Monday, January 29, 2007


The Steelers have a new special teams coach. Bob Ligashesky most recently worked in the same capacity for the St. Louis Rams, whose special teams last year were even worse than the Steelers’, which is a little disturbing.

What in the name of Ricardo Colclaugh are they thinking? Dunno.

We don’t know anything about Ligashesky, except for a little insight shared by a colleague who played on the same high school football team as Ligashesky, who grew up in McKees Rocks:

“As if it mattered to anybody else, he was always concerned with how he looked in his uniform, even during plays. It was like he was more concerned with his appearance than with how he played. His wristbands always had to be just so, and his neck roll was special-ordered, too.

“He was a baby. When he’d lose, he’d cry.

“When he was an assistant coach under Walt Harris at Pitt, he was the goofball who engineered that Swinging Gate fiasco. There was no reason for that. Nothing he ever did had a reason. His life had no reason. He was always a gimmick guy, a prima donna, a pretty boy. He always had to come up with something cute.”

Oh, oh: “Cute.”

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls hate “cute.”

For what it’s worth, the Steelers hired Ligashesky one day after he was fired by the Rams. Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic blog, here is how the Rams’s special teams last year compared (unfavorably) to the Steelers’ special teams:

For the season recently completed the Rams' special teams ranked this way compared to the rest of the league (and compared to the Steelers):

  • Punt Return Average: 25th (Steelers: 19th)
  • Kickoff Return Average: 26th (Steelers: 21st)
  • Net Punting Average: 12th (Steelers: 18th)
  • Opponent Punt Return Average: 19th (Steelers: 2nd)
  • Opponent Kickoff Return Average: 28th (Steelers: 18th)
  • Opponent Net Punting Average: 31st (Steelers: 21st)
Cute. Not.

Igloo Postcript: A Philadelphia Writer’s Perspective

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls happened upon the following note posted on these here Internets by a Philadelphia-based hockey writer who visited the Civic Arena early this season. Sorry for the lack of attribution, but sometimes we’re just not very smart. Anyway, it’s his take on the Igloo and the Burgh:

“I know the Igloo needs to be replaced, but I honestly love this kind of building. It has a ton of personality. Lots of odd angled overhanging sections of seats that you can tell were added to try and keep it up to snuff with the newer 20,000 seat monster buildings. To get to the press box you need a map. The building itself feels like you are in an actual Igloo. The giant dome, that used to be able to be opened until they put the big scoreboard in, plays havoc with perspective if you are not careful. It would have been so awesome if it still did open I thought. Nights like this past week, the Pens could have played their game in the open air.

“The room where the media eats prior to the game is the same room that the team holds their postgame press conferences. So you can have leftover chocolate cake while asking Evgeni Malkin’s interpreter if he ever shattered glass with his slapshot. It is all part of the cool, intimate feel of the Igloo.

“Malkin on the ice absolutely blew me away. He may become known as one of the most complete players to ever play the game. Skates like Sergei Fedorov, stickhandles like Alexander Ovechkin, drives the net like Cam Neely, passes like Mario Lemieux, hits like Scott Stevens, and shoots like Bobby Hull. He is one of those guys that I’d pay to see play any night. Sidney Crosby is another, of course.

“After the game I was famished, and the Steelhead was mobbed, so I hopped a cab to ‘Southside’ and had some pancakes at Tom’s Diner. The place was filled with young hipsters, and a few with Pens jerseys on. A group of girls at the table near me were having a funny discussion about the last men they were ‘with.’ That kept me entertained.

"Pittsburgh is truly a blast. I was amazed, when I drove the second time it was only 4 hours door to door for me. If you are in Philly, NY, Wash, or the Midwest you really should see a game in this building before it is gone.”