Saturday, December 31, 2011

UPMC Owns Pittsburgh, But Can't Fix The Player Its Hockey Team Needs -- And No, It Ain't That One

How goes it, jags? I'm sure yinz are all preparing for a night of unspeakable debauchery to ring in 2012, a year destined for excessive drinking -- for me, at least -- and a bunch of gullible, half-witted nimrods bemoaning the end of the world as per the Mayan calendar. You know, that group of people who can allegedly foresee the end of civilization, but can't see the Spanish coming with their disease-infested blankets and carnivorous imperialist politics.

Anyway, if yinz have been keeping up, yinz are probably wondering the same thing Chuck K is -- namely, what in the love of fuck is wrong with the Penguins? After beating NHL powerhouses Winnipeg and Carolina (I'd have written that in the 'ironic' font if it existed) , the Pens showed a gaping hole bigger than Madonna's in their game against the Flyers and that jagoff Jagr, who played like his life depended on it probably because it did due to, one can only presume, a previous encounter gone awry with a crooked bookie in Atlantic City.

Well, blaming injuries is the new black in the world of Pittsburgh sports media, and far be it from me to change that trend. I may single-handedly guide the torrents of cheap domestic beer sales around here, but you crush a thirty pack of Iron and blurt out "fuck" 43 times in a press conference and all of a sudden they revoke your press pass.

The problem here, though, is that people seem to be perseverating on the wrong source of the Penguins' woes. It's easy to say, "Hey, they're still without Crosby," and call it day. But I know yinz come here for much more precise and thoughtful sports insight than that, and I don't plan to fail yinz unless the Penguins force me to thrust myself into a drunken stupor beyond any hope of recuperation within the next 48 hours.

Indeed, an injury is contributing to the deepest roots of the Penguins' vomit-inducing play of late, and despite holding supreme control in all facets of our city, those fucks at UPMC have yet to do a goddamn thing to solve it. The man in desperate need of a Six Million Dollar Man-style repair is none other than Kris Letang.

I don't have the exact numbers on hand, but the Penguins still have a respectable record without Crosby in the lineup, "respectable" being more than I can say for my ability to stay sober after the watching the Penguins for the past month or so. Sans Letang, however, the Pens have 7 wins and 6 losses, and threatening to notch a seventh in their current abomination against the Devils.

In that time, not counting this shitfest going as I type, the Penguins have conceded 38 goals in 13 games, coming in at just under three per game, which is significantly higher than the 1.8 or so that Fleury was sporting during the first portion of the season. Statistics only achieve so much, though, and their a security blanket for baseball sabremetrics fanatics and fucks who can't just spit the truth. So here's some more reasons Kris Letang and not Sidney Crosby is the biggest missing piece for the Penguins.

1) Motherfucker Is Mean

Listen, yinz could nitpick at the Pens play all day, but simply put, as a defensive unit, they are playing like bigger bitches than your little nephew after you mercilessly beat him at his new Wii game 17 times in a row. Yelling a variation of, "In your face! You should've never been born," after each victory probably didn't help, either.

My indiscretions against my own family aside, the Penguins have been inconsistent at clearing the front of their own net and handling their own zone. As great as it is to have Zybanek Michalek ask opposing forwards where to get the best local cuisine and Ben Lovejoy dispense useful ways to save on your electric bill, the Pens could use a French-Canadian son of a bitch to greet the opposition with a lumberjack hack of the carbon fiber in his hands. Letang will provide that, and the couple of penalties he'll take in the process will be worth it when the other team won't even get close to Fleury for fear of Letang's assault with a deadly weapon.

2) Motherfucker Can Skate, Too

On top of crunching jags around the net, Letang skates better than any other Pens defender, and rivals Crosby as the best overall skater on the team. I've been pumped with Simon Depres's play so far, and I like how Engelland and Lovejoy have gotten better at carrying the puck. The bottom line is, though, that Letang can strike the fear of God in the other team as he charges up the ice with his ability to cut straight to the net and get involved in the play.

His pinching in the offensive zone, ability to distribute the puck -- unlike Jordan Staal, who just handed the Devils an empty netter -- and his rushes up ice all contribute to the Pens' offensive tempo. And even if he can't put it into the net himself, he opens up space for Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Kennedy, etc. to get the net and make plays. Having this influence from defense can be even more vital, as it stacks the numbers against the opposing defenders when in possession of the puck.

3) Have You Seen This Power Play? Fuckin' Christ

All those offensive skills I listed for yinz above can go into invigorating the Pens painful-looking power play as well. Props on Niskanen for much improved play this season, but I think I've had just about enough of him and Michalek limp-wristing a predictable wrister at the net or chipping the puck to nobody in a panic.

Though Letang ain't gonna win the accuracy contest any time soon, his howitzer from the point worries other teams enough that they will commit to him, both opening space on the other end of the ice for Malkin, or whoever is on the half wall, and stretching the other team's defensive shape because they are afraid of letting him put one through to net.

4) Alexandre Picard Won't Have to Play

I mean, yeah. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

So, jags, that's why yinz need worry less about Crosby coming back and petition your local UPMC to start finding some dead drifters and using their brains to beat concussions and get Letang back on track -- I don't care about Pronger, Skinner, or any of those fucks in the NHL. If he can do anti-drinking and driving commercials, he should sure as hell be able to get his ass on the ice.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chuck's Corner: Random Asides and Irrelevant Tangents of a Yinzer

Well, I'd say good morning to yinz jags, but in typical Pittsburgh fashion, the weather outside is glistening with that majestic winter gray that inhabits the city skyline about 200 days out of the year -- except, of course, when it departs and turns into a dreary, can't-get-anything-done spring gray, or swelters despite no apparent sunlight whatsoever to create miserable summer gray.

But let's move on; I didn't start typing in a fit of intransigent fury just to spout off a bunch of nonsense. Um, actually, I did -- hence the title. So prepare for inane bickering of my usual Denny's-like proportions, just about something other than weather.

Anyhow, what's got me all riled up today, you ask. Simple: "movements."

No, jags and jagettes, I'm not talking about the subtle shoulder fakes and edge work that Evgeni Malkin uses to get by defenders or the way Roethlisberger dances around opposing linemen -- or "danced," I should say, because injuries have rendered his footwork as impressive as Grandma Kowalski's in tight spaces at the grocery store. I usually just leave her staring blankly at the magazine rack, in front of Rachael Ray or some shit, and come back for her later. One time, I left her off in the frozen food section after she started transfixing on a bag of pizza rolls. Took half a bottle of Imperial to warm her up from that one.

Nah, jags, I ain't talking bout that at all, though. I'm talking about these purportedly meaningful movements that, in various capacities, are supposed to represent the greater population. Two of our despicable world's most recent glorified glee clubs include Occupy My Left Nut -- or Pittsburgh, whatever -- and Anonymous, the collection of computer hacking assholes seeking aimless vengeance around the world.

Occupy My Left...Pittsburgh -- excuse me -- has recently asserted its perceived ownership of the Mellon Square lawn and has begun gearing up for what has, thus far, been a vicious winter of 50-degree days.  

Meanwhile, should yinz not have heard, Anonymous went on another hacking spree yesterday, stealing various information from Startfor, a security firm, and using some of it to charge people with donations to non-profit organizations.

Now, listen, before yinz get all up in arms, let me say this: I don't like the dehumanizing antics of the super rich, i.e., "the top one percent," or power-mongering megalomaniacs either. James Harrison should be allowed to smash them with a helmet-to-helmet hit, set them on fire, and then watch them burn, as he's, as far as one can tell, ethically apt to do.

That said, these movements and their leaders need to come to a vital realization. Namely, despite insisting to support the greater cause of the people, nobody fucking likes them or wants them around. In all, these "revolutionaries" just represent a different one percent, the one in a slap fight with the other one percent, and everybody loathes the general existence and continuation of both.

Let's start with Occupy My Junk in Your Mouth, or whatever the fuck it is. Its leader and foot soldiers, perhaps better referred to as flunkies, have claimed the territory around Mellon Square "as the people's property." So, esteemed freedom fighters, when have any people other than your motley gathering of dirty fucks from the Southside ever been allowed to grace that land? Riddle me this, too, if you would: if that all belongs to the people, why not do as they want and give it the fuck back, you pricks.

Nobody wants to be importuned by a bunch of trust fund scenesters trying to hide their steady bank accounts and disillusioned champions while trying to get to the bank, drop off their mail, or hit up a Pens game. Until I see that park free of its human litter -- and no, I'm not talking about trash left by humans, but rather garbage that actually consists of human flesh -- and Pittsburghers being allowed to relish the ground that allegedly belongs to them, Occupy can go fuck itself with a rusty pole that has been dipped in moonshine and herpes.

This conclusion just brings me to the other group of insufferable assholes, Anonymous. Their general schtick is the result, naturally, of asocial nerds who can't find their way into public and lack the social skills to maintain actual dialogue on the betterment of our world, and instead spend that time mastering a technology that has so quickly spiraled out of control that there is no way to reel it in. Luckily, if Asimov is right, the robots these people create will eventually become sentient beings and heave these fucks off of a bridge or cliff before Will Smith can save the day.

In case yinz are illiterate, let me repeat: I'm not saying their "targets" are wholesome people who ought to be glorified and reveled as heroes. At the same time, this group of hypocritical assholes -- which, to be fair, does not necessarily stand for everybody who has claimed a connection to Anonymous -- are simply doing the exact same thing as the people they attack, i.e., monopolizing power through one resource (the internet) and utilizing it to eliminate detractors and potential threats to their cause.

I mean, when you get down to it, it's the precise maneuvers performed by the world's most devious, narcissistic, egotistical, and downright evil individuals. So kudos for, once again, acting on behalf of the people when very few, in fact, want your goddamn help. I'm sure non-profit organizations are simply bursting with joy at the dirty money you provided them that will be taken away when people file for unauthorized activity on their credit card.

Call me crazy, but not maybe donate some of your own fucking money or go out in the world and support their cause in a way that really reflects the good in humanity? Alright, fuck yinz. Chuck out.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shanahan Giving Out Suspensions for Concussion-Causing Hits Despite Looking Like He's Constantly Suffering From One or Six

Alright, jags, hope you've been enjoying your time off for Santa and Yahweh or whatever the hell yinz are celebratin nowadays. In case yinz didn't notice, downing your eggnog, cocktails, n'at, Pens resident ass-beater Deryk Engelland wasn't in the lineup for our shit fest all over the Jets due to a three-game suspension handed down by NHL disciplinarian (they say he's in charge of "player safety," but shit ain't much safer) Brendan Shanahan.

To begin, this punishment begs the question whether a man who looks as if he's been afflicted with a half dozen undiagnosed concussions in his career, or preps for his TV appearances with a bottle of Everclear, is really fit to be handing out any sort of "discipline."

Brendan Shanahan, the modern incarnation of Batman's Two-Face. Note how the right half of his face is center and maintaining direct contact with the camera, while the other is sinking faster than the city of Venice.

Before I go any farther, yinz gotta respect Shanahan's career and can't blame him for the NHL being as a competent at its employment as your local high school football coach is at being an educator.

That said, how the hell does Engelland, with no previous record whatsoever, get three games, whereas that hypocritical fuck Max Pacioretty gets two for leveling Letang with a blindside hit? Yinz know, the exact same kinda hit that those two-timing dickheads used to turn Cooke into the NHL's public enemy.

Pacioretty and that league of Francophone fucks should be flooding the phone lines of their local police over this one -- enough so, of course, that those in dire need can be unable to access authorities while some Habs fan asshole cries for an hour about a hockey game "emergency."

Anyhow, I also can't get enough of this image flip the NHL is attempting. I suppose it's necessary, but keep in mind that Hall of Famer Scott Stevens made a whole fuckin career trucking people through the neutral zone. Though that jag had plenty of other playing skills, his whole career is marked by his ability to put people outta their fucking misery, including mom's basement dwellers like Eric Lindros.

So, before yinz go and make any more decisions, yinz maybe oughta get your own ImPACT test, alright jags?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yeah, Sounds About Right

Before I go drink myself into a belligerent delirium, check this pic out from the new Batman movie trailer.

So, in the scene featuring Gotham's football team, played by our own Pittsburgh Steelers, a guy name Ravenstahl not only plays kicker, but for the other city. Somehow fitting. Bravo, Christopher Nolan. Ok, beer face on.

Things Looking Up: New Pitt Coach Yet to Be Incarcirated, Alienate Self from Players and City, Horseplay in Shower with Minors

Season's greetings, all fine jags and jagettes of the world. Hope yinz are enjoyin the holiday season, your trees, candlesticks, and other festive accessories bedecked with vintage Duquesne Pilsner, PBR, and Iron cans. Nothin says "good tidings" like an angry Jack Lambert starin yinz down while sippin on an Irish coffee with double whiskey (Imperial brand, of course).

I know what yinz are thinkin: this jag is usually cursing up a storm of shit, tearing Heaven and Earth asunder in an inconsolable fit of rage, sparked by some inane going-on in the world of sports -- so what's up with that good cheer? Well, in case yinz haven't heard, Pitt hired a new football coach today, and after a trying, I dunno, six some hours, he has somehow managed to resist every despicable impulse that would kick off his time at Pitt with a media avalanche from which even the most experienced Sherpa couldn't possibly escape.

That's right, Paul Chryst, soon-to-be former offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, has spent the past quarter of a day reading Birdwatching Quarterly, napping quietly to his favorite white noise album, or cutting out coupons for his family shopping trip -- though not too many, to make sure to support profits for small business -- all the while forgoing the unconquerable urge to display his self-shot revolting fetish porn to school children and then fit them for proper jock sizes.

Knowing Pitt's track record with football coaches, especially in recent times, I can only assume that Chryst barely beat out Satan and a reanimated Pontius Pilate to get the job. Now that he did, though, let's look at why Chuck K foresees Chryst having success in restoring Pitt's dominance at the slightly-above-mediocre level.

1. He Hasn't Struck a Man or Woman with Whom He Has Had Sexual Relations

Listen, jags, football coaches are under a lot of stress. Just look at Todd Graham, whose poor children were apparently so devastated by their father's player mismanagement, stubborn approach to offense, and hackneyed high-speed travel metaphors that the whole family had to move away somewhere where "high octane" actually makes sense because they don't have the Parkway East or any semblance of Route 28.

Accordingly, sometimes you need to strike a sexual partner ever so playfully, or with a vicious right hook, to alleviate some of the internal frustration. Yet, despite an overwhelming need for release, Chryst has somehow made it this far without hitting not only anyone within his immediate family, but anyone at all. Patience is a virtue, indeed. Good thing -- he's gonna need it when Tino comes under center.

2. He Hasn't Quit Yet and Gone to a City with More Predictable Weather

Did I ever mention that yinz checked out the blog most by regularly connecting the name "Todd Graham" and the phrase "piece of shit"? Yeah, there's a reason for that. Chryst is here, that fuckin bum is out. I hope somebody keys his Camaro when he takes his family to Chili's or whatever generic southwestern cuisine restaurant they frequent. I assume "high octane" originated from the shits he got after eating too much queso. Fuck that guy.

3. He Hasn't Fondled Children and Justified It with Creepy Comments on National TV

Does this really have anything to do with football? Fuck no. But having spent the past football season dealing with Todd Graham and his "Big Engine That Still Couldn't" offense, I'm sexually excited to have a football coach and not a shiver-inducing man child whom nobody seemed to talk to because his voice alone suggests a perverted fuckhead.

Now, is it possible that he won't have success? Of course, though there's really only one reason why:

1. Your QB Attributes a Demoralizing Defeat to Being "a Little Flustered"

Call me unfair, biased, what have you -- I don't give a flying fuck. I'm glad that Tino is, as the quote would indicate, the master of the understatement because it will surely benefit him in a writing career after he finally graduates from a university that he likely had no business attending from the outset. This jag is here by virtue of his dad's name only, not even a grain of skill.

In 2010, Tino was lucky enough to be insulated in C-SPAN enthusiast Dave Wannstedt's pro-style offense that involved two directions: 1) extend hand; 2) place ball in Dion Lewis' midsection.

In 2011, rocket scientist Todd Graham took half a season to realize that there was a reason for this kind of approach, and Sunseri's good fortunes continued with Ray Graham around to take the pressure of his dreadful decision-making -- until Graham's season ended by means of injury and the whole train began to careen off the tracks and into the River Styx.

For 2012, you just gotta hope Chryst can pull out some miracles like his near namesake, and find a way for this guy to make the most of his senior and, please dear Lord, last season.

Alright, jags, I gotta run and get some beer before the distributor closes. Got some more thoughts on Engelland's suspension coming later.

Monday, December 19, 2011

NHL Brain Trust: Concussions May Be Caused by Skating Really Fast, Trying to Decapitate One Another

By Richard Kowalski (that's right jags, so don't yinz steal it)

Editor's Note: Alright jags, this post is the first by my cousin Richard. Hope yinz enjoy it. He ain't gonna go off like I do, but he'll hit yinz with the facts like James Harrison hits pussy quarterbacks.

TORONTO -- After exhaustive research, NHL officials came to the tentative conclusion Monday that concussions in hockey may be linked to the players' proclivity to skate at high speeds and mercilessly attempt to disembowel one another. 

Team executives began lobbying for more steps to be taken against concussions following last year's string of long-term injuries to high-profile players, including the Bruins' Marc Savard, the Blues' David Perron, and the Penguins' Sidney Crosby.

Despite these demands, along with the subsequent streak of concussions in the ongoing season, the NHL took only limited action until Arnie, the surly union worker who promptly sweeps the ice with a push broom during every commercial break, was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms in November.

"Sidney Crosby, Jeff Skinner, Claude Giroux -- with the rise of athlete-related services and parents projecting their failed dreams upon their children, we can replace these guys with an equally good player every couple of years," said Gary Bettman at a press conference Monday. "Arnie, though, that guy just hauls ass. The NHL can't afford to lose an asset as great as Arnie Szatkowski."

Szatkowski's well-being was put into the hands of UPMC Pittsburgh's Dr. Mickey Collins and John Maroon, who oversaw Sidney Crosby's return from and to injury, spanning from this year to last. Moreover, the league charged the doctors with the task of determining the root of the concussion epidemic.

"We reviewed all the footage from every documented concussion in the league this year," said Dr. Collins. "We tried to look for factors or events consistent in every instance of injury. At first, it seemed so simple: it had to be a chemical in the ice."

A series of changes to the ice creation process proved unsuccessful, with models tested in the American Hockey League including a surface of flavored gelatin, playing on water with motorized jet skis, and roller hockey. Due to potential costs, league officials discontinued the tests. Even if it were the cause of concussions, Bettman stated, "[they] are kind of just going to hope it's not and do something else."

"We needed a new folding chair in our offices above Playtime Bowl [in Toronto]," Bettman explained to Bob McKenzie of TSN. "That shit is pretty important."

Collins and Maroon moved on to a number of other isolated factors, such as nationality, what players ate for lunch, favorite ice cube shape, and whether their socks were individually toed. The research team met no success until Maroon proffered an unheralded theory.

"I was watching some film and it hit me," Maroon said. "I called [Dr. Collins] over and asked him, 'Hey, what if it has something to do with guys propelling themselves violently into one another's skull?'"

Initially, Collins was skeptical.

"I thought to myself, 'Really?!'" recounted Collins. "I mean, these guys are grown men. How could streaking down a low-friction surface and heaving their 200-pound bodies into each other's soft brain tissue be the problem?"

With corroborating player accounts and video support, research continues to take place under this premise.

Meanwhile, NFL officials have yet to discover any leads regarding the occurrence of concussions in football.

Geno Eating Borscht with Meth Now, New Talent at Sports Unfiltered

How goes it, jags? Having appealed my most recent arrest for disseminating doctored photos of Todd Graham's wife without a shirt -- and, in some cases, without a head out of pure contempt -- via LimeWire, I got some down time to get back into the swing of things.

I also got a new jag around here at Sports Unfiltered to help keep you up to date with everything goin on out there in the world of sports. He don't got the same prophetic eye that I do, but he 's all business and will give yinz the lowdown.

But yinz know who's still top dog right these parts -- that's right, Chuck K. So let's start off with news outta the NHL.

Malkin's Borscht Recipe Has Crank In It Unfiltered

Well, Crosby smacked his noggin too hard of the headboard again while proverbially butt-fucking the NHL, leaving him out for an indeterminate amount of time and turning any NHL coverage into the hockey equivalent of the Brett Favre media circus that made me dream of strangling Trey Wingo with piano wire.

In case yinz jags forgot, though, we still have this other phenom by the name of Evgeni Malkin. And just like my buddy Ronnie when I can't make it on time to the case race, Malkin doesn't just have it covered, he's winning that race all by his-goddamn-self -- even if he's exhausted and belligerent afterwards.

While the fair-weather fans in Washington are shaving their stupid fuckin Mike Green Mohawks, trying to figure out what's wrong with their showboat cocksucker of a captain, and convincing themselves that the Redskins will be good again this decade, the Pens' Evgeni Malkin has apparently been strolling Herron Avenue 3 a.m. at night to find the finest speed that he can stir into his Gatorade.

With Claude Giroux recovering from a knee to the head, administered by one of his teammates (to nobody's surprise, knowing it's Philly), and everybody awaiting Phil Kessel's eventual digression into underachieving prick status, Malkin has quietly, and possible under the influence of some drug or good ol' vodka, climbed near the top of the point leaders with 36 points and 15 goals on the season. His most recent performance, in which he reenacted "Two Girls, One Cup" and basically emptied it onto the Sabres' collective face, was a shining example of his play of late.

Chuck's Verdict

Barring the, now that I'm saying it, all but certain possibility that another injury befalls the Penguins and Malkin -- probably wrenching his elbow after beating a hooker along Van Braam Street with an extra Bauer he had lying around because she shorted him on his bag of uppers -- I see the Russian machine adding to his already impressive trophy collection with the Art Ross and (fuck it, I'm goin for it) the Rocket Richard.

I know some of yinz demeaning fucks are scoffing at the consideration of Malkin leading the league in goals, but listen here, you know-nothing cocks: anybody that watches the Pens knows that there's nothing scarier for NHL competition than a pissed, determined, streaking (perhaps physically and metaphorically) Evgeni Malkin. On top of that, he has only played 26 games. At his pace, he would have 18 goals in 32 games (the amount Stamkos and Kessel have played), only trailing the lead by two and only part way through December.

So for those of you hopping off the Tebow bandwagon (who, despite being of inferior skill, is only getting regular starts for the first time, you impatient pricks), and even those of you who ain't or were never on it, the Malkin train is only gettin started.

New Addition to Sports Unfiltered

The guy who puts that little black box in my house that lets me watch cable for free is giving you another kinda hook-up. That's right, the new talent gracing the pages of Sports Unfiltered is my cousin, Richard Kowalski, i.e., Rick. He ain't gonna have the binge-drinking diatribes of rage that keep yinz comin back, but he'll bring yinz the more straight-edged news from around the sports world. Look for his shit soon, jags.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Todd Graham -- The Deadbeat Dad of FBS Coaches

Hey jags -- long time, no see. I was holed up for a couple months, waiting for this whole ordeal with the feds to blow over. Had the RIAA and FBI after me for warehousing 7,200 individual Donnie Iris recordings on Kazaa. Who knew they started monitorin' that shit?

Anyhow, Pitt managed to exceed -- that word is fitting, in some strange way -- my exceptionally low expectations by derailing their season beyond the point at which even the most tenacious of individuals could salvage a pearl from the jaws of rampant ineptitude. Luckily for my own reputation as a sage, Pitt still secured a spot in the Denny's Lumberjack Slam with an Extra Side of White Toast Bowl Brought to You by Kool Aid, or something to an equally numbing effect.

Having foreseen this demise, of course, there had to be something more to jostle me from the confines of my MP3-trading solitude and launch me back onto my blazing path of journalistic locomotion, chugging along as fast as the NetZero 56k connection will allow. Namely, Todd Graham can add another notch to his belt, which, one can only assume, bears more stress-induced weight than ever after watching a whole season of Tino Sunseri as your quarterback.

In case you hadn't heard, Graham announced the end to his memorable, illustrious journey at Pitt -- by such magnanimous means as a very personal, heartfelt text, of course -- to pursue a new job and likely golden brown freshmen at Arizona State. Apparently, Pittsburgh hot didn't suffice to satiate what I imagine is Graham's extensive resume of infidelity. I mean, is it a coincidence he has to keep moving from place to place?

Those in the know, however, should hardly be surprised. He abandoned Rice after successful season and probably a pending paternity test, only to move on from Tulsa after three years, a tenure that only lasted so long, one would think, by the graces of improved condom durability. One too many attempts at the piledriver -- whether applied to his approach to football or in the bedroom... or the backseat of the Pontiac Firebird he has to own -- and you'll eventually have a tear, at which point the only prudent move is to send a text message signaling your immediate departure and a new flat top to match your equally tiresome personality.

What's Chuck K's take on this whole ordeal?

Good fucking riddance. What a useless piece of insufferable shit. Besides looking like the guy who would wrestle Roger Clemens in a gravel parking lot following their sons' little league game, this road scholar can now utter his painful tripe of "High Octane Football," lampooned to the point of near absurdity, at a new school before accidentally killing a hooker or Tino Sunseri's allegations of mental abuse by using a playbook that involved passes beyond an incalculable ten yards.

What awaits the Pitt football program? Undoubtedly, the wildest of public relations disasters and buffoonery. While many "fans" will chide for Sandusky, given Pitt's recent record of signing revolting individuals as their head coach, this possibility falls short. Namely, because Pitt will do anything to top Penn State, regardless whether in football or debauchery.

In light of past events, I can only imagine that Pitt will employ a high-ranking official in Al-Qaeda -- if unable to reanimate Osama Bin Laden, of course -- or anyone else willing to submit a CV that can top feats of domestic abuse, avarice, sexual transgressions against minors, and an extensive list of his repulsive fetishes, just for good measure.

The other question remains, though, regarding what will happen with Tino Sunseri. Thankfully, in great contrast to Todd Graham, Rushel Shell didn't jump ship after knocking up his girlfriend, giving our maestro behind center somebody to hand the ball to 79 times a game on top of completing two of five passes for an astounding 12 yards. If good fortune shines upon us, though, Tino will manage to walk into the bus lane on Fifth Avenue without looking and get hit by the 71C -- it just has to be enough to keep him from football... unless they grant him another year of eligibility because of it... fuck.

Alright, well, I have to get back to uploading my stash to Limewire. Yinz have a good one. Hmm, there's a loud pounding at the door. Hope it's the keg.

Information redacted as per order by the Federal Bureau of Investiagtion, Washington, D.C. Go Ravens.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

High-Octane PISSING ME THE FUCK OFF, Pens Practice Coverage

Hey jags, I'm back... in black, kinda like that jam by AC/DC. Sorry for the delay -- I ended up taking some vacation time down in Maryland. I'd have been back sooner, but you physically assault one Ravens fan and, suddenly, you're a "bad guy" and should be "isolated from the public for asocial behavior." 

To make a long story short, I was holed up down there with them Ray Lews-loving jags until Ronnie bailed me out. That, of course, took a little while because Richard spent our emergency fund on a 30 pack of Iron and Ted Nugent collectibles. I swear, I'm gonna kill that jag when I see him.

Anyhow, what could possibly yank me from my posting slumber? Terrible fucking football. Beyond the Steelers getting their ass pounded in Week 1, thanks in large part to Roethlisberger fumbling more balls than a hooker without fingers, I just had the pleasure of watching the Pitt Panthers and their high-octane shit machine blow a three touchdown lead to keep them on pace for a pedestrian 8-5 season, concluding with a proud -- but narrow -- victory against Northern Ass Hat State in the Little Debbie's Zebra Cakes Fun Happy Time Bowl Presented by Petco.

Now, just in case you weren't convinced earlier that Chuck K is, in fact, a sports prophet, let's take a brief look at some things I said in my Pitt football preview.

"If their star players can get off on technicalities for drug possession and aggravated assault, along with the team continuing its yearly trend of pulling out really-shouldn't-be-this-exciting, late-game wins against perennial powerhouses like Maine, then they have a shot at another mildly satisfying but underwhelming 8-5 season."

Well on their way with today's loss and getting their heart disease-inducing victories against, you guessed it, Maine.

"Even better, though, would be somebody who wouldn't throw dazzling, tight-spiraled interceptions during the pivotal moments of the football game (for instance, against Utah last year) and who didn't look like he just smoked a pound of goat hair and opiates to get high."

Seems particularly familiar to today's events. Oh right, because that motherfucker committed this exact travesty today. I should have known better than to think that the big touchdown play on the opening drive was a portent of Pitt's "breaking out." As has been the case this entire year, our field general Tino -- a horrific consideration itself -- can't successfully throw a route beyond 15 yards and will instead continue to hide behind his little dink passes to his tight ends, though we should probably call them loose ends because they tend to stretch out after getting fucking railed that hard.

Based on the photo, I can only assume he and Roger Clemens get in fights with the umpires and one another during their sons' Little League games.
Holy fucking Karstens, I just can't wait for Todd Graham to build upon his already decaying base of false promises, player mismanagement, and inexplicable unwavering support of Sunseri by being indicted for providing players with impermissible benefits like fellatio. Then the season will really be progressing in full force.

Fuck, I'm gonna get drunk and add the Pens stuff later. Crosby ain't dead. That's all you need for now. Til then, jags.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Open Letter to Lyle Overbay, Batman Derails My Video Career

Hey jags, I'm back again to bring yinz some more of that unadulterated, off-color input yinz crave. Sorry for some of the downtime: I've been waiting to get my video up, but my movie guy is currently working on the set for The Dark Knight Rises, and getting spit on by Christian Bale and acting as a human bridge so Liam Neeson doesn't have to step in a puddle are crucial contributions to the film's success. Yinz will just have to wait a little while longer. Anyway, let's get moving.

Hey Lyle, Just Leave Your Key on the Kitchen Counter Unfiltered

The Buccos lost yesterday, even with Chuck K in attendance, setting them back to just one game above .500 and with a tough road ahead to get themselves back to the top of the division. As depressing as that was, it was great to see the Pirates crush the odds put out by Vegas, mustering an army of runs (three) to overcome the 2.5 over-under and show fans that the clubhouse is not, in fact, suffering from a muscle dystrophy epidemic. If nothing else, my bet got me another case of beer to incite my vulgarity-laden tirades.

All three runs were batted in by one man -- Derrek Lee, who was acquired Sunday via a trade with the Orioles and hit two home runs last night, including a bomb to center off of geriatric fuck and former teammate Kerry Wood.

Without a doubt, Lee hit those home runs out of sheer exuberance to be playing with the Pirates, as evidenced by the statements he made to the press after the trade:

"They are playing good. They turned it around, so good for them. I'm still playing baseball, so that's always a good thing. It would be exciting if we won the World Series."

Lee is either a master of the understatement, or his ma lived by the maxim, "If you ain't got nothing good to say, then shut the hell up," or however it goes. Unless people were threatening to break his legs with a crowbar, which honestly may happen in parts of Baltimore, it's not particularly encouraging when a player is content because of the simple fact that he is "still playing baseball," only to conclude with the afterthought that it would be "exciting" if his team (at least Lee used "we" that time) won the World Series.

Luckily for the Pirates, MLB belongs to the great pyramid of major professional sports in the United States, in which managers, players, and other staff are shuffled so regularly that people only have the attention span to give a flying fuck about what you've done in the past year. So, despite sounding as thrilled as somebody doped up on too much Morphine, Lee is ready to play himself into a lucrative new contract -- likely the last of his career -- that will earn him tens of millions of dollars and get him on the first flight out of Pittsburgh International or fucking Latrobe's airport, for all he cares.

I don't even give a shit, though, if he keeps hitting home runs, particularly at this clip. Lee is hitting .500 now in the National League, with two homers. Let's just say that he plays 50 more games for the Pirates this season, coming up to bat four times per game. If statistics have taught me anything, and they haven't, then I see Lee either hitting another 100 home runs for 114 total and shattering the previous single-season record held by Barry "My hats don't fit no more" Bonds, or shattering his elbow on the very next pitch that comes his way, leading to mass suicide around the city as people are once again subjected to anything that Lyle Overbay does. Remember, you heard it here first.

Speakin of Lyle, this is usual the time where we would pass on our regards to a player moving on and reminisce about how they supported the team or at least had a couple good moments. As such, I have written a letter for Lyle below. At the same time, he don't deserve shit, so I have also translated the letter for a guy of his 'caliber.' Enjoy.

Normal Version:

Dearest Lyle, 

We hope this letter finds you well. Rest assured that we, too, are managing since our ways parted so. 

We sought to take but a brief moment to express our gratitude for that which you have done for the city and the organization. We all appreciate the efforts you put forth on our behalf, and for the wholesome entertainment you provided.

It was an unfortunate series of events that your ties to Pittsburgh were severed so prematurely, and that you were so hastily jettisoned from our very presence. You ebbed a unique, indomitable aura that will never be forgotten. 

Nevertheless, we think fondly upon you being in a better place. Your hardships foregone for a life of simple luxury, endless dreams, and restfulness. 

Wherever you are, may your days be grand and your future bright. Perhaps, someday, the fates will gift us so that our paths cross again.

Best Wishes,

Chuck Kowalski

Version Fit for Lyle Overbay: 

Hey fuckhead,

Hope you're liking your stays at the Quality Inn while you play for Indianapolis. Don't worry -- Lee already hit two home runs, so nobody remembers who you are or will care if you hurl yourself into oncoming traffic. 

Just wanted to take a sec to remind you how fucking awful you were. Anything you did was as repulsive as pure sin, and your disgraceful batting was so sobering at times that I couldn't even get drunk enough to yell slurs or other tasteless nicknames at the opposing outfielders. 

Thank Karstens that they sent you down before you somehow managed to subvert the city's economy -- if only they could have shot you off on an ICBM aimed for the sun. Your play was so uniquely revolting that it killed the fish that have adapted to our disease-infested water sources, polluted for decades upon decades by steel production. The E.P.A. said it's gonna take two millenia before the rivers' ecosystem is fully restored.

Anyway, I imagine you're on a half-broken bus on your way to Des Monies, Iowa, or one of your many other exciting destinations. I figure the carbon dioxide fumes have to be causing hallucinations, so I won't write much more -- if you can even see well enough to read because you certainly couldn't keep your eye on the goddamn ball.

So, assuming you ain't dead, thanks for nothing and please quit baseball as soon as possible -- the local kids are terrified of becoming as bad as you and it's hurting community teams. If you ever come back to Pittsburgh, I hope Derrek Lee chops you in half.

Go Fuck Yourself,

Chuck Kowalski

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You Know What, It's an Addiction And I Have No Intention of Defeating It

Don't worry, my loyal company of readers -- and random jags perusing my blog -- a longer, video update is coming soon. Topics include a reaction to the end of the NFL lockout, what that means for Karstens-forsaken ESPN, and the possibility of the 2012 NHL Draft being held in Pittsburgh.

In the meantime, I decided to feed my unrelenting obsession for pictures that feature the Lord Almighty, Jeff Karstens. Most recently, he appears to bear an uncanny resemblance to Babe Ruth IV from The Simpsons, who is billed as Babe Ruth's illegitimate great grandson. The flaring nose, though exaggerated in animation, and powerful brows can't be denied.

With the swell in Karstens sightings I've had, I imagine that I'll see him etched into a grilled cheese sandwich in the near future. The question remains whether I eat it, cherish it forever, or sell it on eBay.
Please help me enable my not quite crippling addiction of Karstens pics by sending in your own and having it featured here. Do it, jags -- I need it. Ship 'em on over to, or I'll have da Fort, Mike McKenry, pound your face in.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chuck's Corner: Random Asides and Irrelevant Tangents of a Yinzer

How goes it jags? Slow day in the sports world -- 'round here, at least -- as we wait to see whether the NFL players will agree to the new CBA and pro football will get back underway.

Let's not kid ourselves, though; there will be a consensus eventually. Because the owners and players owe it to the adoring fans who act as the lifeblood for the sport, right? Fuck no. Because there's way too much money to be lost, by both parties, if a deal isn't reached.

I mean, the only reason this calamity came about in the first place is because the group of assholes wanted a higher stake of the what the group of dickheads we're raking in... all of this made possible, of course, by whom? The fans. Not that anybody involved gives a flying fuck. It's like two monarchies disputing possession of a coveted natural resource or a lucrative trade route: in the end, the poor people are ones who are gonna get fucked the hardest.

That said, nobody's gonna stop watching and the NFL will pull in another several billion dollars. Maybe the government should start taxing them to help out with the debt. Hell, the NFL's probably got more pull around this country anyhow, so why doesn't Roger Goodell go out and solve the nation's problems? Whatever the case, we NFL fans are mindless peons who serve the powers that be with admirable ignorance to the injustice levied against us.

For Karstens' sake, think about it -- professional sports form the single greatest monopoly that exists. There are no legitimate competitors for any of the four major sports. Even if somebody tried, the massive barriers that stand in the way of success pose, I would wager, far too great a challenge for anybody who likes their money to overcome. Some billionaire somewhere could try -- the most recent in memory being multimillionaire Vince McMahon -- but these people made their money with wise investments, and they ain't gonna lose it over some war of attrition with a major sports entity.

Oh well, it won't matter when Google becomes a sentient superpower that will rely on mounds of our constantly-collected personal data to manufacture and manipulate circumstances in such a way that we do its bidding. And I know what you're thinking, jag -- but I predicted this shit long before that stupid-ass movie Eagle Eye came out. It's all a vein of Isaac Asimov's vision, anyway. He's got dibs on it, though how it happens is still up for grabs, I suppose.

For fuck sake, this whole diatribe isn't even what I had in mind to bitch about. My word leakage is a very serious condition that I have no intention of curing -- my alcoholism, too. Instead, I'm a self-enabler because, well, I like to go off for paragraphs and paragraphs about this nonsense.

No, the real thing I wanted to put out there for yinz is this: why in the hell has our country become a warehouse for helpless pussies?

I was enjoying a delicious sugary treat last night that evoked memories of Cookie Monster, one of my most beloved childhood idols, whose unrelenting demand for cookies I emulate in my constant call for more beer. Moreover, his hit song "'C' is for Cookie" remains a benchmark for today's despicable music industry.

Anyhow, if you didn't know already, Cookie Monster began recognizing cookies as a "sometime snack" in 2006 and, so I've read, now eats fruit and eggplant. Ok, so fruit is absolutely delicious -- I concur. But honestly, have you tried eggplant? Shit is gross.

I mean, for the love of fuck, I love the character to death, but when the hell did we develop into such a gullible and clueless society that we need to alter the eating habits of a blue, furry, googly-eyed monster because we evidently turn to him for dietary instruction?

Oh, and guess what -- you know it ain't gonna work, anyway. Why? Because little kids don't want to eat fucking eggplant; they want some goddamn cookies. What, did kids suddenly stop developing taste buds until puberty? When it comes down to it, a sweet treat is a lot more enticing than some purple abomination. Here's an idea: why don't parents, caregivers, whatever -- or the people posing as them, at least, because I'm pretty sure some shouldn't qualify -- explain why you can't have cookies all the damn time?! It ain't that fuckin difficult.

And don't get me started with Looney Tunes. Besides being pure brilliance, with its mix of whimsical music numbers and definitive characters, it was something that all members of society could enjoy -- except (usually) Bible-thumping hatemongers because they don't seem to enjoy much of anything. Well, let's take that off the air because Johnny apparently didn't have anybody around to tell him that he's not supposed to be somebody over the fucking head with a mallet.

What's worse is the remake of the show. I love having them back on the air in some capacity, but the show tries to frame Bugs and Daffy in a modern, recognizable social setting to, I can only guess, help guide kids with "teachable moments." I don't know about yinz, but when I was at that age, I was completely fucking aloof to social cues, progressive movements, and whatever the hell else they are pushing. I just wanted to see a bucktooth rabbit outwit a clumsy hunter with a speech impediment.

Plus, without Bugs' razor-sharp wit and quick 'strategery' (pronounced 'stra-tee-jur-ee'), how would I have become so wonderfully entertaining as I am now?!

So thanks to whatever assholes out there, once again, ruined something for the rest of us by being complete dolts. Fuck yinz. Hassan Chop!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Karstens Suffers the Fallacy of Humankind; Orpik Undergoes Surgery, Still Looks Like a Serial Killer

Greetings again, jags and jagettes. Not too much -- on the large scale, anyway -- that's been happenin lately, so today's update won't be as massive as some past ones. Besides, it's 10 a.m. and I'm only four Irons into my daily bender, which rivals Jeff Reed's uninhibited trips on Quaaludes or whatever the hell makes that jag beat paper product dispensers and take pictures of his favorite male part.

Regardless, I'll do what I can for the adoring fans I have out there, downin beers with me in their home, workplace, or on some piece of public property.

Karstens' Infallibility Remains Absolute, But d'Arnaud Is Probably Gonna Rot in Hell Unfiltered

The Buccos faced off against the Reds yesterday in the final contest of their three-game series. The Pirates had already put a beatdown on the Reds in the first two games, as they have been with in-division rivals, particularly those that are best represented by a man who has the same barber as Billie Jean King and likely bet against his son's little league team when the kid with some sort of developmental delay was pitching. (For yinz on the less-than-swift side, it's Pete Rose -- for Karstens' sake, try to keep up.)

Chuck's Verdict: Karstens pitched another astounding performance, asserting his might before the throng of unwavering believers who will, in the name of Karstens, gather in legions all over the world and storm the Holy Land on horseback until they have satisfied Pope Urban II with its reclamation. Urban II will later designate those who survive, which are to be few by his calculations, to fill cushy, fabricated positions within the Church and will bestow upon them ridiculous titles and mounds of riches. That's just what good Catholics do.

My aimless banter aside (that shot of Imperial is startin to kick in), his holiness Karstens only conceded one earned run, droppin his already absurd ERA to 2.28 -- good for fourth in the majors.

Unfortunately, Chase d'Arnaud was in the mood to plan for the afterlife by reserving a long-term suite with a view of the River Styx -- the bad one, though he probably thought it was the kick-ass one where Dennis DeYoung and company blast "Mr. Roboto" and "Renegade" for eternity. To this end, he figured that it would be the perfect time to commit two errors and fuck up Karstens' shit. At least the hellfire and inferno won't be any hotter than it's been in this goddamn sweat box lately.

But as Bob Walk was saying, sometime between the multiple orgasms Greg Brown experiences every game -- if yinz don't believe me, listen to this call of Brown and Steve Blass bringing one another to climax, I think, after a Pedro Alvarez walk-off homer -- we can't be gettin all spoiled just because the Pirates aren't the most miserable wreck in baseball anymore. In this spirit, I'm sure Karstens, with his infinite benevolence and wisdom, will forgive the young d'Arnaud.

Orpik Has Surgery, But No Worries -- His Face Is Still Terrifying Unfiltered

Pens D-man and all-around badass Brooks Orpik had hernia surgery completed recently and is expected to require six to eight weeks of recovery time. With about a week left in July, that puts his return somewhere around the middle of September. So, barring a setback, he should be ready to decapitate opposing forwards by the start of the season.

Chuck's Verdict: It's always concerning to see one of your top-pairing defenseman, and one of the team's leaders regardless whether he wears a letter, have surgery two summers in a row. At the same time, though, he appeared fine last year despite needing the same surgery, so I ain't too worried.

More importantly, he didn't need any work done on that mug of his that even Medusa can't stand. Seriously, look at the friggin guy -- he's either a Green Beret who doesn't sleep, just stares restfully, or forgot to buy his eye drops every day for the past eight years.

Orpik is so fuckin horrifying, he haunts Freddy Kruger in his dreams, not the other way 'round.

To illustrate just how truly scary Orpik and his face are, here's an approximate list of people that do not and will not fuck with him:

Chuck Norris
Jason Vorhees
Urijah Faber
That porker kid who's got the balls to loiter on your sidewalk while you're watchin
Gary Roberts (the battle would tear the Earth asunder)
Jeff Karstens
The entire former Soviet bloc
Metal Gear RAY
Jason Statham
The Nasty Boys, Demolition, and the Legion of Doom combined
The Hubble Telescope (that thing is always floatin around like its shit don't stink)
Small, harmless, and delicious children
The United Nations

That's just a preliminary list, of course. If yinz got some more, get a hold of me through the various social outlets, or at, to have yours listed (with credit given if you want it, jag).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Looked Up 'Blasfimy' in the Dictionary, Couldn't Find It: More Karstens Photo Fun

Pictured above is an extremely rare piece of art, stored away in the deepest, cavernous dungeons of the Vatican and protected by Albino-lookin druids who despise the peskiness and persistence of Tom Hanks. 

One can witness the gathering of the Apostles, as they futilely labor to determine the source of Jeff Karstens' pitching ability. A miffed Charlie Morton and deadpan Clint Hurdle can only point and utter, "It is what it is," while Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan try to calm the raucous clamoring.

If yinz look closely, you'll also see the conniving Roy Halladay whispering his filth to incite a coup and bring down Karstens in hopes of usurping his immense pitching power.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Proof That Looking Like a Lesbian Doesn't Make You Better at a Sport; Karstens Still Not Playing Self Down To 'AAA' Indianapolis

How’s it goin jags? Had to take the rest of the day off yesterday after hammerin out that prospect scrimmage report. Damn thing hit me harder than Ryan Clark over the middle.

I still got some aches and pains from it, in fact, so today’s update won’t be as gigantic as the last one. I do feel compelled to say a few things, though, after some of the most recent goings-on in sports.

A Bunch of Corn-Fed Super Dykes Couldn’t Beat Little Japanese Women Unfiltered

Yesterday’s sporting event lineup featured the championship game in the Women’s World Cup. For some reason, everybody had a sudden interest in U.S. soccer, more so than when the men played last year. I presume this fascination with women’s soccer emerged in large part from sexual fantasies relating to Hope Solo and Alex Morgan… or any of the other players, for those out there who prefer to be beaten and abused in the bedroom.

The other reason, I suppose, was that the sight of women folk kept the attention of them jags who, normally, don’t like soccer because it’s “boring,” meaning that they’re too slow to realize what’s actually goin on, too simple to appreciate a developing play, and scared and confused about a sport that entails quick back-and-forth play rather than a game reduced to goin in one pre-determined direction, usually in three-yard intervals, until the risk of handing the ball over to the opponent forces a team to kick it 50 yards away. Yes, I love football and da Steelers, too, but expand your horizons, yinz prejudiced, close-minded jagoffs.

At any rate, the U.S. team squandered two one-goal leads, forfeiting a goal shortly before the 90-minute mark and the end of extra time, and ultimately succumbing to their self-incurred failure in penalty kicks.

Chuck’s Verdict: What a goddamn disgrace. Listen, I’m sorry, but even from the start -- actual soccer ability put aside -- the nation’s biggest and baddest female motorcycle gang members, as I assume most of them are, should’ve been able to pound the petite Japanese team into the fuckin ground.

There’s very few areas where I’d tell the U.S. Women’s Team to emulate the Men. One of them, however, is forgoing this whole “sportsmanship” nonsense. When it’s all said and done, you can be a good sport and apologize for being caught up in the moment. For now, win the goddamn game and don’t take shit from nobody or their terminally-ill family members. Hell, fuckin headbutt somebody; I don’t care!

My point is, I had no problem with the U.S. playin legit soccer -- I’m glad they did, instead of those awful attempts at it I watched earlier in the tournament. At the same time, though, don’t just arbitrarily level the playing field by conceding the immense physical advantage you have. Christ.

Here's members of the Japanese Women's Team -- looks like Oakland Central Catholic just let out for the summer.
Here's the U.S. -- looks like the weight room, boxing ring, and football camp just closed.
Here's Abby Wambach. Christ, she is freakin menacing.
On top of that, for the love of friggin God, possess the ball. The U.S. Mega Dykes had the pressure on Japan all game, but when they actually needed to relax their -- I can only imagine -- bulging muscles and questionable reproductive organs, they chose instead to make the most dreadful decisions with the ball possible.

We never hear about the mistakes, though. Nope, just the insipid feel-good stories. For example, yeah, the defense fucked up somethin fierce with their awful attempts at clearing the ball on Japan's first goal. But you know who actually had a painful giveaway that let Japan reclaim the ball? Christie Rampone. Do we ever hear about that? Noooooo, just about her two kids and Lime Disease. No, I don't wish that on anybody, but it doesn't make her the friggin de facto MVP and it doesn't absolve her from a stupid fuckin play.

Let's not forget about late in extra time, too. Tobin Heath, along the left sideline, megs somebody (i.e., she dribbled the ball between the legs of the opposing defender) and then tries to play an utterly impossible ball in the box. Dear freakin Lord, are you serious? Here's a thought -- with five minutes remaining til you can claim victory, why not pass it back to one of the open U.S. players who would've had all fuckin day to pass it around and kill the clock?!

When it comes down to it, the U.S. team lost it for themselves... and everybody, for that matter. For their sake, I hope their giant Swedish coach doesn't break them all in half between now and their next international competition.

Karstens Is... Uhh... Honestly Don't Even Know What to Say Unfiltered

Jeff Karstens recently tossed a complete game shutout against the Astros that lofted the Buccos into first place and pulled them closer to fulfilling my prediction of McCutchen heaving Joe Buck out of the press box window in the playoffs (please come true). Beyond maintaining his streak of winning and inexplicably solid pitching, Karstens continues to be ripe for pictorial parody, as evidenced by the latest photo disaster below.

Luckily, Karstens will never have to worry about a worse mugshot.
As I prod him for looking like he belongs in the next live-action Looney Tunes production, Karstens is somehow managing to turn his pedestrian 'stuff,' i.e., pitches, into the catalyst for his meteoric rise to the top. His 2.34 ERA is currently sixth in the majors and second in the National League, while his 1.03 WHIP is ninth in the majors and third in the NL.

Chuck's Verdict: Yinz guys know that I pretty much have a long-winded response to everything -- hell, I could go off for hours on topics that have absolutely no bearing on my everyday existence. That said, I seriously don't know what the hell to say.

In my last post about Karstens, I postulated some of the possible explanations for his improved game. For awhile there, I was pretty sure my one about him merging with Dock Ellis to create some sort of perpetually-high amalgam that drools excessively was right. 

I think there's only one answer now...
Meet Jeff H. Christ... or Jesus H. Karstens -- you know, whatever works.

I anticipate losing one or two of my myriad readers. Such is the price for great analysis.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pens Rookie Scrimmage -- Despite Being a Bunch of Youngsters, Beer Was Still Goddamn Expensive

Well, back from the Pens prospect scrimmage. It was good experience seeing the potential future for the Pens and catching a glimpse of Billy Guerin behind the bench. Guy's got 100 goals for every tooth he's missing, and that's why these young jags better be listening before they got a story about how their coach turned their mouth into a personal punchin bag.

As expected, since the Pens are, you know, in such financial turmoil -- what with hardly anybody comin to the new arena despite the extremely reasonable ticket prices -- they charged a tidy little nominal fee for the cheap domestics they had spewing from their vintage hold-in-the-flavor, i.e., never-been-cleaned, taps.

Even more expected, as well as being bile-inducing, were the droves of fans whose general presence in the arena nearly spoiled the positive buzz and excitement related to the scrimmage. Don't get me wrong -- not everybody's a jag, just most of them. Due to some small miracle, I didn't hear anybody shout, "Shoot!" or see somebody stand up to get a 'better view' of another benign hockey play like the goalie freezin the puck. That said, there were still some of them jags who manage to make a jackass of themselves every game. Before we get to the guys on the ice, let's check out who showed up in the stands.

Stand-Up Comedian: Hockey games do have some comedic potential, especially when you know the sport and got the right timing between in-game action and that killer chorus hook from "Rock You Like a Hurricane."

Of course, some people think it's hysterical to yell the same, tired lines over and over. Luckily, nobody yelled, "How much time is left?" -- though, in retrospect, I wish they did, because it was never announced and they woulda looked like the stupid fuckin jag that they are. In its place stood the guy who, for instance, spouted out a dismissive boo during the shootout (done at the end by all players) when he wasn't impressed with one of their moves. It woulda stopped probably, but he was surrounded by a pack of two imbeciles with whom he apparently shared the same IQ point.

The Critic: Players make numerous mistakes throughout the game, and even the casual fan can pick up and talk some shit on from time to time. But, then again, there's always that really insightful fan who tears apart somebody on the team for a supposed 'mistake,' despite not being able to skate or never even touching a fuckin hockey puck.

You've played deck hockey once in eighth grade? That's great, you fuckin prick. Guess what? This is professional hockey, not your 'team' of overweight assholes who shoot around with plastic-blade Mylecs you found in your garage or physically accosted a neighborhood kid down the street for -- shut the hell up.

A perfect example from today involved smooth puckhandler and future roller hockey all-star if he doesn't start simplifying his game, Beau Bennett. During the shootout, he brought the puck down the obviously rough ice. The puck skipped wildly on edge as he tried to corral it and release a quick snap shot, resulting in a riser that carried over the net and against the glass. Without fuckin delay, a displeased "c'mon" shot out from behind me, the vague and terse statement reflectin the jag's hockey ignorance. Fuck that guy.

Apparent Sufferers of Muscle Atrophy: If there wasn't some medical diagnosis stipulating that these people regularly stand up to allow proper blood flow to their extremities, then I can't quite figure out why the fuck these jags are out of their seats and casually occupying the stairs in front of me while play is goin on. Seriously, get the hell out of the way, or get seats that can better accommodate your condition.

I had the good fortune of not seein any of the Easily Excited, Everything's a Penalty, or the "Shoot!" groups, but expect to hear me go off on them once the season gets underway. Now, let me get into the recap of the scrimmage.

Game Breakdown


There were 29 players in all, three scratched, who attended the camp. Players were separated into two squads (Black and White -- see full rosters here). The game consisted of two 25-minute periods with a 15-minute intermission; no side change after intermission. The flow of the game changed dramatically, as it started with tighter five-on-five play and transitioned into a long stretch of four-on-four that spilled over into the second period. During a brief several-minute time frame in the second, teams went down to three-on-three, but switched back to four-on-four for the game's conclusion.

The game featured no power plays to make the most of the time for the young players. Instead, the player who the penalty was committed against got a penalty shot with an opposing player chasing him (to add some pressure). The trailing defender never posed a problem as they started at the far blue line.

Notable Players on Black: Philip Samuelsson (son of Cam Neely's-career-ending Ulfie), Keven Veilleux, Sean Whitney (younger brother of the purse-carryin Ryan), Beau Bennett (2010 1st round pick).

Notable Players on White: Eric Tangradi, Simon Depres (2009 1st round pick), Joe Morrow (2011 1st round pick), Nick Petersen (finished season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), Zach Sill (11 goals, 85 PIM in W-B/S this season).

General Observations

1) Honestly, I was a bit surprised that the coaches paired Tangradi, Petersen, and Depres all on the same team. All three were the most dominant players in physical play (Veilleux's got the size, but doesn't use it as much as he shoudl), and Tangradi and Depres are the two most likely to have a shot at the team out of camp. With Tangradi being a brick shithouse at 230 pounds, I woulda liked to have seen him and Depres matchin up against one another. Both played well, but didn't seem to have to put in the effort against the younger, smaller guys. Thought it woulda been a better challenge for each of them if they had to go up against one another. 

2) The game was pretty free-flowing, especially with the reduced numbers. At one point, in fact, it looked like they were playin some pickup down at Schenley in the winter (that's where I get my reps in for the big adult-league season and associated binge-drinkin). That said, each squad's style became evident early on in the scrimmage.

Black was the decidedly smaller but quicker team. They were fast off the rush and had some more creativity at the forward position with the likes of Bennett (no. 19), Veilleux (24), and even Kuhnhackl (14). Even though they put together some good strings of passes to score some goals, they were too often a "one and done" team, getting a shot on goal, but unable to win it back for continued pressure.

White wasn't bad on the rush, but the edge in passing, corner play, and anticipation was evident. More often than not, they won the pucks in the corners -- especially with guys like Tangradi, Sill, and Petersen -- and forced a lot of defensive-zone turnovers by Black, including the one that led to the game's opening goal. When it comes down to it, that's the kind of game that's gonna win the Cup (e.g., them pussy Canucks couldn't handle Lucic and company), not the quick back-and-forth play.

3) The score aside, it was good to see the Pens prospects be able to show off their different strengths in a game setting. It was also reassuring to see guys like Tangradi and Depres, the most NHL-ready, pretty much doin as they wanted out there. Even with these outliers, there was a good collection of all-around skill and the guys seemed to enjoy the experience.

Scoring Breakdown

Listen here jags, it ain't easy double-fistin precious beer while operatin a camera, takin notes on players, and trackin the score, so I didn't mark down the exact times, the number of players on the ice, and all the circumstances of every goal. If that's a problem, then you shoulda showed up yourself, you critical asshole. But I'm sure most yinz appreciate what I do, so if that's you, then read on.

Overall Score
Black: 5 | White: 8

First Period Scoring
Black: 2 | White: 4

White (0-1): Harrington (1) from Tangradi (1) and Petersen (1)

This goal was, if I'm not mistaken, the only to occur during a pretty tight section of five-on-five play. As I noted above, White was able to pound the Black squad in their own zone (no, jag, that ain't meant to be sexual) and forced a turnover. Tangradi shuffled the puck to the lower part of the circle, where Petersen dished it into the slot and Harrington hit the upper-right corner of the net. Good team goal.

Black (1-1): Veilleux (1) from Gomes (1)

At this point, the game had broken down into four-on-four play (hence the extra ice for Veilleux here). Gomes was able to get him the puck along the wing and Veilleux took over from there, roping it into the top-left corner and hittin the bottle, just like Leftwich throwing an overpowering screen pass that breaks someone's ribs because he can't throw anything that's not equivalent to a missile. By the way, sorry bout the quality -- it got worse and worse because I've had to edit and convert it so many damn times -- and the kid with the giant friggin melon who sat in front of me.

Black (1-2): Thompson (1) from Archibald (1) and Bennett (1)

White (2-2): Gibbons (1) from Tangradi (2) and Petersen (2)

After that second goal, apparently White got all pissed off because they went on a tear during the last part of the period that didn't subside until intermission. It started with this one, which once again showcased some of the teamwork displayed by big guys Tangradi and Petersen (bigger, anyway, in the case of Petersen).

White (2-5): Wilson (1) from Uher (1) and Sill (1)

White (2-4): Astles (1) from Rust (1) and Morrow (1)

Good to see Morrow, the Pens' first-round pick this year, get on the board. I'll get into more details on him later. I really just wanted to comment here how the White team was able to spread the puck around and everyone chipped in. Shows again how their overall team play was superior to Black's and how that can make you more successful.

Second Period Scoring
Black: 3 | White: 4

Black (3-4): Veilleux (2), unassisted

"Nice job," bellows the man who will likely threaten to commit carnal sins against Morrow's loved ones later in his career.

Veilleux used his quick release seen in his first goal to fire another one past Patrick Killeen in the above clip. It helped, naturally, that the puck was delivered to him right in the slot by 2011 first-round pick Joe Morrow (no. 7), who must have been tryin to endear himself to Pittsburghers by doing his best Neil O'Donnell impression with Veilleux filling the role of Larry Brown.

Morrow's freakin awful turnover (bout 17 seconds into the clip) might be distressing to the fans who have high expectations for him, kinda like when Mendenhall fumbles it every nine plays or Tino Sunseri gets that look in his eyes as if he's gonna toss a perfect post pattern only to underthrow it and have it taken back for a touchdown. Cool your jets, though -- his struggles and miscues notwithstanding, he showed some flashes of solid NHL-caliber skills. I'll get into that more in the individual observations section to come.

White (3-5): Rust (1) from Astles (1) and Harrington (1)

Black (4-5): Bennett (1) from Samuelsson (1) and Madore (1)

With such exciting three-on-three skills, I have high hopes that Bennett will be the best player on my roller team in the upcoming season of Bridgeville's Puck A League.

When the ice was opened up even more for three-on-three play, it was only a matter of time until the highly-skilled Beau Bennett got on the board. I can only assume that he dominates during stick time at BladeRunners. I'll keep an eye out for him next time I go.

He and goalie Rob Madore (Pittsburgh native -- hell yeah!) briefly looked like Larry and Curly when Bennett motioned for Madore to come out and play the puck, only for Madore to -- more or less -- tell Bennett to go fuck himself and go hunt it down if he wanted it so bad. White had the break as a result, but Bennett lucked out when Samuelsson was able to win a battle near the circle and chip it ahead, where Bennett made some subtle but effective stick fakes to draw Killeen into a poke check and slide it around him.

Bennett didn't seem to show off as much today as I've heard bout in the past -- I'll explore this later, too -- but he still can't be pullin this shit in the pros. You think Polamalu waits around while the rest of the Steel Curtain comes up with the big play? Hell no. Bennett should've got dirty in the corner and went for the puck instead of being a freakin pussy; just ask the ugly-as-all-hell Sedin twins how well playin like a bitch worked for them. I hope Billy G smacked him upside the head and that it won't be a problem in the future.

By the way, props to Madore, the goalie right out of the City of Champions, for getting an assist.

White (4-6): Peterson (1) from Gibbons (1)

White (4-7): Uher (1) from Sill (2) and Harrington (2)


I feel bad for yinz jags and the winning White team that I really don't have any offensive footage from their team. Seriously, who doesn't switch sides in a two-period game? Anyhow, I was able to capture this one, as shitty as it may be.

Scott Harrington (2011 second-round pick) shows off some ability, much like Morrow, to get the puck up the ice and make something happen (admittedly, it was three-on-three). In fact, even though the initial pass didn't connect, I would argue that the above video puts him ahead of unrelated namesake Joey Harrington in terms of being able to distribute the primary object in a sport successfully.

This goal was another example as well of how White was much more efficient in the corners. Zach Sill was able to fish it out of the corner along with Uher, despite all three Black players going after it, which technically was a mistake itself.

Black (5-7): Gomes (1) (Penalty Shot)

Listen closely for the lady shrieking, "Patrick!" as she evidently tries to address White goalie Patrick Killeen. She spearheaded another prominent collection of insufferable jagoffs who insisted they knew a player well enough to call him by his first name.

Here, Gomes is able to catch Killeen goin down early and snap a quick shot into the upper corner. Simple but effective. Also helps yinz jags better see what the penalty shot was like with the chaser... and how useless that guy was.

White (5-8): Wilson (2) from Harrington (3)

Shootout Overview

After the scrimmage, all players competed in a shootout, with those who scored staying on until a winner emerged. The shootout allowed for a impressive bit of skill to be displayed by a number of players. Morrow had a clever cross-body backhander, similar to what Sykora used to do (hopefully that's the only comparison I'll ever have to make between the two). Veilleux juggled the puck, then brought it down to his stick to snap a shot past Killeen. Whitney challenged Veilleux (last two competitors) by relying on some crafty skating and edge work to deke the Killeen and Madore. In the end, though, Veilleux's puck skills won him the competition. I would've had some footage for you if the goddamn batteries on my camera didn't die.

Chuck's Players of the Game

Nick Petersen (Forward, no. 20, White): 1G - 2A
Scott Harrington (Defenseman, no. 8, White): 1G - 3A 
Keven Veilleux (Forward, no. 24, Black): 2G 

Individual Player Observations

Eric Tangradi (LW, no. 26)
18 goals, 33 points, 86 PIM in 42 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

After overcoming an injury last year, Tangradi stopped being a jag and started showin why he's the most likely option to make the roster out of camp from the team's prospects. In 23 fewer games, he scored one more goal than he had the year before, along with startin more shit on the ice (55 more PIM) and improvin to a +9.

In the scrimmage, Tangradi looked, quite frankly, bored. He was most effective at five-on-five, forcing turnovers and working down low to maintain puck possession. His passing was crisp and he clearly played the game -- full-strength, at least -- at a higher level than most. He was less of a force as the game size got smaller (didn't even see him three-on-three), but that's not his game. Developed some good chemistry with Nick Petersen and even showed off some puck skills, making a move under the defenseman's stick and then between his legs to get to goal -- reminiscent of Crosby takin Tom Poti out to the fuckin pasture where the Caps should've just shot him and ended his miserable career.

All in all, each player's performance needs to be weighed carefully. I'm gonna wait to see how Tangradi performs against the NHL squad before I go any further. Just know that he was a beast compared to the rest of these little boys, and that should help him comin into camp this year.

Simon Despres (D, no. 2)
13 goals, 41 points, +29 in 47 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL

Despres spent his last season as a junior player pretty much dominating the bitch puckhogs that are littered all over the QMJHL's rosters. He played in all roles for the Sea Dogs, and appeared much more often on the score sheet -- in 16 fewer games, he had four more goals than the season prior. From what I saw, Despres also had a solid run during Canada's silver medal run in the IIHF World Junior Tournament. Played smart, simple hockey, and if his jag coach had given some more time, maybe they'd be bedecked in the gold.

During the game, though, I honestly didn't see much of Despres out there aside from frequent minutes during five-on-five play. Didn't get to see the shot that he has been puttin time into, but he controlled the puck well in both zones and consistently shut down the fleet-footed Black team, including standing up to dangler wannabe Beau Bennett and making him look like a nobody. Same goes for Despres as it does Tangradi: let's wait until camp before making any serious judgments.

Keven Veilleux (RW, no. 24)
12 goals, 36 points, 122 PIM in 66 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Veilleux made a move to wing last year in the AHL, and was able to put together a solid season, notching 36 points and apparently engaging in aggravated assault every other game to up his penalty minutes. Glad to see Veilleux startin to hammer the opposing team's players because, at 6'5", he had better start beatin fuckers down.

Veilleux displayed immense talent during the scrimmage. He scored twice on two deadly-accurate shots, pulled off some awe-inducing stickhandling (including a backhand drag that embarrassed a White defender), and strung together great passes like the saucer pass seen later in the clip below.

He also posed a threat in front of the net, often feedin it to the points and gettin in the way of goalie Killeen. Regardless, Veilleux could stand to look like he gave slightly more of a fuck than he does. Tangradi and Despres didn't look particularly polished out there, but Veilleux was more evident prancin around the ice like wood nymph when he should've been playin defense. Veilleux, I thought, could've been more dominant in the corners (though he wins the puck in the video), and he definitely needs to take a stroll into the defensive zone every so often if he's gonna make the NHL. Nevertheless, I expect him to be a top performer this year in the AHL and potential call-up for the Pens if the locker room becomes a glorified emergency room again.

Joe Morrow (D, no. 7)
9 goals, 49 points, +23 in 60 games with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL

I like Shero's choice in draftin out of the WHL, pickin Morrow 23rd overall this year. Of all the Canadian Major Junior leagues, the Western Hockey League is regarded as the most physical. If Morrow can learn to use his skating ability while having the hell beaten outta him, as well as put on some weight, he has a high ceiling as an NHL player.

On the ice, Morrow had a hit-and-miss day. He had that Christmas present of a pass to Veilleux early in the second period, and he was caught playin the puck a few times in his own end.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, his transition and skating skills are legitimate NHL potential. Unfortunately, I don't have it on video, but Morrow relied on his skating a few times to make strong plays. In one tight play near his own blue line, Morrow was able to push the puck through two Black players, shimmy through them -- much how you see Jeff Skinner doing in every friggin clip they show of him -- and start the rush the other way. Later on, Morrow manipulated his edges while in the offensive zone to open his body for a drop pass, pass to net, or a shot -- a sign of how unpredictable a good skater can be.

Morrow will go back to the WHL to round out his game and I'm pullin for him to come back next year much like Despres was in the 2010-2011 NHL camp: a legitimate fighter for one of the final spots, even if he doesn't end up gettin it.

Scott Harrington (D, no. 8)
6 goals, 22 points, -14 in 67 games with the London Knights of the OHL.

With his second pick this year, Shero went with this guy outta the OHL -- Canada's "in the middle" league, with a mix of physicality and skill seen in the other two. Lookin at his stats, some of yinz jags may be wonderin what the hell Shero was thinkin.

Well, truthfully, Harrington had a better day than first-round pick Morrow. Granted, his game is a bit more conservative, but he was smart on both ends of the ice and a bit better using his stick and body to close out plays. He ain't ever gonna end up on a box of Wheaties for playin a solid, two-way game, but he can develop into the kinda guy you count on to eat up minutes on your second pairing. As with many of Shero's recent picks, he's also talented in the transition game. Look at Uher's goal again in the scoring breakdown to check out a brief instance of him carryin the puck and havin his head up to make a play.

Just like Morrow, I expect Harrington to go back to juniors to keep workin on his game. Despite being around ten months younger than Morrow, his overall game did seem a bit more developed. At the same time, I don't think his ceiling's as high. Either way, he'll either be a great piece to step in when guys like Martin and Michalek are leavin or may someday be a pivotal piece in a trade when everybody's bitchin and moanin for a winger or some shit again.

Beau Bennett (RW, no. 19)
9 goals, 25 points in 37 games with University of Denver

Bennett had an injury that kept him out of a handful of contests during his freshman season at Denver in the NCAA's Western College Hockey Association. Even so, Bennett put together a decent season, finishing eighth on his team in scoring. Most of the scorers in front of him were two or more years older, too.

Denver's top scorers -- 19-year-old Drew Shore and 18-year-old Jason Zucker, products of the U.S. Developmental Team -- are perfect examples of what Bennett has to do to have more success at the collegiate and pro level. Namely, start playin both ends of the ice, fightin for pucks, and stop actin like it's the British Columbia Hockey League (Bennett's Junior "A" league, slightly below the three main ones, in which he was able to score massive amounts because it's mainly comprised of no-talent fucks).

The U.S. has been pumpin out more consistent talent in recent years -- look, for instance, at Kane, Parise, Carlson, Fowler, Oshie, Erik and Jack Johnson, etc. -- because they're developin players with skill and grit. Bennett, meanwhile, was never a consideration for the U.S. Junior team because he's got immense talent, but couldn't check my grandmother off the puck. So playin in the collegiate system at Denver is a great opportunity for Bennett to develop a more complete game, even if nobody expects him to become some hitting machine.

The scrimmage only continued to highlight these shortcomings in Bennett's game. He was crafty with the puck and was able to catch White off-guard sometimes with clever passing, but he can't get to the goalie without floating by the blue line and gettin a lucky chip by his defense.

Christ, the freakin Caps should've drafted him. Ovechkin pulls that shit all the time, stepping "in front of" a shot, only to move his hip out of the way and hope for a lucky break. Fuck him and that whole team; that's why they'll never win a cup. Anyhow, Despres and other White defensemen easily forced Bennett wide and got him out of the play when he was on the puck.

Without a doubt, Bennett will go back to Denver, where I foresee the coaches helping him transition to a more physical, rigorous game. Let's see where he stands next year and whether he has put on some weight.

Nick Petersen (RW, no. 20)
24 goals, 57 points in 40 games with Wheeling
5 goals, 14 points in 23 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Petersen dominated with the Nailers of the ECHL (more or less the 'AA' league of the NHL) during the first half of the season, and was awarded with a promotion to the AHL, particularly when the Penguins had to borrow the entire AHL squad, where he amassed a respectable 14 points in 23 games.

Petersen had a very good scrimmage, playing well on both ends of the ice and exhibiting the kind of control expected from a big 22-year-old against a bunch of kids. He jelled well with Tangradi, and the two were a nightmare for the Black team in the offensive zone as they applied heavy pressure and controlled the puck.

Even though Petersen's offensive skills didn't appear quite as sharp as Tangradi's, Petersen did shine in the center of the ice. His anticipation and ability to cut off space and lanes were apparent throughout. Combined with a good work ethic and decent hockey sense, Petersen has the potential to be a role player in the NHL at some point.

Another thing I noticed with Petersen was his size. Despite being listed at only 186 pounds, he looked much broader. It's possible that he worked out during the off-season to make more use of his 6'2" body, and I anticipate he'll be a solid mainstay for the Baby Pens this season.

Bryan Rust (RW, no. 12)
6 goals, 19 points in 39 games with Notre Dame

Rust played on an excellent Notre Dame team that, despite its youth, lost to eventual national champion Minnesota-Duluth in the tournament's semi-finals. His stats don't stand out, especially compared to some of the freshmen who lit it up there, but college hockey is typically a game designed for more complete players, not offensive phenomena.

In fact, Rust reminded me a lot Petersen on the ice -- playing smart hockey at both ends and taking away the angles from the Black team as they rushed down the ice. His play at center ice wasn't as noticeable as Petersen's but Rust (19) is three years younger than Petersen and hasn't gotten a chance to play at the pro level yet. Rust will likely never project to become an overwhelming scoring threat, but it's good to have smart, two-way hockey players in your system, too.

Even though he isn't an offensive powerhouse, check out the nice forehand fake to backhand move he uses to undress Madore for his goal.

Madore's jockstrap was later located somewhere in the lower 100 sections.

Patrick Killeen (Goalie, no. 1)
19-16-2, 3 shoutouts, 2.87 G.A.A., .901 save percentage in 40 games with Wheeling.

Killeen spent a little time as backup goalie in W-B/S last year, but with Curry headed off to Germany -- one of the many havens for AHLers who are too good to stay there, yet not good enough to ever remain on an NHL roster consistently -- he should get a chance to see some time in the AHL.

Killeen made some good saves throughout the scrimmage. He did flop some, though, and seemed to make more work for himself. That said, Tim Thomas does the same thing. Not that the two are comparable, but Killeen still has room to improve at 21; besides, his 6'4", 204 pound body won't hurt his odds.


Alright, so I'm beat as hell, and my hangover is still killin me. I hope yinz enjoyed the extensive coverage and some videos to boot. I'm passin out now, but I may have some more updates on the lesser-known individuals soon.