Saturday, December 31, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     We're from the town with the great football team! Our Pittsburgh Steelers close out the regular season schedule before the home crowd at Heinz Field today when they clash with the Cleveland Clowns. These are your keys for today's game. Thanks to their Christmas Day win last week over the Baltimorons, they're 6th in a row, the Steelers won the AFC North and clinched the #3 seed in the AFC. Coach Mike Tomlin is expected to rest some of his key players, notably QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Antonio Brown and C Maurkice Pouncey. Yes, it would be good to keep the winning streak alive, especially if the Steelers want to continue to build momentum going into the playoffs. But nothing kills momentum more than injuries to your playmakers. Besides, this is Cleveland, people. Sure, Santa gave the Clowns their 1st win of the season last week as an early Christmas gift. It's still Cleveland. Leave it to QB Landry Jones and the rest of the backups to crush the Clowns. Therefore today's keys are actually quite simple: Stay healthy and get ready for next week's playoff game. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!




Friday, December 30, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Hallelujah Hollywood. it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins are on home ice tonight when they faceoff against the Montreal Canadiens at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Thanks to Wednesday's come-from-behind 3-2 win over the 'Canes, the Pens are 11-1-2 this month. Finish in the win column. Make it a December to Remember! 2)At home this season, the Pens are 16-2-2. There's no place like home! 3)The Pens are likely to face Montreal G Carey Price. He's helped the Canadieans to a #5 ranking in the league in goals against, allowing an average of just 2.3 per game. Meanwhile, the Pens are 2nd in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 3.4. Something's got to give. Ring in the New Year with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!




Thursday, December 29, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the newest edition of The Black-N-Gold News for you. She's got you covered with all things Black-N-Gold, our Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.


                                         THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS 

STEELERS

Our Steelers had to shuffle the roster on Saturday to get enough healthy bodies for the D-Line for Sunday's battle with the Baltimorons. Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team placed S Shamarko Thomas on injured reserve, released RB Daryl Richardson and called up DT Johnny Maxey and CB Al-Hajj Shabazz from the practice squad. Richardson was subsequently claimed by the Jacksonville Jags. 

The Steelers then went out and issued season's beatings to the Baltimorons on Christmas Day in a 31-27 victory. The win earned the Steelers the AFC North title and the #3 seed in the AFC.

Congratulations to RB Le'Veon Bell. It was announced this week that LBell was named Team MVP. Bell is, indeed, a beast.

They're expected to rest several starters in next Sunday's regular season finale. That is a 1pm kickoff at Heinz Field on Sunday versus the Clowns. Plans for the playoff game are up in the air. We only know the game will be at home on either January 7 or 8. No word on the opponent yet. Get rested and healthy this week because next week is when the real season stars. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

Our Penguins traveled to Columbus last week and were crushed by a score of 7-1. Luckily, they bounced back the following night, defeating the Devils 4-1 before the Christmas break. 

Coach Mike Sullivan received a late Christmas present on Monday. It was announced that our Favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team locked up Sully to a 3 year contract extension, through the 2019-2020 season. Congrats, Sully!

The Pens completed their home-and-home series with NJ on Tuesday, defeating the Devils again, this time 5-2. In that game, C Evgeni Malkin recorded the 800th point of his career. Congrats, Geno!

The Pens lost another defenseman in that Devils game. Brian Dumoulin left in the 3rd period after he was hit in the face by a puck. It was announced the next day that he is out 4-6 weeks following surgery for a broken jaw. Get well soon, Dumo!

To take Dumo's place, the Pens re-called D David Warsofsky from Wilkes/Barre-Scranton. They also had a player return to the lineup. D Trevor Daley was back on the ice for last night's matchup versus the Carolina Hurricanes. The Pens then proceeded to clip the 'Canes by a score of 3-2. G Matt Murray started the game. Unfortunately, he didn't finish. G Marc-Andre Fleury came on in relief for the win. Murray departed with a lower-body injury. His status is unknown. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will let you know when more info is released. 

Meanwhile, the Pens faceoff against the Canadiens on Saturday at PPG Paints Arena for a New Year's Eve faceoff. This is the last contest before the Pens get their 1-week break. They've been red-hot this month. Finish off the December to Remember on a winning note. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates continue to move pieces around on their roster this offseason. They designated RH Brady Dragmire for assignment. Again. Oh Brady, we hardly knew ye!

This week's big news for our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team is that they re-signed RH Ivan Nova. SuperNova re-upped with the Bucs for 3 years, $26 million. Welcome back, Ivan!

The Buccos lost Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor this week when he left to become bullpen coach for the Marlins. Andy Barkett replaces Treanor.

The Pirates also claimed RH Nefi Ogando off waivers from Miami. To make room, they DFA'd INF Jason Rogers.

The Bucs are said to still be interested in acquiring White Sox LH Jose Quintana but would have to part with some significant prospects in order to do so. There's also word that CF Andrew McCutchen is still being shopped. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will keep you updated as the offseason continues to play out. Let's Go Bucs!!!!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Let's go hunt moose on a Harley; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight to faceoff with the Carolina Hurricanes. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Thanks to last night's 5-2 downing of the Devils, the Pens have won 2 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)The Pens are now 52-0-0 when leading after 2 periods. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)This could be a battle of the special teams, the Pens 5th ranked power play (22.5%) versus the 'Canes #1 penalty kill (90.5). Blow away the Hurricanes away with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Scratch my back with a hacksaw; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice tonight to faceoff against the Devils in New Jersey. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens continue to lead the league in goals per game at 3.4. They'll have a chance to add to that total since the Devils are 25th in goals against at 2.9 per game. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Devils are also ranked a lowly 26th in goals per game at 2.3. Give them L! 3)Cs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin continue to lead the Pens. Sid is #3 in the NHL in points with 38 while Geno is 2nd with 39. Slap me silly and make me a milkshake! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Monday, December 26, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     Here ye, here ye! They have declared a victor of the AFC North and it is our Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, with yesterday's 31-27, nail-biting win over the Baltimorons, the Steelers win the division and have clinched the #3 seed in the AFC. Today, Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from yesterday's game.


GOOD

For sure the "good" is the fact that our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team clinched the division title yesterday against their long-time rival, the Baltimorons. And did it in dramatic fashion, on home turf, to end their 4-game losing streak against the Baltimorons to win their 6th straight game. But it was the manner in which they did it, that was really good.

Give WR Antonio Brown a game ball for the way he stretched and contorted his body to get the ball over the plain of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. The entire drive was impressive as QB Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers from their own 25 with less than 2 minutes to in regulation while the team was down 27-24, going to not only his playmakers, AB and RB Le'Veon Bell, throughout the game but some of the lesser-known players as well. It's important to keep everyone engaged and focused during the course of the game that way when they're number is called at gut-check time, they're ready to roll. 

BAD

Yes, Big Ben did have a big game, going 24 of 33 for 279 yards, 3 TDs and a QB rating of 103.0. But it wasn't all sunshine and unicorns for #7. Two picks will do that 2 you, especially when they put points on the board for your opponent. Ben has always had a habit of throwing interceptions but it's a habit he needs to kick if the Steelers hope to go far in these NFL playoffs, 'cause throwing INTs is B-A-D. 

UGLY

Is Mrs. Black-N-Gold the only one that is concerned that the Steelers defense surrendered 27 points to the Baltimorons? Because if they do that in the playoffs, it will get real ugly, real quick. True, the defensive line was thin thanks to the injury to DL Stephon Tuitt. Hopefully, #91 can return for the postseason at 100%. Still, there were missed tackles and missed opportunities. You can't expect to get away with that come playoff time. Tighten up that D, please. 

Like Mrs. Black-N-Gold said earlier, the Steelers are Kings of the North with a record of 10-5. With the loss, the Baltimorons fall to 8-7 and no chance of the playoffs. Cincy Bungled their way to another loss on Saturday night to drop to 5-9-1. And, what do you know, a Christmas miracle occurred on Saturday when the Clowns won their first game of the season to go to 1-14. 

Next week, on New Year's Day, the Steelers close out the regular season when they clash with the Clowns for a 1pm kickoff at Heinz Field. Coach Mike Tomlin is expected to sit many of his starters to get them rested and healthy for the playoff run. As of now, we don't know who the Steelers will face, only that they'll play either January 7 or 8. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will let you know what's up when it's announced. Until then, you're AFC North Champs but don't settle for that. "Super Bowl Champs" sounds much better. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



Sunday, December 25, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     Yoi to the world! Our Pittsburgh Steelers return home to Heinz Field for a Christmas Day kickoff today when they battle the Baltimorons. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Steelers have won 5 straight. However, they've lost 4 straight to the Baltimorons. Take down the Baltimorons and take the AFC North title. You gotta win to get in. Refuse to lose! 2)Remember the game in Baltimore, earlier this season, where former Steelers WR Mike Wallace connected on a 95-yard catch-and-run TD? Hopefully the Steelers do, too. Get to Baltimorons QB Joe Flacco before he has a chance to hookup. Get on his case and in his face. Bring the season's beatings to the Baltimorons. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)QB Ben Roethlisberger needs to connect with his playmakers and build some separation quickly. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

     Merry Christmas n'at to all of Black-N-Gold Nation from Mrs. Black-N-Gold!





Friday, December 23, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the New Jersey Devils tonight on the home ice of PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Oh my stars and garters! 2 days after hanging 7 on the way to routing the Rangers 7-2, the shoe was on the other foot for the Pens last night. Columbus crushed them 7-1. De-Fense! 2)The Devils ended a 7-game losing streak last night with a 4-0 shutout of Philly. Down the Devils! 3)The Pens need to get back in the net to get back in the win column. Crank up the Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!



Thursday, December 22, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Shave my legs with a rusty razor, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road tonight to battle the Blue Jackets in Columbus. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens found the net and the win column on Tuesday night when they routed the Rangers 7-2. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Pens are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games. Columbus is 10-0-0. Something's got to give. Refuse to lose! 3)The Pens #23 penalty kill (79.1%) will face the Blue Jackets top ranked power play (27.1%). Kill 'em all! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     I've got the story here, it's hot off the press! That's right, Black-N-Gold Nation. It's time, once again, for that internet sensation. There's Steelers & Penguins & Pirates. These are a few of my favorite things. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has all The Black-N-Gold News for you.


                                           THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

STEELERS

Last week, one of our Steelers received some good news. RB Le'Veon Bell was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Bills game. Congrats to LBell!

#26 and his teammates continued their winning ways on Sunday. They bounced the Cincy Bungles 24-20 to win their 5th game in a row. Unfortunately, the win came with a price. DL Stephon Tuitt left the game early with a right knee injury. Tuitt had an MRI yesterday but the results have not yet been made public. Also, TE Ladarius Green left the game and is now in the NFL concussion protocol. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will keep you updated regarding these injuries as more news becomes available. 

Some more good news was announced last night when 5 Steelers were named to the Pro Bowl. Congrats to Bell, WR Antonio Brown, QB Ben Roethlisberger, G David DeCastro and C Maurkice Pouncey! 

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team will need all the healthy bodies they can get this week. They battle the Baltimorons on Christmas Day at Heinz Field. It's a 4:30pm kickoff as these 2 teams fight for 1st place in the AFC North. The Steelers are 9-5 while the Baltimorons are 8-6. Get your kicks with win #6. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

It's been a tough stretch for our Penguins this week. They've gone to overtime 3 times and they weren't all wins. They did best the Bruins last Wednesday in a 4-3 OT victory. 

Just as the team was starting to look healthy, they've lost some players to injury. D Kris Letang is expected to miss at least 2 weeks with a lower-body injury. To replace Tanger, our Favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team recalled D Derrick Pouliot from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

Pouliot's return to Pittsburgh didn't help as the Pens fell to the Kings 1-0 in OT. The loss snapped their 7 game winning streak. D Trevor Daley also left this contest with an upper-body injury. They then placed Tanger on IR and called up D Chad Ruhwedel from WB/S. Get well soon, Tanger! It was also announced that Daley would be week-to-week due to his injury. Get well soon, Trev! And then the Pens lost in OT again, this time 2-1 to Toronto. 

The Pens have also reported that F Tom Kuhnackl's status is week-to-week. He suffered from a lower-body injury, too. Get well soon, Kuhni!

Boy, did the Pens get back in the win column last night, finding the net 7 times on the way to a 7-2 routing of the Rangers. They face another Metro division rival tomorrow night when they travel to Columbus to battle the Blue Jackets. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates made some offseason moves this week. They re-claimed RH Brady Dragmire off waivers from the Rangers. You may recall, our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team waived Dragmire a few weeks ago and lost him to Texas. Now he's back. But will he be better than ever?

They also signed free agent RH Daniel Hudson to a 2 year, $11 million deal. Hudson worked out of the bullpen in Arizona last season. 

No other hot stove moves for the Buccos, yet. If anything happens, Mrs Black-N-Gold will keep you posted. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Mrs. Black-N-Gold would like to take this opportunity to wish all of BLACK-N-GOLD NATION a very merry Christmas. Stay safe and I hope you get lots of Black-N-Gold under your tree!






Tuesday, December 20, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     I'll be cow-kicked, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight to faceoff against the New York Rangers at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Our Pens lost in OT on Saturday night in Toronto, 2-1. That's 2 straight overtime losses for the Pens. They've only scored 1 goal in those 2 games. Rock out with some Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Pens will have their work cut out for them, The Rangers are #3 in the league in goals per game with a 3.3 average. The Pens, meanwhile, are about average in goals against at 15th, allowing 2.8 per game. The puck stops here! 3)The Pens 10th ranked power play (20.7%) will face the Rangers 4th ranked PK (86.8%). Take advantage of the man-advantage. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!!




Monday, December 19, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     We have a winner! Our Pittsburgh Steelers came back on the road yesterday to sock it to Cincy and bounce the Bungles 24-20. It wasn't pretty but a win is in win especially during December, when every win is one to remember. Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks back with The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.


GOOD

In Mrs. Black-N-Gold's eyes, there are 3 players that had pivotal roles in this win. LB Ryan Shazier recorded the Steelers only sack of the day in the 3rd quarter to force Cincy to punt for the 1st time in the game. The sack was good for a 10 yard loss on the play. Shazier finished with 5 tackles, 3 solo, 2 for loss, a pass defensed and 2 QB hits along with that sack. If #50 can stay healthy, he will be the next in a long line of great Steelers linebackers. Speaking of "great Steelers linebackers" give a game ball to LB Lawrence Timmons. LT had a crucial interception late in the 3rd quarter that helped turned the tied in the Steelers direction. On top of that, he had 8 tackles, 5 solo, a pass defensed and a QB hit. LT doesn't get enough credit for being the great Steelers linebacker that he is, year in and year out. 

But you can't talk about this win without giving a game ball to K Chris Boswell. For most of the game, the Wizard of Boz was the Steelers only offensive weapon. Kicking 6 field goals, to tie a team record will do that for you. This record included 3 field goals from 49 yards out. No doubt about it, Boz is boss. 

BAD

Early on, the Steelers almost played themselves right out of this game. Penalties and ineffectiveness will do that to you. 7 penalties for 104 yards is not the way to play a football game. And what happened to G David DeCastro? He went from a future Hall of Famer to having a constant case of the sticky fingers with all his hold penalties. He's been flagged more times this season than probably all of his career. But seriously folks, Mrs. Black-N-Gold has preached all season about the evil of penalties. Just say no to flags!

UGLY

While we're on the subject of penalties, thank goodness the Steelers cleaned it up in the 2nd half because that's when Cincy fell apart. Thanks to 4 consecutive Cincy infractions, the Steelers were finally able to find the end zone in the 4th quarter that put them up to stay. This doesn't count the myriad penalties that the refs didn't call on Cincy. And how about all the cheap shots the Bungles where dishing out? Mrs. Black-N-Gold doesn't want to sound like a mindless yinzer but the refs did seem a little blind to Cincy's dirty play for most of the game. Mrs Black-N-Gold hates to rag on local guy Marvin Lewis but his refusal to keep his players under control is another example of why Cincy is and always will be the loser-Bungles. Vontaze Burfict and Pacman Jones should not only be out of the NFL, they should be in jail. Jagoffs!

The Steelers continue to be top dog in the AFC North with a 9-5 mark. The Baltimorons beat the Iggles yesterday, so they're still in 2nd at 8-6. The Bungles bungled their way right out of any playoff possibilities thanks to their 5-8-1 record. And the Clowns continue their winless ways at 0-14. 

Next week, you'd better watch out. You'd better not cry. You'd better not pout. I'm telling you why The Baltimorons are coming to town for a 4:25pm kickoff. This one should be season's beatings, for sure. So make your list and check it twice. Mrs. Black-N-Gold knows if yinz have been a jagoff n'at. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!




In LB 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     We're from the town with the great football team! Our Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to Cincinnati this afternoon to battle the Bungles. These are your keys for today's game. 1)This isn't the big matchup that was expected back when the schedule was released. The Bungles losing record (5-7-1) flexed this game right out of prime time. That doesn't mean that Cincy and jagoffs Vontaze Burfict, Pacman Jones and company won't be gunning to take some Steelers down and knock them out of the playoff picture. Don't play down to their level. And don't look ahead to next week's matchup with the Baltimorons. Keep doing what got you 4 straight wins and stay focused on the task at hand. Take care of business. Keep the drive alive with win #5! 2)No doubt about it. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had a horrible game in last week's win at Buffalo. Throwing 3 picks will do that to you. Ben typically doesn't have that problem when he plays in his home state of Ohio. Today should be no different. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)During the Steelers winning streak, the defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher. Last week versus Cleveland, Cincy RB Jeremy Hill rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown en route the Cincy's 2nd straight win. Control the line of scrimmage and control the run game. Give the Bungles season's beatings. Hit 'em early, hit 'em often, hit 'em HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


SLAP SHOTS

     Mrs. Black-N-Gold is smiling like a butcher's dog 'cause it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Toronto tonight to faceoff against the Maple Leafs. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Following last night's 1-0 OT loss to LA, the Pens look to get back in the win column after seeing their 7-game winning streak come to an end. Meanwhile, Toronto has won just 1 game in their last 7. Blow the Leafs away! 2)Despite being shut out, the Pens continue to lead the league in scoring with 3.4 goals per game. Crank up the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens power play was powerless last night, going 0 for 4. Could that be a result of D Kris Letang's absence? It may not get any easier. The Leafs are 9th in the NHL on the penalty kill with an 83.5% rate. Take advantage of the man-advantage! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Friday, December 16, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick, tell him it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins close out there homestand tonight when they faceoff against the LA Kings at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Wednesday night's 4-3 win in OT, the Pens extended their winning streak to 7 games. Win #8 would be great! 2)The Pens are ranked #1 in the NHL in goals per game at 3.5. The Kings are 10th in goals against, allowing a 2.6 per game average. Show 'em the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Ever since Coach Sully put 2 defensemen on the #1 power play, the Pens have perked up. They're now 10th in the league at a 21,3% clip. They'll have their work cut out for them after losing D Kris Letang for about 2 weeks with a lower body injury. Tanger has always been the QB on the top power play unit. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

MERRY BLACK-N-GOLD CHRISTMAS

     To paraphrase Yukon Cornelius, Gold-N-Black, Black-N-Gold! Yes, Christmas is right around the corner, yinz guys. It's the time of year where we send our letters to Santa and he decides whether we've been naughty (maybe just a little bit) or nice (Mrs. Black-N-Gold always tries). Here is Mrs. Black-N-Gold's letter to Santa Claus.

Dearest Santa.

How are you? I hope you, Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer are doing well. I've been trying to be a good person, spreading cheer throughout Black-N-Gold Nation. I know you're busy so I won't ask for much, Santa. Just please try and help out our Favorite Black-N-Gold Teams.

STEELERS

For our Steelers, please give them good health. I know they've managed to avoid major injuries during their 4-game winning streak but it will be especially good if they come out of Sunday's game at Cincy without any major boo-boos. You know how that jagoff Burfict likes to hurt people (how about giving him a lump of coal, while you're at it? Goodness know he's been naughty). 

An AFC North division title would be good, too. That way, maybe, you can give them a home playoff game and/or a bye. 

Of course, a 7th Lombardi Trophy would be greatly appreciated, too, Santa. See you in Houston in February. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

For our Penguins, they seem to be doing alright themselves, right now, with a 6-game winning streak. Please continue to give them good health, too. 

And bring Sid another scoring title and MVP award, He's been working really hard so he deserves it. 

Please have Flower and Murray continue to get along and be good friends. It's never easy watching your buddy do well while you ride the bench. In fact, it can be tough. But good things come to those who wait, right? 

On that note, how about another dance with Lord Stanley and his Stanley Cup? Make it back-to-back for the Black-N-Gold. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

And for our Pirates......boy this it hard. They need so many things. And I'm not really sure if Bob Nutting and his front office have been very nice to us fans this year. True, they do tons of work within the Pittsburgh community to help those in need. But do they really work to make the Pirates a better team? 

Of course, the Pirates will need their health, too. That is especially true considering they may not have the depth that they have in years past. How about a legitimate starting pitcher or two, also? And maybe a home run stroke for Marte? And can you please give Cutch a bounce back year? Just try to make sure he does it in right field and not center. 

I certainly would love a 6th World Series trophy, too, Santa. That may be asking too much. Maybe you can just bring us an owner that actually wants to win, instead?

Say hello to everyone at the North Pole for me. And please enjoy the periogies, Iron City beer and Smiley Face Cookie I left you. Please put the reindeer on cruise control, you don't want to get pulled over. 

Thank you for everything. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love, Mrs. Black-N-Gold






Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Eddie spaghetti, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins battle the Boston Bruins tonight at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Monday's 7-0 crushing of the Coyotes, the Pens have won 6 in a row to remain undefeated in December. Make it a December to remember, #7 would be heaven! 2)During the winning streak, the Pens have scored 35 goals. Keep rockin' the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Also during the streak, the Pens have held opponents to just 14 goals. De-Fense! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Stop the presses! Stop the presses! Mrs. Black-N-Gold is back with all the latest Black-N-Gold News for you. She's got the up-to-the-minute information for Black-N-Gold nation from our Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.


                                          THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

STEELERS

One of our Steelers received some good news this week. LB Arthur Moats was named the Steelers nominee for this year's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Congrats and best of luck, Arthur! 

A Steeler that did not receive good news this week was G Ramon Foster. The NFL fined him $9115 for shoving Giants LB Kelvin Sheppard after Sheppard tried to cheap-shot RB Le'Veon Bell in last week's game and bend our back in half. The rumor is that several of Foster's teammates have offered to pay the fine. 

Speaking of The Beast, he recorded a team-best rushing record in the Steelers win on Sunday. Our favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team bulldozed the Buffalo Bills 27-20, giving Coach Mike Tomlin his 100th career victory, making Coach T just the 8th coach to win #100 in less than 10 seasons. Congrats to both LBell and Coach Mike!

The Steelers made a roster move yesterday. They promoted WR Demarcus Ayers from the practice squad. To make room for the rookie, they released K Randy Bullock. 

The Steelers travel to Cincy on Sunday for a 1pm kickoff versus the Bungles. At 8-5, the Steelers playoff chances are looking up. They now sit all alone at the top of the AFC North thanks to Monday night's loss for the Baltimorons. They'll try to continue their winning ways and pick up their 5th straight W this week. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

Our Penguins made some roster moves this week, too. They sent F Jake Guentzel and D Derrick Pouliot down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

Our favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team made their annual pilgrimage to Florida. And what a trip it was! The Pens pounded the Panthers 5-1 last Thursday. On Saturday, they traveled to Tampa Bay for an Eastern Conference Finals re-match. The Boys of Winter staged another dramatic, come-from-behind victory, edging the Bolts, 4-3. 

Last night they returned home to face the last place Arizona Coyotes. The Pens got their kicks with win #6 (in a row, that is). G Matt Murray pitched a 7-0 shutout on the 1 year anniversary of Coach Mike Sullivan's hire. 

The Pens go for 7 in a row and continue their undefeated December when they faceoff against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night. Keep on PUCKN! Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates wrapped up the winter meetings last week. They did, officially, say goodbye to one former member of the team. LH Jeff Locke signed a deal with the Miami Marlins. It seems that former Pirates pitching guru Jim Benedict is trying to turn Miami into Pittsburgh South. First he signs former Bucco RH Edinson  Volquez and now Locke. So long as their business doesn't conflict with Bucs business, we're cool. 

The Pirates made a small move at the winter meetings. They drafted LH Tyler Webb from the Yankees organization in the Rule 5 Draft. 

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team returned home this weekend for PirateFest, along with OF Andrew McCutchen. GM Neal Huntington and President Frank Coonelly had some 'splaining to do to the faithful that braved the freezing cold to get the temperature of the team. We'll see where their at and who is still with the team come spring training. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!



Monday, December 12, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     We have a winner! Our Pittsburgh Steelers continued to roll in the snow with yesterday's 27-20 win in Buffalo. Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks back at yesterday's victory with The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from the game.


GOOD

The Steelers defense continued to improve. They recorded 5 sacks, snagged an interception and held the NFL's best rushing team to just 67 yards. The youngsters, especially, contributed to the cause. LB Ryan Shazier registered a sack, a tackle for loss, a QB hit and led the way with 8 tackles. Rookie S Sean Davis had 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 3 QB hits and was 2nd on the team with 7 tackles. LB Bud Dupree sacked the QB twice and had 3 TFLs. DL Stephon Tuitt had half a sack, 1 TFL and 1 QB hit. Rookie CB Artie Burns snagged another INT, too. Yes, to quote Coach Tomlin, the defense's "arrow is pointing up". 

The offensive line had another stellar game, as well. They did not allow QB Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked at all yesterday. They also paved the way for a record rushing day for RB Le'Veon Bell. Which leads us to.....

With apologies to the Steelers D and the O-Line but the best player on the field yesterday was #26, LBell. He calls himself "Juice" but the Beast should really be called "The Mailman" because he continues to deliver. Neither ran, nor snow, etc. could stop Bell. He set a Steelers rushing record yesterday running the ball 38 times for 236 yards, a 6.2 yard average and 3 TDs. The Beast also caught 4 passes for 62 yards. On a day when the Steelers passing game was neutralized due to the weather conditions, it's great to have a road-grading offensive line and a steamrolling back in Bell. Congrats to Le'Veon for the record!

BAD

As good as Bell was yesterday, his QB was just as bad. Roethlisberger was just 17 of 31 for 220 yards, 0 touchdowns and 3 INTs for a lousy 37.8 QB rating. Was it the fact that the weather was bad, the Steelers were on the road or both? Good thing for Ben that Bell bailed him out. #7 is going to need to improve on the road with the Steelers away from home for 2 of their final 3 games. And unless they win their division and, instead, get into the playoffs as a wild card, they could be on the road in the postseason, too. Ben needs to needs to improve his play if the Steelers hope to have a long run towards the Super Bowl. 

UGLY

Is Mrs. Black-N-Gold the only member of Black-N-Gold Nation that is concerned by the penalties that our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team continue to commit? 6 for 45 yards may not seem that bad but a pick 6 by CB William Gay was negated by a holding penalty on the return. On top of that there were false starts and more holding penalties that added up. Keep the flags flying like that and the penalties will continue to add up. Tighten up and clean it up. 

Taking a look at the standings, the Steelers continue to hold the top spot in the AFC North at 8-5. The Baltimorons travel to New England tomorrow night so right now they're 2nd at 7-5. Cincy won yesterday to stay in 3rd place with a 5-7-1 mark. The Clowns were losers to Cincy and remain in the basement with a record of 0-13. 

Next week the Steelers travel to Cincy for a 1pm kickoff. They need to continue to stay in the win column to stay in the playoff race. You gotta win to get in. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


SLAP SHOTS

     Let's go hunt moose on a harley; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight to faceoff against the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens continue to roll with a sweep in FLA over the weekend thanks to another come-from-behind victory, 4-3 Saturday over Tampa Bay. Never say die! 2)In that game, the Pens had not 1, not 2, but 3, count 'em, 3 power play goals. That's the way to ignite that power play. Man-up! 3)The Pens have now won 5 in a row. Get your kicks with win #6 and break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

    Yoi to the world! Our Pittsburgh Steelers shuffle off to Buffalo to battle the Bills this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Bills are coming off a 38-24 loss to Oakland in which they led 24-9. The Steelers downed an 8-3 Giants team last week. Beware the trap game. The Steelers have won 3 in a row. We want more with win #4. Season's beatings to the Bills! 2)The Bills have a bustling running game led by former Pitt standout LeSean McCoy. The best thing to do is take away the run and make them one-dimensional. Make QB Tyrod Taylor beat you with his arm and keep him in the pocket. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)Bills Coach Rex Ryan has put together a ferocious defensive line up there in Buffalo. The o-line needs to protect QB Ben Roethlisberger long enough to give him time to throw the ball and needs to open up big holes for RB Le'Veon Bell. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

    Lookout, Loretta, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their trip to FLA when they faceoff against Tampa Bay. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Thanks to Thursday's 5-1 pounding of the Panthers, the Pens have won 4 straight. Keep the drive alive at 5! 2)During that stretch, the Pens have scored 24 goals. Crank up the Crue; Goal, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens may be in 2nd place the Metropolitan division with a 17-7-3 mark and 37 points but their special teams this season have been not-so-special thus far. They're a mediocre 15th on the power play at 17.4% but have not lit the lamp with any regularity of late. They're even worse on the penalty kill, 28th in the NHL at a 76.0% clip. Man-up and kill 'em all! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Thursday, December 8, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Great balls of fire, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road tonight when they faceoff against the Panthers in FLA. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are coming off a homestand where they've won 3 in a row. We want more with win #4! 2)During that run, they've scored 19 goals. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Unfortunately, the power play is the one facet where the Pens have been power-less, failing to score with the man-advantage in 8 straight games. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it. The Black-N-Gold News is back in town! That's right, Black-N-Gold Nation, it's time, once again, for that internet sensation. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings to you all the latest news on our Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.


                                       THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS 

STEELERS

Some of our Steelers received bad news this week from the commissioner's office. WR Antonio Brown and RB Le'Veon Bell were both fined for their joint (no, not that kind of joint) celebration in the Steelers Thanksgiving night win over the Colts. Because AB is a repeat offender of touchdown celebrations, the No Fun League fined him $24,309. LBell received a slap on the wrist at $12,154. 

Prior to our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team's game against the Giants this week, they were forced to sign K Randy Bullock off the street. K Chris Boswell suffered an abdominal injury and missed the game so the Steelers had to cut CB Al-Hajj Shabazz to make room for Bullock. 

The move paid off. Bullock contributed 3 field goals and 1 PAT in the Steelers 24-14 dumping of the Giants. They're still tied with the Baltimorons atop the AFC North at 6-5. Unfortunately, the Baltimorons currently hold the tiebreaker. 

Speaking of the aforementioned Shabazz, the Texans claimed him off waivers so we may have seen the last of Al-Hajj in a Steelers uniform. 

The Steelers are riding a 3-game winning streak going into Sunday's game at Buffalo. That is a 1pm kickoff. Speaking of 1pm kickoffs, the game vs the Cincy Bungles on 12/18 has been changed to that timeslot. Mark your schedules. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

Our Penguins did the roster-shuffle this week. They sent F Tom Sestito back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to make room from F Chris Kunitz, who was returning from the IR. 

The move worked. The Pens defeated Detroit in come-from-behind fashion, 5-3. The wins kept on coming for our Favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team, too. They scored a season-best 8 goals en route to an 8-5 victory over the Senators to closeout the homestand. Congrats to F Bryan Rust. Rusty scored his 1st career hat trick in that contest.

The Pens take their show on the road to FLA to play the Panthers tomorrow night. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates made some moves this week. They signed LH Wade LeBlanc to a 1 year contract with an option for a 2nd year. They also tendered contracts to RH Gerrit Cole, RH Juan Nicasio, SS Jordy Mercer, RH Jared Hughes, RH Drew Hutchison and LH Tony Watson. If the players don't accept the contracts, both sides will go to arbitration. That is, unless the Bucs trade them. 

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team received some not-so-good news this week concerning 3B Jung Ho Kang. First came the news that Kang was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and DUI in his native South Korea. Now comes word that this is not Kang's 1st DUI. In fact, it's his 3rd in 5 years. Apparently, MLB is not the only people that take a "3 strikes and you're out" approach. Kang is expected to lose his driver's license and could do jail time for his offenses. 

The World Baseball Classic is this spring. CF Andrew McCutchen will suit up for Team USA. It remains to be see if he'll suit up for the Buccos this season. The winter meetings wrap up tomorrow. Cutch has not been moved. Yet. It's not for GM Neal Huntington's lack of trying. If/when Cutch or any of the other Bucs gets traded, Mrs. Black-N-Gold will let you know. Until then; Let's Go Bucs!!!!!




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BLACK-N-GOLD SOUL

     Did you ever notice the bands that Root Sports would feature during Pirates season as part of their Friday Night Rocks promotion? Mrs. Black-N-Gold always liked the idea since it was an opportunity to catch some local bands that she may not normally see (hear). This summer she got hip to The Commonheart, a Pittsburgh area collective of soul scorching music led by singer/heartbeat, Clinton Clegg. Upon hearing a clip of this band, Mrs. Black-N-Gold took to the internet to see if she could soak up the soul live and in-person. They had a gig this summer with the legendary Billy Price. But, alas, it was sold (souled?) out. Then, Mrs. Black-N-Gold found out that The Commonheart were releasing their debut CD, "Grown", with a release party at Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale. It would require an overnight trip by Mrs. Black-N-Gold and The Big Bossman but it was well worth trip.

     How appropriate that there is a picutre of a cake on the CD cover, because this disc is one tasty treat. The 10-piece band comes together with some of the sweetest sounds this side of Stax Records. Prior to the show, Mrs. Black-N-Gold read reviews that compared Clegg to the aforementioned Price. She was reminded more of late greats Joe Cocker and Otis Redding. And the musicianship evokes images of Booker T and the MG's as well as Redding's backup band, The Bar-Kays. And guitarist, Michael Minda, is Pittsburgh's latest guitar hero, ready to unleash his fretboard fury on the world.

    This CD has it all. There are poignant, haunting tunes such as "Rivertown" and "Spain" that seem auto-biographical, perhaps hearkening back to Clegg's upbringing in Monongahela. "Canonball", "Hold My Hand", "You Need A Man", "Questions" and "Save Me" all sound like something straight out of the Stax songbook. "You Need a Man" especially conjures the soul of Redding. But, of course, Mrs. Black-N-Gold is all about the hard-charging, rock-tinged tunes. This disc leads off with 2 home runs, "Who Dat Mama" and "Hard Way". There is also a searing version of the Al Green classic "I'm a Ram". But Mrs. Black-N-Gold's favorite on this fabulous CD is "Alosysius". It's got it all and then some. Rock & soul, what a wonderful combination.

     In a day and age where it's so hard to get excited about anything new in the music industry, The Commonheart has come full-circle, putting a new spin on classic soul. Call it, Black-N-Gold Soul, if you will. "Grown" is an excellent Christmas gift for the music-lover in your life.

     If you'd like a chance to see The Commonheart live, and why wouldn't you, they are at the Rex Theater with the aformentioned Billy Price this week. It's a holiday show filled with Black-N-Gold Soul on the Southside on Saturday night. They also have a show scheduled at Dante's Bar in Frostburg, MD set for New Year's Eve. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is trying to swing at least one, if not both, of these shows. So see The Commonheart now and thank Mrs. Black-N-Gold later.

   

Monday, December 5, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

    Yoi to the world! Our Pittsburgh Steelers won their 3rd straight yesterday, cutting the New York Giants down to size at Heinz Field, 24-14. It's time, once again, for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to bring to you The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from yesterday's crucial victory.

 GOOD

So much is good when you're riding a 3-game winning streak. The defense continued to De-velop into a force to be reckoned with. There were 2 sacks of Giants QB Eli Manning, 1 by LB James Harrison and 1 by DL Ricardo Matthews. For Matthews it was his 1st as a member of The Black-N-Gold. Congrats to Ricardo! Speaking of firsts, congrats to S Sean Davis. Davis had his 1 NFL interception. That was 1 of 2 on the day for the Steelers. LB Lawrence Timmons picked the other pass. The defense also had their way in the trenches, stopping 3 4th down stands. Finally, Finally, FINALLY, the defense is playing Steelers football. That's good. 

That wasn't the only good thing about the win. The offense had some players that were playmakers. QB Ben Roethlisberger led the way with 24 of 36 passing for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. 1 of those touchdowns was the 1st touchdown of the season for TE Ladarius Green. The free agent-signee found the endzone for the 1st time as a Steeler to go along with his 6 receptions for 110 yards. Congrats to Ladarius! 

Another new guy got in on the action. K Randy Bullock is brand-spanking new as the Steelers signed him off the street this weekend. It didn't matter. He converted all 3 of his field goal attempts and an extra point. Congrats, Randy! 

All of these men were very, very good yesterday but, no doubt about it, RB Le'Veon Bell ruled the day. The Beast was the best. #26 rushed 26 times for 110 yards. He also caught 6 passes for 64 yards. And his ability to tote the rock helped the Steelers to run out the clock. Let's all burn a fatty in honor of LBell!

BAD

As good as the Steelers were, there was one aspect of their game that was just as bad. Let's see if Mrs. Black-N-Gold can add it up. Yes, that' right: 12 penalties for 115 yards. That's extremely bad. From G David DeCastro getting yet another holding penalty, to unnecessary roughness, to WR Antonio Brown not exiting the field quickly enough, resulting in a too-many-men on the field call. The Steelers continuously find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Why, oh, why can't they clean it up? 

UGLY

Continuing with the above theme, if the Steelers keep making boneheaded mistakes that lead to penalty after penalty, it will get ugly. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has been harping on this all season, until she's blue in the face. Playoff teams don't give up huge chunks of yardage by making multitudes of penalties. Think about it. 

The Steelers are still tied with the Baltimorons, who won,  atop the AFC North at 7-5. The Baltimorons still have the tiebreaker so it's important for the Steelers to stay in the win column. The Bungles are behind them with a 4-7-1 mark thanks to their win. The Clowns didn't lose. They didn't win, either. They had a bye this week. Although, if there ever was a team that would find a way to lose during their bye week, it'd be the Clowns. 

Next week, the Steelers shuffle off to Buffalo to battle the 6-6 Bills, who are fighting for their playoff lives. Beware of Buffalo and beware the trap game. Remember, you've got to win to get in. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



SLAP SHOTS

     Mrs. Black-N-Gold is smiling like a butcher's dog 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins close out their homestand tonight when they faceoff against the Ottawa Senators at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Saturday night's come-from-behind 5-3 win, the Pens have won 2 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! During that 2-game stretch, the Pens have scored 11 goals. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 3)It's a tale of 2 teams. The Senators rank 27th in goals per game with just a 2.2 average. They're 8th in goals against, allowing only 2.4 per game. The Pens are 3rd in the NHL in goals per game, scoring an average of 3.1 per game. They are #24 in goals against at 3.0 per game. What's this tell us? Mrs. Black-N-Gold doesn't know. Just veto the Senators. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     Yoi and double yoi! Our Pittsburgh Steelers return home to Heinz Field today to battle the New York Giants. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Steelers have won 2 in a row. However, those wins came at the expense of the winless Clowns and a Colts team that was without their starting QB. These Giants are 8-3. Time to stand tall and take care of business. 3 straight would be great! 2)Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was drafted #11 overall in the same draft that Giants QB Eli Manning went #1. Of course, Eli has the pedigree and was highly regarding coming out of college. But Ben is no bum. They both have won 2 Super Bowls apiece. Wouldn't it be nice to see Ben get the better of Eli? Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)Of course, Eli's main WR Odell Beckham, Jr. is a downfield threat. But he's proven that he can be knocked off his game if you get your licks in and disrupt his route. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Friday, December 2, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     How much fried chicken can you eat; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their homestand tonight when the faceoff with the Detroit Red Wings at PPG Paints Arena. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are #5 in the league in goals per game at 3.0. The Red Wings are 24th in with 2.3. Rock the Goals Goals Goals! 2)The Pens are 9-2-1 on home ice. Love that home cookin'! 3)With their 6-2 win on Thursday night, the Pens matched their season high in a game. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!!


THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     What's the news across Black-N-Gold Nation? Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the information. She's got everything that's news for our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.


                                            THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

STEELERS

Our Steelers received good news and bad news this week. First, Steeler DL Stephon Tuitt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance versus Cleveland. Congrats; do it Tuitt! Now the bad news as another player was suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. RB Karlos Williams received a ban of 10 games.

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team celebrated Thanksgiving with a win in Indy last Thursday night. They carved up the Colts by a score of 28-7. They remained in a tie for 1st in the AFC North when the Baltimorons won their game against the Bungles on Sunday. 

This week, the Steelers return to Heinz Field to battle the New York Giants. That's a 4:25pm kickoff versus the -3 Giants. You gotta want it to win it. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

Our Penguins sent D Derrick Pouliot to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning assignment last week. That move should help him get back into game shape if/when he's needed. 

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team exacted some revenge on the NY Rangers. They routed the Rangers 6-1. Unfortunately, they fell right back into the loss column the day after Thanksgiving when they traveled to Minnesota. They were whipped by the Wild 6-2. But in an up-and-down week for the Pens, they got back in the win column on Saturday night. They edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in a shootout. 

Pouliot was recalled from his conditioning assignment at WB/S on Monday. 

After a 3-day layoff the Pens returned to the ice Wednesday night. The break did not do them any favors. They fell to the Isles 5-3. 

The Pens returned home last night and returned to the win column. They spanked the Stars 6-2 to start a 3-game homestand. Can they remain in the win column? We'll find out when they faceoff against the Red Wings tomorrow night. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

Mrs. Black-N-Gold was going to say that the hot stove hasn't even gotten lukewarm for our Pirates yet. Boy was she wrong. They did lose 2 key members of last season's team. It was announced on Thanksgiving that former utilityman Sean Rodriguez signed a 2-year deal with Atlanta. It looks like he went from Sean Rod to Sean Gone. The Gatorade coolers of Pittsburgh can all breath a sigh of relief. So long, SRod. And Pirates fans don't have reason to re-Joyce. OF Matt Joyce has agreed to a 2 year contract with Oakland Best of luck to you, so long as your business doesn't conflict with our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team. 

The Bucs also cut ties with another player. The Pirates said so long to LH Jeff Locke when they designated him for assignment. They also signed former Dodgers minor league RH Lisalverto Bonilla. They signed 2 pitchers to minor league contracts, as well. RH Jason Stoffel and LH Dan Runzler are also invited to spring training under their new deals. 

The Pirates had until midnight to tender arbitration-eligible players. Those players include SS Jordy Mercer, LH Tony Watson, RH Gerrit Cole, RH Jared Hughes, RH Drew Hutchison, RH Juan Nicasio and LH Wade LeBlanc. 

Now that the new CBA is done, things are expected to heat up for Pirates GM Neal Huntington and the Buccos as the winter meetings commence on Monday in Washington, DC. Several players are said to be on the trading block including CF Andrew McCutchen, 2B Josh Harrison, LH Tony Watson & 1B John Jaso. According to reports, no one is safe as ownership continues to cut payroll. Got to have that "financial flexibility", ya know. The Bucs are said to be burning up the phones of MLB GMs everyone in an attempt to unload Cutch and his salary.  Mrs. Black-N-Gold will continue to cover the bases if anything develops. Hopefully the Pirates don't abandon ship completely. 

Meanwhile, in Pirates legal news, 3B Jung Ho Kang has found himself on the wrong arm of the law again. He was recently busted in his native South Korea for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. You may recall that Kang was also accused of sexual assault in Chicago back in June. That situation remains unresolved as the accuser is either uncooperative or missing, depending on the report that you read. Either way, if/when Kang's legal problems are settled, he'll still have to answer to MLB's commissioner for his allegations, too. 

Again, as news develops for the Buccos, Mrs. Black-N-Gold will be sure to give you the play-by-play. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!





Thursday, December 1, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Hop in the Cordova baby, we're going bowling; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight at PPG Paints Arena to faceoff against the Dallas Stars. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With last night's 5-3 loss, the Pens say good bye to an up-and-down November. Tonight is an opportunity to turn the page. Make it a December to remember! 2)A problem for the Pens has been a lack of consistency. You've got to play all 60 minutes. Be 60-minute men! 3)Last night the Pens found themselves in a 3-0 hole and didn't even get on the board until the 3rd period. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     No sleep till Brooklyn; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Brooklyn tonight to faceoff against the New York Islanders (I know, that sentence doesn't make sense, right? Playing the Islanders in Brooklyn?). These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Saturday night's 4-3 shootout victory, the Pens have won 2 straight. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)The Isles rank 25th in the league on the power play at 12.9%. This is good news for the Pens since they're #28 in the NHL in penalty kill at 77.2%. Kill 'em all! 3)The Pens are 8th in goals per game, at a 2.9 clip. They may have an opportunity to pad that stat since New York is 24th in goals against, allowing an average of 3 per game. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! Let's Go Pens!!!!



Sunday, November 27, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     Our Pittsburgh Steelers are thankful for a Thanksgiving night win over the Indy Colts 28-7. Now that Mrs. Black-N-Gold's holiday weekend has calmed down and she's sobered up and awakened from her food coma, it's time to take a look at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from the Steelers victory. See if you and your fellow friends in Black-N-Gold Nation agree.

GOOD

There was a lot to like in this convincing win. Like Thanksgiving dinner, there was lots and lots of good stuff. For instance, the defense continued to point the arrow up with 3 sacks and 2 interceptions. Both of the picks came from members of the much-maligned secondary, S Mike Mitchell and CB William Gay. Mitchell feasted on the Colts offense for much of the evening, delivering some of the hardest hits of the night. The D also held RB Frank Gore to just 28 yards on 15 carriers. And who could forget the goal line stands on back-to-back series? Yes, the defense looked like the Steelers D of old. But don't get too excited. Remember, the defense was dominate against an 0-11 Cleveland Clowns team and an Indy Colts team sans QB Andrew Luck. But this performance gave the Steelers consecutive wins on the road against teams that were .500 or worse. That's something we haven't seen in these parts in a long, long time. 

Let us not forget the offense. They looked pretty good, too. QB Ben Roethlisberger connected with WR Antonio Brown for 3 touchdowns. That was the first 3 TD game for AB in his career. And Le'Veon Bell carried the ball 23 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. The offensive line also kept Ben clean for another week. Plus, there were no turnovers. It doesn't get much better than this. 

BAD

It's a shame the special teams unit didn't get in on the action. They allowed a 35 yard reception on a punt fake that led to Indy's only score of the game. They also continue to give up huge chunks of yardage on returns, losing the field-position battle. If this keeps up, (not so) special teams coach Danny Smith may want to consider updating his resume (Mrs. Black-N-Gold is available for the gig). 

UGLY

Two things looked particularly ugly to Mrs. Black-N-Gold. First, was the fact that the defense allowed the Indy offense to march down the field on them not once but twice. Thus the goal line stands. They would never have been in the position to defend the goal line had they not given up big chunks of yardage and failed to get off the field on crucial 3rd and 4th down situations. 

Secondly, the touchdown celebration by AB and LBell led to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that contributed to Indy's TD. You're excited. We get that. But you don't see your teammates running around, acting the fool and getting flagged for it. 

Both of these points may be Mrs. Black-N-Gold just nitpicking but they are points that need to be recognized and addressed by the coaching staff. It's details such as these that can make or break you come playoff time. 

Now our Steelers stand alone atop the AFC North with a 6-5 record. They'll have a week to rest their weary bones as they get ready to battle the New York Giants at Heinz Field next Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the rest of the division plays today. The 5-5 Baltimorons travel to Cincy to face the 3-6-1 Bungles. And the 0-11 Clowns will face the aforementioned Giants. The Giants are no slouches at 7-3 so be ready. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!




Saturday, November 26, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     I'll be cow-kicked, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight at PPG Paints Arena to faceoff against the New Jersey Devils. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens look to get back in the win column tonight after getting pummeled by the Wild yesterday, 6-2. Find the net and find the win column! 2)The Devils also lost yesterday, 5-4. Give 'em hell! 3)Giving up 6 goals while you only score 2 just won't do. G Matt Murray is expected to start tonight between the pipes. The D has got to help Murray. And, of course, don't forget the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Friday, November 25, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Take a walk on the Wild side; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Wild in Minnesota this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens got back in the win column in a big way Wednesday, routing the Rangers 6-1. The 6 goals were a season-high for the Pens. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 2)The Pens held the NHL's best scoring team to just 1 goal in that contest. They also allowed just 17 shots on goal the entire game. De-fense! 3)The Pens are looking for some revenge for their 4-2 loss to the Wild a few weeks ago. Run wild on Minnestoa! Let's Go Pens!!!!


Thursday, November 24, 2016

THE 50-YARD LINE

     Chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit, spit, spit! Our Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to Indy tonight for a prime time Thanksgiving game against the Colts. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Steelers may be in luck (pun intended). Colts QB Andrew Luck is out for the game due to concussion protocol. Regardless, Indy is 5-5 and, like the Steelers, fighting for their playoff lives. Don't take them lightly. Bring your A game! 2)In Sunday's win over Cleveland, the Steelers D had a season-best 8-sack game. No matter who is playing QB for the other team, hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't put up prime fantasy numbers last Sunday but he and the rest of the offense didn't turn the ball over, either. This game will be played in a dome with no concerns of the elements so look for Ben and the boys to air it out. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF BLACK-N-GOLD NATION!



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

   If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to New York tonight to faceoff against the Rangers. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are in a funk. They've dropped 2 straight and have lost 4 of 6. During that 6-game stretch, the have not scored more than 2 goals per game. Find the net and find the win column! 2)They're looking to exact some revenge on the Rangers who routed them on Monday 5-2. We need a W in NYC! 3)The Rangers lead the league in goals per game with 4.1. The Pens are ranked #9 at 2.8. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!!



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Stop the presses! Stop the presses! It's that time again, Black-N-Gold Nation. It's time for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to bring to you all the latest news on our Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. Yes, it's time for the newest edition of The Black-N-Gold News.


                                          THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

STEELERS

The injuries continue to pile up on our Steelers as more roster moves were made. The Steelers placed LB Steven Johnson on injured reserve. They re-signed LB LJ Fort to take his place. It was also announced that their defensive captain, DE Cam Heyward, would miss the remainder of the season with a pectoral injury. 

Some good news for some former Steelers this week, G Alan Faneca and WR Hines Ward were named as semifinalists for the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame. Good luck on getting the gold jacket to both!

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Football Team officially placed Cam the Man and WR Markus Wheaton on IR. Get well soon, Cam & Markus! They also activated LB Bud Dupree from IR and promoted RB Daryl Richardson from the practice squad. 

The Steelers found the win column in Cleveland on Sunday with a 24-9 victory over the Clowns. They are now tied for 1st in the AFC north at 5-5. The Baltimorons are also in 1st and currently hold the tiebreaker. The Steelers can claim the top spot all for themselves with a win on Thursday night at Indy. Celebrate Thanksgiving with your loved ones by sharing some dessert while cheering the Steelers on to a win. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

PENGUINS

Our Penguins had an up-and-down week. They traveled to Washington DC and got crushed by the Capitals 7-1. 

They also were hit with injuries. F Patric Hornqvist is day-to-day with a concussion. F Chris Kunitz is out with a lower-body injury. Get well soon, Horny & Kuni!

The Pens got back in the win column on Friday night. They defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. There was bonus hockey again on Saturday. Unfortunately, the Pens fell to the Sabres 2-1 in a shootout. 

Our Favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey team ultimately placed Kuni on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, they called up F Jake Guentzel from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 

Guentzel made his presence known last night, scoring the Pens 2 goals in a 5-2 loss to the NY Rangers. Congrats to Jake for scoring his 1st NHL goal on his 1st shot! They'll have a chance for revenge when they travel to New York tomorrow night to faceoff against the Rangers. Find the net and find the win column. Let's Go Pens!!!!

PIRATES

The hot stove hasn't heated up yet for our Pirates. However, our Favorite Black-N-Gold Baseball Team did make 1 move this week. They added RH Clay Holmes to the 40-man roster. We'll see if they make more moves as the offseason progresses. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!