Thursday, March 03, 2005

We Gots Mail

Due to my total lack of creativity coupled with my crippling laziness, today I thought I'd respond to some mail instead of, you know, actually posting something. And to be completely honest, it's not really mail; it's more like comments people left to various posts during the week, but hey, what do you want? You get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get, right?

Anyway, on to the mail, er, comments:

Alex leaves this comment in response to my post about Plax's future with the Steelers:
58% of balls he touches he catches. I loved the guy until he complained about not getting enough balls thrown at him. Catch them and they'll get thrown to you. Simple.

I dont understand why he is ranked as one of the best Free Agents. He hasnt had a stellar season in years. Hines may not be as fast, or as tall, but I'd take a Ward over a Burress any day of the week.
I actually gave Plax a break when he complained about not getting enough balls thrown his way primarily because he said it 10 minutes after the loss to the Patriots. That, and he later admitted that his comments were made in the heat of the moment, and he would really like to stay in Pittsburgh if at all possible.

I suspect he's one of the highest rated free agents because the pool of available WR's is pretty small (and getting smaller by the hour), Plax is 8 feet tall and runs pretty well (at least until he catches the ball), and a lot of teams project him to improve given certain circumstances. Still, I agree that Hines is the #1 receiver on this team regardless of Burress's future with Pittsburgh.

I mentioned last week that the Steelers off-season basketball team was gearing up for their "season" and I got a comment suggesting that the idea sounds a lot better on paper than it actually plays out in person:
I had the distinct displeasure of working on a charity basketball event featuring the Steelers about ten years ago. Somehow Bryan Hinkle was still playing on the basketball team even though he had retired from the actual football team the previous year. Maybe he was just having a bad day, but he acted like a real jerk. And they wouldn't take a check so we had to run all over town to get them cash on a Sunday--not easy. All in all it was highly unpleasant and somewhat disillusioning. But I've recovered enough to be a fan again, only now my zeal is tempered with the wisdom that only seeing one's heroes as human beings, warts exposed, can bring.
Nice. It's moments like this that endear fans to pseudo-famous football players. On the flip side, Bryan Hinkle insured that no one would forget him after he was long gone. How many other scrubs can you name from the 1986 team? If I had to bet, I'm guessing this year's Bryan Hinkle will be Jeff Reed. Now that he's on his way to being a millionaire, what's left for the guy?

Speaking of Reed, a few days ago I wrote a post about the uber-Steelers fan who wore his Jeff Reed #3 jersey to the "Meet Jeff Reed Day" at the mall, and spent a little time wondering outloud what type of person actually makes the conscious decision to part with $250 to own a Reed #3. Here's a comment I got from MDS:
I like that guy. It's cool to see a fan who's that into his team. I have a friend who was a big Luther Ellis fan and got his own Luther Ellis jersey made up. Ellis spotted my friend wearing the jersey at Lions training camp one day, approached him, and said, "I've never seen anyone wearing my jersey before." Ellis was touched. It was a nice moment.
That's actually pretty cool. I suspect Reed had a similar moment when he met the guy I was talking about above. One of the funniest jersey's I've seen was at the 2003 Steelers/Chargers game. It was about 30 degrees and sometime in the 2nd half, me and my buddy Andy see this chubby guy walking up the steps wearing a Ryan Leaf #16 jersey that had to be three sizes to small and looked like it was on the downside of a bad career. To give you a more vivid image, think this, but with a super mullet. Good times.

If you want to read some really funny pro sports jersey experiences, you can go here.

In the same story I also mentioned that the Steelers had just re-signed the Bus (although now it looks like there's still some chance he might retire -- he's got till June 1 to decide), and Countertorque left the following comment:
I'm not unhappy to see the Bus back.

But, this has to be exactly what Duce didn't want. He specifically came to the Steelers to be the feature back, right? And he threw a big temper tantrum in Philly because he was not the feature back. Now he could be in danger of not even being the starting back.
Personally, I don't think it's an either/or proposition -- especially given that Duce was injured for a good part of last season. I think Duce's main concerns in Philly is that he was hardly ever running the ball because they're a West Coast Offense. In fact, I think Duce had more carries through the first 8 or 9 games in 2004 than he had during the entire 2003 season. Of course all of this will be moot if Jerome retires, so I'll go with Anon's idea until there's some resolution:
It's OK. The Steelers are going to replace all their wide receivers with running backs next season. Under the new system, they should have 3 or 4 feature backs minimum. Big Ben might even be a running back (easiest way to cut back on interceptions).
Yesterday I wrote that the Steelers re-signed LB Larry Foote, which all but guarantees that Kendrell Bell won't be back. Israel left the following comment:

Good to be done with Kendrell Bell. My own worry is that Kendall Simmons will be the next Kendrell and we will be very sorry for letting Keydrick go.
I was actually thinking the same thing. I had flashes of the 2003 season when none of the front five could block anybody. In a perfect world I would love to see the Steelers keep either Keydrick Vincent or Oliver Ross (preferably Vincent, even though Ross can play a couple of positions) if for no other reason than if they both go, there will be very little margin for error on the offensive line in 2005. Kendall Simmons will be returning from a blown-out knee in 2004 and adult-onset diabetes from 2003. Max Starks will probably take over for Ross, but he doesn't have a lot of experience. And Simmons and Starks may both be great next season, but that doesn't change the fact that Pittsburgh has very little depth up front. Still, in the grand scheme of things, the Steelers are much better off than like 29 or 30 other NFL teams, so I really shouldn't complain too much ... yet.

I also got this comment yesterday which touches on so many important issues:
no tuesday posting this week?

w&m just pulled off a sweep of radford.....can we get your thoughts on that? and on bologna sandwiches, nutter butters, and mustaches.
Yeah, I must admit that I have no real reason for not posting anything Tuesday other than sheer indifference. Now, regarding the William & Mary baseball team pulling off the biggest sweep of the season against Radford, there aren't words to express how important these early season victories are. Especially after getting out of the gate slow. Currently the Tribe are 6-4 and are gearing up for a big 3-game series against mighty New York Tech (who?). And 50 games from now we'll have some idea what all this means. Until then, I'll hold off on talking about the Tribe primarily because it's boring (despite what you've read here).

Now to the good stuff. I've never been a big bologna sandwich guy, but since one of my New Year's resolutions was to gain 100lbs. this year, I'm probably going to incorporate it into my "diet." I'll let you know how that goes.

Nutter Butters are vastly underrated, and when I visit the snack shop in my place of employ, I often grab either the Nutter Butters 4-pack or the Bit-O-Honey (which looks much grosser here than it does in person ... at least as far as you know).

Finally, mustaches are one of those things that you either love or hate -- their's no in between. I personally don't sport a mustache because I figure not having one has spared me at least two to three gawkings-turned-to-beatings a year. One of my favorite examples of how to properly wear the stache can be found here. Stay hot.