John Steigerwald's Sports Column
Will jet lag hurt the Steelers in Oakland?
Coach Mike Tomlin was asked at his Tuesday news conference if he ever considered changing the Steelers’ travel plan to the West Coast because of the team’s dismal record there.
His answer: “Never thought about it.”
If the Steelers lose to the Raiders, he might be asked that question again, and you can be sure that he’ll dismiss it, but here’s a better question: What would it hurt to leave Friday instead of Saturday?
I’ve made several cross-country trips with the Steelers, and every time I did, I couldn’t imagine the time change not affecting the way the team played.
Five hours of air and bus travel takes a lot out of any human being and it’s hard to imagine 20 hours between arrival and kickoff being enough time to not make a 1 p.m. (PST) kickoff feel like a 10 a.m. kickoff.
Tomlin dismissed travel as an issue, but then, he’s become dismissive of most of the questions he’s asked on Tuesdays.
Tomlin dismissed last Tuesday’s entire news conference as a waste of everybody’s time. As he was walking away from the microphone, he disdainfully looked over his shoulder at the gathering of hard-working sports journalists and said, “You guys have way too much time on your hands.”
If you spend one second listening to Tomlin’s news conferences, you should ask yourself if you have a little too much spare time.
Unless, of course, someone is paying you to listen. In which case, you will earn every penny.
• You know the human race has been confused for a while when a youth football organization announces it will not be giving trophies to every player this year.
The Keller Youth Association Football Program in northern Texas said on its Facebook page : “Going forward participation medals or trophies will be going away.
“KYA Football board feels that giving participation medals or trophies isn’t sending our children the right message. Trophies are something you should strive for and earn.”
Let me interrupt here to ask this question: How ridiculous is it someone has to explain the purpose of a medal or a trophy?
The statement continues: “Life does not give you a participation job or medal, life makes you earn everything you get. We know not everyone will agree, but we feel this is the right direction for KYA Football to go in.”
You’re not kidding. The over/under on the first lawsuit filed by an angry mother, worried about the lifelong impact on her son’s self -esteem, is two weeks and I’m taking the under.
• Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham, who hasn’t missed a kick this season, was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
The only way a kicker wins that award is by playing on a team struggling to score touchdowns.
That’s not an award you want your kicker to win multiple times. The only thing worse would be for your punter to win it.
• In 1979, an average of 37 million people watched the Pirates and the Orioles in the World Series.
Last year, 12 million watched the Tigers and Giants, and the ratings for the first two games of this year’s series are up about 10 percent over that.
Of course, in 1979, Game 7 wasn’t played Halloween night, which is when a seventh game would be played this year.
• Someone tweeted a few days ago that the World Series would get more viewers if it were a two-inning game played at halftime of the Super Bowl.
• The only team worse than the Steelers at scoring touchdowns from inside the Red Zone is the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• If they played the World Series at halftime of this year’s Super Bowl in New Jersey, the weather wouldn’t be that much worse than what they’re playing in now.
• According to Forbes magazine, Ben Roethlisberger is the fourth most-disliked player in the NFL. Mike Vick is No. 1. If it makes you feel any better, Tom Brady came in seventh.
• Le’Veon Bell was pretty impressive last week against the Baltimore Ravens.
• One of the more popular items on YouTube this week was the video of a young woman wearing a Patriots jersey taking a roundhouse to the jaw when she attacked a guy wearing a Jets jersey. It happened after the Jets-Patriots game shockingly enough.
I wonder if the woman realizes that the video will be around long enough for her grandchildren to see it.
• Would it be impolite of me to say, after you’ve taken the time to read this potential Pulitzer Prize-winning column, that you have way too much time on your hands?
John Steigerwald writes a Sunday column for the Observer-Reporter.