Stallings Fired


All I can say is it’s about time.

The University of Pittsburgh has announced head men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings has been fired.

Stalling was at Pitt for two seasons, in which the Panthers failed to make any postseason tournament. Last season Stallings went 16-17 an underwhelming season. This year he went 8-24 including an 0-19 mark in ACC play. This is the worst Pitts season ever. No other team in division one didn’t win a conference game


It wasn’t even close to a good season. Most of Pitt’s conference loses hurt. They got blown out game after game being beaten by 20-30 points. Only four games were decided by ten points or less. They scored just seven points in a half against Virginia.



Grated yes it was a Pitt roster with a lot of turnover and young players. I don’t see that as an excuse though as many freshmen led teams do perfectly well. Getting blown out week in and out has to come from either being mismatched, or a lack of leadership at the top.



Yes, Pitt plays in the ACC, which is a tough conference, but something still has to give. You can still challenge top tier teams. It just seems to me like Stallings is failing to motivate his team as even an 8-5 out of conference record seems pretty bad. Especially with some of the schools they lost too like Penn State and Montana.

I’m just not seeing anything positive Stallings did to keep his spot. The culture shifted under him from Jamie Dixon’s winning ways to losing a lot. Glad to see him go and it should be interesting to see who takes his place.




Top 10 Sports Pittsburgh Dad Episodes


This is the companion post to my social blogs top 10 Pittsburgh Dad episodes. This one covers all the best sports themed episodes.

10.As Todd Haley.

9.Pirates Playoffs.

8.Draft Day Movie.

7.Little League.

6. At the Steelers Game.

5.Steelers good luck charms.

4.Reacts to Steelers vs Ravens Week 14.

3.Dad watches Steelers vs. Dolphins Week 6.

2.Reacts to Steelers vs. Colts Week 12.

1.Dad Reacts to Patriots Week 15.


Steel City Football

By S. Samek

Texas is a football state. Even at the youngest levels the sport is dominant. Pennsylvania is another upper tier football state. Western Pennsylvania and the WPIAL highlights this list.

Texas young football player got national exposure on Esquire Networks Friday Night Tykes show. It has lasted four seasons, and can be further reviewed here.

Pennsylvania son followed with a season one based in Beaver County and the Beaver County Youth Football League, or BCYFL. Season one thoughts can be chronicled here.

The main difference between the first and second season of Steel Country was the move to USA from Esquire and the elimination of Monica and Ambridge being covered and replaced with Sto-Rox and more emphasis on Beaver Falls. Central Valley, Aliquippa, and Blackhawk return to the field as well. The age bracket went up to the highest age too.

Blackhawk was a decent team this season after playing in last season’s finals. The Cougars created a team in the highest division to end with a championship and play with each other one more time. Best of intentions, not the best season.

Sto-Rox was the worst team on the show. The newcomers were more into fighting and goofing off than playing football. It showed on the field as the season ended short of the title. Though it was pretty cool to see the players get to do a bit of firefighter training as a team bonding activity.

Beaver Falls impressed me a lot. They clearly knew what they were doing this season. Though a host of star power still couldn’t get them the prize. Also, a plus for their big rivalry with Aliquippa.

Central Valley was the champs from last season. They looked to keep winning this season. A surprise entrant in the finals after playing one of the best games of the season, can CV win it all?

Aliquippa is the defending champ, but in this seasons age bracket. They are going for the undefeated title win this year. Off the field issues in the community threaten the season. Can this team keep it together and rally the community with another championship?

The main action of the show was on the field. Games were close and rivalries are highlighted. Teams play for community pride. It gives it a dimension that the Texas edition doesn’t. In Texas, it’s the organization more than the town that matters. In Pennsylvania, it’s often times the best thing to happen to a town is to play football with all the violence and negativity.  Granted it doesn’t make for a lot of creativity in storyline, but it is real and true. I would say the second season improved a lot on the first season of Steel Country. I recommend checking it out if you’re a local football fan, or fan of the original show.

Stanley Cup Final 2017

By S. Samek

Here we go. From 16 teams, down to two in the NHL playoffs. It’s the surprise Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Penguins looking to go back to back in winning Stanley Cups, while the Predators look for their first.

Nashville stunned Chicago in round one, before beating St. Louis and Anaheim. Pittsburgh run to the cup went through Columbus, Washington and Ottawa.

This could be the most interring series yet. During the season, the Pens and Preds have split their two games. The home team took the victory in each game. Nashville outscored Pittsburgh seven five in those two meetings.


Though offense may be hard to come by in this series. Nashville is the top team in goals against average in the playoffs with a 1.81 mark. Having only surrendered 29 goals.


 Big reason for this is goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne has the top playoff marks for save percentage with .941 and wins with 12. Combine that with a 1.70 GAA and you have a brick wall.

The goalie tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray should also make it difficult for Nashville to score. Fleury has a 2.56 gaa and a .924 save percentage while picking up nine wins. Both Fleury and Rinne have posted two shutouts during the playoffs.

Though Rinne will be tested. The Penguins lead in goals per game with 3.05. This is highlighted by Jake Geuntzal’s nine playoff tallies. Evgeni Malkin is the playoffs leading scorer by points with 24.  Back him up with ESPN ranked number one player in this series Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel and there is no shortage of threats to light the lamp.

Nashville will look to Filip Forsberg to score with his team best eight goals and 15 points during the playoffs.

Though it may be close in goaltending it isn’t close in experience. The Penguins boast 156 games of Stanley Cup Experience, with 19 goals scored and 24 winners of the Stanley Cup. The Predators have no Stanley Cup winners, 2 goals scored and a mere five games played in the cup. Note that doesn’t include the injured Chris Letang for Pittsburgh.


This is the third time the Penguins have played in back to bac finals. The first in 1991 and 1992 in which they won both. Then in 2008 and 2009 they split two finals with Detroit, but won the second of the two.  On top of that the Penguins have been the dominant team in the playoffs the past 10 years ranking first or second in Stanley Cup finals appreances, wins and playoff wins.  Throw in the home ice advantage of gold standard mark 481 consecutive sell outs and Nashville is in for a brutal fight.

Nashville will take at least one game, maybe two. You don’t sweep a Chicago team, built very much like Pittsburgh in terms of star power, and not feel confident. I wouldn’t say it was luck as Nashville followed it up by beating St. Louis and Anaheim too, both times presumably as the underdog.

This could be a cause where if Pittsburgh underestimates them and comes out flat it could be in for a surprise. Much like the series against Ottawa that should on paper have been domination. Pittsburgh’s star power and experience has the ability to win this in quick fashion. They just need to play like it.

Bold prediction is Pens in 5. Realistic is Pens in 6. Though I would venture to say a game seven would be incredibly interesting and would be anyone’s to take.  This series is the rubber match from the regular season with so much more on the line. Looking for both teams to come out hungry and have this be an intense final. One that should end with Crosby hoisting his third cup and adding to his legacy.

Not even this viral video with catchy tune will stop Pittsburgh.



Penguins Round Three 2017

By S. Samek

Better late than never I guess. Series between Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators is already a game in. In surprising fashion the lone Canadian entrant in the tourney is up one to nil on the defending champions with game two coming tonight. I have strong feelings game one is a fluke and the Senators are in big trouble.

It was a quality, if not boring game for a starter. A one nothing Sens lead in till late in the contest when Evgeni Malkin tied it up. Ottawa would score the winner from Bobby Ryan. Ok, but not too exciting to start a championship series. It wasn’t a domination either. The stats were pretty equal except for blocked shots. Nothing to really say Pittsburgh was dominated in the loss.


Ottawa has now won three of the four meetings between the teams this season.

 The Pens however got the best of the Senators in the playoffs in 2013 in five games, which was the last edition of this series.

Sounds like a retweet of the last series with Washington. Lose the regular season matchup, but beat them when it counts advantage Penguins. Though the Pens have won both opening games on their way to the conference finals this year.

Second reason to believe in the return trip to the cup finals is offense. Through 13 playoffs games the Penguins led in goals scored with 42. This is a round three goals per game which is the playoffs top mark. The Penguins also own the playoffs leading point scorer in Malkin with 19 and goal scorer in Jake Guentzal and his 9 tallies. Plus, throw in Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby and their 27 combined points for an offense that can give any team trouble. This is a team that put up eight goals against Ottawa earlier in the year with the possibility to do it again.

The goalies continue to aid Pittsburgh’s title defense. Marc-Andre Fleury had 33 saves in game one on 35 shots. Good performance to follow up the game seven shutout win.  By save percentage Fleury is third in the playoffs with a .928 percentage. Craig Anderson of Ottawa has only a .917 save percentage. Fleury has done it while facing more shots having made 425 save against Anderson’s 365. The other advantage would be Fleury’s playoff experience and two cups against Anderson’s zero.

Competition level has also played in the Pens favor. The Pens were able to beat better teams than Ottawa had. Dispatch the Presidents trophy winner done. Take out the third best team in a strong division in round one, also done. Ottawa played the New York Rangers, a wild card entrant finishing behind Columbus, Pittsburgh and Washington and Boston, third best in their division. Both teams have been tested to get to this point, but the tougher road gives Pittsburgh the advantage here.

Pittsburgh should be back in the Stanly Cup finals. Game one was just a minor setback.



Just Play the Game

By S. Samek

Recently I picked up the book Just Watch the Game by John Steigerwald as well as its companion Just watch the game (Again). Both tell of the Pittsburgh sports reporters experiences as a reporter and in his youth. Steigerwald primary joy in most of his experiences come from the fact that he was able to be at the stadium and just watch the game without the bells and whistles we enjoy today.

I enjoyed both books being a Pittsburgh Sports fan and an aspiring sports broadcaster and reporter. So, the experiences and stories really hit home for me.

In the first chapter of book one I learned about how Roberto Clemente hit a walk-off grand slam, which I now know is called an ultimate grand slam. Though this was the second one hit that season by the Pirates. Unique story I’d never heard before.  I also enjoyed reading about other Pittsburgh sports icons Chuck Noll, Dave Parker, Terry Bradshaw and a host more. Though I must say that the best story came from Steigerwald’s treatment of Mr. Rodgers. I laughed a good bit during both books where Mr. Rodgers was mentioned. If you’re a fan of Yinzer culture of any variety the book will have you covered.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the opinion sharing. Steigerwald does a good job of stating his opinion and backing it up enthusiasm. He really believes in his thoughts even if they are unpopular. It makes for some funny banter when combined with some of the stories he tells.

The final thing I really enjoyed from the book was the experiences in the broadcast field stories. Being a future broadcaster I learned a lot about what it takes to get to a high level in the field. From taking jobs in the minor leagues, or middle of nowhere markets to get to Pittsburgh. It gave me a perspective as to what to expect to get to where I want to get to. The most important lesson that I learned from the experiences is to just keep improving and getting better even if the money isn’t the biggest. It’s about enjoying the ride and the experiences.

I would recommend reading both of these books. Each one is equally filled with great stories and experiences unique to each one. The other cool thing is you can read the chapters or even the books out of order. Though I recommend reading the books in order so you understand some of the mentions in the second book. Plus, it’s an easy read you won’t want to put down. Pittsburgh sports fans be sure to check out the set. Overall 10/10 and highly recommend.