U mad, bro?: Steelers fans’ pre-draft complaints; Think fans’ pre-playoff concerns; Pitt fans have Kenny Pickett angst

It’s a “Draft Day” edition of “U mad, bro?” So, of course, Steelers fans are a little laughed up.

Pitt fans are, too, since Kenny Pickett is in play for the hometown NFL team.

And Penguins fans are starting to think about the draft as well — before the playoffs even start. That hasn’t been too common around these parts the last 16 years or so.

So, Maulers, after last week’s edition, I guess you guys are off the hook. Hope you enjoyed the spotlight while you had it.


Let’s start with Tom. He’s still mad at Kenny Pickett for skipping out on Pitt’s bowl game.

The fact that Pickett was allowed to sit out when the team needed him is 100 percent wrong. He should be made to pay all he got from Pitt. I hope he rides the pine wherever he goes and comes to see what that feels like when he has no say so in the matter.

Yeah! And I thought I held grudges?

Tom, might I suggest that because he has “no say so” in the matter, is — at least in part — why he did sit out of the Peach Bowl? Because if he got hurt, it’d lessen his chances of being taken by the highest team possible?

I mean, my God! The guy’s hands are a fraction of an inch smaller than Joe Burrow’s, and now some are suggesting he may not be drafted until after the first round. Imagine if he sprained an ankle against Michigan State and after the swelling, he measured an eighth-of-an-inch bigger? The poor guy may have to sign as a rookie free agent at that point.

Regarding paying back Pitt for his tuition, that’ll never happen. But if it did, I’m sure he’d be able to do so with pocket change after his signing bonus. That’s not exactly the punitive sword you may think it is.

And, by the way, what do you mean “allowed”? Was he supposed to be forced onto the field with a cattle prod or something?


Eric is less than thrilled with the Penguins of late.

Well, I’m a little less masochistic about it, Eric. But I, uh, empathize with your frustration.

If your more overarching point is that the Penguins’ franchise has arrogantly turned a deaf ear to anyone that may have suggested that the emperor penguins have no clothes — in fact, they are skating stark naked — then we agree.

And do they need a stone-cold dose of reality and a slap in the face to realize that? Yes, they do.

I’m not sure why this year will be different after being swept by the New York Islanders or losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the bubble. But one can hope.

Actually, not so fast. I do know why this summer might be different. New ownership. New management. And at least three stars that need to be paid big bucks, or they can walk out for no cost via free agency.

Hmmm. Funny what can create change these days, huh?


This guy named Derek and I share a huge pet peeve about the Penguins.

Seriously. What gives with that?

I don’t have the metric to back this up. I don’t have the fancy stats at my disposal. And, frankly, it’s too much darn work to sort this out game-by-game, team-by-team, 80 games into a season.

I mean, I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I haven’t even scratched the surface on my long-snapper pre-draft scouting reports yet. And the draft is Thursday night. I’m way behind.

But, he’s right. Or, at least, he feels like he’s right. Because I can’t imagine that there is another team in the NHL that gives up goals immediately after goals they score, within two minutes of starting a period, and with about a minute left in a period more than this year’s Penguins do.

If I’m wrong, go ahead and stat-shame me. I just know what it feels like. And for the last month, I’m with this guy. It feels like they do it all the time.


Here’s an email from Robert regarding my post suggesting that the Steelers should draft Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis if at all possible.

Three months ago, you didn’t even consider Davis as a pick of the Steelers and now you are jumping on the bandwagon with the pro scouts! Why the sudden change when you were all in favor of a second rate QB prospect as their number one pick? You continue to be entertaining but about as accurate as a ouija board!

First of all, Robert, don’t ever mention a Ouija board and the Steelers draft in the same breath again. It’s a well-known fact that a Ouija board was used to determine that the franchise was going to pick Limas Sweed in the second round in 2008.

So, don’t put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby.

Secondly, I never did what you are accusing me of doing. I’ve been pumping up Jordan Davis since the SEC Championship Game. I’ve also consistently agreed with Mike Tomlin’s stance that, as good as Davis is, he likely won’t be available when the Steelers pick.

And I have no idea which “second rate QB prospect” you are suggesting I endorsed as their first-round pick. The closest I have come to that is saying that if the Steelers feel that strongly about Malik Willis or Pickett, then go ahead and draft that person. They haven’t tried to draft a QB in the first round since 2004. Give it a shot if you think either of those guys are the right one for the next 15 years.

I do not. But if they do, they shouldn’t be scared of trying. And I’ll be here to rip them if the player flames out.

That’s what I’ve said.

So, I don’t know who you read — or heard — that you are confusing me with, but can I at least get credit for their clicks if you are blasting me for their opinions?


Someone named “Not Lucy” agrees with my disgust at the suggestion of expanding the NHL playoffs.

I wouldn’t say “ruined” necessarily. That’s a little bit over the top. Adding ninth and tenth play-in seeds won’t “ruin” playoff hockey. It’ll just make the regular season even less important and allow more mediocrity into the postseason tournament.

It’s also going to sting more next season when Brock McGinn is on Sidney Crosby’s wing and the Penguins finish 11th and still fail to make it.


Finally, let’s end with a Browns fan named Dan. He’d like to chime in on the idea of ​​quarterback Baker Mayfield coming to the Steelers if the Cleveland Browns cut him.

Obviously you are a great man…….self proclaimed that is.

Baker will be a great qb one day, and hopefully Steelers pick him up and he destroys the Browns. I’ve been a Browns fan all my entire life, but now have dumped them. Their head office is packed with idiots, just like coach (Kevin) Stefanski. He’s the one they should’ve let go.

Obviously, you are a great man, as well, Dan. At least I felt that way after your first two observations.

The next one about Baker leaves me less sure of your credibility.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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Penguins/NHL | Pitt | Sports | Steelers/NFL | Breakfast With Benz | Tim Benz Columns

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