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Is Big Ben really Big “Bad” Ben?

July 22, 2009

I decided to come off hiatus early because the allegations against Ben warrant a post.

First, I have no idea what really happened inside that Lake Tahoe hotel room in July 2008 where Ben stayed during a celebrity golf tournament.  The woman has accused Ben of assault while he stayed at Harrah’s where Ms. McNulty was employed. The suit,  for libel and slander, is filed against nine defendants, including Ben. The eight others are reportedly employees at Harrah’s whom the woman accuses of defaming her following the assault.

Ben’s lawyer, David Cornwell, said Ben denied the charge. “Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone,” Cornwell said in a statement.

Now, we might never know exactly what happened that night,  But what we do know is this:

  • Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The United States has the highest rape numbers than any other country which publishes such statistics according to the National Women’s Study conducted by the National Center for Victims of Crime
  • In the United States, more than 70 percent of all rapes go unreported.

That being said I’m going to urge all ladies to use some common sense.

You should not go home or to a hotel room with someone you just met. No matter how smart, how beautiful, how fantastic you are it takes time to get to know the attributes that go beyond initial attraction.  In other words, if you do go, know up front that it is NOT tea and cookies you will be getting there.  He knows this, so should you.

Just because the other person may be a celebrity of some sort, does not mean you know them.  You don’t. The public persona isn’t always the private and real person.  How do I know? I’m gonna use an Ocho Cinco quote here “Child Please.” I’m a public relations strategist. I can develop a public persona for any person, place, product or service.  The attributes I highlight might not be ALL the characteristics, but those that appeal to the audience I am interested in reaching.  Just because TO has a beautiful body, and he does, does not mean he’s a great husband or boyfriend.  Keep it real ladies. Don’t get caught up in the celebrity.  Not that all celebrities are secretly bad people, but just like any situation, take the time to get to know someone.

And my final point while standing on this soapbox: take note of those statistics again.  Rape happens. By fabricating a story (and no, I do not know that anyone has specifically) you are making it more difficult for those who are raped every 2 minutes to make the case.  Rape is serious, it’s power, it’s traumatic, it has life long effects. Don’t minimize this act because your feelings were hurt, because things didn’t go the way you think they should have or you just feel like it.  If you have a case, report it. No man should ever rape you.

And again, don’t put yourself in situations that may lead to something you didn’t intend to happen.

Be smart. Be safe. Think before you act.

And Ben I really, really hope you are telling the truth.

Summer Hiatus

July 12, 2009

Steelergurl is on hiatus, I know it sucks, doesn’t it? But everyone needs a vacation and some relaxation.  For the next 20 days, I will be getting ready to cover training camp…then pre-season…and then…yes, you know it…the regular season and I foresee a great season.

I’ll be taking Steelerboy (my son) to opening weekend. We’re really looking forward to it.

Until then….have a great couple weeks.

See you soon….and get ready!!!

Defense wins championships, and fully entertains me along the way!!

June 22, 2009

White_Holmes_Greene_Greenwood_Photo_mid (1)So, in following up with the top NFL defenses poll, I want to highlight what undoubtedly is my favorite part of the football game. Big, daunting defensive tackles, swift linebackers and lean and mean cornerbacks and safeties – bring on a hard hitting game of football and it’s always a great game.

Great defenses negate the running game, they pressure the QB and crush the pocket and make big plays all over the field. How can you beat that? While a pretty QB gets a ton of props for long-passes *cough Brady cough* and flashy wideouts are constantly heralded as the stars *cough TO cough* it’s the rough and tumble defensive lineman and fast and furios secondaries who make my Sunday (and Monday nights and occasional Thursday) every single week.

The NFL Channel ranked defenses historically as follows:

10. Purple People Eaters – Minnesota Vikings

9.  Dallas Cowboys Doomsday Defense

8. The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Ravens circa 2000

6. New York Giants during the 1950’s

5. Atlanta Falcons “grits blitz”

4. 1969 Kansas City Chiefs

3. Lombardi’s Packers

2. 1985 Chicago Bears

1. Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain

As a Steelers fan, I am certainly not going to argue the Steelers spot at #1.  During this time, they won 4 Super Bowls and literally frightened opponents. I can’t imagine not being scared of lining up across from Jack Lambert, the man had no front teeth clearly he wasn’t scared of much.  The entire defense- from the secondary to the line to the linebackers, just plain nasty.

So, I agree with the list overall though I think I do agree with @tailgate365 that I would rank the 2000 Ravens above the Falcons. Looks like everyone who picked past defenses included everyone who was mentioned.

Now, on to the next season…this is harder than I expected it to be, but here are my picks:

10. Vikings. I think the Vikings defense has been slightly underrated – they will be more consistent this year and have drafted effectively  in the offseason creating some depth and bringing in some vets to cover gaps. If their front four can keep pressure on the QB, they will be a great defensive team with versatility. (take note Steelers, play hard ALL games!!)

9.  Colts. Even with a new defensive coordinator, the Colts still have veterans at the helm and will likely run the same style defense. There will be growing pains with new coaches all around, but their D will remain strong.

8. Dolphins. Joey Porter has always been one of my favorites (‘cept for his mouth). He’s nasty. There also weren’t a lot of changes in the off-season. I expect them to have a decent season defensively.

7.  Jets. With the addition of Bart Scott and of course, Rex Ryan – the Jets will have a decent defense. They weren’t terrible last year though it will take a  year or two to get this team to act as a TEAM, they will likely soon become a defensive force.

6. Titans. Losing Haynesworth creates a gap, but overall, the Titans will return strong defensively.

5. Eagles. I don’t even really have much to say about the Iggles. They kicked some butt last year in the NFC, ultimately losing in the playoffs to the Cardinals, their defense helped them get them as far as they got. They’ll be a defensive force again in 2009

4. Redskins. As much as I hate to admit this, their defense wasn’t terrible last year and with Haynesworth coming on board it will add. I still don’t think they will WIN but that’s because it’s still a team of individuals rather than an actual TEAM. I’m guessing that the sales of Haynesworth jerseys ill pay for the obsene amount of money Big Dan spent to get him, however. Brian Orakapo also brings speed and strength to the defense. Look forward to seeing how he adds to the overall mix of players.

3. Giants. With a healthy Osi Umenyiora the Giants defense will be more stable. Justin Tuck is always a force and reports say Antonio Pierce is in the best shape of his career. I think the Giants will again be a force.

2. Ravens. Hell, I am scared of Gnata, I will admit it. This is a passionate defense led by Ray Ray. And Ed Reed is beast in the secondary picking balls straight outta the air and don’t let a loose ball anywhere near him. Other than the  loss of to the Jets, I think the Ravens will remain one of the top defenses in the League. Can’t. Wait. To. Kick. Some. Purple. Bird. Ass. Yeah, I said it, but it’s my blog, I can :)

1. Steelers. With virtunally nothing on the defense changing – they still will be number one. Losing Foote to the Lions is the only starter role that’s lost, yet Timmons was already subbing in last year on specific downs so should not affect the play. There’s depth on corner and with a healthy Troy the secondary will be outstanding – and likely once again underrated. With Woodley and Deebo coming off the edges, I foresee another sack fest for opposing QBs. I love my team, and I love watching the defense do what it does. All hail the great Dick LeBeau.

I can’t tell you how many times I rearranged this order…the last 5 were pretty difficult to predict. But I am sticking with this order. Agreeing with @DYMilkshake, it’s hard to rate the Vikings with both Williams out for four games each but with them, they are a good, solid D.

I didnt include the Pats though Johnny_S over at Behind The Steel Curtain did – my reasoning is that while they have a strong front with 3 veterans, they have weaknesses both in the linebacker corps and their secondary. The Pats strength has been offensive scoring, despite Belichick’s strength in defense. I just don’t see them in the top 10 going into 2009.

The one team I went back and forth about including and probably should knock the Vikings out to include are the Cowboys. Demarcus Ware is a beast and will always be a beast. I’m wavering now as I type this, but I am going to leave as is and we can talk about it later in the season.  I might kick myself.

Steelroots86 also over at Behind The Steel Curtain also had San Diego Chargers on his list.  I don’t think Cromartie can reach his 2007 level and I think there are gaps which is why I didn’t include them.  However, before training camp and pre-season, it’s hard to predict how these teams will untimately gel.

One thing is for certain, I’ll continue to love and hate the Steelers-Ravens match ups, sit on the floor rocking and biting my nails during the ALWAYS nasty defensive games of the year. This year, there might be a few surprises and I look forward to the debate moving forward.

Open for comments as always.

NFL’s Top 10 defenses

June 18, 2009

steelers_080914_WIDETomorrow night at 8pm, the NFL Channel will unveil it’s picks for the NFL’s top 10 defenses.  Because I am bored to tears in this offseason and looking for any kind of content to fill the gaps a wanna-be defensive player, I thought it might be fun to do a poll of who YOU think are the top NFL defenses going into the next season.

Comment, hit me on twitter, or email me (steelergurl00@gmail.com – those are zeroes BTW) and let me know your thoughts…

I’ll write up a more meaningful post based on responses and of course, the NFL Channel’s take on top 10 defenses.

Bring it, comments start NOW.

Who are the NFL’s Gritty Quarterbacks?

June 3, 2009

I asked this question because as I watched NFL’s Total Access the other night “gritty quarterback” and Tom Brady were used in the same sentence.  I have to ask Rich Eisen what his definition of “gritty” is because according to the dictionary, gritty means: harsh, coarse, rough and unrefined.  In my mind, that says Big Ben – and Big Ben and Tom Brady couldn’t be two different quarterbacks.

Tom Brady is an outstanding QB, but everything about his game says pretty and smooth and simple.  He gets about an hour in the pocket while his outstanding OL (and he should be thanking them, really) protect him for an unprecedented amount of time while his receivers make it way down the field.  It’s pretty. It’s beautiful. It’s outstanding, but it ain’t gritty.

Fueled by this media hype to project the “New Improved Brady” as Mr. Tough Guy – I asked the sports minded folks who follow me on twitter to weigh in on who really does make a “gritty quarterback” and these are the results in order of least to most votes:

5. Ben Roethlisberger – THE Pittsburgh Steelers

I’m a Steeler fan, so I am not going to waste a lot of time justifying Ben’s pick with anything other than “He’s definitely gritty.” 

We win, but it damn sure is not pretty. All  Steeler Nation will agree. And probably Mike Tomlin too…

4. Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles

Donovan has had a long career with the Eagles and one not without controversy, from TO to his bum knee, he’s overcome a lot of adversity and still played tough. He’s got a QB rating of 86.4  and thrown for 29,320 yards. I’m not an Eagles fan necessarily, but you have to give him credit – he’s had a host of issues in Philly and even been boo’d by fans. McNabb was the 2nd overall draft pick in 1999 and has led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance – 2004 – which was the first time the Eagles had been in the Super Bowl since 1980.  The Eagles, with McNabb at their helm have been to four NFC championship games.  It takes a special person to play in Philly, fans are absolutely tough and McNabb has lived it through – even brought the Eagles back last year after being benched halfway through the season. He’s gritty.

3. Joe Montana – San Francisco 49ers

Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowl Championships in four appearances. Yes, everytime they went, they won. His quarterback rating was 127.8 which according to every other QB rating I have ever seen is out of control high (how is this computed anyway?!?).  Montana was a born leader, someone who could scramble out of the pocket but lead in style, grace and calm. In 1986, he had back surgery only to be on the field a few months later throwing TDs – it takes passion and commitment not to give it up after such a tough injury.  Montana retired at age 38. I’m not sure I characterize Montana as “gritty” or “pretty.” I think he was a fantastic QB, but I’m leaning more towards pretty, despite what my twitter respondents said. (Feel free to comment!)

2.  Terry Bradshaw – THE Pittsburgh Steelers

Being a Steeler fan is in my blood. I have shared on this blog before that my Dad taught me everything I know about football and it was this Terry Bradshaw led team that gave me my daughter-dad bonding time.  I have a special place in my heart for this team.  His career stats look something like 2025 completions for 3901 attempts, 27,989 yards and 212 touchdowns. Not to mention that Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl titles over a six-year span and was MVP for both Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV.  There was definitely a grit to Bradshaw’s game.  I’d agree with gritty but sometimes pretty here.

1. Brett Favre – with Greenbay Packers NOT New York Jets

I don’t know how you can say a guy with a scraggly beard and Wranglers is NOT gritty, but I will agree that Brett Favre is gritty.  Despite all the recent “retirement” drama overshadowing Favre’s successes in Green Bay, he was a great quarterback.  He holds virtually every significant NFL passing record – including TD passes (464). He threw over his career 9,280 times for 5,720 completions for an outstanding 65,127 yards. Farve played 17 NFL seasons, 16 with the Packers.  He led the team to a Super Bowl win in 1997.  I hope that all the drama we have seen from him recently does not at all overshadow his great history. However, he does need to just let it go…

He’s still got my vote – and a lot of others – for “gritty” not “pretty.”

Let me know if you agree or disagree on the gritty NFL quarterbacks.

And for the record, there was only one vote for Tom Brady and that came from a delusional Pats fan.  The least you can do is be honest about your teams strengths. Tom Brady is far from gritty – and gritty does not equal successful. Brady is successful being pretty – let him be pretty. But don’t buy into this PR campaign to make him rugged – it’s a total disingenuous turn off.

Let the comments begin.

Grace in losing

May 31, 2009

20061016mf_fbn_polamalu_hairPJ02_230No one plays a game to lose. No one does. Last night watching both my teams (Pens and Cavs) lose, I was reminded how important good sportsmanship is, not just to the game, but to life.  After the Cavs lost in game 6 to Orlando, Lebron walked off the court, did not shake hands and did not do any post-game interviews.  I love Lebron, but immediately, what came to mind was how much my 13 year old son loves Lebron too and how I have been struggling to teach him the importance of shaking hands even after a close or tough game.  He gets very angry when he loses.  He doesn’t understand that when you lose, you are actually getting better because you strive to BE better and you work even harder for the next matchup.  

One of my favorite players is Troy Polamalu.  Not only because he’s a beast on the field, but because he really comes to work every Sunday.  People can talk about him, tackle him by his hair, but you won’t see Troy being loud, guaranteeing games, or talking smack in general.  You WILL see him make the sign of a cross after every play. You will see him play hard.  You will see him prove himself by his actions each and every Sunday.  He is someone a kid can look up to.  He clearly has “good sportsmanship.”

Being a good sport involves not just being a “good winner” but also being a “good loser.”

It consists of fair play, sportsmanship and most importantly character.

The reason that kids should play sports are to learn these elements.  Being the best [insert sport] player you can be is tied to both talent and being a good sport.

Even during the combine, players are interviewed as well as have to show their physical talent.  That “interview” is done to break into the players psyche – to show their character.

I was really astounded to see some people on twitter say that being a good sport isn’t important. That Lebron just needed to come and play and if they were him, they wouldn’t have done the “shaking hands” thing either.  What these folks failed to understand is that these qualities aren’t just exhibited on the court or the field, they are part of life.  You can’t always win, you can’t always get your way, and you might not always like that.  But being able to deal with failure, in so many ways, is so important to your overall success in life.  How you deal with desires, fears, challenges and opportunities is part of character and can be learned through sportsmanship.

Sure, Lebron should be mad. He played his heart out all through the season and the playoffs. It’s not always easy to congratulate the opposing team after a loss.  But that does not mean it’s not the right thing to do. He’s better than that.  I just wished that in this situation, he had exhibited good sportsmanship.

I’m a firm believer in “doing the right thing.”  It’s part of my core ethical values and how I conduct myself in life – not just when I play sports.  I learned that from my parents and from playing sports all my life.  I intend to share those values with my son.  

At the end of the day you can have equal talent with someone, but it’s the little things that propel you to success.

Bring Stanley home too

May 28, 2009

Youngsters-Malkin-und-Crosby-erlegen-die-Wild_6338bfc026

This is a football blog, but I would be remiss to ignore the fact that my new post-football season obsession will also result in a run for the title.  The Pens sealed the deal with a sweep of the Canes and last night, the Detroit Redwings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks.

This will be a rematch for the Stanley Cup between the Redwings and the Pens.

I’m new to hockey, I don’t quite understand it yet, but I am having a great time learning…the fast pace and the physical play keep me into the game.  I’m looking forward to Saturday night’s first match between the two teams.  And let’s hope for a Pens victory!

Weak post, yeah…I know…but unless it’s Crosby or Malkin or Fleury, I am not even sure I know what they do or who they are. I’ll have to have real hockey fans write a real post.

Is it football season yet?

PS – we’ll put Stanley (+ the two we already have) next to the SIX Lombardi’s….

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