Archive for the ‘From the Desk of President Tom Janicki’ Category

“Ghosts of Super Bowl’s Past, Present and Future”

February 2nd, 2013

From the desk of Tom Janicki,

Past:  This is the Super Bowl, so many great memories.  I must admit that my 1st Super Bowl memory does not start with the Steelers.  I may have been conceived after a 70’s Steelers victory but the 1st Super Bowl that I can remember involved Marino vs. Montana and I had my 1st bad taste from the Niners.  Com’n Man, growing up in Pittsburgh Marino was a God.  He made it look easy.  I can remember him getting dismantled by SF that day.  That was the start for me of a losing AFC tradition in the big game. I can remember being an AFC supporter and never winning.  13 straight loses if my memory serves correct.  John Elway letting me down a few times.  Jim Kelly not being able to win the big game.  Very few games growing up through the 80’s were even remotely close.  Icing on the cake was that the Steelers were rarely competitive.  I must admit that the Steelers were not even in the thought process during those years.  I watched and remember the names but I was not a true fan.  Then the Steelers started fielding good teams (finally) right around the same time that I was new to the tailgate scene.  You know, a Keg with no ice and some Solo cups, really all you really need!!  Anyway, back to the Super Bowl…My 1st really impactful pre Super Bowl memory was Stan Humphries to Alfred Pupunu and grown men crying and not leaving the stadium after the loss to the heavily underdog Chargers in ’94-’95.  If that was the agony of defeat then the thrill of victory was the following year as the Colts and Jim Harbaugh’s pass fell to the ground.  I thought I would never see a larger group of men hugging as I did that day.  Because I was not accustomed to the winning tradition, winning an AFC Championship game at home seemed to be the greatest feeling in Sports.  I took a few weeks off of college to travel to Tempe with money I really didn’t have.  No chance to get in but was able to experience the atmosphere non the less.  Steeler nation took their 1st Super Bowl defeat that day but the love for the atmosphere was the tip of the iceberg.  Beer We Go was born shortly thereafter.  The following years were filled with winning teams that just couldn’t seem to win the big game again.  Then we drafted Big Ben and the rest is history!!  Super Steeler Bowl # 5 was less than spectacular, freezing cold Detroit and a Seattle team that was happy to be in the game.  We were coming from the 6 seed having beaten the Bungals, the Colts (Best game that I had attended up to that point in my life, 1st time that I was in a dome and that building was loud!) then the Broncos.  Winning that Super Bowl seemed to be a foregone conclusion being that the “Bus” was retiring and the game was in his home town. (eerily similar to this years plot).  The best part about the game was that I made a failed attempt at sneaking into the game prior to kick-off but was successfully in the 4th quarter with the bearded King Joey Harkins.  My advice to all that are going to a Super Bowl in the future and can’t afford it…hang out by the exit of the stadium and be patient.  What a celebration that was.  We finally got one for the thumb.  I could remember back to the Mean Joe commercials and shirts pushing for one for the thumb.  Fast forward toTampa a few years back.  At this point, I was able to afford an over priced Super Bowl ticket.  This memory rivals everything that I had done up to that point.   It would have a hard time believing that there will EVER be a better Super Bowl moment than the silverback taking it the length of the field.  Then Santonio’s catch totally trumped the interception.  The last Super Bowl was our most difficult for personal reasons and the defeat did not help matters.  Bottom line, the Past has been VERY GOOD to our Black & Gold.  VERY GOOD INDEED.    



Present:  I have a distain for the Ravens because they are the Browns.  If it was ever Brown it must be flushed down and the Ravens will always be an extension of Brown.  I have a hard time stomaching either Harbaugh especially Jim just because of his antics on the sideline.   I have see-sawed all week on whether to even pay attention to the game.  How could I not, it’s the Super Bowl.  I was leaning towards rooting for the 49ers just because I did not want any joy to be felt by theBaltimorefan base.  Further more, this Ray Ray media blitz is over the top and it’s the Ravens.  We as Steeler fans have a hard time rooting for our rival.  My thought was the Super Bowl would be buried on the West Coast and would be forgotten in weeks opposed to if the Ravens won they would play the Steelers on Thursday night and probably dump Gatorade on Harbaugh before kick-off.  Man I hate the Ravens.  But….flip the coin…the 49ers are 5-0 in the big game …Doesn’t a Super Bowl in the AFC North build the divisions resume?  I typically pull for the AFC.  I must say that I would prefer a terribly played game (similar to the last Ravens Super Bowl victory) where the ravens come out on top.  It pains me to write that as well.  I take “SIXBURGH” totally out of the equation within this thought process.  I like to think Super Bowls are just a small part of the history of Championships in the NFL.  We may claim to have the most Super Bowls but many other teams (Green Bayand NY Giants come to the top of the mind) have a greater championship tradition.  This should not and does not take anything away from the “SIXBURGH” argument, just saying that argument is a bit short sighted…dontcha think?  If the Ratbirds are to win, fast forward to next year, I hope that we play them on Opening night…remember those cowards refused to play us the year after our last ring.  There would be nothing better to release the pain of this season than to beat the paper Super Bowl Champs in there own building celebrating the ring.  Again I dispise the Ravens but I would rather put it to the rival champs next year opposed to “couldn’t win the big one again” Baltimore Ravens.  My final present Super Bowl thought, Randy Moss claims he’s the greatest wide receiver of all time…what a joke…I would roster Hines Ward over Moss any day of the week and twice on Sunday…I for one do not want to see that guy win a Ring!!  You feel me?       


Future:  We, as Steelers fans, have been blessed with Championship caliber football for many years and I believe many more to come.  We are getting long in the tooth though.  We need to start doing a better job with the draft and potentially go away from the norm and bring in a free agent or two (Steven Jackson is at the top of my wish list).  As long as we have a healthy Ben, we have a good shot to bring the glory back to the Burgh.  This year has been forgotten and we will be counting down the days to another deep playoff run next year.


To wrap it up, no disrespect to the Super Bowl participants this year; regardless of our likes or dislikes, they earned the right by getting into the playoffs and winning to this point.  They both deserve the chance to lift the trophy (I just threw up in my mouth!).  May the best team on Sunday win!!


BEER WE GO STEELERS.  Next up, draft day!!

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It’s Time for Execution!!

January 7th, 2012


Yet again, I must say, we as Steelers Fans are SPOILED to the core!!  I, for one, do not take this, or any of the other Steelers teams in my lifetime, for granted.  We are in a golden age of fandom and it’s time for another deep playoff run.  To put a quick perspective in, The Pitt Panthers football program (playing tomorrow in the Compass bowl as they need to find direction but I will be the first to back the hiring of Chryst, he will bring respectability back to the program) has had more Head Coaches in the past year than the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in over 4 decades.  That is stability in an age of quick firings and we must stand up and applaud the Rooney’s for their eye for talent in the front office!!

I have so much on my mind heading into this wild card weekend and I just hope that I can get it all out onto this post…First off the opponent this week, the Denver Tebowcos.  I would be the first to say that the guy, Tim Tebow the person is a breath of fresh air as far as his morality and ability to be humble and deflect all the praise that is directed at him.  He is a true competitor and has proved to have a champions heart and has that special something to lead when all hope seems to be lost.  But COM’N MAN!!  Enough is Enough!!  Mark my words, He is not a starting QB in the NFL for long.  He is Milli Vanilli, Sugar Ray and Bobbie McFarren all rolled into one.  The guy can not play QB in the NFL.  Period.  The fact that he gets credit when Matt Prater kicks record breaking clutch kicks is ridiculous.  Does anybody else see his completion percentage?  He did not turn this team around, his team turned this team around.  The guy has Moxie, I’ll give him that but a QB in the NFL, I just don’t see it.  Great vision and power when running the football but the guy can’t pass.  I cringed every time this year that Tim Tebow was given credit for the Denver Broncos success.  He was a part of the equation, but there was a lot of guys that stepped up just as much if not that was shadowed by the phenomenon and polarization of Tim Tebow.  To tie this together I have a trivia question to share:

There are (2) Starting QB in the Super Bowl era that have a higher winning percentage than Big Ben with more than 10 games played.  Name them?  A hint, the answer is not Tim Tebow.  Just for statistical purposes, Ben is 10-3 in the playoffs when starting for a winning percentage of .769.  What I have to say to that, Big Ben is great and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody at this stage in his career (This man is flat TOUGH AS NAILS) but I feel as though QB’s get entirely to much credit for team success.  Another trivia question; There are only 5 starting QB’s (6 after this season) in the Super Bowl era with more wins than Brett Favre has losses (11).  Peyton Manning has 10 losses in the playoffs and these are two first ballot Hall of Famers.  Great QB’s, tough competition; tough to win in the playoffs but one man can not win playoff game.  These games are won and lost by all three phases of the game, an entire team effort (in most cases).  I understand that QB’s direct the ship, lead the team in battle and for argument sake are the only players judged for team success and failure but I feel that a lot more went into Big Ben going 10-3 in the playoffs than Big Ben’s performance.  (refer to a previous post titled All Merril Hoge team or our unsung performers).  With that said, match-ups favor our Steelers in most cases.  Our Defense will Execute.  Our Offense will Execute.  Our Special Teams will Execute.  The Denver Tebowos will be ousted and Executed.  Better luck next year Tim, you had a memorable run that will end on Sunday.  Fear the Beard Timmy.  You are now out of your league.  The Black and Gold will catch their stride and swag inDenver and we will be rolling!!

I can feel it coming in the air tonight!!  One step at a time and the first step will be taken in mile high altitude. 

 Beer We Go Steelers Beer We Go!!


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Let’s Do It!

September 9th, 2011

From the Desk of Tom Janicki:

I’m sure that there are many reasons to be optimistic for every team in the NFL leading up to the 2011-2012 season, however, being a fan of the Steelers, days away from a kickoff date at Baltimore to start the season, is especially gratifying.  Let me lay out 5 reasons why I feel the Steelers are superior to every team in the NFL…

Wide Receivers: “The Young Money Family” Speed (Emmanuel Sanders, Easy Money), More Speed (Antonio Brown, Cash Money), Even More Speed (Mike Wallace, Fast Money), the Addition (Jerico Cotchery, Mo’ Money) and the Dancer (Hines Ward, Old Money)!  What a luxury we have at receiver, our core could be considered the best in the NFL at this point and in my opinion will be considered the best in the NFL after the season.  The only thing that could hold them back (don’t want to think about potential negatives) is an injury to Ben or bad play from the line limiting the time needed for our speed to get down the field.  It will be extremely difficult to defend this vertical attack.  To have 3 receivers that can stretch the field is ridiculous.  Then to add the cherries on top of two veteran, physical, possession receivers and you have a recipe for many, many yards by the Air.  I have faith in BA to design game plan(s) geared to accentuate the strengths of this team and to take nothing away from our running attack, our strength should be clearly our potential for quick aerial strikes.  In years past, Ben was clamoring for a tall physical receiver, although that would be nice, I prefer the SPEED and I believe that Ben does as well!

Linebackers:  Our back-up linebackers could potentially create an entire starting unit on a select few NFL teams; great depth if needed.  Our starters; unquestionably the best in the NFL.  When you consider that our 3rd best Linebacker could quite possibly could be considered the greatest defensive player to dawn a uniform on those select few NFL teams (I will research this further but the Bengals come to mind); you know that you have a strong unit.  When you consider that your 2nd best Linebacker is consistently in the discussion as the best in the NFL and is young.  When any given Sunday, your worst Linebacker is your best…we are Blessed with Linebackers.  My rankings are James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons & James Farrior…the drop off is slight and the only reason for any drop off may be due to age.  This unit is STRONG….and ANGRY….and will be the deciding factor in multiple games this year.  Silverback will beast this year!!  This unit is a nice segue into my next point…

Track Record:  Can you run on the Steelers?  I highly doubt it.  Check previous blog entries as I have mentioned this point on multiple occasions, since we drafted “Hungry Hungry” Hampton our run defense has never fell out of the top 5 in the league.  Making teams one dimensional is a key advantage to winning in this league.  This could be the year that we shatter the “Record” for least amount of yards on the ground given up in a season when you consider the depth and shear talent in our run defense.  Teams should realize by this point considering our pedigree that it is extremely rare and the only way to beat this defense is by the air.  Once we sense the run has been abandoned, beware Quarterback but your chance of injury has just increased!!    

Coaching / Management familiarity:  We keep in tact an experienced, proven to be winners, staff & management organization chart that in my opinion is 2nd to none.  Most teams have rebuilding years with a select few organization capable of sustained excellence.  These select few organizations have one common thread, good leadership.  I would not trade our Ownership / Management team / Coaching staff for any other in the league and hope that we can hold onto them all for many years to follow.  This season shapes up to be great due to the vision and decisions made well before the year, our core decision makers are winners and that is what we will see on the field!!

On the field Leadership:  Name another team in the league with more Winners / Leaders on the field at one time!!  I would challenge anyone to this point.  We have sick talent.  We have a sick will to win and I would fear this team coming off the Super Bowl defeat.  If we can use this as motivation and come into each game with that chip on the shoulder we will be an immovable force to be reckoned with.  A healthy Troy and Silverback gives us a potential 1 / 2 combo for Defensive Player of the Year.  Mike Wallace will break out.  Who would you rather have leading us to victory than the likes of Mike Tomlin and Company?  Is there a better big game Quarterback than Ben?  We have so many things going for us leading into a rivalry game.  Who would you rather have in week 1 than the Ratbirds?  Let’s take their hearts and stomp on them in Week 1 and demoralize their spirit!! 

I can feel it coming in the air tonight…I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life!!  Or at least since we failed to convert on the final drive of the Super Bowl which in turn denied us the ability of rewriting the history books as the greatest franchise in modern sports history.  It is a new year for all, but it is especially nice being a fan of the preeminent franchise in the NFL…Let’s Run It Back Boys!!



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It is our time!

February 6th, 2011

From Tom Janicki

Less than 24 hours!!  Oh Mama!!

First and foremost, this is the first and last Super Bowl that I will not be on location.  I am home nurturing the birth of tradition, Captain Jr.  Regardless of where you are tonight, if you are a true Steelers fan, your emotions should be starting to get the best of you!!

With that said, We, the BEER WE GO NATION are well represented in Dallas.  Tonight brought a tear to my eye!  I was watching the Steelers Special on KDKA live from Woody’s Bar in Dallas.  In the background broke out a BEER WE GO STEELERS chant led by Brandon Machi who repeatedly offered shout outs to Captain Tailgate and the Beer We Go faithful; Brandon, you are all heart and your actions are well received by not only Steelers but Beer We Go Nation.  Enjoy the game buddy!!

We also want to give our best to our other BWG Nation Members who will be down there, Jason Hrebik who is our chief chef during tailgates and my brother Ted Janicki, who once brought the Terrible Towel to the mountains of Afghanistan!

We love you all guys, bring home number 7!!!

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The 1st Annual Beer We Go Steelers All “Merril Hoge” Team

January 30th, 2011

This team exemplifies Professionalism, Heart and Passion for what they do with little to no publicity.  The  Unsung and Often Overlooked Team Players that Drive Team’s to the Ultimate Team Goal, The Lombardi Trophy!

This write-up will break down a top ten list of Players and Coaches that live by the Tomlin manta “the standard is the standard”.  The guys that may not get the media’s attention and may never make a Pro Bowl, the guys that step up in big spots and never back down from a challenge; The guys that bond winning franchises and dynasties for their selfless workmanship.  We, as fans, all love our superstars such as Troy, Ben, Lamar, Hines and James and Mike Tomlin but superstars do not make a team, it is a WE mentality that makes a winning team.  Not everyone gets to be the star quarterback or team captain thus the reason for this team.  A lot must go into the maturation of a Super Bowl Champion Caliber team and in a lot cases there are people that just do not get the publicity.  That is where we come in to give some credit where credit is due!  So, without further adu, Your 2010 All “Merril Hoge” Team: 

Before I address this team, I need to take a moment and think about the guy that made this all possible, the late and great Arthur “The Chief” Rooney.without him none of this discussion may be relevant.  Hail to the Chief!!

10.     Greg Warren: A model of consistency, never noticed yet a key cog in the machine.  I know I for one will never forget the fateful day last year that he was injured.  The Silverback snapping is something that I will hope to never have to see again!!

9.      Ziggy Hood:  Again, I remember last year when Aaron Smith went down.  The defense went from the best rush defense in the league to middle of the road.  Not this year!!  Ziggy performed!!  Ziggy made plays and proved that the high draft pick was well deserved.  Our hats off to the big man, keep developing and you will be a perennial Pro Bowler.

8.      Antonio Brown / Emmanuel Sanders / Mike Wallace:  Talk about stepping up!!  Losing Tone in draft I know I was not the only one with doubt.  In comes the new generation Steeler receiver.  The Young Speed Guns!!  You literally blink and these guys are past you.  An honorable mention to “El Yeah” and Hines for assisting in this development.  The spot was a toss up between the Young Guns vs the wily veterans as I think Hines does more with Heart and Passion than anyone else on this team but in the end I felt as though he is also quite public and how could you be an unsung hero after a Super Bowl MVP.  These Young Guns are the real deal and are well on their way to becoming bona fide superstars.  I recall a few years back, Ben requested Big Physical receivers, I’m sure he would have a 2nd opinion now as this is a speed game and we have the weapons to beat any defense when these guys touch the field! 

7.      Keyaron Fox:  The leader of the special teams and one of the best role players a team could have!  This guy would absolutely start on over half the teams in the league.  Is he disappointed to not be a starter?  Probably. Does this show in his play every Sunday?  Hell No!!  The guy is a difference maker and a leader amongst men!!  17 special teams tackles for a linebacker is not too shabby either!!

6.      Lawrence Timmons: Do you realize what this guy has done?  Led the NFL’s top ranked defense in both Solo and Assisted tackles with a 135 total.  When you name the defense like I did earlier, you probably name 5 guys before you get to his yet he performs each and every play as if it was his last.  Take it a step further, 1st round draft picks that do not start for 2 years yet you do not hear their mouth screaming for more playing time is rare!  Especially ones that make plays when they do see playing time.  Further to this point, a guy drafted behind him was starting and producing and well on his way to superstardom in Woodley.  Did this phase Lawrence?  I think not!!  It only fueled the fire to help him become quite possibly the NFL’s most improved player.  Most teams, he would be number #1 on a list like this, however, we are talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers here!! 

5.      Shaun Suisham / Jeremy Kapinos:  I apologize for not having statistics to back up the argument, all I know is we started the season with different well established pieces to the kicking game and did not miss a beat after they were either cut or injured.  The cherry on top was the day that Suisham carried both duties which was a highlight to the season if you ask me.  TEAM PLAYERS!!  These guys have done everything asked of them and more and receive very little publicity in doing so!!  Three cheers to the Kicking game as with a defense as good as our, this piece to the game is critical and better off being unmentioned.until now!!

4.      Doug Legursky: This guy could be classified as “utility extraordinaire”.  Guard.check.  Fullback.check. Center in the Super Bowl.check?  The one guy that epitomizes the manta “the standard is the standard”  Back-up for an Pro Bowl center and missed very few beats.  He could probably plug a hole in the Steelers locker room if needed.  Great off season pick-up, has played admirably all season plugging holes and now due to an injury has his time to accept and bask in the spotlight.Doug, this spotlight is well deserved, now kick some Raji Ass!!   

3.      Charlie Batch:  Performance from Charlie can measured on so many levels.  As you can and will see, he is the transistor on this list from Player to coach to upper management (a hint of what’s to come).  Charlie stepped in when we needed him most and provided a calming stability that could have come at a better time.  If it wasn’t for a late defensive relapse against the Ratbirds in the 4th week, we would have been 4-0 headed into the bye and Big Ben’s return.  Upon Ben’s return, Charlie stepped back into the role that he excels in.Game time preparation and Management / Coaching as the Game unravels.  We all know that his insight to in game strategy is unparalleled.  His knowledge and experience with the system is irreplaceable for a back-up quarterback.  He is one of many players on this team as you can witness above that puts himself second to the successes and failures of the team.  He is happiest when others receive the accolades for his hard work.  We are blessed to have such a man to continue to build championships.  Not to mention his off the field work within the community.  Charlie, your approach to your work & life gives me chills and we can only hope to walk in a similar path as you are as an ultimate “Unsung Hero” on and off the field.  We are glad that we have you and will hope that you stay with us well after your playing career is complete!!

2.      Sean Kugler: This guy was brought in to replace Larry Zeirlein under a very strenuous and up hill situation to coach an offensive line that was never billed to be even average at best.  This unit for many years has been the weak link to an otherwise strong team.  Then things got worse.  Before the season even really got started we lost over half of the starters from 2010 and replaced them with career back-ups, aging veterans or an unproven Rookie.  To think that the Starting five in the Super Bowl includes a Kemoeatu, Foster, Legusky, Adams & Scott and we ran over the Jets in the AFC Championship game speaks volumes towards the tremendous job that Kugler has done.  I’m sure that he is humble and gives the credit to the players and organization as a whole.  Sean, you deserve more credit than Captain Tailgate at a Steelers Bar the day before the Super Bowl buying Bill Hillgrove his Jameson’s on the rocks!!  We love you Bill but Captain Tailgate was a bit dissapointed that you didn’t hold up your end of the bargain and mention Captain Tailgate during the game…well there is always this year to make up for that!!  Sean, your results driven mentality could only be dubbed as a miracle.  Crazy to think that Kugler is one miracle away from becoming a Saint…let’s pray that we run up 500 yards on the Pack and next year we will be going to Saint Sean of Heinz Field on Sundays!!

1.      Kevin Colbert:  The building of a dynasty may as well start with you Kevin; you are a mastermind of judging talent and work ethic from the top to the bottom of this fine organization.  I am not sure if people truly realize the moves that you have made this year to shake up the establishment that was a Super Bowl caliber team that missed the playoffs the year before.  This is this year, I could probably write a novel over your career on the success ratio of your decisions and how they molded this dynasty but that is a completely other post.  To shed some light, let’s start with leading up to draft day, (excuse my ignorance if this is not in chronological order as this is coming straight off the skull and I am doing this at work with no internet access) what was the major problem with last years season?  Special Teams!!  What did Kevin do, bring back veterans that understand the importance of special teams such as El yeah and Arnez Battle.  Then he brought back into the fold additional past Steeler Super Bowl Champions such as McFadden (through he draft) and Foote to help bring the swagger back to this team.  Then there was the draft, Pouncey, Worilds, Sylvester, Sanders and Brown have all contributed to this veteran laden team.  Add the Flozell cherry on top along with the hiring of Kugler and whalla, it’s history and Steeler Lore for years to come!!  Could this history make us spoiled to the point that this generation will be telling there children and so on down the line of the tough and gritty Pittsburgh Steelers Dynasty that we are smack dab in the middle of!!  This is again a classic example of selfless professionalism and taking pride in the end result.  Stairway to 7 could not be possible without you Kevin!!  You are a Godsend and will never get the national public respect that you deserve!!  Here’s to you Kevin Colbert.  A leader of men and a person that people want to give everything to follow!!

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The Top Ten Regular Season Moments of 2010-2011

January 10th, 2011

BWG NATION I just made a best memories list… Let us know what your thoughts are as well!

10.  Kiesel’s 79 yard INT return vs TB

9.  Harrison Bitch Slaps the Browns…twice

8.  Mendenhall 50 yard OT gallop vs Falcons

7.  Harrison(and others) body slams Young

6.  Steve Johnson drop leaves Buffalo in the cold

5.  Big Ben Goal Line Gift vs. Dolphins

4.  Redman catch and run vs. Ravens

3.  Polamulu’s leap over line tackle vs. Titans

2.  Polamalu’s game changing drive TD vs Bengals

1.  Polamulu strip sack to set up game winning TD vs. Ravens

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