Hope you have been practicing, because Hibernia’s Holy Day is around the corner, that’s right all you Irish and Irish loving paddy’s alike, St. Paddy’s day is less than a week away, Friday, March 17th starting from sun up am. We will be celebrating with our usual fervor and shenanigans, as always Scott the Leprechaun will be in attendance handing out free shots, beads, T-shirts, hats etc…, Look out for Sean the Nun when he opens his wallet and is very generous for about 4 minutes but not to worry if you miss him the now famous Balloon Drop serves up many amazing prizes so you can burst your way to a good time, the Bagpipers will also be on hand for your entertainment and our resident Dj’s will have all the place thumping with Trad and all genres of Irish music. Lamb Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage will be on the specials board and don’t even worry about the Guinness and Whiskey we have a ship load on its way just for that Day, so start playing the Game of Drink right now to be up to scratch. Slainte!!
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A preview of the AFC Championship Game matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots:
When: Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET (CBS)
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Line: Patriots favored by 4½
1. Strength on strength: During Pittsburgh’s nine-game winning streak, the offense has excelled. Behind the QB-RB-WR trifecta of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, the Steelers have scored an average of 25.9 points since Week 11. New England’s defense, meanwhile, may not wow you with star power, but it led the NFL in the regular season in scoring (15.6 points per game allowed). Specifically, the matchups between Patriots corner Malcolm Butler and Brown, and linebacker Dont’a Hightower and Bell are worth watching.
2. Rematch with one Big (Ben) tweak: Don’t put too much stock in New England’s 27-16 Week 7 victory played in Heinz Field. Roethlisberger suffered a torn meniscus the week before against the Miami Dolphins and underwent a minor procedure to fix the issue. Backup Landry Jones started in his place, and the Pittsburgh offense just wasn’t the same.
3. Emerging X-factor: With tight end Rob Gronkowski out for the remainder of the season after undergoing back surgery, running back Dion Lewis has emerged as New England’s toughest matchup problem for opposing defenses. Against the Houston Texans in the divisional round, he became the first player in postseason history to score touchdowns on a kick return, a reception, and a rush in the same game. Lewis is shifty, quick and probably can’t be left in man-to-man coverage. Pittsburgh, however, has very athletic inside linebackers in Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons, so the Steelers should be able to get creative in their game plan against Lewis.
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 8:20 p.m. (ET)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns, while running back Le’Veon Bell, just returning following a three-game suspension, rushed for 144 yards, in a 43-14 drubbing of the Chiefs at Heinz Field back on October 2. That was a long time ago, obviously, but is it long enough to make up 29 points? Kansas City is mostly average statistically–including 24th, overall and 26th against the run. What that should tell you is that, as long as Pittsburgh can protect the football, yards and points should be there for the taking.
As for the defense, again, it was a long time ago, but Pittsburgh’s pass rush, which barely registered a pulse over the first three games, sacked quarterback Alex Smith four times on October 2. Much like their defense, the Chiefs offense, ranked 20th, overall, isn’t much to write home about. Sure, there are weapons in all-world tight end Travis Kelce, along with Hill, who also caught 61 passes for 593 yards as a multi-faceted Slash-like threat, but Kansas City’s offense doesn’t possess enough fire power to blow the Steelers out.
Therefore, as long as the Steelers improving defense tackles in the open field and perhaps manages a turnover or two, this could be the recipe for a big playoff road victory.
Most of us are lucky enough to have the next day off so get your Black n’ Gold on and get on down to Hibernia and start waving those towels, this will be Epic.
Finally, after months and months and months of waiting, the regular season is in sight. While I’m hesitant to wish away the last few weeks of summer, the football drought has gone on far too long.
The Steelers first game is against the New England Patriots in Foxboro on September 10 at 8:30pm ET. It’s a Thursday night game, and I’m willing to bet that viewership will be absolutely insane, especially considering the fierce rivalry with the backdrop of the Pats Super Bowl victory and the distracting Deflategate scandal.
As always if you are not at the game you should be with the best Black ‘n’ Gold fans outside of Pittsburgh and waving yinz terrible towels down at Hibernia Bar. Iron City will be on the specials board as per usual, Gabriel will be pumping out the best buffalo wings in NYC and all your favorite tailgate tunes will verberate from our sound system. get ready, get excited………..LET’S GO!!!
Also we will be running our Hibernia elimination football pool, 20pts per entry, pick one team each week, no repeat picks, tie is a push, last man standing takes all…….simples……get your name and your points in and good luck.