On Friday, he's coming to Steelers training camp to completely immerse himself in everything Black and Gold. You might be surprised that such a diehard Pens fan has no knowledge of the Steelers, but these things happen.
Stan is Russian, or Belarusian or something. He sounds like the main characters from Grand Theft Auto IV, and I always call him Russian. He usually corrects me to say he's Belarusian. Kinda like how I say I'm a Pittsburgher even though I was born in the Christy Park district of Versailles...right in the McKeesport area. I simplify things so you don't get all hung up on technicalities. He's from Russia...I'm from Pittsburgh.
He moved to Brooklyn in the mid-90s, and as a hockey fan, immediately started following the Pens. Check it...that's him in the sick Pens hat back in the day.
So as a Russian Penguins fan transplanted to Brooklyn, Stan has never really followed football. I found this out at Foley's, our infamous NYC Pens bar, during the playoffs. I told him right off the bat..."You're now a Steelers fan."
Fast forward...and we leave for camp from NYC on Friday. I've told Stan that he's going to do everything that a real Steelers fan would do on this trip. Primanti's, Sharkey's and Dino's, Eat 'N Park, St. Vincent day practice, Latrobe High School night practice...the works.
The kid on the right's tie sucks. Our right, not his right.
I hate this picture. [OFTOT]
LeBron is not about to get dunked on again. [NESW Sports]
Randy Wells is a fine pitcher, but I'll back McCutchen or Jones for NL ROY. [The Friendly Blogfines]
Andy Reid's years with the Eagles as Scorsese films. [Inside The Iggles]
I would golf with these people. [Pacman Jonesin']
You can bet on video games now? Nerds are about to go nuts. [Deuce of Davenport]
In both 2007 and 2008, I posted a list of cool stuff in and around Latrobe for those of you attending Steelers training camp. Instead of posting again, I'll just link you to last year's post.
Go do all of this stuff.
Last night, the Buccos lost to the Washington Nationals, 8-4. In the first inning, team savior Andrew McCutchen homered for the fourth time in August, giving him twice as many as anyone else in the young month. Announcer Greg Brown pointed this fact out later in the game when Cutch came up to bat again.
But while Cutch was approaching the plate, the cameras panned to some fans wearing McCutchen t-shirts and jerseys. They seemed to be enjoying themselves as Andrew prepared to come up to bat. At that point, Brown, a fine announcer in his own right, made an unfortunate slip of the tongue.
"Andrew McCutchen...family, perhaps, in the stands."
That sentence might have been fine, had he not added "perhaps" in the middle. If you're going to bring up some family members at the game, make sure they're actually related to the players. If you see a couple black guys in McCutchen shirts, that doesn't automatically make them related to the black ballplayer who wears that jersey. Find if the family members are there, point them out and stand behind your statement.
One tiny word..."perhaps"...is enough to make a simple observation carry more weight.
Now, I know Brown isn't a card carrying member of the KKK or anything, but announcing slip-ups are bound to be caught...even if you're currently existing in the black hole that is Nationals-Pirates games.
My buddy Stan lives deep out in Brooklyn, and found this little guy yesterday at Coney Island. I've lived in NYC for some time, and I've never been there...but stuff like this really makes me wanna get there sooner.
The rest of the AFC North sucks at training camps. [OFTOT]
An ode to Favre. Terribly funny stuff. Thanks to Bill for this. [Wondershot LLC]
A Pistons rookie is having a race to 4,000 Twitter followers with a pornstar. [Detroit 4 Lyfe]
2009 fantasy football keeper rankings: WRs. [Sharapova's Thigh]
Pro athletes that could have been MMA fighters. [Chicago's MMA]
Best wishes to the Islanders today. Yeah...you read that right. [The Pensblog]
Can I autotune a blog post?
Lil Wayne had a concert in Pittsburgh within the past week, and it looks like he had on a Steelers ripoff shirt. Excuse me for not consulting any sources other than a Youtube video, but I don't really care to research any more about Lil Wayne.
Actually, I like this shirt better than Tito Ortiz's attempt to butter up the Pittsburghers, but if I call one out for a cheap Steelers knockoff, then I must do the same for a similar incident.
Lil Wayne...bad form.
Video is below. Shut the sound off if you want. I did.
Now that I see the full thing, I really enjoy the simplicity of it, but was cuttin' up on Lil Wayne for pandering to Pittsburghers like Tito Ortiz did. Those guys ruin everything.
Thanks to the Post Gazette for confirming a question I posed about a month and a half ago. That question? Is Rashard Mendenhall a good dancer?
The video that brought me to this question is above. Mendenhall's name was attached to a sweet dance routine set to some Michael Jackson tracks. There were no closeups, so we had to take the video filename's word for it. But today, the PG confirms that Rashard has been killing it at the Bella School of Dance ever since his 2008 season ended with injury.
"Mendenhall, last year's No. 1 pick, began taking a hip-hop dance class last season after a season-ending shoulder injury and eventually took part in a dance performance before about 1,000 people, including some of his teammates, at Chartiers Valley Intermediate School.
He said the dancing helped with his conditioning and he "definitely" is in better shape than he was last year when he came to training camp. Mendenhall said he is more cut and has added more muscle since last season.
"It's a lot different," he said. "It's tough to be able to move like that for a period of time. You get a newfound respect going through that."
Mendenhall began taking the classes at the Bella School of Dance in Wexford shortly after his injury -- a broken scapula Sept. 29 when he was hit by Baltimore's Ray Lewis -- began to feel better."
The only other confirmation I had was in the comments section from people claiming to have been at the routine, or people saying they were actually a part of the dance. Some examples (all sic'd):
Ce Ce - "That is definitely Rashard and I was at the show that Vella did and he was great"
Rachel Reid - "I know for a fact, that's Rashard. I was in the dance. "
mariel - "i'm in the class too. it's definately rashard and he is an amazinggggg dancer!
and so nice too. he joined us after he got hurt so he had something to do. be
prepared for more! that was only half of the awesome things he does. =)"
But there were doubters:
ChrisFAbbott - "I'm not sure about that being Mendenhall. Vella Dance is located in Bridgeville, PA and assuming this is supposed to be Rashard in his younger years, he went to Highschool/College in Illonois...If this is supposed to be recent, I doubt Rashard is taking Dance classes and performing during the off season. We'd hear more about that anyway.
The guy looks to tall/thin anyway."
ChrisFAbbott was so wrong. You better believe you're getting put on blast for that!
One last point of note...MJ died just days after Rashard's performance of his hits. Looks like someone was a bit jealous of Beetlejuice's moves.
Awww...how adorable. Actually, I'd be pretty terrified if a massive horse like the one on the right came up that close to me. Regular-sized horses are weird in their own right, but that one is just crazy big.
Tons of stuff has been happening at camp. [OFTOT]
Tiger Woods farting on the 18th hole. [Kiss]
A few reports from the Pirates' minors. [WHYGAVS?]
Rare video of a Mets phenom. [NESW Sports]
We need more Rickey Henderson stories. [Hugging Harold Reynolds]
Darrius Heyward-Bey is the 2009 version of the 2008 Limas Sweed? [Larry Brown Sports]
Via WL comes a report on the Philadelphia Passion...a team in the awesome Lingerie Football League. Wait...that name sounds familiar.
Oh yeah...that's the team name of the 2007 NWFA Champion and current IWFL powerhouse Pittsburgh Passion.
You don't see Pittsburgh starting up some random team and naming it the Pittsburgh Phillies or some junk like that. The state is too small to be sharing team names, jerks.
PSAMP fully endorses the Lingerie Football League, though.