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‘Catnipped’

first_imgI get a fuzzy warm and cuddly feeling that somewhere over the Vegas rainbow the folks who have an aptitude for wagering and whose close circle of friends include characters with names like “Vinnie” and “Alfonso” are beginning to take close notice of Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in a real and grateful sort of way. If you don’t believe me, check this out. The proof is the points scored or not scored. Although the Steelers were favored to maul the Jaguars by 13 points Sunday, Pittsburgh hit the “Big Cats” with a tranquilizer dart just in the nick of time to escape with a 17-13 victory. In week three the Black and Gold traveled to Indy to face the Peyton Manning-less Colts. Dem dere Stillers were favored to win by 10+ points, but guess what? They got kicked in the face by the Colts but escaped the corral with a 23-20 win. Even in a losing effort in the season opener in B-more the Steelers couldn’t beat the betting line. The “Dirty Birds” were favored by 1+ points in some circles and by as many as 3+ points in others. H’mm the hideous “monster from the point spread lagoon” surfaced again as the Ravens won 35-7. It seems as if Pittsburgh cannot beat the point spread even in a losing effort. The only game they beat the spread was when they clipped the wings of the Seattle Seahawks 24-0 in week 2 beating a 15 ½ points spread, yippe.In the nail biter against Jacksonville, the Steelers scored all their points in the first half. The “men of steel” did not score nary a point after that. Whatever defensive adjustments Jaguars head coach Jack Del-Rio made at halftime made him appear to be Dick LeBeau-ish because the boys from the “Sunshine State” pitched a shutout for the final 30 minutes. I suspect the play calling of the Steelers may have aided the “Jags” defense in making the game closer than it ever should have been. Just keep going long boys.I know it sounds redundant but the “schizophrenic elements” of the Steelers play calling seems to be once again battling with conventional wisdom. Wide receiver Emmauel Sanders was questioned as to why the Steelers threw a lot of short passes in the decisive win against the Titans handily defeating Tennessee but decided on running deeper routes against Jacksonville. What, did newly re-signed offensive lineman Max Starks bring a miraculous cure all to the O-line? Sanders said, “I don’t know. In the game plan that Bruce Arians came up with, he saw something in their defense that showed that we could get behind them. And he was correct. We just have to connect on those balls.” Oh come, oh come Emmanuel. If he was correct, you guys would have connected.Oh and please check this out. It was pointed out to Steelers resident Olympic track and field sprinter/wide receiver Mike Wallace that after the Steelers had a 17-0 lead that it looked as if he went deep many more times. Wallace was then asked was that just to try to drive a stake through their [the Jaguars] hearts? Were the Steelers playing the “Transylvanians,” or the Jaguars? Anyway, Wallace’s comments mirrored those of his colleague, Mr. Sanders. “We were taking what the defense was giving us,” he said. “It’s not like we weren’t open deep. We just didn’t connect. Me and [Emmanuel] had three [potential] touchdowns. We just have to connect. It was a windy day today.” Yep, sure was.Well conventional wisdom should tell you that if ya have one week where short passes usher you into the end zone on five occasions you don’t throw long balls up into the stratosphere if you suspect that the wind is going to be a factor. Why would a team give you the long ball when those pass plays are going to cause the most damage? Also, teams are going to attack your weak areas and Jacksonville knew the Achilles heel of the Steelers is their offensive line, so why wouldn’t the Jaguars want to force the Steelers to throw short and run the ball? The Jaguars also sacked Big Ben three times, so it was not a cakewalk for the Steelers and Big Ben was 12-23 for a measly 200 yards.I write about this next subject at least every couple of years.When an NFL playoff game is staged in Pittsburgh, the city county and region stands to profit millions of dollars in unsolicited revenue. If the Steelers don’t make the postseason, we all lose because the Rivers Casino will have a few less folk spinning the “roulette wheel” and there will be fewer hot dogs sold as well. One of these weekends, I am going to take a trip to Vegas, not to play craps, blackjack, roulette or any other of the suspect games of the house. As long as the Steelers are playing and treating the point spread like an unwanted orphan, I “garontee” that I will not come home with empty pockets.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected] or 412-583-6741. He can also be heard on the “Odd Couple” sports show as the NFL/AFC North analyst Wednesdays from 11-11:30AM on WCWA 1230AM, Fox Sports Toledo, Ohio.)last_img read more

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City League Roundup: Perry, USO remain undefeated in league play

first_imgIn his first year as a starter, Young has shown gratitude for his new role after platooning with former four-year starter Dontae Forte throughout last year’s playoffs.“I’d anticipated my time to play very heavily,” he said. “I was inserted into the rotation last year and I feel like that was the best preparation for me to do some of the things that I’m able to do this year.”One of Young’s favorite targets, Marcus Johnson, burst onto the scene after making the game-clinching grab against the Dragons in last year’s title game. He admitted that it has been a struggle, but one he’s welcomed to get better.“I’ve really been practicing my route running and I’ve been working in practice to not let go of the ball,” Johnson said. “If I drop one, it usually means 20 pushups.”The 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior snagged his fourth touchdown grab of the year against Allderdice. Despite his long frame, he likes the style of former Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes, who is 4-inches shorter.“I like the way he attacks the ball,” he said. “He works really hard to get there and that’s something that I like to apply to my own game. I’m not afraid to go across the middle and take a hit. I’ll just get up and keep playing.”U.S.O. came from a 15-8 halftime deficit to beat Allderdice who has struggled as of late.“They just poured it on us,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “I thought we did a good job on defense, recognizing that they were going to pass the ball a lot on us. But, they were relentless, just passing it time and time again. We just kind of fell apart at the end.”Brashear 35, Carrick 6Brashear Bulls head coach Rick Murphy emphasized how important it was for his team to stop committing turnovers that was going to hurt them—namely fumbles.His team didn’t commit any against the host Carrick Raiders, who remain winless on the year.“We were shooting each other in the foot too much,” Murphy said. “It was a good win and I’m extremely proud of the way this team was able to run the football and the way we protected it, as well.”DeShaun Roberts, who was recently moved from receiver, rushed for 116 yards and three scores Diondre Farris added two touchdowns on the ground for Brashear (2-1, 2-4).Perry 43,Westinghouse 2The Westinghouse Bulldogs remain winless on the year as the Perry Commodores’ senior quarterback Ahmed Turner led their offense by throwing three touchdown passes. Running back Curtis Edmonds carried the ball 10 times for 164 yards, including an 86-yard score for Perry (3-0, 4-2).(Follow our continuing coverage of City League Football and add your comments to our website at www.newpitts­burgh­courier.com. Malik Vincent can be reached at [email protected]­pittsburghcourier.com or on Twitter @malikvincent.) PATRICK FERGUSON from Allderdice is hit for a loss by USO’s Neondre Harbour (50) as teammates Virgil McClendon (43) and Jermaine Brown (55) close in to assist, The USO defense held Ferguson to 52 yards rushing. Traditionally known for having run-dominant offenses, the City League rarely features a team as pass-happy as this year’s U.S.O. (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) squad.Senior quarterback Akil Young’s 266 yards on 12 of 31 passing with three scores was a big reason that U.S.O. (3-0, 3-0) rallied to knock off East Side foe Allderdice (1-2, 2-4), 35-15, on Oct. 5.last_img read more

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Nika Kate Gembicki and Ryan Thomas Feeney

first_imgNika Gembicki and Ryan FeeneyStanley and Visnja Gembicki of Clarendon Hills, Illinois are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Nika Kate Gembicki to Ryan Thomas Feeney, son of John and Judi Feeney of Shrewsbury.Nika graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in political science and is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law. She is an attorney at Patzik, Frank & Samotny in Chicago, Illinois.Ryan is a graduate of University of Richmond with a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in finance. He is a vice-president at Goldman Sachs.A June 2012 wedding is planned for Chicago, followed by a honeymoon in Africa.last_img

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County Prepares for Beach Openings, Helps Residents

first_img“Testing is one of our key principles for getting New Jersey firmly on the road back to restart and recovery. By building out our testing capacity, we can instill confidence among our residents that we are in front of the response and winning the fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press conference May 8, when he announced that the testing site would expand its services. Looking to provide further safety instructions for residents in need, Freeholder Deputy Director Sue Kiley talked about Monmouth ACTS’ latest efforts to address human services. According to Kiley, officials have established an early childhood success hub geared toward young families, young mothers and pregnant women. There has been an increasing demand for baby supplies as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, including diapers, baby wipes and more. Support groups are also being assembled to help these young moms. Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11), a small business owner in Tinton Falls, said he understands that many other small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, “let alone keep their doors open.” That’s why he and his team are helping residents of the 11th district find what legislation has been passed to address the pandemic, through LD11Recovery.com. By Allison Perrine For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Monmouth County or to find any of the county’s related resources, go to visitmonmouth.com. People looking for further guidance on the pandemic can visit the Monmouth County website, visitmonmouth.com, and review its pandemic resource guide. Originally geared toward seniors, the guide has since expanded. The article originally appeared in the May 14 – 20, 2020 print edition of The Two River Times. “Within the last week, information has been posted regarding resources including face masks, transportation and additional food resources that deliver and offer meals for residents with dietary restrictions through Take Out in Monmouth,” said Kiley. According to Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, that includes opening off-leash dog areas this week, he said May 7 during a press conference. center_img Despite progress being made in flattening the curve in Monmouth County, Arnone warned that it doesn’t mean people can let their guard down. With summer approaching and the shore area a hot-spot for tourism, Arnone said the county has been working with mayors from Sea Bright to Manasquan to develop a “consistent message,” so no town is negatively impacted by what its neighbors are doing. “I would like to see the beaches open by Memorial Day Weekend,” the freeholder director said. He hopes to have more guidance from the state on the reopening of the beaches soon. “We want LD11Recovery.com to be your one-stop shop for every state, federal, and local support program available in our area,” said Gopal in a statement. “If you’re a local restaurant owner and your kitchen is still open, we want to feature you and to encourage our neighbors to support your efforts as you work to keep your customers fed. If you’re self-employed or an independent contractor, we want to connect you directly to programs that can help, and help walk you through an array of services and applications that can often be difficult to navigate.” As testing capabilities continue to expand in New Jersey and the county, the COVID-19 testing site at Holmdel’s PNC Bank Arts Center, established by FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, opened to all state residents this week not just persons with virus-related symptoms. The site is now open Mondays and Wednesdays to all residents and Saturdays to health care workers and first responders only. “We are grateful to the park rangers and sheriff’s officers for monitoring the parks and to all of the residents who practiced social distancing while visiting the parks and golf courses,” said Arnone. “People are doing the right thing in Monmouth and it’s showing.” MONMOUTH COUNTY – Now that parks and golf courses have reopened in Monmouth County, the freeholders are looking at what areas might be next in line for loosening restrictions. Additionally, officials have established a financial recovery initiative to help provide resources and guidance for Monmouth County residents and small businesses. According to Kiley, this will help the county broadly respond to COVID-19 impacts in the local area, focusing on “short and long-term financial recovery” for those groups. last_img read more

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FX Garneau knocks Wayling, Heat off medal podium

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsBeing the top seed or early favourite guarantees nothing in sport.Mount Sentinel grad Kendra Wayling and her UBC Okanagan Heat teammates found out the hard way as the B.C. Champs finished out of the medals at the Canadian College Athletic Association Women’s Volleyball Championships in the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre of the UNB Saint John Campus.The Heat, ranked first in the eight-team tournament after winning the B.C. College Athletic Association title earlier this season, fell 3-1 to FX Garneau Élans of Quebec City in the bronze medal game Saturday to place fourth at the eight-team college women’s championships.The Élans won the best-of-five match 25-21, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22.Mount Royal Cougars of Calgary won the gold medal by narrowly defeating Vancouver Island Mariners of Nanaimo 3-2.The Mariners gained some revenge against the Heat Friday, knocking UBC Okanagan off 3-2 to in semi final play. Vancouver Island won the final game 15-11.The loss dropped UBC Okanagan into the consolation side of the tournament. The Heat defeated Toronto’s Humber College 3-0 to advance into the bronze medal game.The 2011 CCAA Women’s Championship concludes the first season in Kelowna for the 21-year-old from Castlegar.Wayling came to the Central Okanagan University after taking a season away from school to rehab an injury knee suffered playing in Idaho for Coeur d’ Alene College.During the Grade 12 campaign, the 5’9” middle player led the Cats not only to the B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball title, but also the B.C. High School A Girl’s Basketball crown.Wayling won the two high school titles with sister Katie who attends Palm Beach State College, located 60 miles north of Miami in Lake Worth, [email protected]last_img read more

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MULTIPLE STAKES WINNERS BIG MACHER & ROUSING SERMON, UP AND COMING SAN ONOFRE HEAD SATURDAY’S CAL CUP SPRINT AT SIX FURLONGS

first_imgSPRINT IS ONE OF FIVE STAKES ON 10-RACE SUNSHINE MILLIONS/CAL CUP DAY CARD ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2015)–Grade I winner and defending champ Big Macher, along with multiple stakes winner Rousing Sermon and potential star San Onofre, head a deep and competitive field of nine older horses set to go six furlongs in Saturday’s $150,000 Donald Valpredo California Cup Sprint.A bargain basement maiden $20,000 claim in his first start on July 17, 2013, Big Macher has rattled off six wins for trainer Richard Baltas, including a half length triumph in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes four starts back on July 27, and a nose victory five starts back in the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes April 12.A troubled ninth, beaten 4 ¼ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 1, Big Macher came back to register a neck victory over state-breds in the seven furlong Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 23. Owned by Tom Mansor and Tachycardia Stables, the 5-year-old Beau Genius gelding has amassed earnings of $553,678 from an overall mark of 14-6-2-2.Second, beaten a neck by Big Macher in the Cary Grant, Jerry Hollendorfer’s veteran Rousing Sermon will try to even the score on Saturday. Although a highly accomplished two-time stakes winner, the 6-year-old horse by Lucky Pulpit would appear better suited at longer distances. Owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams, Rousing Sermon has a third place finish from just one try at six furlongs and is 30-5-7-7 overall with earnings of $756,342.A winner of his last four races by a combined 17 lengths, upstart San Onofre appears fresh and very dangerous for trainer Karen Headley. A 5-year-old gelding by Surf Cat bred by her father, legendary trainer Bruce Headley, San Onofre has a series of serious works on his tab, including a bullet five furlongs on Jan. 10 of 58.60–best of 87 at the distance.Owned by Matson Racing and out of the Native Regent mare Marrakech, San Onofre could prove the quickest of the quick with regular rider Mike Smith engaged. San Onofre is 5-4-1-0 with earnings of $165,040.The complete field for the Donald Valpredo Cal Cup Sprint, to be run as the eighth race on a 10-race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Big Macher, Rafael Bejarano, 123; San Onofre, Mike Smith, 118; Rousing Sermon, Elvis Trujillo, 118; Frensham, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Grazen’s Hope, Tyler Baze, 118; Follini, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Marino’s Wild Cat, Martin Garcia, 123; Frumious, Martin Pedroza, 118, and Spirit Rules, Iggy Puglisi, 120.                There will be special early first post time on Saturday at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m.last_img read more

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LONG FUSED SCUBA ROMPS TO 4 ¼ LENGTH WIN IN GRADE II, $200,000 MARATHON STAKES; RIDDEN BY CARMOUCHE & TRAINED BY WALSH, HE GETS 1 ¾ MILES IN 2:58.20

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2016)–Favored Scuba, on or near the lead throughout the 1 ¾ mile trip, kicked clear from runner-up Hard Aces three eighths of a mile from home with Kendrick Carmouche and went on to a dominating 4 ¼ length win in Friday’s Grade II, $200,000 Marathon Stakes at Santa Anita.  Trained by Brendan Walsh, the 5-year-old gelding registered his third consecutive win and got the distance in 2:58.20.Off at 2-1 in a field of nine 3-year-olds and up, he provided Carmouche with his first-ever win at Santa Anita and paid $6.00, $3.40 and $2.60.Hard Aces, a winner of last year’s Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita for trainer John Sadler, was forwardly place throughout under Santiago Gonzalez and proved second best, finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Blue Tone, who likewise had been attentive to the pace.  Off as the 3-1 second choice, he paid $4.20 and $3.40.Blue Tone, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was off at 6-1 and paid $5.40 to show .Fractions on the race 24.17, 49.05, 1:14.67, 1:40.62 and 2:30.42.last_img read more