Steelers Draft Prediction: First Round

Here we go….

My annual predictions on who the Steelers will select in the NFL Draft/my annual adding to the record that either I don’t know anything about football or the Steelers draft whoever they want no matter their needs.

Yes.  I started my writing career as a football writer.  No.  I am no longer a football writer.

Take that in consideration when you make your comments.

So even though it likely won’t mean anything to those in the Steelers war room, let’s take a look at the Steelers main needs and how they compare to the draft class’ strengths.

Primary need: Cornerback/Safety

Secondary need: Defensive Tackle

It is so obvious that the Steelers need a cornerback that it is unlikely they will draft one.  Hell, be honest, would you be shocked if they took yet another linebacker?

This year could be the year for a cornerback though. (The Steelers last CB taken in the first round was Chad Scott in 1997)  Things seem to align. The Steelers have the 25th selection of the first round, putting them in prime position to get the 3rd or 4th best corner on the board.  Jalen Ramsey is a top 5 pick and Vernon Hargreaves will be gone soon after.

This leaves Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Eli Apple of Ohio State, William Jackson of Houston, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, and Artie Burns of Miami.

Of this group the two that interest me the most are Apple of Ohio State and Burns of Miami.

Apple is a winner.  The Steelers have a penchant for selecting Buckeyes.  He fills a serious need.

Of the cornerbacks my selection would be Apple.

But the Steelers could also go the Defensive Tackle route, and to be honest this may be their best bet.  This is the strongest defensive tackle draft class in some time and with the loss of Steve McLendon, who wasn’t very good anyway, they have a giant hole right in the center of their defense.

The three most likely targets for the steelers will be Andrew Billings of Baylor, Vernon Butler of Louisiana Tech, and A’Shawn Robinson of Alabama.

Of these three I see Billings as the most likely choice.  All three are 3-4 nose tackles.  All three will likely be solid.  Butler may be a bit of a stretch at a position where there is no reason to reach and Robinson has been trending downward in recent mocks.

Here is a brief bio of Billings from DraftTek:

Billings slots into the void at Nose Tackle left by Steve McLendon’s departure in Free Agency. The Steelers would like a NT who can play some as a one-gap DT in sub-packages to spell Heyward and Tuitt. Billings shows on tape as an explosive penetrator, almost unblockable one-on-one, but he’s of the stature and powerful build to play a 2-gap NT in the base defense. The Steelers did not bring him in for a visit but sent everybody but the groundskeeper to his Pro Day and took him out to dinner to see what he’s about. The Steelers take lots of fliers on late-round defensive linemen like LT Walton, Nick Williams, and Dan McCullers who are Size/Weight/Agility prospects with decidedly mixed results. Here in the first, they can pick up a player with good tape from a power-5 conference who has similarly-unworldly agility for his weight (4.94- 40, 32″ vertical at his Pro Day) without the long odds.

Continue reading “Steelers Draft Prediction: First Round”

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The Pittsburgh Dream Team

Happy Birthday Pittsburgh!  Looking sexy at 200 I must say…

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As part of the birthday podcast I am doing the Pittsburgh Dream Team, think 92′ Olympics basketball team made up of non-athletes from Pittsburgh who play other city’s squads in a rock and jock basketball style tournament.

For more in-depth analysis on this team check out the podcast.  Here is the roster announcement, for those who are interested in the roster that we put forward for my imaginary tournament.

Here it is.  The roster, front office and all…

Center: Jeff Goldblum: West Mifflin/Chaos U (Prep to Pro)

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Standing 6 foot 4 out of Chaos U.  Jeff Goldblum!  Holding down the front court is one of America’s true treasures, repping Pittsburgh in the perfect way, by never mentioning it and just being a cool ass dude.

Continue reading “The Pittsburgh Dream Team”

Let’s Tell The Truth About Trump Supporters

So it hit me, like a bolt of “really great, really really great” lightning.  The thing that makes Donald Trump’s campaign strong is that it is fueled by the social outcasts of America, who want to punish the rest of us who are happy and content so that we have to feel their pain.

Each street has houses that may as well have been abandoned.  You never see anyone outside of them.  No cars in the driveway, but the yards aren’t overgrown.  The properties aren’t dilapidated.

Someone has to live there.  Sitting alone in a hidden room, watching Fox News by themselves, scared of the outside world.  Wanting it to go back to the old days when they still were a part of society.  Before they shut themselves off from everything.  Before they gave into the fear.

That person is a Donald Trump supporter, and they want you to pay for not also giving into the fear.

Let’s be honest in a way the happy and content deserve it, a little bit, for not helping their neighbor.  For not inviting them over for tea or a beer.  Now we will pay.  Our children will pay.  Things are about to get real.

The truth is that we area nation on the brink of collapse and Trump is going to push off us the cliff.  Straight into a civil war with no geographical sides, race vs. race, neighbor vs. neighbor.  It is going to be a living hell, and its exactly what the outcasts of America want.

They want to watch their fantasies of the world outside of their houses collapse on live tv.  They want us all to pay for flaunting our happiness as we walk down the street with our families as they view us through the blinds covering a window that faces the street, shuddering from the light.

These are dangerous people.  They have been brainwashed by Fox News.  They likely have deep religious beliefs.  They will make Donald Trump our president.  They will watch the world burn.  They think they will ascend into heaven to meet their maker instead of dying like the rest of us.

They hate us.  Donald Trump supporters hate the content and happy.  They hate the free thinkers.  Most of all, they hate those who do not allow themselves to be governed by fear.

So let’s be honest.  Unless we all vote for another candidate.  Trump becomes the president.  The nation collapses.  The world burns.  We all die, and that is it.  Because that is what happens.

Death is final and the creatures that lurk around America hating everything that moves, they are going to lead us to our demise, and a little bit of it is our fault.  Because we didn’t stop the crazies.

So say hi to weirdos.  Tell those who hate to have a nice day.  Smile as you pass the house you’ve always wondered about.  Maybe they will feel included.  Maybe they will call off the dogs.

It might be the only thing that saves us from a free fall into brutal horrible death.

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The New Pod, Some 90’s Nostalgia, and the Fear of a New American Century

A few updates from Chaz Bolte central, the secret headquarters of all things mildly OK tucked in the pines near the quarry lake in Slippery Rock, PA.  Wait….. no, that’s not where it is, don’t look for me there, it’s somewhere else.

Anyway, the new podcast is still working out the bugs.  I recorded an episode and it just wasn’t right.  There were many problems with it, so I didn’t release it.  Most of all I noticed that having only one host makes for boring listening.  So to remedy that scenario I am pleased to announce that I will have a co-host, the one and only Greg Ernzer.

With some new technology on board and with a new direction this thing will be off the ground in no time.  Of course that is also what they said about the space shuttle Challenger.

On Super Bowl sunday I released the first of many essays about the 90’s, what they mean, what life means, and what we as a generation should try to remember about them.  It got a little bit of discussion going on Facebook, but was mostly swallowed up and lost in the media mess that is the Super Bowl.  To be honest I did it on purpose.  I kind of want to limit the discussion on this one, because too much feedback from people I didn’t want feedback from would stop me from moving forward.  I really hate hearing from people who have dumb things to say.  This got some good discussion going so I will continue, and the next essay will likely be up over the weekend.

Tonight is the New Hampshire primaries.  I have completely kept my voice out of the election cycle, all though let’s be honest: this is what I was born to write about.

I am not allowed to write about the things I would like to write about due to the people who pay me to write about the things I am forced to write about .  However without naming names, well I guess I have to name a name, I have to admit the scariest candidate of all to me is Marco Rubio. He is basically the republican Obama.  he seems dangerously inexperienced.  He scares the shit out of me.  His campaign slogan is seriously “A New American Century.”  As in the thinktank piece written in the late 90’s by the neo-con’s who made up the Bush Administration that said the only way conservative goals could be achieved was with a “new Pearl Harbor.”  The cover of the report showed the Twin Towers with a target on it and an airplane flying into the buildings.  It was written before 9/11.  Most of the power players in the period between 9/11 and the march to war in Iraw wrote it.  It’s scary stuff.  Rubio either knowingly or unknowingly is using this as his theme.  I seriously wonder who controls him, because he just seems to be a robot on repeat.

So let’s see what happens tonight in New Hampshire.  Let’s see if his moment in the sun is over.  Because he is some scary sauce in a sea of scary sauces, and I don’t like babies or sauces, I’m not G. Love.

Sponge vs. Sunny Day Real Estate or An existential crisis on the meaning of the 90’s

I was talking to a college kid, he said the late 90’s/early 2000’s were probably weird.  He based it on this clip from the movie She’s All That.

So yeah, based just on this he was right.

We talked though.  It was interesting to get his perspective on things.  He said he didn’t really remember much before the year 2001.  I don’t remember much before 1990. We are 11 years apart in age.  It makes sense.

I went on a long rant in which I explained the positive nature of the 90’s, the optimism for the future, and the irrational fear of Y2K.  It helped me understand “the youth.” It helped him pass time as he performed his work study job of renting out film equipment at his college.

I continued my work day.

As the hours passed the splinter got deeper, the little thought on my mind that maybe I had spoken out of my ass on the 90’s.  The thought that the 90’s were nothing special, and I only remember them as being so because I was an optimistic young man living in the suburbs of a medium sized midwestern city and I didn’t know the reality of the world yet.

I started thinking about how many more records Sponge sold compared to Sunny Day Real Estate, and how anyone waxing nostalgic about 90’s music would go in depth to point out the importance of Sunny Day Real Estate while never mentioning The Flys, or Sponge, or any other crap L.A. band that sold millions of records and spent all their money on cocaine and impressing girls who were background actresses on Melrose Place, until they lost it all and had to manage a Guitar Center.

The truth is the truth.

According to the new truth, Wikipedia, Sunny Day real Estate’s Diary sold just over 231,000 copies.  According to this article Sponge’s Rotting Pinata sold over 1 million copies.

Yeah, one was corporate rock and the other was released on sub pop, i get it, but the point is the point.  In a capitalist world Sponge won.  In our nostalgic 90’s hearts Sunny Day Real Estate won.  So in the year 2016 who wins?  Who we want to be the winner or who made the most money?

And there you go, what was the reality of the 90’s?  Was it great?  Was it optimistic?  Do we remember it so fondly because we just really want to?

For every band barely scraping by, unwilling to bend on their artistic visions and values, that was inspired by Sunny Day Real Estate there is a band barely scraping by, trying their hardest to sell out as quickly as possible, who were inspired by Sponge.  In a world where everyone is equal, one is not better than the other.  However in the real world one is, and it is the band that was inspired by Sunny Day Real Estate.  Because corporate sell out music is for douchey hashtag visionaries and scarf wearers.

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Hey pal, come see my band, we sound like #acraptakingacrap

Continue reading “Sponge vs. Sunny Day Real Estate or An existential crisis on the meaning of the 90’s”

Pitt is not it, the Military Bowl is not legit.

I sat in my Aunt Deb’s living room watching the Military Bowl with two college kids from Penn State who were young enough to not know that there was a time when Pitt was in fact it.  I am barely old enough to know, and most of what I know comes from youtube videos and legends.  I remember Alex Van Pelt as a child, but I was too young to really get it.  The Walt Harris run to Dave Wanstache era I remember vividly, well some of the games I remember vividly, and others I remember a general blur.  I cross-eyed view of a moment in time that could have met something if they could have won one more game a year.  I time when you were more afraid of Toledo than WVU, because those weren’t the types of games we lost.  What we have now is some weird hybrid of tradition and the truth.  Pitt is no longer it, and in the ACC they seem out of place, and out of their element.  Gone is the days of the Big East.

The Military Bowl saw Pitt face Navy, at Navy.  Yes, you read that right.  Our 9 wins this season got us a road game at a military academy, while th midshipmen were on Christmas break.  So not a ton of people were there, they couldn’t fill a smaller stadium.  Pitt ran the opening kickoff back and it was downhill from there.  They seemed unprepared for the Triple Option at worst, and at best they simply couldn’t stop it.  As always Pitt was out of their element, playing a gimmick team in a cold weather bowl game that happens to be at the opponents stadium instead of neutral ground.  They represented the ACC although they are past the mountains, against an AAC team that has been independent until recent history.  There were no traditions at all.  Pitt was once a warm up team that Pitt would roll over before starting their Big East schedule.  Now they were thoroughly outmatched, all though it was the most successful team the school had in the better part of a decade.

Tyler Boyd played his last game as a Panther and went out in a fashion that reminded me of Jonathan Baldwin.  I hope Boyd succeeds in the NFL, in spite of his status as an elite prospect Baldwin did not.  Maybe Boyd will, but I’ve seen it before.  There is something small missing.  It’s all or nothing with that kid.  Just as it is with Pitt.

At least we are going in the correct direction, that is until Pat Narduzzi is gone and we have to rebuild.  Once again used as a stepping stone, by men who are going to fail at the next level, but have earned their way onto the center stage.  Pitt isn’t even off-broadway in comparison to a show like Michigan State’s.  It’s outer Newark.  Near the port, before the toll road.  In a renovated gas station owned by a wall street guy turned drug addict turned reformed drug addict, turned Newark resident.  Pitt is a childs play in that guys backyard compared to the elite schools.  It wasn’t always that way, but now it is.  It’s fairly plain to see, and it is extremely disappointing.

They do not have a campus stadium, they do not have a rabid fan base.  The casual fan has tuned out on Pitt football.  It’s not what it used to be, to the point it’s not worth noticing.  Pitt is on that Cincinnati, University of South Florida, University of Memphis level of non-relelvent, where once in a blue moon they will get mentioned by some sports pundit as a sleeper who months later admit he was wrong on that one, and Pitt isn’t the kind of team that comes through in the clutch.

I miss the good old days of Rod Rutherford and Larry Fitzgerald,  Tyler Palko and Darelle Revis, Shady McCoy and H.B. Blades.  It’s all gone now, and that is OK.  Because life should not revolve around Pitt football, and the Pittsburgh sports fan is better off having one less distraction from the teams worth being a fanatic of.

1960 World Series Game 7: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. New York Yankees

It’s the moment I grew up hearing about, but never saw, other than the last little clip of Yogi Berra watching Maz’s homer going over the left field wall.  MLB network showed the Kinescope of the broadcast that was made for Bing Crosby, part owner of the Pirates, a few years ago and I do not have the rights to show it, but let’s be honest, absolutely no money is made off of this website, it is only lost, so lets just play it cool and sit back and watch Game Seven of the 1960 World Series.

 

The Truth About Cats and Dogs: Steelers Fans Reaction to the Mike Vick Signing

So Mike Vick now plays for the Steelers and everyone has an opinion, and they are all entitled to that opinion, an equal amount as everyone is to have an opinion on said opinion…and so on, and so on.  This is a subject in which I immediately have this feeling maybe I shouldn’t touch on, so I will make it short and sweet.

Michael-Vick1My first reaction was that it was a bad signing due to the distraction it would bring.  People are going to be upset, and they really, really are.  The few points I’ll leave out but feel as if should be mentioned are that, as noted by Marky Billson of Athlon Sports, that this is not the first time the Steelers have had a player of questionable character on the team.  In fact take a look at our starting quarterback and the questionable things he has done in his past.

There is also something to be said about the argument that Mike Vick isn’t really all that good anymore, which is likely true, but I don’t think many people actually want to see him play, because that would mean Ben was hurt. Backup quarterbacks are backups for a reason.

So let’s make this little article about Steelers fans reaction to the signing and how not surprisingly myopic it was.

First of all… I do not condone Mike Vick’s actions.  I think they were way past the grey, wavy, spotted line of moral and immoral, but let’s be honest he went to jail, he did his time, and his life has been completely ruined.  As far as we know he’s never done it again, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to forgive him. To each their own.  They can do as they please.

In trying to piece together my thoughts I had a moment of clarity in a Facebook post from future DECA contributor CJ Johnson who simply wrote:

I’m going to say this and leave it alone.

I hope, one day, someone is able to grant you forgiveness and the opportunity to redeem yourself. No matter what you’ve done. No matter whom you’ve hurt, I hope you’re granted that gift.

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People of Pittsburgh, I’m sure that you are all perfect human beings unlike me.  I’m sure you’ve never made a regrettable decision and you never will.  Personally I’ve made a few mistakes a long the way, including one major mistake that I won’t bring up but you may be familiar with if you know me well enough.  What I learned from that mistake is that you have to apologize and admit that you were wrong, not only for your action but for the pain and embarrassment it caused others, and if you are lucky you will be forgiven.

Perhaps not by everyone, but by the people closest to you.  You take that forgiveness and use the positive energy to ensure you never repeat your actions.  It makes you think differently about life.  It makes you realize that you don’t need to be the one pointing out others flaws.  We are all flawed individuals, its OK.  You just got to try to be a little better each day.

If you are in the camp of you will never forgive Mike Vick that is fine. That is your right to be that way.  Dog fighting is deplorable.  It is truly sickening.

If you are in the camp of you are never going to forgive the Steelers for signing Vick I per-forgive you for your hypocrisy.  It is all right.  We all get worked up from time to time and say things we don’t mean.  Some of the worst things I have ever said have been to the people I love the most.  Thank gosh for forgiveness, eh?  Or I would be quite a lonely gentleman.

In general football players are kind of immoral. The NFL is immoral.  Until earlier this year it was a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry that enjoyed tax exempt status.  You want to get on your high horse?  Get angry about that.  Seriously, just think about that for a brief moment.

What about the children?  Well…. if you’re a parent who allows your child to make professional athletes role models than that is on you, not the athlete, when your child becomes disappointed in their actions.  Believe me, I was Mark McGwire’s biggest fan as a young one. Lesson learned.

I’m not saying you have to forgive Mike Vick, I’m not saying you have to like him.  However you did forgive Big Ben, and what is the difference between the two? Hmmm….

I just hope when you make your big mistake in life you get to experience the forgiveness Mike Vick never will, because it will make you a stronger person. And really life is too short to get worked up about the backup quarterback of your favorite football team.