Why, why do these so-called NFL “experts” continue to preach to and praise themselves as the greatest sports minds since the days of ancient Athens? At least in the times of Socrates they kept their journalistic integrity intact by honestly keeping track of and considering most all of the numbers. I was browsing the net on a particularly boring and uneventful night and lo and behold I staggered upon the preseason NFL power rankings posted on espn.com. Whoa Nellie, don’t close the barn doors. We had better open them wide because the barn is on fire! Please allow “Swami Brey” to instruct you how to apply the “Dr. Vinnie Boom Boom” Las Vegas numbers formula honestly, without hype or smoke evaluation of the NFL teams and their preseason and regular season “positions.” Oh, by the way, Dr. “Boom Boom” was the physician that would cure you of a particular ailment but his antidote would more than likely kill you thereby eliminating the need for any additional medication.According to the power rankins, the Steelers were ranked #1 on defense and #21 on offense.Twenty-one and one equals twenty-two, divided by two, equals eleven. Pittsburgh is projected to occupy the spot at #16, which is five spots lower than where “Swami” figures they should be.There is no way in Hades that the Steelers should have been ranked lower than #11 as far as the 2013 preseason rankings are concerned. The team that held the #15 spot at the time that the rankings were published was the St. Louis Rams. Although the Rams show great promise with their young QB Sam Bradford and as well as a few of their additional 2013 draft picks, they are still far too young to be considered a serious threat to make a run at a NFL championship. The recent loss of wide receiver Mike Wallace to free agency and the season, maybe career ending shoulder injury to Plaxico Burress leaves a few huge question marks in regards to the passing offense of the Black and Gold.I am ready, more than “Freddy” for the season to get underway and to see, really see what “Dem Dere Stillers” are going to do for the 2103 campaign. Against the Giants last night in the pre-season opner, the Steelers won the toss and began the game moving the ball pretty well. But again, instead of using a screen pass or a quick out to get close to the first down, an illegal man downfield penalty caused Pittsburgh to have to re-punt at which point the punt was blocked giving the New York Giants first and goal. But ya, know what boys’and girls’? The much maligned Steelers defense held NY to a field goal. So much for worrying about the “Big Nasty D” at least for the first series of the season anyway. “Big” Ben Roethlisberger called two timeouts with 5:05 still remaining in the first quarter. You would expect that sort of indecision or non recognition of defensive coverage’s to be expected from some of the rookie or second year quarterbacks in the NFL not a time tested QB such as Roethlisberger. Eli Manning thentossed a 57 yard TD to wide receiver Victor Cruz. I am still a bit unclear as to who was responsible for the initial coverage but it appears that Steelers cornerback William Gay may have been the culprit to allow Mr. Cruz to “cruise to freedom.” But enough of the “play-by-play jargon.”What I saw from the Steelers offense and defense was encouraging. Are the Steelers as talented on offense and defense as they were in 2013? Well that is a loaded question because they may be better on defense and offense. The Pittsburgh squad is at least more youthful and speedier on both sides of the ball. Will their inexperience hurt them or help them?The crystal ball of “Swami Brey” remains a bit cloudy on that issue because; “only time can give you experience and getting experience takes time.” Man that was deep, wasn’t it?Anyway, the heir apparent of departed James Harrison’s outside “backer” spot had better be a bit more “sportsman-like in light of the two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called on him in the first half of the game. Elaborate on Worilds, aggression cannot evolve into plays stupid plays after the whistle. Rookie Linebacker Jarvis Jones (Courier Photo/Julio Torres) LaRod Stephens-Howling’s dad Rod Howling with Aubrey Bruce at Steelers Training Camp.
LONGSHOT TOOWINDYTOHAULROX RALLIES FROM FAR OFF PACE TO WIN GRADE III, $100,000 DAYTONA STAKES BY A NECK UNDER PEREIRA; D’AMATO TRAINEE GETS 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF IN 1:14.26
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2015)–With speedy Rocket Heat showing the way through uncontested fractions of 21.99, 44.18 and 1:07.74, it appeared he was headed to a front-running victory in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Daytona Stakes, but Toowindytohaulrox collared him 40 yards from the finish and was up to win by a neck under Tiago Pereira, covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf in 1:14.26.Off at 21-1, Toowindytohaulrox, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Harlan’s Holiday, paid $44.60, $19.20 and $9.40. Owned by Queen Bee Racing, LLC, he was most recently third, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 27.“This horse is great down the hill,” said Pereira. “Having him in an outside post is best for him. When he is outside of horses, he’s at his best. When he’s on the inside, not always. He was free today and he made a big run.”Toowindytohaulrox, who notched his second win from six starts down Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout, improved his overall record to 19-4-3-6. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he improved his earnings to $310,392.“I wanted them to stay outside, ‘Toowindy’ especially,” said D’Amato, who also saddled runner-up Coastline. “Anytime he’s got to split horses, he just doesn’t like it as much. He likes to be running freely and Tiago bided his time back there, got him widest of all and came with a big run.”Drawn on the extreme outside in post 14, fellow come-from-behinder Coastline, who was ridden by Tyler Baze, was up for the place, finishing another neck in front of Rocket Heat. Off at 52-1, Coastline paid $46.60 and $20.80.Off at 41-1, Rocket Heat, who was ridden by Edwin Maldonado, prevailed by a head over The Great War and paid $16.20 to show.With the 1-2-3 finishers off at odds of 21-1, 52-1 and 41-1, the trifecta paid $10,851.40. Fourth place finisher The Great War, off at 8-1, helped contribute to a superfecta payoff of $24,476.39.The first of four graded stakes on a blockbuster Opening Day Card, the Daytona was run as the fourth on a nine-race program.