HINES WARD, shown above in a much happier moment with a yellow object on a football field, absolutely blasted off on the NFL, saying the league's decision-makers are "hypocrites.''
"Say one thing, and do another,'' Ward said. "Talk about safety, but you add two games. Talk about you don't want players to drink, but our major endorsement is Coors Light. That's all you see is beer commercials.''
I'd play devil's advocate if I could, but I'm 100% on board with what Ward's saying. It will be interesting to see if Roger Goodell acknowledges these comments. If Goodell had a sense of humor, he'd fine Hines. [Trib]
Sign of the Apocalypse: even TERRELL SUGGS is making sense:
"The league has their favorites. One being in Indy and one being with that other team up north. Besides those two, everybody is fair game. Some quarterbacks are getting the calls right away. Some quarterbacks they don't care. Like I always said, Carson Palmer got hit in his knee in 2005 but there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in his knee and all of a sudden there is a rule and possible suspensions, excessive fines — it's just getting ridiculous." [Trib]
This Baltimore Sun column calls BEN ROETHLISBERGER "The Drama King" and accuses him of grabbing the attention this week. I don't know, I thought the bigger story was the ongoing fines being piled on the team by Roger Goodell, but maybe they see things differently in Baltimore. [Baltimore Sun]
JAMES HARRISON recently started a foundation to help children and families in need, and their first fundraiser is right around the corner: a brunch with Santa (and a few Steelers) on December 18 at Heinz Field. Admission is $25 for children and $50 for adults, with proceeds going to children and families in need. Silverback and Santa...now that's a combination. [James Harrison Family Foundation]
Could DEREK JETER be joining the Pirates? Not in this lifetime, but here's what his baseball card would look like if it happened. [Beckett.com]
What scared free agent pitcher JORGE DE LA ROSA away from the Pirates (other than the 18 straight losing seasons, I presume). [Rum Bunter]
The Pirates dig BRANDON WEBB. And he totally has a crush on them, too. That's the definition of mutual interest, my friends. [Pirates Prospects]
Jon Heyman of SI ranked the MLB managerial hires, and his #1 was...CLINT HURDLE? And he gave the Pirates' hire the grade of an "A"? It's not April 1, is it? [SI.com]
BILL MAZEROSKI steps into the spotlight once again on Dec. 15 when Bob Costas hosts the viewing of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series on the MLB Network. Insert "at least we know the Pirates won this game" joke here. [NewsHerald.com]
As reported earlier in November, the MARIO LEMIEUX/SIDNEY CROSBY locker stall from Mellon Arena was up for auction recently on NHL.com to benefit the Lemieux Foundation. The virtual hammer finally fell on this relic that probably should be in the Hall of Fame, and the final sale price was a very reasonable (I think, for a piece of this significance) $36,987.66. I imagine that the last four digits are purely a coincidence (wink, wink). [NHL.com]
Congratulations go out to SIDNEY CROSBY, the NHL Player of the Month for November. 14 games, 26 points, an active 13-game scoring streak, and a first-place standing in the league scoring race tend to get noticed. [PG]
And here's SID doing things that only Sid can do:
Forbes, purveyor of all things money, released their list of NHL team values for 2010, and the Penguins placed 9th, with a value of $235 million. Not bad for a business that was bankrupt not too long ago. [Forbes]
LEBRON JAMES and his new friends invade Cleveland on Thursday night for the first time since holding an unprecedented, made-for-TV event stabbing a machete in their back, and the nation is buzzing in anticipation. I'm sure Clevelanders will be as classy as they always are...like when one of them tackled an 8-year-old kid who dared to wear Jets colors at a recent Browns game. Don't ever change, Cleveland. [USA Today, Fox NY]
CHRIS DOKISH takes a fantastic, in-depth look at the Pitt Panthers football program and how he would sift through the rubble of their 2010 season. That's a lot of rubble. [Big East Report]
PAUL ZEISE looks at the pros (and cons) of Pitt beating Cincinnati in their final regular season game on Saturday. Pro (if they win): they could still potentially play in a BCS game, with some luck. Con (if they win): they could be playing a bowl game in Birmingham or St. Petersburg. They both [Redshirt Diaries]
Speaking of programs in a bit of disarray, PENN STATE signed their first two skill player recuirts of 2011. One (WR Allen Robinson) chose PSU over Buffalo, Central Michigan, Minnesota and Toledo. The other (WR Matt Zanellato) picked PSU over Miami of Ohio and Delaware. Anyone else see something wrong with this picture? [Centre Daily]
Not everything went wrong with Pitt and Penn State in 2010: Pitt DL JABAAL SHEARD and Penn State OL STEFAN WISNIEWSKI were both named to the American Football Coaches Association All-America team, alongside the likes of Cam Newton and LaMichael James...who, unfortunately, don't play for any teams of local interest. [PG]
And speaking of Sheard, he's also been named as a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award, to be announced on December 8. At least something good came out of this season. [PittsburghPanthers.com]
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