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I hate Tom Brady!

October 28, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players, Pre-Game Analyses

To paraphrase the Apollo 13 astronauts, “Pittsburgh, we have a problem”.

Our problems is 6’4″, weighs 225 lbs., and goes by the name “Brady”.

That’s right, I’m talking about Tom Brady.  You know him, don’t you?  He’s the pesky New England Patriots quarterback who has an annoying habit of beating the Steelers.

I once wrote an article called I hate Bill Belichick“.  That article was the inspiration for this one.  You see, I do hate Tom Brady.  Hate, hate, hate!

I’ve never actually met Tom Brady.  He’s never caused me physical harm.  He’s never insulted my mother.  I’ve never heard him refer to anyone using a racial slur.  He doesn’t kill kittens or puppies.  As far as I know, he’s a decent guy.  But I still hate him.

The reason that I hate Tom Brady has nothing to do with anything that he’s done to me personally.  Rather, it’s based on what he does to my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers; he beats them.

Tom Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers.  That means he’s beaten them 86% of the time.  $#@&^%#!!!!!!!!

Brady has beaten the Steelers in New England.  And he’s beaten them in Pittsburgh.  He’s beaten them in the regular season.  And he’s beaten them in the playoffs.

The guy I hate.

Brady has thrown for over 2,000 yards against the Steelers.  He’s tossed 14 touchdown passes against them.  And while throwing all of those passes, he’s seldom been sacked or intercepted.  See why I hate him?

The last time the Steelers faced the Patriots, Brady threw for 350 yards.  He tossed 3 touchdown passes during that game, and he ran for a 4th TD.  Grrrrrrr!!!  I’m getting mad just thinking about it.

As much as it hurts to admit it, Tom Brady is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in the NFL.  He dissects defenses the way high school biology students dissect frogs.

Under Brady’s leadership, the Patriots have scored 30 points or more in 13 of their last 14 games.  The Patriots are ranked 1st in the NFL in passing offense, averaging over 350 yards per game.  So I’m sure that it’s not just Steelers fans who hate Brady.

But it’s the Steelers who have to face Brady this weekend, so our hatred probably runs deepest right now.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’ve come up with the only logical solution to the problem.  Tom Brady must die!

Now where did I put my friend Vito’s telephone number?  He’ll handle this problem quietly, and permanently.

Go Steelers!


Challengers to the throne

July 12, 2009 By: Admin Category: Uncategorized

July 12, 2009
By Donald Starver

I was asked by Most Valuable Network (MVN) to write a 2009 season preview on the Steelers.  In this article, I made a statement that upset some Steelers fans.  I stated that I didn’t think that the Steelers were the best team in the NFL last season.

If you think back to the 2008 season, you’ll remember that the Steelers were soundly defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles.  Frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to facing them again.  Similarly, the Tennessee Titans manhandled the Steelers during the regular season.  Perhaps it is blasphemous for me to say this, but I breathed a sigh of relief when the Baltimore Ravens knocked the Titans out of the playoffs.  The New York Giants had also beaten the Steelers during the regular season.  Though that game was much more competitive than the Eagles or Titans games, I still think the Steelers and Giants were pretty evenly matched, and a rematch could have gone either way.  Lastly, who predicted that the Arizona Cardinals, the lowest seed in the NFC playoffs, would take out the top-seeded Carolina Panthers?  The Panthers were probably the hottest team in the NFL going into the playoffs.  One could have made an argument that any of these teams was actually better than the Steelers.

So were the Steelers the best team in the NFL in 2008?  There’s no way of knowing.  But the Steelers got it done when it counted, and that is all that anyone will ever remember.  Moreover, that’s all that counts.

Going into 2009, the Steelers appear to be just as good as they were in 2008, if not better.  The team returns almost all of the starters from their Super Bowl championship team. They are likely to  get a greater contribution from their 2008 rookie class (which made almost no impact last year).   They also had an excellent 2009 draft.  Combine that with a much easier schedule than they had in 2008, and the Steelers appear to be guaranteed to make another deep playoff run.

Unfortunately, the rest of the NFL isn’t just going to hand the Steelers the title.  If the Steelers want to repeat as champions, they are going to have to hold off several worthy challengers to the throne.

Below is my list of the teams that may pose the greatest challenge to the Steelers’ continued dominance.  Please note that these teams are not listed in any particular order:

New England Patriots - Let’s face it.  The Patriots just aren’t the same team without Tom Brady.  As much as I hate to admit it, Brady may be the best quarterback in the NFL.

In 2007, the Patriots almost went undefeated.  Brady and Randy Moss rewrote the record books.  Matt Cassell’s Patriots of 2008 were a mere shadow of the 2007 team.  But the 2009 Patriots should be very reminiscent of the 2007 team.  Only they’ve added Fred Taylor and Joey Galloway.  Gulp!

The Patriots are the most important hurdle for the Steelers to overcome.  Not only must the Steelers prove that they are more than just interim champs who were merely keeping the throne warm until Tom Brady’s return.  They must also establish their dominance over the Patriots in order to prove that they, and not the Patriots, are the team of the decade.

New York Giants - The Giants won the Super Bowl the year before the Steelers did.  Moreover, they beat the Steelers in 2008.

The Giants are a very well-balanced team, finishing 2008 in the top 10 in both total offense and total defense.

Perhaps their only question mark is their receivers.  Amani Toomer is done, and Plaxico Burress will never play for the Giants again.  However, the Giants have several receiver waiting in the wings to fill the void.  Sinorice Moss may finally be ready to be the field-stretching receiver that he was drafted to be.  Super Bowl hero David Tyree is still in the mix.  Former Michigan star Mario Manningham is highly regarded by the team, and 1st round draft pick Hakeem Nicks may be the best of the bunch.  Suffice it to say that wide receiver should emerge as a strength for the Giants.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Osi Umenyiora will be returning to the line-up?

Philadelphia Eagles - I don’t understand Philadelphia fans.  Donovan McNabb has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for a long time.  He consistently takes the Eagles to the playoffs, yet at the end of each season it seems like Eagles fans are trying to run Donovan out of town.

Personally, I think the Eagles will once again be a playoff contender.  Besides McNabb, the Eagles still have Brian Westbrook, arguably one of the best running backs in the NFL.  Wider receiver DeSean Jackson will be an experienced veteran, and should be even better than last year.  Rookies Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy should contribute during their freshman year.

If you look at the offensive weapons that the Eagles have provided Donovan McNabb, one could easily argue that this year’s Eagles could be even better than the Terrell Owens team that went to the Super Bowl a few years back.

Chicago Bears - The Chicago Bears haven’t had a good quarterback since…..well, ever.  Now they have a young Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Jay Cutler.

The Bears almost made the playoffs with Kyle Orton at the helm.  What will they do with a star QB running their offense?

Cincinnati Bengals - Just joking folks.  I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Indianapolis Colts - Sure, Tony Dungy is gone.  But the Colts shouldn’t lose a beat under the leadership of Dungy’s hand-picked successor.  Besides, Peyton Manning runs this team.  As long as he’s under center, the Colts will be a force to be reckoned with.

Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens were the 2008 AFC runner-up.  Thus, they have to be considered to be a contender.  However, with Rex Ryan leaving as defensive coordinator, Ray Lewis getting yet another year older, and Bart Scott no longer on the team, I don’t think the Ravens will be in the Steelers’ class.

Tennessee Titans - The Titans had a great season last year.  But I don’t expect to see a repeat performance from them this year.  Albert Haynesworth was the heart and soul of that team.  I’m not sure if there is another defensive player in the league who is as important to his team as Haynesworth was to the Titans.  The Titans’ defense should see a significant decline without him.

On offense, I think “smash & dash” will prove to be one-hit wonders.  I just don’t believe that LenDale White can be a consistent threat in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers - Is there a better running back tandem in the NFL than DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart?  Julius Peppers will be back with the team next year.  So will Steve Smith.  The only thing holding this team back is Jake Delhomme.  It’s too bad the Panthers signed him to a 5-year, $42.5 million extension.

San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys - Both teams are better on paper than their on-field performance indicated in 2008.  I expect the return of Shawn Merriman to help the Chargers.  Similarly, the Cowboys should benefit from the removal of distractions like T.O., Tank Johnson, and Pac-Man Jones.

Notice I didn’t include the Arizona Cardinals.  Despite making it to the Super Bowl last year, the Cardinals are still……..the Cardinals.  They were the lowest seed in the NFC playoffs last year, and I believe that the Bears and Cowboys will be greater threats in the NFC in 2009.

I feel much better about the Steelers’ chances this year than I did last year.  With a better team and a much easier schedule than they had last year, a 14-2 regular season record is very feasible this season.

Will they bring home another Lombardi Trophy?  Only time will tell.  After all, anything can happen in the playoffs.  But one thing seems certain, if the Steelers can stay healthy they will be a playoff team.

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Why I hate Bill Belichick

November 23, 2008 By: Admin Category: Pre-Game Analyses

I hate New England Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick. I don’t hate him in the same way that I hate child molesters. No, that is a special kind of hatred. You know, the kind where you wish they would spend eternity in Hell having their brain slowly and painfully eaten by carnivorous fire ants while simultaneously being forced to listen to Jessica Simpson music.

I don’t hate Belichick in the same way that I hate brussels sprouts. Though I find them to be utterly disgusting, I could probably force myself to eat brussels sprouts if they were the only food available to prevent myself from dying of starvation. Under those circumstances, I might even grow to like them.

I don’t hate Belichick in the same way that I hate Paris Hilton and Tila Tequila. What I feel for them is actually more like pity, because they don’t seem to realize how pathetic their vapid act truly is.

Tila who?

Tila who?

Nope, I hate Bill Belichick in a totally different way. I hate him the same way that I hated Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey, George Foster, and the rest of the Big Red Machine. During the 70′s, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds were often the best two teams in baseball. Unfortunately, they both played in the National League. So instead of making it to the World Series like they should have, my beloved Pirates were repeatedly denied their rightful place of honor by the hated Reds.

I hate Bill Belichick the same way that I hated the Boston Celtics of the 80′s. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, and Danny Ainge were the victims of more than a few verbal bludgeonings by me (through the TV, of course). I hated their ugly green shoes. I hated their stupid green uniforms. And I hated the way they always seemed to beat my idol, Dr. J, and his Philadelphia 76ers.

I hate Bill Belichick in the same way that I recently found myself hating the Detroit Red Wings as they defeated Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup championship. As much as I was rooting for “Sid the kid” and company, deep down I knew that the Red Wings were just….better.

The type of hatred that I felt for all of these teams is a hatred that is, at least partially, based on respect……and jealousy. You know the old saying, “if you can’t beat them, hate them”.

I’m sure that some of you have felt the same type of hatred. Perhaps you’ve felt it for Alex Rodriguez. Or Kobe Bryant. Or Randy Moss. You recognize that they are pompous, arrogant, and able to back up every ounce of their brashness with pure, unadulterated talent. What other option is there but to hate them. And when they stand in the way of your team, that hatred is multiplied tenfold.

Since becoming head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick holds a 5-1 record against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That lone loss was during the 2004 regular season. Unfortunately, Belichick avenged that loss during the same year by beating the Steelers in the 2004 AFC championship game. To add insult to injury, he beat them in Pittsburgh. He also beat the Steelers in the AFC championship game in 2001. That one was also in Pittsburgh. Curse you, Bill Belichick!

Bill Belichick is actually the only NFL coach that I fear. When we play any other team, my mind is focused primarily on their players. When the Steelers play the Chargers, they have to beat LaDainian Tomlinson, Philip Rivers, and Antonio Gates. When they play the Cowboys, they have to beat Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, and Marion Barber. When they play the Philadelphia Eagles, they have to beat Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook. But when the Steelers play the New England Patriots, they have to beat Bill Belichick.

Bill Belicheat

More than any other coach in the NFL, Belichick seems to be able to put together a game plan that will defeat his intended opponent.  During his tenure with the Patriots, he has not coached the most talented players. He simply has a way of understanding his players’ strengths and weaknesses, and masterfully utilizing them in the optimal fashion to win.

Mike Vrabel used to play for the Steelers.  He didn’t even have enough talent to break into the Steelers’ starting lineup. But when Belichick got his hands on him, Vrabel became a star. Wes Welker was a serviceable receiver, but Belichick made him one of the most prolific receivers in the NFL.   He took Bengals cast-off Corey Dillon and made him a world champ. 50 year old Junior Seau was reborn under Belichick. As blasphemous as it may sound, I am not even certain that 6th round draft pick Tom Brady would be the superstar that he is if it weren’t for Belichick.  Stop laughing. I’m totally serious.

In my opinion, until the Patriot acquired Randy Moss, they didn’t really have any players who had physical talents that were head and shoulders above the other players in the league at their position. Some will argue that Tom Brady falls into that category, but Brady showed no sign of being that type of player while at Michigan. He only manifested that level of ability when teamed with the mad scientist Bill Belichick. What other coach could take Matt Cassel, an unknown quarterback who hadn’t started a game since high school, and get him to pass for 400 yards in an NFL game?

Coach Belichick develops game plans and makes in-game adjustments better than any coach in the NFL. In 2007, Belichick understood that his team was not going to beat the Steelers by trying to run against them. The Steelers had already proven that running against them was an extremely difficult task. So Belichick developed a game plan that all but eliminated the run. His team passed the ball 46 times, while only attempting 9 running plays. He used short passes as a de facto running game. The result; Patriots 34, Steelers 13. Tom Brady accumulated 399 passing yards, while the Patriots rushed for only 22 yards.

Belichick even manages to make the Steelers’ resident genius, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, look mundane. As much as I hate to admit it, Belichick dissects LeBeau’s defenses like biology students dissect frogs.

Belichick is even better at countering the Steelers’ offense. At times, it even seems as though Belichick knows what plays the Steelers are going to run before they actually run them. Perhaps he is cheating. After all, it is now known that Belichick has cheated before to give his team an advantage. But if he is cheating, that makes me respect him even more. As they say, “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying”.

For those who question Belichick’s coaching ability, it should be noted that he is the only NFL coach to record 9 or more wins in each of the last 5 seasons. His teams own all of the major winning streaks in NFL history: consecutive overall wins (21 from 2003 - 2004), consecutive regular season wins (18 from 2003 - 2004), and consecutive playoff wins (10 from 2001 - 2005). Only legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll has won more Super Bowls than Belichick (Belichick is tied with Joe Gibbs and Bill Walsh for second place).

Bill Belichick actually won his first two Super Bowls as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in 1986 and 1990. George Seifert is the only other coach who has won multiple Super Bowls as both a head coach and as an assistant coach.

Next week, the Steelers will travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots. Tom Brady won’t play. Neither will Adalius Thomas. Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour have been battling injuries, and neither may play. But that doesn’t matter. The Patriots’ strength is not in their players. Their strength is in their coaching. As long as Bill Belichick is the Patriots’ coach, they have a good chance of winning. That’s why I hate him.

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