Friday, August 7, 2009

"CAT AWAY, MICE HAVING FIELD DAY"



SHOCKING REVELATIONS FROM LATROBE!!!

Perhaps you may have noticed how the mainstream media has been hinting at the fact that this year's Steeler training camp has been, well...soft. Now everyone around Pittsburgh knows that the mainstream media is in the Steelers back pocket. Tick them off and they'll cut you off at your knees from getting interviews. Just ask Mark Madden if this ever has happened.

Since we at "Pittsburgh's Black and Gold" are not among the so-called "mainstream media" and do not get press credentials from the Steelers for games anyway, we can report on what's really going on in Latrobe at training camp without fear of reprisals. We are not beholden to the Steelers in any way, so we are free to report the facts as we see them. With that in mind, we sent an undercover reporter, posing as a near Ed Bouchette-looking clone along with our intrepid cameraman, Dave Navis.

Navis, just to refresh your memory, is the same person who brought you the "Beer Can House" and the "Somalia Pirates" investigative reports. He recently was offered a job at "National Geographic", but we're happy to say that he's staying put. Between Navis and "Pittsburgh : Through the Lens Of Gary Gayda", we believe that we have two of the best in the business and certainly the best in blogging. So now, without further adieu we're sad to present this startling special investigative report entitled, "Cat Away, Mice Having Field Day".

We are almost secretly hoping that Dan Rooney forgets to read "P.B. & G." today, because if he does, it will break his heart. Oh, and by the way, that whirring sound that you're hearing in the background? That's Art Rooney spinning in his grave, sad to say.

This story begins strangely enough in Washington D.C., the seat of our nation's power. Now reposing in that seat is one Barack Obama, a man who is very chummy with Dan Rooney. We've all seen the photos. Dan and Barack at the airport. Barack holding a Steeler shirt. Dan shaking Barack's hand, the Steelers in the Oval Office...you get the picture. Somehow you knew this love story was going to progress and sure enough, it did. Dan got a call one day asking if he'd be interested in being the Ambassador to Ireland? Ireland? You're kidding! What a thrill! What an honor! Of course Dan was interested!!!

So a month or so ago he jumped on a plane to set up shop in Ireland leaving his son Art in charge. Steeler fans we're sorry to have to report that what has happened in that short span of time is absolutely appalling. The following pictorial essay along with comments we got from Coach Tomlin while tagging along with the Mike Prisutas and Stan Savran types at camp were downright shocking!

If nothing else, this pictorial essay will clearly demonstrate that the watered-down drivel that you're now getting, being pawned-off as the evening "news," is nothing close to what's really going on.


PICTORIAL: "CAT AWAY, MICE HAVING FIELD DAY"

ABOVE: The new luxury players "dorm" at St. Vincent's. "Nothing creates relaxation better than the sound of gently running water. I wanted our players to begin relaxing the minute they got here. This fountain helps. Oftentimes at night I'll come by and find players reading their play books along the water's edge. You want to know why we won the SuperBowl last year? It's that kind of commitment," said Tomlin emphatically.

ABOVE: "Think about it. You uproot a man from his wife and his children for three long weeks. These men need to have a place that they call home. That's why we had this new player's facility built," explained Coach Tomlin. "A comfortable player is a better functioning player. If you can't sleep, you can't play. It's that simple. That's how injuries occur, when players aren't at their best."

ABOVE: The new player's dining hall. "These men are in the bright lights and flashbulbs all day. I wanted a soothing, relaxed environment for them to help aid in their proper digestion," explained Coach Tomlin. These men have large bodies to feed. They don't need indigestion on top of everything."

ABOVE: It used to be that the monks at St. Vincent did the cooking for the team. No more. "Our food was too basic, too...normal," said Tomlin searching for the right word. "We wanted our players to know how much we appreciate them. Mimosas send that kind of a message every day at breakfast."
ABOVE: After breakfast it's onto a fleet of black and gold buses for a grueling daily bus ride. "We told the bus company,'If you want to be the official bus line of the Pittsburgh Steelers, those buses have to be black and gold.' Since they now are our official bus line, we don't have to pay."

ABOVE: Inside the buses the players can relax while on the long daily trek each day to Oakmont. "We wanted them to start getting used to taking road trips. They can watch film or even the NFL Network while traveling on this long, difficult trip each day."


ABOVE: "Oakmont presents a tough challenge to our players every day," explained Coach Tomlin. "Take those daggoned church pews for instance. I insist that every player must play out of them every day...Climb that hill, climb that hill. Win that SuperBowl. It all makes sense."
ABOVE: After lunch, the Steelers take their daily nature walk. "Being one with nature brings this game into its' proper perspective. A player with his head on straight is a player who's going to perform at a high level...a Steeler level," said Tomlin while emphasizing the word Steeler.

ABOVE: 80 of these Hummer H-1's were delivered to camp so each Steeler would have his own on-campus transportation. At a cost of $18,350 a piece, that's a cool $1.468 million dollar expense. "I didn't pay for these," said Tomlin while raising his arms. "Hummer was hoping for an endorsement from us. We may even do a commercial while we're here."

ABOVE: Barely even recognizable now because of off-season weight gain, Casey Hampton goes up against a youngster in the Oklahoma drill. "We'll start him off with small targets then gradually build him up," explained Tomlin. "This way it will prevent the possibility of suffering some needless camp injury. I want our players healthy when it counts"

ABOVE: Every Steeler will have his own personal massage chair this year. "These chairs cost the team nothing. the manufacturer is looking for our endorsement. To the victors go the spoils of war, that's what I say," said Tomlin smiling.

ABOVE: Relaxation is most important. Here, punter Daniel Sepulvida, still recuperating from knee surgery last year, gets therapeutic hot rocks therapy applied to his spine along with aroma therapy. "We need Dan functioning at as close to 100% as we can get him. We had some awful punting last year without him. We're hopeful that his spa therapy will help that process along," said Tomlin.

ABOVE: Coach Tomlin wants the Steelers to forget about last season. However, in a surprising move he has instructed his players to wear their rings to all practices and in the games! "It'll serve as a constant reminder," he reasons. "We don't want anybody taking away our bling. If you think this ring was big, wait til they see the next one."

ABOVE: New coach's shirt to be worn by the entire coaching staff this season. "I want our coaches to be relaxed," said Coach Tomlin. Relaxed coaches create relaxed players. Relaxed players win SuperBowls."

ABOVE: Big Ben now even has his own garage at St. Vincent's.

ABOVE: We don't know what would possess Big Ben to be seen in an awful outfit like this in public, but certainly it's indicative that a bad attitude is being created by this country club environment in Latrobe. On second thought, broken heart or not, we're hoping that Dan Rooney sees this special report and jumps on the first flight back here before it's too late!