this season goes, we're not getting the bounces we got last year. Ultimately this is probably a .500 or slightly better team, and regardless of how this year finished out, I still think they've gotta chance to be playing for a bubble spot next year, which is the one we've been pointing to all along anyway.

Not concerned.

Adam said...

@ Clint

Being proud of the athletic department and being proud of the team are two totally different things. I don't support a lot of the Curley initiatives around here, but at the end of the day, if you're not proud of Danny Morrissey bouncing his face off the Garden floor for the name on (the front of) his jersey, I have no use for that.

Adam said...

And to the rest of you, make fun of Penn State basketball all you want. That doesn't change the fact that the the Big Ten is only a down grade when you're talking to an ESPN exec who doesn't have a TV contract with it on Full Court.

BURGH08 said...

Not sure why Adam is so worked up.

I figured he would just sit in the stands and enjoy the game, not worry about how the outcome is and pay his money.

You know, just like he approaches attending Pirate games.....

NickDawg said...

adam - im sure the psu alumni all laugh at delusional whipper snappers like yourself as you tell them to f-off...NIT trophy and tournament are jokes and no one, even psu people, will remember psu's climb from embarrassing to mediocre in the one 2009 carry on the delusions and dont hurt your elbow polishing that shinny NIT trophy


keep making excuses for your rec league caliber hoops team so we can all keep laughing at you

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I had no idea they still hung banners for NIT Championships after 1946.

I am sorry, but exactly which goliaths did PSU beat in the NIT/have no business beating? Winning the NIT doesn't mean crap, even more so if you follow up by finishing 11th in the Big TEN. ( successful NIT eg. WVU wins 2007 NIT, goes to 2008 Sweet 16).

You mention beating the national runner up last year: amazing feat! Pitt beat Syracuse the year they won the title and same with UCONN. Both years, they lost in the Sweet 16 and nobody cared/cares whether they beat the champs in the regular season or not.Hell, I admit I didn't even remember that and just looked that up now.

Most of all, I love the excuses that they just don't care or spend any money on their program. Any money from the tournament is divided amongst the teams of each conference and doled out based on number of tournament wins by teams in the conf. If Penn State wasn't doing everything they could to run a competitive program and get into the Big Dance, don't you think the Big Ten would have something to say about that?

Adam said...

Um no.

The Big Ten wants our football team.