The Penguins lost 4-0 to the Flyers on Wednesday night, which is awful and disgusting and probably a crime, so let’s quickly move on from it and arbitrarily rank some sports things. Sound good? Great.
10. Waukesha West High School
Why is a suburban Milwaukee high school in dead-last in the Pittsburgh Sports Power Rankings? For disrespecting Le’Veon Bell and the sanctity of the celebrity prom date, that’s why.
The star running back promised a Waukesha student (and Steelers fan) that he would take her to prom if her request got 600 retweets. That figure was quickly reached and Bell made good on his vow.
But now the girl’s school district is saying Bell isn’t approved to come to their prom because he isn’t a Waukesha West student, and no formal prom attendance request has been filed. Outrageous. A Pittsburgh-area school would never require a Steelers player to go through such red tape to attend prom (or do anything). Clearly the Waukesha West administration is just bitter that the Steelers took Bell 13 spots before the Packers got stuck with Eddie Lacy in the 2013 draft. Can’t blame them, really.
9. Mike Tomlin’s recruiting
It’s a good thing Mike Tomlin’s NFL career has been successful so far, because it doesn’t seem like he’d be able to recruit well enough to win at the college level. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower chose to re-sign with the Patriots after meeting with the Steelers on Tuesday — despite being threatened — and free agents Davon House and Jay Elliott also turned the Steelers down after face-to-face sit downs. Maybe next offseason Tomlin needs to try the prom date approach via Twitter:
It seems it wasn’t long ago that the Penguins were in need of a wing to mesh with Sidney Crosby, but now that perception — and the hashtag it generated — feel as outdated as cars that still have Swann 2006 bumper stickers. With Conor Sheary and Jake Guentzel playing so well, Daniel Sprong lighting up the QMJHL and the Penguins continuing to land highly touted college forwards, perhaps we’re not far away from the #TooManyWingersForSid hashtag.
7. Tyler Glasnow
After opening the spring with six strikeouts against the first six batters he faced, the Pirates top pitching prospect has struggled mightily with command, giving up six runs and 10 hits in his last 4 1/3 innings. It’s spring training and Glasnow is still only 23, so it’s not time to panic. On the other hand, I’d very much like to see the Pirates win one World Series before I die.
6. Quitting Pitt’s basketball team
It’s the hot new trend! Jamel Artis, Michael Young, Sheldon Jeter and Chris Jones are all seniors leaving the 16-17 Panthers of 2016-2017 — hey, synergy! — but they’re not the only players saying goodbye.
Freshman forward Corey Manigault and sophomore guard Crisshawn Clark have announced they’re transferring, and freshman guard Justice Kithcart, who formed the entirety of the 2016 recruiting class along with Manigault, was dismissed from the team two weeks ago. As of right now, the best basketball players on Pitt’s campus are Ryan Luther, Cameron Johnson, Rozelle Nix and whoever is in first place in the Pitt intramural basketball league.
5. World Baseball Classic
This year’s World Baseball Classic (surprisingly?) has been exciting, but it’s not been ideal if you’re tuning in to see Pirates on display. Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli are getting at-bats for their respective teams, but Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison have mostly sat the bench, and Ivan Nova hasn’t been used at all. However, if you enjoying watching Jim Leyland smoke cigarettes, the WBC is very must-see.
4. Justin Hunter
One free agent the Steelers did land is wide receiver Justin Hunter from the Bills. He’s a 6-foot-4, 2013 2nd Round draft pick who can make plays like this:
Now the Steelers just have to determine where he fits on their current 75-man wide receiver depth chart.
3. Spring football
The kickoff of the 2017 college football season is still nearly six months away, but Pitt begins spring practice today and any reason to see these uniforms in action is fine by me.
2. Your NCAA Tournament bracket
Remember how in years past, you’d think: “This is the year Pitt will finally make a run in the NCAA Tournament,” and then they would, you know … not make a run in the NCAA Tournament and you’d look like an idiot and come in dead-last in your office pool and everyone would make fun of you and you’d wonder if you have any real friends at all and also why are we all even here?
I hated that. Anyway, thanks to Pitt being nowhere near the NCAA Tournament this year, homerism won’t blind your picks and you might even finish in the money. Hail to Pitt.
1. The Golden Rule
Everyone be nice, and see you back here next week.