Take 5: Will the Steelers draft Pickett, Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame and more


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Pitt redshirt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) runs with the ball during the first half of the ACC Championship game against Wake Forest University at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

By The Pitt News Staff

In this week’s Take 5, The Pitt News Sports Desk looks at the potential of quarterback Kenny Pickett playing for the Steelers next season, the debate surrounding the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and more.

Kenny Pickett isn’t going to the Steelers // Alexander Ganias, Staff Writer

It’s every yinzer’s dream to see redshirt senior Kenny Pickett — the quarterback that led Pitt to an ACC Championship and finished No. 3 in Heisman voting — strap it up for the hometown Steelers.

But the ACC Player of the Year won’t stay at Heinz Field forever.

The Steelers own the No. 20 overall pick in the upcoming draft barring any trades, and pundits don’t believe Pickett will drop that low. Several mock drafts have him either going No. 9 overall to the Broncos, No. 5 to the Giants or No. 18 to the Saints, among others.

The Steelers’ last quarterback, future hall-of-famer Ben Roethlisberger, announced his retirement Thursday, which means they have to replace him. Pickett looks to be an NFL-ready prospect that can solve Pittsburgh’s problem.

But with the mock drafts predicting that he’ll go higher than the No. 20 overall pick, it’s reasonable to assume that he won’t be taking snaps for the Steelers. If it’s any solace, Pickett’s name will be etched in Pittsburgh sports lore forever — just not as a member of the Steelers.

The Baseball Hall of Fame voting is a broken system // Zack Gibney, Senior Staff Writer

At one point, getting inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame meant something. Unfortunately, the Baseball Writers Association of America once again decided to make a statement rather than doing the right thing. Instead of voting Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame, the voters once again locked him out.

Barry Bonds responds to a question during a news conference on March 22, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Regardless of what some may think of him as a person, there will never be another athlete quite like Barry Bonds. The home run and RBI numbers are more than impressive, but the Barry Bonds stat that is truly astounding is the number of intentional walks opposing teams issued him throughout his career. Teams opted to walk Bonds intentionally 688 times over the course of his 22 year career. Who’s in second place for intentional walks in a career? Albert Pujols with a mere 315 free passes.

You can’t tell the story of baseball without mentioning Bonds — the most feared player in the history of the sport.

People will cite the morality clause and, sure, there are red flags when it comes to Bonds’ candidacy surrounding his use of performance-enhancing drugs. That being said, the seven-time National League MVP was a Hall of Famer before the words “Steroid Era” were ever muttered.

The baseball writers failed to come down from their ivory tower, and as a result, tainted a once-proud exhibit of America’s Pastime.

The Joe Schoen hire brings new hope for New York Giants fans // Jack Markowski, Staff Writer

Fans and those in the league once saw the New York Giants as one of the premier organizations in the NFL. But their performance and results in recent years represent a far cry from those days, as they’ve had three different head coaches since 2016 and own the worst record in the league over the past five seasons.

The individual most responsible for the franchise’s downfall is Dave Gettleman, whom the Giants hired during a controversial general manager search in 2018. From there, he proceeded to hand out enlarged contracts to free agents without fully grasping what it takes to build a winning team in the modern-day NFL.

Joe Schoen, the new New York Giants general manager, speaks during a news conference at the Giant’s training facility in East Rutherford, New York on Wednesday.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

With all of the turmoil that fans have endured, it’s easy to see why Gettleman’s replacement, Joe Schoen, has elicited feelings of hope and optimism.

For starters, he brings a clean slate and an analytical philosophy that also prioritizes building through the draft. His experience is a huge plus as well, with Buffalo’s turnaround having a direct correlation to when he arrived.

A significant change was needed in East Rutherford for quite some time, and the organization now has a path toward success.

Aaron Rodgers is overrated // Jermaine Sykes, Staff Writer

It’s time for us to be honest about the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. Time and time again, when he needed to step up for the Packers, he failed to do so, and his legacy continues to take a hit because of that.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers warms up before last Saturday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

Rodgers’ statistics and accolades put him among the all-time greats. He’s even the favorite to win the 2021 NFL MVP, which would mark the 38-year-old quarterback’s second consecutive MVP award and his fourth overall. Rodgers ranks No. 5 all-time in passing touchdowns and is tied for second all-time in passer rating. Despite these stats, Rodgers only has one Super Bowl ring.

Come playoff time, Rodgers has a tendency to come up short. In the last three seasons, the Packers have earned a first-round bye in the playoffs yet failed to advance to the Super Bowl in any of those three instances. A lot of this has to do with Rodgers’ performance.

In their NFC Divisional Round game against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, Rodgers and the Packers’ offense scored a minuscule 10 total points in a home playoff game. The Packers were on the brink of defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, yet Rodgers failed to scramble for a touchdown that would have put the Packers ahead.

While it’s unfair to blame him alone, Rodgers definitely deserves a majority of it. An all-time great player is expected to perform better. It makes you wonder whether Rodgers is among the game’s all-time best quarterbacks to begin with.

2022 F1 rule changes will see historic manufacturers return to glory // Richie Smiechowski, Senior Staff Writer

Since F1’s transition to V6 power units for the 2014 season, Mercedes hasn’t just been dominant — it’s been perfect.

Featuring just three drivers in the eight-year era, Mercedes has won the Constructors Championship each of those eight years and the Driver’s Championship seven times — six from England’s Lewis Hamilton and one from Germany’s Nico Rosberg. Last year was the only time the team missed out on the Driver’s championship, and even that was lost on a last lap pass from Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

The 2022 season will see the biggest rule-overhaul in F1 history. Bigger tires and a completely redesigned car body have been designed to promote closer racing, and a reduced performance gap between the teams on the grid.

The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay City Circuit in Singapore on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)

While the new specifications are fascinating, what is most exciting about a rule change this monumental is that every team must start from scratch — the field will be leveled, meaning Mercedes may finally be knocked off their pedestal.

Ferrari and McLaren both had fantastic 2021 seasons and are trending upward after years of disappointment. Both teams have incredibly talented driver lineups and all of the necessary resources to win the grand prix regularly. Look for the two classic powerhouses to compete alongside Mercedes and Red Bull all season long.