Steelers Week 6: Cheers, Jeers, & Fears

by: Jimi The Intern
October 11, 2017

Pittsburgh’s loss to Jacksonville in week 5 should put a lot of things into perspective for Steelers’ fans.

You should think about how fortunate we have been to have a guy like Big Ben playing at such a high-level for so many years.

You should also think about where he is right now in his career.

When Ben made the obvious choice to come back, I was thrilled. It meant another year of a top-flight quarterback under center with the best offense he’s had in years, possibly ever.

What we saw on Sunday, however, was that no matter what, Ben cannot do it all anymore.

He threw the ball 55 times. Again, 55 times.

That’s not a formula for success in the NFL — especially against the best pass defense in the league.

After the tough loss, Pittsburgh’s schedule doesn’t get any easier. This week they head to Arrow Head Stadium to take on the undefeated Chiefs, who look like the NFL’s top team right now.

Here are my cheers, jeers, and fears for this week against Kansas City.

Cheers

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It’s hard to find a bright spot coming out of last week, but if there is one “cheer” I can always lean on, it’s Antonio Brown and the wide receivers.

Brown had a great game, and caught 10 passes for 157 yards against a very good set of defensive backs.

Plus, he would have had a score if it weren’t for a holding call.

This Steelers group of wide receivers is very good, too. Martavis Bryant still has room to grow, and JuJu Smith-Schuster has the makings of a fine NFL player. (Andy says he reminds him of Hines Ward; let’s all hope that pans out.)

With that said, Big Ben still cannot be throwing the ball 55 times a game. It’s too much to put on his shoulders at this point in his career.

Also, the game is on regular TV this week, so there’s another thing to cheer about. 

Jeers

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While some might be looking for me to “bury” Big Ben in this section, I don’t think the offense’s shortcomings on Sunday rest solely on the future Hall of Famer.

I’m not sure if Todd Haley or Mike Tomlin got the memo, but Jacksonville has the league’s worst run defense and was giving up an average of 160 yards a game.

You’d think they’d run the hell out of Le’Veon Bell, right?

Wrong.

Bell only carried the ball 15 times for 47 yards. Compare that to last week against the Ravens where he carried it 30 times for 144 yards.

It seems counterintuitive to throw the ball so much against a dominant pass defense and run the ball so few times against a horrid rush defense.

That’s what Haley decided to do on Sunday, and he left Ben out to dry.

Even with an 11-point deficit late in the third quarter, there is no reason not to keep feeding Bell the ball. The beauty of Bell’s running style relies on wearing down a defense over time and breaking a big run late.

Fears

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This loss could be a slippery slope that leads to mediocrity.

Despite the loss, Pittsburgh is still atop the AFC North. They have three challenging games ahead before they get to their bye week, and two of them are the road.

Kansas City is the toughest out of the three, but getting the Bengals at home and Detroit on the road will not be easy outs, either.

If Pittsburgh can get win two of those games going into the bye week, I’ll be content.

After the tough loss, it would be a huge win if Pittsburgh went into Arrow Head this weekend, and pulled off an upset.

Alex Smith is having the best five-game stretch of his career, the Chiefs have found something in rookie running back Kareem Hunt, and they have two dynamic players in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill who can break a game wide open.

Oh, and their defense is pretty good as well.

For Pittsburgh to win, they will have to sure up their run defense and frustrate players like Kelce and Hill. No easy plays.

On offense, I expect the play calling to be more balanced. More Bell and less Ben. That’s going to be the formula that translates into wins.

While I do think Pittsburgh will look a lot better in the game, it’s tough to see a scenario where they pull off a win.

With so much stacked against them, I say Pittsburgh falls 23-20. (I hope I am dead wrong.)

Categories: Sports, Steelers

Interview with Jesse Smith: Climbing The Mountain

by: Micah Jacobs
October 11, 2017

Music takes its toll on a person.

From the moment a musician decides to pick up the guitar, write lyrics, and put themselves out for the world to see, we expose our innermost thoughts and emotions. It’s the greatest feeling in the world and can be absolutely draining as well.

Countless hours of practice, writing and the drive to make your music into something meaningful can often pay off in even the smallest dividends or it could launch you into a revolution.

For Jesse Smith, now of Jesse Smith & the Holy Ghost, being a part of one of the biggest metal bands — ZAO — a group that helped shape the landscape of metal and hardcore and influence aspiring musicians across the globe, is something he can look back on and be proud of for the rest of his life.

Jesse was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule of playing shows and working on his new album to talk to me about his journey and what’s next for him.

MJ: Tell me what it was like to be a part of something as big as ZAO, a band that helped usher in a new genre of metal?

JS: Looking back at it now, I am just really proud of it. So much has happened in the past 20 years of ZAO and so many people have been involved that it is just a really great feeling to be able to look back and have been involved in something so important. When you’re in it at the time you don’t often get time to reflect on just how great it is. Now I get to see bands that are successful and still out there doing it that ZAO had a part of and its great to see ZAO now. Their new stuff, I’m excited for them. It feels good that people can still connect with it.

You ended up leaving ZAO in 2004, and it took you a while to get back into music again. What triggered the rebirth of Jesse Smith?

For a while, I needed to work on pulling myself out of some holes. I just experienced life and dropped that “guy from a band” identity. I was involved in a few bands here and there, such as The Underwater, but then I just kind of stopped from about 2006 until 2013. I eventually started writing music again and working with some great musicians. Things started flowing, and we started to cut some material. Being an artist you have to come back to it. I thought I was done playing forever but you just can’t stay away from it. I really took a long time off. I worked on myself and worked on my life now that I have two kids.

Where does the eclectic sound come from in your band, Jesse Smith and The Holy Ghost?

When we first started doing this, it was a pretty mellow sound. I was pulling influence from Pink Floyd, Ryan Adams, and some Led Zeppelin. I was exploring, trying to find a sound. When you duck out of a certain style like hardcore and return to writing music it will eventually work its way back into your sound. So our sound has eventually gotten heavier. I’ve been listening to bands like Nothing But Thieves and Mastodon. I pull influence from anything that I can resonate with, and we’ve really tried to make this band as much of its own thing as possible. I don’t know if it was a conscious thing to progressively get heavier, but that is what it has shaped into.

One of the songs that stands out for me is, “Blood On Your Halo,” tell me a little about the message in that song.

That is actually one of the earlier songs we wrote. In trying to figure out what tracks to put on the first album, we had about 20-25 tracks, and we were just trying to piece it all together. We went for a 90s pop sound with Blood On Your Halo, and I am talking a little bit about myself in that song. It is a bit of self-reflection, the lyrics are about a relationship, but the relationship I have with myself.

Are you working on a new album?

Yes! The material is the story of the last year and a half. We have a great group of songs, and we are working with some amazing people, being free to do what we want in the studio. It’s so great to be at that point. The album is in pre-production right now, and we are hoping to cut the album before spring. We are going to put together some tour runs for next summer and look forward to playing the new material!


For an old hardcore kid like myself, talking to Jesse was a very humbling experience.

I remember playing The Champ, rec centers, fire halls and friends’ garages in hopes of one day touring the country and sharing the stage with bands like ZAO. But, life happens, doesn’t it? We give up a little bit of the dream day after day, life takes over and the bills start to pile up. It was inspiring to hear Jesse’s passion in what he does and how he, thankfully for all of us, returned to his art.

Check out the Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost on Facebook to keep up with the progress of the new album and some soon to be announced tour dates!

Categories: Harrisburg, Music

Greystone Public House Releases Fall Menu

by: Sara Bozich
October 10, 2017

New season, new menu at Greystone Public House.

As the seasons change, so do the menus at Greystone. Executive Chef/Owner Jason Viscount locally sources many ingredients and updates his menus to reflect the changing of the seasons.

Greystone Public House offers a range of items, whether you’re looking for a handful of small plates to share during Happy Hour or a full, multi-course dinner.

We were excited to dive and sample some of the new dishes — and cocktails! — created for fall. All are available now!

Greystone Fall Dinner Selections

Fig Toast

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

It might be a shared plate, but after one bite, you may want this all for yourself. Sweet fresh local black figs from Threefold Farm are balanced by herbed Camelot Valley Goat Cheese, balsamic vinegar, and arugula. Enjoy it as a starter or maybe even as a healthier dessert option. Or just as your lunch. Bottom line: Must-have.

Wedge Salad

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

Miniature heads of crisp iceberg lettuce are topped with bleu cheese, bacon, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and Greystone’s housemade bleu cheese dressing.

Smoked Prime Rib Gyro

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

A bit messy, but worth it. Inspired by the weekend’s leftover Slow Smoked Prime Rib (available Friday and Saturday), this gyro is much of what you expect from a traditional Gyro but packed with a healthy helping of thinly shaved smoked prime rib, pickled red onions, smoked Feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, and of course tzatziki sauce.

Peppered Gnocchi Pot Pie

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

Think deconstructed pot pie. Pillowy black-pepper gnocchi is surrounded by wild mushrooms, sage, chicken ragout, and topped with cheddar biscuit crumbs. Comfort food at its finest. Once this weather cools, you’re going to need this.

Pumpkin Tart

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

Greystone’s take on the pumpkin pie. If you’re feeling full but want to satisfy that sweet tooth, this is the dessert for you. Light pumpkin in a delicate tart crust, finished with bitter orange caramel and Tonka Bean meringue. Warning: Don’t leave in front of a pregnant person.

Find more on Greystone’s Dinner Menu »


October is Lobster Month

greystone lobster

All month long, Greystone Public House also features great seafood specials.

Mondays in October

  • All You Can Eat Mussels – with sourdough and hand-cut fries – just $19

Tuesdays & Wednesdays in October

  • Roasted 1 1/2 lb Maine Lobster Dinner – $26
  • Maine Lobster Pot Pie – $22
  • Lobster Bisque – $6
  • Lobster Roll Sliders – $7/each

Greystone “Day Drinking” Cocktails

Like the food menu, Greystone also updates its drink menu each season as well. Gone are most of the light and fruity drinks of summer. Replacing them are cocktails more catered to popular fall flavors like apple, cinnamon, and honey.

Greystone Single Barrel Knob Creek Bourbon

Greystone bought a barrel from Knob Creek to have their own house bourbon. You can grab pours of it either neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. Stop in on Friday, Oct. 20 and purchase a taste, enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, and take home your own bottle.

Local Fig

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One of the favorites of the day. More local figs are the feature in this cocktail. Bird Dog whiskey infused with figs and vanilla, plus honey, walnut bitters, and burnt Rosemary make this drink perfect for cool nights.

Greystone Sour

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

A twist on a classic. Greystone Single Barrel Knob Creek bourbon with Antica, Amaro, lemon bitters and splash of Greystone’s Merlot on top.

The 55

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

If you’re looking for a margarita, The 55 is what you want. It has all the margarita fixings of tequila and agave with grapefruit, lime, and a hint of tarragon for some bitterness.

Apple Wood Mimosas

greystone public house - sarabozich.com

This autumnal twist on the Mimosas features local apple cider, smoked maples, Scotch (yes, Scotch Whisky), topped with Brut Sparkling Wine. A lovely combination, but approach with caution.

See the rest of Greystone’s Cocktail Menu »

Greystone Public House is open daily.

Make reservations online now using Yelp! Reservations:

Pennsylvania Regional Ballet Celebrates 30 Years

by: Sara Bozich
October 9, 2017

The Pennsylvania Regional Ballet showcases local, national and global talent through its performances and classes.

pa regional ballet

The PA Regional Ballet continues this tradition for its 30th anniversary, kicking off with its annual rendition of The Nutcracker just in time for the holiday season.

PA Regional Ballet’s The Nutcracker runs 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2  and 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Scottish Rite Theatre in Harrisburg.

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For this year’s performance of the holiday classic, the ballet company is bringing in both international and national talent as featured dancers. Professional ballerinas Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside lead a full cast of PA Regional Ballet dancers.

Educational performances are another important aspect of The Nutcracker weekend. PA Regional Ballet offers special performances on Friday, Dec. 1 for schools and homeschooling groups.

Enchanted Nutcracker Tea
1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12 at West Shore Country Club
Tickets $25

This show is designed just for children.

Hear a narrated storytelling of The Nutcracker, and see the characters from the story come to life. There will also be a kid-friendly luncheon and classic tea. Special vendors will feature holiday items along with a silent auction.

Continuing performances

After The Nutcracker, PA Regional Ballet features several additional shows celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Spring Gala Concert celebrates the history of the ballet company with performances and choreography from current students and alumni.

Finally, the Summer Concert features dancers from ages 3-18 in a variety of dance disciplines.

Check back in with the PA Regional Ballet for more show announcements and details on performances throughout the season.

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