May 2, 2016

As a quick followup to our “Where would Boyd be drafted?” contest two of us picked the Bengals (or Bungles in TX Panther’s case).

I weighed in at 9:28 am on the morning of Round One, before the draft started, with this:

OK – I’m thinking the Bengals take Boyd with their second round pick. I also think Holtz gets in on a surprise 6th or 7th pick tomorrow.  Pitts is left looking around like he never did on the field of play.

Comment by Reed 04.28.16 @ 9:29 am

Then the next day, before Round Two started, Texas Panther posted this:

He will become a Bungel

Comment by TX Panther 04.29.16 @ 7:32 pm

I win!!! I win!!!  Told you I was smart…

I also told you I love Mike Wysocki of The Pittsburgh City Paper and I just figured out why… he writes a lot like I do with tongue-in-cheek views mixed in with irreverence and some plain talking.  He also tends not to sugar coat things.

Since the last big interesting Pitt football issues just happened with Boyd being drafted we are looking a football desert over the next few months so I’m trying to find stuff that is interesting to readers yet pertains to us as Pitt fans also.

Wysocki just did an article on April 27th about on of the most highly coveted HS football players and his school Pine-Richland.  Well, this is mostly about the school but so what.

 Some 16-year-olds are awkward, immature and just hoping to get through high school. Others, like Phil Jurkovec, of Pine-Richland High School, are fielding full-ride collegiate offers from Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State (sorry THE Ohio State), Notre Dame, Michigan State, UCLA, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Temple.

OK, so it won’t be Temple. But most other kids aren’t like Jurkovec. Right now the Gibsonia teen is in 10th grade, but in 2018, he will be on the national stage. 

He is the most highly sought football recruit in Western Pennsylvania since Jeannette’s Terrell Pryor (who went to, and was later kicked out of, THE Ohio State University for swapping autographs for Just imagine that many people being interested in you. At 16, I had only two offers. One was a job mowing the neighbor’s lawn for 10 dollars in beer money.

I’ve been reading sports articles all my life and have paid very close attention to other sportswriters since I started writing on here year ago and I have to say that this guy Wysocki is one of the best in the business.  He puts out about an article a week and I’m going to link them no matter which sport he is talking about.

Why do I think he’s so funny… watch for yourself…

For you Butler County guys here is one on that area and its contribution to the sports world.  My new favorite line of all time?  “It’s like a staycation in a time machine.” Fantastic!

The Jeep was developed by the Bantam Company in the early 1940s. John Roebling invented “wire rope” that he used to help construct the Smithfield Street Bridge, in Downtown Pittsburgh, and his more famous bridge in Brooklyn. Evans City was the genesis for our zombie obsession, as George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was famously shot there. It’s also contributed to hair metal. The composer of “Unskinny Bop” and “Talk Dirty to Me,” Bret Michaels, is a Butler county native. Butler has even produced a secretary of defense; William J. Perry ran that cabinet position under Bill Clinton.

The breadth of athletic contributions is impressive as well. Pro wrestling technically isn’t a real sport, but here in Pittsburgh it is. What would Andre the Giant have been without his rival, the late Big John Studd? That’s right, Studd came from Butler. It’s not necessarily a football factory like surrounding counties, but having Paul Posluszny is a nice feather in the cap. The Poz, as well as former Notre Dame golden boy and Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Hanratty, are native sons. So is former NFL coach of the year and College Football Hall of Famer Jim Haslett.

Back to Boyd; here is a piece about Boyd’s plans for the Cincinnati offense:

“(We draft picks) coming in are basically the missing pieces to this organization,” he said. “A lot of core guys have been playing here for a long time. They’ve been going to the playoffs, but haven’t excelled to the next step, like the Super Bowl.

“So, I feel like they drafted the right guys.”

Huh, OK.  Guess that has been the reason for no Super Bowl since Mr. Arrogance himself, Maryland’s Boomer Eiasion, played QB for them.

Jerry DiPaola talks more about Boyd’s journey to the Bengals and about how some teams wanted J. P. Holtz to play fullback in the NFL:

As we now know some other Pitt players went as undrafted Free Agents – J. P. Holtz to the Cleveland Browns; LB Nick Grigsby to the LA Rams and  Lafayette “Dreadlocks” Pitts to the Miami Dolphins.

Penn State had five players drafted which makes sense since four were defensive players… and PSU had a very good defense last season where they were 8th in passing defense with 173.5 ypg; 14th in Total Defense with 345 ypg and 26th in Scoring Defense giving up 21.8 ppg.

In a bit more sobering news PSU’s ex-Favorite Son Jerry Sandusky will be back in court:

Judge John Cleland will hear arguments from prosecutors and Sandusky’s attorneys as the 72-year-old state prison inmate seeks a hearing in which he can present evidence that supports his claim that he was wrongly convicted.

Sandusky’s lawyers want to put on the stand people involved in investigating and prosecuting the case, Sandusky’s trial defense team and others.  Sandusky wants his charges thrown out or to be granted a new trial.

Oh, of course! It is everyone else’s fault.  Sandusky fits right in with the guards at Auschwitz who claimed they were just acting under orders.

Maybe this new judge will go for chemical castration so that there is no confusion by the other inmates as to which gender role Ol’ Jerry will play during  the Friday Night Games Hour at his new home.  the PA State Greene Correctional Institution.

Here the reason Tom MacVitte got that late recruiting season phone call from LSU’s Les Miles:

1. LSU Tigers

2016 options: Brandon Harris (Jr.), Danny Etling (Jr.)

The Tigers bring back more than 90 percent of their starters from a year ago. LSU also added a defensive coordinator, Dave Aranda, who has coaches abuzz after what he did at Wisconsin.

Really, quarterback is the only legitimate question mark on the entire team.

Harris has completed 54 percent of 322 career attempts; he was 37th in yards per attempt and 41st in QBR in 2015. That isn’t nearly the ceiling anyone anticipated for Harris, the No. 2 dual-threat prospect in the 2014 class and someone whose arm talent received high marks.

Harris remains optimistic of a late bloom, and the staff continues to express support. But Etling, the Purdue transfer, presents a viable option, and this race will heat up in August.

 To bring this to a close on a Pitt Note here is part of the pre-draft Pro-Day workouts that lead to those guys above being woo’ed by the NFL.

Reed and Tex! Great Job! I hear you get a signed copy of Reed’s book! Reed since you wrote the book I say us Blatherites throw in $25 a piece and get you some fine spirits and a great meal! Email your address I’d love to contribute for all you do.

Panthers swept by UVA but that is expected.

Go Pens!

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 9:14 am

Wysocki ….He sure is entertaining and not afraid to be irreverent.

Comment by Palm Beach Panther 05.02.16 @ 9:20 am

Last check… Render “The Pretender” yet to catch on with anyone.

Wonder why?

Look for Pitt Interior D-Line to be the BIGGEST area or improvement in terms of production.

Won’t be hard.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.16 @ 9:45 am

Dan… caught your reference to the New Unis on the flip side.

All I got to say, is that they better be good.

Pitt makes uniform CHANGE look like an Apollo Launch.

Other Teams do it like grabbing something out of the drawer.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.16 @ 9:51 am

POD, agreed, I’m all for a moderning up, nice clean look. Nice modern fit.

Just don’t make it out to be like Maryland or WVU. Not even a shot at our rivals, they had a great uniform, dark blue uniforms, gold pants, helmet with the WV on it.

Everyone knew who it was. Screamed WVU.

Now, on any given Saturday it looks like some type of vomitorium let loose.

Oregon……half their uni’s look nice, the other half with silver and black, ??????????

Perhaps it’s not the uniforms perse’, maybe it’s the 9 different combinations gone wild???

Just to show I’m not a fuddy duddy, saw awhile back, and only conjecture and rumor, but we will have three different helmets, blue, gold and white, all with Pitt Script.

Saw someones mock up, they actually looked nice.

I guess we’ll see, the ship has sailed hopefully we’re all saying “looks great” “not bad”, “pretty nice” and not “wtf?”.

Comment by Dan 05.02.16 @ 10:21 am

Some of you are lucky being baseball fans. I root and cheer for the Bucs, but I can’t get into it until August or Sept. if they’re in the playoff chase. I pay attention to what they are doing, but can’t sit still for 4 hours watching a ball game. I’ll go to 1 or 2 for the atmosphere during the summer, but that’s about it.

Once the hockey playoffs are over, my sports for the summer are done.

After the uni’s are revealed, the long summer comes for all things Pitt.

Comment by Dan 05.02.16 @ 10:23 am

My book? what book is that?

Actually now that the football stuff has calmed down i’m back at it almost full time. Still a long way to go but I’m chipping away at it.

Comment by Reed 05.02.16 @ 10:25 am

The uniforms better be amazing. Hell they had 15 months to make them great. Haha.

Reed – Haha.

Palm Beach Panther – Breakers soon?????

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 10:33 am

For something different. Here are the shows at the Syria Mosque that were presented at the time I was a Pitt student – read them and weep a little that the beautiful Syria Mosque is no more.

10/14/74 Fleetwood Mac
11/06/74 Frank Zappa
11/08/74 Poco
11/30/74 Genesis
12/03/74 Todd Rundgren
02/01/75 Johnny Matthis
02/02/75 Paul Anka
02/20/75 Bruce Springsteen
03/29/75 Jackson Browne
03/29/75 Phoebe Snow
04/01/75 Sha Na Na
05/01/75 America
05/01/75 Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson
05/01/75 Jessie Colin Young Plus Leo Kotke
05/02/75 Linda Ronstadt plus Al Stweart
05/02/75 Lynyrd Skynyrd plus Golden Earring
05/04/75 Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells
05/06/75 Jefferson Starship
05/07/75 Jefferson Starship
05/17/75 Gordon Lightfoot
05/27/75 Golden Earing
08/08/75 Bruce Springsteen
09/26/75 The Flying Burrito Brothers
10/25/75 Stephen Stills
11/09/75 Woodie Herman
11/18/75 New Riders of the Purple Sage
11/18/75 Rainbow
01/25/76 Dan Fogelberg (I had drinks with Fogleberg and some of his band at The Encore in Shadyside when they stopped me on the street after the show and asked where a quite place to get drunk was.)
02/13/76 Bette Midler
02/14/76 Bette Midler
02/15/76 Bette Midler
04/06/76 James Brown
04/13/76 Genesis
04/15/76 Bruce Springsteen
07/03/76 Seals & Croft
08/07/76 George Benson & Al Jarreau
08/24/76 Crosby/Nash
09/02/76 The Band with Chris Hillman
09/21/76 The Band
10/03/76 Jackson Browne
10/31/76 Ambrosia
10/31/76 Kansas
11/05/76 Frank Zappa
11/17/76 UFO
12/04/76 Gino Vanelli

Here’s an earlier show with The Band but I was there as a 15 year old

Comment by Reed 05.02.16 @ 10:43 am

The Syria Mosque is gone? What is now in its footprint?


Comment by pmdH2P 05.02.16 @ 10:55 am

Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone / They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot

Comment by 66Goat 05.02.16 @ 11:08 am

Barnes paid a search firm to study the Pros and Cons of tearing it down.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 11:20 am

Reed – Is Emel in the book? Haha

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 11:20 am

@Reed, all I can say is, “Wow”!!!

Comment by Dan 05.02.16 @ 11:28 am

Saw the 5th Dimension at Syria Mosque in 1977. Fell in love with Marilyn McCoo that night. I’m still in love with her. And she still looks great.

Comment by Rayhpgh 05.02.16 @ 12:26 pm

My memory of the Syria Mosque is totally different. Growing up in the ‘burbs, we school kids (3rd through maybe 7th grade) would get loaded into buses and taken to the Syria Mosque to hear a presentation by the Pittsburgh Symphony, with William Steinberg conducting. Steinberg clearly hated having to try to get the attention of hundreds of noisy, disinterested kids. He stomped his heel and looked at us all with total contempt. But, the building was so incredible—that was the far and away the best part of the experience.


Comment by pmdH2P 05.02.16 @ 1:00 pm

Saw America at Syria Mosque in early ’80’s and loved it. Felt like i was young again even though i was deep in the 8-6pm daily grind.

Comment by Taxing Matters 05.02.16 @ 1:30 pm

Also think JP Holtz is going to make teams looking for TEs look dumb for passing on him. He will and can do everything a TE needs to do except outrun DBs. That was likely his downfall draftwise.

Comment by Taxing Matters 05.02.16 @ 1:34 pm

I may have mentioned this before, but Mike Wysocki was the name of a homeless guy who we used to pay to buy us beer when we were in high school, so I giggle every time I see that name written here. Lulz.

Comment by Jeff 05.02.16 @ 1:50 pm

Reed – great memories of so many shows. I saw most of them by working security (and at the Stanley downtown). Not bad getting paid to stand in the aisle during the shows and make sure everyone shared as things were passed down the rowsxxxxx I mean that no one was breaking any rules….

Comment by AnotherClancyrebound 05.02.16 @ 2:10 pm

Here are some other small things on Boyd compiled over the last few days by Kev Gorman of the Trib:

link to

Comment by Reed 05.02.16 @ 2:13 pm

I saw Deep Purple doing their In Rock album, ZZ Top doing their Tres Hombres album, Frank Zappa & the Lynyrd Skynyrd plus Golden Earring concerts there that I can remember.

Fantastic acoustics…..

Comment by Jackagain 05.02.16 @ 2:38 pm

Reed, saw The Band around 5 years later. IF my memory serves me correctly, it was 1975. We drove up to Cleveland to see the Stones at Munciple Stadium (80K). The Band was on the undercard.

Comment by pittman4ever 05.02.16 @ 3:00 pm

I don’t think Pryor was kicked out of OSU.
16 is young.
Rayhpgh…..sorry, she’s mine.

Comment by Sfpitt 05.02.16 @ 3:15 pm

Thankfully, the Mosque lasted ’til the late 80s/early 90s and I got to see a few shows there, including Love & Rockets. Bad enough that it was torn down, but that it was destroyed to make way for a parking lot was a true travesty.

Comment by Carmen 05.02.16 @ 3:45 pm

Saw Joe Walsh at the Mosque circa 1984-5??

Over an hour late, roadies came right on the mic and said they’re trying to sober him up a bit back stage.

“don’t leave, he’s comin”.

No one cared because the audience was smashed too.

Anyhow, came on and laid it down, drunk or not. Funk #49, Walk Away etc. etc.

Comment by Dan 05.02.16 @ 4:21 pm

What is Pitt thinking for the mosque?

Comment by Frank MD 05.02.16 @ 4:24 pm

1964/65 or so: Temptations

Comment by steve1 05.02.16 @ 4:50 pm

New basketball beat writer … Craig Meyer. link to

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.02.16 @ 5:13 pm

I get lucky every once in a while. Best of luck to Boyd even if it is with the Bungels. May he become All Pro but NEVER win a game against the Stillers.

The old Mosque site is the location of Pitt’s future OCS. 🙂

The Mosque was special indeed.

Comment by TX Panther 05.02.16 @ 5:28 pm

So build something sacred on those hollowed grounds. A parking lot is a travesty.

Comment by TX Panther 05.02.16 @ 5:30 pm

The travesty of the Syria Mosque is that a rep with a court injunction to stop demolition was late getting to the Mosque and a bulldozer had made a couple of passes that rendered the building unsafe so that it HAD to be taken down.

link to

Comment by Reed 05.02.16 @ 6:03 pm

Thanks for the link on the Pitt hoop beat Tossing, I missed that today.

Sucks for us, but good for Zeise. Writing opinion columns is the pinnacle in newspaper journalism, at least I think. Smizik, Cook, Collier, etc. No doubt Zeise will be entertaining and he is never short on opinions. He’s my favorite journalist/ media guy around here. Did a great job on the Pitt football and hoop beat, glad he is getting this opportunity…

Comment by Pap76 05.02.16 @ 6:25 pm

Reports are Mosque torn down for OCS! Heard it after Panther Club 2 weeks ago.

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 6:50 pm

My early 70s Mosque memories… Steppenwolf, Billy Preston, Carlos Santana’s brother and the comedian Robert Klein

Comment by BigB 05.02.16 @ 7:21 pm

Pap76 – I liked Zeis because he loved basketball and it showed. Excellent coverage. A little sparse but his insight was worth the wait. Much better than his football coverage. New chap appears to also love basketball which all we can ask for. The more you actually enjoy the sport you cover the better the reporting you’ll get.

I started at Pitt in 93′. I was wondering why I had never heard of this mosque. Sounds like I missed out on a great venue though.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.02.16 @ 7:32 pm

Saw David Bowie twice at the Syria Mosque. The 2nd time was when “Diamond Dogs” album had just come out, Bowie was rich & famous by then, thus he spared no cost on the theatrics, full costumes, of course, but also props like singing while sitting on a cherry picker that stretched out above the audience on the main floor, extended out so far that he seemed close enough to the people in the first row of the balcony could just reach out and touch him.
What a show that would have been if you just happened to have partaken in one of those hippie mind expanding concoctions available around those times. Not that I would have any knowledge of such things back in my innocent college days!
Bowie, may he rest in peace.

Comment by Dr. Tom 05.02.16 @ 8:32 pm

I thought it was Charlie Wysocki.

Steve Pederson Field @ the Syria Mosque Dome is the new football field name. Why is our front porch so far away from our core?

Just saw mock of 2017. Bizno is 4th rated tackle. DJ is 4th guard. Conner is 2nd RB. This was on cbssports. Shell was like number 10 rb or something like that.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 05.02.16 @ 10:07 pm

Old Syria Mosque site is about TWO Acres.

If you want to transform that into a Pitt Sports Arena you’re best bet is the Croquet Club.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.16 @ 10:19 pm

Although you might have been able to SQUEEZE a Basketball Arena into there.

But it’s a little too late.

Comment by PittofDreams 05.02.16 @ 10:20 pm

Kiwi Stevie having a game tonight.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 05.02.16 @ 10:57 pm

POD – I was just teasing. 🙂

Comment by Upittbaseball 05.02.16 @ 11:08 pm

Syria Mosque….Atomic Rooster, Pacific Gas and Electric…but I’m with PMdH2P….there was nothing like piling in the yellow school bus and taking off a day monthly to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony. For the most part, kids were well behaved…Happy to have a day off. Until they played the William Tell Overature…think Lone Ranger Theme…

Comment by Dan 72 05.02.16 @ 11:21 pm

I think we saw Hair there also…72-73 ish.

Comment by Dan 72 05.02.16 @ 11:23 pm

Terrell Pryor was one of several OSU FB players over many years, including Heisman winner Troy Smith, who exchanged OSU gear for tattoos. He just happened to be the big name player at the time this was discovered.

As a result, he became the public and media whipping boy instead of the real culprit, Coach Tressell … which records revealed that he was aware of this activity for many years and did nothing about it. This is why he was forced to resign.

Meanwhile, Pryor remains the culprit in the public eye, and was forced to sit out his first 5 NFL games, a suspension that was imposed by Tressel for Pryor at OSU .. before he resigned.

BTW, this was Goodell’s first act of absolute power … long before the Brady suspension.

Comment by wbb 05.03.16 @ 6:29 am

Ya’ll know the Mosque was torn down 25 years ago… I would walk past it watching the wrecking ball take it down slowly as I walk to the Chemistry Building. Heck I tailgated in the parking lot created by it’s demise for a couple Pitt games post-graduation.

Comment by Yeti 05.03.16 @ 8:19 am

I remember watching the wrecking ball do it’s thing from Alumni Hall, I believe.

Comment by panther94 05.03.16 @ 8:40 am

I was a little later to the Mosque too. Saw Stryper there in ’87 and then Big Daddy Kane, 3rd Bass, and Digital Underground in 1990. How’s that for some musical diversity?!? Great place though…shame it’s gone.

Comment by Hank the Tank 05.03.16 @ 8:58 am

I think I saw Howie Mandel at the Mosque before it’s demise, when he was doing the rubber glove over his head act.

Comment by PittPT 05.03.16 @ 7:12 pm

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