Friday, February 1, 2008

New Blog

Hey everyone, just a quick note...

Since baseball season is about to get underway (spring training is in like 2 weeks), it's about time to start thinking about our beloved Buccos...but as we all know, the past few (15 and counting) teams have been rather dissappointing. With this in mind, reader Benny Benack's Ghost has started a blog called The Green Weenie.

It's a site dedicated to the Buccos of old, with a little bit of the new guys thrown in to round it out. It probably won't be updated daily, but it's content is fantastic and each post is entertaining as hell. I didn't know the Bucs had such a cast of characters back in the day, and the stories and nicknames are legndary.

Check it out, and make sure you bookmark it - I'm sure the stories will get crazier as the site gets going...

Link's N'at

So apparently Rudy Gay got a big mouth - he's challenging Dwight "I'm a lot taller then you" Howard to perform a dunk on a 12 foot rim at the Slam Dunk Contest this season...Personally, I think Howard will dunk all over this guy, and he's probably the most athletic mofo in the league...

It appears J.J. Reddick wants out of Orlando. He gets no love from coach Stan Van Gundy, and I never thought he was anything m ore then a Brent Barry type outside shooter anyway...Definitely not worth a top 10 pick...

In other NBA news, Pau Gasol apears headed to L.A. for Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie and a bazillion draft picks...That's just what the Lakers need - another whiny malcontent who makes a ton of money and shows no loyalty to the team that drafted him (yea, I'm talking about you Kobe)...

Ced Wilson's recent problems with his baby's mama just won't go away...According to the lady's lawyer, Ced sent text messages to the father of his ex, calling him a pimp and soforth...It's like a soap opera for Steelers fans. I'm just glad he's our fourth (or hopefully this year fifth) reciever and all of his problems won't really affect anything...I've considered him a bust since we've gotten him, and I think his only contribution this season should be as a punt returner, because God knows "Horrible" Willie Reid can't handle it...

In some celeb funnyness, check out this post on What Would Tyler Durden Do?...It's from the Jimmy Kimmel show, and it's a music video featuring Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon...(make sure the kiddies aren't around when you rock out to this one!)...

And finally, last night, we noticed that LeBron James plays well whenever he's heckled by opposing fans, espcially when they're the jagoffs in the front row who pay thousands for their seats...So we at PNA, and many others in the media, suggest the Cavs hire a professional heckler to follow them around and ride LeBron's ass every time he touches the ball...

We even have a candidate - Jack Welsh, a longtime friend of PNA and bartender down at Archie's on the South Side...He's been a professional heckler since the age of 12 when he used to make little leaguers cry down at Hammer Field and has continued as he's grown to bigger and greener pastures - namely Heinz Field, PNC Park, South Side and Greenfield....Come down on Wednesday nights for cheap ass wings and to watch Jack heckle every and anyone who we don't like...Snack and Diego are usually there, and if you're real lucky, we all may just heckle you...

Until lata, there's a new Swinburna in the works, it's just really long so I might not get it up till tomorrow...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

1 for 2 on the evening...

The Pens lost last night to the Thrashers. It was also the first time they've looked really limited by their injuries.

They simply couldn't get anything going at all. Their offense was completely stagnant, and the defense couldn't hold stars like Illya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa from doing their thing. Ty Conklin got pulled in the third, and just wasn't as sharp as he has been in his previous outings.

My hope is this was a one time thing, but my brain is telling me this is something we might have to take for a little bit. My guess is, for every game we win because of the hard working, hard playing style of our youngsters, we'll lose one because they overplay the puck or make stupid mistakes (ie - the reasons they were in the minors to begin with).

As for the Pitt game, all I know is they won. Diego made the trip to Oakland to watch the Panthers, so I'm sure he'll have a better recap whenever he decides to post again.

Pitt apparently went on a huge run in the second half, which is good to hear because they comepletely fell apart against Rutgers down the stretch. Good to see them back on the right track, and with the vicotry, they've climbed into a tie for third in the Big East, which is better then I thought they'd be doing without Mike Cook and Levance Fields.

Until lata...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pens Win 4-2

Last night's 4-2 victory over the Devils was exactly the way then Pens needed to start off the stretch run of the season.

Missing seven starters due to injury or illness (way to get mono TK48 - remember to stay away from those puck bunnies the next time you visit Toronto), the Pens played a gritty, defensive minded game to earn the W. Ty Conklin was stellar in goal again, and if it wasn't for All-Everything Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, we may have won 7-2.

Ryan Malone scored two goals, and Jordan Staal and Erik Cristensen each added one in a game that featured some rareities - no fights in a Devils-Pens game and Brooks Orpik logging time as a left winger on the fourth line. It was Orpik, Big Georges, and some guy named Smith who is apparently Wilkes Barre - Scranton's captain. What a sight to behold.

Geno Malkin was quiet, which is odd for him against the Devils, but it's certainly nice to see them win without their hoss playing well. All in all, a nice little win for the boys, and it moves them past the Devils into second in the Atlantic Division on fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The Pens will be back in action tonight in Atlanta, so make sure you check out the action...

Until lata...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Link's N'at

ESPN does a nice story on Sid the Kid, on and off the ice. Scott Burnside wrote it, and it shows you all of the crap he has to go through on a day in, day out basis. And it also shows how Colby Armstrong and the boys keep him grounded with some practical jokes and wild revelations...

Kris Beetch is is stuck in Canada and can't play tonight against the Devils. I guess life truly is a "Beetch" up in the grizzly north (hahaha you know you love it)...

Here's a breakdown of the Big East on Fanhouse. Pitt better turn it around after that disappointing loss to Rutgers...Maybe they need Snack to meet them at Peter's Pub in Oakland and give them a Van Wilder-esque pep talk to get that fire burning again...

Plax got his Anthony Smith on yesterday by predicting the G-men would make history by defeating the Pats. Somewhere, Joe Namath is smiling (probably at a picture of Suzy Kolber while holding a tall boy in his hand...)

That's right, they're making a GI Joe movie with real people as the stars. What's next, a TV sitcom based on the movie Clueless? Oh yea, I forgot, they already did that. Surely this is a sign of the Apocalypse...

Until after the Pens game...

10 Reasons the Patriots will lose the Super Bowl

Well that time of the year again, Super Bowl week, full of endless speculation, interviews, Tom Petty, and lots and lots of’s all good if your team's in it, but this year ours isn’t. So basically, we’re all just rooting for the Patriots to take one on the chin and looking forward to seeing some new commercials. After the popularity of the Top 10 Reasons to Hate the Patriots (by far my most popular and controversial post). I had no choice but to get at them again, and with that in mind here is this week's Top 10...

10. Week 17 -

Did the game week 17 really mean anything to either of these teams in terms of the playoffs? The answer to that is no, but yet every starter for both teams, on both sides of the ball played the entire game. It proved that the Giants were tough and weren’t scared of the seemingly immortal Pats. The G-Men handled business too, leading into the 4th quarter of the game. The experience of facing the Patriots will help the Giants prepare for the rematch. They’ve dealt with the media blitz, they’ve dealt with Brady and Moss, and they are ready to go. In that game Brady passed for more yards, but Eli passed for 2 more TD’s. Also, the Giant’s red zone efficiency was a perfect 4/4 while the Pats was only 3/5.

See you in Arizona, punk...

9. The Redemption/Upset Factor -

Lets face it, the Giants are probably feeling a little like Rodney Dangerfield here, getting no respect. The opening line for this one had the Giants getting 14 points. That is an outrageously high spread, especially for a Super Bowl. If that’s not enough to get the Giants pumped, then maybe the never-ending media coverage of the heroic Patriots will do the trick. After all that the Giants went through in the off season; retaining Tom Coughlin and losing Tiki Barber, it almost seems like destiny for the Giants, overcoming all obstacles to rise up and win the big one against all odds.

9 Huge upsets to inspire the Giants

Webster’s INT brought redemption for Tynes Sunday

8. The Giants have 2 quality Running Backs -

The Giants have a nice combination of thunder and lightning, if you will, in their two running backs, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs is basically a refrigerator with legs - dude is HUGE. If you don’t believe me, ask Charles Woodson, who attempted to tackle the big man on the first play of the NFC championship and got totally flattened. The Beast from the East, Jacobs, has stepped in as the main man in NY now that Tiki is busy smoozing with socialites in the media. He has not disappointed, raking up 155 rushing yards and 3 TDs in the playoffs. Jacobs' counterpart Bradshaw is small but much quicker and has ability to take it to the house on any carry. This combo, mixed with one of the best O-lines in the game, makes the Giants' rush game is dangerous and a huge concern for the permeable Pats run defense.

All aboard! Next stop, endzone!

7. The Giants don’t make mistakes -

Turn the ball over to Tom Brady and he will screw you faster than a hooker in a massage parlor. Tom Brady is good, and so is his offense, so making it easier for him to score is about as smart as punching a cop. However, the Patriots have not blown out Super Bowl opponents in the past, winning 20-17 over Rams, 32-29 over Carolina, and 24-21 over Eagles. With those close margins of victory, not turning it over could be the difference maker. The Giants have been winning the turnover battle in the postseason, and it's been paying off for them. Eli has been perfect so far, with no interceptions in the playoffs, and he will need to be perfect once again if the Giants want to come home with a win.

That's it, keep it nice and boring for them Giants...

6. Giants Defense -

The first two weeks of the season, this defense looked like swiss cheese - but since then they have pulled it together. They wouldn’t be where they are now without their defense, especially last weekend when Corey Webster picked off Brett Favre in OT. Defensive coordinator Spagnuolo is the hot assistant coach this year, as his name has been linked to many vacant head coaching positions. Spagnuolo is the head honcho of the ferocious G-Men D, and if they expect to beat the Patriots they will have to make stops on 3rd down and take the ball away. This has seemingly been what the G-Men have been doing all year - putting pressure on the QB with the front 7, which leads to turnovers and sacks. Getting pressure on Brady will be key, but also won’t be easy, thanks to the best offensive line in the game. Defensive leaders Michael Strahan and Antonio Pierce will have their work cut out for them, but they understand a chance like this may only come once in a lifetime.(Or twice in Strahan's case...)

We're gonna get you, sucka...

5. Tom Brady’s walking cast -

Oh you gotta love those pesky camera men over at TMZ, as they snapped a pic of Brady walking to the NY apartment of his girlfriend Gisele. First off, what are you thinking hanging out in NY this week Brady? If I were you I would be a little concerned about getting Tonya Harding’ed while walking the streets - I hope you were watching your back. Now I don’t know if this injury is a concern or not, seeing as there has been so many conflicting stories on the matter, but I do know this is a distraction. A distraction for a team that may be a little too relaxed, kicking up their feet with the perfect record of theirs. If the Patriots worry too much about Brady’s ankle, and don’t focus on the assignment at hand, it could spell upset.

No bodyguard huh? Hope your packin' some heat Tom...

4. Plaxico “the roach” Burress -

Who can stop this lanky SOB? Surely nobody in the Packers secondary could, as Plax had his way with them catching 11 passes for 154 yards. This guy has been hurt pretty much the whole year, but has still dominated, stepping up his play on a weekly basis. Toomer is decent and all, but Plax is definitely more of a big play threat, and yet he still manages to torch corners and safeties to make the big play. He is surprisingly quick for a man of his size and he has excellent hands. I know the Pats have Moss, but he’s been relatively quite this post season catching only 1 pass in the AFC championship. If Burress can stretch the field then the Tom and Randy might find themselves playing catch up.


3. Giants have won 10 in a row on the road -

Winning 3 games on the road in the playoffs is a very impressive feat on it's own, however, winning 10 games in the row on the road is absolutely ridonkulous. (yes, I make up my own words) The Giants are the road team in the Super Bowl this year, so they are going for number 11. So the G-Men are road warriors this season and they have got history on their side, which is good because they are certainly lacking in Super Bowl experience. Coughlin has these guys playing with some good chemistry and more importantly, they believe in themselves, not in the hype.

2. 75% of the America will be cheering them on -

I wanted to say the world here, but it seemed a little too substantial. The entire 1972 Dolphins team is on our side, and so are the cities of Jacksonville and San Diego. Its kind of like the Patriots are the evil ou Top 10 reasons to Hate the Patriots showed, there are many reasons to hate this team, but I would say the main one is that no one likes a team that just wins all the time ex. Duke Basketball and Yankees. There is just so much not to like here; the cockiness, the miserable expression on the face of their coach, the stupid humble pie, their obnoxious fan base, and the continual praises from ESPN. (Including that stupid ass corny Brady Bunch Tom Brady segment they constantly show) On the other hand, it will make it all worth while if they lose in the Super Bowl - just to see the look on the face of the Patriots fans and especially those old ‘roided up defensive players like Junior Seau, Rodney Harrison, Teddy Bruschi, and Mike will be priceless.

The only 112 year old player in the NFL...go pop some more roids old man, you're gonna need them...

1. The Super Manning Bros. -

Archie Manning played for the Saints and they sucked. Luckily for him, he has super sperm and he’s 50% responsible for creating not one but two number one overall draft picks in the NFL. Archie might not know how to win himself, but he sure as hell knew how to raise some winners; behold the great and mystical power that is the Manning’s! You wait and see - Peyton got his ring last season, and this year it's Eli’s turn. As I previously stated, Eli has outplayed Tom Brady, and has been the MVP of the 2008 playoffs thus far and only needs one more good game. Then and only then we will see Eli-mania in 2008-09, with him taking the media spotlight away from his big brother. He’ll get the commercials, the bonuses, and hell, he may even date a model/actress himself...I’m thinking an Olsen twin possibly.

Until lata...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Morning Hangover...

Super Bowl week is kicking if we all weren’t sick enough of hearing about the Patriots and Tom Brady’s stupid ankle, now we’re going to get a whole week full of it crammed right down our throats.

I hope everyone enjoys Tom Brady is the greatest week. I’ve already had it with the Patriots talk… it didn’t help that the first thing I see when I woke up this morning was ugly ass Belichick on the Sunday conversation on Sports Center (I know I was shocked too the Patriots on Sports Center who wouldn’t thunk it?) with what looked to be some shit on his lip (HD TV the gift and the curse). The real media spectacle begins tomorrow as all the players and coaches from both teams are available for interviews during media day, until then I’ll be holding my breath.

Weekend in Sports

A weekend without football just feels wrong, what the hell else I am supposed to do while I’m drinking beer all day on Sunday? Sandcastle isn’t open yet so I’m pretty much stuck watching crappy programming on Comcast or playing COD all day on X-Box live.

There was some Pittsburgh sports action on Saturday night, but I had to work. So you’re going to have to rely on Snack for the recap of any NHL All Star game action or the Pitt game cuz I didn’t get to watch either.

One thing I did get to watch this weekend was a lot of the X Games (which sounds like a pretty good time). I got to check out most of the men’s snowboarding slopestyle and super pipe and it was definitely some entertaining stuff.

The highlight for me was watching the super pipe finals last night. The scene was amazing as the men’s snowboarders rode the pipe at night with thick snowdumping down from the sky. Shaun White stole the show with one of the smoothest runs I’ve ever witnessed. This kid is only 21 but he has the snowboard/skateboard game on lockdown.

Our Buccos

I had a nice little conversation with reader Dave about our Buccos today, since there wasn’t a whole lot going on this weekend I decided to include it in my hangover.

It all started out with me sending this e-mail -

Diego: so if payroll isn't going to be the Pirates excuse this year, then what is?

Dave: Do you think any of the pitchers Littlefield drafted that aren't already with the team will step up this year?

Diego: They better hope so because with the lineup we have now we won't be scoring too many runs every game.

Dave: Did you read about Bay in the Post Gazette either yesterday or Saturday? It was an article about how he's been strengthening his legs and already getting into form? We're no all-star team, but with Sanchez, Nady, LaRoche, and Bay playing like they can. I still think the core is good. I would love to see a centerfielder actually claim the position, though my preference was for Duffy because of his lead-off capabilities. I'm growing fond of Nate McLouth. I don't need to tell you Paulino needs to shape up or ship off. If they can improve their pitching, I just think their offense isn't as bad as it played last year. Then again, I have this conversation every single freakin year right about this time where I gather up every single reason I can for optimism that they may actually hit the unfathomable mark of mediocrity called .500

Diego: Ha I know how many years can you have the same conversation about the same crappy team? No though I didn’t see that about Bay, I’ll check it out though, but I do agree that if those 4 guys can get off to a decent start then that would be a pretty solid core of a team. Who is the battle for center between? McLouth, Duffy, and Morgan? McLouth had a pretty good couple months to end the year hitting and stealing bases and Morgan made some acrobatic catches out there. I just checked the depthchart on the Pirate's site and they have Morgan at the top of the depth chart McLouth second, and Duffy last. I think bullpen is most important because for the most part starting pitching really wasn't too too bad last year. Plus we lost Torres and Chacon. As long as Duke comes back and doesn’t look horrible again the rotation isn't bad. I agree though we're always optomistic in January and Febuary. I won't officially be depressed until Pens season and March madness ends.

Dave: The new GM (still trying to learn all the new names) has made it clear that Duffy will start in AAA. So a battle between Morgan and McLouth will definitely take place. I saw a brief interview with Duke the other night, and he must have heard/read some stuff where some sports writers have questioned his ability, and he was pretty angry about it. He seemed quite confident in himself, and that would be huge. Gorzellanny seems to be pretty solid, along with Snell. Duke and Maholm seem to be the question marks. If only Maholm could 'turn the corner' and be more consistently good. What we need is some young stud starting pitcher, about 22 years old with a cannon for an arm. Just like the Twins' Francisco Liriano; a young Cy hopeful who has the potential for 300 K's. That would put fans in their seats. The bullpen does look scary, doesn't it ?? Scary for us, that is, not opposing batters.

Diego: It will be good to have either one of those guys coming off the bench anyways (Morgan of McClouth). As for Paulino, hopefully he looks more like the Paulino of 2006 instead of the one last year. If Duke gets his stuff together we'll be in good shape cuz Snell and Gorz are serious. I agree that we need a young guy who throws heat, but they've been looking to draft that ace pitcher for the last ten years and failed repeatedly, maybe the new GM will be different who knows? All his signing this year are has-been’s though. I think having a solid closer would be huge for us as a lot of the games we where in last year our bullpen blew for us, but I do like Grabow and Capps, but it’s not enough.

Dave: Do you like Capps , or should they try someone else ??

Diego: Capps is hit or miss but you have to start out with him especially since Torres is gone now.

Dave: Yeah, I think Capps will work out, but Torres ate up a ton of innings. Same goes with Chacon. Hey, you're a righty, aren't you?? Ha ha! The bullpen is gonna be frightening, and that Jared Wright will probably start out there if he makes the team.

This concludes my first Buccos discussion of the year. Lets remember that the Buc’s are 27th out of 30 teams in the league with a 51.4 million dollar payroll. To compare the Yankees payroll is 218 million (and they still can’t win it all).

Its hard to point a where the Bucs need the most help.. what do you think is it starting pitching? Relief? Hitting? Or are you just to the point where you don’t even care anymore?

Until lata...

Quick recap from Snack

Well boys and girls, it's Monday, and other then Pitt pooping themselves against Rutgers, it was a rather uneventful weekend.

The X Games were on, and Shawn White was his normal, sick self. The silly bastard had the quote of the day - he was warming up and snapped his board, and as he did it yealled out "Aww, Fuck!" (pretty much woulda been Snack's reaction too)...The part that was funny was on the telecast they said he broke his board, they go to commercial, THEN play the clip of him, I coulda done a better job of editing then whoever that jagoof was...

It was cool to watch, but I don't know anyone other then White in the events (and Blair Morgan, the snowmobile racer...don't ask me how I know his name), so the main draw is always the wrecks, and yesterday was no different. We saw 3 different people getting drug off the slopes, and they even ran out of ambulances - thats how bad it was.

And if you saw the All-Star game in hockey, the highlight was Rick Dipietro dropping the f-bomb during the skills contest (thanks to reader Beans for sending me the link). It was a bad weekend all around for editors everywhere...

In local news, a reader named Joe (thanks buddy) sent me a link from the Trib saying Jared Zabransky will sign with the Steelers. Who is he? He's the guy who quarterbacked Boise State to a BCS win 2 seasons ago on the strength of two big plays, including a Statue of Liberty play and a hook-and-ladder play...Take a look -

And finally, the Pens resigned Kris Beetch, who spent a few years here in the Burgh already but who's tenure is mostly forgotten by Snack as he resided in Craphio (Ohio) during his run. All I know is it can't hurt to have another veteran player on a team making a playoff push.

Until lata...