Friday, March 6, 2015

Want a chance to win Penguins/Flyers tickets? Check out how.

Greetings all! As I talked about a few weeks ago I am going to be running in the 2015 Louisville Ironman. You can click on the link to read a lot more about it but the short of the long is that I am going to be running as part of team Ironman Foundation (IMF). With that I have pledged to raise at least $3,000 for local non-profits in the Louisville area and that brings me to this post.

I will be raffling off a Pittsburgh Penguins basket that includes a few t-shirts, a sweatshirt, a sweet coffee mug, a Penguins cooler, and two tickets to the April 1, 2015 Penguins/Flyers game at the CONSOL Energy Center.

My brother was nice enough to donate the tickets which are in section 227, row K, seats 14 and 15. I can personally attest that these are great seats and for only a $10 donation you are getting a great value if you win these bad boys.

As I said above it is a $10 donation in order to get a ticket for the raffle. The raffle will take place on March 21, 2015 at Grapeville Station in Grapeville, PA (which is basically Jeannette right by Greensburg). You can purchase a ticket at the bar or you can make a $10 contribution on my donation page which you can get to by clicking this link.

If you are making an online donation you just need to mention the Penguins in the message when you click donate and shoot me an e-mail ( with the subject 'Penguins ticket raffle' and include your name and phone number in the e-mail and you are entered. For every $10 donated you can earn a chance to win (so $20 will get you two chances to win, etc.).

All proceeds of the raffle benefit the Ironman Foundation. The Ironman Foundation is a 501c3 fundraising initiative for local non-profit organizations in local communities that host Ironman races. The Ironman Foundation's mission is to leave Ironman's legacy through philanthropy, volunteerism and grant making by supporting various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit non-profit organizations around the world.

You do not need to be present at Grapeville Station to win and I will be contacting the winner on March 22, 2015 and posting the winner on the Facebook event page that has been created for the event. (click the link and come join if you would like).

Here is a look at what you can win:

Thank you in advance everyone and if you have any questions just let me know!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Still Here And Bloggin... Help Support A Great Cause

Long time no talk everyone. Well as most of you probably didn’t notice I haven’t been around here too much in the past couple of months or so. Actually my last post around these parts was in the middle of December and the last non-pre game story that I did was back in November. I have gone through some life transitions that have moved me from Wisconsin back to Pittsburgh and my new job has kept me busy. I am not nearly around as much as I used to be but I am still on Twitter and will hopefully be back here writing some soon.

Another big life change of mine actually start last year. Ever since I can remember I have been in athletics. Whether it was [not] scoring a bunch of goals in soccer when I could just barely walk and it led through high school and then I found myself fortunate enough to play college baseball. Since my baseball career ended I have been trying to get that fix. I was playing pickup and stuff like that but that didn’t itch the scratch that was my competitive nature that I had always had.

I would work out and started running but I really never fancied myself as just a runner. I don’t think anyone really does, but I needed more than that to look forward to. I turned my attention to triathlons. I started training and set my goal for an Olympic triathlon (mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10k) at the end of August. Along the way I raced in a sprint triathlon (half mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5k) and turns out I thought those things were fun.

I guess the normal progression for me would to try a half triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, half marathon) but I wanted to really challenge myself. That is when I made a commitment to competing in an Ironman race.

If that sounds kind of crazy, it is. We are talking about a race that spans 2.4 miles in the water, 112 on the bike, and ends with a full marathon. I wanted to challenge myself like I have never been challenged before and attempt something that I can be proud of if I finish.

So here we are. I have picked my race which is going to take place October 11, 2015 in Louisville. Luckily for me a couple of my friends have ran this exact race last year so I am going to lean on them for help but really this is going to be all about how I can adapt my life to include massive amounts of training.

I have been training now for about three months and have a pretty good base. Even now I am training twice a day five to six days a week which means a lot of early mornings and a lot of times where I am not eating dinner until 7:30 or 8 and then going to bed at 9:30 p.m. This is my life and will be my life for much of the year. To be honest I don’t know if I am incredibly driven or just incredibly stupid.

Anyways, instead of just signing up for the race and doing it I decided to go in another direction. As part of the race Ironman has a foundation called the Ironman Foundation (IMF) and the foundation benefits those in the communities where Ironman events are held, by providing charitable support to a variety of local non-profit organizations.

There are a ton of great causes that the IMF contributes to and in 2014 alone they distributed approximately 1.2 million dollars in funding to nearly 1,000 organizations. That money went to things such as:

• The Madison Sports Commission provided financial assistance to 21 organizations serving over 600 Dane County, Wisconsin youth. These programs work with at-risk youth and connect them to sports in all cases, and in many cases with other support services as they grow to adulthood.

• Interfaith of the Woodlands in Texas served 133 families and nearly 550 individuals in crisis with 266 bags of perishable and non-perishable food items.

• The Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund at Adirondack Foundation awarded grants to 17 community organizations and 13 athletes. Among the 13 Lake Placid, New York area athletes were two Olympians, training to compete on the international stage.

• Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) provided hands-on, science education, leadership development, and experiences in Colorado’s outdoors for more than 900 low-income, culturally diverse youth from the Denver area.

• The Tahoe Fund restored 3 miles of Lake Tahoe and Truckee River shoreline. Dredging and hand pulling of weeds resulted in the removal of approximately 409 cubic feet of invasive weed materials. The area in front of the Dam was treated using 46 barriers, treating approximately 18,400 sq. feet.

• The Safe Kids Kootenai County, Idaho provided 17 bicycle helmet safety education events reaching over 600 children in pre-school through 5th grades, where 200 helmets were distributed.

• Education for Tomorrow Alliance served 780 students in 32 junior high classrooms throughout Montgomery County, Texas while engaging 40 positive adult role models (volunteers) in support of education.

• Montgomery County Youth Services in the Woodlands, TX provided a total of 96 hours of counseling sessions to 8 at-risk youth and their families over a three month period.

• Angel Reach served 114 households and their 292 members who came weekly to the Montgomery County, Texas Food Pantry. The grant also contributed towards housing costs for 22 clients and 6 of their children along with 24 day clients.

• The Boys & Girls Club of Kootenai County provided roughly 100 hours of healthy habits education through daily fitness challenges and small group learning activities to nearly 200 kids and teens in the Kootenai County, Idaho area.

• KEEN Phoenix provided 1,500 hours of free sports and recreation sessions for 106 children and youth with disabilities. Leveraging 1,800 hours of volunteer engagement, this grant provided a value of over $220,000 to their community.

This whole race is about me proving something to myself, and proving that I can conquer even the toughest challenge, but I want it to also be about giving back to the community. That is why I signed up to race for team IMF and have committed to raising $3,000 for some really great causes. Ideally I would like to raise $5,000 to stack up to the Louisville team IMF total of $13,000 raised between only five people.

So while I am going to be training for an amazingly unthinkable challenge I am also going to be on somewhat of a fundraising kick. I am going to be knocking down all doors and thanks to the people over at Ironman they have set up a spot for me on Crowdrise to help track my fundraising totals and give people a chance to contribute.

You can click on the link above to go to my fundraising site (you should) and you can make a 100% tax deductible contribution to my goal and to make a difference in someone less fortunate than you or I. You can download and print out a form to mail a check in but what is nice about the Crowdrise site is that you can make credit card donations and you will be mailed a tax deduction form immediately after you donate.

It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars (it can be) because every dollar matters. I know we all think it doesn’t, but in the end all of those dollars are going to add up and collectively we can accomplish more than we can individually. Like I said, it can be $1, $5, $20, or more but every little bit helps and you can even deduct it from your taxes next year so basically there is no good reason not to donate.

You guys have all been way too good to me here on the blog and I really appreciate that from the bottom of my heart. I have made a lot of good friends through this process and I am really excited to share this whole experience along the way. I will be posting fundraising and training updates throughout the rest of the year and I hope that you all know that I would love to hear from you about your training routine or good stories from a race you are training for or even positive words. While I am going to be running this race by myself on October 11 I am going to need the support from as many people as possible. There are plenty of days that I don’t want to get up and train or I want to just mail it in but the support system I have won’t let me do that and actually pushes me even harder on my training days.

This is going to be an unbelievable journey to take and I hope you will be there along the way in some capacity. Please click the link and consider donating or just do so below in the widget where you can donate.

Thanks again everyone. You are all the best.


Fundraising Websites - Crowdrise

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penguins 29 Preview - @ Columbus Blue Jackets

 Columbus Blue Jackets

7:00 p.m., Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH 

The Last Penguins Game
December 12, 2014 - Pittsburgh 3, Calgary 1


Pittsburgh (19 -6-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin - Brandon Sutter - Blake Comeau
Rob Klinkhammer - Marcel Goc - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Thomas Greiss

Columbus (11-15-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Boone Jenner - Ryan Johansen - Jack Skille
Matt Calvert - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Kerby Rychel - Nick Foligno - Brian Gibbons
Corey Tropp - Michael Chaput - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - David Savard
Jordan Leopold - Dalton Prout
Kevin Connauton - James Wisniewski

Sergei Bobrovsky


Steelers Game 14 Preview - @ Atlanta Falcons

After a really dreadful performance against New Orleans the Steelers really came back in a big way against the Bengals. After a slow first quarter the offense picked up and put the Bengals away to let the Steelers control their own destiny in terms of winning the division.

The problem for the Steelers is that the Falcons are not a good team. I think we all know why that is a bad thing, because the Steelers seem to do a great job (so to speak) of playing down to competition. Look to further than games against Tampa Bay, New York, and Tennessee. The Falcons seem to have the talent but they never seem can put it together. The offense stacks up but the defense is just awful. The Steelers offense should feast on a defense like this but we have seen this story before.

The good news for the Steelers is that Julio Jones might play. The Steelers defense hasn't good good this season and there really isn't any reason to think they are going to get any better. Against the past they are very vulnerable as they rank only 31st in the league against the pass with a DVOA of 26.5% and with Jones having an outside chance of breaking the single season receiving mark things could have been bad. I mean he still could play but for the Steelers sake here is hoping he decides to sit it out.

Anyways, lets look at the Falcons.

Here are the numbers for the Falcons offense:

The Falcons offense ranks 9th in the league with an overall DVOA of 10.6% that includes a passing game that is ranked 7th in the league (28.3% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 15th (-6.2% DVOA)


Matt Ryan
Completions: 330
Attempts: 504
Completion %: 65.5%
Yards: 3,802
YPA: 7.5
TD: 25
INT: 11
DVOA: 15.5% (9th)
DYAR: 903 (7th)
QBR: 67.1 (10th)


Steven Jackson
Attempts: 175
Yards: 652
Average: 3.7
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 2.2% (19th)
DYAR: 83 (18th)
Success Rate: 52% (7th)


Julio Jones
Receptions: 93
Targets: 132
Yards: 1,428
Average: 15.4
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 13.9% (18th)
DYAR: 294 (8th)
Catch Rate: 63%

Roddy White
Receptions: 59
Targets: 85
Yards: 704
Average: 11.9
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 5.1 (34th)
DYAR: 136 (26th)
Catch Rate: 63%

Devin Hester
Receptions: 27
Targets: 42
Yards:  362
Average: 13.4
Touchdowns: 1
DVOA: -16.6%
DYAR: -13
Catch Rate: 61%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 4.05 (12th)
Power Success: 73% (7th)
Stuffed %: 20% (18th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 13% (3.02 ALY, 26th)
Left Tackle: 14% (4.56 ALY, 4th)
Middle/Guard: 44% (4.59 ALY, 2nd)
Right Tackle: 14% (4.33 ALY, 11th)
Right End: 14% (2.54 ALY, 29th)

Here is a look at the Falcons defense. They rank 32nd overall in terms of DVOA at 16.2% while they rank 30th in pass defense (26.5%) and 31st in rushing defense (3.9%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Paul Worrilow
Total Tackles: 116
Solo Tackles: 70
Sacks: 2.0
Passes Defended: 1
Interceptions: 0

Kemal Ishmael
Total Tackles: 78
Solo Tackles: 53
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 6
Interceptions: 4

Kroy Biermann
Total Tackles: 65
Solo Tackles: 39
Sacks: 3.5
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Desmond Trufant
Total Tackles: 49
Solo Tackles: 42
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 14
Interceptions: 2

Dwight Lowery
Total Tackles: 68
Solo Tackles: 51
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 5
Interceptions: 2

Here is a look at the Falcons special teams


Matt Bryant
Field Goals Attempted: 26
Field Goals Made: 23
Long: 54
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 7-7
30-39: 3-3
40-49: 7-7
50+: 6-9
Extra Points: 35-35


Matt Bosher
Punts: 54
Yards: 2,452
Average: 45.4
Long: 66
Inside 20: 18
Touchback: 4
Fair Catch: 22
Average Return Against: 9.6


Devin Hester
Kick Return Attempts: 37
Kick Return Yards: 891
Kick Return Average: 24.1
Kick Return Long: 48
Kick Return TD: 0
Punt Return Attempts: 15
Punt Return Yards: 231
Punt Return Average: 15.4
Punt Return Long: 68
Punt Return TD: 1

Prediction: Steelers 31, Falcons 21

Friday, December 12, 2014

Penguins Game 28 Preview - vs. Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames

1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The Last Penguins Game
December 8, 2014 - New York 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)


Pittsburgh (18-6-3) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Evgeni Malkin - Brandon Sutter - Blake Comeau
Rob Klinkhammer - Marcel Goc - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Paul Martin - Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff - Robert Bortuzzo
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury

Calgary (17-11-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Joe Colborne - Sean Monahan - Paul Byron
Johnny Gaudreau - Josh Jooris - Jiri Hudler
Curtis Glencross - Markus Granlund - David Jones
Brandon Bollig - Lance Bouma - Mason Raymond

Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Raphael Diaz - Deryk Engelland

Jonas Hiller


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Penguins Game 26 Preview - vs. Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

1:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game
December 4, 2014 - Vancouver 3, Pittsburgh 0


Pittsburgh (17-6-2) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Nick Spaling - Sidney Crosby - Jayson Megna
Marcel Goc - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Bryan Rust - Brandon Sutter - Steve Downie
Zach Sill - Andrew Ebbett - Craig Adams

Olli Maatta - Christian Ehrhoff
Brian Dumoulin - Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi - Simon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury

Ottawa (10-10-5) [via Dailyfaceoff]

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Erik Condra - David Legwand - Chris Neil
Milan Michalek - Curtis Lazar - Alex Chiasson

Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson
Marc Methot - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson


Steelers Game 13 Preview - @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers really laid an egg last week against New Orleans. While it was a dreadful game to watch as a fan in the overall feel of the season it is about par for the course. The good thing is that the rest of the division was pretty awful last week and while the Bengals won and still control first place in the division the Steelers have two games remaining against them so in essence they control their own destiny. That destiny begins on Sunday with the first of two meets against the Bengals over the last five games.

The Bengals have been like the Steelers with an up and down season that even includes a tie. While Andy Dalton got a big contract he has pretty the definition of average and while their offensive stars like A.J. Green getting hurt and missing time and top running back Giovani Bernard missing games with injuries they have still found a way to win five of their last six games.

Lets look at the Bengals.

Here are the numbers for the Bengals offense:

The Bengals offense ranks 15th in the league with an overall DVOA of -2.5% that includes a passing game that is ranked 20th in the league (8.2% DVOA) while the rushing game ranks 21st (-4.8% DVOA)


Andy Dalton
Completions: 230
Attempts: 365
Completion %: 63%
Yards: 2,589
YPA: 7.1
TD: 13
INT: 13
DVOA: -5.4% (27th)
DYAR: 138 (24th)
QBR: 53.5 (24th)


Jeremy Hill
Attempts: 144
Yards: 683
Average: 4.7
Touchdowns: 6
DVOA: 8.0% (11th)
DYAR: 103 (10th)
Success Rate: 56% (4th)

Giovani Bernard
Attempts: 136
Yards: 540
Average: 4.0
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: -10.7% (26th)
DYAR: -12 (26th)
Success Rate: 40% (29th)


Mohamed Sanu
Receptions: 51
Targets: 89
Yards: 738
Average: 14.5
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: -1.7% (37th)
DYAR: 77 (37th)
Catch Rate: 57%

A.J. Green
Receptions: 45
Targets: 73
Yards: 686
Average: 15.2
Touchdowns: 5
DVOA: 13.2% (20th)
DYAR: 152 (22nd)
Catch Rate: 62%

Jermaine Gresham
Receptions: 47
Targets: 62
Yards:  355
Average: 7.6
Touchdowns: 2
DVOA: -28.0% (35th among TE)
DYAR: -82 (40th among TE)
Catch Rate: 76%

Offensive Line
Adjusted Line Yards: 3.90 (19th)
Power Success: 69% (10th)
Stuffed %: 16% (6th)

Rushing Frequency:
Left End: 11% (3.93 ALY, 13th)
Left Tackle: 13% (3.01 ALY, 31st)
Middle/Guard: 55% (3.93 ALY, 21st)
Right Tackle: 13% (4.67 ALY, 4th)
Right End: 8% (3.81 ALY, 16th)

Here is a look at the Bengals Defense. They rank 17th overall in terms of DVOA at 0.7% while they rank 9th in pass defense (-1.5%) and 32nd in rushing defense (3.2%).

Here are some of the statistical leaders for the defense:

Emmanuel Lamur
Total Tackles: 84
Solo Tackles: 49
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 7
Interceptions: 2

Vincent Rey
Total Tackles: 82
Solo Tackles: 41
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Carlos Dunlap
Total Tackles: 52
Solo Tackles: 32
Sacks: 6.0
Passes Defended: 3
Interceptions: 0

Reggie Nelson
Total Tackles: 78
Solo Tackles: 50
Sacks: 1.5
Passes Defended: 9
Interceptions: 2

George Iloka
Total Tackles: 56
Solo Tackles: 38
Sacks: 0.0
Passes Defended: 9
Interceptions: 3

Here is a look at the Bengals special teams


Mike Nugent
Field Goals Attempted: 25
Field Goals Made: 19
Long: 49
1-19: 0-0
20-29: 5-5
30-39: 7-9
40-49: 7-9
50+: 0-2
Extra Points: 27-27


Kevin Huber
Punts: 56
Yards: 2,661
Average: 47.5
Long: 69
Inside 20: 24
Touchback: 4
Fair Catch: 12
Average Return Against: 5.2


Adam Jones
Kick Return Attempts: 19
Kick Return Yards: 596
Kick Return Average: 31.4
Kick Return Long: 97
Kick Return TD: 0
Punt Return Attempts: 19
Punt Return Yards: 223
Punt Return Average: 11.7
Punt Return Long: 47
Punt Return TD: 0

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bengals 21