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  1. The Pittsburgh Steelers made news this week as they restructured the contract of WR Antonio Brown, claimed QB Zach Mettenberger off waivers from San Diego and saw LB James Harrison get cleared from alleged Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) use.
  2. Brown will now make $10.25 for 2016, an increase of $4 million. Kudos to the Steelers for at least moving his salary to match his performance, which has been the best in the NFL the past 3 seasons. Now they need to give him that contract extension-which they promised to do at the end of the season.
  3. I remember Mettenberger when he played for the Tennessee Titans in 2014-15. He played against the Steelers in 2014 and although the Titans lost, he had a decent game which included an 80-yard TD pass to former Steeler Nate Washington. He has more experience than Steelers #2 man Landry Jones, but he does not know the offense, which will keep him at #3-for now.
  4. Mettenberger’s signing means that QB Bruce Gratkowski’s season once again comes to an end due to injury. The Steelers placed the veteran on Injured Reserve (IR) Wednesday. I honestly think the Steelers should move on from this dude. It’s a shame, but he just can’t stay healthy.
  5. As for Harrison, I’m glad he was cleared of PED accusation, and I’m even more glad that he chose to meet with NFL officials. Once again, he and the other accused NFL players had nothing to lose if they were innocent. A suspension’s not worth standing your so-called ground.
  6. It really bugged me to see Steelers DE Cam Heyward on the ground with a high-ankle sprain in their most recent Preseason game. He claims that he’ll be ready for Week 1 against the Washington Redskins, but his foot was in a boot, so he shouldn’t be so overconfident. It would be nice if the Steelers could go an entire season without injuries.
  7. In other NFL news, Minnesota Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater’s 2016 season is also over after he tore his ACL this week. It’s a shame this happened because this young man had a great 2015 season and fans were looking for more. If I was the Vikings, I would sign veteran Mike Vick who has Bridgewater’s skill set. 36-year old veteran Shaun Hill is the Vikings current backup to Bridgewater. Do yourselves a favor Vikings and sign Vick.
  8. And it’s unfortunate that Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo can’t catch a break..but then again, that’s all he’s been catching as he’s now broken a bone in his back almost a season after he broke his collar bone.
  9. Romo’s claiming that he’ll only be out until Week 3, but I’m sure the Cowboys know better. They’ve been this way before after rushing him back last season. They got rookie Dak Prescott as a backup and he’s looked pretty good in the Preseason. Plus, their running game has gotten better with the additions of veteran Albert Morris and rookie Ezekiel Elliott.
  10. Here’s my thoughts on SF 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his refusal for standing for the National Anthem: The man was making a statement, not against the veterans and soldiers who have fought for our country, but because of police brutality over African-Americans and persons of color. Folks are criticizing him (some blindly) but are folks listening to him? No.
  11. The NFL released a statement that players are ‘encouraged, but not obligated’ to stand for the National Anthem. So let that be that. And in 1971, Former Cowboys RB Duane Thomas also sat during the National Anthem as well, so Kaepernick wasn’t the only one.
  12. In MLB news, I honestly think the Pittsburgh Pirates are done. It’s September now, and they’re still trailing the St. Louis Cardinals (70-62) but 2.5 games and the now-hot NY Mets (69-64) by 1.5 games. The Pirates themselves find themselves in 3rd place in the NL Central with a record of 67-64-17.5 games back from the first place Chicago Cubs (85-47)
  13. Speaking of the Cubs, they sure put a beating on the Pirates, sweeping them in 3 games this week. The Pirates know they should’ve at least won the first game after leading 6-3 going into the 8th But they lost 7-6 in 13 innings. Why? Because of pitching.
  14. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If the Pirates still had closer Mark Melancon, they would’ve won that game, and many more. Tony Watson and Jeff Locke blew Monday’s game-and it was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.
  15. I also think the Pirates Cheap Front Office probably knew that their postseason chances are all but over because they made zero moves before the August 31st Trade Deadline. And don’t get me started on their acquisition of a minor league player-in exchange for another minor-league player. Give me a break. That’s not a trade-deadline move.
  16. I was sorry to hear that Mets 2B (and former Pirate) Neil Walker is done for the year due to back issues. He matched his career best in HRs with 23 and his back surgery comes at the worst time as the Mets have won 8 of 10. I wish Neil the best and a full recovery.
  17. As for College Football, I’m so glad that the Pitt Panthers are beginning their 2016 season Saturday vs. Villanova. There’s nothing like opening day-especially in football. And there’s lots of excitement over this Pitt team. Let’s hope they live up to it.
  18. As was mentioned before, the Panthers strength is their running game with the return of James Conner and last year’s ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in Quadree Ollison. I like how they both are very selfless in their approach, maybe we’ll see two 1,000-yard rushers this year? It’s possible, but all they care about are getting wins.
  19. In the NBA, Miami Heat veteran Chris Bosh has increased his basketball workouts in hopes of returning to the court this season. His last two seasons was cut short due to blood clots.
  20. I admit that I am impressed with Bosh’s determination and heart and even Heat owner Mickey Arison tweeted that Bosh has been ‘looking good’. But I’m sure Arison and the Heat are realistic and patient with Bosh and will let time determine when he be cleared to play again.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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