Speed Read: Steelers Salvage Opening Night Win

If anyone wanted to know the difference between college football and the NFL, you just needed to watch the two games last night. (At least the two that anyone cared about - sorry, Florda A&M at Winston-Salem State on ESPNU.) If you like offense, crazy plays and wild comebacks, then the Clemson at Georgia Tech game was for you. But if you prefer low-scoring, hard-hitting football that’s kind of not very exciting until the final five minutes, then the NFL kickoff game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was for you. (Sorry, is my bias showing?)

Steelers vs Titans

First let’s talk about the Steelers’ 13-10 overtime victory. Plainly put, Pittsburgh had no reason to win this game. They could not run the ball, gaining a whopping 33 yards. (Note to the guy in my fantasy league bragging about “stealing” Rashard Mendenhall: eat it.) And between Jeff Reed almost shanking the game-tying 32-yard field goal into the offensive line’s backsides and Hines Ward fumbling after a reception took him inside the Titans’ five with a minute to go, they were teetering on disaster. Read more…

Did Steelers Blood Dope Before The Super Bowl?

A currently unregulated medical procedure done by a handful of athletes is being put under a little scrutiny. It’s a procedure that does exactly what Human Growth Hormone allegedly has done for MLB stars: it dramatically speeds up recovery from injury. And it’s a procedure that two Pittsburgh Steelers in particular apparently did two weeks before the Super Bowl.

hines ward steelers media day super bowl

(Hines Ward at the Super Bowl: Brought to you by PPT.)

According to a story in THE NEW YORK TIMES by Alan Schwarz, Steelers stars Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu both used a controversial procedure called Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy before last month’s Big Game. What does PPT do, you ask? Well, when the platelet-rich blood is re-injected into an injured region of the player’s body, it speeds up the healing process and, in some cases, may even allow them to avoid surgery.

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“Troy Polamalu” Will Nail Your Wife For SB Tickets

Craigslist is a magical place, isn’t it? In the old days, to buy or sell something, you’d need the social skills to meet someone in person, or at least the motor skills to Xerox a flyer. But now, all you need is a dream. One Pittsburgh man has a dream: to go to the Super Bowl and root on his Steelers. He also has long hair, so he’s offering himself up as a Troy Polamalu lookalike and offering to do anything in exchange for a Super Bowl ticket. And he means anything.

Troy Polamalu

Instead of going to Tampa and seeing the real Troy Polamalu, you can have someone who bears a passing resemblance to him shovel your snow! Or fix your computer! Or have sex with your wife!

Say what?

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Polamalu Replaces Mean Joe Greene In New Ad

I can guarantee that Troy Polamalu will be part of this year’s Super Bowl. No, I’m not making any bold, reckless predictions about the  odds of the Steelers winning the AFC this season, and who knows if he’ll actually be playing. But the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE reports that the long-haired safety will be the star of a remake of a legendary Coca-Cola ad featuring Steelers great Mean Joe Greene.

Mean Joe Greene

The original ad, which debuted during the Super Bowl in 1980, was one of the most iconic commercials of its time. It featured a young boy congratulating Greene for his performance with a Coke, and being rewarded with Greene throwing him his jersey.

Video of the original ad is after the jump:

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Fishy Call In Steelers Game Worth $64M To Vegas

You thought dogfighting was a black eye for the NFL? Just wait until the latest scandal picks up steam; one that actually affected real humans, and real money. Roger Goodell is going to regret his bloodless coup that deposed Generalissimo Tagliabue.

Troy Polamalu

I am, of course, talking about that abortion of an ending to yesterday’s Pittsburgh-San Diego game. On the last play, the Chargers lateraled the ball twice, fumbled, and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu scooped it up and rumbled to a touchdown to make the score 17-10, which would have covered the spread in some degenerate version of a Christmas miracle.

But wait! After a booth review, the officials cited a phantom forward pass, called the play dead, and ended the game at 11-10. Unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories are flying. (Video after the jump. “Back, and to the left.”)

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Speed Read: Donovan McNabb Gets Tongue-Tied

If you didn’t know by now, the NFL has a state-of-the-art website with lots of features, not excluding a standings page. Right there on the left we have a ‘W,’ ‘L,’ and ‘T.’ There they are. Win, loss, and tie. Donovan McNabb doesn’t need the NFL.com website to see what’s going on in the standings. He knows who has how many wins and losses. But what if, say, his Eagles are tied 13-13 with the Bengals after an overtime frame?

Donovan McNabb tie game lesson

Why, the game ends in a tie, of course. But McNabb — this has to be a fake video, according to my tentative faith in humanity — didn’t know ties were a rule in the NFL. Moreover, he said, “I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs.” We here at SbB obtained exclusive footage of the reporters in the press conference:

FACEPALM

All he knew was that “the game would continue until someone scored”, which in all fairness is I think what the referee does say prior to every overtime rule. The striped men never mention the possibility of a tie, and perhaps McNabb thought those were the complete rules of overtime. That’s the only possible reason I can use to defend McNabb’s ignorance.

But if I’m playing all-time lawyer, I can turn around and say that one the last teams to play in a tie game — the 2002 Atlanta Falcons — played McNabb’s Eagles in the playoffs that year. Your witness, me.

I now call to the stand: Jimmie Johnson.

Jimmie Johnson

It’s probably the most under-represented major sport on the Internet, but Johnson has won three straight championships in the Sprint Cup, something only Cale Yarborough has done in NASCAR’s top level of racing. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED lists the five reasons he won, omitting everything except the Cubs-esque Kyle Busch implosion. Oh, and his crew is already looking ahead to a fourth straight Cup in 2009. This could be Lance Armstrong-type stuff here.

Manny

And now we move onto news that could have happened but didn’t so it’s even bigger news. ESPN’s primadonna-following minstrel Pedro Gomez reports that if the Boston Red Sox weren’t able to trade Manny Ramirez, the Sawx probably would have suspended him. But they didn’t suspend him, and they ended up trading him. But we’re just finding out about this now, so we’re interested now. And even though we didn’t know this then, we knew there was tension between Ramirez and the Red Sox, so this news changes nothing about any of our premonitions of Ramirez or the Red Sox or Belgian waffles. Because Belgian waffles rule.

Waffles

Seriously, you can’t tell me that those waffles would be immediately eaten by you if they were on your plate instead of whatever stale, bland breakfast you pulled out of a wrapper this morning. Look at ‘em. All sugary and waffly and full of compartments where syrup can collect, and then you can put different syrups in different compartments because you’re OCD and need to have organized delicious breakfasts. You’re pretty sure if Brooks took photographs of beautiful waffles in exotic locales — many with big, bountiful “compartments” — his business would take off and go mainstream. You’re going to skip work and head out to IHOP right now, aren’t you?

See? I made you forget about Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox, and you are happier for it. My work here is done.

Troy Polamalu runs

Check that. My work actually isn’t done. There are still links to visit. All of them. Click on every single one. Full disclosure: I do not get a bonus for that.

Do you like ties in the NFL?

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Polamalu Could Be (Hair) Cut By New NFL Proposal

If a new NFL proposal passes, Troy Polamalu will need to get a trim.

Troy Polamalu Broncos

Adam Schefter of The NFL NETWORK reports that the Kansas City Chiefs have proposed a rule to “ban players from having their hair cover or obscure the names on the back of player’s jersey.” Read more…