Best of the Web: The Top 20 Links of the Week
Aaron Smith is one tough customer, but even he can’t make it back to be ready this weekend against Baltimore, according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network. The injured DE tore his triceps during a Week 7 game at Miami and hasn’t played since, and would most likely be available only if (and when) the Steelers play in Super Bowl XLV. I like to call this “The Rod Woodson Comeback Plan”. [NFL.com]
The Steelers’ offseason roster recently got an injection of six new players, as LB Baraka Atkins, LB Mortty Ivy, RB James Johnson, G Nevin McCaskill, FB/TE Jamie McCoy and CB Donovan Warren were all signed to reserve/future deals. The players cannot suit up for the team this season and will only join the Steelers after the Super Bowl. And good luck to them making the roster of a Super Bowl-winning team in 2011. [National Football Post]
Ravens coach John Harbaugh had this to say about his team breaking the schnozz of Big Ben in a meeting earlier this season (with my emphasis added):
“He’s a tough guy. He had the broken nose. I was glad we broke his nose and then I was very impressed that he played through it. Obviously, you can throw very effectively with a broken nose — he proved that.”
Roethlisberger took the high road, saying that he knew Harbaugh and that he thought the quote was taken out of context, but if you ask me, I think Harbaugh’s statement was fantastic. Pro sports have become too friendly of late, with many rivalries meaning more to the fans than to the players themselves. Whether a real statement or one that was tongue-in-cheek, I applaud Harbaugh. Interesting is always a better angle than PC in the world of sports talk. [ESPN]
And staying with the interesting angle, Ravens LB/Pot-Stirrer Terrell Suggs is keeping himself busy these days by posing in t-shirts of a Raven giving the city of Pittsburgh the finger. Unlike Ben Roethlisberger, the proverbial High Road is nowhere on this guy’s GPS. [Twitter]
Meanwhile, on the other side of the AFC playoff schedule, Jets DB/Mensa member Antonio Cromartie decided it would be a good idea to call Tom Brady an a-hole while claiming he “hates” the Pats QB. All I can say is, WOW do I love the playoffs. [NY Daily News]
Remember return man Stefan Logan? Well, you should: the Steeler castoff is now a Pro Bowl alternate representing the Detroit Lions, ranking in the top five in both kick (26.3 yards per return) and punt returns (12.1 yards per return). [Freep.com]
If you were hoping to buy Chukky Okobi’s Mansion at Maple Heights in Shadyside via sheriff’s sale, it sounds like that sale will never happen. The $1.6 million property, purchased by the former Steeler in 2007, was the subject of a mortgage dispute that has now been settled, avoiding a possible foreclosure circumstance in the process. [Trib]
George and Ann Frantti, a retired couple from Clifton Park, New York, embarked on a 10-month journey last year across the globe that spanned five continents, 13 countries and 60+ cities, all with their Terrible Towel in tow. This is their story of “The Terrible Vacation”. [Blog ‘n’ Gold]
Here’s a very interesting take on the Penguins from Rob Rossi, who throws the idea out there that as Cup contenders go, they might be a house of cards. I must say, he brings up some VERY good points. A must-click. [Chipped Ice]
The Pittsburgh Penguins distributed 930 sets of equipment to children at six Dick’s Sporting Goods locations on Tuesday as a part of the Little Penguins Learn to Play Hockey program. Or as I call it, Penguins Good Deed For the Community #1,258. [PittsburghPenguins.com]
How does new Pitt coach Todd Graham think he will fare with his first recruiting class? “We are going to make it the best ever,” he said Tuesday at his introductory press conference. Well, at least it looks like confidence is not going to be an issue with this regime. [Trib]
Is everyone in Pittsburgh excited about the Graham hire? Well, I would say most people are…with the exception of this annoyed blogger. [PB&G]
Are you ready for the first edition of the SI 2011 College Football Top 25 Power Rankings? I can honestly say I’m not.
SPOILER: Pitt did not make the cut. [SI]
Former Bucco Kris Benson called it a career recently at age 36, walking away with a 70-75 record, 4.42 ERA, 1,243 2/3 innings pitched, 1 Cy Young predicted by Peter Gammons that never came to pass, and one attention-loving wife. [MLB Trade Rumors]
Hat-eating pitcher and former Pirate Wil Ledezma is now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, who claimed the lefty off of waivers recently. My only regret is that he never did anything remotely as interesting as eating a hat while a member of the Pirates. [Pirates Prospects]
This is officially the first 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates preview I can say I’ve read for the upcoming season. Congratulations go out to RumBunter.com for breaking the seal.
You might have missed this, but one eagle-eyed MH reader did not: the one, the only Raul Mondesi is no longer eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame. True, but somehow, I think his memory will live on. [Bugs and Cranks]
Since November 29th, the Miami Heat are 21-1, while the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone 1-21. Deadspin asks, “Is it time to admit that LeBron James was right to get out of Cleveland?”
Don Spagnolo is the founder of the Pittsburgh sports and entertainment blog Mondesi’s House.