Monday Morning Chrysler New Yorker is still in its baby stages, so this seems to be an appropriate time to explain the rating system I use.
I use motorcycle helmets in lieu of stars, or thumbs up, mainly because Big Ben could've used a motorcycle helmet (or 5) when he took on a Chrysler New Yorker prior to last season. In giving more helmets, I feel that the team/player is better prepared to survive any unforeseen crises.
You may feel that I am way too particular, but I won't be satisfied with average performances which could lead to another 8-8 season. In Pittsburgh, we've been blessed to see 5 Super Bowl trophies, and even the casual fan knows what works and what doesn't. I could easily give 5 motorcycle helmets every game for the sole fact that I'm a massive Steelers homer. In fact, you will
Without further ado, here is an analysis of what you can expect from MMCNY during the regular season.
5 of 5 motorcycle helmets. The Mack Daddy (or Daddy Mack...damn you, Kris Kross) of them all. If I've given 5 motorcycle helmets, it means that I am confident that this aspect of the team is Lombardi Trophy-esque. I could set my bar lower, and say 5 of 5 equals a playoff caliber performance, but this is the Steelers we are talking about. You don't win 5 of 41 Super Bowls by being content with merely making the playoffs. To me, there should be no mental lapses, or throw-away games. 5 of 5 motorcycle helmets go to the stud performers of the week, or if I just happen to see an old college buddy for the first time in a few years by chance.
4 of 5 motorcycle helmets. 4 helmets signifies that the team is playoff-worthy, and possibly AFC Championship material. Again, I could use 4 to stand for something lower, but I won't accept anything lower. I don't want to go through another 2006, because I'm convinced I will pull out all of my hair. By bestowing 4 motorcycle helmets, I feel the team, or highlighted player, can cause some noise in weeks 18+.
3 of 5 motorcycle helmets. I gave the starting D 3 motorcycle helmets for the past game against Philly. This caused some concern, which I hope to explain. True, the starters had 3 sacks in their only half of action. Last year, the team averaged 2.4 sacks a game, and Joey Porter took 7 of those to Miami. Going on last game, the starting D unloaded a (would-be) 6 sack showing against a good Philadelphia team. However, there were no interceptions or fumble recoveries to go with the 3 sacks in 2 quarters. By playing at a minus 2 turnover ratio (Ben's int, Fast Bill's fumble), the team is asking for trouble. I'm not saying that the team will be at minus 2 for each game during the entire year, thus ending at an abysmal minus 32, but it can't be a good sign. Last year, division rival Baltimore owned the entire AFC with a plus 15 ratio. Cincy was respectfully placed at number 5, with a plus 5. Pittsburgh played the season at a minus 6, only better than Cleveland and Oakland. Playing below the standards of Baltimore and Cincy means the team won't even make it out of the AFC North. If the starting D can't pick up the starting O when Ben and Co. falters, then we could see another .500 season. 3 of 5 motorcycle helmets show the team/player is a playoff bubble contender at best. That's not Pittsburgh football.
2 of 5 motorcycle helmets. An absolutely horrid showing. For arguments sake, Ben would get 2 helmets for under 200 yards passing with more interceptions than touchdowns. Fast Bill would get 2 helmets for a game with multiple fumbles, or no touchdowns with less than 100 yards. These aren't the exact standards, but showings like these would not put the team in a position to win. Simply put, if I give 2 motorcycle helmets, then the team is looking at a sub-.500 season and an upper echelon draft pick. I'm content with draft picks in the upper 20s, not the low teens.
1 of 5 motorcycle helmets. Last I checked, Kent Graham wasn't on the team. Something must be really wrong if I feel the need to give a 1 of 5 rating. This means the team has minimal protection against the big, bad Chrysler, and could go flying through the windshield at any moment. As is the case every season, I think the Steelers will win the Super Bowl. I don't want to believe that I could give out a 1 of 5 rating, but it will happen if something astronomical happens, like losing to Oakland in '06.
So that's it, for the most part. I want the team to succeed, and to not be content with sub par performances. MMCNY is a place for recognition of standout performances as well as possible imperfections.
This is one fan's perspective. Feel free to add your own during any/all MMCNY installments.