Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yay Steelers

Okay people, tomorrow is August, which for me, is officially when the NFL season starts. Just putting that out there in the hopes that I can find three or four more hours in each day to post stuff here. While we all keep our fingers crossed for that miracle to come true, recapping some stuff from the week:

... First things first: Jim Wexell has a radio show every Tuesday night 7 - 9 EST on FOXSports 970. I've listened the last two weeks (he had a special Monday night show last night) and it's good stuff. You can listen online here (click "listen live" on the top right corner of the page), and if you have a question, here's the number: 412-922-2874. (Or just leave questions in the comments and I'll just keep calling. Either way.)

... There was a lovely discussion in the comments about the wonders of HD. Start here and just keep scrolling. If anybody cares, I bought a Hitachi 42-inch plasma (720p) last November -- just in time for the Atlanta game! -- and it enhanced my viewing experience by, oh, I don't know, a billion percent. And keep in mind, this was while watching the Steelers. I don't know jack about technology, but I have a friend who used to work for the FCC and is now a lobbyist for Google who thinks LCD, like kickboxing, is the teevee (sport) of the future.

For anybody thinking about taking the plunge, a couple of things to note:

1) Last year, CBS didn't televise all of their games in HD. Some crap about not having enough cameras (allegedly, due to them all being used during the Saturday college football telecasts). This sucks. Basically, you're watching a bigger, blurrier version of what you'd normally get on your old standard definition set. (By the way, if you have Comcast -- I do, and just so you know, I think they suck balls -- and order MLB Extra Innings, guess what? None of the games are in HD. And frankly, I don't even think they're in SD. The picture quality is so bad, in fact, that I've even thought about watching the ESPN HD feed for Red Sox games. I didn't do it, of course, but the fact that I even thought about it should tell you how serious this was. Oh, and I think DirecTV has a pay-more option to get the package in HD. Just so you know.)

2) If you've still got a standard defition television with TiVo (see countertorque's comments on this here), going HD means you're going to have to make some changes. First, the HD TiVo is $800. Actually, that's not entirely true; it used to be $800 last year, but I think it's about half that, even if the TiVo.com list price says otherwise. (I'm too lazy to look -- the gizmodo nerds usually have the latest. UPDATE: Great news: TiVo HD boxes are down to $299. Shitty news: it doesn't support DirecTV. Ugh.) As someone who had SD TiVo for five years, having to switch to Comcast's DVR is about like going from Ben Roethlisberger vs. San Diego, to Tommy Maddox vs. Jacksonville. But worse. If the DirecTV DVR is similarly awful -- and I really have no reason to think it's not -- I might have to break down for TiVo. That, of course, raise a bunch of other issues; you need to cable cards for TiVo, and given that cable/satellite companies are flooding the market with crap (but at $5 a month, not crappy enough to not use it), who knows how long TiVo will be around.

For all you techno-nerds with DirectTV experience -- especially the DVR -- I'd welcome your comments. How do you like it? Is it easy to navigate? How much worse is it than TiVo? You know, that type of stuff.

... Randy Steele asks one of the top-5 most important questions of training camp: How are we going to beat the Ravens this year? I wrote about it today at SCI, but calig23 gives the short answer: "Punt on every down and wait for McNair to make a mistake?" I don't think he's kidding.

... ELSM asks: "What is your favorite play by a current Steeler?" You know, his answer (Troy taking out Mike Anderson's legs near the goal line in that AFC Championship beatdown) is up there, but earlier in that game, Troy split two would-be blockers to make a shoe-string tackle (can't remember who right now) to make it fourth down. I think that's my No. 1 ... for now, anyway (although this one was pretty freakin' good too). Okay, as I read through the comments, I'm reminded of a whole bunch of stuff. Might as well use that ol' crutch ... the list:

  • "That has to be last year in Cleveland when Ben ran around like a maniac and somehow found Santonio in the endzone for a 30 yard TD." -- Cols714
  • "Perhaps Santonio Holmes' sprint in Cincinnati, capped off with his "O-H-I-O" dance in front of 70,000 horrified Bengals fans." -- Gretz [Ryan: And this, as always, is a classic.]
  • "Willie Parker's mad dash in Super Bowl XL is right up there." -- Gretz
  • "Ben going deep to Plax against the Patriots in 2004. With that play, I realized that Ben was for real and that we were the team that would stop the Pats winning streak (which I was sick of hearing about)." -- BadMa'afala
Alright, I'm changing my pick. It's still Troy, though. I watched this game with two buddies -- one a Steelers fan, the other a Steelers fan ... to cover the spread. When Troy made the pick, it guaranteed the Steelers the victory (I hazily recall it being late in the game and the Bengals were driving ... or something). At the time, I kept yelling "Go down! Go down, Troy!" And my wagering buddy -- who needed a Pittsburgh touchdown to cover -- kept yelling "Go! Go!" Good times.

Yep, glad it's finally football season. And hell, who knows, maybe I'll even talk about football tomorrow.