Not the usualy daily six-pack here on BTSC as we approach the 24 hour mark until the 2009 NFL Draft commences at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but a few notes from me nonetheless as we finally get ready to welcome in the newest crop of athletes to the Steelers family.
* For starters, if you're so inclined, you can check out my contributions to an interview done by The Good Point about NFL Free Agency. Myself, Will Leitch, former founding editor of Deadspin and contributing editor of New York Magazine, and SBN's Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins blogger answered a few questions about the game that is NFL free agency. It was a well done piece by The Good Point, though don't mistake that for self-congratulations of my answers. You may or may not agree with what I had to say off the cuff late one recent evening.
* The big news yesterday was of course the trading of Kansas City Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalez to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2010 2nd round draft pick. Falcons fans think Gonzalez represents the last piece of the puzzle, while Chiefs fans think the trade was fair. You can listen here to Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff explain the rationale behind giving up a future pick instead of anything in this year's draft.
* I'm pleased to announce that I, with the help of others (including a few BTSC regulars) will be publishing what could be an annual late summer publication about the Pittsburgh Steelers. The premise of the book, which will be published by Maple Street Press in the forthcoming months? A preview publication exclusively devoted to all things Steelers. Unlike most preview magazines/publications that are littered with ads and only briefly touch upon the team you follow, this publication will be 100% devoted to the Steelers - past, present, and future. There will be about 15 chapters in the book - equally divided amongst subjects related to the current team and upcoming season, recent stories, and historical pieces about the Steelers' rich history. I have written a few of them, and have rounded up a collection of fantastic fans, journalists, and bloggers to collectively write what I hope makes up an enjoyable and informative read for you and other Steelers fans later this offseason.
Here's a sample of some of the articles to be included in the roughly 150 Steelers exclusive pages:
Rashard Mendenhall's recovery and rehabilitation - Jim Wexell, editor of Steel City Insider, author of 'Steelers Nation', and friend of BTSC.
- 'The LeBeau Effect' - how DC Dick LeBeau has handled personnel turnover so effectively during his tenure(s) in Pittsbrugh - Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders.
'Now That's What I Call Steelers Football! How A Small Market Team Created A Nation" - Freddy Nager, formerly of Saatchi & Saatchi and founder/director of Atomic Tango, a Los Angeles based creative marketing agency specializing in brand development, and author of 'Claw Your Way To The Top: Ten Things I Learned About Business Fromy My Cat' . A just splendid article about the unique branding of Steelers football. Both informative and intelligent from a business/marketing/branding perspective, but also lighthearted and entertainingly funny.
'Six In The City' - How six plays highlighted a Steelers season that had six thrilling come from behind victories in route to a league leading sixth Lombardi Trophy - mary rose from here on BTSC. As always, 'rose leaves readers wanting more, and this is one hell of a trip down memory lane as we all get stoked for another year of exciting Sunday afternoons and evenings this coming fall.
'2007 Draft Class' - Michael Bean aka Blitzburgh..aka Me. It's not the 1974 draft class rounded up by the Steelers legendary scouting team from back in the day, but if you come to think of it, the 2007 class has a chance to go down as all kinds of special. Timmons + Woodley alone is superb. Throw in William Gay, who has a chance to shine in year 3 on the NFL's top rated defense, and it's already paid off as a draft class. 2009 could be the year that guys like Bruce Davis and Daniel Sepulveda throw their name in the hat as well as vital contributors to what should be one of the NFL's better teams once more.
And that's just a few. A full roster and schedule breakdown are also included, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of this year's draft class. AND, a few other fantastic articles that I best keep my mouth shut about for now. More details to come in the future, but when I write a post sometime in the next month explaining my absence, you now know what the reason will be. The publication goes to press in about 30 days. And if you thought I was a vampire before - you ain't seen nothin' yet. Sigh.
* If you've been following the lead up to this year's draft closely and even thrown together a mock draft in your spare time for others to constructively critique, you might as well enter it into SteelerFury's 2009 draft contest. I myself have left much of the leg work to y'all fine folks this draft season, so I'm not going to enter one on behalf of BTSC. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Be sure to enter with your screen name and mention of the site here, as it's purposefully constructed in a way to bring together and highlight the myriad Steelers blogs and their respective communities. Go get 'em.
* There are several of you who are owed prizes of some sort - be it for March Madness contests, predicting the Steelers prime time games, and perhaps even a few others from way back when that I still have reminders about. With this publication coming out as well as a really cool Mike Tomlin themed t-shirt that a friend and I designed soon to be made, we'll settle up sometime soon after the book is out and the dust settles from this year's draft and a new game of waiting sets in prior to the start of training camp in Latrobe, PA.
* This will just about be it here on BTSC today, except for the 32nd and final pick of our community mock draft. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't check in tomorrow and throughout the weekend to converse with your fellow Steelers denizens about who Kevin Colbert & Co. decided to draft in this year's draft. He's traveling on business at the moment, but you'll see myself and drinkyourmilkshake here on the site all day Saturday as the 1st and 2nd rounds unfold. For those of you with a taste of nostalgia for open threads during the offseason, we'll have at least one up all day. We'll also have comprehensive posts about the Steelers draft selections after they are made, followed by what I hope will be an informative next week as we try to familiarize ourselves with the newest members of the team and understand why the Steelers made the choices they did.