hankrules2011

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Posts Tagged ‘Steelers’

A Review of Pittsburgh Steelers: Men of Steel

Posted by Scott Holstad on April 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Steelers: Men of SteelPittsburgh Steelers: Men of Steel by Jim Wexell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was really excited when I got this book. It was supposed to have chapters that were stories about some of the more prominent Steelers and I was excited to read about Jack Lambert, Mean Joe Greene, Hines Ward, and others. However, the first half of the book was crazy. It focused on players from the 1950s, most of whom played one to three years with the Steelers and who had no impact on the team whatsoever. I have no idea what the author was thinking when he did this. Some examples: Pat Brady, a punter from 1952-54; Ted Marchibroda, a quarterback for four years; John Lattner, a running back from 1954 who gained 237 yards; Len Dawson, the famous quarterback who spent three years with the Steelers, throwing a whole 17 passes during his time with them; and on and on. Now, why in the world waste half a book on people who made no contribution to the team??? It makes no sense. The author thought they had good “stories,” but they really didn’t. It’s sad. This book could have been good.

On the plus side, Wexell does write some chapters on some more recent Steelers who didn’t get much press, but did make contributions such as strong safety Donnie Shell, from the late 1970 Super Bowl teams. He was a Pro Bowler many times and should have made the Hall of Fame, but didn’t. It was interesting to see what he, and the others, did after retirement and where they are now. Shell has worked for the Carolina Panthers for years now, but I remember him as the player who intercepted more passes (51) than any other strong safety in history. I wore his number, 31, when I was growing up playing football. Other forgottens include wide receiver Louis Lipps, who was great but whose career in the 1980s was cut short by injuries, offensive lineman Tunch Ilkin, cornerback Dwayne Woodruff, strong safety Carnell Lake, one of my all time favorite players, sack monster and outside linebacker Kevin Greene, who should also be in the Hall of Fame and who always gets close as a finalist in voting. I don’t think he’ll get in though, even though he holds the record for most sacks from a linebacker, beating out Lawrence Taylor.

However, another disappointment with the book was that it was written in 2006, after Jerome Bettis’s Super Bowl win. But it was updated in 2011. I knew that, and I thought it’d be a great idea for the author to update all living Steelers’ info that he had written about. However, he didn’t do that. He only added two players: Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward. (Why not Troy?) Honestly, this book could have been so much better and it should have been. The author didn’t do it justice. He chose players unwisely and didn’t update info when he could and should have. Huge mistakes and that’s why I’m only giving it three stars. Indeed, I don’t know if it even deserves that. Not really recommended.

View all my reviews

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Things

Posted by Scott Holstad on October 4, 2013

Just a few things. I’m sorry I haven’t updated in awhile. Not too much has been going on for me personally, and I’m in the middle of three very large books, so I haven’t been able to write a book review for awhile. However, I’m nearly done with one (finally!), so hopefully a book review will be coming.

This past Tuesday was the nine week anniversary of Dad’s death. I’m still in a state of shock, I guess. I just still can’t believe he is gone. He was fit. He was healthy. He was mowing my yard while I was at a meeting when he collapsed and died. I was there to witness it. I tried to save him, but failed. I feel sick about it. My therapist wants me to go to a grief support group. It started this week, so I’ve missed one meeting. I don’t know. I think I’m doing pretty well, considering, but I may give them a call today to find out more about it.

My wife has a bad knee, meanwhile. We think she hurt it playing racquetball with me about a month ago. It’s been increasingly bad and she can barely walk. We took her to the doctor a couple of days ago and he thinks it’s a tear in her tendon. She’s going to have to get x-rays. I don’t know what comes next. She actually doesn’t have insurance and is dying to get signed up for Obamacare, which seems promising to us, but she hasn’t been able to access the site at all, so that’s been frustrating.

I’m currently upgrading my iPhone to iOS7. I have mixed feelings about this because Gretchen did this on the first day of its release and it completely wiped her phone. She had to start from the factory settings and start all over, getting new apps and everything. It was a complete disaster. That said, she tried again a couple of days later and it worked and she seems happy with it, so I’m giving it a try — with misgivings. I can’t afford to have my phone wiped. My whole life is on there — my diaries, my many contacts, my medical records, all sorts of stuff. I’m also annoyed that I had to delete dozens of albums and hundreds of pictures to free up 3 GB of space for the download. That seems more like Microsoft bloatware to me…. Well, here’s hoping….

I’ve discovered I’m lactose intolerant. That really sucks! I’d been having gastric problems for over two months. They flared up almost immediately upon my finishing lunch and continued for the remainder of the day. I went on two antibiotics twice, but that didn’t really help very much. Finally, I caved and went to a gastro specialist. I had a theory that I posited to the doctor, and she recommended I do what I’m doing. I really think it was the yogurt I ate every day with lunch and the milk I was drinking and the tapioca pudding I’d have. I didn’t have problems until I consumed those, and then did afterwards. She told me to go off all dairy related products for a week and see what happens. I did, and everything went away and I cleared up in one day. I went a week and then had some ice cream one night, and they returned. So I’m lactose intolerant. How in the hell did that happen??? Now I’ve having to find lactose-alternative products. The yogurt is really high in carbs. The milk is pretty decent. You can find some good ice cream. The cheese really sucks. And on it goes. I guess this is a new lifestyle I’m going to have to get used to.

In sports, I’m not sure about my teams. The Steelers are the worst they’ve been in 45 years with an 0-4 record and they really, really suck. The Pirates, however, had a winning season and made the post-season for the first time in 21 years, which is really something to cheer about. However, last night St. Louis kicked their butts badly, so I don’t know how well we’ll do. My Penguins have goalie problems. Don’t know how we’ll do this year. My UT Vols are 3-2, with the two losses to ranked teams — Oregon and Florida. However, we have ranked Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama coming up, so it looks like we’ll be 3-5 by the end of the month. That blows. I really like the new coach and want him to succeed, but it looks like we’re going to have some growing pains.

Lately, I’ve been having to pay bills. That’s good and bad. It’s good to pay them, but it hurts to pay so much. I had to have $750 in car repairs too. I’m never buying a BMW again as long as I live.

I’m over this government shutdown. I attribute it ALL to the damn Republicans, who are holding the country hostage in their stupid attempt to repeal Obamacare — a LAW that was passed by Congress, signed by the president, upheld by the Supreme Court, and for whom Obama was elected for a second term while running against people who wanted to repeal it. Listen to the people, Congressmen! Damn Republicans. And they accuse the Dems. What gall! They’re truly despicable people. I will never vote for a Republican again as long as I live, and I was brought up a conservative Republican. That says a lot. They’re truly disgusting humans. What a waste. I hope they cave soon, so we can return to life as we know it.

Huh. It looks like my iPhone has updated while I’ve been writing this. It seems to have been successful. I’ve only opened a few apps, and things look like they’re still there. Oh, four of my apps are missing. *sigh* This new version looks very, very different from previous versions. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to. One thing — everything seems slower. The apps are taking longer to open. Oh well. I just checked out my space, though, and I’ve got more free space than when I started. I guess I can re-load some of my music on here. That’s good.

I guess that’s all for now. Book reviews coming soon. Cheers!

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10 Greatest Steelers

Posted by Scott Holstad on June 24, 2013

This weekend I watched a program on the NFL Network on the 10 greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of all time. It was apparently a rerun from 2010, but it was still good. But I have a beef with their list. I couldn’t believe some of the players on the list and not on the list! First let me say that coming up with such a list is virtually impossible, because there are so many Steelers in the NFL Hall of Fame. Whittling it down to 10 just doesn’t seem fair. You’re going to leave some deserving players off the list. And what about the great Steelers who aren’t yet in the Hall of Fame, like Jerome Bettis? Don’t some of them deserve to be on the list? Anyway, here’s the NFL Network’s list of the top 10 Steelers of all time:

  1. Joe Greene
  2. Terry Bradshaw
  3. Franco Harris
  4. Rod Woodson
  5. Jack Lambert
  6. Mel Blount
  7. Troy Polamalu
  8. Hines Ward
  9. Lynn Swann
  10. Jerome Bettis

OK, wow. Talk about the immortal Hall of Famers left off the list ! What about the greatest center to ever play the game, Mike Webster? What about possibly the greatest outside linebacker ever, Jack Ham? Both Hall of Famers? What about the second greatest center ever, Dermonti Dawson? Hall of Famer. What about Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth? It almost seems a crime to separate him from Lynn Swann. I mean, they were a matched pair. They complemented each other so well. Stallworth actually had the better season and career stats. What about some of the old timers like John Henry Johnson and Ernie Stautner, both Hall of Famers? And what about Ben Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls and is breaking Terry Bradshaw’s records? Wouldn’t you think he belongs on the list over Troy Polamalu, who’s been injury prone?

I have two major complaints about players on the NFL Network’s list. First, I don’t think Troy belongs on it at all. Maybe top 20 Steelers, but not top 10. He’s still playing and while he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year one year, he’s not yet a Hall of Famer. You can’t leave Jack Ham off the list for Troy. Second, I can’t believe you would list Rod Woodson at #4!!! Over Mel Blount, the best cornerback of all time??? The player the NFL forever changed the game because of? Until 1978, defensive backs were allowed to hit wide receivers anywhere on the field at any time. Mel Blount beat up so many wideouts, they changed the rule to just the first five yards, which is where it’s been ever since. They called it the Blount Rule. And he still went to Pro Bowls after the rule change. He finished with 57 career interceptions too, in addition to being a fierce hitter. Even Rod Woodson said on the program he doesn’t deserve to be placed over Mel Blount. That should say something. And besides, Woodson never won a Super Bowl with the Steelers! He won as a Raven in 2000, and took the Steelers to one Super Bowl which they lost to Dallas. I’m not sure I would even have him on the list of the top 10 Steelers, especially over Webster or Ham.

Here’s my list:

  1. Joe Greene
  2. Jack Lambert
  3. Terry Bradshaw
  4. Mel Blount
  5. Franco Harris
  6. Jack Ham
  7. Lynn Swann
  8. Hines Ward
  9. Mike Webster
  10. Jerome Bettis

See? Mine’s much better. LOL! Mean Joe Greene comes first because he changed the face of the team, from a losing team to a Super Bowl winning defense, anchoring the line and changing the game with his unusual stance from which he decimated opponents. Lambert comes next, closely, because he’s the best middle linebacker in history. He was the fiercest, meanest, nastiest, biggest hitting linebacker in history. Pittsburgh wouldn’t have won four Super Bowls without him in the middle. Terry comes next because he’s the only quarterback to win four Super Bowls, he won two Super Bowl MVPs, and he’s possibly one of the biggest “money” quarterbacks of all time. I mean, he could really win the big games. Great quarterback who didn’t put up the big stats because the game was different when he played. Blount comes next because he’s the greatest cornerback in the history of the game. Franco comes next because when he retired, he was the second leading rusher in NFL history, only behind Jim Brown. He’s still high on the list with over 12,000 career yards. That’s certainly worth something. Ham comes next because he’s possibly the best outside linebacker to ever play the game. Swann comes next, although I have mixed feelings about it. He never put up great stats. I’m not even sure he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. But he was a major big game player and won huge games for the Steelers and will always be one of the best loved players in Pittsburgh history. Hines Ward comes next because he’s a sure Hall of Famer down the road. He finished as easily the all time leading wide receiver in Pittsburgh history with 1,000 career receptions, which is 8th best in NFL history, and 86 touchdowns. He’s also a Super Bowl MVP. Definitely deserves to be on the list. Webster deserves to be higher than 9th, but as an offensive lineman, he couldn’t put up the big stats like the others, so it’s hard to measure him against the others. He’s the best center to ever play the game, went to I believe nine Pro Bowls, and is sorely missed with his death of a few years ago. Hall of Famer. Bettis comes in at 10 because he finished his career as the leading Steeler rusher in Pittsburgh history, breaking Franco Harris’s record. He’s got the single season record for rushing too, I believe. When Jerome retired after winning a Super Bowl, he was the 5th leading running back of all time, I think. It’s an absolute crime that he hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame yet. I’m pretty sure he will, but he should have by now.

So that’s my list. It hurts to leave players like LC Greenwood and Donnie Shell off the list, Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene, Carnell Lake, definitely Stallworth, Andy Russell, Big Ben, and so many others. They’re all deserving, but if it’s the top 10, you have my list. What would your list look like?

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Steelers won’t replace Harrison’s toughness

Posted by Scott Holstad on March 9, 2013

Steelers won’t replace Harrison’s toughness – AFC North Blog – ESPN.

This is a real tragedy. James Harrison is a great linebacker. I’m really annoyed by this, but I’m not surprised. The Steelers have always been ruthless when dealing with aging, costly veteran players. Remember Franco Harris didn’t retire as a Steeler? He spent his last year with the Seattle Seahawks. That was treason on the part of Steeler management. This is just the latest. Look at what they did to Hines Ward last year, the team’s all time leading wide receiver. Tragic. Sorry to see you go, James….

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Mike Tomlin’s Steelers with 0 playoff wins in last 3 out of 4 seasons

Posted by Scott Holstad on December 24, 2012

Mike Tomlin’s Steelers with zero playoff wins in last 3 out of 4 seasons..

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Game Brain: Football Players and Concussions: Profiles: GQ

Posted by Scott Holstad on November 23, 2012

Game Brain: Football Players and Concussions: Profiles: GQ.

Tragic. Mike Webster — RIP.

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