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Best of the Web: The Top 20 Links of the Week

It's time for another round of 20 links devoted to Pittsburgh, spanning from Eric Godard to Frank The Tank to the great Ryan Doumit. Yes, no stone is left unturned in this week's Best of the Web, including news on a surprising Steeler coaching candidate, a nice sprinkling of some top 10, 50, and 100 lists, and most importantly, news on the new Dark Knight movie possibly coming to Pittsburgh and how the city continues its long-standing tie to the Batman franchise.

In news that should surprise no one, Eric Godard is now even more respected in the Pens' locker room after his kamikaze mission to rescue goalie Brent Johnson from Islander goon Michael Haley.  Just think of him as a giant, intimidating, guarding angel of netminders. [Trib]Frank "The Tank" Summers, YouTube sensation and Steeler fan favorite, officially became an ex-Steeler by signing with San Diego on Wednesday. The Tank spent 2009 on IR and 2010 on the Steelers' practice squad, and it was apparent that his time in Pittsburgh was not very productive for either side.  Looks like those early Jerome Bettis comparisons were just a little off. [PG] 

Ed Bouchette says the Steelers will not push to sign any of their top potential free agents before their contracts with the team expire with the end of the NFL's calendar year March 3. But in either case, a few guys, most notably LaMarr Woodley and Ike Taylor, will make boatloads of cash in the very near future. IF there's a season, I must add. [PG]

Chuck Cecil, former headhunter supreme in the NFL, was most recently employed as defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. But with that franchise recently resembling disorganization on an Oakland Raider level, a regime change was made, and Cecil was out of a job. Enter the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will interview Cecil for their vacant secondary coach's position this week. As PFT so smartly points out, the conversations between Cecil and kindred spirit James Harrison could be legendary. [PFT]

The Pitt Panthers ran their mark to 24-2 (and 12-1 in the Big East) with a 67-55 win over South Florida on Wednesday at The Pete. Nasir Robinson and Brad Wanamaker each had 13 points for the Panthers, with backup Talib Zanna adding 11. Pitt clung to a 46-44 lead with eight minutes to go, but when on a 14-2 run to close things out against the lowly Bulls (8-19, 2-12). Next up for Pitt: giant-killer St. John's (16-9, 8-5) at noon on Saturday at MSG. The Red Storm own wins over Duke, UConn, Notre Dame, and Georgetown this season, so Pitt should be wary of falling asleep at the wheel. [ESPN]

SI recently ranked the Top 50 prospects in the 2011 NFL draft, and two Pitt Panthers (Jon Baldwin/32, Jabaal Sheard/42) are among them. That's right, two of the top 50 draft prospects, and they couldn't win the Big East. Say that back a couple times, then shake your head in disgust as I'm doing right now. [SI]

ESPN draft guru Todd McShay recently gave his thoughts on the Steelers' draft needs, opining like most others that the offensive line is the biggest area of concern, followed by the secondary. [ESPN AFC North Blog]

Here's a great, crazy story of two Steeler fans' journey to SB45, which sounds like it could easily be made into a screenplay by someone with a little creativity. [Blog 'n' Gold]

Brian Bennett ranked the Top 10 performances in the Big East football conference this season, and unfortunately, Pitt has a connection to #1: it was UConn RB Jordan Todman's ridiculous performance (222 yards on 37 carries) in a pivotal game against the Panthers that swung the fortunes of two teams in the conference. On the bright side, Pitt was represented at #4 (Dion Lewis vs. Cincinnati) and #9 (Ray Graham vs. FIU), but unfortunately, they don't give BCS bids for such accolades. [ESPN Big East Blog]

Here's something I never pondered before: will Pitt football be the only game in town this fall and winter due to the NFL lockout? [PB&G]

In the mood for a list? How about "10 things I didn't know about Chuck Tanner"? [Hardball Times]

Is it wrong to call Ryan Doumit the Carmelo Anthony of the Pirates? Probably, but that's not going to stop me from doing so, with Doumit's Melo-like "not going to be here long" aura permeating his attendance at camp. [Bucco Blog]

The Pirates, forever selling the future, have just two players listed among Fanhouse's Top 100 prospects: P Jameson Taillon (24th) and C Tony Sanchez (43rd). Don't worry, most of the city lost hope long ago. [Fanhouse]

Rob Neyer has a preview of the 2011 Pirates, and the spoiler alert will tell you that it's pretty much what you would expect. Which is to say, not predicting that the Pirates will be NL Central champs. [SB Nation]

Chuck Tanner wasn't the only member of the Pirate Family lost recently. Pitcher Gino Cimoli, a Bucco in 1960 and 1961, recently passed at the age of 81 due to heart and kidney complications. Cimoli famously hit a single to help trigger an eighth-inning rally in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, later won in the ninth on Bill Mazeroski's homer. []

At the Wednesday, February 23 game against San Jose at the CONSOL Energy Center, the Pittsburgh Penguins are asking fans to bring an unopened package of diapers or make monetary donations for the purchase of new diapers as part of "Hockey for Huggies," a program that helps mothers and babies in need. All 30 NHL teams are participating in the month of February, even those mean New York Islanders. []

"The Hollywood Reporter" reports that the latest "Batman" movie, The Dark Knight Rises, will begin filming this summer in London, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and New York. And trivia buffs, note that this wouldn't be the Burgh's first tie to the Batman family. Pittsburgh's Frank Gorshin played the Riddler in the 1960s TV series and movie, and outspoken Pirate fan Michael Keaton portrayed the Dark Knight in 1989 and 1992 films. [KDKA]

Don Spagnolo is the founder of the Pittsburgh sports and entertainment blog Mondesi's House.

Send your links via email at or on Twitter @mondesishouse
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