1. Steelers Le’Veon Bell not at OTAs-He honestly doesn’t have to be, but I didn’t realize that the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro RB didn’t sign his Franchise Tag of $12 million. I know he’s not trying to play hardball with a team that doesn’t blink at holdouts for a new deal. Bell needs to get advice from former Steeler WR Hines Ward and Antonio Brown (who threatened last season) about playing that game with the Steelers. Word of Advice: It doesn’t work.
  2. New Steeler Conner out with a groin injury-This shouldn’t be too alarming because it’s still the offseason and the NFL season begins in 99 days, but here’s hoping rookie RB James Conner will be ok as mini-camp and training camp looms. Because if Bell’s not there (which he will be) then workload will fall on Conner, who had a stellar career at Pitt. And then you might want to look at UFA Rushel Shell, who still think can make the team and beat Fitzgerald Touissant for the 3rd down job.
  3. WR Martavis Bryant happy to be back with Steelers-There’s a ‘no kidding’ if you ever saw one. Wouldn’t you be if you were suspended for an entire season? Of course, Bryant is happy to be back after getting suspended for failing drug tests last year and here’s hoping he continues to behave because the Steelers offense will be incredible with him for an entire season.
  4. Ryan, Falcons finally over Super Bowl loss-I really felt for the Atlanta Falcons after they blew that 28-3 lead and lost 34-28 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51. It was truly a disaster, but it’s not supposed to ruin a team. Falcons QB Matt Ryan said that after watching the game, their ‘onto 2017’ as they should be. They’ll get their NFC Championship Rings (if they so desire) and then move onto next season.
  5. NFL Insiders predict that the Patriots are the biggest challenges in 2017-Again, no kidding. They’re the defending champs and they’ve won 2 titles in the past 3 years. And they can still get in opponents heads (like the Steelers) so they are the team to beat, until someone beats them, plain and simple.
  6. Colin Kaepernick-There was a satirical rumor out last week that the Seattle Seahawks signed the QB to a 1-year deal. But of course, that wasn’t true. (check your sources folks) the former SF 49er still isn’t signed and many are still holding his 2016 protests against him. It’s a shame. Whether you agree with Kaepernick or not, you know the kid can still play ball. And what NY Giants owner said about Kaepernick is a shame. But they signed K Josh Brown, a domestic abuser..end of the story…
  7. NBA Finals-Yep, it’s finally starting: the 3rd round of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Golden State Warriors. It’s the first time that 2 teams have played each other in the NBA Finals 3 consecutive times. I don’t bite my tongue: This is gonna be war. I expect this to go the full 7 games as both teams will truly duke it out.
  8. Who has the advantage-To be honest, both teams are pretty even. The defending champion Cavs have peaked at the right time, only losing 1 game in 3 rounds and F LeBron James is Michael Jordan-like in putting this team on his back. Plus, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving haven’t been too shabby either. The Warriors have Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. And they went undefeated in the first 3 rounds. Yep, this will be a good one.
  9. Who will win? If I put my objectivity aside, I am a LeBron fan and I like the Cavs makeup, so I will give them the repeat in 7 games. But I also like the Warriors makeup as well but I think they’re still adjusting to chemistry with Durant and Green runs his mouth too much and could be a distraction.
  10. Irving regrets trouble relationship with Mike Brown-Very classy for Irving to admit that he was young and kind of unteachable when Warriors interim HC Mike Brown was his Cavs HC in 2013-14. Irving admitted that Brown was just trying to teach him a lot of things that he didn’t understand as a 21-year old.
  11. Lavar/Lonzo Ball-After reading a recent ESPN the Magazine story on this father and son, I have a slight change of heart towards the father who has been pretty brash in promoting his son, Lonzo who’s up for the NBA Draft. I feel that Lavar is still to brash and insulting regarding his son, but I also see a proud father who wants to see his son succeed. I hope he does get drafted and makes his dad proud. Maybe it will humble his father…but I doubt it.
  12. Where will ball go? I can either see him going to the Boston Celtics (who have the first overall pick) or LA Lakers (who have the 2nd round pick) or possibly the Philadelphia 76ers (3rd pick) but it would be hilarious if he ended up in Phoenix at #4. Why? Because nobody’s putting the Suns in the conversation.
  13. Knicks, Blazers discuss 1st round pick-I’m thinking that the Portland Trail Blazers need to beware the NY Knicks desire to trade their 3 1st round picks even though the Knicks own the 8th overall pick. I mean, the Knicks are a joke and are trying to find themselves (I think) and the Blazers are trying to get better and can really add to their team with those picks.
  14. NBA MVP? Still OKC’s Russell Westbrook. Just give him the award, already.
  15. Pittsburgh Pirates-Well, to no surprise this team is still a mess, living in the last place with a 24-30 record, but only 5 games back from 1st place Milwaukee in the NL Central. If this was the 2015 Pirates, they would be ruling the division. But that’s in the past. I don’t see this team getting out of the cellar because their pitching is bad (outside of Gerrit Cole and Ivan Nova) and their hitting is worse (outside of Adam Frazier) Nevertheless, the Pirates face a struggling NY Mets team starting Friday at CITI Field.
  16. Pedro Alvarez-Apparently this former Pirates slugger is getting some news because he’s tearing the baseball up…in the minor leagues. Alvarez has 8 home runs for the Baltimore Orioles AAA team in Norfolk and many fans are begging the Orioles to call him up to face right-handed pitching, which Alvarez destroys. He hit 22 home runs last season. So why isn’t he in the Big Leagues?
  17. Would the Pirates take Alvarez back? Are you kidding? They don’t even know what to do with the players that they have. They just released once-promising prospect Alan Hansen and still has hot prospect Alex Meadows in the minors. Plus, I don’t think that Pedro wants to come back here anyway. Reason? No DH.
  18. Stanley Cup Final-The Pittsburgh Penguins are up 2-0 on the Nashville Predators after winning 4-1 on Thursday. I’m impressed with the Pens play, they’re doing whatever it takes to get it done. It gets me that the media talks about their play. Who cares? They’re winning the games.
  19. Preds Subban guarantees Game 3 win-He has to do whatever it takes to inspire his team, but the Preds PK Subban has now entered Joe Namath territory with the guarantee. It doesn’t take Einstein to know that the Nashville crowd will do everything it can to charge up their Predators when they play the Penguins Saturday, but they have to remember that the Penguins are battle-tested and know how to respond in such situations.
  20. Pitt Football releases 4 kickoff times-As College Football is now only 2 month away, the University of Pittsburgh’s football team announced their times for their first 4 games for the 2017 season: The Panthers’ 2017 season opener against Youngstown State at Heinz Field on Sept. 2 will kick off at 1 p.m., and be shown on ACC Network Extra (ACCNE).Pitt’s first road game of the season, against historic rival Penn State on Sept. 9, will be nationally televised by ABC and kick off at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers’ Sept. 16 home contest against Oklahoma State will have a noon start. It will be shown regionally on ABC and to the rest of the nation on ESPN2 and in ACC play, Pitt’s Thursday night home game against North Carolina on Nov. 9 will be nationally televised by ESPN and start at 8 p.m.


Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here