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09 March 2009

What A Year!

This site is all about Pittsburgh sports. I am going to try a serious attempt to cover all of them. That's right, from the Pens to the Steelers and from the Panthers to the Pirates. After my session on the Kegs and Eggs show with Mike and Chris this morning, I realized I know alot about our teams, but not nearly enough. I hope for this scenario of me knowing all my teams like the back of my hand becomes my career someday, but that's just a dream, right? Who knows. Hopefully alot of people heard me on the radio, even though I sucked, and maybe even place some ads!
I will start with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can you believe that game yesterday? Who could ask for more excitement. I loved the fact that we matched them in their physical play in all aspects. We also showed that we would be patient and stick to our gameplan in the face of adversity. It was Dan Bylsma's 8th win in 10 games, giving him 17 point out of a possible 20. This is a franchise record for the first 10 games, overtaking the late Herb Brooks. We are well on our way to the playoffs. There is some speculation on whether or not we should take the "interim" tag off of Coach Bylsma, but I think he is doing just fine with the job so far. The playoffs will definitely make the organization rethink this option.
The Steelers have had a few fre agency departures, but non were surprising. We lost Bryant McFadden, our promising young starting cornerback, to the Arizona Cardinals. We also lost Nate Washington to the Tennessee Titans. Anthony Smith, a third string Safety was lost to the Green Bay Packers. We have young bodies to fill these slots, luckily, and non were a big hit. We have William Gay, who was playing great with his chances last year, for McFadden, Limas Sweed for Nate Washington, and any safety on the practice squad can fill the shoes of Smith. I think one of the biggest avanues we have to look at is the offensive line. We resigned Max Starks and Chris Kemoetu, but released Kendall Simmons and probably Marvel Smith. With the draft coming up quickly, all our issues should be resolved. With the addition of Rashad Mendenhall this season after his early injury last and the resigning of Sean McHugh as a FB/TE position, we should be set on offense.
I have to honestly say I am extremely excited about Pirates baseball this year. I look at this team and realize that we are only one or two elements away from a playoff birth. Before I jump to that idea, let's get to .500 this year first. What will it take for our Pittsburgh Pirates to get 81 wins? If you watch the Bucs, you may have realized that we always seem to have one pitcher playing well and the rest playing horrible. If we could get all our pitchers to play one year together as a unit, we would, without a doubt, get at least 81 wins. I like our odds for this year. We have a great pitching coach, finally, and it is showing in the preseason already. We are 8-3 right now while outscoring opponents 61-43. Last year, we went 13-17, while scoring 150 runs to 155. We are starting off great. I fully believe that success breeds confidence, confidence breeds winning. We are having early success. Let's hope that carries onto the regular season.
On the idea of baseball, we have the World Baseball Classic going on right now. Last year, USA finished and embarrassing 8th place. You might ask why is it embarrassing? Well, considering we created the sport, we should be. The USA team turned a corner this year and are playing like a unit. The are 2-0 and into the second round. They have beaten Canada and Venezuela a combined 21-11. I know this isn't Pittsburgh, but we do have John Grabow in the games, and he is as Pirate.
Pitt Panthers basketball is now looking for a #1 seed in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. They have had an incredible season for the ages, upsetting the #1 ranked UConn Huskies twice. We are 28-3 and 15-3 in the conference, which is second to Louisville in conference play. We have been undefeated at home and lost to Louisville, Villanova, and Providence. I am really looking forward to the Big East Tournament as well as the big tournament. Let's see if we can bring back a national championship!
Last year, Pitt Panther football seemed to take a big step forward as far as a winning tradition. We were 9-4 and 5-2 in the conference. We went to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, TX, wich turned out to be a big snoozefest against Oregon. It ended with a loss of 3-0. That's right, a field goal, that was it. Hopefully this coming year, with the new offensive coordinator in the mix, we make an even bigger splash in college football. We have the second full class of recruits under Dave Wannstedt and also a winning season under his belt, not to mention a few nationally televised games this year. This will give the team some big stage time to prepare for the big stage that is a bowl game.
I hope this quick rundown will help out any Pittsburgh Sports anxiety you may be having. Looking at this as well as all the other college Pittsburgh area teams possibly making the big tournament, this may be the best year in Pittsburgh Sports. A Superbowl Championship, possible long run in the Stanley Cup playoffs, stopping the streak of Pirates losing seasons, possibly a National Championship, possibly a great Bowl Game, and Everything Pittsburgh celebrating its one year anniversary soon. Who knows what 2009 will lead to, but it sure is promising.


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