Oct 122012

In a stunning rebuke of America’s politically-charged society, the Gods of Football chose to punish the Pittsburgh Steelers because some of their fans deigned to pay even the slightest bit of attention to the Biden-Ryan VP debate last night. The Steelers fell to the Tennessee Titans, 26-23 on a last-second field goal, dropping their record to 2-3.

Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images

“Political pundits across the nation have spoken about the relative unimportance of this debate to the greater outcome of the President Election in November so we were surprised and disappointed that normally erudite Steelers fans disregarded the science of Superstition and watched the VP debate instead,” said a clearly angry Pop Warner, chief spokesman for the Football Deities. “Even channel surfing between the two is considered bad form. In our estimation, Titans fans’ attentions weren’t as divided so we chose to reward their loyalty.”

Your humble narrator can attest to the scatter-brained nature of the Nation as after the game, he saw numerous Facebook posts and tweets by otherwise loyal Steelers fans who had been commenting on the VP debate during the game.

Let this be a lesson, Steelers Nation. FOOTBALL > politics. The Gods do not care about your political loyalties, or even your level of activity or advocacy. But when your Steelers are playing, TUNE THE FRAK IN!

Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images

Sep 182011

The college sports world was thrown into turmoil this weekend when it was revealed Pitt and Syracuse had applied for and been accepted for membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Speaking to Andy Katz of ESPN, Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said that adding the Panthers and Orangemen would be a coup for the ACC.

“It’s actually pretty exciting,” Krzyzewski said. “I think it’s great for our conference football-wise, even better basketball-wise. Wherever this is going to end up, four big-time conferences or five, whatever it is, you want to be perceived as No. 1 in football and basketball.”

It is widely known that Duke and Coach K opposed the ACC’s previous expansion plans, a position that solidified the other universities’ resolve to add Miami-FL, Virginia Tech and Boston College. So even though Pitt and Syracuse bring top-notch basketball programs to the ACC, Krzyzewski’s remarks still caught ACC administration off guard.

MST has since learned that the ACC’s Presidents and Athletic Directors have had a sudden change of heart upon hearing of Coach K’s welcoming words. Using a little known by-law known as the We Hate Duke Corollary, they have since re-voted to reject Pitt’s and Syracuse’s applications to the conference. The ACC’s expansion focus will now shift to schools that will most definitely piss off the Blue Devils.

“It’s actually pretty exciting,” Krzyzewski said. “I think it’s great for our conference football-wise, even better basketball-wise. Wherever this is going to end up, four big-time conferences or five, whatever it is, you want to be perceived as No. 1 in football and basketball.

Mar 102011

Since SMU football received the NCAA Death Penalty, there’s been a saying in college sports that any time an Alabama or a Kentucky commits major violations, an East Tennessee State or a Montana will get slapped with NCAA sanctions.

MST has learned that the NCAA has indeed levied sanctions against Miami University of Ohio in order see that justice be done in the case of Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel lying about his knowledge of “Tattoo Gate”. In an ingenious twist, the NCAA will use time travel, not to levy actual sanctions against the University, but will instead seek to sully and damage the school’s reputation. Actual far-reaching sanctions, as we all know, are not what the NCAA is all about.

By “arranging” for the University of Pittsburgh to hire away then-rising star Mike Haywood as its head coach while simultaneously trumping up charges of domestic battery against Haywood, Miami(OH)’s vaunted reputation as a cradle of coaches will be sullied and Haywood’s career ruined. The Redhawks are left wondering what might have happened had Haywood had not left Oxford, Ohio. In addition, a joint sting operation between the NFL and NCAA will see to it that the (already sketchy) reputation of Steelers QB and Miami of Ohio product Ben Roethlisberger is battered to pieces by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Now you’re probably wondering why the NCAA wouldn’t just ‘let’ Haywood stay at Miami(OH) and then humiliate the school with his scandal. But that would be a logical move. And we’re talking about THE FUCKING NCAA, HERE!!

Oct 262010

MST: And we’re back with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell: Thanks for having me.

MST: Commissioner, please explain the James Harrison fines and why you chose to dock him mo’ cash moneyyy than other players.

Goodell: We know that, like many football players, if James Harrison wasn’t in the NFL, he’d either be in jail by now or dead. That he comes from Ohio doesn’t help matters. By fining Harrison, we’re letting him know that murder is not an option. He needed that. Even though we condone violence on the field, we can’t cross over into murdaaa.

The fine accomplishes a second aim as well. By suppressing his murderous Ohioan instincts, James will become an even more devastating player in the long run.

I should also add that part of the rationale behind Ben’s suspension was to remind the Steelers’ defense that a quarterback cannot carry a Steelers team, at least until the playoffs. Last year’s fourth quarter lapses ate just not part of the NFL… I mean Steelers’ Way.

MST: A well-conceived plan, Commissioner, and subtly executed. Would that you could have don’t a better job in Superbowl XL. I’ve been trying to deflect criticism of the officiating in the game for years now.

Goodell: I wasn’t commissioner at the time and I can assure you that the NFL will never again put the Steelers Nation through such a trauma. Simply put, planning for a Steelers Superbowl wasn’t part of outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue contingencies.

MST: And that concludes our interview. Thanks for your time, Commissioner.

Goodell: Thanks for having me.

Oct 262010

Many non-Steelers fans (concentrated mostly in Cleveland, Baltimore and Cincinnati) have long believed that the NFL gives a free-pass to the warriors from the Steel City. However, it was the recent suspension of Ben Roethlisberger and fining of James Harrison that had Steelers partisans screaming foul.

Moe’s Sports Talk sat down with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to find out his plans to rig the season and hand the Steelers a Stairway to Seventh Superbowl trophy.

MST: Good evening Commissioner and thanks for joining us. Please explain your rationale for the fines and suspensions and how it fits in with the NFL’s favoritism of Pittsburgh.

Goodell: Part of it is to light a fire under the team.

MST: Light? Fire? A? Please, go on.

Goodell: Well, you have to remember that some of the Steelers’ most critical personalities are from Ohio. As such, they lack the proper moral compass needed to contribute both on the field and to be good citizens off the field unless properly channeled.

MST: You mean Ben Roethlisberger and James Harrison?

Goodell: Right. By suspending Ben, even though he’d never been charged with a crime, we sent a clear message that he at least needed to act like a human being in order to lead the Black and Gold.

MST: But you could have derailed the entire season if the defense and run game hadn’t carried the team during his 4-6 game suspension.

Goodell: We were pretty confident that it would be a 4-game suspension. And its effect wasn’t solely targeted at changing Ben.

Consider the the case of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, whose previous OC job was with the Cleveland Browns. Naturally, three years in Cleveland can corrupt and break down any individual. By suspending Ben and taking away the Steelers’ best offensive weapon, we helped Arians’ rehab along.

The Steelers started to re-emphasise the rub. This also forced players such as Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall to step up, possibly earlier than they might have with a “Big Ben” character running roughshod over the team.

MST: Brilliant, commissioner. We’ll he back with the second part of our interview with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after this short break…

Sep 202010

Your faithful correspondent spent the past 5 days in LA for a good friend’s wedding reception and was pleasantly surprised to see how crazed the locals are for sports. They’re so passionate that they can’t bring themselves to pay attention.

Amidst the end of the wedding frivolities, it was a group of easterners who broke out into a seemingly random “Pittsburgh’s Goin’ to da Superbowl” chant. Los Angelino’s in our midst brought back the noise and the funk by taking another hit from the hookah. Score: East Coast-1, West Coast-Not Playing.

Admittedly, I did see numbers of people wearing Dodgers or Angels gear (what’s baseball?) and they can be excused for not caring about college or pro football since LA’s pro/semi-pro team is on probation. (Memo to Roger Goodell: This is the fanbase you long to recapture?)

I think it’s safe to say that California’s reputation for not being sports crazed is well-earned. No family shootings or stabbings over sports, no Steelers-polka at weddings? Tsk, tsk. Perspective, schmerspective! I’m getting a pre-nup solely for the purpose of making sure that my childrens be raised to love the black & gold, if I end up with a non-Pittsburgher.

Sep 132010

Perennially on the upswing, the Atlantic Coast Conference had a banner weekend with a number of its marquee programs in action against some quality competition.

The University of Miami withstood Ohio State’s best shot and delivered a resounding 36-24 defeat to the Hurricanes at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio. The score would have been closer if OSU had bothered to be less dominant.

Florida State did its level best to thrust Oklahoma’s Landry Jones into the Heisman conversation as the sophomore signal-caller went 30-for-40 for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns in leading the Sooners to a 47-17 victory that had to have former head coach Bobby Bowden rolling in his grave. Wait, Bobby Bowden isn’t dead? Very well then. Note to self: keeellll Bobby Bowden.

Defending ACC champion Virginia Tech burnished its non-conference credentials, following up last weekend’s close loss to Boise State by failing to come back to beat D1-AA school James Madison. This is the second time in as many years that a D1-AA school has defeated an ACC school from the Old Dominion State.

But perhaps the greatest signal of the ACC’s ascendancy was Virginia’s penalty-filled 17-14 loss to USC. The Trojans were so intimidated by the Cavaliers that they followed last week’s 11 penalties by committing 13 penalties for 240 yards. When asked how the Men of Troy could have played so badly and still won, UVA coach Mike London replied, “Don’t go ripping on Lane Kiffin! He’s just a kid! Come to me! I’m a man! I’m 49!!”

ACC proponents celebrated the conference’s gumption in scheduling such tough opponents, also pointing to Clemson’s epic clash with the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College and Maryland’s beatdown of Morgan State. ACC officials also decried the soft non-conference schedules of non-AQ schools, citing that Boise State’s marquee BCS win has been tainted because the Broncos’ opponent has since lost to a D1-AA school. When pointed to the fact that said opponent was from the ACC, the officials changed the subject to Midnight Madness.

Sep 032010

In any loss, culpability must be apportioned. Players stand up and take the blame for not executing the game plan. Coaches stand up and take the blame for devising an inadequate game plan or not making proper adjustments.

In the wake of Pitt’s loss to Utah last night, the Mustache of Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt took the fall.

Said the veteran facial hair, “Don’t blame the coaches or players. As the lead coordinator of Dave’s upper lip, I worked in concert with the Lower Lip to affect game strategy as we saw fit. Tonight, our instincts were wrong.

“I’m confident that as we learn to trust Wannstedt’s ideas, as is the case every season, the game plan will open up sufficiently as, in retrospect, it should’ve for the Utah game.”

Reached via teleconference, the wise and grizzled Mustache of Pitt legend Iron Mike DITKA agreed with Wannstedt’s Mustache’s assessment, saying that Man-Mustache partnerships are complicated and can be influenced by time, experience, temperature, humidity and the wearer’s grooming and combing technique.

Sep 012010

Late-breaking developments in the European futbol transfer market as Manchester City FC have announced the signing of God for the sum of €420 million (or fohh-twentee millyon euros). The veteran football said the lure of that sweet, sweet A-rab money proved to be too good to be true and so he is temporarily giving up his all-important duties of providing inspiration and redemption for mortal players or possessing then to engender extraordinary results.

Gods hand is white

Long-time soccer observers hailed the move as critical to Manchester City’s push to finish in the Top Four of English football and qualify for the Champions’ League, citing GOD’s extensive work for the likes of Pele, Bobby Charlton, Robbie Fowler and Diego Maradona’s Hand.

Tommy Smyth of ESPN, however, downplayed the move, instead intonating that the 19-time World Cup participant will have to earn his playing time on such a talented and expensive squad at the Eastlands. GOD, in a move sure to endearing him to Citizens fans, struck back at Smyth… by striking him down.

Sep 012010

Veteran ESPN journalist, John Clayton released a ranking list of NFL starting quarterbacks yesterday. His top five includes Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Favre.

According to our un-sources, MST has learned that Clayton has been reprimanded by the Mickey Mouse Empire for failing to show proper deference to Brett Favre, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo and Carson Palmer in favor of the embattled Roethlisberger.

Longtime broadcaster John Madden was enraged when told of Clayton’s opinions and, in the grand tradition of our pilgrim forefathers, swore to beat him senseless with a giant turkey leg.