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mesaSteeler
12-31-2010, 10:18 AM
Steelers rank ninth in penalties
http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/26795-steelers-rank-ninth-in-penalties
Friday, December 31, 2010 09:00 AM
Written by Bob Smizik

Nobody asked me, but . . .

* Apparently, the NFLís ``conspiracyíí against the Steelers didnít reach all the leagueís officiating crews. The Steelers are ninth in the league in penalties assessed against them. (Fool writer, it's not how many it's when they occur and equally important it's when they don't called against the Steelers opponent. - mesa)

* Iím hearing from a birdie that Dave Wannstedt will not coach Pitt in its bowl game.

* The off-season strategy by GM Ray Shero to improve the Penguins defense, when there was a clamor for him to acquire offensive help, continues to look like a work of genius. Last season the Penguins were fifth in goals and 20th in goals against. This season they are fifth in goals and second in goals against. And they're also first in the standings.

* Itís dumbfounding that some people included among their favorite sports memories of 2010 the Pedro Alvarez walk-off home run on Aug. 7, after which the Pirates lost 12 of 13. With so many memorable wins of importance and so many outstanding individual achievements, how does a meaningless victory in August register? But . . . to each his own.

* A video at SI.com shows three former NFL players turned TV analysts -- Phil Simms, Howie Long and Cris Collinsworth -- unanimously saying Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews deserves the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. All three have a Steelers as runnerup, but itís James Harrison, not Troy Polamalu.

* I have not seen the full December Arbitron radio ratings, but one item of significance has been called to my attention. KDKA-FM, The Fan, not even 11 months old, had more total listeners -- 6 a.m. to midnight all age demographics -- than its sister station, the legendary KDKA-AM. Because KDKA-AM listeners tuned in almost twice as long, it still had a considerably larger share of the market than The Fan. Still, a remarkable accomplishment.

* Although Mike Tomlinís Coach of the Year credentials are legit, he wonít win the award and wonít even come close. The considerable improvements of Kansas City (4-12 to 10-5) and Tampa Bay (3-13 to 9-6) will earn Todd Haley and Raheem Morris strong support. Also, the league-wide best record in New England (13-2) and the best NFC record in Atlanta (12-3) will draw support to Bill Belichick and Mike Smith.

* Had the Ohio State football players sold stolen items, perhaps they would have deserved five-game suspensions. But since they sold their own possessions, which was against the rules, the suspensions rank as a monumental miscarriage of justice. Shame on the NCAA!