Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

After Night of Debauchery Near Campus, Wannstedt Wakes Up on Random Couch, Curious What Time Peter's Opens

"Ah gees, not this shit again," the 22-year-old tenant says to have heard from the upstairs bedroom.
This story is ongoing, precipitated by events that occurred yesterday. For more information, please click here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dave Wannstedt Wandering Semple Street Wondering Where the Party Be

Anticipating "a real fucking banger of a weekend," former Pitt football player and coach Dave Wannstedt has been pacing Semple Street in Oakland for several hours in an effort to find a party, students reported Saturday afternoon.

Several students who reside in the area say they saw Wannstedt park his car at approximately 11 a.m. near Larry and Carol's. His motives were unknown at the time.

"I'm just hanging outside on our balcony eating some breakfast and then I see a car fly into an open spot across the street," said senior Robert Tarr. "I notice that it's Dave Wannstedt, so I'm thinking he must be here to speak at a university event or something. Next thing I know, he pulls a 30-pack of Natty Ice out of his backseat and shotguns one."

A student was able to capture a picture of Wannstedt while returning from the convenience store.
Semple Street runs from Parkview to Forbes Avenue in South Oakland, populated in large part by upperclassmen studying at Pitt. This high density of young tenants has earned the street a reputation for having an active party scene day and night. With university classes starting Monday, those who have seen Wannstedt suspect he came to participate in revelry that has yet to develop.

"I think it's clear he's here to party," said junior Melanie Eicher. "But I think he's having trouble finding people to join him. I watched him play two rounds of beer pong by himself. He kept reiterating out loud that you have to finish your beers before you throw, so basically I just watched him toss a ping pong ball and drink eight beers in about 12 minutes."

It is unclear at the time how long Wannstedt intends to continue, but reports from student residents suggest he has already exhausted several strategies to maintain his excitement.

"He look kind of bummed walking back to his car," said senior Scott Young, who lives next to Tarr. "I swear he just sat there blasting 'Low' by Flo Rida for 25 minutes while chugging a bottle of rum next to his car. Then, all of a sudden, he's running down the street with his case again, screaming, 'Pitt is it!'"

Wannstedt has always remained a supporter of the university due to his close ties to the school and Pittsburgh area: born in Baldwin, he played offensive tackle for Pitt in the early 70s. After an injury ended his chances at a pro career, Wannstedt became a graduate assistant and later served as head coach from 2005 to 2010. In brief exchanges with the former coach while he maneuvered along the sidewalk, he indicated he has no plans to relive years passed.

"I'm just here because Pitt has been an integral part of my life and I want to see to it that students have a great start to their year," Wannstedt said, intermittently sipping a beer and holding the remaining case over his shoulder. "I'm most definitely not here to get another shot at the glory days."

He paused briefly and then added, "That said, in 1973 we would had to this son of a bitch bumping right now."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nick Saban Thinks Wife Terry Could Have Exploded Off the Line, Hit Holes With More Speed While Returning Shopping Cart

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban expressed disappointment today in his wife's careless execution of a textbook cart return at a Publix Super Market in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

"It's just frustrating to watch when you've seen the kind of top-level talent they can bring to the table," remarked Saban to anybody within earshot in the parking lot. "She was slow out of the gate and seemed hesitant to hit that gap between the Nissan backing out and an awaiting Hyundai."

Saban believes she did not carry out the play 'Publix Tomahawk 44 Cart Return Right' to its full capacity.
Terry has worked with Saban for the entirety of his marital career, serving as the cornerstone of a successful relationship that spans over the course of four decades. In that time, she played a pivotal role in some of his most celebrated victories, including the Great Last-Minute Potluck Mac and Cheese in the '93 Saban family reunion and the Immaculate Deception of Christmas in '85 when she managed to mislead both their children into believing Santa Claus was supposed to smell like Cognac after a buzzed Saban had returned from the neighbor's party in full costume to surprise them.

It's this consistent streak of peak performance, Saban claims, that makes letdowns so difficult to tolerate.

"Listen, Terry's been #1 wife on my depth chart for more than 45 years now, but you got to stay hungry to keep your spot. It's as simple as that."

Saban clarified, however, that he isn't ready to move away from her yet.

"She's earned a little more confidence than [switching her out so quickly]," he said. "I'm giving her until we bring the bags into the house. If she looks like she's shuffling her feet still and not pushing to and through that door, we will have to consider personnel changes."

Nobody in the parking lot was available to corroborate or contradict Saban's complaints explicitly. A Publix employee did offer his perspective, though.

"I just saw that woman -- I guess [Saban's] wife -- head back to the car, and I don't know what he said to her, but, man, she sure looked pissed."

Monday, August 21, 2017

That's Right, Jags: It's Time to Watch Some Soccer, But Don't Worry, You Can Keep Your Roethlisberger Jersey On

Another day, another noble cause I take on for you, dearest jags, to keep the alignment of the sports world balanced and steady. As I’m sure you know, I would normally dedicate the greater share of my efforts to unabated tirades inspired by the Pirates’ continued treading of divisional water – those lessons down at the Schenley pool as a kid really paid off – and the Steelers’ putrid defensive showing against the Falcons.

That said, I sometimes like to diverge from the tired narratives that you find everywhere else and do something completely different. As I’ve remarked in the past, perhaps the only enduring pleasure of running your own blog is autonomy, so I will ultimately write about whatever the hell I want.

My authoritative advances aside, I ask you to take a moment with me to talk about soccer: first, because it’s better than talking about “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” but also because I think I can convince you to join me in becoming a fan of Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga (the German league), a team that embraces a style that Pittsburghers would be proud of – you know, if they gave a shit about a domestic German soccer club.

This cynicism, though valid, is receding somewhat, as the sport continues to grow locally and in the United States as a whole. The MLS, for instance, has taken careful, calculated steps in improving its product and expanding its audience, declining to act on any rash moves to make more money that would risk a total collapse of league infrastructure. Moreover, the success of NBC Sports Network has helped furnish the professional game a reliable national television platform, broadcasting several (if not more) English Premier League games weekly.

Pittsburgh does have its Riverhounds – I won’t insult you by hazarding the descriptor ‘beloved’ – but the USL remains a secondary league and, simply put, the talent isn’t there, all of which is OK, but not entirely suitable to qualify as your “favorite team” at the professional level. So the question emerges: what team should you follow?

Mark Madden insists upon Liverpool. I don’t know why, and I usually don’t listen long enough to find out, but I do appreciate his discussing soccer at his leisure despite what the listening audience may think. Frankly, and forgivably, his affinity for Liverpool likely stems from the circumstances that most soccer fans faced before the game became more accessible: you could only pick from the teams you know; the teams you know were the good ones; Liverpool happened to be good when he was getting into soccer.

The reality is that English soccer is not the only top-flight league worth your time and, arguably, it’s not even the best. To consider: an English team last appeared in a Champions League final and won in the 2011-2012 season with Chelsea squeaking out victories to secure the title. Since Manchester United’s dominant run under Sir Alex Ferguson, though, English teams haven’t shown any sincere odds at reclaiming, let alone retaining, the world’s top spot, while Spain has taken complete control: Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Atletico Madrid have featured in six of the eight slots in the last four finals.

La Liga (the Spanish league) suffers from an abysmal lack of competitive balance, however, being a league of only three serious competitors, and Atletico would likely be unable to keep up, were it not for the tireless, rage-fueled work of manager Diego Simeone (hey, I have to rep anybody who uses fury to achieve their goals).

So where else can you turn? Well, I will finally – sorry – hit for the cycle here and get back to the Bundesliga and the team I am going to encourage you to support, Borussia Dortmund.

First, though, let’s take a brief look at the German league. Bayern München are its Lakers, Yankees / Dodgers, Cowboys (without the domestic abuse, drugs, and drunk driving tragedies), earning the most money, winning the most titles, and employing the best players. Looking past them, the league stands out in that the next several spots and mid-table teams often swap positions, making the domestic season meaningful for more than just a select pool of clubs. A short review of the final standings over the last few seasons verifies this suggestion:

Of note: over these seasons, six teams have made up the top three positions, and 11 teams have populated the top five, indicative of parity most leagues can’t count among their merits – and it didn’t even require some bullshit overtime loss point to do it!

OK, so maybe you’re on board now for watching some Bundesliga soccer, but the more vital task is at hand. Let me explain then why you should be following Borussia Dortmund with the same fervor you display on holy Sundays when any person in a striped shirt has countless miseries wished upon him or her – quite loudly and graphically, in fact – and there is holding on every single play – unless, of course, the player is wearing the right colors. That’s just good football.

“Yinz see dem kellerz?”

The most obvious connection between the Dortmund team and our sacred Pittsburgh teams is the aesthetic. Both teams brandish the black and gold with the only nuance being that the Germans correctly identify their own ‘gold’ as yellow, while we prefer our gold to look like a piece of cheddar someone has stuck between their teeth.

This adopted colorblindness notwithstanding, you can root for Dortmund, if nothing else, because you have to do little to nothing with your wardrobe and various fan paraphernalia to adapt it to soccer. Terrible towel? Wave that son of a bitch. 143 free Penguins playoff t-shirts? Hell, wear a different one for each game until you find the lucky one(s). That Steelers taco salad you make? The leftovers will fit just fine for the soccer game, too.

Let’s be honest: nobody wants to a back a shitty team – not even the shitty players on that shitty team.

Listen, don’t play this game. We all know, especially when we get involved in a new sport, we want to watch somebody with some skill, some excitement, some real potential for celebration. Nobody – scratch that; maybe hipsters – scrolls down to the bottom of the standings, landing on the underdog in hopes that an incredible miracle unfolds in a twist fit for a dreadful Disney athletics film. Yeah, it was great that Leicester City captured the Premier League title two season ago, and I wanted them to win it, too, but not a single damn soul getting into soccer that year decided before the season started, “Hey, this team seems like the one I want to support.”

Accordingly, I’m not going to direct to a woeful sack of shit that just crowds the defensive third and pounds the ball down the field in prayer that somebody is actually paying enough attention to possess it for three seconds. No, Dortmund is good, consistently so, but without needing to mortgage their team’s identity or take on the role of the league villain who buys any player who may be good enough to beat them.

In fact, that is in part what makes Dortmund a great club to get behind: they can exhibit the possession-based, skill-laden, combination-heavy style of soccer that often earns the sport its title of “the beautiful game,” but also turn to a lightning-fast, “oh shit, here we go” counterattacking approach when it’s needed (*cough* Bayern *cough*).

The team’s results over the past several seasons emphasize their ability: 3rd place last year, 2nd place the year prior and a DFB-Pokal win, along with 1st place finishes, Pokal wins, and regular runs into the knockout rounds of the Champions League within the last decade.

They have an American on their team – a damned good one, too.

Am I exploiting an overwhelming swell of nationalism to gain favor with you? Uh, hell yeah I am. But how could I not? Christian Pulisic, who spent part of his childhood in Hershey, PA, is an absolute fucking animal, and he will be – bar none – the best American player of this generation and, quite possibly, all time, assuming good health and such. He will be what Landon Donovan was supposed to be. The kid can dart all around the field, has impeccable ball control in tight spaces, and can play his best when the pressure on. Aren’t those the kind of things – even in a proverbial sort of way – that we as Americans and Pittsburghers all hold dear? So not only can you wear your black and gold, but now you can bust out the red, white, and blue, too, chanting “USA! USA! USA!” even while watching a German soccer game.

The Bundesliga is legitimately entertaining.

Everybody is familiar with the Premier League’s international profile; players from all over the world flock to the riches and bright lights of English soccer. Still, the German league competes on this level as well, not just because it has almost the entire roster the 2014 World Cup-winning German squad among its ranks, but it also features / has featured a collection of other high-end talent.

Beyond Bayern, who have Arturo Vidal (Chile), Thiago Alcantara (Spain), Renato Sanches (Portugal), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), and countless more, there are a number of high-performing internationals, even on Dortmund’s roster: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Marc Bartra (Spain), Shinji Kagawa (Japan), Ousmane Dembélé (France), Nuri Şahin (Turkey).

Germany remains a location for quality soccer, especially for those who are still excellent players, but can’t make it onto the league giants around the world, or simply don’t care to deal with them, and having them distributed among the different clubs means, again, that the play reaches a higher threshold.

The fans are crazy, usually in a good way.

In short, German soccer fans, Dortmund’s especially, are intense, and if anybody should appreciate such dedication and slightly frightening commitment to the team, then it’s Pittsburgh fans.

Pierogi for your thoughts?

Fuck pennies; pierogis are far superior. At any rate, I hope I’ve been able to show you just why, if you should get on a soccer kick, you ought to start waving towels, screaming at the TV, and drinking beer on Saturday mornings (most common game day / time) for the black and gold (/yellow) of the German league, Borussia Dortmund.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thomas Tuchel verweigert, seinen Abschied zu akzeptieren; schreit doch noch Anweisungen vom Spielfeldrand

"Ich habe sogar seine Handynummer blockiert, aber er hat doch jedes Mal ein neues [Handy]", sagte Marco Reus. "Dann simst er mich die ganze Nacht lang, ob 'wir' mit einer Dreier- oder Veirerkette spielen sollten."

Im Spiel gegen Wolfsburg schaffte es Tuchel, von der Tribüne herunterzukommen und die Dortmunder Spieler anschreien zu können.
Ehemaliger Borussia Dortmund Trainer Thomas Tuchel, der am Saisonende wegen einer zunehmenden Risse in der Mannschaft verließ, versuche doch noch beim Training und Spielen, taktische Befehle zu erteilen, meldeten heute einige Spieler.

Im Mai trennten sich das Verein und der 43-jährige nach Angaben, dass es Konflikte zwischen ihm, den Spielern und Vorgesetzten entstanden, die nicht zu lösen waren.

"Ich erinnere mich an den ersten Tag Training mit Trainer Bosz", sagte Mittelfeldspieler Julian Weigl. "Ich konnte ihn über den Zaun der Traininganlage gucken sehen. Er hat sich die Arme wild bewegt. Ich glaube, er wollte, dass ich tiefer in die Richtung Verteidung hineinrückte."

"War echt unheimlich", meinte Weigl.

Der intensive Tuchel führte das Verein zu guten Leistungen in der Bundesliga und gewann auch 2016 den DFB-Pokal, aber diese Erolge reichten nicht aus, seine schädlichen Beziehungen mit bestimmten Spielern und Direktoren auszugleichen. Doch er tauche immer wieder auf und spreche die Spieler an, als ob er erwarte, noch eine Saison als Trainer zu dienen.

Tuchel erschien auch beim Training.
"Bei einem Training habe ich ihn in der Tribüne gesehen", sagte Marcel Schmelzer. "Er hat dauernd 'Schneller! Schneller!' gebrüllt. Dann habe ich einen Zettel in meinem Gepäck gefunden, der lautete: 'Triff mich heute Abend im Parkhaus um Mitternacht, komm doch allein.' Ich bin ja zu Hause geblieben."

Reus und Schmelzer sind nicht die einzelnen, mit denen Tuchel kommunizieren wolle. Auch Mario Götze habe von ihnen geheimnisvolle Nachrichten bekommen.

"Er hat doch mein Mercedes mit Graffiti überzogen!" schrie Götze beim Telefongespräch. "Warum muss er mich mit seinen taktischen Fragen stören? Er ist doch nicht mehr unser Trainer!"

Götze entdeckte am Tag vor dem Spiel gegen Wolfsburg, dass jemand seinen Mercedes mit Graffiti markiert hatte.

Dortmunder Vorgesetzte haben zur Zeit nur kurz kommentiert, dass sie diese Situation ernst nehmen und nah überwachen werden. Nach neusten Angaben steht Tuchel ruhig hinter Bosz in der Umkleidkabine mit einem Plastikbeutel in der Hand und einen Finger zur Ruhe am Mund.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

NFL Alters Concussion Protocol to Hasten Players' Return, Long-Term Debilitation

A coach for the New York Giants initiates the new protocol against preseason game with the Steelers.
The NFL has redesigned its concussion protocol in an effort to accelerate its players' return to the field and a life soon to be plagued by agonizing pain and suffering, league officials announced today.

"It's our hope that these changes will help our athletes quickly get back on track to play -- and, of course, a future restrained to a hospital bed barely able to speak from high volumes of pain medication," said league commissioner Roger Goodell.

"We wouldn't want it any other way," he added.

The NFL experienced a substantial drop in ratings last season, and despite its still outperforming other major sports in the United States, team owners agreed that some tweaks to current policy may prove fruitful.

"We simply had too much star power sitting on the sidelines," noted Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "It was our goal to give back the fans what they wanted: the chance to see a healthy, athletically extraordinary adult male confined to a wheelchair due to brain trauma within the next five years."

Based on the latest policy language, "asymptomatic" can be defined as staring at a Godzilla toy for seven seconds without crying.
The decision has not escaped criticism, however. Opponents to the changes point to the discovery of CTE in the brain tissue of deceased players like Ken Stabler and the current hardships experienced by many retired players like Jim Plunkett, who recently stated that "[his] life sucks" in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News. The league empathizes with such plight, but can only offer limited assistance.

"It was a different game back [in the 70s]," said Goodell in response to a mention of Plunkett's comments. "We feel for Jim; we really do. And we do know with compelling certainty that, if he had played today's game at this speed and with the knowledge we have, we could have maneuvered past all this suffering at his old age and gotten him directly into a vegetative state by his mid-30s."

"Just tragic," he told assembled media, bowing his head in a moment of silence.

Sports Unfiltered conducted an anonymous survey among 60 active players regarding concussion protocol: 21 approved of the new approach, while 18 did not; 15 were indifferent, and seven stared vacantly ahead and nodded softly when we said their name.

When asked whether the league would then provide financial support to the players and their families in light of their post-playing difficulties, Goodell was quick to address the league's position.

"Woah now, let's not get ahead of ourselves here," he said. "Research regarding football injuries and their long-term impact is still ongoing, so we don't want to make statements without the full scope of information available. We are using our money to improve and safeguard the game, not pay for its past mistakes. I mean, just look at Jim Plunkett."