Tag Archives: steelers

The Tebow train keeps on chugging along

For a Steeler fan like myself, it was tough to watch the Steelers-Broncos game at our house last weekend. There were two reasons.

1. The Steelers’ defense, #1 in the league, made the NFL’s worst quarterback look like the second coming of Johnny Unitas.

2. Mrs. Poolman actively cheered for Tim Tebow and the Broncos the entire game.

Actually, I have really enjoyed all the fuss and controversy over Tebow this year. Of course, we have followed him since he was recruited by the Gators, his four years of playing for the Gators, a Heisman Trophy and two national championships. These days he has been driving people crazy, again for two reasons.

–As a man, he is the “real deal.”  Critics have been searching for some evidence of hypocrisy in Tim for years, but haven’t been able to find any. He is what he is, and that is a strong character and good person.

–He has marginal skills as a traditional NFL quarterback, but that hasn’t kept him from being a major player in a story-book season for the Broncos. The team’s performance, most recently against Pittsburgh last weekend, has caused all kinds of “experts” to eat their words.

It has also given editorial cartoonists plenty of material to work with.

Frankly, I don’t know if Tim has a long-term future as an NFL quarterback. I’m not enough of an expert to make that kind of judgment. But in the meantime, the story has been a lot of fun to watch.

Another reason Timmy has been fun to watch is the criticism and outrage over his public displays of faith.  The term “Tebowing” has entered the language. (I also thought it was hysterical when, during one game this season, a defensive player sacked Tim, and then took a knee in the “Tebow pose.” Now that’s funny!)

I ran across this piece from Fox News featuring commentator Bernard Goldberg, who addresses the criticism and defends Tim. As usual, Bernie is right on target.

We’ll be watching the Denver-New England game on Saturday evening. We’ll see if the miracle train continues on down the track.

Science Bowl, Super Bowl, halubkys and a ‘suite” upgrade

We have been busy the last few days.

On Saturday, I was a “rule judge” for a regional competition of the National Ocean Science Bowl. This was a “college bowl” type competition among high school teams, and the questions were all related to marine science. Actually, it was kind of fun. Some of the kids had really studied. The teams were allowed to protest or challenge anything they thought went against the rules, and that is where I came in. We had two interesting challenges to settle. I enjoyed it, but our moderator, who was in the middle of each challenge, was taking the whole thing much too seriously. I hope the rest of her weekend went better.

That is, I hope she wasn’t a Steeler fan. The guys in black and gold lost a close one that they could have won, with just one or two fewer turnovers. Well, they made it to the big game, which is more than all but one other team can say. Next year.

A bright spot to Sunday was Mrs. Poolman’s effort at an appropriate Steeler Super Bowl meal. No wings or pizza for this meal. She made holubkys (also called golabkys).

Halubkys

These are a ground meat mixture, wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked with kielbasa, sauerkraut and a tomato sauce. Very Pittsburgh. Very good. Mrs. P also says, “A bit of a pain in the a__.”

Next, I was off to Atlanta for a two-day business trip. I got a nice surprise when I checked into my usual Holiday Inn. I had been upgraded to a suite.

Ain't it suite?

Actually, it’s two adjoining regular rooms, but one of them is furnished as a “living room.” Not too shabby. I guess it’s a reward for my brand loyalty. It’s too bad I’m just here by myself and don’t have anyone to enjoy it with.

Tomorrow evening, I face the “little darlin’s” of my 5th grade CCD class. Last week, we really read them the riot act about their behavior. It worked. Then again, we had only eight kids in the class. Also, some of the kids with the attention span of goldfish were not there. We’ll see how it goes. Our subject matter this week is the Ten Commandments. Last year, it took two classes to get through the single chapter because there was just so many questions and discussion. It was a lot of fun. Fingers crossed. Maybe tomorrow will also be as good.

The ‘burgh!

With the “Stillers” in the Super Bowl, I am being deluged with emails full of Pittsburgh nostalgia and trivia.

While I claim Pittsburgh as my home town, and cheer for the Steelers, I actually only lived there full-time for four years, and that ended 40 years ago. My parents were deep-rooted Pittsburghers. (I’d call them “yinzers”, except my father would never forgive me and my mother would come back from the grave and haunt me.) However, my life from earliest memory until high school was spent in Wheeling, W.Va.  — about an hour’s drive down the road. We moved to the South Hills the summer before my 10th grade. I left Pittsburgh for the University of Florida after my freshman year in college and never moved back except for two college-summers and visits.

A beautiful photo of "The Point" by Jennifer Yang.

All the same, I can still relate to many of these “You know you are from Pittsburgh if…” statements that my sister sent me.

Yunz is from the Picksburgh area or maybe you grew up there if:

1. You didn’t have a spring break in high school.

2. You walk carefully when it is “slippy” outside.

3. You often go down to the “crick.” (Lots of “cricks” in West Virginia too.)

4. You’ve told your children to “red up” their rooms. (I actually caught myself using this term the other day.)

5. You can remember telling your little brother/sister to stop being so “nebby.”

6. You’ve gotten hurt by falling into a “jaggerbush.”

7. Your mother or grandmother has been seen wearing a “babushka” on her head. (I don’t think so. Wrong ethnic group.)

8. You’ve “worshed” the clothes. (Never. My mother would have killed me.)

9. I ask you to hand me one of those “Gum-Bands” an’ you actually know what I’m talking about.

10. You know you can’t drive too fast on the back roads, because of the deer.

11. You know Beaver Valley, Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree and New Castle are names of towns. And you’ve been to most, if not all, of them.

12. A girl walks up to three of her girl friends and says, “HEY,YENZ GUYS!”

13. You hear “you guyses” and don’t think twice. Example: “you guyses hause is nice.”

14. You know the three rivers by name and under stand that “The Point” isn’t just on a writing instrument.

15. Someone refers to “The Mon” or “The Yough” and you know exactly what they’re talking about.

16. You remember the blizzard of 1993 (or 1976, or 1950, or 1939, or…) and remember not being able to go outside because the snow was over your head and you would have suffocated.

17. Someone starts the chant, “Here we go Still-ers!” and you join in — in the proper cadence, waving the appropriately colored towel.

18. Bob Prince and “There’s a bug loose on the rug.” hold special meaning for you. (And you remember exactly where you were when Bill Mazeroski hit the walk-off homer to win the 1960 World Series.)

19. You’ve either eaten a Farkleberry Tart or know someone who has. (???)

20. You drink pop, eat hoagies, love perogies and one of your favorite sandwiches actually has coleslaw and French fries ON it. (I remember using the term “pop” when I went to Florida and no one knew what I was talking about. They called it “Coke or something.”)

21. You know what a “still mill” is.

22. You expect temps in the winter to be record-breaking cold and temps in the summer to be record-breaking hot.

23. You know what Eat ‘N Park is and frequently ate breakfast there at 2:00 AM after the bar closed and made fun of people.

24. You order “dippy eggs” in a restaurant and get exactly what you wanted.

25. You spent your summers, or a school picnic at Luna Park, Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle or Idlewild.

26. You’ve been to the Braun’s Bread Plant or Story Book Forest for a school field trip. We went to the Heinz plant and the Isaly’s plant for Cub Scouts.

27. “Chipped ham” was always in your refrigerator when you was growin’ up. (Didn’t everyone have it?)

28. You refuse to buy any condiments besides Heinz unless a Pittsburgh athlete’s picture is on the side of the container.

29. When you call the dog or the kids you shout, “Kum-mere” and they come. (I’m afraid I’m guilty of this one.)

30. Franco, Roberto, and Mario don’t need last names and you can recite their exploits by heart.

31. Food at a wedding reception consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.

Boogers, babies and scarey nuns

It’s been awhile since my last post, so I guess I’d better get to it.

It wasn’t such a great year for my Florida Gator football team, but my pro team, the “Stillers” are making up for it. Ya gotta love the way they manhandled the Jets in the first half last night. Too bad they cruised in the second half and let the Jet’s make it a close game. There were many highlights of the game, but the most amazing clip was a lowlight. Here is Jets QB Marc Sanchez with back up QB Mark Brunnell.

That’s classy!

*     *     *     *

Mrs. Poolman called me from her work last Friday and asked me if we had any plans for that evening. Our friend Liz’s husband needed to be out at a work function and she was looking for help with their five-month old twin daughters. Apparently the evening is their grumpy time and it’s a two-person job to get them settled for bed. I went over after work and Mrs. P joined us when she got off. The girls are too cute! We had a fun time.

*    *    *    *

I just finished a book that is very non-typical for me – “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. It is a non-fiction “memoir” of the author’s childhood. In truth, the only thing I found interesting was the setting, the Point Breeze-Frick Park section of Pittsburgh. I’m not that familiar with that neighborhood, but I knew my Dad grew up near there. When I told him about it, I asked if he was familiar with St. Bedes school, which was on the same block as the author’s first home. It turned out that Dad actually went to St. Bedes, although about 20 years earlier than the time the author described.

I related one amusing scene in the book where the author describes being terrified of the St. Bedes’ nuns when she saw them on the street in their old-style black habits. My dad’s comment:

“I knew those nuns well, and they terrified me too!”

Steelers sing Christmas carols

This is really bad great!

Gator fans — be sure to watch it all the way through and see Rothlisberger play a joke on Maurkice Pouncey near the end.

Safe for another year!

We have had a busy weekend here at Casa Poolman.

I came home from work on Friday to meet the newest member of the Poolman menagerie, Penny. She comes from the extended family. Her feline mother belongs to my son-in-law’s parents.

Penny is quite the little charmer. She is very socialized to people. She is still a little wary of the two dogs and Sid the Tailless, but her hisses are more for form than from fear.

Mrs. P’s sister and her gang (two nephews, one niece and one nephew-in-law) got here Friday night for the Florida-Georgia Game House Party. Actually our niece and husband stayed with Poolboy, who has a fully funished guestroom and bath in his condo about a mile down the road. That worked out well.

I spent the first half of Saturday cleaning the back yard, and setting up things for the viewing party. We had about 40 people of mixed loyalties. We set up TVs in the family room (serious watching), the courtyard (half watching, half partying) and the living room (overflow.)

Half time in the courtyard.

Fortunately for the Gator fans, our punter-turned-FG kicker found his range and won the game in OT. We are safe to live here for another year.

Some of our Georgia friends hit the door almost immediately after the game ended, but many others stayed much later. Many of the 20-30’s crowd was totally engaged in a game of Beer Pong. I don’t know the details of the game, but suffice it to say it involves a long flat surface, ping-pong balls, cups of beer and much consumption thereof.

In the past, we have just used a piece of plywood for the playing surface, but this year, a couple of Writer Princess’s friends created a Beer Pong masterpiece. If you are going to play Beer Pong, you might as well be classy about it.

The Gators started off the Poolman football weekend with a win. The “Stillers” take on the Saints in New Orleans tonight. Let’s see if they can make it two for two for the Poolman teams.

Friday ramblings

It’s a big weekend coming up at Casa Poolman. With both teams in the middle of disappointing seasons, the Florida-Georgia game isn’t quite the match-up it has been in the past. All the same, for those of us Gators who live with enthusiastically obnoxious Georgia fans all year, it is still a big deal. A bunch of relatives from Mrs. P’s side of the family will be coming up from Jacksonville for the weekend. We will host a fairly large viewing party Saturday afternoon. Should be fun. I’m cautiously optimistic about the game.

*    *    *   *

Speaking of sports, this is the only time of the year I occasionally listen to sports talk radio. I flip back and forth between the Fox and ESPN local stations. My question is this; is Brett Favre the only player left in the NFL? He is all anyone wants to talk about. The Vikings are 2-4. Who cares? Meanwhile, my “Stillers” are 5-1 with a major turn-around story from last year and you hardly ever hear them mentioned.

*    *    *    *

When I got home from work on Wednesday, Mrs. Poolman approached me and said, “I hope you aren’t going to want to kill me.”

That’s always a great way to start a conversation.

It seems that Mrs. P called our daughter’s mother-in-law to check on her treatment for an ongoing health issue. Before the conversation ended, Mrs. P had agreed to adopt one of MILs litter of kittens.

I’ve seen this coming ever since we lost Berta the Timid a couple of months ago, so this was no big surprise. The new addition is scheduled to be delivered today.

Mrs. P is concerned how the rest of our “animal kingdom” will take to their new sibling. I’m not worried. Sid the Tailless will give her a hiss and then put her on “ignore” to establish his alpha-cat status. Eventually, he will warm up.

The dogs, especially young Sammy, will think the kitten is a special gift just for them. Once the kitten gets over her initial fear and realizes that the dogs can be great buddies, everything will be fine.

We have been discussing names. I tried to get Mrs. P to go along with “Urban” (as in Urban Meyer), but she insisted that was not a great name for a girl cat. I think we are going to settle on “Penny” after one of the main characters in “The Big Bang Theory” TV show.

Such an important decision…

A football weekend & movie review

We had such a lazy weekend. It was great.

Mrs. Poolman had a work-related event on Friday. Once a year, they have a reunion of the former baby/patients and families. It’s a big party.  Mrs. Poolman is a regular participant.  She helps the kids make paper flowers or something of the like.

I ran some errands on Saturday morning and then utilized the help of one of my friends with a pickup truck to take an old couch to the dump. Later I made a big pot of chili for our informal football viewing party Saturday evening.

Football thoughts….

TCodyAlabama barely held on to beat Tennessee on a blocked field goal by nose tackle Terrence Cody. This guy is 370 pounds. He is big enough to have his own gravitational field, which I think just sucks the ball to him.

Florida’s offense played poorly, but won again. Tim Tebow threw up two “pick sixes.” (That’s an interception run back for a TD, for you non-football fans.) He hasn’t been quite the same since the concussion in the Kentucky game. I hope he is OK, and especially for this weekend’s game with Georgia in Jacksonville.

We had a few folks over to watch the game. It wasn’t a formal party, just some friends and fellow-fans watching the game together.

percy-harvin-siOn Sunday, the Steelers beat Brett Favre and the Vikings. One Gator favorite-son, Percy Harvin, ran back a kick off for a TD. I hated to see that against the Steelers, but if someone was going to do it, I’m glad it was a Gator.

Sunday evening, Mrs. Poolman and I watched “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds on DVD. ProposalThis movie had a lot of potential but fell short. I’m sure you probably have heard of the plot. Bullock convinces her secretary, Reynolds, to marry her so she can avoid being deported to Canada. The film has a good cast with Mary Steenbergen and Craig T Nelson playing Reynolds’ Alaska parents and Betty White his grandmother.  It all goes along fine, until the Reynolds character decides he is actually in love with Bullock. The problem is this. The writers failed to give Bullock’s character any redeeming social graces at all. She plays a cold-hearted bitch who even the dog hates. When Reynolds decides he loves her and chases her down, the plot falls off the end of the cliff. It would have been a much better movie if the writers had given Bullock just a little charisma and “likeability.”

Back to work today. It is a short week, due to another furlough day on Friday. The timing works well on a personal level. The Florida-Georgia game is always one of our big parties of the year. Mrs. Poolman’s family will be coming up from Jacksonville for the weekend and we’ll have a bunch of other friends over too. We may have to segregate the viewing areas by teams like they do in the stadium. Ha!

Go Gators!