Thursday, October 31, 2013


As your Pittsburgh Steelers limp to the halfway point of the season at 2-5, Mrs. Black-N-Gold can't help but wonder what happened to the once-mighty black-n-gold. They take 1 step forward then 2 steps back. Everything they touch seems to blow up in their faces. Which begs the question: Are the Pittsburgh Steelers turning into the Wil E. Coyote of the NFL? Yes, I said "Wil E. Coyote". You know what I'm talking about. The beloved Warner Bros. cartoon character who is constantly trying to outsmart the Roadrunner only to have an anvil drop on his head, get a sledgehammer to the face or have a stick of dynamite go off in his hands. It seems since Art Rooney II and Mike Tomlin have taken control in their respective positions, things have been going downhill faster than a speeding Roadrunner. First there is the glaring example of when former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians "retired" only to resurface in Indy and help lead the Colts to the playoffs last year with a rookie quarterback. Sound familiar? Meanwhile, Arians replacement, Todd Haley has done absolutely nothing to endear himself to the Steeler faithful. From running the ball to bubble screens the majority of the plays look like they're straight out of the Acme Playbook. Speaking of the running game, or lack thereof, this is another example of the Steelers thinking they know better than the rest of the league. I don't know if they received the memo, but the NFL is now a passing league. Trying to run the ball, especially when futile, at best, is getting the Steelers no where. Most of the time they're trying to play catchup because of further ineptitude but continue to try to come from behind via the run game. If they are able to muster any points, it's by field goal. While we're on the subject of coming-from-behind, you have Wil E. Tomlin, supergenius, trying to outsmart the league by constantly deferring kickoffs. That would be good if you had a defense that didn't move like they're stuck in quicksand when trying to get to the opposing quarterback. As it stands, it creates an even bigger hole for the team when they finally do get the ball. I could go on and on about how the Steelers are getting no where fast . It's just one master plan after another that continues to explode on the Steelers and their season. They need to stop thinking they're smarter than everyone else and prepare the team for their opponent instead of trying to show that their footballus geniusus. Let's Go


Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Michael, Michael, motorcycle, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Boston Bruins tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won every regular season game against the Bruins since the start of 2012. Ruin the Bruins! 2)The Bruins swept the Pens from the Eastern Conference finals last spring, holding them to 2 goals. Cue the Crue and the bring the Goals, Goals, Goals tonight! 3)In his last 9 starts against Boston, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 7-2-0 with a 1.78 GAA. Shut 'em down, Flower! Revenge is a dish best served cold. Our boys of winter need to serve it up to Boston tonight! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Your Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 2-5 this week as they went to the Black Hole that is Oakland and got embarrassed by the Raiders 21-18. Now that Mrs. Black-N-Gold has had some time to cool off, she brings you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Sunday's defeat.

1)The Good-We did have alot of good to talk about for the past 2 weeks. This week, not so much. And it only looks like it's going to be harder and harder to find anything good to say about the Steelers. Sorry. Eternal optimists would say that it was good that the Steelers managed to come back from a 21-3 deficit and almost pull out the win. Sorry, even Mrs. Black-N-Gold finds it hard to look at this through black-n-gold colored glasses. The good is that the Steelers don't have to go to Oakland or anywhere else on the west coast again this season.

2)The Bad-The entire game was bad. It's really hard to pinpoint one specific area but I'll try. I will go with the defense. Now you optimists could say that the Steelers recorded 2 sacks, had 2 interceptions, and recovered their first fumble of the season on Sunday. They also held Oakland QB Terrell Pryor to 88 yards passing and a 25.7 passer rating. You are correct. They also made NFL history and not in a good way. On Oakland's first play from scrimmage the Steelers dug themselves into a Black Hole by allowing Pryor to run 93-yards for a touchdown putting the black-n-gold behind they 8-ball right off the bat. That is the longest run by a quarterback in league history. Ever. Ugh!

3)The Ugly-Oh, it was an ugly game no matter how you look at it. You win as a team and you lose as a team. If you had to put a gun to my head, I'd call out the not-so-special teams. Especially K Shaun Suisham and P Zoltan Mesko. True, Zoltan did put one at the Raider 1-yard line. But boy he sure puts the "mess" is Mesko. He had a punt blocked, setting up the Raiders second score that put them up 14-0 in the 1st quarter. The kid has just not been good all season. When you pick a player up off of the scrap heap, what do you expect? And Sweezy had been our M-V-P till this game. I'm not blaming the loss on him. All I'm saying is you're expected to make field goals of 32 and 34 yards in the NFL. It's just a shame that the Steelers have to rely so heavily on their kicker to carry the offense.

Dishonorable mention goes to the offense for converting a meager 4 of 15 hird down conversions. They didn't even convert one in the 1st half. Then there's Ben for his untimely timeout late in the game.And Todd Haley's playcalling. And, obviously, Head Coach Mike Tomlin for continuing to put a team on the field that are never prepared for their opponents. Take your pick, there was alot of ugly on Sunday.

Looking at the standings, the Bungles (can we even call them that anymore?) won big and continue to lead the AFC North at 6-2. The Baltimorons had a bye and are 3-4. The Clowns (again, can we call them Clowns?) lost and sit at 3-5. The Steelers bring up the rear at 2-5 and travel to New England this week to battle Tom Brady and the Pats. The Steelers need to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back at it this week. It's always fun to beat Brady and his bunch. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Look out, Loretta, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are in Carolina tonight as they faceoff against the Hurricanes. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens are trying to avoid their third loss in a row. Nothing would be fina than a win in Carolina. 2)During their 3-game losing streak, the Pens are a meager 1 for 15 on the power play. Maybe Coach Disco needs to shake things up. The power play needs to light up the Hurricanes! 3)The Pens have a 3-game winning streak versus Carolina, outscoring them 18-8. Don't forget to pack the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Here we to Steelers, here we go! Your Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Black Hole today as they battle the Oakland Raiders. These are your keys to today's game. 1)"Black Hole", indeed. The Steelers haven't won in Oakland since 1995. Beat the Silver and Black till they're black and blue! 2)The Steelers have also lost their last 2 games against the Raiders. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)Oakland has lost 10 straight games coming off their bye week. Guess who had a bye last week? That's right, the Raiders. It's key for the Steelers to rattle Terrelle Pryor's cage and shake him up. On the offensive side of the ball, the Steelers have to maintain possession. The Black-n-Gold has a tendency to turn it over in Oakland. Hold onto the ball and finish off possessions. No settling for field goals this week. Put it in the endzone! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I'll be cow kicked, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Maple Leafs in Toronto tonight as they try to get back in the win column. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)In the 4-3 loss to the NY Isles last night, the Pens were 0 for 5 on the power play. During their 2-game losing streak, they're 0 for 12. Turn on this power play and light the lamp! 2)The Pens will have Marc-Andre Fleury in goal tonight. Flower is 7-1-0 on the season. Blow away the Leafs! 3)In his last 7 starts versus Toronto, Flower is 5-1-1. You can't win a hockey game unless you score some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013


Slap me silly, Sidney! It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins look to get back in the win column tonight against the New York Isles of Misfit Toys at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens try to avoid their 2nd consecutive loss. They haven't lost back-to-back games this season. They're not going to start now! 2)In Monday's 1-0 loss to Colorado, the Pens were 0 for 7 on the power play. We need the special teams to be special tonight! 3)The Pens have won their last 4 regular season games against the Isles of Misfit Toys. #5 would not be jive! Turn up the Motley Crue and score some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Now that your Pittsburgh Steelers have won 2 games in a row after starting the season 0-4, it's time to ask, "Are the Steelers are on the right track"? The "P" words have been tossed around quite a bit this week, "postseason" and "playoffs". Mrs. Black-N-Gold thinks you may want to wait a few more games before booking that trip to New York for the Super Bowl. After all, the Steelers aren't even at .500 yet. The have 2 tough road games to contend with on the immediate schedule. The Black Hole in Oakland has been just that the past decade or so for the Steelers. Following the Raiders game, they play Tom Brady and the Patriots in New England. I know the defense has only allowed 1 touchdown in the past 2 games, but, keep in mind, the offense has only managed 2 touchdowns during this 2-game winning streak. The offensive line, with Kelvin Beechum and Guy Whimper, starting last week, played admirably. Can they continue to do so? Also, linebackers Lawrence Timmons (broken hand) and LaMarr Woodley (knee) are banged up. Will they be able to continue to play at the same level? This winning streak has been good in that it's helped the Steelers regain their confidence. However, they can ill-afford to turn that confidence into cockiness and get too full of themselves. Any time that happens, it spells disaster. If they just take it one game at a time and get to .500 after these next 2 games, they have some winnable games. They're at home against Buffalo and Detroit and on the road in Clevleand before they face the Batlimorons again on the road on Thanksgiving night. I hope the Steelers goose isn't cooked by then. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Now that former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland is stepping down as manager of the Detroit Tigers, the question many are asking is "Is Jim Leyland a Hall of Fame manager"? After 22 years as skipper of the Pirates, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies and the Tigers, Leyland's resume is lengthy enough to warrant such a question. However, is the content of said resume enough for induction into Cooperstown? I'm going to go against the grain and say "No".  I know, many a black-n-gold fan has a soft spot in their hearts for Leyland. And goodness knows I bleed black-n-gold. However, the numbers just don't add up for Leyland. Yes, he's 15th in wins all-time with 1769.  He has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in the NL (1990 and 1992 with the Pirates) and 1 in the AL (2006 with Detroit).But he has only captured just 2 pennants and 1 World Series title. He also has 1728 losses for a mediocre .506 winning percentage. Worst of all? Leyland has quit on every one of his teams. He lost 3 straight NL Championship Series while with the Pirates, 1990-1992. He had MVP's and Cy Young's with that team. But he could never get over the hump. When the Pirates couldn't meet the economic demands of their star players, they had to let them go and suffer the consequences. Leyland left the team in '96 because he didn't want to start over. He was promptly hired by the Florida Marlins in '97 and they proceeded to go right out and buy Jimmy his one and only championship. In 1998, when management had a fire sale, Leyland couldn't stand the heat of rebuilding and opted out of that kitchen, too. He managed the Colorado Rockies in the 1999 season but decided it wasn't a rocky mountain high and left that gig, as well. He returned to managing in 2006 with Detroit. He was offered every opportunity for success with star players such as Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Max Scherzer. He had Triple Crown and Cy Young winners and still couldn't produce a championship. So he quit. Is that really the mark of a Hall of Fame manager?
Sorry, Jim. Hate to bust your bubble.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Winner, winner, Raven dinner! Your Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Baltimorons on Sunday, 19-16. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Sunday's victory.

1)The Good-When you beat the Baltimorons, it's all good. This was a big division win and gives the Steelers 2 wins in a row. It happened in exciting fashion as QB Ben Roethlisberger had the return of his late game mojo to set up K Shaun Suisham for the game-winning field goal as time expired. This was a nail-biter to the end. Now it's time to start stacking wins!

2)The Bad-Sorry but when your defense allows the opponent to go 7 for 14 on 3rd down conversions, that's bad. Plus, the Steelers only recorded one sack (thank you, LB LaMarr Woodley). Also, the Steelers fell back into the bad habit of not forcing a turnover. Don't get me wrong, there were some good points about the D. How about S Troy Polamalu's hurdle (in honor of Clint?) over center on an extra point attempt?  True, we received a penalty, but whoa baby! He ought to try out for the Olympics. Troy and LB Lawrence Timmons were all over the place. Timmons finished with a whopping 17 tackles, 12 of them solo. Now if the rest of the D played like these guys, we would win out.

3)The Ugly-Speaking of the defense, where were they on the Baltimoron's last drive? They allowed Baltimoron QB Joe Flacco to march 73 yards on 16 plays to set up the game-tying touchdown to TE Dallas Clark. The prevent defense prevents nothing. Dishonorable mention goes to the offense, which had many opportunities to step on the Baltimoron's throats. I understand WR Derek Moye had a trememdous grab early in the game. Where was that pass-catching ability when he let a touchdown sail through his hands? Winning football teams take advantage of opportunities and keep their foot on the gas. If these ugly points continue, you may not be celebrating next time.

Taking a look at the AFC North standings, the Steelers continue to look up from the basement at 2-4. The Bungles won which puts them in the driver's seat at 5-2. With losses by both the Clowns and the Baltimorons, they're sitting at 3-4. Next week the Steelers travel to the Black Hole as they face the Oakland Raiders. I know it's early but it needs to be said,  "Beware the trap game". Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Buy Sam and drink and get his dog one, too! It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Colorado is 7-1-0. The Penguins are 7-1-0. Something has got to give. Bring down the thunder on the Avalanche! 2)The Pens go for five wins in a row. Five would not be jive! 3)The Pens haven't lost a game at home this season. The Avalanche have not lost a road game this season. Make it rain with plenty of Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Here we go, Steelers, here we go! It's rivalry week in Pittsburgh and that can only mean one thing. The Batlimorons come to Heinz Field to battle your Pittsburgh Steelers. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Baltimorons have dropped 2 of their last 3 games. The Steelers finally got in the win column last week. Yes, Steelers fans could hold their heads high when the Steelers beat the Jets. But are the Steelers improving or were the Jets a bad 3-2 team? This week's game is a better test for the black-n-gold. Only problem is, I don't think the Steelers will get as psyched for this tilt as the Baltimorons. Look around, there aren't too many Steelers left from these classic battles. Harrison, Ward, Farrior, Hampton, they're all gone. The Batlimorons have lost Ray-Ray but still have Suggs and his new playmate, Dumervil. Ben better keep his head on a swivel and his running shoes handy. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)In his last 3 games, Baltimoron QB Joe Flacco has a 55.2 completion rate while throwing 6 interceptions. He's been sacked 11 times in those 3 games. Sacko Flacco! 3)The Steelers have lost their last 3 regular season home games to the Batlimorons. It used to be, no one came into Pittsburgh and beat us in our house. Now, everyone is doing it. It's time to change. No more pool, no more shuffleboard, no more ping pong, no more somersaults, and certainly, no more home losses! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Creek, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Vancover Canuckleheads today at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Canuckleheads go for 3 wins in a row. I said, "No, no, no!" 2)The Pens have won all 4 of their home games this season. #5 wouldn't be jive! 3)Captain Sidney Crosby has at least 1 point in every game with 6 goals and 8 assists for a league-leading 14 points. Fire up the Motley Crue and score some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013


I recently won a batch of blues CD's in a contest. Among them was the latest offering from Kelly Richey, Sweet Spirit. I must admit, I wasn't familiar with Kelly's music and looked forward to giving it a listen. I liked it so much, it turned into several listens. Her raspy vocals are reminiscent of Susan Tedeschi and Bonnie Raitt. Her all-out assault on the guitar reminds me of no other. The CD opens with the hard driving Feelin' Under. Let the riff-fest begin! Next up is I Went Down Easy. It puts me in the mind of the Door's Been Down So Long. Leavin' It All Behind continues the blues/hard rock cocktail that is this CD. Next up is Something's Going On. Something, indeed. More riffs than you can shake a guitar pick at. Everybody Needs a Change slows things down a bit and gives you a chance to catch your breath with this change of pace. Fast Drivin' Mama cranks things back up again. This is one of my favorites on this CD and seems like one of the more radio-friendly. And what does the "Fast Drivin' Mama" do next? One Way Ticket keeps the blues/rock party going. Risin' Sun slows things down but keeps the train rolling. Dyin' is a slow blues burner to melt your ears. The closing track is another favorite, Hard Workin' Woman. Kelly Richey is a force with guitar chops to burn. If you like riffing good blues/rock, Kelly Richey's Sweet Spirit is a sweet CD for you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


How much fried chicken can you eat? It's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are in Philthedelphia tonight as they battle their cross-state rivals, the Cryers. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)It's a tale of two teams as the Pens are off to a 5-1-0 start and the Cryers are 1-6-0, getting their coach fired in the process. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! 2)Pens Captain Sidney Crosby is off to a hot start this season, leading the league with 12 points, 5 goals and 7 assists. Would love to see Sid score some Goals, Goals, Goals tonight! 3)The Pens have scored at least 3 goals in every one of their games. The Cryers have yet to break the 3-goal barrier in any of their games. Shut 'em down! But remember the biggest key with the Cryers: Play your game, Pens. Don't let the Cryers dictate the game. Don't get lulled into their game. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It's been one week since our Pittsburgh Pirates were knocked out of the playoffs. One week since Adam Wainwright and the St Louie Cardinals stomped on our Jolly Rogers and our Zoltans. I must admit, I'm having a hard time with it. After not experiencing the post season with the Pirates for 20 years, I didn't want it to end. This past Sunday, as I was watching the Steelers game, I thought to myself, "This is the first time we haven't had Pirates baseball since March". I miss those Sundays already. There are many question marks this offseason. Will the Pirates attempt to retain the services of A.J. Burnett? Do they even need him? Can the Pirates get multi-year deals done with Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker? Will Jordy Mercer be the starting shortstop next season? And how about the other Pirates free agents? Byrd, Morneau, Barmes, etc? While there are many questions, there is also much to look forward to next year. A full season of Gerrit Cole. A healthy Wandy Rodriguez. Francisco Liriano for a entire season. I truly can't wait for spring training and it's not just because spring is in the air. It's because, finally, it looks like the Pirates are a change for the better, as well. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Slap me silly, Sidney! It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are back home tonight to battle the Edmonton Oilers at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)In Saturday night's 5-4 win over Tampa Bay, Pens Captain Sidney Crosby recorded his 8th career hat track. Let's see the hats fly over the 'Burgh tonight! 2)Sid has never scored a goal in 4 career matchups against the Oilers. Cue up the Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are 5 for 11 on the power play this season. Edmonton has given up a power play goal in 5 straight games. Put the POW in power play! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Steelers win, Steelers win! Your Pittsburgh Steelers finally recorded their first victory of the season yesterday, defeating the New York Jets 19-6. Mrs. Black-N-Gold takes a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from yesterday's win.

1)The Good-There were many good things in this win. Those that were burying quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have been premature. Ben was 23 of 30 for 264 yards, 1 touchdown (WR Antonio Brown dropped another), no turnovers and a rating of 113.8. Also, the defense picked off not 1 but 2 Geno Smith passes, recorded 3 sacks, held NY to 3 of 11 on third downs and grounded the Jets by only surrendering 6 points. Good stuff, indeed.

2)The Bad-The Steelers are still looking up at the rest of the AFC North and next week they battle their mortal enemies, the Batlimorons. The Steelers can celebrate this win tonight but they still can't have their ping pong, shuffleboard or pool. There's more work to be done!

3)The Ugly-I hate to be a downer, however, the Steelers still allowed Ben to be sacked 4 times and he was under constant pressure. Also, they were penalized 7 times for 49 yards. Three of those penalties were holding on the offensive line. Newly acquired OL Levi Brown didn't even make it into the game as he suffered a triceps injury during warmups.Things may continue to get worse before they get better. Ben better keep his running shoes handy.

As the Steelers sit in the AFC North basement at 1-4, let's look at how the rest of the division fared. The Bungles won in OT to take over first place at 4-2. The Baltimorons and Clowns both lost and are tied for second at 3-3. The Steelers can really make some hay next week with a win over a division rival. As I said, celebrate tonight but get back to work tomorrow. This was a good game but there is still much to be done. Put on your hard hats, boys!  Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Here we go Steelers, here we go. Your Pittsburgh Steelers are still looking for their first win of the season. They'll try and take a bite of the Big Apple as they look to ground the Jets in New York These are your keys to today's game. 1)Jets rookie QB Geno Smith was 16 of 20 passing for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns en route to a 30-28 come-from-behind victory of Monday Night Football. The Steelers defense continues to look for their first turnover of the season. Get in this kid's grill and shake him up. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 2)The Jets have the #2 defense in the league. The Steelers offense has clicked in their last 2 games, scoring 34 or more points in each game. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Steelers have given up the 4th most sacks in the league this season with 15. Can the tandem of Kelvin Beechum and newly acquired Levi Brown at left tackle help protect Ben where Mike Adams could not? We'll find out Sunday. Keep Ben clean and upright! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I'll be cow-kicked, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip in FLA as they faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Lightning are riding a 3-game winning streak. However, Tampa Bay has lost 6 in a row to the Pens. Something has got to give. Give them lots of Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)During their 3-game winning stretch, Tampa Bay has outscored the opposition 12-6. Not against the Pens, baby. Lights out for the Lightning! 3)The Pens try to bounce back as they suffered their first loss of the season last night, 6-3. Get back in the win column! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013


Michael, Michael, motorcycle, it's a great day for hockey! Your Pittsburgh Penguins are on the road to FLA where they faceoff against the Kitties tonight. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 3 straight to start the season. The Kitties have lost 3 in a row. Give them more with #4! 2)The Pens are off to their best start since the strike-shortened season of 1995 when they were 7-0-0. Keep those wins coming with plenty of Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are 6 of 6 on the penalty kill this season. There's something special about our special teams! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013


94-68. The first winning season since 1992. Also, the first trip to the postseason since '92. Yes, 2013 was a special time for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. It was certainly never without excitement. Whether it was the 1-0 opening-day loss to the Chicago Scubs down to the 4-2 season-ending win over Cincy that gave the Pirates the sweep en route to the first playoff game ever in PNC Park. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for what we hope is an M-V-P season for CF Andrew McCutchen. Thank you for, hopefully, the Comeback Player of the Year season from LH Francisco Liriano. And yes, thank you, for the NL Manager of the Year in Clint Hurdle. How many times were we "hurdled" this season. Well, guess what. The Pirates have "hurdled" all of MLB. The Pirates hurdled the naysayers and the "fans" calling for their collapse in the second half of the season. Of course, the Pirates cleared those hurdles and many others. When several members of the Pirates starting rotation  had stints on the DL (Rodriguez, Burnett, Liriano, Morton) there was always someone there to help hold it together. Even after All-Star closer Jason Grilli was lost to injury, there was Mark Melancon to raise the Jolly Roger. Even when the Pirates offense looked positively anemic (1-hit twice this season), they still kept it together. How great was it when the Pirates finally got the, ever elusive, game #81 under their belts? About as great as when they secured win #82. And who could forget the champagne party in the locker room at Wrigley when the Pirates clinched the playoff berth? Everything after #82 was icing on the cake. Boy, was that cake delicious. Thanks again, Pittsburgh Pirates, for an absoBUCNlutely memorable 2013 season.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Your Pittsburgh Pirates square off against St Louie on the road tonight in game 5 of the NLDS. It's go time, one and done in this elimination game. These are your keys tonight's game. 1)The Pirates #1 and #2 hitters, LF Starling Marte and 2B Neil Walker, are a combined 1 for 31 in this series. They have to be the spark that lights up the the Pirates tonight. Get on base and make things happen to take the home crowd out of the game. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Pirates start rookie RH Gerrit Cole against St Louie's RH Adam Wainwright. Stone Cole is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in this series while Wainwright is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA. On the road this season, Stone Cole was 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA. Love that takeout food! 3)In the past three years, St Louie is 7-1 in elimination games. I have news for St Louians, the Pirates packed a trunk full of Hit, Run, & Score and they brought the Jolly Roger, too! Hoist the colors at Busch Stadium tonight and get ready to face the Dodger in the NLCS! LET'S GO BUCS!!!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Scratch my back with a hacksaw, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens set a franchise record to start the season when they went 115 minutes, 6 seconds without allowing a goal as they won their first 2 games, 3-0 and 4-1. Gimme a "D". Gimme a "Fense". What's that spell? D-Fense! 2)Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is 5-0-0 in his last 5 home games against Carolina. Nothing could be fina than a win over Carolina! 3)For the first time since 2009-2010, Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby has 2 goals in his first 2 games to start the season. He has never started the season with 3 goals in the first 3 games. Sid and the rest of the Penguins need to come out rocking with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Your Pittsburgh Pirates can wrap up the NLDS today with a win at PNC versus St Louie (weather permitting). These are your keys to today's game. 1)Stick to the game plan.Work the counts, keep St Louie off of the basepaths, and take advantage of their miscues. When you add up these factors, it equals victory for the Bucs. In their last 8 of 10 games, including the regular season, the Pirates have won 8 of their last 10. Nine would be fine! 2)The Pirates start RH Charlie Morton, 7-4, 3.26 ERA. St Louie counters with rookie RH Michael Wacha. In Morton's last 7 starts against St Louie, he is 0-6 with a 6.82 ERA. Help Ground Chuck out by bringing a big case of Hit, Run, & Score! 3)Wacha beat the Pirates 9-2 on September 8, keeping them scoreless through 7 innings. Clip this bird's wings! This is an elimination game today. Take care of business at home and you don't have to go back on the road to close it! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Your Pittsburgh Pirates are back home at PNC Park for game #3 of the NLDS against St Louie. The series is tied at 1 game each. Work the counts, take advantage of St Louie mistakes and keep them off the basepaths. These are your keys to today's game. 1)It's lefty Francisco Liriano for the Bucs and RH Joe Kelly for St Louie. Both starting pitchers are 3-0 for the season against the other team. Something has got to give. Frankie was 8-1 at home during the regular season. There's no place like home! 2)St Louie batted a meager .146 with no home runs against Filthy Frankie this year. Mow 'em down, Frankie! 3)The Pirates have won 7 of the last 10 versus St Louie at PNC. Love that home cooking with a side of Hit, Run, & Score! Play like you did in Friday's 7-1 victory! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Your Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)The Pens opened their season with a 3-0 shutout victory on Thursday night. It was goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's 250th career win. Congrats to the Flower. Give 'em the goose egg tonight, Flower! 2)Fleury turned back 27 shots in the win Thursday. Shut 'em down! 3)The Sabres have only scored once en route to an 0-2-0 mark. Buffalo the Sabres. Keep them off the scoreboard. Meanwhile, the Penguins need to fire up the Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Your Pittsburgh Pirates continue their NLDS showdown in St Louie this afternoon. These are your keys to today's game. 1)The Bucs look to bounce back after yesterday's 9-1 defeat. The Pirates need to take a page out of St Louie's book. They were only able to manage 4 hits while in the field they commited 3 errors and gave up 6 walks. Work the counts against these guys, make them make mistakes and take advantage of those mistakes.In the last 5 matchups, St Louie has outscored the Pirates 42-13. Ouch. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Pirates send rookie RH Gerrit Cole to the mound. Cole was 10-7 with a 3.22 ERA on the season. On the road, he was 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA. Cole was NL Rookie of the Month for September as he went 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA and struck out 34 in 26 innings. All aboard the Cole Train! 3)We've got to open up a big can of Cole45 on St Louie as well as a huge can of Hit, Run, & Score! Get this game and take it home for #3. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Happy Pucks and Bucs Day! Your Pittsburgh Penguins begin their Quest for the Cup tonight against the Jersey Devils at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)Word is that Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury spent some of his off-season with a sports psychologist to help get back his hockey mojo. Let's see Fleury have his head on straight tonight and keep it on a swivel. Shut down the Devils! 2)A familiar face will be back in Pittsburgh tonight in a New Jersey sweater. Let's all give Jaromir Jagr a big welcome home, shall we? Boo! 3)New Jersey starts Cory Schneider tonight in goal. In the past 3 seasons, Schneider is 53-21-7 with a 2.09 goals against average. It's time to break out the Motley Crue and score some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Happy Bucs and Pucks Day!Your wild-card winning Pittsburgh Pirates begin the National League Division Series today in St Louie. These are your keys to today's game. 1)St Louie batted a whopping .330 with runners in scoring position. What's the best way to prevent that? Don't let them get runners in scoring position. Minimize mistakes and keep 'em off the basepaths. Go into St Louie and take 1 out of 2. Take the crowd out of the game. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Pirates had 10 wins in the season series to St Louie's 9. St Louie closed out the season with 6 straight victories. The Pirates finished up by winning 5 of their last 6. This is a pretty evenly matched series. Tip the scales in our favor. Clip the Cards wings! 3)The last time the Pirates were in St Louie, they dropped a 4 game series. Draw first blood and then some more. Don't forget to pack plenty of Hit, Run, & Score! And bring the Jolly Roger along, too! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Get in the fast lane, grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll! Your Pittsburgh Penguins begin their quest for the Cup tomorrow night versus the New Jersey Devils. Many pundits expect the Pens to make another run for Lord's Stanley's Cup. As always, there are questions to be answered as the boys of winter break out the skates. The Penguins haven't been to the Cup finals since they won it in 2009. Can Coach Dan Bylsma coax a Cup out of this year's model? Or should Mario & Co. have cut ties with Coach Disco after the conference finals loss to the Bruins in the spring? He'll have plenty of firepower in his arsenal as Captain Sidney Crosby and Evegeni Malkin are both healthy and fired up for the season. However, the team that lead the NHL with 165 goals last season is also the team that only managed 2 goals in the Eastern Conference Finals. D Kris Letang begins the season on IR, though it's not expected to be long-term. The Pens brought back a blast from their Stanley Cup past when they signed D Rob Scuderi. Can he help return the Pens to glory? Of course the big question is the goal situation. Has Marc-Andre Fleury recovered from last spring's meltdown? If he hasn't, who will back him up? Tomas Vokoun is out indefinitely due to a blood clot. Right now the Pens better count on scoring alot of goals until the defense/goalie dynamic works itself out. They have 82 games to get it right. Let's hope they do. Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


The Bucs are going all the way, all the way, all the way! Well, this is it. Christmas Day for all the Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Your Pittsburgh Pirates play the NL Wild Card game tonight against the Cincy Reds at PNC Park. It's go time, one and done. These are your keys to tonight's game. 1)I stressed this during the weekend series and feel the need to do so again. Keep Cincy speedster Billy Hamilton off of the basepaths, don't let Cincy's game of bean ball get inside your heads, and don't let Cincy get to closer Aroldis Chapman. Cincy is a mediocre 41-41 on the road this season. The Pirates are 50-31 at PNC. Nothing beats home cooking! 2)Cincy starts RH Johnny Cueto, 5-2, 2.82 ERA. For his career, Cueto is 8-2 with a 1.90 ERA at PNC. The Bucs go with lefty Francisco Liriano, 16-8, 3.02 ERA. Frankie is 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA at home this season. There's no place like home! 3)Frankie held lefthanders to a .131 batting average this year. Cincy has a couple of big lefthanded bats in their lineups. You may have heard of them, a guy named Jay Bruce and some fella named Joey Votto. Mow 'em down Frankie! The Pirates are going to black out the Reds with a super-sized order of Hit, Run & Score! Get ready to raise the Jolly Roger! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!