Sunday, April 29, 2012

Race of the Pierogies


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Design: Stiller Nation Pledge of Allegiance

I enjoy interacting with our fans at times when I have a design idea. So here is the plan. I want to rewrite the Pledge of Allegiance for Stiller Nation. I want to hear your version. I will pick the best 1 and use it for my newest design. You may even get a free shirt if they sell well. Post a comment below with your version. Reframe from using the words: Steelers, Super Bowl or players'/coaches' names/nicknames because I can not use them. The phrase Stiller Nation is ok. Here is the actual Pledge for reference. 
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Deadline is tonight 4/29 at midnight.
Here is my 1st attempt:
I Pledge Allegiance to the tahn of the United Stilller Nation, and to the towel at which we wave,  one nation under the Chief, undefeatable, with victory and more rings for us.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Free.shirt.contest. Race to 1200 followers.

New contest for a free shirt from our shop.
Here are the rules. The first 1 of the 3 Twitter accounts to gain 1200 followers will select a follower to receive a free shirt.
So if @mikedarnay hits 1200 first, he will pick 1 of his followers. If @theclassyyinzer wins, he will select. I will say this, we will pay attention to RTs and we can be swayed to pick you. Have fun.
There is no deadline to the contest.
@mikedarnay : 799
@theclassyyinzer:878
@lvallana: 908

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tonight, we will host an open chat/live blog for the first rounds of the draft tonight. Click the page above "Live Blog Chat Room" and sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account. Our main sports writer, @brianski71 will host the chat. Invite your friends, the chat begins at 8:00 PM EST.

http://theclassyyinzer.blogspot.com/p/live-blog-chat-room.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New RTJR shirt

Click above to visit our shop: Classy Yinzer Tees

Why I Hate Steelers Fans


You need to know something about me. I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. Probably more than a lot of people. I love the team and its history and the legacy and atmosphere at games and the way fans travel to away games. I could write a book on how much I love this team. But you also need to know something else about me. I hate Pittsburgh Steelers fans. A lot of people do. If you are a Steelers fan, then this is something that you already know. People hate us. A lot. Do you want to know why? Well, again, I could write an entire book about that subject as well. You can tell yourself “oh they hate us because they’re jealous we’re so good.” No. They hate us because we’re obnoxious and ignorant. Here is why I hate Steelers fans:

                Broncos fan: Dude, you guys totally got Tebowed last night.
                Steelers fan: Whatever dude we have 6 Super Bowls.

What? WHAT?! HOW is that a legitimate comeback? It’s not. It’s just not. But I cannot tell you how many times I have seen Steelers fans use this in a conversation with other teams’ fans. It needs to stop. I’m sorry, but your team isn’t the best because you have won more Super Bowls than any other team. Saying that the Steelers are the best team is like saying that just because Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the best president just because he served the longest. (FDR really was the best president but that’s a story for a different day…). First of all, 4 of those 6 Super Bowls were won 30+ years ago. Most of you (me included) were not even BORN yet. The guys that won those Super Bowls? Yea, they don’t play anymore. Second of all, just because we won 6 Super Bowls since 1974 does not make us the best team NOW. We got Tebowed this year. The Ravens beat us twice. We barely beat Curtis Painter. Saying that the Steelers have won 6 Super Bowls does not negate any of these facts. And using it as an excuse just does not work.

Want to job a Ravens fan? Talk about Billy Cundiff’s missed field goal (because I’m sorry but that will never NOT be funny). Want to job a Browns fan? I’m not even going to give you an example of how to do that because if you cannot find anything on your own then you clearly know nothing about football. Want to job an Eagles fan? Then, well, use the “we have 6” argument because it’s sad and funny that they still don’t have any. You have my permission.  But if you want to make the rest of the league stop hating you so much, maybe use actual football arguments when you are having football arguments. Do your research. Pull out some statistics. Don’t be a douchebag. Make them hate because we are good, not because we are annoying.

So, for the love of God, please STOP with the “we have 6” defense in every. Single. Argument. Yes, sometimes it can apply and be valid, but usually it makes you look ignorant and stupid and makes everyone hate you. Don’t be a dumb yinzer, be a classy yinzer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where have all the bats gone?


How does a team with the 2nd lowest ERA (2.63) in all of Major League Baseball
hold a 6-9 record? It may have something to do with that same team sitting in the
spot for lowest average (.202). The Pittsburgh Pirates have managed to score
a mere 30 runs in their first 15 games of the 2012 season. Sure, baseball isn’t
typically a regularly high scoring game, but compare those 30 runs with the team
that rank right above the Pirates: The Oakland A’s, who managed to score 22
more runs than the Pirates in just 3 extra games.

On the bright side, the defense still gives us fans a glimmer of hope. A.J. Burnett
shined in his debut at PNC Park on Saturday with seven scoreless innings;
striking out a team season high seven batters, and walking two. Erik Bedard is
another new face to the Pirates bullpen this year. Bedard’s current ERA stands
at 2.63. His first start came on Opening Day where he pitched a complete seven
innings; allowing only six hits, one walk, and one earned run. In his following
three starts he allowed two earned runs apiece, a total of nine walks, and only
gave up one homerun. Not bad numbers there if you ask me. At least not
numbers that deserve a 0-4 record on the season. Hmm… that sounds familiar.
I bet Paul Maholm is sitting in Chicago laughing his butt off at Bedard, thinking to
himself, “See, it wasn’t just me! Jagoffs.”

The good news is the Pirates have played some very good teams, and the
schedule gets easier starting now. I’m sure the bats will heat up soon, and we’ll
start seeing some bigger numbers on the scoreboard. If not, we’re in for one long
summer at PNC Park.

WOW!

I've stayed off the social networking for a few days for the most part to try and ignore all the crap, thoughts and opinions that have been flying around about the Pens.  The harsh reality of it is they dug themselves into a deep whole and never had the will power to get out.  Does the Defense need revamped? YES. Does Fleury need to go? NO! Do the players need to learn to shoot the puck? YES! Is Disco Dan capable of taking this team to another Cup? Maybe, but in saying that if he wont install multiple systems with the talent and smarts we have, it won't ever happen under him.

One thing I think people often forget is our biggest problem in Game 6 was not pulling the trigger and looking for the razzle-dazzle play.  This stems clear back to Michel Therrien.  It's been a problem for years, and it caught up to us finally.  I know there is multiple facets of our game that faulted, but honestly this is a huge one.  Sidney Crosby before injury was scoring goals like a BOSS. He wasn't too trigger happy when he got back and was always looking for the perfect play, but in a big game, such as one like Game 6 facing elimination, put the team on your back like everyone knows you're capable of.  It was disappointing at times to watch him play against the second D  of the Flyers and be so conservative.  Malkin also got shut down by a rookie and showed countless poor decision making.

As fan though, I'll lick my wounds, the players will train harder and hopefully come back better, but the fate of this team truly lies in what the front office does during the off-season.  Sign Sid, Sign Staal, dump Martin at all cost even if its for him to sit in WBS and find a shut down D-man.  The young talent is there, but with all the Marquee forwards we have, we need more than just Letang and Orpik picking up the slack on the blue line.

It will truly be interesting to see what plays out over the summer...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Season Recap



Well, what a hell of a run this season was. From October there were very high expectations for this team. With James Neal coming into his own, and the looming return of our Captain, there was a buzz around this team like there was in 2009, a thought that this could be the team to capture yet another Stanley Cup, which would of been the teams second championship in 4 years.
The team started off the season in western Canada winning two out three. A buzz around the team that could not be questioned. Then November came around and the return of the Captain was a shot in the arm. The Penguins went on to win five out of seven games after the return of 87. That return was short lived as he exited the lineup once again with concussion like symptoms. However, that did not seem to rattle this young team with tons of experience. With 87 out, they picked up their play. Evgeni Malkin dominated the NHL going on to win another Art Ross Trophy, while his sidekick James Neal notched his first 40 goal season of his career. This high powered offense, along with the return of 87 yet again and the stellar play of Marc-Andre Fleury gave us all high hopes and expectations heading into the postseason. However, blowing a home and home series in the final month of the season turned out to be the difference between the Pens winning the eastern conference, and finishing in 4th place.
Because of those two losses, the Pens drew 4th place, and would have to face arch-rival Philadelphia in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even though many analysts, and even the fans knew Philly was the worst team we could draw in the opening round, the Penguins were still the favorite by most to hoist their 4th Stanley Cup in franchise history. And this is how everything went horribly wrong......
The Penguins had home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs and would play their first two games in Consol Energy Center. The Penguins fed off the crowd in game 1, jumping to an early 3-0 lead over the Flyers. Then late in the first period, Daniel Briere caught the puck on a breakaway down the ice, buried it behind Fleury, and made the score 3-1. Only problem with the goal? Briere was about 5,000 miles offsides as shown in the picture above. The Flyers would never look back, as they would tie the game at three, with Jacob Voracek winning in OT. Same story would be for game 2, as the Penguins get ahead early, blow a 2 goal lead, and lose 8-5. Game 3 was in Philly, and what a mess it would be. The Pens were dominated on the ice, and lost their cool throughout the game, which lead to a 4 game suspension for Arron Asham, and 1 game suspensions for James Neal and Craig Adams. Things were not looking good for the Pens heading into game 4.
A shorthanded team, on the road down 3-0, with the city of Pittsburgh rallying them and cheering them on, the Pens responded in game 3. Lead by a hat trick from #11, Pittsburgh sent the series back home with a commanding statement game, winning 10-3. The series was back in Pittsburgh for game 5, and if the Pens could find a way to string another win together and send the series back to Philly for game 6, many fans thought anything was possible. The crowd at CEC knew what was on the line, and they did not disappoint. The crowd was described as "deafening" as Marc-Andre Fleury showed why he is an elite goaltender in this league as the Pens won 3-2, made the series 3-2, and sent this series back to Philly for a huge game 6 in Wells Fargo Center.
One of the biggest games of all these players careers was about to start. Win a game six in Philly, send it back to Pittsburgh for game 7, and a chance to make one of the most historical comebacks in professional sports history. However, the Pens came up on the short end of the stick. Just 0:15 seconds into the first period, Claude Giroux buried Crosby with a huge hit, and 0:13 later he put the Flyers ahead 1-0. The lead would never be let go as the Flyers clamped down defensively, and Bryzgalof stepped up his play as the game went on. The Penguins season was over on April 22nd, instead of the middle of June. There will be another post coming up shortly about where it all went wrong, and what moves the Pens need to make this offseason to better the team.




Lets Go.......Bucs?

Shiftin' Gears


Well, as of approximately 3:00 p.m. EDT yesterday, baseball season unofficially kicked off in the minds of most of the Pittsburgh sports nation.  I, like many of you, watched as many games as possible since opening day, including two at PNC Park, and the entirety of the late-night games on the west coast.  However, with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking up approximately 99.5% of my conscious thoughts at any given moment, the early-season Bucco games were just a convenient way to waste time before the puck dropped on the next Pens game.  But now, unfortunately, they're all we've got until mid-July.  (Well, except for the other 15 Power fans in existence, but after another mental meltdown that cost them another game in New Orleans, dropping them to 2-4, I'm not even getting into that)  So let's "preview" the Pirates' season.  To start, I'd have to say that I'm with the Root Sports team.  During yesterday's postgame show, they called the Bucs' 6-9 start "the absolute bottom level of acceptable."  I agree with this assessment.  The Pirates seem to be the only team that I follow on a daily basis that I can seem to keep realistic expectations for, and not flip out, so I fully understand where they're coming from.  No one expects to make the playoffs this year, but if you buy into the rebuilding process, (I do, this time) then .500 is the next realistic step in the long trek up Mount Everest that is the Pirates actually turning into a contender.  You look at 6-9 and it seems to be a huge red flag for another 90 or 100 loss season.  However, considering that we have already played nine road games, three against the defending NL East champions, three against the defending NL West champions, three against the defending world champions, and three against the hottest team in baseball, I'd say 6-9 is far from the worst case scenario.

Now, the next question becomes:  what exactly needs to happen for this team to hit that magic 82 win plateau? Of course, the key to any successful MLB team is rock-solid starting pitching.  In that department, it's so far, so good.  The rotation has far exceeded expectations, to this point.  The Burnett and Bedard signings appear to be home runs for Neal Huntington.  After the first three batters on Saturday, Burnett was lights out through seven.  And, he wasn't playing the Houston Astros, boys and girls.  He went seven scoreless against the defending world champs, and barely broke a sweat, not even throwing 80 pitches.  That is a great, great sign.  Bedard, on the other hand, has been mostly great through his first four starts.  Unfortunately, we've averaged less than a run a game in his starts, so despite his sterling 2.64 ERA, he finds himself at 0-4.  If either or hopefully both of those two can continue at this pace (sure, it's unlikely but we can dream, no?) then we may be looking at the closest thing we've had to an ace since Doug Drabek packed his bags for Houston in '93.  Even if they can stay steady throughout 25+ more starts, we've got a chance.  If Correia can pitch at his All-Star pace of early last year throughout an entire season, that's three very reliable starters.  If this perfect scenario were to play out, then we only need to get two serviceable starters out of the combination of McDonald, Morton, and Karstens, then this may actually look like a rotation.  Again, there's a lot of ifs in this scenario, but after 19 straight losing seasons, it's not like we're stocked with $20M arms.  If the rotation continues to be a strength, then we've got a chance.  If not, well chalk up number 20.

Now, as good as the rotation has been, the lineup has been equally awful.  Sure, Andrew McCutchen looks like the bonafide superstar that we all thought he would be, and Casey McGehee has come as a very pleasant surprise.  Outside of that, pathetic wouldn't even begin to describe the struggles the Bucs have had at the plate.  Tabata has been awful and looks lost.  Presley hasn't been as bad as the rest, but he doesn't appear to have progressed from his solid rookie season.  Barajas wasn't brought in for his offensive skills, but man, if I have to hear how "he has some pop in his bat that will come around" one more time, I may reach through the tv and choke Greg Brown.  GFJ?  More like LOL.  I didn't think it was possible to have a shortstop worse than Ronny Cedeno, but Clint Barmes has proven me wrong.  Dear God, he's awful.  I don't care if he's Hurdle's boy from Colorado, ship him to Indy ASAP.  I'll gladly take the rest of the year watching d'Arnaud and Harrison play short over Barmes.  At least they're young and have some upside.  Walker has looked decent, probably will have a season similar to last year, but as much as I like his game, offensively and defensively, is he really the prototypical cleanup hitter that we desperately need?  Which brings me to the elephant err...."El Toro" in the room.  It's been said ad nauseam that Pedro is the "x-factor" of this lineup.  It is 100% true.  Outside of him, there is no legitimate power threat in this lineup.  It's a fact.  They've invested a ton of money in Alvarez, and a ton of time and resources into his development.  He may be the single piece, that if he flops, may derail the entire rebuilding effort.  He needs to be the cleanup hitter.  No question.  It's not Walker.  He fits somewhere else.  It has to be Pedro.  No one is confusing him with someone who will hit .300 or even .280.  Sure, his two home runs, especially the monster shot over the stands at PNC, have been glimmers of hope, but we're in year three of this project.  There has to be real progress.  If it happens before the heat of summer, we could be in good shape.  If he, along with everyone else, continues to struggle mightily, then we may be in for yet another long, long summer until training camp. Well, either way I'll continue to fly the Jolly Roger and go down with the ship, taking shots at all the bandwagon Yankees and Red Sox fans along the way.  At the very least, hopefully Cheese Chester brings home another Pierogi Race championship.  See you at PNC.  Let's go Bucs.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ouch.


Playoff losses are always tough to swallow.  First round playoff losses while you're the consensus Stanley Cup favorites are even worse.  First round playoff losses to your most-hated rival, while being Stanley Cup favorites will make even the most die-hard of Pens fans question the very existence of the Consol Energy Center, and wonder if the team would be better off playing its home games in Kansas City.  Ok, ok...so it's not the complete end of the world.  The sun will come up tomorrow (if its not hidden by six inches of snow).  There will be more seasons.  More highs.  More lows.  More hold-on-to-your-sac moments like the final 20 minutes of game five.  But, there's one thing that's certain:  something has to change.

Eventually, probably about five minutes after the Flyers are inevitably eliminated from the playoffs for the 37th consecutive time, we'll start to heal from this loss.  All of our hockey thoughts will start to migrate from the missed opportunity that was 2011-12 to the upcoming opportunity that is 2012-13.  I am firmly of the belief that Ray Shero is the absolute best man on the face of the planet at his job.  In my mind, there's no question.  The Hossa trade.  The Kunitz trade.  Rebuilding (so we thought) the defense corps.  And so on, and so on.  In the salary cap era, the man is the best.  All that being said, I don't envy his position this offseason.  Granted, we are a hell of a long way from the NHL Draft, let alone July 1.  But, as we move forward, there are plenty of tough decisions that will have to be made before the puck drops again in early October.  For a team that looks unbeatable on paper and has very few free agents, there are many things that will need to be addressed before dreams of Lord Stanley return to our heads.

I was wrong about Sidney Crosby.  At least I really, really, really, really hope I was.  After taking quite a few bumps and hits, not to mention getting his clock cleaned by Geno's friendly fire in game five, he looks like he'll be able to survive a full season next year.  He needs extended for as long as possible.  What we would have considered a no-brainer in late 2010 is a no-brainer again.  On the same topic, after watching this series, hell, this entire season, where are all of the people screaming to trade Staal?  Again, longest, most financially smart extension possible.  If Shero lets him walk in 2013 or trades him at the deadline, he'll kill us at some point, guaranteed.  Another player that needs extended?  See Sullivan, Steve.  If his old legs are willing to come back at an affordable price for another year, sign him ASAP.  Playing an entire season with Sid would offer a ton of production for a very cheap price.  If those three moves are made, no matter who else is brought in, we'll be fine, offensively.  Add in some of the young d-men for an entire season, and the Pens could be scary good if they're healthy.

Things get progressively tougher for King Shero when it comes to deciding who not to bring back.  Again, there are very few free agents, so cutting ties with some players (and their contracts) may be easier said than done.  *cough* Paul Martin *cough*  There is absolutely no way Martin can be back on this roster next year.  He was the weak link all season long.  I am by no means an expert on the salary cap or the CBA, but he needs to be gone at any cost.  I highly doubt that anyone will be willing to trade for him at $5M per year, so he needs to be bought out, shipped to Wilkes-Barre, or have his leg permanently shattered by a hitman hired by Mario.  By any means necessary, he does not put on a Penguins sweater next season.  I think we all understand that Arron Asham won't be back, and that's fine.  He's a UFA, so let him sit out the last game of his suspension elsewhere.  Brent Johnson, so long.  Again, he's a UFA, so it's ride or die with Thiessen for 15-20 games, or sign a different, i.e. more solid veteran backup goaltender.  And finally, in what will surely be his most controversial move if he has the stones to make it, Dan Bylsma absolutely needs to be fired.  He cannot be back.  He was outcoached so bad during this series, and really this season as a whole, that my toilet and garbage cans are incapable of holding the amounts of vomit that I'll put in them next season if I have to sit and hopelessly watch other teams adjust to the Pens' game and beat them repeatedly, as Bylsma refuses to adjust to anything, change anything.

Dan Bylsma is a great human being.  Surely he's a fun person to play for, a good guy to work with.  Unfortunately, that means jack shit in professional sports.  Of course, the common outcry will sound something like this:  "He won the Stanley Cup!  He won the Jack Adams award!  The players love him!"  Blah, blah, blah.  Sure, he won the Cup in his first (partial) season.  A trained monkey could have led that team to a championship.  They were 100% done with Michel Therrien, and him being gone alone was enough to ignite the team to prove that they could win it all without him.  Any coach in the NHL would have won it all that season.  It was addition by subtraction.  Had everything to do with a lack of Therrien behind the bench, and nothing to do with the addition of Disco back there.  Therrien was a conservative dictator, whose system didn't match the players on the Penguins' roster and whose personality poorly clashed with those of his young, talented, energetic players.  Bylsma is the prototypical "players' coach," the former fringe player that relates to his players and their state of mind.  He can provide all the rah-rah speeches and talk about "grinding bitches down" all day, everyday.  Unfortunately, when shit hits the fan, this approach doesn't do much.  Players are not held accountable.  He will never get in anyone's face, or challenge or call out any of his players.  There has to be a compromise somewhere.  There has to be a coach available that will hold players accountable for their performance, not be their best friends, yet not piss them off all the time, too.  I don't want John Tortorella.  I sure as hell don't want Bruce Boudreau or Mike Yeo.  Find a balance.  Please, Ray, do the right thing.  Fire Bylsma.  As much as I'll miss his personality, I'll enjoy the return of winning hockey when it matters much, much more.  In Shero we trust.  See you in October, let's go Pens.

DVR will save my day.

Sadly, I have to work today. For those that don't know, I work for Consol Energy as a Foreman in a coal mine in WV. So when I am at work, 85% or my work day is spent 800 or more feet under ground, without internet or radio service. My challenge today is to avoid all refrences of the Pens score over our walkie talkies, from the next shift when we come up of the mine, and from the radio in the car on the way home. My phone will be off, and you will not hear from  me until I view the entire game. Go Pens! I hope the other writers here pick up the slack today.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Time is NOW!

After a hard fought 3-2 win in the CEC last night the PENS seem to be getting to their game.  For the first time in this series it seemed to be a playoff game, with low scoring, no fighting, and better goaltending.  Fleury finally stole one from the flyers for the first time in the series and the penalty kill looked to improve besides giving up a few goals. Fleury was peppered with shots in the third period but looked to feel more comfortable in the pipes as the shots kept coming.  In order for the Pens to win Game 6 they need to keep improving and play 60 minutes of hockey.  Dan Bylsma needs to stick to rotating 7 defensemen as this seems to be giving the Flyers trouble.  If you remember the 7 d-man rotation was a key part to the Pens winning the 09 Stanley Cup.

The Flyers are on tilt with Claude Giroux snapping his stick on the goal post and Scott Hartnell trying to instigate a fight as the horn sounded to end the third.  The time is NOW for the Pens to tie this series up and humiliate the Flyers once again in Filthadelphia.  LETS GO PENS!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wooooooooooooooo.


Yinzer Model Search

Special Thanks to @princesss_sass for being our first Yinzer Model. Just tweet me a picture of you in a plain shirt, and I will superimpose 1 of our designs onto a picture of you and post them on our site. Any type of shirt works, as long as its plain and either black, gray, or white. Red will also work for our Pirate shirts. Male and female models needed. Tweet pictures to @theclassyyinzer or send them via email to submit@theclassyyinzer.com If you don't want your own picture up, you can nominate a friend and I will ask them.

All photos will be accepted.
And by the way....

Don't stop...


Believing.  Hold on to that feeeeeeeeeling.  If this song wasn't the first thing that you played on your iPod on the way to work this morning, then you may have to be checked for a pulse.  The Pittsburgh Penguins can't win three hockey games tonight.  They have to go back to all the cliches and not let themselves think outside of the current shift.  Play 60 minutes of "Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey," and we'll see what happens.  This is a tough thought for all of us to keep in mind, especially as #PensIn7 explodes across the Internet.  We don't need the Pens in seven, tonight.  We need the Pens in 5.  Keep chipping away.  As fans, (and hopeully players) completely lose yourself in tonight's game.  Nothing else matters.  #PensIn7 can never happen if we don't survive game five.

For those of you headed to Consol...for the love of God, BE LOUD.  The Pensblog guys have laid it out perfectly.  Tonight is all about remembering the Igloo.  She is our Alamo.  Protect her honor at any cost.  Bring Consol to life like she hasn't been yet.  Mellon was a shithole, but damn it she was our shithole, and if you don't have an unlimited bank of memories from that barn, well, chances are you just started watching hockey in the past six years and I don't give a shit what you think, anyway.  Scream your lungs out as if you're about to hear John Barbaro throw out a "The PITTSBURGH goal, scored by number 66, Mario Lemieuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuux!"  Scream like you're just about to order some "Cotton candy here!"  Stand up, high five everyone in sight, and go ape shit, as if Rock and Roll Part 2  is about to come on.  Do your part.  Send this son of a bitch back to Philly.

If you keep one thought in mind tonight, let it be this:  we're playing the Philadelphia Flyers.  Philadelphia.  That's where they're from.  If you've followed any of the three major professional sports (the NBA blows, so no way will I count it) for more than five minutes, you know what Philly fans are all about.  Boo everything in sight.  Turn on your team at the first possible chance to do so.  Rinse, wash, repeat every season.  Eagles, Phillies, Flyers.  It's the same bullshit with those people.  They crave hating their own team much, much more than they enjoy actually winning anything.  Although, to their credit, they never win shit.  So, if we can scratch, claw, fight, do anything possible for one more W, all the pressure in the world falls on the Flyers to do something in front of 20,000 orange assholes on Sunday.  The seed of doubt has been planted.  Tonight is our chance to water up that son of a bitch and put it in summer sunlight for 60 minutes of hockey.  Fear the bear.  Let's go Pens.

#PensIn7

"So You're Saying There's a Chance?" #PensIn7


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Did the Pens Hit Rock Bottom?

The day after one of the biggest blow outs in playoff history many Pens fans have to wonder after being down 3-0 in the series, did they hit rock bottom? Losing 3 players to suspension and 1 to an undisclosed injury was not looking to be a very promising start to Wednesday nights contest. The start of the game by no means looked to be in the pens favor after taking countless dumb penalties and putting a very powerful Flyers powerplay on the ice to produce 3 goals in the first few minutes of the game.  I myself was frustrated, but if you watched closely for the first time in the series the Pens kept their confidence.  The Pens finally played their game. Malkin finally came alive scoring a huge goal coming straight out of the box to allow the game to not get out of hand early. The puck went north, the penalties stopped, we put shots on goal.  Anyone who is a fan knows when the Pens put over 30 shots on net, it's typically a W in the win column.  The Flyers for the first time in the series were frustrated, taking cheap shots and penalties, and the Pens kept their cool and played their game.
The Pens finally got a win and more importantly Flower got to get some confidence back into his game performing two shut out periods after the respected teams settled in. A 10-3 win is definitely a confidence booster, but I hope to see the Pens play their game tomorrow night and some desperate hockey at the Consol Energy Center and force a game 6 back in Filthadelphia.

Go Pens!

Game 5 challenge: 3 minute Lets Go Pens

I won't be able to attend the game. However, I want to have a hand in the crowd. For those of you attending, I challenge you to a 3 minute Lets Go Pens chant from the drop of the puck to the 17 minute mark of the 1st period. Rock the house early. Don't stop for anything but a Pens Goal. The players will hear you. Use the hashtag #3minPensChant and tweet famous Pittsburgh celebs. We can do it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shove it Philly

I couldn't resist!

Vote in our poll to the left. Question: Should the Consol Bears attend game 5?
Polls end tomorrow at 11:59 PM

We've Come Too Far...


This two day layoff has been the most painful two days in the history of sports.  The Internet feels like Civil War II within the Pens fan base.  I'll admit that I've been too stunned to pick sides.  I feel like I lie somewhere in the middle of the great debate as to where we are as fans.  I can see some of both sides.  On one hand, I want to agree with the "It's our team, we support 100% of what they do all the time," movement.  On the other, the "The Pens have been an all-around disgrace this series, screw 'em and blow this thing up before October," movement makes some sense, too.  

Games and series like this will make your mind wander in 100 different directions.  No one, literally zero percent of people saw this series going down like this.  This has led to a week of purely irrational thoughts from everyone.  I can see the point of people that are arguing with the suspensions being handed down, and think that the Pens should never be punished.  We're fans.  This is our team.  We should stand up for them in every situation.  However, some of the actions of the Pens' players on the ice have simply been unacceptable.  Like every other Pens fan on Earth, I've spent my entire lifelong hockey fandom, if you will, detesting everything about the Philadelphia Flyers.  They're cheap.  They're dirty.  They care more about fighting than scoring.  They're choke artists.  Watching the 2012 Penguins turn into the very same hockey team, albeit with much better looking sweaters, that I have hated for my entire life is horrifying.  Our team has turned into everything that we've spent decades learning to hate about our biggest rivals.  This thought alone is beyond painful, and enough to drive even the most passionate of Pens fans to the brink of giving up.  

But, he's right.  Sidney Crosby is right.  They do need us, the fans, more than ever.  This series has truly been one of the most horrifying and puzzling things I've ever seen in Pittsburgh sports.  But, let's be thankful that this is the NHL, not Major League Baseball.  The first round is best-of-seven, not best-of-five.  I can think of nothing more satisfying than turning the tables on these scumbags from the other side of the state.  I'd love nothing more than to blow up that Philly newspaper front page to 10 times its original size and hold it up high during another Stanley Cup parade.  Hell, we don't have to look far to find an instance of a team coming back from this situation.  Just look as far as across Pierre McGuire's slimy, bald dome at the opposite bench.  I'm sure the Flyers fans had given up hope in '10, too.  So, I'm about to allow myself to experience an emotion that anyone who has known me for any length of time knows is rare....

Hope.  Optimism.  Why not?  I've tried everything else.  Luckily, my tv is still standing and functional at this point.  Why can't this be our night?  Why can't our boys rally around the fact that three of them are suspended and can't play until this series does go back to Consol?  Why can't this be the night that MAF remembers that he was a #1 overall pick and that he has a Stanley Cup ring sitting in a box at home?  Why can't Kris Letang learn to keep his emotions in check and score a huge goal, a la the '09 Capitals series?  This thought has gotten me through today...if the Pens can scratch out a W tonight, they're in the exact same situation that Tampa Bay was in last year.  I'm pretty sure that we all know that there's more talent in any three random players on this Penguins roster than there is in the entire Tampa Bay Lightning organization.  Down 3-1, headed to Consol?  It sounds a hell of a lot better than a 9:00 am tee time.  We've invested 85 nights of our lives into this hockey team at this point.  What's one more?  This could be the unofficial start of the Pirates' season.  Or, it could be the start of something big.  That's why despite all the bullets flying back and forth, you better believe that the Pens Nation will be all-in, balls to the walls, in front of their tvs at 7:30. We don't have a choice.  I'm down to choice #4, the blue Staal jersey.  Maybe there's some magic in it.  Anything can happen, because it's the Cup.

HOLY FREAKING AWESOME!!!



The Pittsburgh Steelers are all about tradition.  One hundred percent committed to being a first-class organization.  The opposite of flashy.  No cheerleaders.  No bells and whistles at the stadium.  No fireworks, scantily-clad dancers, or giant inflatable whatevers during team introductions.  Blah, blah, blah.  Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.  

This type of thing is all that we have heard since the beginning of time.  Ohhhh, the Steelers are too classy, too old-school for cool new uniforms.  Ohhhh, the Steelers are too pride-filled and financially "smart" to sign that big time free agent.  Ohhhh, the Steelers would never dream of taking a chance on a player they need, when the "best player available" is sitting right in front of their faces.  After all, why wouldn't we want a brand new first-round pick to play 4th string defensive end?  Kudos to the Steelers for actually getting one right, taking a chance for once in 80 years.  

I'm not sure why the attitude around Steeler Nation for the past 24 or hours or so has been that the Steelers are now the Oregon Ducks of the NFL.  I have literally laughed out loud reading Internet posts that are chalking up this uniform unveiling as Nike's latest attempt to take the NFL by storm and make up their own uniforms for everyone.  Um, hello, people, this uniform design is 78 FREAKING YEARS OLD.  Sure, Nike/the Steelers/the NFL changed the uniform to fit today's standards of fit, design, and legibility on tv, but the design dates to 1934!  Nike had absolutely nothing to do with creating this design template.  The only difference is wearing the current helmets, did you really expect them to bust out leather helmets to go with it or what?  

Anyway, on to what the thing actually looks like and its effect on gameday.  I, for one, loved the Steelers' previous throwback design.  However, I didn't love it in a once-in-a-while, throwbacky, gimmicky way.  I thought that it should have taken over as the Steelers permanent uniform.  I loved the simple black and gold jersey.  Notice those two concepts: simple and black and gold.  Now look at the current home jersey.  No one would call that Mickey Mouse name and number font simple and no one that isn't color blind would say that a black jersey with huge white numbers and a couple small gold stripes screams 'black and gold.'  And, in my opinion, the gold helmet was a huge, colorful, upgrade to the plain old black ones.  Anyway, to me, the old throwbacks didn't quite fit the mold of what an alternate jersey should be.

Keep in mind, Yinzer Nation, that these uniforms are only going to be worn twice this season.  That leaves 18 times (plus playoffs, hopefully) that you'll get to sit at home and whack-off to the plain, old, dated and stale Steelers "normal" uniforms.  An alternate uniform should be bold.  An alternate uniform should be different.  For God's sake, it should provide an alternate look for your team.  I love that this is a loud design.  I also love that the Steelers' brass is thinking outside the box for once.  This design hasn't seen the light of day in 78 years, and I can't wait to see it in action.  Think about it.  The Baltimore Ravens can't use a design like this.  The Patriots?  Nope.  The Bengals?  Try again.  Only a handful of teams have the rich tradition that the Steelers share, that dates back 80 years or more.  Only a select few teams can break out a jersey this "old-school."  Take pride in it, Steeler Nation.  Think of this as a badge of honor that our team has been around longer than almost anyone that we play.  Then, do yourself another favor.  Go to Google and search for "Philadelphia Eagles 1930s throwback" and "Green Bay Packers 1920s throwback."  Then, come back and tell me that ours doesn't at least look better than those ones.  I can't wait until these babies go on sale.  I fully plan on buying a Roethlisberger one the second they go on sale and wearing it every time I leave western Pennsylvania in the next five years, if for no other reason than it will be one loud, bold "F you" to the rest of the world.  Go Steelers.    

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Steeler Uniforms...

When I first saw the Steelers’ new uniforms I wanted to vomit everywhere. The pure site of them was horrendous and the thought that they would be worn on national TV made me feel sick to my stomach. Then I started to think about it more and the reason why the alternate jerseys are being released, or at least the reason I hope they are being released.

The reason I hope the Steelers are doing this is to honor their rich tradition and history as a franchise. This season will be the Steelers 80th season as a professional football franchise. These are the jerseys that were worn by the Steelers in 1934, one of their first few years of being a professional team. I would sincerely hope this is the reason the Steelers are deciding to go with this jersey. However, as much as I would hope this is the reason they are wearing the jersey, I have a gut feeling it is for a different reason.

If I had to guess, I would say the Pittsburgh Steeler jersey sales are down, and they need something to boost sales. They could release the ugliest jersey in the history of sports and the Steelers have such loyal and committed fans that they would buy the jersey no matter what it looks like. I unfortunately believe this is a PR move to make more money, and have the millions of Steeler fans all over the world go out and purchase a new jersey.

When I first saw the Steelers' new uniforms...

When I first saw the Steelers' new uniforms all I could think of was why would you do this to one of the world's best franchises?  I mean for those who ever wanted to see Big Ben in stripes for his alleged rape charges will now get the opportunity for a good laugh.  The Steelers' might as well make a grand entrance to Flight of the Bumble Bee and when opposing teams score, play Blind Melons "No Rain."  In a generation where Nike wants to make teams flashy, University of Oregon would be a prime example, the Steelers' should have stayed with tradition with their uniform as you will doubtfully ever see a change in an Alabama or Penn State football uniforms because of pride and tradition.  Sometimes teams need to learn when to say NO, and this was a prime example of one.


Zach G.

Worst Steeler Uni's Ever?

The new unis were release today. You can see them at www.steelers.com

I, however, think they are ugly. They may grow on me, but I will never own one. I may buy one of these:
Shop below or click the link to the right.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Official ClassyYinzer Tees



Shop Below or click our featured Tee on the right to purchase

Game 4: Do we even care?


I’ve had a hard time dealing with the current situation surrounding our Pittsburgh Penguins. When it comes to playoffs, I tend to increase my “yinzer-ness.” I mean, I refuse to give up hope. I am superstitious and I refuse to listen to Sports Talk Radio. Most of the time, I realize I am being irrational and it usually takes a few days to recover. I also refuse to watch the remainder of the playoffs until the championship game, such as the Super Bowl or a deciding game in a series. (BTW After the Thrill is Gone by the Eagles just started playing on ITunes on shuffle)
How is this happening to us? This is the single most upsetting sporting event I’ve experienced in my lifetime. It even beats that Tebow TD pass this past January. I understood that the Philly series would be far from an easy 4 wins. Hell, my playoff beard would not even impress a wallflower at a 7th grade Spring dance. My t-shirts are almost irrelevant, and the site of my jerseys hanging in my closet are depressing.
But enough whining and time to say everything @brianski71 will not.
What is better than viewing the biggest letdown in PGH sports history?
-          -Watching the tables turn and making it the biggest let down in Philly sports history.

Can you imagine? Up 3-0 on the Pens and losing 4 straight?
Philly would be the new Vancouver. 
Screw it, call me irrational, call me a yinzer fan. I refuse to give up until that clock says 0:00 and the Flyers win their 4th game. Coach Disco said Fleury would be the starting goalie for the next 4 games.
Who knows? I just want to be able to say I never gave up, and now it will be on the internet for everyone to see. GO PENS. Do it for us, we don’t want to watch the Pirates by default yet. That is what a few weeks in July is for, when we wait for Training camp to start.

 Hey, It Could Happen #BecauseItsTheCup

Fan Profile #2: @arrook86




Fan Profile #2- @arrook86   
She was selected due to being randomly selected during a Twitter contest last week. Give her a follow!
What is your hometown?
- Boardman, Ohio
    
 What Pittsburgh sports team is your favorite?
- Pittsburgh Penguins
   
 Who is your favorite Pittsburgh sports athlete?
- It's going to sound cliché probably but it's Sidney Crosby. Yea, he's an awesome hockey player but that's not why he's my favorite. He's my favorite because of how involved he is with the Little Penguins Learn to Play Hockey program. The Ice Zone where I live is one of the participants in this program and to know that area youth are learning how to play this awesome sport with free equipment because of his and the Pens efforts is such an amazing thing.
    Who is your favorite none Pittsburgh sports athlete?
- Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees
    What is your most memorable sports moment of all time?
- I would have to say watching Brad Thiessen get his first NHL win against the Blue Jackets on 2/26 this year. The intensity of that game was amazing and everyone was thriving on the energy at the CEC.
    
 What is your most memorable sporting event that you attended?
- Most memorable event that I attended would have to be my very first Pens game back on 3/27/11 against the Florida Panthers. Those tickets were the best birthday present I ever gave to myself! =] But anyway, the reason it was so memorable for me was the fact that I got to see the game go from regulation, to overtime, and into a shootout and come away with the win. Some of my friends that are Pens fans haven't seen a shootout live yet and the fact that I get to tell them that I saw one at my very first game is so cool.
    
 What athletes have you met or encountered?
- I got my picture with Arron Asham on my birthday last month when I went to see his radio show Along the Boards. He is such an awesome guy, very laid back.
   
 In 50 words or less, describe why you like sports in Pittsburgh?
- Because Cleveland sports suck! Just kidding =] But in all seriousness though, I like knowing there are high quality teams with amazing athletes within an hour's drive to go watch and cheer for.
    
 What is your favorite design from our shop?
 http://madeyoulook.spreadshirt.com