Thursday, March 31, 2016


     Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick and tell him it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their mini-homestand tonight when they faceoff against the Nashville Predators at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 3 straight. #4 would be great! 2)The Pens have also won 9 of their last 10 contests, outscoring the opposition 37-22. Keep hitting those Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)In 6 of the last 7 games, the Pens have surrendered the first goal. Any combination of 4 points between the Pens and the Detroit Red Wings, assures the Black-N-Gold of a 10th straight trip to the playoffs. You gotta win to get in. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


     Start spreading the news! That's right, Black-N-Gold Nation. It's time for another edition of that internet sensation. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings to you the latest on our Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings to you The Black-N-Gold News.

                              THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Our Penguins came out flat on Thursday night in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Devils. Although they've looked great during the month of March, especially against Metro division-opponents, the Pens seem to play down to their level of competition of late to teams that are playing out the string. That's a habit they'll need to break as the push for the playoffs continues. 

The Pens received some more bad news on the injury-front. D Olli Maatta is listed as week-to-week due to a lower body injury. Get well soon, Olli! With injuries riddling the roster, F Oskar Sundqvist was shuffled back-and-forth between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Pittsburgh several times in the past week. Sunny's travel agent must be making a mint. The last Mrs. Black-N-Gold heard, Sundqvist is back at WB/S. 

The Pens got back in the win column on Saturday with a 7-2 routing of the Red Wings. Prior to the game it was announced that C Nick Bonino was out with an upper-body injury with no timetable for his return. In the win, both F Chris Kunitz and D Brian Domoulin were lost to injury, as well. 

Bones and Kuni returned to the lineup for the Pens Sunday night matchup versus the Rangers at MSG. Domo remains day-to-day with what is believed to be a concussion. The Pens continued their winning ways with a 3-2 OT victory. 

Pens F Phil Kessel was honored this week. He was named the NHL's 3rd Star of the Week. Congrats to Phil! Keep "Philing the net". 

The Pens kept collecting Ws last night. They defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout. They'll close out the month of March at home tomorrow night versus the Nashville Predators. Then it's on to New York for a Saturday matinee with the Islanders. They'll return home Sunday to face their cross-state rivals, the Philly Flyers. Keep finding the net and finding the win column. Let's Go Pens!!!


Opening Day is just a few days away. Our Pirates continue to make roster moves to get down to 25 players. They also have to contend with the injury bug. It was announced that RH Jared Hughes is day-to-day with a lat strain. The closer we get to the start of the season, the less-likely Jared looks ready. He's expected to begin the season on the disabled list. Get well soon, Jared!

And there have been more roster moves by our Buccos. They assigned RHs Wilfredo Boscan and Guido Knudson to minor league camp. LH Eric O'Flaherty was sent to the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations. More players were assigned to minor league camp: OFs Danny Ortiz and Antoan Richardson, LH Robert Zarate and RH Curtis Partch. Meanwhile, INF Jake Goebbert and RHs Rob Scahill and Trey Haley were optioned to Triple A Indy. 

There are currently 35 players left in Major League camp. Expect more moves as Sunday's season opener approaches. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will have her 2016 Pirates Preview for you on Friday. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


A few moves were made by our Steelers this week. They signed ILB Steven Johnson to a 1 year contract. Johnson comes to Pittsburgh by way of Denver, where he played last season. That's the 2nd free agent the Steelers have signed away from the Super Bowl Champs. Coincidence perhaps? 

The Steelers also lost a free agent. Little-used CB Brandon Boykin signed a 1 year deal with Carolina. 

Now the Steelers will continue to do their due diligence, interviewing potential draft picks. The Steelers are on the clock April 28-30 in Chicago. Pick a winner. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


    Great balls of fire, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to their home ice tonight to faceoff against former Head Coach Dan Bylsma and his Buffalo Sabres at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are 8-2-0 in their last 10 and have won 2 straight. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)Buffalo is ranked 28th in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 2.4. The Pens are #6 at 2.8. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)At 31-34-10 and 72 points, Buffalo is playing out the string. The Pens continue to make their playoff push at 42-25-8 and 92 points. Don't take the Sabres too lightly. Every point counts. Gimme 2! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016


    Hoppy Easter, Black-N-Gold Nation! Mrs. Black-N-Gold is in a New York state of mind 'cause it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their road trip tonight when they faceoff against the New York Rangers at MSG. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Following Thursday night's shutout, the Pens eggsploded for 7 goals on their way to a 7-2 routing of the Red Wings yesterday. Love the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)The Pens are 7-1-0 in their last 8 games, averaging 3.75 goals per game. It's important to take the home crowd out of this one. Score early, score often, score BIG! 3)The Rangers are 43-24-8 with 94 points. The Pens are right behind them at 41-25-8 and 90 points. Every point counts as we get closer to the playoffs. Take 2 and gimme a W! Let's Go Pens!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016


     You gotta lose your mind in Detroit, Rock City when it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to the Motor City this afternoon to faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens were shutout 3-0 Thursday night versus New Jersey. Find the net and find the win column! 2)Detroit is 8-2-1 in their last 11 home games. The Pens need to be road warriors! 3)Come out shooting. Score early, score often, score BIG with lots of Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


     I'll be cow-kicked, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their homestand tonight when they faceoff against the New Jersey Devils. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 6 in a row. #7 would be heaven! 2)New Jersey is 35-31-7 with 77 points and are fighting for their playoff lives. The Pens 8-2-0 run has moved them to 3rd in the Metro at 40-24-8 and 88 points. Beware the trap game. Don't get caught napping or looking ahead. Don't sleep on the Devils! 3)The Pens have moved on up to 7th in the NHL in goals per game at 2.8. Keep rockin' the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


     Have you heard the news? It's all over town. If you missed it you'd better sit down 'cause Mrs. Black-N-Gold has the news for you. Yes, it's time to check in on our Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers with Mrs. Black-N-Gold's latest edition of The Black-N-Gold News.

                                             THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


It was announced last week that Pens D Olli Maatta would fulfill his military duty to Finland after our Pens season is complete. Here's hoping Olli doesn't have to go for a long time. 

In case you've been under a rock for the past week or so (or in the Finnish military), the Pens are on a bit of a roll. They blew away the Hurricanes last Thursday night by a score of 4-2. 

Prior to Saturday's faceoff in Philly, the Pens made a roster move. They sent F Dominik Simon back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They re-called F Oskar Sundqvist. 

The Pens then went out and pounded Philly into submission in front of the Philly home crowd, 4-1. This was a huge win for the Pens. Philly entered the game as the hottest team in the league, on an 8-1-1 run. The Pens held them to just 17 shots on goal. That was Philly's worst effort of the season. 

The Pens returned home for Sunday night's game against the league-leading Washington Capitals. Best record in the league? No problem for the Pens who crushed the Caps 6-2. They held Washington to a season low 18 shots on goal. Another big win for the Pens. Unfortunately, D Brian Dumoulin had to leave the game thanks to a cheap shot from the Caps. He is listed as day-to-day. Get well soon, Doom!

There was also a report this week that the date for the Philly-Pens game at Heinz Field next year has been changed. The faceoff is now set for Saturday, February 25, 2017. Another chance to kick Philly's butt. 

Our Pens are now riding a 6-game winning streak, thanks in no small part to C Sidney Crosby. The Captain was named First NHL Star of the Week for his performance. That's the 2nd time Sid has received the honor this season. Congrats to #87!

The Pens are now 40-24-8 with 88 points. They've moved past the New York Islanders for 3rd place in the Metro Division. They're just 2 points behind the New York Rangers for 2nd place. They have a big showdown at MSG Sunday night when they faceoff against the Rangers. But don't look ahead! First there's a game against the New Jersey Devils at Consol Energy Center Thursday night. After that, they'll travel to Detroit to faceoff against the Red Wings on Saturday afternoon. Buckle up baby, we're getting closer to the playoffs. Let's Go Pens!!!


As our Pirates continue their tune-up in Bradenton for the regular season, roster moves were made to work towards the 25-man roster. The following players were optioned to Triple A Indy: 1B Josh Bell, OF Wily Garcia, INFs Alen Hanson, Max Moroff and Gift Ngoepe and RHs John Holdzkom and Nick Kingham. They also assigned the following players to minor league camp: INFs Dan Gamache, Juan Diaz and Adam Frazier.

The Bucs also lost LH Jesse Biddle on a waiver claim to the Braves. They put Biddle on waivers last week to make room on the 40-man roster for INF David Freese.

More moves are expected as Opening Day draws near. Less than 2 weeks away! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Since signing free agent TE Ladarius Green last week, our Steelers have not been heard from in the free agent market. They have, however, lost several players to other teams. NT Steve McLendon signed with the Jets. LT Kelvin Beachum defected to Jacksonville. LB Sean Spence and CB Antwon Blake went to Tennessee. LB Terence Garvin signed with Washington. Most of those players were on the defensive side of the ball. GM Kevin Colbert has expressed an interest in going defense in next month's draft.

The Steelers announced that they'd be willing to give up a home game in the future for an opportunity to play in Mexico. The NFL has a desire to play south of the border within the next 3 years. The Men in Black-N-Gold have a large following in Mexico so it's no surprise that they'd forgo a home game to play there.

WR Antonio Brown competed on the season-opener of "Dancing with the Stars" this week. AB and his partner kicked off their season with a Quickstep, earning 21 of a possible 30 points. It wasn't bad but in Mrs. Black-N-Gold's humble opinion, AB's got some work to do if he wants to fill Hines Ward's Mirror-Ball-winning shoes. Business better start boomin' quickly. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


     Get in the fast lane, Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll; it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return home tonight for the 2nd of back-to-back games when they faceoff against the Washington Capitals at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With yesterday's 4-1 thumping of Philly, the Pens have now won 5 in a row. Get your kicks with win #6! 2)During their winning streak, the Pens have put up 18 goals. Keep finding the win column with Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The last time the Pens faced the Caps, they got out to an early 2-0 lead. They then surrendered 3 unanswered goals to fall 3-2. Score early, score often, score BIG! Let's Go Pens!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016


     Shave my legs with a rusty razor, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take a road trip across the state today to faceoff against the Philly Flyers. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens have won 4 in a row. #5 would not be jive! 2)During their winning streak, the Pens have scored 14 goals. Fire up the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. Philly is 8-1-1. The Pens are in the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference at 38-24-8 with 84 points. Philly is 34-23-12 with 80 points. Every point counts. Play your game. Don't let Philly dictate the pace. But also remember, we don't like Philly and they don't like us. It's clobberin' time! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, March 18, 2016


     As Mrs. Black-N-Gold writes this, there are less 3 weeks until Opening Day at PNC Park for our Pittsburgh Pirates. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is getting nervous. The Pirates have not been all that impressive this spring. She needs to keep reminding herself that "It's only spring training." Manager Clint Hurdle tried to stress this spring the importance of starting the season off on the right foot. And rightfully so. The Bucs have a bad habit of stumbling out of the gate every year. Today, Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks at "5 Who Can Keep Our Hopes Alive." She's shined a spotlight on some of these players in the past. But with the losses of Burnett, Happ, Walker, Alvarez, etc, it's even more important that these guys step up and lead the way this season.

1)CF Andrew McCutchen-Of course Cutch would be on this list. The Pirates go as #22 goes. That was especially evident last season. Cutch got off to one of the worst starts of his storied career. Once he made that proclamation that he was "Sick of going 0-for-friggin'-4" he turned things around. And our Buccos did, too. We're going to hear alot about Cutch and his impending free agency in the next couple of years. Mrs. Black-N-Gold suggests we just sit back, relax and let Cutch lead the way.

2)2B Josh Harrison-JHay is another player that did not get off to a good start last season. When he finally did start to catch fire, his season was derailed by a thumb injury. With the trade of Walker, JHay is expected to make the move to 2B (this may be up in the air due to Jung Ho Kang's injury). JHay has stated that he prefers 2B but will keep his other gloves handy, just in case. JHay is a catalyst for this team and needs to continue that trend.

3)RH Gerrit Cole-There will be alot of noise regarding Cole's contract status in the next few years, too. The righthander and his agent even squaked about his salary this offseason when the Bucs automatically renewed the non-abritration-eligible player's contract for just a few thousand dollars more than last year's salary (as is allowed by the CBA). Cole Train wants to put the salary tiff behind him and concentrate on the season. It would be good to see him take another big step this year and improve on the 19-win, All-Star campaign of a year ago.

4)LF Starling Marte-Marte was one of the few to get off to a good start last year. Unfortunately, that didn't carry over after the All-Star break when his play tailed off considerably. He did win his 1st Gold Glove but needs to improve on the mental part of the game both in the field and at the plate. Stay focused on the basepaths and in the field and don't go after so many bad pitches. These are the steps that Starling needs to take to put together a complete season and take his career to the next level.

5)RF Gregory Polanco-El Coffee has many similarities to his friend Marte. They both make too many mental mistakes. It's time for Polanco to live up to the hype and take advantage of all the potential we've heard about for years. Marte seemed to get the hang of things in his 3rd season in the Bigs. It's time for Polanco to push forward now, too.

      No doubt about it, the Outfield of Dreams will have to carry this team. But they're not the only ones. If the above players can find another level, these 5 will keep the Pirates' World Series hopes alive. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016


     Eddie spaghetti, it's o' hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their brief homestand tonight when they faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)When leading after 2 periods, the Pens are 30-0-0 on the season, best in the league. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The Pens have won 3 in a row. We want more, give us win #4! 3)Carolina is 31-26-13 with 75 points. The Pens are at 37-24-8 and 82 points. Every point counts so don't take them too lighlty. Blow away the Hurricanes with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


     Extra! Extra! Read all about it. There's been alot going on in the world of Black-N-Gold sports this past week, some of it good news and some of it bad. One thing is for sure: Mrs. Black-N-Gold has it all for you with the newest edition of The Black-N-Gold News, giving you the latest on our Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

                           THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS  


Our Pens finally received some good news on the injury front when it was announced that F Carl Hagelin and D Ben Lovejoy returned to practice. In anticipation of Hags' return, the Pens sent F Conor Sheary back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Pens celebrated a big win over Columbus on Friday night 3-2. G Marc-Andre Fleury made history as he won his 350th career game. Congrats to Flower. Unfortunately, the win wasn't all sunshine and unicorns. C Evgeni Malkin left the game with an apparent arm injury. Geno tried to return to the ice but ultimately had to finish the game with the medical staff. It was announced the next day that Geno was sent home to Pittsburgh for further testing. Further results determined that Geno will be out 6-8 weeks with an upper-body injury. Get well soon, Geno!

More roster shuffling went down when F Tom Sestito was sent back to WB/S. In the process, Sheary was shuffled back to Pittsburgh. F Dominik Simon made the trip with him.

The Pens fought through adversity to defeat the Rangers at MSG on Sunday 5-3. The road trip must have done Sheary some good, he proceeded to record the 1st 2-goal game of his NHL career. Congrats to Conor!

Some of the youngsters from WB/S were rewarded for their efforts in Pittsburgh. The Pens signed Fs Tom Kuhnhackl, Bryan Rust and Scott Wilson to 2 year contract extensions. Baby Pens no more!

Last night the Pens topped the Islanders 2-1 in a shootout. They're currently 37-24-8 with 82 points. They're 3 points up on the Red Wings for the top Wild Card spot. They're only 3 points behind the Islanders and the Rangers. Keep finding the win column, every point counts. Let's Go Pens!!!


Spring is almost in the air. Can you feel the excitement? We're less than 3 weeks away from Opening Day. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced that LH Francisco Liriano will be the starter for our Buccos when they battle St Louie at PNC Park on April 3.

The Buccos made some roster moves over the weekend, too. They signed INF David Freese to a 1-year, $3 million contract. Freese could see action at 3B while Jung Ho Kang starts the season on the DL. To make room for Freese, the Pirates designated LH Jesse Biddle for assignment.

On Monday the Bucs made their 1st round of cuts. RHs Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon were optioned to Triple A Indy. RHs Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams, LHs Steven Brault and Kelvin Marte, C Reese McGuire and OF Harold Ramirez were assigned to minor league camp. Ramirez will first participate in the World Baseball Classic qualifier for Colombia.

Mrs. Black-N-Gold secured her tickets for Opening Day. She may be in peanut heaven but at least she'll be in the ballpark cheering on the Buccos. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Our Steelers started off the week with some good news. They were awareded a compensatory 6th round pick in this year's draft due to CB Brice McCain's free agent signing last season. From there, it all went downhill.

Saturday brought word that WR Martavis Bryant would be suspended for the entire 2016 season due to another violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Next came talk from Bryant's agent that the receiver would appeal the suspension and enter rehab immediately due to "depression and coping issues". His agent also said that Bryant didn't fail another drug test. He missed mandatory drug tests that were a requirement due to his previous suspension. On Monday, the NFL made the suspension official effective immedately and Bryant decided not to appeal.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual at the Steelers South Side facility. So far, they've hosted T Russell Okung, formerly of the Seahawks. Word is they offered Okung a contract but he failed to except it. They then hosted former Denver T Ryan Harris who promptly accepted their offer of 2 years, $3.9 million. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will keep you posted if/when there are any more free agent signings. Otherwise, it's time to start having college players in for interviews as a run-up to the draft. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


     Hallelujah Hollywood, it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to home ice tonight to faceoff against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 2 straight. # 3 would be great. 3 is a magic number. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)The Pens are coming off a big 5-3 win over the Rangers on Sunday. Last week the Pens beat the Rangers then proceeded to drop the next game to the Isles. At 36-24-8 with 80 points, the Pens are 2 points behind the Islanders, 39-21-8, 82 points. Gimme a W! 3)The Pens will have their work cut out for them. The Islanders are 5th in the league in goals per game at 2.8. They're also 9th in goals against with a 2.5 average. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016


     So much has happened in the world of Black-N-Gold sports lately. Today Mrs. Black-N-Gold looks at 3 hot topics that have all of Black-N-Gold Nation talking. Yes, it's time for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to give you her 2 cents (that's all she can spare, lol). It's time for another edition of Mrs. Black-N-Gold's Takeaways. Let's take it away.....


The big news from our Penguins this weekend was not good news, at all. C Evgeni Malkin has been lost for the remainder of the regular season and well into the playoffs, should the Pens make it. Thanks to a left arm injury suffered in Friday night's contest in Columbus, Geno will be out 6-8 weeks. Now Mrs. Black-N-Gold was going to take the opportunity to, again, rail on F Phil Kessel and his lack of production, reminding all of Black-N-Gold Nation that the honeymoon is, indeed, over between Pittsburgh and the Toronto cast-off. Then yesterday, the Pens went to MSG and knocked off Metro division-rival the New York Rangers 5-3. That win was thanks to the 2-goal performance of F Conor Sheary.

Yes, Kessel and his merry-band of under achievers need to step up in Geno's absence. But we don't even have to worry about the contingent from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. That's because the "Baby" Pens have been growing up right in front of our very eyes. Conor and Company have injected the shot in the arm this franchise has needed for several years. There's youth and speed and grit. Oh my! These youngsters are not afraid to do the dirty work that's required to help this team win. And they're loving every minute of it. What a joy it is watching these players develop into bonafide NHL players during the heat of the playoff push. And these are just the guys to help push us over the edge. Let's Go Pens!!!


Actually, this "Takeaway" will be more of a broader subject than specifically about our Pirates. Earlier  this week, HOF RH Goose Gossage spoke out regarding MLB stars Jose Bautista and Yoenis Cespedes, suggesting they are a "disgrace to the game". This came out the same week that Bryce Harper stated in an interview that "baseball is a tired game". Mrs. Black-N-Gold is old-school, herself. She remembers Gossage's brief stint with her beloved Pirates during the 1977 season. She also remembers the World Series winning Pirates of 1979. That team featured another future HOF RH, Bert Blyleven. Well, Blyleven disagreed with Goose regarding his comments.

While Mrs. Black-N-Gold's epitaph will surely be "Act like you've been there before", she has to side with Harper and Blyleven. Didn't we all enjoy seeing Joey Bats bat-flip his way into our hearts in Game 5 of last year's ALDS? It reminded Mrs. Black-N-Gold of a former teammate of Goose's from his Yankee days, a certain Mr. October that liked to enjoy the majesty of the mammoth shots he would blast into the bleachers at Yankee Stadium. Don't we Pirates fans clamor to see RH Gerrit Cole get fired up after striking out a hitter in a crucial situation? Or see CF Andrew McCutchen, 2B Josh Harrison and the guys dancing and getting loose in the dugout before the game? And like him or not, it is fun to see a player such as Harper enjoying himself when he's making a great throw to nail a runner or Jose Fernandez get fired up when he fans a hitter. They're excited, therefore, we're excited. And isn't that what it's all about? Sure, a hitter shouldn't pump and preen if he hits a solo homer when his team is down 10-0. Same as a pitcher shouldn't bark from the mound and whoop and holler if he strikes out a batter in the 9th inning while his team is down 8-2. Save it for the big moments, Bryce and Joey Bats and we'll enjoy those moments with you. And, of course, if the big moments involve our Pirates, all the better. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


More disconcerting news regarding Steelers WR Martavis Bryant was made public this weekend. First it was reported that Bryant would be suspended for the entire 2016 season for failing another drug test. You'll recall, Bryant missed the first 4 games of the 2015 season for failing a drug test for marijuana. As this story developed, it was announced by Bryant's agent that he did not fail another drug test. He failed to take a required drug test that is issued by the league as part of their mandate in the CBA. The agent said that Bryant is suffering from depression and has coping issues and will soon enter into a rehab facility to help with his problems.

Many members of Black-N-Gold Nation feel this may be a ruse on Bryant's part as he would not have passed the drug test had he taken it. Others feel that the young man has more serious problems to deal with than whether or not he can catch a pass in the corner of the end zone. Yes, when Bryant returned from his original suspension he was contrite, telling all that would listen that he'd made a mistake and it wouldn't happen again. Well it did happen again. To some extent. Should he be given the benefit of the doubt? Mrs. Black-N-Gold feels that if Bryant and his representatives are sincere, then he has more to deal with than football. Depression is a serious health issue that millions of people deal with every day. Bryant's health and well-being come before football, even Steelers football. Get well soon, Martavis.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


     Lookout Loretta, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins wrap up their road show today as they faceoff against the New York Rangers. These are your keys for today's game. 1)With 78 points, the Pens are hanging on to the final Wild Card in the Eastern Conference. Philly is just 2 points off the pace. Every point counts. Gimme a W & gimme 2! 2)The Pens got some bad news yesterday when it was announced that they'd be without C Evgeni Malkin for 6-8 weeks with an upper-body injury. It's time for everyone to suck it up. Step up! 3)Just last week, the Pens faced down the Rangers in a 4-1 win. Need to do that again. Crank up the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, March 11, 2016


     Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick 'cause it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road show tonight in Columbus when they faceoff against the Blue Jackets. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)At 28-31-8 and 64 points, Columbus the worst record in the Metropolitan Division. Still, you can't take them too lightly, especially cheap-shot artists like Brandon Dubinsky. The Black-N-Gold needs to beat the Blue Jagoffs black & blue! 2)Columbus is 28th in the league in goals against at 3.0. Break out the Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)In Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Islanders, the Pens special teams were not-so-special. They were 0 for 4 on the power play and allowed both goals on the penalty kill. Make those special teams extra special! Let's Go Pens!!! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


     Have you heard the news? It's all over town. Better yet, it's all over Black-N-Gold Nation. Yes, it's time for another installment of that internet sensation, The Black-N-Gold News. Sit back, relax and let Mrs. Black-N-Gold give you the latest info on our Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

                                         THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Our Penguins continue to battle through injuries. They lost F Kevin Porter to an ankle injury that required surgery. He's expected to miss the remainder of the season. F Josh Archibald was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to take Porter's place.

Archibald faced his first NHL action in Saturday's disappointing 4-2 loss to Calgary. He was promptly returned to WB/S the next day. F Tom Sestito then received the call from the Baby Pens in time for Sunday's meeting in New Jersey. F Conor Sheary was also re-called in time to make the Pens 6-1 downing of the Devils. F Carl Hagelin missed this game and is considered day-to-day due to a hit suffered in the Calgary game.

As Hags is dealing with an injury, 2 Penguins are on the road to recovery. Fs Eric Fehr and Beau Bennett have been skating with the team. They could make their return Friday night in Columbus.

Tuesday night the Pens continued their road trip when the visited Brooklyn to faceoff against the New York Islanders. The Pens were closing in on the Isles for 3rd place in the Metro Division. They ran into a roadblock in a 2-1 loss. Now they're 5 points behind the Islanders. The Pens were able to move up into the top Wild Card this week, 1 point head of Detroit.

An announcement was made regarding the Philly-Pens outdoor game. Faceoff will be on February 18, 2017 at Heinz Field. Better bundle up for that one.

Our Pens take their road show to Columbus next. They'll faceoff against the Blue Jackets on Friday night. Columbus has the worst record in the Metro at 28-31-8 and 64 points. From there they'll go back to New York for Sunday's game against the Rangers. Don't get caught taking the Blue Jackets too lightly and looking ahead to Sunday. With just 16 games to go, every point counts. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates aren't lighting up the Grapefruit League this spring. They're currently 2-5 with a few ties thrown in for good measure. The first string team hasn't been able to score more than 3 runs in a game. The defense looks to be in a shambles. The pitching is all over the place. Thank goodness it's only spring training, eh?

At least there haven't been any major injuries. Pirates prospect OF Austin Meadows did suffer a setback in minor league camp the other day. Meadows was hurt while throwing catch and now has a broken orbital bone. No timetable yet for his return.

Less than a month away from Opening Day. Hopefully, the starting 9 will continue to progress and get into shape for the season. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


As the NFL's free agency period approached, our Steelers were busy retaining some of their players that were eligible to hit the open market. They re-signed S Robert Golden, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, CB William Gay, and G Ramon Foster all to 3 year contracts. They also signed TE Lardarius Green away from San Diego on a 4 year $20 million deal.

Meanwhile, NT Steve MClendon, LT Kelvin Beachum, CB Antwon Blake, S Will Allen, FB Will Johnson and CB Brandon Boykin lead the list of Steelers free agents. No word yet on where those players will land.

It was also officially announced that WR Antonio Brown would, indeed, compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Their 22nd season kicks off on March 21. Bring home the Mirror Ball and the Lombardi Trophy, AB. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


     Michael, Michael, motorcycle, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their road trip tonight when they faceoff against the New York Islanders. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens were able to bounce back in a big way following Saturday's debacle versus Calgary. On Sunday they went into their own private House of Horrors, the Prudential Center in Newark, demolishing the Devils 6-1. Can't allow another let down following a big win. To make matters worse, the Isles have won 3 straight. #4 would not be great! 2)This could be a battle of the penalty kills. The Pens PK is ranked 6th in the league at 84.2%. The Islanders PK unit is 2nd at 86.4%. Kill 'em all! 3)The Pens are 3 points behind New York for 3rd place in the Metro division. Move on up with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016


     How much friend chicken can you eat; it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to New Jersey today to faceoff against the Devils in the 2nd of a back-to-back. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens need to get back in the win column following yesterday's 4-2 loss to Calgary. Gimme a W! 2)The Pens are 5-4-1 in their last 10. New Jersey is 3-7-0. The Pens have lost 7 of the last 8 contests in New Jersey. The Devils are 5 points behind the Pens for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Every point counts. Take 2! 3)This trip to Jersey could be a blessing in disguise. The Devils are 30th in goals per game with a 2.2 average. They'll also start their backup goalie today (starter Corey Schneider was injured Friday in Dallas). What better way to start a 4-game road trip than to get in the win column. Pack up the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2016


     Great balls of fire it's a great day for hockey! Mrs. Black-N-Gold & Brother Black-N-Gold will be in attendance to see our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Calgary Flames at Consol Energy Center this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pens are riding high following Thursday night's routing of the Rangers, 4-1. This is the 1st of back-to-back games this weekend and they could be in for a letdown. Beware the trap game! 2)The Flames are one of the least hottest teams in the NHL. They've gone 1-8-1 in their last 10 and have lost 7 straight. #8 would be great! 3)Calgary is 29th in the league in goals against at 3.1 per game and their penalty kill is also 29th at 73.6%. Crank up the Crue with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!

Friday, March 4, 2016


     Start spreading the news! Mrs. Black-N-Gold has for you all The Black-N-Gold News you can use with the latest from our Pens, Pirates and Steelers. Sit back, relax and enjoy the newest edition of The Black-N-Gold News.

                                            THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS


Pens D Olli Maatta was smiling like a butcher's dog this week. Our Pens signed him to a 6 year, $24.4 million contract extension. Congrats to Olli!

The Pens grounded the Winnipeg Jets last Saturday by a score of 4-1. In that game, F Conor Sheary left with an undisclosed injury. Prior to the game, the Pens re-called D Steve Olesky from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (more on him later). Another re-call was announced when the Pens brought up G Matt Murray from WB/S, too. And a few days before the trade deadline, GM Trader Jim Rutherford made a deal. He traded a 2016 3rd round pick to Edmonton for D Justin Schultz. Schultz will be a restricted free agent after this season. Welcome to Pittsburgh, Schultzie!

On Sunday the Pens sent Olesky back to WB/S and called up D David Warsofsky (we're still not finished with Olesky yet).

Monday afternoon brought us the NHL trade deadline. Trader Jim wasn't done yet, although the deals were relatively minor. Rutherford sent unhappy F Sergei Plotnikov to Arizona for a 7th round pick and prospect Matthias Plachta, a forward. They also got C Dustin Jeffrey from AZ in a deal for minor leaguers. In keeping with the minor league theme, Jeffrey was sent to the Baby Pens. Sheary also made the trip back down to the minors. Meanwhile, former GM Ray Shero claimed Warsofsky off waivers for the Devils.

After Plotnikov made the trek from the Pens looker room at Consol all the way to the visitor's locker room, the Pens proceeded to go out and crush his new team, the Coyotes, 6-0. F Patrick Hornqvist recorded his 1st career hat trick in the contest. G Marc-Andre Fleury pitched his 5th shutout of the season and 43rd of his career. Congrats to Horny and Flower!

Before Wednesday's game in Washington, the Pens again called up Olesky from WB/S. The Pens then went out and lost to the Capitals 3-2. But wait! We're not done with Olesky. He made the trip back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton one more time this week. The kid could make this trip in his sleep.

Last night the Pens got back in the win column in a big way, routing the New York Rangers 4-1. This was a big W for the Boys of Winter. New York G Henrik Lundqvist threw a hissy fit and was pulled from the game as the Pens got the Rangers monkey off their backs. That win puts the Pens just 1 point behind the New York Islanders for 3rd place in the Metro division.

The puck drops Saturday afternoon at Consol as the Pens play the Calgary Flames. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will be in attendance with Brother Black-N-Gold to cheer our Pens to victory. Let's Go Pens!!!


Our Pirates finally played some meaningful spring training baseball this week. On Monday they played the annual Black-N-Gold Game with the Gold edging the Black 4-3. The next day, the Bucs played their Grapefruit League opener and topped the Tigers 4-2. On Wednesday it was the Buccos turn to host Detroit for the Grapefruit League home opener in Bradenton. The Pirates were pasted by the Tigers 10-3.

Yesterday, Doc Emrick took a break from his NHL broadcasting schedule to join Greg Brown and John Wehner in the booth for the Pirates tilt with Toronto. Unfortunately, Doc didn't have a lot to cheer about as the Buccos fell to the Blue Jays 10-8.

Keep working on your game, boys. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Not much news from our Steelers South Side offices this week. The Combine is over. Now the process begins of having players visit for interviews and scouts and coaches visit Pro Days.

Some good news was announced injury-wise. RB Le'Veon Bell has started running on a treadmill as he rehabs the knee that was injured back in October. There is still no timetable for L Bell's return to the field. Get well soon, Le'Veon!

The deadline passed this week for teams to issue tags to their players (transition, franchise, etc.) The Steelers did not designate any tags to their players.

Congrats to Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney. The Hall of Famer will be honored with the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. The ROBIE awards will be presented Monday night in New York City.

Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


     Hitting to make contact, playing small ball, a deep bullpen, tightening up the defense. All these attributes sound like a formula for success, correct? It worked for the Kansas City Royals when they won the AL pennant in 2014 and the World Series last season. Now our Pittsburgh Pirates are attempting to duplicate that formula. At least, that's what management would have us believe. Sorry Buccos, but until Mrs. Black-N-Gold sees the same type of results, she will remain guardedly optimistic. Why, you may ask? Allow Mrs. Black-N-Gold to examine the differences between our favorite Black-N-Gold team and KC's favorite sons.

1)KC got RH Johnny Cueto and UTL Ben Zobrist at last year's trade deadline. Sure looked like they were all in. What did the Pirates do? They got RH JA Happ and 1B Michael Morse. True, Happ's arrival produced happy results. We're still waiting for Morse to make an impact and may spend the entire season continuing to do so.

2)KC showed that they want to continue to win championships when they re-signed LF Alex Gordon to a long term deal this offseason. They also looked up RH Ian Kennedy to a big contract. What did the Pirates do? They traded away 2B Neil Walker and signed RH Ryan Vogelsong. Now Mrs. Black-N-Gold isn't so sure the Royals made a good deal with the Kennedy signing. But one thing is for certain: he's alot younger than the aging Vogelsong and has proven healthier, too.

3)KC locked up World Series MVP C Salvador Perez to a long term deal in the past few days. What have the Pirates done this week? They got into a finger-pointing match with All-Star, 19-game winning RH Gerrit Cole and his agent, Scott Boras over a few thousand dollars. "A mathematical error", they called it.

4)KC wins championships. What do the Pirates do? According to owner Bob Nutting in recent interviews, they want to "remain competitive".

     Notice a difference, sports fans? It's like that game where you have 2 pictures that look the same but you have to find the differences between the 2. Don't get Mrs. Black-N-Gold wrong. She would love nothing more than to see our Pirates when a World Series in her lifetime. But after further review, she can't help but think of that line from "The Outlaw Josey Wales" that says "Don't piss down my back and call it rain".

     Now Mrs. Black-N-Gold realizes that Nutting is a business man first and foremost. And a damn fine one at that. He must be since he's worth millions. She just wishes that he would find a nice, new, shiny toy to play with and let someone else have a crack at the Bucs, perhaps someone who actually, you know, wants to win championships. As always, if the Pirates prove Mrs. Black-N-Gold wrong, she'll gladly admit it while she's enjoying the victory parade down Grant Street. I just call them as I see them. As always....Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


     Mrs. Black-N-Gold is smiling like a butcher's dog 'cause it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the home ice tonight when they faceoff against the New York Rangers at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)When scoring the 1st goal, the Pens are 22-4-1. Score early, score often, score BIG! 2)The last time New York came to town, the Pens were shut out in their own house. Can't let that happen tonight, especially when facing division rivals in 16 of the final 21 games. Gimme some Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)This could be a possible Stanley Cup playoff preview. The Pens need to set the tempo. They can't let NY come in and dictate the game. Show 'em who's boss! Let's Go Pens!!!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016


     Our Penguins have the night off. Our Pirates played their home Grapefruit League Opener this afternoon. Our Steelers are busy prepping for next month's draft. No games? No problem. Mrs. Black-N-Gold brings you another edition of Takeaways. These are the topics that just won't go away. They have all of Black-N-Gold Nation talking. Mrs. Black-N-Gold weighs in with her 2 cents today (it's all she can afford).


Monday was the deadline for trades across the NHL. Aside from a minor trade (a trade of minor league players, including C Dustin Jeffrey's return to the Black-N-Gold) the Pens made nary a sound. They weren't the only team that didn't pull the trigger on a big deal. Outside of the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, hardly any moves were made. According to Pens GM (Trader) Jim Rutherford, the asking price from the sellers was just too high. Who wants to mortgage more of the future for a 2-month rental? Especially when some of the youngsters (Murray, Pouiliot, etc. )are finally getting playing time in Pittsburgh and looking good in the process. Kudos to Trader Jim. And with Malkin and Cullen back and Fehr, Lovejoy and Bennett(?) expected back, it will be like the Pens made some trades anyway. Now just get on a good run all the way to Lord Stanley's Cup. Let's Go Pens!!!


The big word out of Bradenton during our Pirates first week of spring training isn't Jung Ho Kang's recovery from a terrible knee injury. It isn't the questions surrounding our rotation, either. No, it's the tiff that's developed between RH Gerrit Cole, his agent Scott Boras and the Pirates front office. The way Mrs. Black-N-Gold understands it Cole and Boras are upset that the Pirates didn't tender him a significant raise following last year's 19-win season. Since Cole is a 0-3 year player, he is obligated to except whatever salary the Pirates give him per the CBA. The Pirates had the audacity to threaten to lower Cole's salary to the league minimum ($507,500). Ultimately, the Pirates settled on $541,000 for this, Cole's last season before arbitration. Of course, Cole and Boras weren't complaining when the Pirates gave Cole an $8 million signing bonus before he ever stepped onto a mound for them. The Pirates back-pedaled by claiming it was all a mathematical error on their end that led to the brouhaha. In the end, it's we, the fans, who are the losers. We have to hear the whining from Cole and Boras. Remember last October's Wild Card loss to the Cubs? Cole pulled an Invisible Man act in that loss, failing to leave up to 1st round pick expectations. And shame on the Pirates for penny-pinching (again). We all know when Cole hits free agency, he won't re-sign with the Bucs and they won't even make an attempt to retain him. Suck it up, boys. Kiss and makeup. Go out and try to play nice and get to the World Series before it really hits the fan. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Mrs. Black-N-Gold is still reeling from the retirement of TE Heath Miller. She continues to hear our Steelers mentioned in the same breath with some of the draft's top tight ends. And that's cool. She has also heard that this draft is heavy on the cornerbacks. If the Steelers feel they need to get a tight end in the draft, have at it. But do not forget about the secondary. It's been forgotten for far too long. CB William Gay is a free agent. CB Brandon Boykin is a free agent. CB Antwon Blake is a free agent (see ya!). S Will Allen is a free agent. S Robert Golden is a free agent. We wish that CB Cortez Allen, S Mike Mitchell and S Sharmarko Thomas were free agents, too. What's that tell us? The Steelers better go draft DBs early and often. The Steelers defense could return to greatness if they just had some players on the back end that could shut down opponent's passing game. So go tight end if you must but don't forget to stock up on the DBs, too. We'll need them to get to the Super Bowl. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


     Shave my face with a rusty razor, it's a great day for hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to the Nation's capital tonight to faceoff against the Washington Capitals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens have won 2 straight. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)In their past 2 games, the Pens have scored 10, count 'em, 10 goals. Love the Goals, Goals, Goals, baby! 3)At 61-45-12 and 94 points, Washington has the best record in the league. To be the best, you've got to beat the best. Let's Go Pens!!!