1. Brent Johnson is playing some great hockey right now, as his stats would illustrate (4-0, 1.49, .950). But if you think his recent run of playing time is anything more than a short-term solution for the Pens, I think you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Marc-Andre Fleury simply has too much talent, too much pedigree, and too high of a price tag to sit and watch forever.
One can't be too critical of Dan Bylsma for playing Johnson so much, because the name of the game is winning, and Johnson's doing that for his coach and teammates in bunches. But at some point, Coach Disco's going to have to go back to #29 whether he (or the fans) like it or not.
2. If you ask me, the NFL is a walking, talking, breathing example of hypocrisy. They're so concerned about player safety that they're going to add two more games to the regular season schedule in the near future. How compassionate, Roger Goodell.
And nice touch letting Jon Gruden show a collection of Chuck Cecil's biggest hits last night on MNF. Nothing like celebrating the very thing you're allegedly trying to curtail.
3. Watching Cliff Lee dominate the Yankees last night, I had to wonder "What If?" the Pirates actually pulled off the Lee-for-Jason Bay trade that was rumored a few years ago. And if it did happen, would Lee have pitched at the level he's pitching at right now? For some reason, I doubt it. Things never seem to work out so nicely for the Pirates. uess we'll have to pin our hopes on Bryan Morris to be the ace out of the Bay trade.
4. Like most everyone else, I love the 1960 Pirates. Great story. Great team. Fantastic series. Best ending ever, although some biased observers say it was the Shot Heard Round the World. But here's a question that won't be a popular one: are the winning Pirate teams of the past overcelebrated?
Think about how many celebrations of the '60, '71, and '79 teams there have been over the years. And just remember, '60 will be celebrated again with the unveiling of the Bing Crosby tapes in the near future. Do these teams garner as much attention if the Pirates have won anything in the last 18 years? I believe we both know the answer to that question.
5. I think it's fantastic that so many gurus think the Steelers are the best team in the NFL. Actually, no I don't. I think it's horrible.
Ever notice how this team thrives on the disrespect card? It's the Hines Ward "No One Ever Believed in Me" line of thinking multiplied by 53. When expectations are high (2007, 2009), they fall on their face. When expectations are lowered (Colts playoff game, 2006) (The Toughest Schedule In the History of Organized Sports, 2008) (four games without Ben Roethlisberger, 2010), they seem to come through.
If I'm Mike Tomlin, I find some way - any way- to tell this team that no one believes in them. That seems to be a tried and true method to get through to this group.
Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse