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Tag:Steelers
Posted on: December 18, 2008 2:56 pm
 

2008 almost over... will 2009 be better???

Wow... here we are a week away from Christmas, and just a few weeks away from the end of 2008... with that said it is tradition to reflect upon the last year...

2008 was a big year for me personally... I moved across the country... looking to make a few changes in my life... looking for an opportunity to shine... but this is a sports site after all, let me talk about my teams...

2008 started off poorly for my teams... OU had the debacle in the desert... they looked as if they walked to Phoenix from Norman as the Mountaineers ran all over them... ugh... a few days later, the Steelers had a similar fate however; they did not have to travel for their beating at the hands of Jacksonville... so looking back January was awful...

Next would be the Pitt Panther basketball team in the NCAA's... gotta love the March Madness.. the Pitt team was pulling it all together at the right time of the year... overcoming injuries throughout the season, they looked primed for a long run in the tournament... ugh... the Beasts of the East once again struggled in the tourney as they are not used to the whistle happy officials... Panthers bounced!!!

No worries, I went to spring training and saw my beloved Pirates... new manager John Russell had the black and gold looking crisp... we had young pitching ready to lead us into the season... even had a chance to see the Pirates play the Marlins early on in the season... McClouth, Doumit, Malholm all surprised... still not enough to break .500... baseball was over for me in June...

Alas, my Penguins... my young Penguins blessed with the dynamic duo of Sidney Croasby and Evgeni Malkin... Sid was hurt and Malkin got even better... Fluery went down and Conklin became a wall... the Penguins with the young core dominated the playoffs getting to meet Hockeytown's own Red Wings in the Finals... while we did not expect to be in the Cup Finals this early, once we got there we wanted to win... in heartpounding and then heratbreaking fashion we were beat...

Did somebody say that football was ready to start in Norman??? Led by freshman sensation Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray the Sooners were poised to jump right back to the top of college football... my annual journey to Norman for the home opener was outstanding despite the wicked rain that swept in during halftime delaying the game some 90 minutes. Aside from a little slip in Dallas, the season could not have gone any better... 2008 ended with a bang... both good and bad... Sam wins the Heisman albeit with a cast on his thumb, but Murrya nad now Granger have surgeries resulting from wear and tear of the season thus eliminating them from the game in 2009...

Steeler football was ready to rock and roll... the Steelers were in the process of assembling the best defense the NFL has ever seen... while the offense struggling at times was making the plays when it needed to despite losing 80% of starters from a year ago... atop the AFC North they sit ready for a showdown this week for the #1 seed in the AFC

So looking back... not a bad year... yet it came up a little short in some cases... really short in one instance... what can we look forward to in 2009... a January win for OU??? a February win for the Steelers??? cutting down the nets in April for the Panthers??? Hoisting the Cup this summer (who knows when the NHL playoffs end???) and maybe, just maybe a .500 finish for the Pirates??? Ok... let's not get crazy... the Pirates will be a stretch...

As for me... 2009... I am looking forward to 2009... not sure what it will hold... but much like my teams... I hope to come out on top...

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy and Healthy 2009!!!

Posted on: October 9, 2008 11:28 am
 

Steeler Nation is Alive and Well

I am back from my trip to Jacksonville and I am happy to report that Steeler Nation is alive and well... my trip consisted of two parts, the first being the pep rally that was led by the SteelCity Mafia and headlined by Greg Lloyd. Let me tell you that it was quite the site seeing all of the Steeler faithful rolling into Jacksonville this past weekend. The cars/trucks that were adorned by Black and Gold covered the streets throughout the city.

The pep rally was amazing as the Steeler fans from all over descended upon a small shopping center located on Philips Highway. There were flags on cars, bumper stickers and some even went further with their entire car covered in black and gold memorabilia. We had the official Steeler truck adorned with numerous unique and interesting stickers, we had the Steeler Jeep clad in Black and Gold sporting a new look, a Greg Lloyd autograph on the front fender and finally we had some 3000 Steeler fans attend throughout the day.

The SteelCity Mafia made it a point to treat Steeler fans to a pep rally like no other, they not only brought a Steeler great to meet with the fans, but they did this in the name of charity... donating close to one thousand dollars to the Meal on Wheels of Jacksonville.

There were many highlights on Saturday, way too many to tell you all of them but a quick recap of the big moments... Greg Lloyd arrived to throngs of fans waiting for autographs... he was extremely cordial in dealing with the Steeler faithful, spending time to not only sign, but chat with his adoring fans, he also took a turn in the dunking booth much to he joy of the crowd... while a few people were able to dunk the most feared linebacker of his day, the highlight of that came when a young man with special needs missed on his first two throws and faked a third before he ran and pushed the dunking mechanism dropping Mr. Lloyd once again into the cold waiting water below. The crowd erupted as Greg Lloyd shook the young man's hand after his dip in the water.

Another component that made the day special was the work of a local artist, who displayed some of his work ranging from Jerome Bettis to Hines Ward, Willie Parker to Greg Lloyd. Will Western was the artist and his work was gobbled up by the Steeler fans, many having Greg Lloyd sign Mr. Western's work. I was fortunate enough to get one of those for myself.

As Saturday drew to a close, the Black and Gold were still present making their way to the various hotels, restaurants and bars throughout Jacksonville. Good thing Sunday's game was a night game as the party lasted into the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday was a cloudy day, with scattered showers making it a wonderful day for football... the crowd made it's way to the stadium with the Steeler Nation dominating much of the various parking lots surrounding the stadium. As the early afternoon games ended the crowd started to grow, with more and more Terrible Towels being waved in the air... the tailgating was Steeler strong as the BBQ's began to heat up... the IC Light was flowing, the smack talking was starting and all the while the rumble of Here We Go Steelers can be heard...

Finally the stadium allowed us in to see our warriors... first in the Bud Zone, we were able to see Hines Ward stretching and Ben Roethlisberger tossing around the ball... as they opened the doors, the Steelers fans made their way to the railing, snapping photo after photo of their heroes... The offensive line was out there going over assignments, the receivers were snatching balls from Ben, Byron and Dennis, the defensive backs were getting themselves ready, listening to their ipods... finally the heart and soul of the defense the linebackers specifically the middle linebackers James Farrior and Larry Foote made their way onto the field... even though they were not in uniform, they were recognized immediately... the crowd letting them know that Steeler Nation would be with them in Jacksonville... you could see the joy in their faces as the Steeler fans began to chant for their guys... they smiled while stretching realizing that this was going to be a 'home game' in Florida.

In the tunnel they wait, standing just a few steps away, you could feel the energy, feel the buzz of the players... the moments before charging on the field are some of the most intense the players and the fans alike... and then the Boom.... players rush the field as the crowd erupts... something to see when the visiting teams gets a louder ovation than the home team... the National Anthem ends, the flyby shakes the entire stadium and it is game time...

I hope you all watched the game, so I will not recap that here... but I will tell you that the Steeler crowd was treated to a wonderful game... at times stressful, at times disheartening but finally euphoric... as I walked from the stadium savoring the victory, the rumble returned... Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go... Steeler Nation is alive and well

 
 
 
 
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