Category Archives: Steelers

My thoughts on Troy


 

I am writing so many pieces right now.

My annual Burghy Mother’s Day Gift Guide for the magazine, so you can buy your mother something meaningful and local. My annual Pittsburgh Magazine City Guide column in which I will astound you with even more things you probably didn’t know about our fair city. A post on the new Clemente Bridge bike lane, how some people aren’t happy about it, and what Bill Peduto’s plans for it are. My regular magazine column, of which a topic I have not yet determined because I haven’t drank enough wine yet. I’ve got a lot of writing balls in the air, people!

But then Troy Polamalu was like, “Slow your roll, girl. I have news.”

And you know, it’s not the most shocking news. I think you’d agree that Troy’s exit from the NFL wasn’t a Bugatti careening onto the exit ramp at 80 miles an hour, but was rather an Amish buggy with two elderly horses, slowly rolling off the highway, enjoying the scenery as it passed. With his increasing age and diminishing physical health, we knew it was coming. The gray hairs foretold it. There’s no surprise. No abrupt ending that leaves us scratching our heads, I’m looking at you, Gillian Flynn.

I am 90% disenchanted with the National Football League and you know this because I wrote about it. I quit it. I stopped watching the games. Stopped supporting with my dollars. I can’t support an organization that seems to be allowing bad men to beat their wives and good men to destroy their precious brains.

The NFL became a bad taste in my mouth. The fly in my wine (which I would still drink because wine is delicious). The rain on my wedding day, Alanis. It became, to me, a money-worshipping, Alpha Male-encouraging, greedy, evil empire and I had to walk away from it and God did it feel good.

But within that muck, stood Troy Polamalu. A man who managed to prove that the NFL and football do not automatically destroy good and decency. That a strong enough man can rise above it and stay there for an entire career. Who can put family and God and good before money and power and vice.

We establish long ago that “The Steeler Way” is a myth, but somehow, someway, Troy Polamalu is mythical enough to live it and make it real. Every story I’ve ever heard about Troy has been uplifting, which is why I dubbed him Troysus many many years ago.

Football’s Jesus. The man who literally never stopped praying. And I feel comfortable using the word literally there, because his very essence oozes prayerfulness. Quietness. Solitude. Peace. Even when delivering a crushing blow to an opponent.

I’ve heard about his quiet visits to the homeless. His visits to sick children at the hospital without ever telling another soul. His devotion to his family. There is no cloud of questionable judgment hanging over his magnificent head of hair, and there never was. Just pure sunshine.

I think Steeler Nation loves Troy for his contributions to the physicality of the sport — to the wins. But I think he will be long remembered more for the kind of person he is. For his larger than life aura of I RISE ABOVE IT ALL ALWAYS. 

Call him the Jesus of the Steelers. The Mister Rogers of the Steelers. The Superman of the Steelers. Call him Troysus. Call him what you like, and then strive to be just a little more like him.

Then and only then will the Steeler Way stop being a myth and become something this city can truly hold up and be proud of.

 





Long overdue Random n’at

russellcrowe

1. [taps microphone] Is this thing on?

Whew! It’s been a hell of a January. I mean, it was New Year’s Eve, I blinked at midnight and BOOM. January 17.

I’m still here. Still writing. Still wishing Portland to suck it.

Lots to cover, so get your clicky finger ready.

2. Russell Crowe is reportedly returning to the Burgh to film a new movie. As you recall, when Mr. Crowe last filmed in Pittsburgh, he loved it so much he would take miles and miles of bike rides through the city.

Stalk-o-meter calibrated to “Stun and Throw Your Body In Front of His Bike Forcing Him to Render Aid Unto You While Speaking With an Adorable Aussie Accent.”

Amanda Seyfried and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul will co-star.

I’ve never seen a single episode of Breaking Bad and it’s very rude how judgy you’re looking at me right now.

3. Fourteen minutes of goalies flipping out. 

Hee. Apparently these guys missed the first part of the “carry a big stick” saying.

4. David Conrad. Still loves Pittsburgh. 

“I love how sweet my homeland is. Sweet eyes. Sweet beer. Sweet hills and valleys stuffed with trees. Walking out of the airport and into a summer night, breathing in the green, sodden air for the first time in months…it’s practically pornographic. I want to drink it, lap it. I want it on me.  I love her, love her Pittsburgh.”

5. National Geographic Traveller. Still loves Pittsburgh.

(h/t PopCity)

6. Speaking of dinosaurs, did I tell you that I finally met my self-united husband Matt Lamanna? He is awesome, adorable, smart, and we are best friends forever.

I’ll be writing that story up for the magazine soon. It’s a good one.

7. Bill Cowher claimed to 93.7 The Fan that all NFL coaches try to steal signals, not just Bill Belichick, who he says simply got overly arrogant by filming it.

Colin Dunlap has feels about this.

8. Is this the best episode of Pittsburgh Dad ever?

Joe DeNardo gets the Chuck Norris treatment. Genius.

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9. Thanks to Fukuda (NOT pronounced “f–k you da”) for finding these sweatshirts at Walgreens.

sweatshirt

Gotta love that at no point from design to production to delivery to store stocking did anyone notice that independent was misspelled.

Also, someone oughta tell the sweatshirt designer that that bell is in Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh.

[golf clap]

10.  Luke Ravenstahl, NOT “Taking Care of Business” anymore.

Mr. Peduto said his name will not be “printed, painted or engraved on any long-term city property.”

“City property should not be used to campaign for political office,” he said in a statement issued with the order on Thursday. “The City’s physical assets are owned by the taxpayers. Under my administration, these assets will be marked only with basic identifying information and the City seal.”

You guys. We MAY actually have a real mayor.

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Somewhere, Luke Ravenstahl wakes up:

lukeycrying





Random n’at

PittGirl Pirates

1. The other night, while listening to my son read his book-report book aloud (if I don’t make him read it aloud, he’ll skip chunks of pages at a time on account of laziness), he got to a part where one kid calls another kid a jackass. The look of pure joy on his face as he, without getting yelled at, uttered the word jackass three times … well, that’s the true meaning of Christmas.

I’m kidding, Dad. I know what the true meaning of Christmas is.

PRESENTS! DIAMONDS! CASH DOLLAH BILLZ! [makes it rain on the strippers]

And my phone will be ringing in three, two–

2. The winner of the Yinzer Gift Guide giveaway was notified and has accepted the prize. Shop the guide here!

3. It drives me insane — PURPLE MINION INSANE — when people refer to the Roberto Clemente Bridge as the Sixth Street Bridge, so I wrote about it for Pittsburgh Magazine, hoping to convince these lazy butts to stop being such jerkfaces:

This is not Snoop Lion Doggy Dogg Hedgehog Owl changing his name every time he moves his bowels. This is not the year of our Lord changing its name every 365 days. This is an iconic bridge whose name was changed once more than a decade ago. At this point, if you’re still calling it the Sixth Street Bridge, you’re just stubbornly refusing to put forth the same effort you do when writing the correct year on a check in early January.

Have a read.

4. Barebones Productions has to be having a hell of a time advertising this play in the local media:

hat

“Things are starting to look up for recovering alcoholic Jackie and his girlfriend Veronica…until Jackie spots another man’s hat in their apartment and embarks on a sublimely incompetent quest for vengeance.”

I’m a big Patrick Jordan fan.

Can’t wait to see it. Tickets here. 

5. Check these out:

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I kinda love ‘em. Gonna do a giveaway of them soon.

(Not a paid ad.)

6. Interactive map of Pittsburgh’s lost inclines! Historygasm.

7. Community Human Services Holiday Gift Card drive is underway. It’s so easy to just buy a few gift cards for those in our city who need them the most. Check it out here. 

I’m going to try to get my butt to the Hough’s party again this year. 

8. Just me, putting a bug in your ear that in early February I’ll be begging you for some of your dollars to donate to the next phase of Make Room for Kids with the Mario Lemieux Foundation and local Microsoft folks. We are going to be outfitting two units at CHP with gaming and other tech distractions … the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and the Trauma Unit. More soon on that. Just do me a favor and set a few bucks aside for it. LOVE YOU!

9. Shut up! Fallingwater has a satellite holiday gift store downtown for the holiday shopping season!

I’m so there.

10. Ten of the funniest Mike Tomlin memes from his Thanksgiving day dance partay.

I like this one too:

tomlin-carlton-480

11. Let’s check in with Jeff Reed on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.51.13 AM Still amazing.

12. Has anyone heard from Shaun Suisham lately? Did he get the trash I left for him on his lawn?

Kidding.

Mostly.

Maybe.

Not at all.

FBN STEELERS RAVENS

grumpycat

 





Jeff Reed joins Twitter. Does everything wrong/right.

When 96.1′s resident hottie Tall Cathy informed me that Skippy Skeeve (as I called him many a time) AKA former Steelers badboy Jeff Reed, had joined Twitter, I grabbed a chair and some popcorn.

This oughta be good.

I was so so right, because somehow, some way, somewhere over the rainbow, Jeff Reed is managing to break all the Twitter rules and still come out on top.

That’s not a euphemism.

And speaking of euphemisms, Jeff Reed calls that an “SAT word.”

Let’s review the rules Jeff is breaking.

1. Use proper punctuation

Jeff Reed only believes in four punctuation marks — the ellipses, the triple question mark, and the triple exclamation point. And very occasionally, he’ll whip out a comma. That’s not a euphemism.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 8.54.40 AM

Jeff Reed does not believe in periods.

He sees a period and he Sheetz-Paper-Towel-Dispenses that bullshit all the way to Ohio.

I called him on his excessive exclamatory punctuation:

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Dumbfounded = me:

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 8.57.52 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 8.58.03 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 8.58.10 AM

Jeff Reed, 1: Punctuation rules, 0!!!…???

2. Don’t feed the trolls

I have a pretty epic Twitter troll who believes in his heart of hearts that I, a Pittsburgh-born girl of Syrian descent, am an illegal Mexican immigrant. That my husband, a naturalized US citizen who has never once set toenail in the United States without a proper Visa or Green Card, is an illegal immigrant. He loves to tweet to people who follow me about how I am a “wetback Messican.”

Here’s a sampling of hate from one of his many Twitter accounts he has used to bash me:

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 6.51.57 PM

 

My Twitter followers have been very very good about not responding in any way to this troll, because the rule is DON’T FEED THE TROLLS AND THEY’LL GO AWAY.

Jeff Reed fed the troll, whose latest account has already been suspended, but the gist of his tweets to me and Jeff Reed were INSULT INSULT YOU BOTH SUCK. SHE’S AN ILLEGAL WETBACK AND YOU’RE A WASHED UP LOSER ASSHOLE MOTHERF–:

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 8.50.25 AM

What can the troll say to that?

Nothing.

The troll is still sitting at his keyboard all, “By the beard of Zeus and my tiny penis, I have no clue how to respond to this!!!…???”

Jeff Reed: 1, Troll: 0

3. If your glory days are behind you, pretend like you don’t care.

Jeff Reed wants back in the NFL, and he’s not afraid to admit it.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.20.27 AM

 

4. If you’re a celebrity, don’t be too accessible to fans. 

Jeff Reed says EFF THAT and he rips the rule off the wall like a misbehaving paper towel dispenser.

He responds to every single tweet.

His schedule is more public than Luke Ravenstahl’s, not that that’s saying much.

He walks into Ross Park Mall and just begs you to find him:

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.08.50 AMScreen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.08.40 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.08.29 AM

His shirt? “Congratulations! You’re not illiterate.”

Fans, 1: Privacy, 0

Also, I have no clue what batorches are.

Maybe it’s a euphemism.

For balls.

P.S. Here’a fun Jeff Reed post I wrote a while ago. 

And here’s the one where he looked like a gerbil chasing a puma.

Good times.





Big Ben said … bongggg bonggggg bongggg.

The things Ben Roethlisberger has said about himself since going 0-3. 

  • “We can’t, I can’t, turn the ball over, plain and simple.”
  • “I honestly thought the two fumbles were good plays. Sometimes I don’t want to call it luck, but sometimes they hit the ball just right and it pops out.”

Things the Duke of Fug and the Earl of Gross has said about the rest of the team:

  • “You can’t get a read on him. One day, he’s practicing, one day, he’s not; one day, he’s going hard, the next day, he’s not. If he was a guy like Heath Miller that you knew was busting his butt every day to get back … Le’Veon is a rookie. I don’t know him quite well enough yet. But if he can come back and help us, we’ll take him.”
  • “I’ll go say something to him to see if it hurt his feelings.”
  • “Be tough. Be nasty. If you have to get a penalty because you’re going to be nasty, a holding penalty or you’re going to choke someone out on a run play … I don’t always think that’s a bad thing if you get a penalty every once in a while because you’re playing tough and nasty compared to not getting any penalties and just playing passive. I know the O-line coach [Jack Bicknell Jr.] probably didn’t want to hear me say that, but I just want them to have the confidence to go out and play the way that I know they can.” 
  • “I need them to have a confidence and a cockiness about themselves. Everyone is talking bad about them, but you know what? They’re here for a reason. They were the best ones on their college teams, they got drafted high. They need to go out there and play with a confidence and an attitude that (says), ‘You know what? I’m the baddest guy out here.”

chandler

Seriously. Stop talking to the media. You’re terrible at it.