As we watched the devastation in New York and New Jersey on television last evening, a friend asked me this: Should they be playing the game there Sunday?
With all the suffering going on around it, should MetLife Stadium play host to Steelers-Giants?
Yes, was my quick answer. What else you going to do? Postpone it? Move it to Pittsburgh? Move it to, what, New Orleans so they could get the game back they lost when their home game against the Giants was moved to New York in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina?
His argument was twofold: It doesn’t look good and many fans won’t be able to get to the game either because of transportation or because their house is under water and mud. He suggested moving it to Pittsburgh, but that does not solve either of those two problems because Giants fans who couldn’t get to Jersey still won’t get to Pittsburgh and how does it make it look any better by moving it. It almost seems more heartless to move it.
It’s a shame what Sandy wrought, but postponing the game to Monday or Tuesday or moving it isn’t going to make things any better for those people.
Onto some other stuff:
--- The trade deadline is 4 p.m. today. Don’t hold your breath. The only move the Steelers will make will be the Alameda Ta’amu roster move.
--- The Steelers made their best in-season move when they picked up running back Earnest Jackson in mid-September 1986, but they did not have to trade for him. Coach Buddy Ryan for some reason waived him from the Eagles early in the season after Jackson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 1985.
Jackson signed as a free agent with the Steelers and led them with 910 yards rushing that season even though he missed the first three games. He spent just three seasons with them but led them in rushing in two of them.
--- With Ben Roethlisberger vs. Eli Manning Sunday, what must the San Diego Chargers and their fans be thinking? The Chargers could have drafted either quarterback and did draft Manning. They then traded him to the Giants for Philip Rivers. And they then completed the trifecta by later trading Drew Brees to New Orleans. If you’re keeping score, that’s five Super Bowls the other three quarterbacks have won and none by Rivers and the Chargers, who have played in just one and lost.
--- For those asking, the Steelers had little choice in dealing with Alameda Ta’amu. They could have released him, but suspending him for two weeks essentially did the same and gave them time to gather facts in the case. Had they given him a longer suspension, the union likely would have appealed and while that process wore on, Ta’amu would have remained on the roster. Once the suspension ended, they had to reinstate him. However, that does not mean they have to keep him. Let’s see what happenes today.
--- YOU: It's pretty clear that Andy Reid will be gone by seasons end and many here want Bill Cowher. You mentioned in the past that Cowher will want more control and owner Jeff Lurie got rid of (GM) Joe Banner. I don't know if Bill could take the Philly environment, not to mention he seems comfortable in NFL Today. Your thoughts?
ME: I once thought it was a lock that Cowher would return to coach in the NFL. He was looking for the perfect spot that would include a good quarterback, good management team he either could work with or bring in his own and a good owner. Those are difficult to find because situations like those aren’t normally looking for a new coach. Also, I think the rumors of Cowher targeting the Giants, Dolphins, Texans, etc. hurt him with those teams and with others even if he was not the one to start the rumors. This is the sixth season that Cowher has not coached. He loves what he’s doing on CBS, makes decent money doing it and there’s little pressure that goes with it. He bought a condo in New York City and has a musician girlfriend there. He’s comfortable with what he’s doing. Never say never (Dick Vermeil), and he’s still young enough to come back, but I don’t see it.
--- YOU: Ben's jersey was pretty clean Sunday, as opposed to RGIII's muddy and grassy jersey. Are the fewer sacks due to the O-line playing much better now, the receivers getting open better, or the dink and dunk O? I'd like to hear you say its the O-line!
ME: It truly is a combination of those. The new offense and its philosophy, I believe, is the main reason. They worked on the high percentage passes, getting rid of the ball quickly and you are seeing the results.
--- YOU: thanks for the Harrison interview - as you know he doesn't share his feelings very often. Did he talk about how he is physically? My observation is that he's probably got his strength back but that his speed is lacking - of course he's not as young as he used to be (then again who is?)
ME: James does share his feelings if you can talk to him at the right moment. He felt like talking after the game Sunday. No, I did not ask him how he felt physically. This was after the game.
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