Despite all of the rumors and discussion, the Pittsburgh Sports Power Rankings was not traded at the deadline for a younger, more defensive column.
Now let’s go win an internet championship.
10. Phil Kessel’s depressing Instagram
On Monday, less than 48 hours before the NHL trade deadline, Phil Kessel posted a photo of himself and seven of his teammates with the caption: “Last supper…?”
Kessel won a ring and now his Instagram is kind of like The Ring: Anyone who appears in a photo with him may have his Penguins’ career die. Thankfully, only one of the eight men in the photo ended up getting traded: Eric Fehr. Let’s hope Mr. Fehr enjoyed his final meal at what looks like a very high-end hot dog establishment.
Yes, fireworks are to thank for the bulk of Pirates attendance from about 1993 through 2012. That’s true. But how about you not terrify penguins, fireworks?
8. South Side
All the way up from No. 10 in the previous edition of the Power Rankings, thanks to no football players getting arrested this week. Time for a parade down East Carson Street.
7. Kevin Stallings
Pitt’s men’s basketball team has lost 11 of 14 and, if I may provide some analysis, they are massively lousy. So while Stallings deserves to be closer to No. 10 on this list for his team’s on-court performance, he gets a bump up thanks to his always-entertaining post-loss, postgame press conferences. Here he was after Tuesday’s nine-point defeat to middling Georgia Tech:
“If the coach says run a play, how about just run the play? How about just don’t come down and charge before you give the play a chance to unfold? It’s a lot of things. It’s staying in your stance on defense. It’s staying between your man and the goal. It’s seeing the ball when you’re away from the defense. There are a lot of things that go into it. I get it. I get where they’re at. I get where we’re at in the season. It’s kind of a pride thing at this point. I just had hoped we would play a little better.”
While Pitt hasn’t developed as a team over the season, Stallings has shown the ability to always say that he hates the players Jamie Dixon left him in new and interesting ways.
6. James Harrison
The bad news: The Steelers signed a pass rushing specialist who will turn 39 in May to a two-year, $3.5 million contract.
The good news: It’s James Harrison.
5. Nate Peterman
The Pitt quarterback has been wowing scouts and shooting up draft boards since January and last week was selected as one of the seven quarterback prospects who will appear on Jon Gruden’s “QB Camp” ESPN segment/football pep rally. But now Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has compared Peterman to Kirk Cousins.
Is that … good? Congratulations, Nate?
4. New guys
Hey! The Penguins got some new guys! Everyone likes new guys, right? So much potential with new guys.
Before Wednesday’s trade deadline, general manager Jim Rutherford acquired Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey, Toronto defenseman Frankie Corrado and Philadelphia defenseman Mark Streit. It’s important to note, however, that Streit was briefly traded to the Lightning before coming to the Penguins, so there is no concern about his Flyers cooties. The city is safe.
Pitt announced a two-year contract extension for head volleyball coach Dan Fisher on Monday that will keep him with the university through the 2021 season. The Panthers made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years this season, and Fisher is 92-38 since taking the job in 2013. Know that Pitt is a volleyball school now.
With spring on the way, you may be tempted to participate in a friendly game of pick up volleyball in the warm sun. Please be careful. There are 13 young women in the city who can break your face with a spike.
2. Tyler Glasnow
The Pirates top pitching prospect has thrown two innings in spring training so far and has six strikeouts. Six strikeouts in two innings. Two innings. Six strikeouts.
Many of you may not be baseball experts, so let me give some context to those numbers: That’s a lot of strikeouts for two innings.
If Glasnow can keep up this pace, it won’t matter where Andrew McCutchen or anyone else plays in the field. They can just stay in the dugout when Glasnow is on the mound.
1. Antonio Brown
The Dow Jones hit 21,000 this week, and Antonio Brown signed a four-year, $68 million contract extension to stay in Pittsburgh through the 2021 season. Business is doin’ well, n’at. Brown’s long-term commitment to the Steelers should put to bed any remaining thoughts that he only cares about personal stats. If that’s what truly motivated him, he would have gone to the Patriots for the opportunity to put up truly eye-popping numbers (against the Steelers in the playoffs).
Well, that’s a depressing way to end the column, huh?
Let’s do better: Hey, the Penguins got some new guys!