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Players Need to Fight for 16 Game Season



Mike Asti is all fired up about the debate over the NFL schedule.. The owners aren’t fooling Mike, and he says it’s up to the players to stop the schedule from expanding.

Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti manages both Steelers Now and Pittsburgh Sports Live, as well as, contributing to WVSportsNow and West Virginia's Metro News.


Bill Cowher Reveals He and His Wife Recovered from COVID-19



Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and his wife Veronica have and recovered from COVID-19, the future Hall of Fame told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

While not diagnosed at the time, the couple experienced symptoms back in March following a trip to Hawaii, and tested positive for the virus antibodies in April.

According to Bouchette’s story, Cowher first knew something was wrong when he was unable to smell flowers he had purchased from a florist, and could not taste his wife’s cooking. Cowher also said he experienced shaky joints and a fever, while Veronica had a cough.

Cowher also shared his thoughts on the NFL season going forward, and if he thinks the league will be able to start up without a hitch. He seems skeptical.

“I don’t know,” Cowher said via Pro Football Talk. “No. 1, the players have to feel comfortable with whatever they come up with from a testing standpoint, from a protocol standpoint. I totally understand the reluctance. Even though they say young people aren’t getting it, you also have people who have asthma, people who have underlying conditions in their families — they’re going back to their homes with parents who may now be elderly. It’s not like you can isolate yourself from everybody, particularly during a season that’s five months long. . . . I still think we have a long way to go.”

Cowher added that players needed to be respected with regard to how they choose to handle the virus personally, including if they decided to skip the 2020 season entirely.

“It’s going to come down to the league and the NFLPA feeling comfortable moving forward, and even within that, if they come up with a set of guidelines, and now a player who doesn’t feel comfortable, he may not want to be part of it. It affects people differently not only from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint. . . . I think we have to respect that.”

A Super Bowl champion in 2005, Cowher spent his entire 15-year head coaching career with the Steelers. His 149 wins are top-20 in NFL history.

Cowher has worked as an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS since 2007.

The legendary coach was supposed to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August, but the ceremony and festivities were moved to the summer of 2021 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

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Rod Woodson Claims NFL Teams are Hesitant to Hire Hall of Famers



Hall of Famer and former Steeler Rod Woodson has a theory for why he hasn’t been hired as part of an NFL staff. And no, he’s not making any claims that his race is playing a factor. Instead, Woodson told TMZ that his status as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is actually viewed as a negative.

“I think it’ll be more difficult for Hall of Famers to get in it and stay in it,” Woodson said in a video posted by TMZ, “just for the fact that most of the coaches don’t like that respect leaving that room or that area and going to somewhere else.”

Woodson, who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs ever, most notably for his time with the Steelers from 1987 to 1996, admits he’s been angling for a job as an assistant for years. The 55-year-old also proclaimed to TMZ that he’s willing to work all day long if that’s what it takes to be a coach on an NFL staff.

To support his theory, Woodson cited former member of Mike Tomlin’s staff and current Denver Broncos offensive-line coach Mike Munchak as the only Hall of Famer he can think of working as an active NFL assistant coach.

When asked about the 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony being canceled, Woodson made it clear he’s crushed for this year’s class, who will have to wait until next year to be officially inducted along with the 2021 group.

Rod Woodson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Woodson’s body of work stacks up with other legends at his position. He accumulated 1,158 overall tackles, 530 credited as solo tackles, 71 interceptions, 32 fumble recoveries (15 offensive and 17 defensive), 4,894 kickoff return yards, 2,362 punt return yards, and 17 touchdowns (12 interception returns, 1 fumble return, 2 kickoff returns, 2 punt returns) throughout his 17-year playing career with the Steelers, Ravens and Raiders. Woodson was a member of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XXX team and won Super Bowl XXXV with Baltimore.

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Report: NFL to Tarp Off Lower Rows of Seats, Sell Signage Opportunities



In another attempt to combat COVID-19, the NFL is planning to tarp off the first six to eight rows in stadiums to ensure distance between players and coaches from fans if they are present, according to a report by Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal.

The measure has also opened up a lucrative opportunity for clubs, as they will be able to sell sponsorship signage on the tarps that will be visible on television broadcasts. Selling this signage is intended help combat some of the lost revenue teams are expecting as a result of the pandemic.

Fischer reports that the plan was shared with team presidents on Tuesday, and that the proposal will be presented to league owners in a meeting tomorrow.

The idea has already been implemented in Europe, as the English Premier League began repurposing empty seating for advertisement when the top-flight soccer league returned last week.

While the proposal seems like a brilliant solution by coupling COVID-19 measures with revenue generation, there are some restrictions.

Sponsors can not conflict with league sponsors, such as Pepsi and Verizon, which means that team naming rights and local sponsors should be in the clear. No indications has been made if gambling companies will have access to these opportunities.

This will be the first time ever that clubs will be allowed to sell their own sponsorship on the field level, but the policy will be limited to just the 2020 season. In the past, clubs have been prevented from placing signage within 40 feet of the playing surface. Microsoft, Bose, Gatorade and Oakley are currently the only brands that enjoy the luxury of regular, on-camera brand exposure during the television broadcast.

Though it would appear that the league would institute these new measures with the intent of having fans for the 2020 season, no official announcement has been made yet by the league regarding empty stadiums this year.

The Steelers have announced that they have limited single-game ticket sales in an attempt to plan ahead for mandates of less than capacity crowds.

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