Monday, February 29, 2016


     Scratch my back with a hacksaw, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins are on their home ice tonight to faceoff against the Arizona Coyotes at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are coming off a 4-1 walloping of Winnipeg on Saturday. The Coyotes have lost 5 straight. #6 would be great! 2)The bad news is the Pens' power play has slipped all the way to 17th at 18.3%. The good news? Arizona's penalty kill is a paltry 25th at 77.8%. Man-up! 3)Arizona's goals against is even worse at 29th in the league with a 3.1 average. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016


     Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one, too; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice this afternoon to faceoff against the Winnipeg Jets at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for today's game. 1)C Evgeni Malkin is expected back on the ice today. It will be a welcome return. The Pens are just 1 for 24 on the power play since Geno left the lineup. Take advantage of the man advantage. Man up! 2)On home ice, the Pens have defeated Winnipeg in 14 straight. Ground the Jets! 3)The Pens managed just 1 goal in Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Bruins. That just won't do. Crank up the Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, February 26, 2016


     What's the news across Black-N-Gold Nation? Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the information! Allow her to bring you The Black-N-Gold News you can use, updates on our Penguins, Pirates and Steelers. Today she gives you the latest edition of The Black-N-Gold News.

                                             THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


The energy level at Consol Energy Center last Thursday night was through the roof when our Pens routed the Red Wings 6-3. F Scott Wilson, of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Pens of late, scored his 1st career NHL goal. Not to be outdone, F Phil Kessel netted 2 goals of his own.

Unfortunately, the Pens were unable to sustain that type of play by the time their Saturday tilt with Tampa Bay rolled around. G Marc-Andre Fleury was a late scratch due to illness. D Ben Lovejoy left the game with an injury (on his birthday, no less!). The Pens lost to the Lightning 4-2 with backup G Jeff Zatkoff in net.

Erring on the side of caution, the Pens called up G Matt Murray from WB/S for Sunday's game at Buffalo. To make room, the Pens assigned D David Warsofsky back to WB/S. Flower was able to make the start en route to a 4-3 victory. Monday and Tuesday were off days so the Pens sent Murray back down to WB/S.

The Pens announced that Lovejoy will be out for an extended period of time due to the upper-body injury that he suffered against Tampa Bay. To help out on the blue line, they called up D Steve Olesky from WB/S only to send him back the next day. There was some good injury news when the announcement was made that Cs Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino are expected back in the lineup for tomorrow's game against Winnipeg. Yay! In anticipation of Geno and Bones's return, the Pens sent C Oskar Sundqvist back to WB/S.

Goodness, the Pens will need Geno and Bones following Wednesday night's 5-1 beating at the hands of the Bruins. In that game another Baby Pen, F Tom Kuhnhackl, collected his 1st NHL goal.

Congrats to Willy & Kuhni on the milestones. How about the rest of the team contributing? The Pens are still hanging onto the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They'll need to start finding the win column consistently again if they hope to make a push into the playoffs, starting tomorrow vs. the Jets.

We'll see if GM Trader Jim Rutherford is able to pull the trigger on any moves leading up to the trade deadline that is Monday at 3pm EST. A left wing or a top-6 defenseman, perhaps? Let's Go Pens!!!


On Saturday, just a few days before position players were scheduled to report to spring training our Pirates signed OF Matt Joyce to a minor league contract. Joyce hopes to make the team as a 4th outfielder/left-handed bat off the bench.

In uniform news, the Bucs announced that their making a switch with their Sunday home-game unis. Say goodbye to the early '70's, mustard yellow era uniforms. The Buccos are brining back the color schemes and designs from the 1979, World Series-winning, We Are Family team. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is sorry to see the uniforms of Roberto Clemente's day gone. She's also not a big fan of the pill-box, banana-colored uniforms Willie Stargell & company wore back in the day. But if it produced a championship for Pops and the Lumber Company, she'll try anything.

Meanwhile, back at Pirate City, the team began full-squad workouts this week. On Monday they'll play their annual Black-N-Gold exhibition game. Their 1st official Grapefruit League game is in Lakeland, FL on March 1 versus the Tigers. Then it's all downhill to Opening Day at PNC Park on April 3 against St Louie. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is still trying to get tickets (hint, hint!). Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


The big news of the past week from our Steelers was the announcement that long-time TE Heath Miller has decided to hang up his cleats. Heath leaves us as a much-decorated cornerstone of the Black-N-Gold. Heeeeaaath won 2 Super Bowls while with us and leaves as the all-time record holder in many categories for tight ends in Steelers history. Thank you, Heath!

The NFL Combine is in Indy this week. The Steelers may be looking a little more closely at tight ends now that Miller is gone. Even before his retirement, the Steelers had been linked to the top tight end in the draft, Mackey Award winner Hunter Henry from Arkansas. Don't forget to load up on DBs, too!

This may or may not be news but there is a rumor floating around that WR Antonio Brown may be competing on the next edition of ABC's Dancing With The Stars. The next cast is supposed to be announced on March 8. If AB wants to win himself a mirror-ball trophy, ala Hines Ward, that's fine. Mrs.Black-N-Gold will settle for Lombardi Trophies. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


     Look out, Loretta, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip tonight when they faceoff against the Boston Bruins. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Bruins 4th ranked power play will battle the Pens 5th ranked penalty kill. Kill 'em all! 2)The Bruins are 23rd in the league in goals against at 2.8. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens continue to cling to the 2nd Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Every point counts. Make it count tonight. Gimme a W! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, February 22, 2016


     "Oh, wow! First Troy and now Heath". Those were the words that came out of Mrs. Black-N-Gold's mouth when she first heard that Steelers TE Heath Miller decided to retire after 11 seasons. When she thinks of #83 the phrase "consummate professional" comes to mind.

      Naturally, the subject will come up regarding Heath's inclusion into the Pro Football Hall Fame.  It's not that he didn't have the tools to carve himself a bust in Canton. It's that he would do what was best for the team, not his numbers. Whether it was catch a 7 yard pass across the middle on 3rd and 6 or tie up a linebacker that was gunning for his QB's head. Heath did it all and did it well, never complaining and always acting like the true professional that he was. Although, like most fans, Mrs. Black-N-Gold never had the pleasure of meeting Heeeeath, he always seemed like the type of man you would want your son to grow up to become. And he most definitely was the kind of  player that everyone wants on their team.

     The Steelers 2005 first-round pick ends his career as 1 of only 12 tight ends in NFL history with over 6,000 receiving yards.  He set franchise records for tight ends with 592 catches, 6,569 yards and 45 touchdowns. Although Miller suffered a season-ending ACL injury in 2012 and played in just 15 games, he was still named team MVP. His number was retired at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone Magazine even felt the need to tweet about Heath's retirement.

     Selfless. Professional. Tireless. Driven. Reliable. Consistent. These are just a few of the words that have been used to describe Heath Miller the man and Heath Miller the player. Black-N-Gold Nation has been blessed with several exceptional players who epitomized Pittsburgh. Count Heath Miller chief among them. They are a dying breed.

    Too bad Heath didn't have a farewell tour like most athletes these days, but that's just not his style. We fans would have had one last chance to appreciate what a fine player and human being he is. We could have thanked him in the manner in which he deserved.

     Thanks to his dedication to this community and to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there will never be another Heath Miller. #83 will always be #1 to Mrs. Black-N-Gold.
Thank you, Heeeeaaath Miller.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


     Eddie Spaghetti, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins shuffle off to Buffalo to battle former Head Coach Dan Bylsma and the Sabres this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens look to re-bound following yesterday's loss to the Lightning, 4-2. G Marc-Andre Fleury was a late scratch from yesterday's game with an illness. Hopefully Flower will be as fresh as a daisy today. Flower Power! 2)Another Baby Pen scored his 1st NHL goal yesterday when Tom Kuhnhackl found the net. He and fellow WB/S-alum Scott Wilson did the scoring for the Pens in the game. Pack up the Goals, Goals, Goals and take them on the road! 3)Versus Buffalo, the Pens have won 7 straight. #8 would be great! Let's Go Pens!!!


     Get in the fastlane, Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll 'cause it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their homestand this afternoon when they faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for today's game. 1)After managing just 2 goals in regulation during their last 3 games, the Pens exploded Thursday night, routing the Red Wings 6-3. It's all about the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 2)In their last 8 home games, the Pens are 7-1-0. There's no place like home! 3)The Pens are 29-19-8 with 66 points. Tampa Bay is 31-22-4 with 66 points. They're both clinging to playoff spots right now. Keep "point"ing in the right direction! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, February 19, 2016


     Happy Friday, Black-N-Gold Nation! Our Pens are off until their back-to-backs this weekend. Our Pirates are just now getting into the swing of things in Bradenton. And our Steelers are gearing up for the Combine next week. What is Mrs. Black-N-Gold to do? Today she'll give you her Takeaways, focusing on some of the hot-button issues with our favorite Black-N-Gold Teams. Take it away, Mrs. Black-N-Gold!


Last night's game notwithstanding, it could be that the love affair between our Pens and F Phil Kessel has soured. When GM Jim Rutherford orchestrated the 6-player trade that brought Kessel to Pittsburgh in the offseason, Trader Jim envisioned a prolific scorer to add to the firepower of C Sidney Crosby and C Evgeni Malkin. So far the 5-time 30-goal scorer has only garnered 16 goals and 19 assists in 55 games. Kessel responded to a challenge from D Kris Letang in last week's game-day skate prior to the Pens contest in Carolina. Kessel scored 1 goal on 7 shots and kept the Pens in it until Tanger won it in the shootout. Word is that the Pens are not happy with Kessel's output (our lack thereof) and feel the same way about his effort. Although he's had a relatively productive career, the knock has always been that Kessel is not the most motivated of teammates. That attitude is not going to cut it. The Pens need everyone to put forth maximum effort in this push to the playoffs. If Kessel needs a kick in the pants, then so be it. Someone light a fire under this kid and get him to light the lamp. Let's Go Pens!!!


As our Pirates welcome pitchers and catchers (and eager position players) to Bradenton, Mrs. Black-N-Gold wonders what will be the Buccos MO this season. By the looks of things, with a revamped & reloaded bullpen (save for the returns of RH Arquimedes Caminero, RH Jared Hughes, LH Tony Watson & RH Mark Melancon), a new offensive approach and a return to preaching defense, the Bucs are trying to become the NL's version of the KC Royals. And why not? KC is the defending champs, after all. The Pirates look like they want to stretch their relievers so they can mix and match and have them eat up multiple innings, if need be. They also are eschewing power for contact and on-base skills. The Buccos also want to return to the defensive roots they've allowed to fall by the wayside the past few years. All this worked for KC. Mrs. Black-N-Gold hopes this formula works in Pittsburgh, too. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


CB Brice McCain has been  mentioned for a possible return engagement to Pittsburgh. McCain spent the 2014 season with our Steelers, filling in admirably with 3 interceptions. McCain parlayed that into a 2-year deal with the Miami Dolphins that only lasted 1 season, registering 1 INT. With McCain again a free agent and the Steelers in desperate need of help in the secondary, naturally McCain's name came up. McCain came in handy in a pinch when the Steelers needed him but he is, by no means, the shutdown corner that the Steelers obviously need. If GM Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin think they can sneak McCain back into town and promptly place him into the starting lineup, they've got another thing coming. There will be rioting and looting and pillaging at Heinz Field. If the Steelers want to bring in McCain for depth purposes that's fine. But there's no denying the fact that this team needs a corner who can shut off half of the field. Face it, the name Brice McCain hardly strikes fear into the hearts of opposing wide receivers. Get us a shutdown corner. Period. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


     Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins are back on the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight to faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)In the past 3 games, the Pens have only managed 2 goals during regulation. Crank up the Motley Crue for some Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)At 28-19-8 with 64 points, the Pens find themselves in the final Wild Card spot. Every point counts. Make it count with a win. Gimme a W! 3)Good news on the injury front. C Evegni Malkin has starting skating on his own as he works his way back from a lower-body injury. Good thing. Since Geno left the lineup on February 2, the Pens have gone just 1 for 14 on the power play. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


     "Pitchers and catchers report". That is 4 of Mrs. Black-N-Gold's favorite words in the English language. It's no secret, Mrs. Black-N-Gold has been anxiously awaiting the opening of spring training for our Pittsburgh Pirates. The arrival of pitchers and catchers (along with position players that want to escape the cold weather and get a jump on the season) is just the tip of the iceberg (considering the cold temps in the 'Burgh, the pun is intended). The Bucs may have most of the roster already penciled in but many questions about this team remain. Today, Mrs. Black-N-Gold will look at 5 questions surrounding the Buccos. Hopefully, as spring progresses and we get closer to Opening Day, those questions will be answered.

1)Who's on first? Thanks to Abbott and Costello, this was an easy 1st question. Unfortunately, it's also been a question that has plagued the Pittsburgh Baseball Club for years. Instead of drafting and developing a legitimate first basemen, the Pirates prefer to give virtually anyone who hasn't panned out elsewhere on the diamond a chance to play first (see Alvarez, Pedro). This year's model is OF/C John Jaso, he of the 5 MLB innings at 1B. At least it seems Jaso is embracing the move, unlike the aforementioned El Toro. Jaso is a left-handed bat that doesn't hit for power but is an OBP-machine. He's expected to split time with OF/1B Michael Morse. Neither player will be confused with any Gold Glove winners, that's for sure. Supposedly, Jaso and Morse will keep the spot warm until another converted OF, Josh Bell, is ready to make the move to the majors.

2)Can the Outfield of Dreams carry this team? Now that Alvarez and 2B Neil Walker are gone and 3B Jung Ho Kang is recovering from a serious knee injury, the Pirates need CF Andrew McCutchen & Co. to provide the majority of this team's offense. Fans have to hope that Cutch doesn't start to decline in his age 29 season. That means, he'll need to get out of the gates fast and injury-free. Hopefully that nagging knee that slowed him early last season is behind him. We also need LF Starling Marte to take another step towards stardom. He started off 2015 red-hot but faded in the 2nd half. Expect more stellar defense from the Gold Glove winner. RF Gregory Polanco needs to, finally, show everyone what is so darned special about him. El Coffee started to pick it up in the 2nd half of the season. He's another one that needs to take that next step forward.

3)Can the pitching staff hold until reinforcements arrive? The Pirates have as solid a 1-2 punch as any rotation with RH Gerrit Cole and LH Francisco Liriano. Luckily, neither spent a day on the DL last season. Both recorded at least 200 strikeouts, too. The Bucs will need the Cole Train and Frankie to, at least, repeat last year's performances if they hope to make a 4th straight postseason appearance. The 3-5 pitchers are a huge question mark with LH Jon Niese, RH Ryan Vogelsong and LH Jeff Locke. All 3 have the reclamation look about them. Niese is trying to get his career back on track in Pittsburgh after an exile in the Mets bullpen the last 2 months of the season. Vogelsong is attempting to show that their is still life left in his 39-year-old arm, especially enduring injuries in his last 2 season in San Fran. And Locke is hoping that pitching coach Ray Searage can help save his faltering career. Mrs. Black-N-Gold hopes that rotation can at least hold it together until mid to late June when, perhaps, RH Tyler Glasnow and/or RH Jameson Tallion may be ready for a trip to Pittsburgh.

4)Will the Pirates find the D? The Pirates once prided themselves as a sturdy, defensive team. That mantle has fallen off the past few seasons. By jettisoning Walker and Alvarez, the Bucs may have improved the right side of the infield with 2B Josh Harrison and the Jaso/Morse/Bell experiment at first. Once Kang is back in the lineup, he and SS Jordy Mercer will make the left side formidable. The Outfield of Dreams should be able to cover vast expanses of green at PNC. And Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are rock solid behind the plate. Maybe the Pirates can make up for any lack of offense in the lineup by playing a stout defense.

5)Can this team return to the postseason for a 4th straight year? Make this a 2-part question, the 2nd part being "can they get past the Wild Card, too?" One thing is for certain, the Pirates sure didn't win the award for Best Offseason. But championships are not won in the winter. Good thing. We'll have to wait and see if they Bucs make it to the BUCN playoffs this year and just how far they'll go.

     If Mrs. Black-N-Gold had to make her bold prediction today (she doesn't), she'd have this team pegged at 73-78 wins. Not good enough, Buccos. We'll see how things shake out in spring training. Maybe one of the youngsters will push to make the Opening Day roster. Perhaps another arm or two will make themselves available. As Mrs. Black-N-Gold likes to say "Hope springs eternal". Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


     Stop the presses! Stop the presses! That's right, it's time for another edition of the internet sensation that's sweeping Black-N-Gold Nation. It's time for The Black-N-Gold News, with the latest happenings from our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

                                  THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Last week Pens Head Coach Mike Sullivan announced that C Evgeni Malkin would undergo rehab for his lower body injury and would miss the remainder of the week. So far, Geno has not returned to the ice while missing 2 road trips. Word is his injury is improving as he continues his rehab. No definite return date has been released. Get well soon, Geno!

Our Pens could have used Geno versus the NY Rangers last week. The Pens were shutout on home ice 3-0. In that matchup, D Trevor Daley left in the 1st period with an injury. Daley has since returned to the lineup.

The Pens got back in the win column Friday night in Carolina. They defeated the Hurricanes in a shootout 2-1.

Their road trip with their dads wrapped up in Florida last night as they fell to the Panthers 2-1 in a shootout. The Pens did get 3 out of a possible 4 points on the trip but a win would have put them back into the playoff picture. They're still on the outside looking in. Every point counts at this time of year.

The Pens return home to face the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. Time to get back in the win column. Let's Go Pens!!!


Pirates fans everywhere celebrated the Bucs Truck Day last week. The Pirates equipment and other essentials were loaded up for the road trip to Bradenton, FL.

The Pirates continued to add pitching depth when the signed a pair of left-handers to minor league deals. Cory Luebke and Eric O'Flaherty also garnered invites to spring training.

Saturday morning may have brought below freezing temperatures to the Pittsburgh area but there was a different arrival at Pirate City. The Bucs Truck arrived! Pitchers and catchers report on 2/18 with their first workout scheduled for 2/19. The position players are scheduled to arrive on 2/22 and get their first workout the following day.

World Series or bust! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Our Steelers were relatively quiet this week as the offseason is in full swing. 7 days until the Combine.

They did re-sign free agent long snapper Greg Warren to a 1 year deal. Warren is 1 of only 4 Steelers remaining from their last 2 Super Bowl champions. Do I hear 3? Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2016


     Hop in the Cordoba, baby, we're going bowling; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road show tonight when they faceoff against the Florida Panthers. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are 21-0-0 when leading after 2 periods. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)In the Pens past 2 games, they've managed just 1 goal in regulation. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are 7-3-0 in their last 10. Florida is 6-3-1 in their last 10. Florida has lost 2 in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016


     Happy Valentine's Day from Mrs. Black-N-Gold! Our Pens are off today. Our Pirates are gearing up for spring training. Our Steelers are off plotting their offseason moves. Nothing left to do but celebrate Valentine's Day Black-N-Gold-style. And celebrate we should. It's a great time to be a fan of the Black-N-Gold. Our Pens have rebounded under new Coach Mike Sullivan and are pointing in the direction of the playoffs thanks to the phenomenal play of the "core 4", Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin. Our Pirates have taken us to the postseason for 3 straight years thanks to superstar Andrew McCutchen and superstars-to-be Gerrit Cole, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. Our Steelers continue to post record-breaking numbers with once-in-a generation players Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. Once the team returns to full strength and finally find themselves a shutdown corner, there will be no stopping them.


Think about it. Don't you just love that our Pens have had "The Best Player in Hockey" not once but twice? The Pens weren't always the apple of the NHL's eye. For years they wallowed in mediocrity, at best. Countless players tried to pull them out of the hockey doldrums and out of the NHL basement, from Ken Schinkel and Syl Apps to Ron Stackhouse and Rick Kehoe to Peter Lee and Randy Carlyle. This team came back from the brink of bankruptcy. Twice. But a couple of players named Lemieux and Crosby, perhaps you've heard of them, helped ignite a love affair between the city and it's hockey team. Along the way, they've given us 3 Stanley Cups. Sure there was a rough patch in the relationship when Head Coach Mike Johnston was behind the bench. But Sid has jump- started our hearts once again with the help of Flower, Tanger, Geno et al and new man-in-charge, Sully. Now things are going smoothly with our favorite hockey team as they continue to woo us all the way to another Stanley Cup. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates have a long and rich history of making Pittsburgh proud. Players such as Honus Wagner, Pie Traynor, Ralph Kiner, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell have all proudly represented our fair city on the baseball diamond. It was hard to love them during the lean years of the cocaine trials, the post-strike years and of course the 20 tumultuous seasons without a winning record. For the longest time this seemed like an unrequited love. But in the past 3 years something amazing has happened. The Pirates have loved us back. Manager Clint Hurdle, Cutch and company have rewarded our loyalty with 3 straight trips to the postseason. Now, like most patient partners, we'd like to take that next big step straight to the World Series. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


For decades our Steelers were the ugly stepsister of the NFL, never coming close to the playoffs, nevermind a championship. Then our dreams came true in the 1970's when Coach Chuck Noll found us the team of our dreams, Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, Franco Harris and countless others. Everyone was crazy about the Super Steelers. Then the relationship grew stagnant for a while. But thanks to Bill Cowher and now Mike Tomlin, we've fallen in love all over again. What's not to love about our offense? All we need is for the defense to catch up and then we'll have the perfect pairing. Just what they'll need to get to the Super Bowl. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Through it all, the ups and downs, we continue to love our favorite Black-N-Gold teams. We know that someday soon they'll reward us with rings, Stanley Cup, World Series and Super Bowl rings that its.

Friday, February 12, 2016


     Scratch my back with a hacksaw, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road tonight when they faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are clinging to the 2nd Wild Card playoff spot at 27-19-7 good for 61 points. The 'Canes are not far behind at 24-21-9 and 57 points. It's that time of year where everyone is jostling for a playoff spot. Every point counts. Nothing could be fina than a win over Carolina! 2)With a chance to gain some ground on the Rangers, the Pens laid a big egg on Wednesday night, getting shutout by New York 3-0. Got to find the net and find the win column. Fire up the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are fairly mediocre on the road with a record of 11-11-3. If you want to get to the playoffs, you've got to find a way to win on the road. Blow away the Hurricanes. Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


     Happy Truck Day! To those of you not familiar with this term, today is the day that our Pittsburgh Pirates load up their truck with baseballs, bats, gloves and plenty of sunflower seeds and Double Bubble for the drive south to Bradenton, FLA. And today Mrs. Black-N-Gold will tell you why she looks forward to this joyous occasion. I shall call this essay "What Truck Day Means to Me".

                            WHAT TRUCK DAY MEANS TO ME

1)As Mrs. Black-N-Gold types these words, there is snow on the ground and freezing temperatures in the air in Western Pennsylvania. With Truck Day, there is a light at the end of the winter tunnel. Spring is just around the corner!

2)Once that truck makes it to Pirate City, pitchers and catchers will report shortly thereafter. It's a chance for players to get loosened up and start to knock the rust off. It's also an opportunity to become re-acquanited with teammates as well as a chance to get to know the new guys.

3)The official report date for pitchers and catcher is February 17 with their first workout on the 19th. From there, the report date for position players is the 22nd and first official workout is the 23rd. We're getting closer to Opening Day!

4)When the truck gets unloaded and all the players are assembled, everyone has a clean slate and teams are on an even plain. If someone had an off-year last season, all is forgotten. Just put in your work and begin anew.

5)With Opening Day just around the bend, hope springs eternal. So keep on truckin' and keep on BUCN all the way to the World Series.

Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


     Get in the fastlane, Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins are on home ice tonight when they faceoff against the New York Strangers at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With Monday night's 6-2 defeat of the Ducks, the Pens moved into 3rd place in the Metro Division at 61 points. The Strangers are 2nd with 65 points. Keep the arrow pointing up! 2)The Pens have an opportunity to take advantage of New York's not-so-special teams. The Strangers power play is a punchless 15.9%, 28th in the league. The Pens penalty kill is 7th in the NHL at 83.5%. Kill 'em all! 3)The Pens power play has shot up to 9th overall at 20%. New York's penalty kill is ranked 26th at a 78.1% clip. Power up the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


     Start spreading the news! Mrs. Black-N-Gold has compiled her notes with what's new with our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Pens, Pirates and Steelers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages, it's time for another edition of The Black-N-Gold News.

                                       THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Our Pens returned to the ice following last weekend's All-Star break. They made some roster moves to help along the way. The Pens re-called Fs Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They also signed F Tom Sestito to a 1-year, 2-way contract.

A time-change was made for the Pens game versus Philly at Consol Energy Center for Sunday, April 3. The puck will now drop at 5pm, instead of 3pm. Make the necessary change to your schedule.

The NHL announced that Pens D Kris Letang was named 3rd Star for the month of January. Congrats to Tanger!

Another schedule change was made. The league announced that the Pens-Caps game that was postponed on January 24 is now re-scheduled for Tuesday, March 1 at 7:30.

The Pens first game back from the break was another W. They defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-5 on the strength of C Sidney Crosby's 9th career hat trick. The Pens did suffer a loss in that contest at C Eric Fehr left the game with a lower-body injury. He is expected to miss up to a month of action. Get well soon, Eric!

Another inury hit the Pens as they were preparing for a weekend swing through Florida. C Evgeni Malkin did not make the road trip due to a lower-body injury. Get well soon, Geno! In the meantime, the Pens called up C Oskar Sundqvist from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Pens promptly lost their meeting with Tampa Bay, 6-3. G Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled in the 2nd period.

Outdoor hockey is coming back to the 'Burgh. Word has gotten out that the Pens will host Philly in an outdoor matchup at Heinz Field in early 2017. It's speculated that this meeting will be part of the NHL's Stadium Series and not the Winter Classic.

The Pens did salvage a split on their Florida road trip, edging the Panthers on Saturday night in OT, 3-2. In that game, Sid recorded his 900th career point. Congrats on the milestone, Captain!

More honors for Sid as he was named the NHL's 1st Star of the Week. Sid recorded 5 goals and 8 total points for the week. Way to go, Sid!

#87 continued his torrid tear last night in the Pens 6-2 pasting of the Ducks. In that game, the Captain notched 4 more points to move into 5th place in the league in scoring. Also on the evening, F Carl Hagelin recorded his 1st goal for the Black-N-Gold.

Tomorrow night the Pens faceoff against their Metro division rivals, the New York Strangers, at Consol Energy Center. They're now in 3rd place with 61 points. The Strangers are in 2nd at 65. Time to move on up. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates continued their roster shuffling in the leadup to spring training. It's less than 2 weeks away, folks!

RH Yoervis Medina was outright to Triple A Indy.  Medina didn't even have time to pack his bags as he was traded to Philly for former 1st round pick, LH Jesse Biddle. Biddle will miss the entire 2016 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery that was peformed in October. To make room for Biddle on the 40-man roster, recently acquired RH AJ Schugel was designated for assignment. Schugel cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Indy. He will attend spring training as a non-roster invitee. Whew!

The Bucs recently welcomed a new man behind the mic for this season. Joe Block will replace the departed Tim Neverett who left for a gig in Boston. Block comes to Pittsburgh by way of Milwaukee. Welcome aboard, Joe!

Mrs. Black-N-Gold may be disappointed with the Bucs offseason but she's certainly looking forward to spring training and Opening Day. Hope springs eternal. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Mrs. Black-N-Gold double checked and triple checked her Black-N-Gold notes. There was no notable news from our Steelers this week. Many of the players, past and present, were busy making the media rounds this week in Santa Clara as part of the build up to Super Bowl 50.

There was some news involving some former Steelers as the NFL announced this year's inductees for the Hall of Fame. Former LB Kevin Greene will be enshrined. Also, former DB and defensive assistant Tony Dungy will be inducted. Dungy, who coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indy Colts, will enter as a head coach. Congrats to both gentlemen on the illustrious honor!

In the meantime, Mrs. Black-N-Gold is sure that the front office will be working feverishly in the coming weeks and months to make the necessary roster decisions as we draw closer to the draft. Make it a good one. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016


     Mrs. Black-N-Gold is smiling like a butcher's dog 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight at Consol Energy Center to faceoff against the Anaheim Ducks. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Ducks are 8-2-0 in their last 10. With Saturday night's come-from-behind 3-2 win in OT, the Pens are 6-2-2 in their last 10. Something's got to give. Sink the Ducks! 2)The Pens power play has risen all the way to 9th in the league with a 20.1% rate. The power play unit will have their work cut out for them as they face a Ducks team that is ranked 1st in the NHL on the penalty kill at 89.1%. Man-up! 3)The Ducks are 6th in the NHL in goals against, giving up an average of just 2.3 per game. The Pens will need to step up. They are 17th in the league in goals per game with a 2.6 average. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


     It's the countdown to kickoff. Tonight is the 50th edition of the Super Bowl, coming to you live from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The Denver Broncos battle the Carolina Panthers. It could be Denver QB Peyton Manning's last roundup as he faces off against the league MVP, Carolina QB Cam Newton. If you're like Mrs. Black-N-Gold, you'd much rather see our Pittsburgh Steelers in this contest. But since you can't win them all, someone has to play. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold will carefully and scientifically predict the outcome of this tilt.


Denver can lay claim to Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Yonder String Band and Sugarloaf. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has heard of all 3 bands but can only name 1 song between them, Sugarloaf's lone hit "Green-Eyed Lady".

Carolina has given us the Avett Brothers, Earl Scruggs and Corrosion of Conformity. That gives us a folk band, a bluegrass legend (who scores points for being on the Beverly Hillbillies way back when) and a metal band. Mrs. Black-N-Gold does have a COC CD amongst her collection. She loves the song "Clean My Wounds". Besides, while doing research for this article, she saw Corrosion of Conformity described as "stoner metal".



Mrs. Black-N-Gold was able to find about a handful of celebrities that are fans of the Broncos. The list includes Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, political pundit Bill O'Reilly and comedian Roseanne. Of course, the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are fans, too.

There aren't many celebrity-Panthers fans out there. Mrs. Black-N-Gold certainly couldn't find many, only 2. Model/actress Brooklyn Decker is a big fan as is actress Marg Helgenberger.

Neither list seems very impressive.

Call it a push.


The Denver area is famous for Rocky Mountain Oysters, the Denver omelet and Coors Beer. What a meal this would make.

The Carolinas have given us their famous vinegar-based BBQ, Pepsi, Hardee's, Krispy Kreme and Mt. Olive Pickles.

Even though Mrs. Black-N-Gold has never had Rocky Mountain Oysters, the mere mention of them makes her eyes water, not her mouth. I don't care how many Coors Lights you pour down her gullet. And she wouldn't even eat them after partaking in Colorado's other well-known delicacy, marijuana.
She'll take doughnuts and pop and pickles with some barbecue any day.



Of course, Denver scores big points in this category since Colorado has legalized the aforementioned Mary Jane.

The only tobacco that Mrs. Black-N-Gold has heard of that comes from the Carolinas is the kind that gives you cancer.


The votes have been counted. Carolina has a slight 2-1 edge. So who does Mrs. Black-N-Gold think will win the game? Who cares. The Steelers aren't playing. As usual, Mrs. Black-N-Gold will spend the day watching Puppy Bowl. She's rooting for the rottweiler.

The Black-N-Gold will be back for Super Bowl 51. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2016


     Eddie spaghetti, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their road trip tonight in FLA when they faceoff against the Florida Panthers in the 2nd of a back-to-back. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens look to rebound following last night's 6-3 defeat in Tampa Bay. In that game, G Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled midway through the 2nd period. In his last 2 starts since coming off the break, Flower has given up 9 goals on 37 shots. We need Flower Power! 2)C Sidney Crosby has continued his torrid run of late, finding the net again last night. Since December 26, the Captain leads the league with 15 goals. He's currently on a 9-game point streak that includes 9 goals and 6 assists. Lead the way, Captain! 3)Florida is 1st in the NHL in goals against, giving up an average of just 2.2 per game. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, February 5, 2016


     Great balls of fire, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to FLA this weekend. Tonight they play the first of a back-to-back when they faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 4 straight. #5 would not be jive! 2)During this stretch, the Pens have put 17 goals on the board. Light up the Lightning with Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Tampa Bay has not lost at home since the New Year. Time to put them in the loss column. Give 'em L! Let's Go Pens!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


      Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick and tell him it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the ice tonight at Consol Energy Center to faceoff against the Ottawa Senators. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Before the season was interrupted by the All-Star break, the Pens had won 3 straight. #4 would be great! 2)The Pens power play has moved all the way up to 10th in the league at a 19.9% clip. The Sens penalty kill is 30th at a paltry 75.3%. Take advantage of the man-advantage. Veto the Sens! 3)During the Pens 3-game winning streak, they've scored 11 goals. Love the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! Let's Go Pens!!!