Saturday, January 30, 2016


     Have you heard the news? It's all over town. Actually it's all over Black-N-Gold Nation. That's right, sports fans, it's time for another installment of The Black-N-Gold News, featuring the latest on our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Pens, Pirates and Steelers.

                          THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Our Pens celebrated a dominating win over their cross-state rivals, the Philly Cryers, 4-3 last Thursday night. Mrs. Black-N-Gold feels that if/when the Pens win the Cup, they'll be able to look back at this game as the one that changed the course of their season. Unfortunately, in this contest F Chris Kunitz was injured in the 3rd period and has yet to return to action. Get well soon, Kuni!

Last weekend the northeast and mid-atlantic regions of the country were hit with Snowmaggedon. This forced the cancelation of Sunday's game in DC versus the Capitals. The Pens were able to play a Saturday afternoon game against Vancouver at home. They defeated the Canuckleheads 5-4 on the strenght of a hat trick from C Evgeni Malkin. It was Geno's 10th career hat trick. In this game the oft-injured F Beau Bennett returned from injury and exited due to injury. Kuni missed this game due to his injury. Pens fans did witness the season-debut of D Derrick Pouliot who was called up from the Baby Pens.

The Pens followed up with a 2-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils in their last game before the All-Star break. Kuni and Bennett both missed this matchup. It was also announced that Bennett was placed on injured reserve. The Pens re-called F Scott Wilson from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Wilson didn't even have time to unpack and he was shipped back to WB/S with F Conor Sheary. We'll see if they're re-called after the break. Mrs. Black-N-Gold figures that this move depends upon the health of Kuni and Bennett.

Meanwhile, the Pens return to the ice on Tuesday in a home game with the Ottawa Senators. Our Pens are 24-17-7 with 55 points and are in the 2nd Wild Card spot. Time to be like George and Weezy and move on up. Let's Go Pens!!!


The only move our Pirates made this week was the announcement that Dave Jauss was named bench coach. He's been with the Bucs since 2013. Last year, Manager Clint Hurdle chose not to name a bench coach to replace the departed Jeff Banister. Looks like Clint decided there was a need to name one this year.

Now Mrs. Black-N-Gold anxiously awaits Truck Day. That's the day all the Pirates equipment is loaded into the truck for the trip to Bradenton, FL for spring training. Pitchers and catchers report on February 19. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Our Steelers have been busy in the early goings of the offseason. They signed restricted free agents OL Chris Hubbard and FB Roosevelt Nix to 1 year contracts. Unrestricted free agent CB Ross Cockrell was also re-signed to a 1 year contract.

In Head Coach Mike Tomlin's final press conference of the season, he announced that several players would undergo surgical procedures. They are S Mike Mitchell (shoulder), P Jordan Berry (shoulder), LB Ryan Shazier (knee), TE Matt Spaeth (knee), G David DeCastro (ankle) and T Marcus Gilbert (ankle).

Speaking of injuries, QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) and WR Antonio Brown (concussion) had to bow out of this weekend's Pro Bowl due to injuries suffered during the season.

Looking ahead to next season, we now know who the Steelers home and away opponents will be. Home games are against the Baltimorons, the Bungles, the Clowns, KC, the Cryboys, the Giants, the Jets and the Cheatriots.

The Steelers will face the Baltimorons, the Bungles, the Clowns, Buffalo, Indy, Miami, Philly and Washington on the road.

Mrs. Black-N-Gold's bold prediction: The Steelers will go 16-0 on the way to their 7th Super Bowl trophy. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2016


     Our Pittsburgh Penguins get a well-deserved break for the next week while All-Star festivities get underway in Nashville (except for our All-Stars, Geno and Tanger ). It was touch-and-go during the first half of the season for our Pens. But now, they find themselves in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at the break. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks at where the Pens have been and where they're headed (to the Stanley Cup!).

     Of course, the biggest news of the 1st half was the dismissal of Head Coach Mike Johnston and assistant Gary Agnew. That paved the way to promote Mike Sullivan to Head Coach from the same gig with the Baby Pens. But there were many other developments prior to the break.

      We had to say goodbye to F Pascal Dupuis as his blood clot situation got too hard to handle. Duper is gone but not forgotten. He continues to work with the Pens in a hands-on, consultant-type capacity. Speaking of former players that are now in the coaching ranks, Sergei Gonchar has been working with the team regarding defense and power play. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is sure that Duper's and Sarge's influence on the team can only help lead to good things for our Boys of Winter.

     Speaking of farewells, GM Jim Rutherford departed with some players that were in need of a change of scenery. D Rob Scuderi was traded to the Blackhawks for D Trevor Daley. Trader Jim also shipped F David Perron and D Adam Clendening to Anaheim for F Carl Hagelin. Out with the old in with the new? D Derrick Pouliot also recently worked his way back to Pittsburgh via Wilkes/Barre-Scranton.

       The majority of the team got off to a terrible start. The only player holding it together most of the time was G Marc-Andre Fleury. MAF has been posting MVP numbers this season. Lately though, the Pens have been getting on the stick, especially D Kris Letang and C Sidney Crosby. The addition of Hagelin seems to have improved F Phil Kessel's play, too.
       The Pens are 24-17-7 with 55 points. In their past 16 games they're 9-3-4. In their last 8 home games they're 6-0-2. Flower has a record of 5-0-1 in his last 6 home games. And their abysmal power play that was ranked in the bottom of the NHL earlier this season has rebounded to a 19.9% clip, good for 10th in the league.

       Still, there is room for improvement. D Ian Cole and F Patric Hornqvist have been major disappointments this season. F Beau Bennett continues to suffer injury after injury. There are two other areas of concern that the Pens need to improve. 1)The Pens are 2-7-1 in back-to-back games. They have to find a way to get better on the back-end of these double-dips. Take some vitamins and load up on fruit and vegis. Do something to add a spark to this part of your game. 2)Our boys have a nasty habit of getting off to a slow start in their games, getting behind early and putting themselves behind the 8-ball, too. This is certainly not a habit you want to carry into the playoffs. Again, how about a shot of B-12 or something?

        All-in-all, Mrs. Black-N-Gold likes what Coach Sully is doing and where our Pens are going. It's certainly not as painful to watch as it was in the early part of the season. No offense to Mike Johnston but the style of play under his regime was like watching ice melt. Now they just need to carry this momentum into the 2nd half and start stacking wins and moving up to improve their playoff position. Hopefully come spring we'll be able to say "Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, pass me the brandy". Let's Go Pens!!!


Thursday, January 28, 2016


     If you're from the Pittsburgh area or you're familiar with the Pittsburgh music scene, chances are you know who the Clarks are. They've been rocking out in the Western Pennsylvania area since 1986. But they haven't just entertained yinzers in their 30 year history, they've traveled across the country and back again. Apparently some of today's music fans aren't really fans of good music at all, preferring disposable pablum over tunes that stand the test of time. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold tells you why she loves the Clarks.

                                           WHY I ❤️ THE CLARKS

     The Clarks first formed in the fall of 1986 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Much like others, they were a cover band that honed their chops playing local bars for a few bucks or a few beers. Singer Scott Blasey, guitarist Rob James and drummer Dave Minarik were part of a group called The Administration, along with a bass player and saxophonist. When those 2 dropped out of the band, they were replaced by bassist/vocalist Greg Joseph. The Clarks were born.

     The rest is history. 16 discs, countless live shows and they're still the rockingest band in the 'Burgh. These are the reasons Mrs. Black-N-Gold loves the Clarks.

1)The Clarks keep it real. They don't sing about popping bottles, riding in SUVs with heated seats and cruising the French Riveria. No, they sing about drinking beer (Iron City, baby!), hanging out at the county fair and life on the Three Rivers.

2)The Clarks are everywhere. Their songs have been on national tv, they've performed for the likes of David Letterman's late night audience and they get around. Mrs. Black-N-Gold remembers one summer drunkenly stumbling around Ocean City, MD. She looks up at the marquee at a bar and lo and behold, who is playing? Why it's the Clarks from Pittsburgh!

3)When Mrs. Black-N-Gold hears the jangly guitar sound of Rob James originating from her car stereo, she just knows it's the Clarks.

4)The Clarks do a better version of Bruce Springsteen's "The River" than The Boss does himself.

5)After almost 30 years, the Clarks are still going strong and still entertaining us, whether it's at "the Fayette County Fair", a local watering hole or with their classic discs. The Clarks always have and always will rock!

      Do you have your favorite Clarks songs? Of course, you do! So does Mrs. Black-N-Gold. Below are some of her faves. See if you agree. There's so many of them so this list will be narrowed down to just 3.

1)Cigarette-To Mrs. Black-N-Gold, this is the quintessential Clarks song. From the opening chords of this early hit, you get a taste of what the Clarks are all about. Just straight-ahead rock-n-roll.

2)All the Things I Wanted-The chorus of this song always sticks with Mrs. Black-N-Gold. "I don't want to fall apart or hide behind love's broken door. I don't want to leave and wonder why. I don't want to walk away looking over my shoulder for all the things I've wanted in life". Heavy stuff.

3)Hey You-Mrs. Black-N-Gold liked this song from Day 1. When she found out Scott Blasey wrote it in response to 9/11, she liked it even more. The lyrics are so moving and poignant. Tears will well in your eyes.

     There you have it. This is why Mrs. Black-N-Gold loves the Clarks. And here's hoping they rock our world for another 30 years. Mrs Black-N-Gold said it before and she'll say it again, The Clarks rock!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


     Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one, too; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their homestand tonight at Consol Energy Center when they faceoff against the New Jersey Devils. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With a 4-3 beating of Philly on Thursday and a 5-4 win over Vancouver Saturday, the Pens have won 2 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)New Jersey has won 4 in a row and are the last team in the Wild Card with 55 points. The Pens are hot on their heals at 53 points. In their last 2 games, the Pens got in an early 2-0 hole. They've had a habit of surrendering the early lead all season. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Pens have scored 9 goals in their last 2 games. Keep the momentum going into the All-Star break. Rock the Motley Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


     Now that it's been 1 week since our Steelers season prematurely ended, it's time for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to take a look at some needs the Steelers should concentrate on in the offseason. She'll look at the offense, the defense and the special teams unit. Let's kick thing off with the offense.


The Steelers offensive line performed exceptionally well considering the season-ending injuries to C Maurkice Pouncey and LT Kelvin Beachum. C Cody Wallace helped with the loss to Pouncey but Wallace has a habit of making bone-headed penalties. He's good for depth along the o-line, though, should any more injuries occur. Beachum has turned into a terrific tackle and is definitely someone you want to have manning your quarterback's blind side. However, he's a free agent and stands to get paid big left tackle money. Alejandro Villenueva stepped up in a big way and should most surely be the starter next season as he's much more cost-effective. The Steelers have to make a decision with G Ramon Foster, another free agent. Ramon is a rock on that line and deserves to be paid as such. The thing is, G David DeCastro is 2 years away from free agency. He earned the 1st of what-is-expected to be many Pro Bowl births this year. It would be cool if the Steelers could swing both but if it's a toss-up, former 1st round pick DeCastro is the man you want. He was projected to be the next Alan Faneca. Someday, hopefully, we'll regard another youngster as the next DeCastro.

Some more decisions that need to be made in the near future are those of RB Le'Veon Bell and WR Antonio Brown. Bell's rookie deal ends after the 2016 season. Brown's contract is up in 2 seasons. They're both, arguably, the best in the NFL at their positions. Neither position is inexpensive. Bell has a history of injury and running backs seem to be the more expendable. Again, it would be good to see the Steelers pony up the cash for both. This one will be a wait-and-see game.


No doubt about it, cornerback better be the Steelers top priority of the offseason. Trusted veteran CB Willie Gay is a free agent and has expressed an interest in returning. Considering he's getting long in the tooth, if you bring him back, no way should Gay be your #1 corner. The Steelers need to pursue a shutdown corner either via the draft or free agency. The Steelers have already re-signed CB Ross Cockrell. He's a solid backup but is not the answer, either. And while the Steelers are cornering the market for corners, they also need to find themselves some safety nets at safety.

After drafting 3 linebackers in the 1st round in the past 3 years (Jarvis Jones-2013, Ryan Shazier-2014 and Bud Dupree-2015), the Steelers still don't know what they have at the linebacker position. Each have offered glimpses of why the Steelers held them in such high regard. There have also been injuries and disappointments. The Steelers can pick up Jones's option for 2016 to get one last look. Shazier needs to stay healthy and stay on the field. Dupree will need to pace himself to avoid hitting the wall he hit in his rookie season. The Steelers also have to decide what to do with LB James Harrison. And Deebo has to decide what he wants to do. Decisions, decisions.....


Another item on the Steelers offseason shopping list: Return Man. Dri Archer didn't work. Neither did Jacoby Jones. Even though AB is a former Pro Bowler as a returner and he's explosive returning punts, the Steelers can't afford to have him back there for fear of injury. And when AB was injured, they had no answer for punts. Find someone that can return kickoffs and punts alike.

The Steelers will also have to make a decision at kicker. Chris Boswell made that one a no-brainer. Sorry, Shaun Suisham. It was good while it lasted but update that resume. The Steelers need to stick with the Wizard of Boz.

Mrs. Black-N-Gold will check in with our Steelers occasionally this offseason, to see where they are. Of course, if they should make any moves, she'll let you know about them and let you know what she thinks about them. It's the countdown to next season's kickoff and the march to the Stairway to 7. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016


     I'll be cow-kicked it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins are on the home ice of Consol Energy Center this afternoon to faceoff against the Vancouver Canuckleheads. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens are a mediocre 5-2-3 in their last 10 following Thursday's 4-3 win over Philly. They have 51 points and are 2 points in back of New Jersey and Boston for the final playoff spot. Get on the stick and start stacking wins! 2)The acquisition of LW Carl Hagelin has injected some speed into the 2nd line. With 2 assists in the last 2 games, it looks like this move is paying off. Speed kills! 3)This is the first of back-to-back games for the Pens this weekend. They travel to Washington DC (weather permitting) for a tilt with the Capitals tomorrow afternoon. Gotta make hay while the sun shines, boys. Gimme some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


     Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight to faceoff against cross-state rivals, the Philly Flyers. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Philly has beaten our Pens in 9 straight. #10 would not be great! 2)After blanking the Hurricanes on Sunday, 5-0, the Pens fell flat on their faces in the 3rd period in St Louie on Monday, losing 5-2. It seems like this team takes 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Take that next step. Stomp Philly! 3)Will this be a low scoring affair? Philly is 28th in the league with a 2.2 goals per game average. The Pens aren't much better at #23 and a 2.4 average. Crank up the Motley Crue with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


     What's the news across Black-N-Gold Nation? Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the information. It's the newest edition of the internet sensation, The Black-N-Gold News. Bringing you the latest on our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Pens, Pirates and Steelers.

                                            THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Our Pens have gotten hit by the injury bug lately. One of the lastest injuries to hit everyone's favorite Black-N-Gold Hockey Team was C Nick Bonino's hand injury. That could be painful to the penalty-kill, of which Bones is a vital cog. The injury puts him out for approximately 1 month. Ouch!

Another game goes into OT, another loss for the Pens. They fell to Tampa last Friday in the extra period, 5-4.

The Pens re-called F Conor Sheary from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They also traded LW David Perron and D Adam Clendening to Anaheim for LW Carl Hagelin.

D Kris Letang missed Sunday's game versus Carolina with a hand injury suffered in Friday night's loss. The Pens recovered by crushing Carolina 5-0.

D David Warsofsky suffered the latest injury on Sunday with what appears to be a concussion. The Pens called up D Derrick Pouliot from WB/S. They also were beaten by the Blues on Monday night, 5-2.

It seems like since Coach Mike Sullivan was brought on board, the Pens are improving. However, they have a bad habit of taking 1 step forward, 2 steps back. They need to get this going in the right direction as the schedule is chalk full of Metro division opponents, starting Thursday night. The Philly Cryers make their 1st trip to town. Philly is only 1 point in back of the Pens and the scramble for playoff positioning is beginning to heat up. Get back in the win column and stay there. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates avoided arbitration with all 7 of their eligible players, C Chris Stewart, LH Jeff Locke, C Francisco Cervelli, LH Tony Watson, RH Jared Hughes,  RH Mark Melancon and SS Jordy Mercer.
Stew's deal was a 2-year extension with a club option for a 3rd. All the other deals are for 1 year.

GM Neal Huntington continues to collect pitchers no on else wants. The Buccos claimed RH AJ Schugel off waivers from Seattle. To make room for Schugel, the Pirates designated RH Yoervis Medina for assignment. Looks like pitching coach Ray Searage will have his work cut out for him with all these castoffs.

Are these the final moves the Bucs make before opening training camp in Bradenton next month? Is there any money left in Bottom Dollar Bob's budget to bring some credibility to this offseason? Mrs. Black-N-Gold will keep you posted. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Steelers assistant coaches Mike Munchak and Joey Porter received their letters in the mail with $10,000 fines for each for their part in the penalty-laden debacle in Cincy last week. Mrs. Black-N-Gold hopes they make enough money on their assistant's salaries to pay Goodell his money.

A few days prior to Sunday's Division Round playoff in Denver, our Steelers received word that they would face the Bronocs without RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) and WR Antonio Brown (concussion). The loss of DeWill and AB weren't the only ones the Steelers suffered. They fell to Denver late in the 4th quarter by a score of 23-16, thus ending their season and their quest for a 7th Lombardi Trophy.

The Steelers continue to receive accolades for their performance this season. AB was named to the PFWA All-NFL Team. He also joins G David DeCastro as a member of the PFWA All-AFC team. Congrats to AB and DeCastro.

It was announced that QB Ben Roethlisberger won't require immediate surgery on his throwing shoulder. Big Ben's shoulder was separtated and ligaments were torn in the Cincy game although he did play in Denver.

Now that the Steelers have cleaned out their lockers and are heading to the golf course, it's time to concentrate on next season's roster. The Steelers will have 20 unrestricted free agents. It looks like they'll sell alot of programs at Heinz Field next year because you can't tell the players without a scorecard.  Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


     Well, our Pittsburgh Steeler season came to a close on Sunday with a 23-16 divisional round playoff loss to the Denver Broncos. They finished better than Mrs. Black-N-Gold expected but still failed to reach the Stairway to 7. Today she looks at The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Sunday's game.


It's still hard to believe that our Steelers weren't able to hold on to defeat Denver. They played a good game. They led until well into the 4th quarter. QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't turn the ball over. WR Martavis Bryant stepped up in Antonio Brown's absence, catching 9 receptions for 154 yards. He also had 2 runs for 40 yards. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey had 2 catches for 64 yards and rookie WR Sammie Coates hauled in 2 for 61 to help carry the load, too.

LB James Harrison turned in another impressive performance with 7 tackles, 6 solo, the Steelers only sack and 3 tackles for loss. Was this Deebo's last game in Black-N-Gold? Only time will tell. #92 was in no mood after the game to discuss his future.

K Chris Boswell continued his fine postseason, converting on 3 of 3 field goals. He finished the playoffs by going 7 for 7. Clearly Boz was the kick in the pants the Steelers needed.

You may recall that in her Steelers preview way back before the season kicked off, Mrs.Black-N-Gold was not very optimistic. She had the Steelers going 9-7 and finishing out of the playoffs. The fact that this team was able to pull it together, with all the injuries and with a questionable defense, and go all the way to the Divisional Round is a GOOD thing.


How would you like to be RB Fitzgerald Toussaint? You go from unemployment to starting in the backfield for the Pittsburgh Steelers. And just like that, you fumble in the playoffs and watch your season come to an end. Yes, the fumble sucked but the loss wasn't all Fitz's fault. Mrs. Black-N-Gold can't help but feel bad for the guy.

Some others get the BAD vote, too. Did DE Cam Heyward play on Sunday? You wouldn't know it by the stat sheet because The Man isn't on it. Mrs. Black-N-Gold never heard his name mentioned once on Sunday. You gotta give it to Denver. They found a way to neutralize #97. Cam is still The Man. He just had a bad game, is all. He picked a lousy time to have a bad day but, hey, it happens.

Speaking of bad days.....Could P Jordan Berry and the special teams unit be any worse than the were on Sunday? They constantly put the defense in a bad way by losing the field position battle. WR Markus Wheaton didn't do us any favors, either. Note to Coach Tomlin: Heaven forbid #84 is hurt again next season but if he is, don't have Wheaton back there to return punts.

While we're on the subject of the defense having to play with a short field most of the day, the one time they had a long field to work with was the one time they couldn't stop Denver. It's a shame because even though the D only had 1 sack and forced zero turnovers, they still didn't have that bad of a day.

Another bad thing was that the offense was set up on more than 1 occasion by some big pass plays, only to settle for field goals instead of finding the endzone.

What Mrs. Black-N-Gold thinks was the worst of all was that it seemed as though Coach was playing not to lose (again) instead of playing to win. There was a point in the 3rd quarter, the Steelers forced Denver to punt on their 1st 2 possessions of the 2nd half. When the Steelers got the ball back the second time, they were leading 13-9. It seemed like the perfect time for the Steelers to march down the field and into the endzone to put the game away. Instead, on 1st & 10 Fitz was stuffed for a 1 yard loss. On 2nd & 11, Fitz went nowhere again. With 3rd & 11, they completed a 5 yard reception to RB Jordan Todman. Letting the opponent hang around, especially in their house, is never a good idea. Playing not to lose is a BAD idea.


As good as the defense played on Sunday, they certainly had their ugly moments all season long. DC Keith Butler and his charges took some major steps this season but they're still lacking, I don't know.....SOMETHING. Wait! Mrs. Black-N-Gold has it. Let's all say it together, Black-N-Gold Nation. The Steelers need a shutdown corner. Imagine how great it would be to have a guy back there who can seal off half the field for your team. I don't know if the defense would know how to act. And they'd better do it in this draft. If not, wasting your quarterback's prime years, with the best running back and the best wide receiver in the NFL would be a very ugly thing.

Our Steelers are now on the clock with the #25 pick in the draft. Just think how great this team can be next year with Ben, Bell and Brown all healthy, not to mention Pouncey. This team could be unstoppable....all the way to the Super Bowl.

Thank you, Steelers for a fun-filled, memorable season. Can't wait to see you next year. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016


     How much fried chicken can you eat when it's a great day for hockey? Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to St Louie tonight to battle the Blues. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens dominated in yesterday's 5-0 win over Carolina. Keep it in the win column! 2)Typically, the Pens' play is porous on the 2nd day of back-to-backs. They also don't typically play well against Western Conference opponents. Beat the Blues black & blue! 3)The Pens matched their season high with 5 goals yesterday. Love the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


     Rocky mountain high! Happy Pigskins & Pucks Day! Our Pittsburgh Steelers take their show on the road to Denver today for an AFC divisional round showdown with the Broncos. These are your playoff-edition keys for today's game. 1)The last time the Steelers went to Denver for the playoffs, they were knocked out by the Tim Tebow-led Broncos. When these 2 teams met in Pittsburgh back in December, the Steelers came back from a 27-13 deficit to win the game. Don't take QB Peyton Manning and Denver too lightly. Play a complete game. Be 60 minute men! 2)The Broncos finished the season with the #1 overall defense, giving up just 283.1 yards in the air, 83.6 on the ground and an average of 18.5 points per game. When the Steelers defeated Denver, they were the 1st team to hang 30+ points on them and QB Ben Roethlisberger was the first quarterback to pass for over 300 yards this season. Of course, Denver played without their 2 starting safties and Ben has a banged up shoulder. WR Antonio Brown and RB DeAngelo Williams are out for the game. Next man up. Take the home crowd out of the game early, no matter who is in the lineup. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)Manning may not be the Manning of yesteryear but he's still a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback that can beat you with his head. He's always been a statue and he has a habit of going one-and-done in the postseason, so put the pressure on him. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


     Let's go hunt moose on a harley, it's a hockey night (day) in Pittsburgh! Happy Pucks & Pigskins Day! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the home ice of Consol Energy Center for this afternoon's faceoff with the Carolina Hurricanes. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens have 47 points and are 3 points back in the playoff race. One of the teams standing in their way is Carolina with 48 points. Nothing would be fina than a win over Carolina! 2)The Pens have dropped 2 straight. #3 would not be great! 3)Carolina beat the Pens in OT earlier in the week. Every point counts. Gimme a W with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


     Our Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road to Denver for tomorrow's battle with the Broncos. Considering the propensity that Pittsburgh has for penalties, Mrs. Black-N-Gold is devoting a special, playoff-edition of Takeaways to this subject.

     Coach Tomlin loves to refer to what goes on "above the neck", meaning the level of intelligence(or lack thereof) that his players exhibit. Based on last week's outcome in Cincy, both the coaches and the players need to get their heads on straight. This means no coaches should engage any opposing players on the sidelines. It also means coaches should not go onto the field unless otherwise directed by the head coach. Coaches need to keep their emotions in check and not get caught up in the drama of the game.

     This also applies to the players. Play smart football from the neck up. Yes, football is an emotional game but don't be had. No stupid penalties. No dancing around, acting a fool. Denver QB Peyton Manning will take advantage of the flags. He may not be the Manning of old but he can still exploit a team's weakness. The Steelers committed 10 penalties for 142 yards in Cincy last week. Unsportsmanlike conduct, excessive celebration, taunting, etc., these all fall under that category.

      Also, word out of Denver is that the Broncos want revenge on C Cody Wallace for his late hit in the last meeting between these teams (a Steelers win). Please keep in mind when you take that field Sunday that referees typically penalize the player that retaliates, not the one who instigates. Don't become the next Vontaze Burfict or Pacman Jones and penalize your way out of the playoffs. If you do, you'll be watching the Broncos next week in the AFC Championship game.

       Use your head. That's that lump 3 feet above your ass. Don't beat yourselves. Beat the Broncos. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2016


     Hallelujah Hollywood, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip tonight when they faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens 5th ranked penalty kill unit (84.8%) will face the Lightning's 21st ranked power play (17.7%). Kill 'em all! 2)Tampa Bay's penalty killers are also ranked #21 at 79.2%. This should help bolster the Pens 14th ranked power play (18.7%). Take advantage of the man-advantage! 3)The Pens are still among the bottom feeders in the NHL in goals per game. They're currently ranked 26th with a meager 2.3 goals per game average. They'll have their work cut out for them. Tampa Bay is 4th in the league in goals against at 2.3. Light up the Lightning with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2016


     Stop the presses, stop the presses! Mrs. Black-N-Gold is here to give you the latest info on all our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. Yes, Black-N-Gold Nation, it's time for another edition of The Black-N-Gold News.

                             THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Congratulations are in order for 2 of our Steelers. WR Antonio Brown was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December. K Chris Boswell was honored as AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December. Congrats to AB and Boz!

Congratulations also to some former Steelers. G Alan Faneca, LB Kevin Greene and Tony Dungy were named as finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Faneca and Greene were named as players. Dungy would go in as a head coach. Hope to see these 3 honored at the induction ceremony in August!

More Steelers were honored this week. AB (wow! he's everywhere) and G David DeCastro were named 1st team AP All-Pros. Congrats to Tony ToeTap and DeCastro!

Mrs. Black-N-Gold is sure you've heard by now that the Steelers defeated the Bungles last Saturday night, 18-16, in a wild Wild Card game in Cincy. They did so without the services of RB DeAngelo Williams. QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered a shoulder injury on the final play of the 3rd quarter but managed to return for the drive that led to the game-winning field goal. AB was also injured and left the game.

The Steelers travel to Denver for a 4:40 kickoff versus the Broncos. DeWill and AB are currently doubtful for the game. Ben is listed as probable. The Broncos lineup promises to be different than the last meeting which the Steelers came back to win. QB Peyton Manning will be under center. Both Denver starting stafties, TJ Ward and Darian Stewart are expected back although Stewart hasn't practiced yet this week.

Hopefully, some of the Steelers walking wounded will heal up by the end of the week and suit up for the game. Get well soon, guys. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


More roster moves for our Pens this week. RWs Tom Kuhnhackl and Bryan Rust were called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. To make room, the Pens sent LWs Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson back to WB/S.

The Steelers weren't the only Black-N-Gold team to find the win column last Saturday night. The Pens traveled to Montreal to defeat the Habs 3-1.

On Sunday, another roster move was made. D Adam Clendening was re-called from WB/S and his conditioning assignment.

Unfortunately, the Pens fell back into the loss column on Tuesday when they dropped a 3-2 decision in OT at Carolina. Yesterday the Pens sent C Nick Bonino back to Pittsburgh to be evaluated for an injury suffered in the Carolina game.

The Pens continue their road trip with a game in Tampa Bay on Friday night. Get back in the win column and stay there. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates continue to shape their roster as training camp gets closer. Players arrived for a voluntary mini-camp that began on Monday. Pitchers and catchers begin their camp at Pirate City in Bradenton, FL on February 19. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 23.

The Bucs signed RH Trey Haley to a 1 year contract. In the process, they released RH Guido Knudson only to re-sign him to a minor-league deal. They did the same to RH Casey Sadler when they announced that they released Sadler back on December 30 and then brought him back under a minor league deal. One more signing was announced. RH Daniel Bard agreed to a minor-league contract. The Pirates also officially released former 1st round pick C Tony Sanchez.

The 7 Pirates players that are eligible for arbitration filed on Tuesday they are RH Mark Melancon, LH Tony Watson, RH Jared Hughes, LH Jeff Locke, SS Jordy Mercer, C Francisco Cervelli and C Chris Stewart.

Opening Day is 79 days away. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


    When I awoke on Monday morning to the news of David Bowie's passing I was mildly shocked. Bowie had just celebrated his 69th birthday last week with his latest release, "Blackstar". I didn't even know he was sick. Then came the news that he had privately battled cancer for the past 18 months. On Sunday night Bowie lost that battle as he was surrounded by his family at his home in New York.

     I felt sorrow at Bowie's passing but it didn't hit me the way John Lennon's or George Harrison's or Jerry Garcia's deaths did. Or did it? You'd never hear me say "Oh, I have to get the new David Bowie album" or "I wish Bowie would tour again". I was just never that big of a fan. As someone that doesn't care for science fiction, the whole Life on Mars/space-thing didn't thrill me. But then I got to thinking....I could hear Bowie's music in my head. I pulled up several tunes on the computer, everything from "Ashes to Ashes" to "Rebel Rebel", to "Fame" to "Let's Dance" to "Blue Jean" and many others in between. Dammit, I was a Bowie fan. I just didn't know it. Sure, I don't know any of his obscure tunes, just the hits. But he sure did have alot of them.

     With a career that spanned 6 decades, it's difficult to look back at it from beginning to end. What do we REALLY know about Bowie? He'd been a celebrity all these years but, much like his illness, he managed to keep his private life relatively private. What we do know is that he was born David Jones but changed his surname to Bowie to avoid confusion with the Monkee Davy Jones. At the time of his death, he was married to supermodel Iman. They were married since 1992. He leaves behind 2 children. He once performed on Soul Train. He owned a company that developed the New York Yankess original website. His eyes were 2 different colors.

       Clearly he was more than a voice on the car stereo and he refused to be pigeonholed. He was singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actor, artist, visionary. Bowie did it all and he did it his way, constantly re-inventing himself so that you never knew what to expect. Whether it was Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom, Starman or the Thin White Duke, Bowie was an original. He blazed an adrogynous, gender-bending trail before it became all the rage, influencing countless others across multiple genres. Alice Cooper, Kiss, Marilyn Manson, Talking Heads, Nirvana and Madonna are just a few that owe the Thin White Duke a debt of gratitude. Working with the likes of Brian Eno, John Lennon, Nile Rodgers, Bing Crosby, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Iggy Pop, David stormed his way through rock, pop, soul, punk and grunge like Ziggy Stradust flying across the cosmos.

     There won't be another David Bowie. But we fans can take solice in the fact that he may have lost his battle with cancer but his legacy will span generations. Rest In Peace, Mr. Bowie and may God's love be with you.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016


     Nothing would be fina than to beat Carolina; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip tonight in Carolina when they faceoff with the Hurricanes. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)In the Pens past 9 games, the penalty kill unit has killed 24 straight penalties. Killin' it! 2)The once-woeful power play has gone from 29th in the league to a respectable 12th at 19%. Continue to take advantage of the man-advantage. You gotta man-up! 3)This could be a low-scoring affair. The Pens are ranked 26th in goals per game with 2.3. Carolina is 23rd at 2.4 per game. Good for the Pens that they're 8th in goals against, giving up just 2.4 per game. Carolina is 21st, allowing 2.7 goals per game. Blow the Hurricanes away with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016


     As they say in Cincy, "Who dey?" Last night the Steelers answered, "We dey!". Steelers win, Steelers win! Yes, our Pittsburgh Steelers came back in dramatic fashion last night as they defeated the Cincy Bungles 18-16 in the closing seconds on a Chris Boswell 35 yard field goal. It wasn't always pretty but it was a darn good win. Now that Mrs. Black-N-Gold has recovered from her post-game celebration, she brings you The Good, The Bad and the Ugly from last nights wild Wild Card win.


There were many good things in this game, some coming from unexpected sources. Who would have thought back in training camp that a rookie kicker that wasn't even with the team would make 4 field goals on the road, in the rain, including the game winner? Not this Steelers fan, that's for sure. Thumbs up to Boswell for the job he has done this season. Hopefully the Steelers can continue to ride his leg all the way to the Super Bowl. Boz is boss.

But Boz wasn't alone last night. Called out by QB Ben Roethlisberger earlier in the week to step up his game, WR Martavis Bryant came through in a big way. In the 3rd quarter he went 44 yards on an end-around that set up a field goal to give the Steelers a 9-0 lead. Later in the quarter Ben found him in the end zone for an incredible acrobatic 10 yard TD reception. Way to step up, Martavis!

No DeAngelo Williams this week? No problem. RBs Fitzgeral Toussaint and Jordan Todman carried the rock and the load for the running game. Todman had 11 carriers for 65 yards. Fitz rushed 17 times for 58 yards and had 4 catches for 60 yards. Next man up, indeed!

For the last several years, the Steelers have made it a habit of drafting linebackers in the 1st round. Those picks finally paid off.  Jarvis Jones had a strip-sack of Bungles QB AJ McCarron that led to a field goal. Bud Dupree recorded 2 tackles for loss. Ryan Shazier led the team with 13 tackles, 2 for loss, a QB hit, 2 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. It was Shazier that stripped the ball from Bungles RB Jeremy Hill with Cincy leading 16-15 late in the 4th quarter. CB Ross Cockrell recovered and the rest is history, as were the Bungles.

WR Antonio Brown was his usual brilliant self. AB hauled in 7 passes for 119 yards. One was a 23 yarder to the sidelines to help set up a Boz field goal. And how #84 managed to hold onto the ball when Bungles LB Vontaze Burfict blatantly laid him out with a cheap shot on 4th and 3 for a 6 yard gain is truly amazing. As AB likes to say "Business is booming".

And it wouldn't be GOOD if Big Ben hadn't played big last night. He was 18 of 31 for 229 yards and a touchdown for a 92.0 QB rating. Not spectacular numbers but he didn't turn the ball over. And, of course, he came back onto the field after Burfict sacked him in the 3rd quarter and Ben landed hard on his throwing shoulder. Ben sucked it up and led the Steelers on the game-winning drive, going 74 yards on 9 plays in 1 minute, 9 seconds. Ben being Ben again!


Unfortunately, Steelers fans have to take the bad with the good this week. It looks like AB suffered a concussion on the hit from Burfict. Ben has a banged up throwing shoulder, too. Their status for the divisional round game in Denver next Sunday is currently up in the air. Without them, it could go from BAD to worse. Get well soon AB and Big Ben!


Penalties, fights and garbage turned this game UGLY late last night. After spending all week saying they wouldn't play the penalty game with the Bungles, what did the Steelers do? The exact opposite. O-Line Coach Mike Munchak was flagged on the sidelines for getting into it with the Bungles.

Can someone please explain to S Shamarko Thomas that it's illegal to run into the return man, for crying out loud?

G Ramon Foster was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave the Steelers 2nd and 25.

CB William Gay drew a 15 yard penalty for a touchdown celebration. The problem was, the refs ruled the touchdown didn't stand. How is it that the penalty did then? When Burfict intercepted QB Landry Jones, he and several teammates took the ball and ran into the opposite endzone to celebrate what they thought was a Cincy victory. Where was the excessive celebration flag for that? Or at least a delay of game?

The Steelers weren't the only ones getting flagged on this night. When Cincy looks back at this loss, they'd do well to look in the mirror, too. Burfict was penalized for the hit that knocked AB out of the game, a totally uncalled-for, cheap shot to the head. A testy discussion ensued on the field, when Steelers officials came out to attend to AB. LB Coach Joey Porter was among those surrounding the downed receiver and CB Pacman Jones took exception. Penalty #2 on the play that turned the game the Steelers way.

You know the rest. Ben comes in, leads the team down field. Boz kicks the game-winner. Ben came back into the game after being showered with debris from the Bungles faithful as he was carted to the locker room following his injury.

The Steelers left the field as victors to a sickening display of bottles and cans thrown like confetti from the Cincy fans. Very classless Cincinnati. No wonder you haven't won a playoff game in 25 years. Karma is a bitch. So is Vontaze Burfict.

Now the Steelers must concentrate on getting rested and healthy. They travel to Denver next week to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the divisional round. The last time the Steelers played a playoff game in the Mile High City, they were upset by Tim Tebow. No one will confuse Tebow with Manning, even if Manning's best days are behind him. Time to exorcise the demons of Denver and put another one in the win column. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016


     Here we go! Happy Pigskins & Pucks Day! Our Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Bengals tonight in Cincy in the Wild Card round. This the playoff-edition of your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Steelers haven't won a playoff game since 2010. Cincy hasn't found the win column in the postseason since 1990. Something has got to give. Coach Tomlin has a habit of playing not to lose in situations like this. To quote former Jets Coach Herm Edwards "You play to win the game". Mrs. Black-N-Gold likes to say "You gotta want it to win it".  Play to win! 2)QB Ben Roethlisberger has not been his usual, playmaking-self on the road this season. And he usually finds the hands of Cincy S Reggie Nelson who has intercepted Ben 6 of the last 7 times he's faced him. Big Ben needs to play big. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)This could turn into a battle of tight ends, Heath Miller vs. Tyler Eifert. Heath has caught 20 passes in the first 2 matchups and Eifert is a big factor in Cincy's offense. Don't give Cincy QB AJ McCarron time to find Eifert or WR AJ Green. Hit him early, hit him often. hit him HARD! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


     Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick and tell him it's a great day for hockey! Happy Pucks & Pigskins Day! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Montreal tonight to faceoff against the Canadiens. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)After winning 2 in a row, the Pens have dropped 2 straight. #3 would not be great. Find the win column! 2)The Pens have scored a measly 3 goals in their last 2 games. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens power play has been trending up and needs to continue to do so. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, January 8, 2016


     Today is Takeaways Day. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will discuss topics that are burning up the airwaves, newspapers and internet regarding our favorite Black-N-Gold Teams, the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. Let's kick it off.....


Unless you've been on a remote island for the past week, you're well aware that our Steelers travel to Cincy to battle the Bengals in an AFC Wild Card game tomorrow night. This will be the 3rd meeting of the season for the division rivals. The 2 teams met in Cincy less than 4 weeks ago, the Steelers battering the Bengals in a 33-20 victory The game was marred by multiple penalties on both sides. The extracurricular activity didn't just happen during the game. Even before the coin toss, the Steelers tangled with the tigers. No matter what the Steelers do this week, they've got to mind their Ps and Qs. This is no time or place for costly penalties. One ill-thrown flag could make or break the game and send the Steelers home and to the golf course. The Steelers need to keep their heads in the game and out of their a$$. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


When our Pens lost Wednesday night to the Blackhawks 3-1, it was the 6th time this season the Pens dropped the 2nd of back-to-back games. As a matter of fact, the Pens are an unimpressive 2-6-1 on the back end of back-to-backs. The Pens really need to get on the stick. The schedule gives them 7 more back-to-backs this season. It's too late in the year to give points away. Every point counts. They're on the outside looking in at the playoff picture and need to lose their lethargic touch when it comes to back-to-backs. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates picked up a few more less-than-stellar pitchers again this week. GM Neal Huntington seems to be collecting low-budget pitchers the way some people collect baseball cards. If these pitchers were on display at the nearest hobby shop, they'd be in the bargain bin. It appears NH is going to scoop up as many inexpensive pitchers as he can get, see what magic pitching coach Ray Searage can work, throw them against the wall and see who sticks. Oh yeah, and keep your fingers crossed, too. No matter how great Uncle Ray has been with reclamation projects in the past, it looks like he really has his work cut out for him. Good luck, Ray. You'll need it. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


     Have you heard the news? It's all over town. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is back to give you the newest edition of the internet sensation that's sweeping Black-N-Gold Nation. It's been a few weeks, so there's plenty to tell you about our Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, Mrs. Black-N-Gold presents to you The Black-N-Gold News.

                                          THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


First of all, congratulations are in order. WR extraordinaire Antonio Brown was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week a few weeks back. Congrats to AB! While we are slapping Steelers on the back, congrats to QB Ben Roethlisberger. He was named FedEx Air Player of the Week that same week. Congrats, Big Ben!

It's a shame our Steelers had to go on the road and lose to the Baltimorons, 20-17. Things did, indeed, look bleak for The Black-N-Gold.....

A roster move was made when the Steelers placed FB Roosevelt Nix on IR. In the process, the Steelers called up LB LJ Fort from the practice squad.

More kudos for #84. The Steelers voted him team MVP. OL Ramon Foster won the Chief Award. LB Bud Dupree won the Joe Greene Great Performance Award as the team's top rookie. Congrats to AB, Ramon, and Bud!

The Steelers released return man/WR Jacoby Jones. They promoted S Ross Ventrone from the practice squad to fill the roster spot.

The Steelers clobbered the Cleveland Clowns at the Mistake by the Lake on Sunday, 28-12. During that victory, the Steelers also found out that the NY Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills, clearing the way for the Steelers to make the playoffs as the #6 seed in the AFC.

They travel to Cincy for a Saturday 8:15pm kickoff with the AFC North Champion Bengals. This will be the 3rd meeting between the division rivals this season. Each team defeated the other on the road this year, the Steelers win coming less than a month ago. RB DeAngelo Williams left Sunday's game with a foot injury and is listed as day-to-day. In the event DeWill can't go, look for the Steelers to use RBs Fitzgerald Toussiant and Jordan Todman in Williams' absence. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Our Pens made some rosters moves in the past few weeks, too. They recalled F Scott Wilson from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Pens also welcomed C Sidney Crosby and D Kris Letang back to the lineup following injuries/maintenance.

The Pens went on the road and defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-1. The next night, they traveled to Winnipeg and dropped that contest to the Jets 1-0. They returned home and lost to Toronto 3-2 in a shootout.

Another move was made when D Adam Clendening was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning assignment.

The Pens rang in the New Year with a 5-2 win over the Red Wings in Detroit on New Year's Eve. They defeated the Isles the following game by the same score of 5-2.

G Marc-Andre Fleury returned to the lineup following a concussion. G Matt Murray was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to make room.

Congrats go to Tanger! He's been on a tear, of late. The NHL honored him as the 3rd Star of the Week. Congrats also go to Tanger and C Evgeni Malkin. They were named to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

The Pens dropped their home half of a home-and-home with the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks, 3-2 in OT. The next night, in Chicago, the Pens fell again, 3-1.

They look to get back in the win column when the open a road trip Saturday night in Montreal. Every point counts, especially this time of year. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates have been quite busy roster-wise the past couple of weeks....

The Bucs claimed RH Yoervis Medina off waivers from the Cubs. They also lost LH Bobby LaFromboise to a waiver claim by the Angels. The Pirates signed 1B/OF Jason Jaso to a 2 year contract. RH Jorge Rondon was outrighted to Indy.

12 players were invited to the Pirates spring training as non-roster invitees: LH Steven Brault, INF Juan Diaz, C Ed Easley, INF Adam Frazier, LH Jim Fuller, INF Don Gamache, RH Chad Kuhl, LH Kelvin Marte, C Reese McGuire, OF Antoan Richardson, C Jacob Stallings and RH Trevor Williams.

The Pirates signed RH Neftali Perez to a 1 year deal. They DFA'd C Tony Sanchez to make room on the roster.

It's good to see the Pirates aren't standing pat after that 98-win season. Whether or not these moves are the right moves, remains to be seen. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


     Buy Sam and drink and get his dog one, too; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Chicago to wrap up their home-and-home series tonight with the Blackhawks. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Following last nights 3-2 OT loss in the Steel City, the Pens look to exact some revenge in the Windy City. Get back in the win column. Blow the Blackhawks away! 2)The Pens have earned at least 1 point in 4 consecutive games. Double your pleasure with 2 points! 3)Pens C Sidney Crosby and D Kris Letang stayed hot last night, registering both Penguins goals. Crank up the rest of the Crue with more Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


     I'll be cow-kicked, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Chicago Blackhawks in a home-and-home series tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Saturday night's 5-2 win over the Isles, the Pens have scored 10, yes 10, goals in their last 2 games. Love the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)Chicago has won 3 straight. #4 would not be great! 3)It looks like the Pens are finally getting on the stick. What better why to prove it than to beat the Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champs, as the Pens go for 3 wins in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, January 4, 2016


       We got a feeling, Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl! Our Pittsburgh Steelers punched their ticket to the playoffs yesterday (with an assist from the Buffalo Bills), clobbering the Cleveland Clowns 28-12. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from yesterday's victory.


It wasn't always good and it wasn't always pretty but a win is a win. Especially when you're playoff bound. The defense looked good as they forced Cleveland to turn the ball over 4 times (2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries) They also sacked Cleveland QB Austin Davis 7 times after being shutout in the sack department last week in Baltimore. The defense also kept the Clowns out of the end zone, forcing them into 4 field goals.

WR Antonio Brown continued his stellar season by catching 13 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Thanks to AB's big day, he set an NFL record to become the first player ever with back-to-back 125+ catch seasons.

Kudos, too, to the offensive line. They kept QB Ben Roethlisberger clean all day by not allowing a single sack from Cleveland.

Of course the best thing about yesterday was 1)the Steelers took care of business and 2)Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills did us a favor by defeating the New York Jets 22-17. You don't like to rely on the kindness of others to get to the postseason but we'll take it. Thanks, Buffalo!


RB DeAngelo Williams had only 5 rushes for 8 yards before exiting the game with a right ankle injury in the 2nd quarter. DeWill was carted to the locker room but was seen on the sidelines later. Unfortunately, he was unable to return to the game. He was seen after the game in a walking boot to keep the ankle immobilized. Steelers fans are no stranger to this scenario. Williams was signed this offseason after RB Le'Veon Bell missed the Steelers playoff game last year due to injury. It's too early to tell but early reports were that the injury isn't serious and Williams expects to play next week.


Big Ben's on-the-road performance continues to be ugly. Ben was 24 of 36 for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns but threw 2 ugly interceptions. Away from Heinz Field this season Ben has thrown 5 touchdowns versus 9 interceptions. His QB rating is a pedestrian 86.0. As the number 6 seed in the AFC, all of the Steelers playoff games will be on the road. Ben has to shake off his lackadaisical play in enemy territory and march this team to victory. If he continues to play so poorly on the road, it will be an early exit for the Black-N-Gold.

Now it's time to get ready. The Steelers will travel to Cincy for the Wild Card round. Kickoff is Saturday, 1/9, at 8:15pm. We've already beaten them on their turf less than a month ago. Time to go back to Cincy and kick some Bengals butt. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016


     Rah, rah, ree, hit him in the knee! Rah, rah, rass, hit him in the other knee! Our Pittsburgh Steelers close out the regular season in Cleveland when they clash with the Clowns this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)Following last week's embarrassment in Baltimore, the Steelers need to win and get some help from Buffalo to get to the postseason. Take care of business! 2)With Johnny Football out with a concussion, Austin Davis (who?) is expected to get the start at QB for the Clowns. Remember how Ryan Mallet torched the Steelers last week after only 12 days with the Baltimorons? We don't want a repeat of last week. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD! 3)After last week's beating Mrs. Black-N-Gold heard and read reports that the Baltimorons were giving the Steelers offense the running game and the short yardage game, taking away the deep pass. Call me crazy but when you play a team with an inferior record, you should impose your will on that team. You don't take what they give you. You take what the hell you want. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016


     Hop in the Cordova we're going bowling 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the New York Islanders tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens tied their season-high with 5 goals in their win over Detroit on New Year's Eve. It will take an offensive outburst like that to best the Isles. They are 4th in the league in goals against, allowing just 2.3 per game. Rock the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 2)The Pens power play is on a bit of an uptick, recording 2 goals with the man-advantage on Thursday. They're currently ranked 22nd in the NHL at 17.6%. Meanwhile, the Isles boast the 2nd best penalty kill in the league at 87.3%. Man up! 3)The Pens may finally be on the right track, going 3-1-1 in their last 5 games. Get on the stick and stay in the win column! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, January 1, 2016


     Welcome to 2016! New Year means new resolutions. Typically folks make resolutions to exercise more, spend less money, try to be nicer to people, that type of stuff. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold has New Year's resolutions that apply to our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Steelers, the Pens and the Pirates.


Resolve to stop playing down to the level of competition. Following Sunday's beating at the hands of the Baltimorons, everyone is well aware of the Steelers inability to beat teams under .500. It's been in all the papers, on the internet, over the airwaves that the Steelers can't beat subpar teams. All of Black-N-Gold Nation is well aware of this. The only ones that haven't gotten the memo are Coach Tomlin and the players, themselves. In his weekly news conference this week, the Coach intimated that maybe the Steelers aren't playing "down" but it's their opponents that are playing "up". Whatever, Coach. The bottom line is, the Steelers are on the outside looking in with 1 game to go and need help in order to make the playoffs. Think about that during the offseason. And think about preparing your team in a manner in which they don't lay a big fat egg against some of the worst the NFL has to offer. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


Resolve to meet expectations. Yes, our Pens did ring in the New Year with a 5-2 win over Detroit last night but they've spent the majority of the season as a disappointment. And why have they disappointed? Why are they looking at the outside of the playoff picture at the beginning of January? Because many of the players that have been counted on to take the Pens deep into the postseason have been playing well below expectations. How has this happened? Let Mrs. Black-N-Gold count the ways by naming names. This means you Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Ian Cole, etc. The job former Head Coach Mike Johnston was doing was also disappointing, that's why he's the former head coach. While it looks like the Pens may be finally breaking out of their season-long funk, upholding this resolution could REALLY go a long way towards making sure that expectations are met. Let's Go Pens!!!


Resolve to perform the fundamentals. Throwing to the wrong base, bad base running, lackadaisical fielding. Pirates fans saw too much of these types of mental miscues in 2015. It sometimes looked like the team forgot how to play baseball. Fundamentals are the bedrock of a team's foundation. Without the basics, a team's performance can falter. From the makeup of the team at this point, this will be especially vital to a Pirates team that will be counting on their wits more than ever before. They'll need to play stellar defense and not make any errors that could give their opponents an advantage. Keep your head in the game and execute. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Here is wishing all of Black-N-Gold Nation a happy, healthy Black-N-Gold New Year with lots and lots of championships. Happy 2016!