Archive for the Sports Category

A Much Needed Win

Posted in Sports, Steelers with tags , , , , on October 20, 2013 by Once Unwanted Girl

1394455_10201244681413717_1418075318_nWe most definitely aren’t undefeated like the Denver Broncos but it feels pretty damn good for Steeler Nation to finally take home a win, especially on the road. While in attendance at Metlife last Sunday for some gorgeous football weather, I was amongst many other Steelers faithfuls hoping for a little taste of victory. There were 5 charter buses that had journeyed from Pittsburgh ( about 6.5 hour drive) to attend this game and there was at least 15% of the stadium filled with terrible towels and their favorite jersey.

Birthday boy Ryan Clark had an impressive red zone interception which was his first of the season and a total of 5 tackles and 3 assists. Jarvis Jones who many have been keeping their eyes on did not disappoint with two tackles. This Rookie is going to do great things for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

In the 3rd quarter Big Ben throws a 55 yard down pass to Sanders for the only touchdown of the game.

Geno Smith’s pass to Hill was instantly read by Polumalu as he raced across the field to lay him out with a clean monstrous hit.

The Jets couldn’t put up any points the entire second half which lead them to a total of 6 points from 2 field goals. Many Jets fans vacated the stadium at the 2 minute warning after the final nail was put in the coffin and Smiths second and last pick of the game was thrown. The final score was 19-6 and as the clock expired you could here the “Here we Go Steelers” chats, the “1-4,1-4,1-4” chants it was so fun.

Going into week 7 the Pittsburgh Steelers definitely have health and the positive momentum on their side. Coming from week 6 with a win achieved will definitely give them the confidence they need to take on this divisional arch nemesis. The majority of Steelers are healthy with the exception of Curtis Brown (DB), Jarvis Jones (LB), Brett Keisel (DE), Steve McLendon (DT) and Heath Miller (TE) who are all probable.

Game Score: Steelers: 24 Ravens: 21

You Win Some & You Lose Some

Posted in Sports, Steelers with tags , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

The Pittsburgh Steelers went into week 13 not knowing if they would be 0-2 against their arch nemesis, the Baltimore Ravens.  Week 11 they had an upsetting 13-10 loss even with the excellent touchdown by Byron Leftwich. It just wasn’t enough to get the win. Followed by an atrocious game against the Cleveland Browns (20-14).  The Steelers had a total of 8 turnovers that game 3 of which were the product of Mendenhall’s carelessness and 3 interceptions.

However, Charlie Batch was able to put up great numbers and redeem himself with his win over Baltimore. Batch had a total of 276 passing yards and completed 25 of 36 passes. The Steelers had possession of the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than the Ravens despite their 3 turnovers. Dwyer and Miller each had a touchdown and Suisham successfully kicked 3 field goals which led to the (23-20) win over Baltimore.

The Following week the Steelers took on the Chargers. This game was in favor of the Steelers but it’s important to not count your chickens before they hatch. This was Big Ben’s first game back since his injury and it was clear that he was out of practice.  He was not as agile and fluid as usual and it reflected in the score of the game.  Ben had a total of 285 passing yards with 22 of 42 completions. The momentum of the game was flowing in favor of the Chargers the majority of game. And it got worse for the Steelers in the 3rd quarter with a  lateral pass gone sour.   Not only was the ball fumbled but it tumbled into the end zone as Antonio Brown let it slip through his hands only to be recovered by Jammers for a touchdown.   The Steelers picked up their game in the 4th quarter with 14 points but it wasn’t enough to interrupt the Chargers success. The Chargers then followed up with 2 touchdowns for a final score of 34-24.

The Steelers have to go to work this week against the Cowboys if they want a shot at the playoffs.  Sanders, Lewis and Woodley are all looking good for Sunday. However, Taylor, Adams, Allen and Colon have not been practicing so their status for Sunday is undetermined.  Harrison and Troy they haven’t been practicing but for unrelated reasons.  As for Mendenhall, he won’t be playing due to his misconduct suspension, for missing the game against the Chargers.  Even though a player is ruled inactive for a game they are still required by the Steelers policy to be in attendance on the sideline unless an injury or special circumstance prevents them.

Mendenhall was injured most of this season, demoted after his poor performance against the Browns and suspended this week. Things are not looking good for Mendenhall who will be a free agent next year.

The Steelers offense need to be sharp and minimize mistakes and turnovers in order to be successful against the Cowboys and to stay ahead of the Bengals who defeated the Eagles.

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Let the Games Begin: A Chat With Ryan Clark

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

In honor of the Pittsburgh Steelers season kickoff against Denver. I wanted to share the interview that I had with this exceptional member of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will not be playing until Week 2 against the Jets. Currently Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark’s career stands at eleven years and counting. This veteran safety began playing when he was just 5 years old and was a natural at the game of football. He also enjoyed playing basketball and baseball but football was his true calling. After attending Bishop Shaw High School he went on to have a successful college career at LSU.

Amarie: What made you choose to attend LSU?

Ryan: It was close to home, a good school and a great college football destination. Also, I had a dream I was on the sideline when LSU beat Florida and took it as a sign.

Amarie: Prior to being drafted into the NFL was there a specific team you hoped to play for?

Ryan: No, not at all. I just wanted a chance to play. I would have been happy anywhere.

Clark was originally signed by the NY Giants in 2002 as a free agent and had a brief stint playing for the Redskins but is more commonly known for being a Pittsburgh Steeler. Throughout his NFL career Clark has overcome injuries and the 2007 sickle cell scare in Denver. When I asked him about his condition he explained that his sickle cell disease “strictly affects him only in Denver other than that everything is fine.”  With that being said Clark is most looking forward to week 2 since it will be his first game of this season. Unfortunately, Clark was unable to play in the playoff game in Denver last season against Tebow’s Broncos and he will have to watch on as his team takes on Peyton in week 1. Even though he is disappointed that he can’t play this game he is confident in the Steelers offense and is looking forward to stepping on the field and facing the Jets in week two!

Amarie: Has there been any players whom you have looked up to or tried to emulate?

Ryan: Sean Taylor is someone who inspires me. He was a dear friend and an amazing talent. It was his intensity and passion that I try to emulate. He played every play like his last. And Troy is a true inspiration for his immense talent and ultimate humility. I can only pray to be that way.

Amarie: After appearing on ESPN, do you have any plans to pursue a career as an analyst after football?

Ryan: I’ll definitely explore that as an option. I hope I get the opportunity.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an interesting pre-season run.  The addition of Haley to the offensive team caused some tension with Ben in the beginning but now seems to be running pretty smoothly.

Amarie: Is there any concerns with Big Ben adjusting to the new offensive style?

Clark: He is a pro- bowler, 2 time Super Bowl winning QB. If it were my job to be concerned, which its not. I wouldn’t be at all. He’ll do great.

The confidence of Ryan Clark in his team mates and coaching staff is well earned because the Steelers have pulled it all together by winning 3/4 preseason games.  Preseason games don’t mean much but hopefully this is an indication that they will continue to work hard and there will be some big moves by the younger guys. Another interesting twist to the Steelers off season was the Mike Wallace and his infamous hold out  which caused a little bit of angst this summer but he is back and in action.  Hopefully we can see him get the job done on the field after all of the drama that he caused.

Injuries are an unavoidable part of football. David Decastro was put on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury during the preseason Bills game which could end up being at least 8 weeks without this young Guard.  Mendenhall is still recovering from his knee surgery but it’s only a matter of time that we will see him on the field again.  Redman will do just fine against the Broncos and is more than capable of gaining some yardage for the Steelers.  Redman was the Steelers second leading rusher in 2011 and his average yards per carry actually exceeded Mendenhall’s last year.

The Steelers opening season game against the Broncos will be an exciting game and will most definitely be close. It will be interesting to see how Peyton does with his debut game. Let the games begin!

Prediction:                   Steelers        24               Broncos              21

The Training & Blogging Begins

Posted in Sports with tags , , on June 6, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

The Training & Blogging Begins

I must admit that I have been a little out of touch with the blogging world the last month but I am here to say that I AM BACK and ready to go!

Friday June 1: I began the mental preparation for my new diet and work out plan. Monday

June 4: I really began the diet and workout plan.

By Wednesday June 6: I am working with a trainer and doing some intro CrossFit stuff which is pretty insane if you have never done it before. It will kick your butt in a good way and leave you coming back for more!

Now that you all know how serious I am about getting in shape and reinventing my very poor diet and workout habits, you are probably wondering why I am so determined to whip my butt into shape. Well, I am hoping to compete in a fitness bikini competition in either September or October of 2012.

In addition, I am young and in my prime so there really is no reason for me to have any body fat at my age because one day the weight gain will be inevitable and out of my control. However, today and now I have no excuse to be out of shape. It’s all a matter of mental toughness and pushing yourself to the limits. I want to feel good knowing that I work out hard and am maintaining my tip top shape! Most of all I want to feel healthy and have energy.

I must say goodnight and sweet dreams! I have to head to the gym early so I must hit the sack now. Go onto my blog tomorrow evening because I look forward to sharing my Ryan Clark interview with you guys in my post “The Man Behind the Steelers Uniform.”

Here’s to 100 Years of Boston History!

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

Here's to 100 Years of History!

Not only is there reason to celebrate in Boston for the 100th Birthday of Fenway but a man by the name of Bill Hogan, Bostonian and Boston sport fanatic, will be turning 100 years old as well! This is quite exciting because that is a lot of years of being a sports fan and I find Hogan’s b-day more exciting than Fenway’s since I am a Yankees/Pirates fan ( : . Regardless April 14, 2012, was quite the day to celebrate and the Sox won 13-5!

Happy B-day Bill and Fenway!!

The Beginning of a Passion…College Basketball

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

ImageBy: SCF Sports Write Ashley

When I was a freshman in high school, I knew little about college sports. At this point in my life I was mostly concerned with the NFL and was only starting to enjoy college football. I really had no interest in basketball at all, let alone the unknowns of the college ranks. Then I realized if I wanted to make friends with the kids from the other middle schools in my town, I had better learn about college basketball, and fast. I started to pay attention to the basketball segment on Sports Center at night to see if they highlighted anything I had overheard that day during school. I began to casually involve myself in conversations here and there when I was sure I wouldn’t look like a shmuck for messing any detail up. Over time I began to feel confident in my growing college basketball IQ. This is totally embarrassing to admit, and realizing that these guys might be reading this blog right now is both scary and liberating, but I’m continuing on

because I promised I would always be honest…

Over the course of those few weeks I had began to pay extra attention to the University of North Carolina because that seemed to be the favorite among the group I was trying to befriend.  Watching Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson were not reasons to turn away, might I add. Man were they fun to watch play! When the calendar turned to March and the NCAA tournament was fast approaching, however, conversations turned from friendly fan warfare to talks about money collections and handing in your brackets. I decided I wanted in. Even though I knew next to nothing about compared to these boys who had played basketball most of their lives, I figured what was $10 to prove that at least I was trying? So I handed in my bracket with only a certain level of confidence, as everyone who isn’t named Joe Lundari does, and hoped that UNC would win the national title. It wasn’t a difficult call to make so I didn’t win a lot of money out of that bracket challenge, but I felt I had earned some respect and that was my goal.

Now fast forward to my senior year of high school (2008-2009) and I am a full blown North Carolina fan. I have a Hansbrough Jersey, the Jordan sneakers to match, and every nationally televised game written in the same planner where I was keeping track of college visits and midterm exam schedules. If the Heels were on TV, my family knew not to disturb me. Over

the course of my high school years, I had turned into just as passionate of a college basketball fan as I was a New York Giants fan. This year when March Madness rolled around, I was ready. This time around I did two brackets, one of outcomes that I researched and statistically figured would happen, and the other of outcomes I wanted to happen based on any feel good story that surrounded a team, cool uniforms, underdogs, etc. I was confident in my picks my senior year of high school and while some of the guys I befriended our freshman year knew that I had an idea of what I was talking about, there were others in the pool that laughed when they found out I was in it to win it. At the end of every tournament game day there would be texts and Facebook messages to find out who was in the lead and at school the taunting of whoever made a bad pick was entertaining to be a part of.

I don’t remember exactly how the point system worked out, only that I needed the University of Connecticut to win in the Elite 8 (which they did) but not make it to the national championship game (they didn’t). The next thing I knew, I had won. I didn’t even need the championship game to be played, and had won the bracket challenge. I’ll never forget being at a family party and getting that text message from the boy holding everyone’s money letting me know. It was insanity. Of course a lot of people chose University of North Carolina to win it all, but the way I guessed the journey of the other teams was better than anyone else. Best. Feeling. Ever. Until of course I saw the looks on the faces of the boys involved in the pool who thought I didn’t know what I was doing when I filled out my bracket as I collected my money, then I lived a new Best. Feeling. Ever.

I suppose the moral of this story, how a girl from New Jersey ends up a die-hard UNC TarHeels fan, and falls in love with college basketball in the process, is to never doubt someone’s knowledge of subject simply because stereotypically they shouldn’t. Yes, the entry into my college basketball passion was a superficial one, but once I was in, I was, and still am, all in. I have learned to tone it down in recent years, having roommates will force a person to do that. To this day though, the emotion that comes with certain games or intriguing match ups cannot be suppressed.

So as the Sweet 16 kicks off this weekend, sick back and enjoy the ride. No need to worry about your bracket, Lehigh took care of that for you. Remember that these are 18-23 year old young men out there playing. As much as you think you’re a die-hard basketball fan, these players, that we bet on and criticize after every possession, love it even more. If they didn’t, why would they continue to play? Or even more importantly, put up with us?

All that Glitters is Not Gold in Pittsburgh

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by Once Unwanted Girl

This past NFL season brought many ups and downs for Pittsburgh Steelers fans.  The ups included the win over the New England Patriots (25-17) which was quite pleasant along with the dominating wins over the Seahawks (23-0) and Rams (27-0). Not to mention the Steelers successfully were able to prove the many skeptics wrong by advancing to the playoffs despite their obvious ageing team. Hearing that you might think that ending the regular season with a 12-4 records is pretty peachy but all that glitters is not gold.

The bad began with the first game of the season against the Baltimore Raven’s.   I was in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and made my girlfriend find a bar with the Sunday Ticket so that I could selfishly indulgence in my favorite weekend pastime.  This particular game of the season was a definite heartbreaker and the only low to my otherwise beautiful Caribbean vacation.  By the end of the first quarter the Ravens had managed to score 2 unanswered touchdowns against the Steelers. Ray Rice was the top rusher of the game with 107 rushing yards and 2 Touchdown catches.  Flacco threw for 3 touchdown passes and 224 passing yards.  The final score was 35-7 and this was a reason for concern in regards to the performance of the Steelers and the uncertainty of their season.

The problems continued with the numerous injuries that began piling up early in the season.  Willie Colon suffered a triceps injury during week 1 which resulted in season ending surgery.  Both Scott and Legursky had injuries in September in addition to the numerous other plays that sat games out. By the end of September, there were 9 players who had been suffering from some sort of injury.  Casey Hampton injured his shoulder in October. Harrison had his eye socket injury and Big Ben had an ankle sprain among the laundry list of injuries not mentioned above.  Overall this Steelers team is quickly growing older and despite the success of this veteran team it was evident throughout the season that changes were going to be made one way or another.

Week 9 of the regular season did not put smiles on the faces of Steelers fans.  Pittsburgh lost to the Ravens for the second time this season.  The score 23-20 was closer but it was not satisfying because the Steelers ended up finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record and tied with the Ravens.  However, they were not able to clinch the division because the Ravens had won more AFC North division games by beating Pittsburgh twice.

In December, James Harrison an aggressive hard hitting Pittsburgh Linebacker incurred a 1 game suspension for his hit on the Brown’s QB Mccoy.  His attempt to appeal the suspension was declined and he missed the game against the Niners.  Not having Harrison at this game and an injured Big Ben, Carter, Pouncey and Sanders did not help the Steelers against this successful Niners team. The Niners ended up beating the Steelers 20-3.

The finale of the season was the upset by Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.  I like to refer to this particular game as “the dreaded Wild Card Weekend” in Denver.  Going into this game the Pittsburgh Steelers were thought to have the advantage since they were facing the Broncos who finished the regular season 8-8 with the help of their novice Quarterback Tim Tebow. There were a couple issues that affected the outcome of this game.  For example, on January 6th right before playoffs Running Back Coach Kirby Wilson was injured in an unfortunate fire in his home which greatly upset the Steelers franchise.  Safety Clark was not allowed to play at Mile High Stadium due to the altitude and his condition. Big Ben was getting over his ankle injury suffered toward the end of the season which had an effect on his performance.  The game began with the Broncos dominating the scoreboard the entire first half with 20 total points.

The Steelers entered the second half with vengeance and had a comeback scoring 17 points to Denver’s field goal. This resulted in an overtime to see which team would score first and advance to Foxbourough for the divisional playoff game. On the first play in overtime Tebow threw to Demaryimus Thomas for an 80 yard touchdown. Thomas was able to get passed CB Ike Taylor and Safety Mundy to successfully end this game. This play only took 11 seconds and happened to be the shortest overtime in the history of the NFL. Max Starks and Casey Hampton both suffered knee injuries in this game and this was quite the upset for Pittsburgh fans. The Steelers finished the 2011-2012 season with a 12-5 record and many more changes ahead to be discussed in the next post! This season didn’t end as expected but it didn’t begin as expected either. This just shows that you are only as good as your last game and we didn’t bring it against the Broncos that Wild Card match up but despite the ups and downs, wins or losses I am still a die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan for life!