OK guys, we all realize this is a day or two late, but we figured we'd give you a little recap of the best and worst of 2007...
I’ll start out with the worst of the year for the Lers, and that had to be the disappointment of not making the 2007 playoffs coming off a Super Bowl victory in the 2006 playoffs. The team just fell apart during the 2006 season and millions of Steeler fans around the world watched in disbelief as their team was held out of the playoffs. On the bright side however we did manage to hold the hated Cincy Bungals out of the playoffs by beating them in the final week of the season.
Honorable mention: Fast Willie breaking his fibula in the Thursday night game against the Rams. Damnit Santonio if only you coulda took that pass to the house instead of being tackled, we might still have Fast William for our playoff run. (not that he did much against the Jags the fist time we played them)
The best moment for the Steelers in 2007 is a tie between Cowher parting ways with the team, and the signing of new coach Mike “OG triple OG” Tomlin. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Bill Cowher, but all the speculation from the media about him resigning was just getting to be too much of a distraction for the team. I wish Bill and his enormous new chompers good luck on whichever team he decides to coach within the next couple years, either way he’s gonna get paid.
As for Tomlin, this guy is one smooth SOB if I do say so myself… As Mondesi pointed out the guy has an amazing hairline, and as I have pointed out he could probably kick most coaches in the leagues’ ass. More importantly Tomlin is an awesome coach who gets his players motivated and who always seems to say the right thing to the media. Good call Rooney’s I can see Mike Tomlin in his all black Steelers gear roaming our sideline for a long, long time.
Honorable Mention: Big Ben not getting hurt doing anything stupid this off-season. See what happens when your healthy Ben?
The best moment for the Pens had to be finally getting out of the funk and actually making the playoffs in 2007totalling 105 points for the season. The young guys put together a pretty mean winning streak in January 2007 to do so. The Penguins earned points in sixteen straight games of 14 wins and only 2 overtime losses during that month. Our playoff run didn’t last long as we were beat by the Ottawa Senators in five games, in the first round. Although we didn’t make it very far in the playoffs it was clutch to get these young guys some playoff experience and that should pay off if we can make it again this year.
Honorable mention: Crosby sweeping the NHL awards, winning the Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, and Lester B. Pearson award. Also, Sid being name the Pen's captain, the youngest player ever to wear the C.
The worst moment for the Pens had to be them getting their faces scrubbed in the first round of the playoffs by those pesky Ottawa Senators. We were completely overmatched in every aspect of the game, and even our boy Gary Roberts' physical, emotional brand of hockey couldn't save them. They worked their tails off but in the end, the youth and inexperience doomed the 2007 version of the Pens.
Honorable mention: The Pens releasing Mark Recchi. It was a sad day at the end of 2007 when the Pens decided they could do without the services of the Recchin' Ball. He won a Cup with us, and has been a Pittsburgh favorite for years, and it's always sad to see such a familiar face go on their way on someone else's terms.
The best moment for the Bucs was when they decided to "blow the whole thing up" and get rid of everybody from the top down. Kevin McClatchy had never had a winning season as team president, nor had Dave Littlefield as a GM, so everybody was glad to see them go. Add to that the axing of manager Jim Tracy and his laid-back-treat-everyone-like-a-professional attitude, and this was a pretty good offseason for us. Tracy didn't display the fire that is usually needed to take a bunch of youngsters to the next level, and my guess is his approach only works with a team full of veterans, not a bunch of AAA players like the Bucs had.
Honorable mention: The Pirates trading for Adam LaRoche. I know he didn't have the best of years, but when we traded Gonzo for him before the season, it stoked the fan base and got us all fired up. It ended up being another crappy year for us, but at least it was nice to feel optimistic, even if was just for a little bit.
The worst moment was picking Daniel Moskos in the first round of the draft. This isn't meant to be a knock on Moskos, who could turn out to a good reliever, but rather it's meant to show how bad the Pirate's ownership has become. Moskos was BY FAR not the best player available, but the Bucs chose to draft him because of his signability. It's horrible that we can't/won't draft the best player out there simply because we don't want to make the financial commitment needed to get a top draft pick to sign with us.
Honorable mention: Would be this entire offseason thus far. We have a new GM, team president and manager, and yet we have done pretty much nothing this offseason. It's nice to see that we haven't sold the farm for nothing as we've been known to do in the past, but I still think there's much work to be done. And you can't tell me that there wasn't a reasonable offer out there for Marte at the trade deadline last year or certainly over the offseason.
Pitt (football and basketball)
The lowpoint for Pitt, in my eyes, was losing to Navy in football this year. While Navy did make a bowl, they had no right beating us on our home field. Our linebackers are as big as their linemen, and yet we still succumbed. You could also count the loss to Louisville in there as well, as that skid we hit in the middle of the season was the true low point.
Honorable mention: Pitt basketball losing in the Sweet 16. Pitt basketball once again failed to get past the round of 16 in the NCAA Tourney, losing to UCLA. Pitt's program has come a long way in the past ten years, but their inability to get into the big show has a dissappointment. This year was looking good, with a balanced team full of youth and experience, until Fields broke his foot and Cook killed his knee. Who knows though, maybe this will be the year.
The high point would have to be Pitt beating WVU, ending any hope the Mountaineers had of going to the National Championship. What makes it even better is their coach flew to Michigan, leaving them without their head coach and without their star recruit, Tyrelle Pryor. We at PNA love any opportunity to berate our neighbors to the south and west, so this definitely ranks as our high point.
Honorable mention: Even though this was very recent, it technically was last year, so the victory our Panthers hoops team had over Duke has to be mentioned. They beat Duke in OT at Madison Square Garden, and on national TV to boot. Pitt overcame a huge first half defecit and climbed back into the game on Dejuan Blair's 20 rebound performance. Quite a game to prepare them for the regular season.
Hope you all enjoyed our year end review, and look for more an update either later today or tomorrow...