he boss is back with 4 random reflections on the 2016 Steelers 4-1 start, plus a shut out for a special Steelers Nation scribe.
Yes, after close to a month on the road my travels have finally brought me back to “home,” namely Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the great ironies of the global economy is that a month long trip TO the United States kept me from writing about the Steelers, save for a rebuttal of Colin Cowherd’s Mike Tomlin bashing and reflections on Le’Veon Bell’s longevity.
Still, this excurision didn’t result in a full Steelers sabbatical, as followed the news as best I could, while taking in a couple of games on the fly.
1. Stats Mislead in Steelers Victory Over Bengals
The Steelers much anticipated re-match with the Bengals, sans Le’Veon Bell and Vontaze Burfict was easily on of the “Can’t Miss” games when the schedule was announced. Alas, booth set up responsibilities, paired with a corporate event at a baseball game meant there was NO WAY in HELL I was going to see the game.
- When I finally got to grab lunch at 4:00 pm or so, the headline “Ben Roethlisberger throws 3 touchdowns as Steelers beat Bengals” pleased me.
And of course I thought that Roethlisberger had been on another rampage, similar to the one he led against the Redskins in week 1. Only later did I learn that Ben Roethlisberger had struggled for much of the day, and that the Cincinnati defense has managed to contain Antonio Brown fairly well. A win is a win, but this one reminds you of how misleading stats passed on the ESPN scroll can be.
2. Wife Wins + Steelers Loss = Husband’s Right Call on Philly Game
Week 2 brought my wife’s arrival in the US and by this time I was back in Maryland. And just as fate would have it, the Steelers-Eagles game was on national TV. No need to hike a Steelers bar, giving me my first chance to watch a Steelers game in my home state since 2008 and my first in my parents’ home since, what, 1991?
Ah, but it was a beautiful day, and my wife wanted to hit Georgetown. Good idea.
- So I relented and slyly taped the Steelers game. Good decision.
Have the Pittsburgh Steelers ever performed so perfectly piss poorly as they did against Philadelphia during the Mike Tomlin era? Perhaps. The 2011 opening day Debacle at Baltimore would make as strong candidate. Outside of that you’d have to really search. The game started with a dropped touchdown pass followed by a blocked field goal. And things got worse from there.
In other words, it was the perfect time to take your wife down to Georgetown to do some shopping and site seeing.
3. Camerony Heyward, Steelers Clobber Kansas City
At some point we’ll have do a “Steelers history vs.” article on the Kansas City Chiefs, because those games often reveal a lot. But for now the Steelers Sunday Night Football victory over the Chiefs will remain something to relish.
- Le’Veon Bell reminded everyone of why he might revive the “franchise running back concept.”
- Cameron Heyward dominating performance was on par with great games from the likes of James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Rod Woodson or Greg Lloyd.
- Ben Roethlisberger threw more touchdowns than incompletions.
Fortunately, I did get to see this one, and a shout out goes to Andrew Kipp who recommended the venue:
— a girl has no name (@andrew_kipp) October 2, 2016
The Reservoir did turn out to be a good place to see the Steelers play. OK, it wasn’t the Purple Goose Saloon, but let’s not kid ourselves – they don’t make Steelers Bars like the Goose anymore. But the prices were great, there were plenty of TV’s to watch on, and the Steelers fans were friendly.
4. Still in NYC, but Can’t See the Steelers
My last weekend in the United States found me still in New York for the Steelers-Jets game, yet I was unable to watch the game! My wife might have been sold on this one (she was more than OK with me watching the KC game), but it was our last full day in Manhattan, and we had a number of things we wanted to do, and also some things we needed to do.
- The Steelers won, despite an ever lengthening injury list, on a week that saw the Steelers stash not just Senquez Golson but also Ryan Harris on IR.
From what I read, it was a good game even if the Steelers didn’t start particularly strong, they closed out the game with a second half shut out. That got us to 4-1, and I will take a 4-1 start anytime I can get one.
5. Shout Out to a Special Steelers Nation Scribe
Running a truly independent Steelers blog can be a solitary experience. God knows you, my readers, give continue to come in increasing numbers and give me shout outs on Twitter and Facebook, but stark fact is that here in 2016 you can’t have a site go dark for 25% of a season and expect to be taken seriously.
- Thanks to Tony Defeo, this was a non-issue during my month long trek.
As regular readers know, big Steelers news only breaks when yours truly is unable to write. The correlation has almost been scientifically verified. For the past several off seasons, Tony has been keeping an eye on the back door, and made sure that no important stories fall through the cracks while I’m away.
Earlier this year, Tony started contributing regular features, and I highly suggest you check out his pieces on Calvin Sweeny, Weegie Thompson, David Little, Harry Newsome, Mark Malone and/or Larry Brown. These profiles, in addition to his other features, have enriched this site in ways I could never do on my own.
- Over the last month Tony has gone into “Above and beyond the call of duty” of a part-time contributor.
That’s to him, the updates kept coming, whether I was putting in 14 hour days at a tradeshow on the West Coast, scrambling to process leads by day and spending quality time with family at night in my stomping grounds in Maryland, or vacationing in the Big Apple.
- I’ve thanked you in private, and now I’ll do it in public – Thanks Tony for your contributions to Steel Curtain Rising.
Tony will continue to contribute this season here, but he publishes several times a week on Behind the Steel Curtain and Cover 32. Regardless of the locale, Tony’s stuff is must read. Check him out and be sure to follow him on Twitter:
Thanks to you, readers, for continuing to read. The Steelers are off to a good start. Let’s see where they can take it.