Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obituary: Zima, Clear Malt Beverage

By Missy Peters, MFA

Zima, the malternative beverage choice that started rocking the nation in 1992 and didn’t stop until the corporate fascists at Miller-Coors LLC killed it in a cold-hearted and calculated move that ripped the hearts out of its legion of devoted followers, passed away on Monday.

Zima, which just celebrated its Sweet-16 last month, first satiated high school girls who thought “beer was gross” and wanted an alternative to drinking white zinfandel at parties. It grew in popularity and quickly spread to sororities and was popular at many mixers including the famed University of Pittsburgh PiKA/Tri-Delt Spring Fling in 1994.

The alcopop was also front-and-center in the “clear craze” of the early 1990’s which included popularization of many other unnaturally clear beverages. Most attempts were doomed from the start, the poster child being the now defunct Crystal Pepsi. Saturday Night Live even satirized the times with a sketch that included “Crystal Gravy.” While the Hollywood-centered, liberal media would thumb their collective nose at all things crystal, Zima proved it was no joke. Zima dominated the market share for malt beverages from 1999-2008. It accumulated an unheard of 28.4% market share for the year 1999, meaning that nearly 3 out of every 10 alcopops purchased was a Zima. This success quickly led imitators and wannabes to try and get in on the action. In 2000, British beverage company Diageo invented a Zima knock-off, Smirnoff Ice. However, most experts agreed that it sucked in comparison, and Zima loyalists would hold strong and stay true to their drink.

“I remember when I had my first sip of Zima,” recalled Zima enthusiast Missy P, formerly of South Oakland. “I was 17 and it was a hot summer night at my friend Jenny’s house. It was also the night I had my first kiss. I would alternate between kissing my then boyfriend, and sucking down the tasty beverage. I broke up with the boy the next day, I would have a love affair with Zima for the rest of its adult life.”

Zima is survived by Smirnoff Ice and a bunch of shitty-ass wine coolers. Viewings will be held at Gene’s Place in Oakland every Thursday until they run out of stock. A final memorial service will be held during the Delta Delta Delta (Alpha Theta chapter) final holiday bash of 2008. Guests are asked to start stocking up now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breaking News... Stilley to Enter Monastery


In a candid barroom confessional, Souf Oaklin fo’ Life!!! Publisher Emeritus Thomas Donald Stilley announced at Uncle Jimmy’s ten minutes ago that he plans to enter the monastery at St. Vincent College in the Spring of 2009. The announcement comes amid speculation after a previous taproom wager in which Stilley proclaimed he would become a monk if the Steelers lost to Jacksonville in last season’s AFC Wild-Card playoff game. As misfortune would have it, the Steelers lost the game, but most regulars speculated Stilley’s inebriation would supersede his word. Turns out, Stilley’s a much more coherent drunk than the general populace credits him for.

Stilley started the idea for what would become SOFL in the summer of 1977. Beset by Pitt pride after the Panther’s National Championship win in the 1977 Sugar Bowl, Stilley penned his first satirical prose for the Pitt News entitled “Chancellor Poopsvar Eats His Own Poo, and He Smells Too!” The piece was ultimately rejected by the university’s student newspaper, and derided as “juvenile” by then Pitt News High School Summer Editor Intern Michael Chabon. But Stilley maintained his positivity through the rejection. He shelved his ambitions while he worked at the J&L mill site, where he would be employed as shift engineer from 1977-1989, when the mill would close for good. In his spare time Stilley would edit Jones and Laughlin’s safety newsletters, but his heart still yearned for lampoonery. A “back injury” would sideline Stilley for the next decade as he collected disability and regularly drowned his sorrows in “Ahrns” at Uncle Jimmy’s in South Oakland. A chance meeting at a graduation bar crawl in 1999, connected Stilley with five graduating Pitt seniors. The relationship would develop and SOFL would launch its first issue in September 2001 under Stilley’s leadership.

Since Stilley’s retirement from SOFL, he focused on family – specifically his new child and his wife, Veronica. Stilley even attempted to mend relations with his “jag-off” Penn State graduate son Donny. But alas, the elder Stilley’s hatred for all things Nittany Lion proved too divisive to repair the relationship, and by the old man’s account, the son still remains “a jag.”

Since his retirement and post-Steeler Super Bowl XL victory, Stilley has reportedly felt a spiritual void that failed to be filled when the Steelers lost on a last second field goal to the Jaguars this past January. Skeptics theorize that Stilley really is using the monastery as an excuse to get a front row seat at next season’s training camp. They point to Stilley making the pilgrimage to Latrobe three times this current training camp season and complaining incessantly about the high gas price cost to get out there.

Whatever the man’s motivation for leaving, there can be no doubt that with his spiritual guidance the Steelers are a lock to win the Super Bowl next season in 2010.

Good luck Tom, we’ll miss you! Our Em dashes won’t be the same without you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Economic Stimulus Checks Spark Underground South Oakland Economy, Joints


While President Bush and Congress enacted economic stimulus legislation to spark the American economy out of recession, in South Oakland the payments have served other incendiary purposes. Since economic stimulus checks have been arriving in the locale since May, neighborhood cannabis retailers have been experiencing a boon in an already thriving market. This has lead many local politicians like US District 14 Congressman Mike Doyle to question whether the payments are really serving their intended purpose.

“When we fought for these rebates for American workers, we had visions of these checks spurring local businesses and encouraging our regional economy in places like South Oakland. I’ve been shocked to find out some of my constituents have been having a high time on Uncle Sam’s dime. I’m tired of these [expletive] students crying foul about student loans and increasing costs, and then when you throw ‘em a bone every now and again, they go and try to smoke the damn thing,” lamented Doyle.

Though Congressman Doyle has remained daunted by the harsh realities of the South Oakland economy, other economic analysts are not so quick to judge. University of Pittsburgh Research Associate Chris Briem explains, “While yes, I understand Mike being concerned about government money being used for illegal trafficking of controlled substances into our region, I think in a strange way these monies are landing directly back into the hands of legitimate South Oakland entrepreneurs, or I should say as legitimate as South Oakland entrepreneurial endeavors can be. On the surface you won’t see the direct correlation of stimulus checks to taxpaying business, but on closer examination you’ll see an economic trickledown effect that would make Ronald Regan roll over in his grave. I’ve pulled numbers on this and somehow for every one dollar invested, for lack of a better word, into the “marijuana crop,” it yields a three dollar return in South Oakland business. This is good news for the Antoons, Campus Delis, Wheel Delivers, and Fuel n Fuddles. These businesses are thriving compared to the same quarter last year. This means more jobs, and a larger tax base for the region. Perverse and misguided, perhaps? But you can’t argue with the data.”

Indestructible Backboard Installed at Field House - "God Himself couldn't break this backboard," says Bozik


This article originally appeared in the January 24, 1988 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" - 

Athletic Director Edward E. Bozik is proud to announce that the university has purchased a new state-of-the-art backboard to install at Fitzgerald Field House. The backboard was fabricated by PPG Industries whose mission was to create a backboard “so strong and durable that none of the fashionably-tight shorts wearing super-hoopsters of this modern era would be able to break it.” The backboard was installed with a new, highly-resistant, super-durable, heavy duty, plexi-glass known by its industry name Herculite® Tempered Plexi-glass.

“Why, this new Herculite material is so strong that God himself couldn’t break this backboard if he was on a fast break that culminated with a tomahawk dunk,” boasted CEO Vincent A. Sarni from PPG’s new crenelated Downtown skyscraper. “As a company, we’re excited and think this material will be the next big thing in material science. We’re confident that once the general public sees how well the substance holds up against the wear and tear of a basketball game, then the future possibilities will be limitless. Steam ships, space shuttles, tanks, bridges, rail roads, why you name it, and in ten years time it’s likely to be made out of Herculite. And, of course, with all the recently displaced blue collar workers from the closing of area steel mills, we’ll have a manufacturing job in this region for every man, woman, and child this side of the Youghiogheny.

Bozik plans to have the backboard installed in time for tomorrow's game against Providence.

Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Tickets to the game are still available for purchase via cash, check, or Diners Club card at the ticket window or by calling 412-648-P-I-T-T.

TV: The game will be featured on ESPN’s primetime. A television blackout is scheduled for the area.
Radio: WPTS 92.1 FM broadcast with Bill Hillgrove.

Class of 1999 Urged to “Wear Sunscreen”


This article originally appeared in the May, 1999 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" -

In his commencement address yesterday morning to a packed Mellon Arena, Australian film director Baz Luhrmann gave the University of Pittsburgh’s class of 1999 an urgent piece of advice: Wear sunscreen.

Luhrmann continued, “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists.”

Luhrmann, whose hit films include Muriel’s Wedding and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, was invited to address the class by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg after Nordenberg allegedly rented Romeo + Juliet on tape from Take 2 Video on Bates Street, in Oakland.

“I was just stopping by for a case of Bass Ale at Mellinger’s [Beer Distributer],” recalled Nordenberg, “when I remembered the wife wanted me to pick up a movie. Well, Blockbuster was just out of the way in North Oakland, so I decided to take a chance of Take 2 Video. Eclectic mix of videos. Fantastic porn section! Oh, Romeo + Juliet was pretty good, too. That Claire Danes is something else! And the wife just LOVES Leo.”

UPMC doctors have corroborated Mr. Luhrmann’s advice as “solid;” however, the rest of the speech was described as having “no basis more reliable than his own meandering experience.”

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!! Archives Discovered!


While setting off fireworks inside SOFL headquarters this weekend, we accidentally set fire to our cavernous archives room. But while hurriedly scrambled to pull all the files outside, we discovered some classic articles that haven't seen the light of day in decades!!!

See below for the first two "lost articles" we've posted to the site, and keep an eye out for future ones.

Link: Salk Returns to Pitt to Cure Hangover

Link: "Kamikaze Kid" Gives Up Final Season of Eligibility to Open T-Shirt Stand

"Kamikaze Kid" Gives Up Final Season of Eligibility to Open T-Shirt Stand


This article originally appeared in the April 1977 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" -

In an emotional press conference held this morning at Pitt Stadium, Panther fan-favorite Charles "Kamikaze Kid" Bonasorte announced his decision to leave the program early, forgoing his final year of athletic eligibility. Next stop: outside vendor. Pitt Stop Outside Vendor, that is!


Bonasorte is a member of the reigning college football champion Pittsburgh Panthers. His teammate, Tony Dorsett won the Heisman Trophy last year and is expected to be selected first overall on May 3rd's NFL entry draft. Other Panthers hoping to be drafted include linebacker Al Romano and tight end Jim Corbett.


Experts were looking to Bonasorte to challenge for a starting position in the defensive backfield in the 1977 season. However, the allure of becoming a mobile, on-campus, tchotchke merchant was too great for the gridster.


“I just want to thank the coaches, my teammates, and the university for all the support they've given me the last 3 years," Bonasorte tearfully began. "But it's always been my dream to sell the Pitt logo on competitively priced, super-durable, heavy-duty, cotton T's. And this is an opportunity my family and I can't pass up."


A natural entrepreneur, Bonasorte opened his first lemonade stand in 1st grade and later managed the “Student Store” through the his years in junior and senior high school. It is there that friends and family say he developed his love for selling high-quality, logoed apparel and souvenirs.


Friends and family report Bonasorte has been agonizing over the decision since the end of the Panther's championship-winning season.


"Every student has the right to support the Panthers by purchasing an inexpensive shirt of passable quality," Bonasorte added, "or at least to let others know the answer to the question, “What did the Penn State grad say to the Pitt grad? Welcome to McDonalds, may I take your order please!'"

And for long term plans?

"I'd like to develop some sort of nickname for Pitt basketball fans. Like the 'Oakland Kennel' or the 'Oakland Game Reserve,' or the 'Oakland Menagerie,' but I'm just not there. I just need to figure it out before some other student does."

Salk Returns to Pitt to Cure Hangover


This article originally appeared in the September 1985 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" -

Famed University of Pittsburgh Biologist Jonas Salk announced he will return to Pitt to begin work on another vaccine which will have ramifications for college students locally and throughout the world. Starting next week, Salk will direct a team of 10 researchers at the soon to be formed UPMC/Sigma Chi/Pittsburgh Brewing Company Hangover institute.

“It’s time we put an end to this wretched disease afflicting millions daily and billions on most weekend mornings,” Salk announced at a news conference last Thursday alongside Chancellor Posvar. “Why just last night I was visiting with a couple of my old colleagues at Peter’s Pub and wouldn’t you know it, I woke up with a wicked hangover this morning. And as I looked at myself in the mirror I thought, ‘why have I wasted so much of my life working on acute viral infectious diseases when one of America’s biggest health problems is staring me right in the face?’ Well starting tomorrow, my associates and I will put an end to the wretched physiological effects which follow the consumption of large quantities of alcohol.”

In the unique, public-private-fraternity partnership, Salk’s team will have an excess of willing participants to experiment on. Binge drinking Sigma Chi fraternity members will provide the control group for the study while Carnegie Mellon University students will provide the experimental group. With Pittsburgh Brewing Company supplying free kegs to greet the first study participants, hundreds have already begun waiting in line to become involved in the study.

While Salk is optimistic that his talents can be used to quickly find a cure for the common hangover, many in the local media were questioning where the eventual profits for the cure would go. Salk was asked by Post-Gazette columnist Reg Henry who would own the rights to the patent on a future cure. He responded, “Well, that’s an easy one. UPMC will own it. I’ve got a share and I’ll make millions; UPMC [will] probably [make] billions. As a matter of fact, I predict I’ll make UPMC so wealthy that one day they’ll be able to put their name across that new Steel building Downtown.”

Sunday, June 29, 2008

South Oakland Drug Dealers Embrace Nationwide Urban Green Trend


When you hear about urban drug dealers going green, you might think they are referencing a newfound slang for money. However, many inner-city entrepreneurs are surprisingly aligning themselves with the typically, white upper-middle class green movement. Turns out, dealers, like most Americans, are feeling the effects of high gas prices.

“Fucking gas prices be cutting in our scrilla and shit,” said South Oakland urban capitalist Tyrone Bell. “Used to be, back in the day [two years ago], we’d be balling and making money hand over fist, now we only up to our wrists in cheddar. We do a’hite, but shit, not like back in the day [two years ago].”

Surprisingly Bell and other urban industrialists have been scaling back their excesses in a profession which has built a culture upon it with the popularization of big, gas guzzling sport utility vehicles such as Lincoln Navigators and Cadillac Escalades.

“Up until recently you could suss out a drive by if you saw a slow rolling Escalade with tinted windows barreling down the street,” explained Bell. “Now I swear you see niggas everyday rolling up on a block, fucking popping out the hatchback of Priuses and shit, just shooting up a mother fucking corner.”

Conservation is also popping up in a variety of other urban arenas, most notably an unforeseen trend of gangster rappers extolling the virtues of preservation of natural resources. Most notably the rapper Chamillionare has released a remix of his 2006 smash hit Ridin’, which he has re-titled Still Ridin’ Dirty, though I’m Limiting Carbon Emissions [in the process]. Other eco-friendly rap songs are expected later this summer from T.I. (Recycle That Empty Cristal Bottle) and from Lil’ Wayne (You Best Turn the Lights Out, Before you F%#& a Bitch).

Environmental crusader and former Vice President, Al Gore has enthusiastically embraced this newfound, urban environmentalism. He’s currently partnering with Urban Works Entertainment to package his award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth with the current urban release 17000 Block. Most major urban markets will also have street teams peddling bootleg copies of the DVDs on major city intersections. Gore and Urban Works Entertainment are also in negotiations to create An Inconvenient Truth documentary remix to feature narration by rappers Ice Cube and Flavor Flav.

While conservation efforts can’t come too soon for Gore, local peddlers like Bell are hoping the trend doesn’t last long. He’s looking for the environmental crisis to abate, and gas prices to lower, so he can resume riding in larger SUV vehicles.

“It’s embarrassing and shit. Being one of the kings of the city and being forced to roll through the streets in a Honda Fit. If these prices keep rising, we’ll be forced to take [the mother fucking] bus,” said Bell.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Obituary: James Regis "Uncle Jimmy" Connors
- Nov. 25, 1934 - June 23, 2008


In a bit of seriousness here, thanks Uncle Jimmy for your support and patronage of our efforts over the years. Your dream provided us with an oasis in the heart of South Oakland and helped to further our dream. Our sympathy and condolences to your family and friends. May your spirit live on, and may you rest in peace.

From the Post-Gazette:

As the youngest of six children growing up on Parkview Avenue in South Oakland, James Regis Connors came into the world as "Baby Jim." Later, his habit of wearing spit-shined demi-boots to lengthen his 5-foot-71/2-inch frame earned him the nickname "Cleatie."

But it was the name "Uncle Jimmy" that stuck and adorned Uncle Jimmy's Tavern, the Semple Street bar he opened more than 15 years ago in South Oakland.

"His lifelong dream was to own a bar," said his wife, Susan. "He just had that personality, that special touch."

Mr. Connors died of lung cancer Monday at his home in Greenfield. He was 73.


The rest can be read at the Post Gazette's website.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Former Pitt Spokesperson Ken Service Writes "Scathing" Criticism of Nordenberg, Pitt Administration


Former Pitt Spokesperson Ken Service has released a new book criticizing Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, his former boss for nearly eight years. The book, titled Child of Light and Bride of Untruth: Inside Nordenberg’s Cathedral and What's Wrong with Oakland was released last week by Penn State University Press. Inside the book, Service writes of a trail of deception which plagued Nordenberg’s major decisions while at the university; most notably, Nordenberg and former and current Athletic Director Steve Pederson’s conspiracy to tear down Pitt Stadium. In his tell-all account of his time at the university, Service said the chancellor’s major motivation in tearing down the stadium was not to modernize the university and attract new football recruits as the duo claimed. Service argues those excuses were merely a front, and that Nordenberg and Pederson really conspired to build the $119 million mega-structure to secretly secure upper campus parking.

The five people who have read the book have characterized it as a scathing attack on the Nordenberg inner circle. Nordenberg has an almost unparalleled reputation for a chancellor in demanding and expecting loyalty from his staff. He’s been reluctant to speak with the press about key university issues, instead arming himself with a team of spokespersons who do the chancellor’s bidding. The book is a rare behind the scenes look at his propaganda machine.

Nordenberg is apparently shocked by Service’s tell-all. It comes as an unexpected blow to the chancellor. He had always thought of Service as one of his closest friends. In Nordenberg’s 2002 press conference announcing Service’s departure, Nordenberg told the University Times that he thought one day he and Service would, “[after retirement] grow old together, learn Italian, walk the streets of South Oakland and reminisce about the good old days while using our newly acquired Italian curse words to describe the current student population and their lack of consideration for the elderly.”

While Nordenberg might be affected by the personal criticisms, his staff is wasting little time trying to discredit Service. Current University Spokesperson John Fedele is defending Nordenberg and his administration, claiming that they don’t believe Service is acting alone.

“This book just doesn’t sound like the Ken we know,” Fedele told KDKA radio host Fred Honsberger. “We believe Ken is being put up to this by rural mid-state publishers who are pushing their own agrarian agenda and attempting to discredit our cosmopolitan institution. It’s a political attack, pure and simple.”

Service rejects Fedele’s claims. He told Pittsburgh Today Live host Kristine Sorensen that he decided to come out with his book when Bigelow Bash was mysteriously canceled last year. Service told that Nordenberg was always “annoyed each April when the thoroughfare was closed, as it caused the Chancellor to take a circuitous route home by going down Fifth Avenue to Bouquet Street and then back down Forbes again. I feel Nordenberg erroneously led students to believe that the SGB’s lack of funding was the root cause. I just couldn’t live with the lie anymore. It is really the students who have suffered without the Bigelow Bash ever since.”

Child of Light and Bride of Untruth will be distributed free to every Penn State Creamery patron who orders a biggie-sized Peachy Paterno skyscraper cone. The book has been banned by the University of Pittsburgh’s Book Center.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Extreme" Measures Taken to Improve Conditions in Local Apartment Complex


Ty Pennington, host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," paid a surprise visit yesterday to a South Oakland apartment complex.

"Gooooood afternoon, McKee Place Manor!" Pennington shouted into a megaphone.

The designer's usual 6 a.m. wake-up call was pushed back seven hours to accommodate building residents – University of Pittsburgh students who slowly shuffled outside to greet their spiky haired guest.

Months ago, a mother of one of the young tenants sent a video tape to the reality show's producers, begging them to rescue her daughter from "that $800-a-month, rat-infested shithole."

From rickety stairs and broken windows to dysfunctional smoke detectors and urine-stained carpets, the 50-year-old structure is in violation of numerous health and fire safety codes.

Pennington knew he had to act fast or watch the entire dwelling collapse.

"We might not be able to transform this place into Home Sweet Home," he said, "but at least we can help these kids get their security deposits back."

After a tour of the hovel, members of the design team interviewed each occupant about their interests.

Philosophy major Todd Smithson said he liked Bob Marley.

Total Cum Dumpster Angelina Dixon™ regaled carpenter Paul DiMeo with stories of her recent sexual conquests.

During periods of semi-consciousness, alcoholic Ted Landon slurred the name "Gene."

Fraternity brothers Kyle Harris, Pete Sipes, and Jason Rhodes sang the praises of Old German Beer. "The world knows no finer," Sipes explained to designer Paige Hemmis.

All of the residents were sent to Sandcastle Waterpark for the day while workers renovated their pads.

When the renters returned eight hours later – intoxicated and sporting farmer's tans – they were literally bursting with excitement.

"Gotta pee," mumbled Landon, crossing his legs.

A Port Authority bus, which had broken down in front of McKee Place Manor, was the only thing separating the tenants from their new-and-improved lives.

"Bus driver," an agitated Pennington screamed, "move that bus!"

Once inside, residents were delighted by what they saw.

"My coffee table is in the shape of a giant marijuana leaf!" said Smithson. "And my four-poster bed, it's actually a four-person bong!"

The Delta Sigma brothers were greeted by a statue of beer mascot Herman the German, which dispensed ice-cold lager from the tip of its finger.

Upon seeing the plush whorehouse d├ęcor in her bedroom, Dixon grabbed a volunteer laborer and slammed the door.

The most impressive makeover awaited Landon, who, in February, was banned from Gene's Place for guzzling an entire bottle of Rock & Rye and putting his fist through the jukebox. His apartment is now an exact replica of the Louisa Street bar.

"Ooooh," Landon said, fondling the I.C. Light tap.

Pennington, who was arrested for DUI last year, patted the tearful drunkard on the back and smiled. "Welcome home, my friend," he said. "Welcome home."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sombrero Man Campaigns for "Change"



Five years after he disappeared from his regular South Oakland street corner, panhandler Lloyd "Sombrero Man" Hamilton was spotted at a Barack Obama rally.

More than 10,000 people packed the Petersen Events Center on April 21 -- the night before the Pennsylvania Primary Election.

Dressed in his trademark hat and soiled overalls, Sombrero Man managed to snag a front row seat. The Illinois senator later invited the hobo on stage to jangle his cup.

"This guy, this guy right here," Obama said, putting his arm around the unkempt and visibly intoxicated Sombrero Man, "He knows what this country needs. Tell these folks what America needs, my friend!"

After fumbling with the microphone for 30 seconds, Sombrero Man slurred the word, "CHAAAAAANGE!"

His cry was met with thunderous applause from the crowd.

Obama urged the penny-pinching bum to join him on the rest of his campaign tour, and even hinted at a vice presidential nod, but Sombrero Man declined due to a scheduling conflict.

This summer he will replace Kenny Kangaroo as the the official mascot of Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pa.

In December 2007, the old-fashioned theme park was sold to Madrid, Spain-based Parques Reunidos.

"Sombrero Man's image meshes with our new Hispanic aesthetic," says Kennywood spokesman Mark Wagner. "He's festive, he's fun, he's the embodiment of everything we do here! Viva la Kennywood!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tomlin, Colbert Looking to Sure up Punting, Tight End Positions in Upcoming Draft


The NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis brought out the most talented crop of college prospects looking to move up in April’s draft. With such an assemblage of potential talent, teams thoughtfully measured future prospects to find players who will fulfill current and future roster needs.

While the Steelers have usually been coy about draft intentions, Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert and Head Coach Mike Tomlin surprised many in the local media when they tipped their hands and admitted their infatuation with two prospects.

“We really like [Georgia Tech Punter Durant] Brooks and [Missouri Tight End Martin] Rucker, and we’ll spare almost no expense to acquire both of these outstanding individuals. Well, hopefully we’ll save a lot of expense if we make these two part of our early picks, after all, punters and tight ends are like bus boys, how much do you really need to pay them out at the end of the night? But the point is, we like these guys. And we hope to improve these two positions in the upcoming draft,” reported Colbert from Indianapolis last week.

While Colbert’s enthusiasm was echoed by Tomlin, many fans and local media are questioning the intentions of a front office that appears to be loading positions seemingly well stocked when there are glaring holes in the offensive line expected to grow worse as Guard Alan Faneca and Tackles Max Starks and Trai Essex are all unrestricted free agents.

Colbert deflected the criticism.

“Look at what [Punter] Daniel Sepulveda and [Tight End Matt] Spaeth did for us last year. Both had immediate impacts and made excellent contributions to the team. If we can find two more players like that this year, we’ll have four contributors on the team at important positions. And heck, who knows where the possibilities end. Why not experiment with a five tight end front line and a two punter back field? That way teams won’t know if you’re punting or passing on any given down. I think most Pittsburghers remember the success Pitt had a couple years back with the use of the quick kicks, why not replicate that in the NFL?”

And with our shitty line, Lord knows we’ll need it next year,” mumbled Colbert under his breath.

When asked to repeat what he just said by Steelers beat reporter Ed Bouchette, Colbert replied, “oh nothing, I was talking to Mike. I asked him with closing time here, who needs another beer?”

Notes -- The Steelers pick 23rd in the first round of April’s draft…When asked why the Steelers changed philosophy in announcing the players they intend to draft Colbert replied “like anyone else is desperate enough to draft a punter or tight end in the first two rounds, puh-leaze.”…The Steelers announced former Stanford Coach Walt Harris had been hired in a newly created capacity of “third down consultant” for the upcoming season.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ravenstahl’s Snowmen in the Hood Project to Lessen Neighborhood Inequity


Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl recently toured the city to gauge the effectiveness of the city’s public works department in clearing winter weather from city streets. What he found on his journey disturbed him more than any untreated throughway.

“After about ten minutes in the car, I was thoroughly bored with assessing the driving conditions,” recalled Ravenstahl. “So I asked [Public Works Director] Guy [Costa] if he wanted to play “I spy snowmen.” That’s the game where the first person to spy a snowman gets to punch the other person three times in a row, hard. Well Guy wouldn’t shut up about the route the salt trucks take, and how they prioritize main arteries, and blah, blah, blah. So I was totally wailing on him good and he only got like one punch on me the whole trip. But as we were traveling I was struck by the difference in snowmen depending on which neighborhood we were in. They were awesome in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, but totally sucked in South Oakland and the Hill District. So I got to thinking about those kids and how tough it must be living in the hood and stuff.”

From this revelation, Ravenstahl has proposed a new city wide initiative called “Snowmen in the Hood.” The proposal utilizes a $10,000 Sprout Fund grant to teach snow making artistry to inner city youths.

Sure it’s a lot of money, but heck, who can put a price on the effect a quality snowman has on a neighborhood,” explained Ravenstahl.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Point/Weaker Point: Ice


Point: Ice is a killer.

By Miss Millie Stevens

I really hate the ice. It was an icy road that took my late husband Norman from me in 2003.

Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, we never, and I mean NEVER, had no ice never. I heard once that there was a bit of snow fallen at Hampton when mamma was a school girl there, but that’s way up in Virginia. Norman now, he grew up in Detroit and never minded the ice. But this city gets it some ICE!

Ice made me slip and break my hip last winter. Ice kept me homebound for a week in January. Ice froze my pipes two years ago February.

I hate the ice!




Weaker Point: Ice is killa!

By L’antonio Stevens

Yo, check it. Ice dawg. In ma grill. On my hand. In my ers. On this hir necklace. Yup I sayd IN MY MUFUCKIN TEEF dawg. Shit.

In my Cristal. Yup yup I FUCKIN DRINK AT SHEEET.

Oh, you gots PLATINUM grill, huh? I fuckin gots ICE. I PAYED fo at shit hir. YOU? Fuckin suckin cock fo pennies and shit. THERE’S yo platinum shit.

Oh, now you mad cause yo girl wanna eat my dick? Fuck dat bitch, yo! You don’t know shit about shit, muthafucka.

ICE.

Like fuckin Blood Diamond shit. Up ma ass if uh needa.

FUCK.

I LUVS DA ICE!

Monday, March 03, 2008

PCNC To Air Myron Cope's Yoi Bachelor


In tribute of the great Myron Cope, we proudly re-run this classic article from 2003.

Influenced by the success of ABC’s The Bachelor, PCNC is hoping to capture a more regionalized demographic with its own version of the show this fall. Starring long-time Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcaster Myron Cope, PCNC’s Yoi Bachelor will see the local celebrity choose between 25 eligible senior bachelorettes and widows.

“Pittsburgh loves Myron, and we’re hoping Pittsburghers will love to watch him date 25 very sexy seniors,” said PCNC spokesperson William Nagle. “We came up with some great dating scenarios which we think Myron will really enjoy. I’m especially looking forward to the episode when Myron takes one very lucky lady to the clean Original Hot Dog Shop in Plum Boro.”

Cope will initially meet the 25 contestants at Penn Brewery’s “Octoberfest” in September 2003. From there, he will eliminate five of the twenty-five. Subsequent weeks will have various social events which will eliminate the competition to one lucky winner. The winner will be chosen live by Cope at the opening day festivities of PNC Park 2004, and will also get to throw out the first pitch.

“I can’t wait to meet these beautiful ladies, hmmm haah,” said Cope. “I might take a few of them out for a toddy or two. Ummm, ahh, I’m also sure to bring one of them, you know, ya, yoi, lovely females to Subway, where we can get a horseradish melt six-inch if the Steelers score on the first drive of the third quarter. ‘Subway. Eat fresh.’”

PCNC insiders have already leaked that one of the bachelorettes will be former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff.

This is the boldest programming move since 2001’s Frat Brother, which raised PCNC viewership by 2%. “We’re confident we have a hit on our hands,” said Nagle.

Transportation for all of Cope’s dates will be provided by All-Star Limousine of Greentree, as the Pennsylvania State Police Department has forbidden PCNC to allow Cope to drive on any of the dates.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Specter: Belichick Hired Zapruder, Implicated in JFK Assassination Plot


Unable to provide tangible evidence that New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick filmed the Pittsburgh Steelers in two AFC championship games, United States Senator Arlen Specter has turned his spygate attention south, to Dallas 1963. Uncovering buried video evidence on the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Specter is now implicating Belichick in hiring private citizen Abraham Zapruder to film both the assassination of the president and a walk through of the conspiracy the day before. The tapes were handed over to Specter by former New England Videographer Matt Walsh who found the tape in Belichick’s personal stockpile lying between tapes labeled “Kansas City 2005” and “Miami 2005-2006.”

“I thought we had an open and shut case after we issued our report in the Warren Commission,” explained Specter. “But two unpredictable events have occurred recently that have made the Commission’s findings virtually impossible. One, Belichick was born. Two, he started paying people to film things – illegal things. The time frame, 44 years. He started small, with the assassination of an American president, and like any criminal got more bold and aggressive as time went on by stealing football signals. Belichick claims that the Super Bowl victories come from one man – a superhuman quarterback if you will, his ‘single gunslinger theory.’ But ladies and gentleman don’t be fooled. These newest tapes show that Mr. Belichick has wreaked havoc on the American people starting in November, 1963 and ending in Super Bowl XXXIX. If there were taped walkthroughs on both occasions, then by definition there is a conspiracy.”

At Wednesday’s press conference, Specter explained that in 1963, the then 11-year-old Belichick had strong military connections in Annapolis, Maryland and enough allowance saved to orchestrate a taping of the assassination. Specter was not immediately clear on how Belichick was involved in the conspiracy, only that the taping proved of his involvement at some level. He continued to answer questions about the role of the Warren Commission’s failure to uncover the conspiracy.

“All right, fine [the Warren Commission was] wrong, there are you happy,” admitted Specter. “We let the murderers of a standing American president walk free, fine, look everyone makes mistakes, there’s not much more we can do about it, so let’s get over it already. So we lost an inspirational leader, we’ll get another one soon I’m sure. That Obama guy seems pretty inspirational. But the Eagles loss in Super Bowl XXXIX, that’s not so easily replaceable. I mean McNabb’s on his last knees and we’re lucky to even make the playoffs these days. That Lombardi trophy would have meant so much to this city, but that Croatian [expletive] had to ruin it for us.”

Contacted for a statement about Specter’s newest accusation, Belichick staged his own press conference where he cleared his throat multiple times, looked shiftily around the room and then declared, “No comment.”

Saturday, February 09, 2008

UPMC Promises Like $60-70 to Help Sigma Chi Party


With previous year profits totaling over $600 million, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is making inroads with various community-based organizations to share the wealth from its efficient not-for-profit operations. The most recent benefactor was University of Pittsburgh fraternity Sigma Chi. A UPMC spokesperson announced the pact last Tuesday.

“We’re pleased to announce the Sigma Chi Promise,” announced UPMC spokesman Mark T. Ross. “With this partnership, we’re generously giving the Sig house enough for a half barrel from Mellinger’s Beer Distributor on a date for a party yet to be determined. We’re proud to establish relations with community organizations and happy that we can use our kindness and benevolence to provide a night of unity and togetherness for the brothers and their relations.”

Representatives for Sigma Chi were split about acceptance of the promise. Fraternity President Mike Ravenwood was adamant that the promise was in the best interest of the Sigma Chi household.

“Dude, like why the fuck not?” questioned Ravenwood to his brothers. “This is a free fucking keg. We’ve been dreaming about someone stepping up to buy us a keg for years now. It’s like my pledge master always used to say, never look free beer in the mouth. Well, unless you are doing a keg stand, then it makes sense to, but otherwise you shouldn’t do that shit. What fag would dare to oppose the equivalent of six point nine cases of beer, for FREE?”

While the sexual orientation of Ravenwood’s opponents could not be verified, their opposition was vociferous and steadfast against acceptance of the offer. Treasurer James Pedunkel championed the cause of the opposition.

“While this fag-hag [Ravenwood] makes the offer seem like a no-brainer, I’m wondering what backroom deal was made to bring about this partnership,” countered Pedunkel. “I mean who the fuck gives a free keg away and wants nothing in return? Have you tampons ever thought about what these corporate jerk offs want back? I’m betting they want to come and drink for free so they can hit on the sluts we have coming up here. Nerdy-ass doctors probably can’t get laid in the real world so they probably figure they can come up here and get our sloppy seconds. Well, I say emphatically, fuck no, not on my watch. Let’s charge the standard five bucks for dudes, buy the damn keg ourselves, and not have to whore ourselves out in order to bang them.”

Debate on the issue was momentarily tabled when it was revealed that the secretary was actually looking at an issue of Chubby Harpooners and not keeping minutes like he has been “fucking told to do over and over again.” Deliberations quickly changed when Ravenwood pointed to one of the women in the magazine and asked Pedunkel how much would it take for him to “bang that one.”

UPMC could not be reached for further comment on the offer.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Nordenberg Report to Recommend Consolidation of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Fayette, Westmoreland, Butler Counties, Pitt, CMU, Carlow, CCAC, Uncle Jimmy’s


In an exclusive investigative report, S.O.F.L. journalists have learned that the much-anticipated report led by University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg calls for the merger of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County into one municipality. The so-called “Nordenberg Report” is a yearlong study by a group of researchers to investigate benefits of consolidation of city and county governance. Many Grant Street insiders have speculated for some time the report would lean towards consolidation, however, S.O.F.L. believes that many in city and county government will be ill-prepared to discover the true findings as told to our reporters.

According to this dude we met at the bar last night, who, in the interest of full disclosure was a little tipsy (OK, he was shit canned, but this dude really seemed to know his shit, but anyway, according to this anonymous source), “[Nordenberg and the study group] are totally going to recommend like Pitt takeover everything in a hundred mile radius of the University – including this bar.”

The anonymous source went on to give specifics of the group’s intentions to merge services in surrounding counties, universities, and taverns. Citing three neighboring counties which would consolidate services: Fayette, Westmoreland, and Butler Counties as well as four area universities: Pitt, CMU, Carlow, and CCAC. Oddly enough the source only mentioned South Oakland drinkery Uncle Jimmy’s as the only tavern by name.

The source also revealed the Nordenberg team will encourage the chancellor to assume a viceroy-like position over the conglomerated municipalities. The source quotes Nordenberg as telling the study team, “It is with great reluctance that I agree to this calling, I love Pitt, Pittsburgh and the surrounding counties. I bleed blue, black, and gold, and I will step down from this position once the merging has abated.”

Insiders speculate that Chancellor Nordenberg will acquire power from the democratically elected Mayor Luke Ravenstahl with the help of his middle-aged apprentice, widely speculated to be Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. With his apprentice in trouble after a duel with the public over an approved drink and car rental tax, the chancellor will need to resurrect his apprentice’s political career if his plan is to succeed.

Meanwhile, a potential disturbance to the plan and final hope for the dwindling city loyalists lies in the hands of the 27-year-old political neophyte who comes from a rich lineage of public servants. The chancellor is rumored to be threatened by Luke’s presence, but believes his connections with Onorato can bring him on board and the three of them together can rule the region.

The chancellor’s report will be released in March, but in the meantime Onorato is expected to enact Order 66, which calls for the use of Penguin Owner Mario Lemieux to construct a Downtown superstructure which will unite the region and kill any potential resistance.

Nordenberg and Onorato refused comment on the study and refused to be interviewed for this article.