Luke Adelman is on to something.

Luke is the commissioner of the SDHL, that’s the Sidney Deck Hockey League. He’s 13.

Sidney stands either for his dog or the person his dog may or may not have been named after, Sidney Crosby. Luke can’t remember. I’ve encouraged him to change the name of the league to the No Parents Hockey League and he assures me that he’s taken it under advisement.

I have been on a personal crusade to un-organize kids sports for more than 30 years and have used every possible medium to promote the cause. Luke proved once and for all that it can be done.

It’s gotten to the point where a kid can’t throw a ball up in the air without several adults there to supervise it and his parents and grandparents feeling obligated to watch it.

Three years ago, when he was in the fourth grade, Luke organized two deck hockey teams to play each other on the playground basketball court near his house.

Now there are six teams.

The township turned the court into a rink by putting up dasher boards.

The first SDHL Draft was held earlier this week. Ten rounds. Six kid general managers, two of whom showed up in coats and ties, made their selections for the 2015 season.
Players found out which team they were on via Instagram.

The rosters are set, the 2015 schedule has been made and the first round of games have been played and there has not been one minute of parental input.

There are no referees.
No snacks.
No snack moms.
No insurance.
No paramedics.
No (gasp) helmets.

There have been fights and somehow they were broken up without an adult stepping in and everybody survived.

Players are traded all the time. One brother has been known to be traded by another. The kid gets the message by text or Instagram.

Highlights are shown on Instagram and stats are kept by the commissioner.

I’ve advised the commissioner to put a banner on the league Instagram page (@SDHLleague) that says, “We Respectfully Request That Parents Do Not Attend Our Games.”

I’ve also suggested a rule that would require a kid to immediately come out of the game if one of his parents showed up to watch.
I know this is actually an attempt at adult supervision on my part, but I have the interests of the league at heart.

Imagine kids playing a sport without somebody’s mother whining about playing time. No parents embarrassing their kids by yelling at the refs.

Last season a mom -possibly a general in the Army to Feminize American Boys – came to the rink with her young son. She told the boys who were playing that her son would like to play.

The kids tried to explain to her that they had a league and that her son was too young and would ruin their game.

She, of course, didn’t want to hear it and reminded the kids that they were playing in a public park and her son had a right to play in their game.

The SDHLers, to their credit, let him play for a couple of minutes and walked off. Mrs. Busybody requested that they text her with the schedule for future games and they wisely ignored her.

There was also a case of a father trying to talk the kids into making sure everybody got equal playing time, but, according to the commissioner, he was ignored.

You play when the captain says you can play and how much you play is determined by how good you are. What kind of lesson is that to send to the kiddies?

I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before the adults try to “help” out the poor, misguided renegades of the SDHL and ruin everything, but here’s hoping they hold out as long as they can.

And here’s hoping Luke Adelman realizes his dream of becoming an NHL general manager.

He’s off to a good start.


Welcome to the world of John Steigerwald

John Steigerwald brings his 40 years of sports and worldly knowledge to the online podcast world with “SteigerWorld” The show is a weekly no-holds barred format full of hot takes on sports, pop culture, entertainment, trending topics, politics and interviews with forty years of friends.


SEGMENT 1: “SPORTS” Starts at 00:00
– Cardinals had to cool off… will Pirates
– All Stars….McCutchen, Cole, Burnett, Melancon
– I remember when All-Star game was an event.
– 1965 All-Star Game summary
– A-Rod
– Kessel linemates

SEGMENT 2: “NEWS THAT MATTERS” Starts at 16:51
– Illegal immigrant murder in SF.
– Mrs. Clinton interview on CNN
– Polygamy Law Suit

SEGMENT 3: “WHY WE MAY BE DOOMED” Starts at 27:30
– College affirmative consent contract
– Tattoos & Branding
– NPHL – No Parents Hockey League

– No “Stag at the Movies” this week.
– Stag reads a chapter from his book “Just Watch the Game”
Chapter 2: “Passin’ on the Goose Eggs” about Cards Bob Gibson pitching a no-hitter against the Pirates in 1971.

The show is free to listen on the Pittsburgh Podcast Network for Apple, Android and Windows users on desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone on the iTunes and SoundCloud platforms.
** SEARCH: Pittsburgh Podcast Network


* Produced at talent network, inc. in Pittsburgh, Pa.



How about a three-headed monster?

There will be plenty of analysis and discussion between now and October about which Penguins superstar will get new teammate Phil Kessel on his line. Both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby need a finisher and Kessel should score 40 with either one.

He’s that good.

So, maybe it really doesn’t make much difference where Penguins’ coach Mike Johnston decides to put him. After watching Kessel’s highlights on Youtube, I tried to imagine what it would be like trying to stop a line made up of all three.

I know. That’s not going to happen, at least not on a regular basis. NHL teams just don’t make a habit of putting all their offense in one basket, but, if I were Johnston, I would spend a lot of time in training camp working the three of them together.

I’d like to see them get more than a little time together in exhibition games.

How would you like to be a defenseman trying to pick which of the three to focus on if they came into your zone with speed?

There are all kinds of suggestions out there for increasing scoring in the NHL. Enlarge the nets. Shrink the equipment, outlaw blocking shots, enforce the rules, none of which will happen any time soon.

So, how about thinking outside the box and making a habit out of playing the Big 3 on the same line?
It doesn’t have to be permanent, but it doesn’t have to be rare, either.

Forget all the legitimate, time-tested reasons for not doing it.

Find out how the opponent reacts to starting the game with the prospect of containing Crosby, Malkin and Kessel.

Everybody complains about the NHL becoming a defense first, system oriented game. When a team wins 6-5, you can count on the players spending more time apologizing for the five they gave up than celebrating the six they scored.

“Scoring six tonight was great, but we can’t count on doing that every game.”

There haven’t been five teams in NHL history who have had three offensive talents as explosive as the three the Penguins have now.

You know what Crosby and Malkin can do one-on-one. Kessel is quick with great hands and a shot that may be better than both.

The Penguins have tried the two-headed monster of Malkin and Crosby with limited success, but that has usually been when the Penguins were behind and looking for a spark.

And two world class offensive weapons are much easier to deal with than three.

How about a spark on the opening face-off?

Make opponents prove early on that they can keep the Big 3 from scoring. Especially at home when the last line change creates major mismatches.

Instead of focusing on the problems that playing them together on the same line might create for their other line combinations, the Penguins should focus on the problems it would create for their opponents.

The Penguins have the ability to present a combination of speed, skill and scoring ability that no other team has.

They should make their opponents prove that they can stop it.

I’ll bet they can’t.


Is it possible to be making $1.9 million a year and still be underpaid?

It is if you are an NFL player.

The money being thrown at NBA free agents this week got the attention of Washington Redskins safety Duke Ihenacho and he tweeted, “All this guaranteed money the NBA throwing. Meanwhile the NFL, which generates the most money won’t even make the league minimum $1M.”

Right now the NFL minimum for a rookie is $435,000. NBA rookies will make at least $526,000.

NFL players have themselves to blame. They allowed their union to negotiate a labor agreement that only gets them 48% of league revenues. They also were dumb enough to allow the league to set maximum salaries for incoming rookies.

They should have known that a rookie signing for an obscene amount of money only increases a veteran star’s value and bargaining power.

The NFL is the most popular and the richest professional sports league on Earth. So, how is it that the average salary in the NHL is $2.4 million a year and the NFL’s is $1.9 million?

And the NFL is the only one of the four major sports without guaranteed contracts.

NFL apologists will tell you that their rosters are twice as large as an NHL and Major League Baseball teams’ and three times larger than an NBA’s.

What they usually forget to mention is that MLB and NHL teams have to maintain several minor league teams, while NFL teams have a free farm system provided by college football.

The NFL Players Association may be the worst union in history.

It signed a 10 year labor agreement four years ago that gave the players better working conditions, but not nearly enough of the ridiculously large NFL money pie.

A few months after the labor deal was signed, the league re-upped its network TV deals for nine more years with a 60% increase in payments, from $1.9 billion to $3 billion.

That doesn‘t count the additional billions that come from DirectTV, the NFL Network and Westwood One radio.

That‘s about $7 billion for the 32 teams to share before they sell a ticket, a hat or a seven dollar beer.

Which brings us to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who may be the most underpaid man in America.

He’s expected to sign a new contract some time this Summer. He threw out the number $25 million and there are some who say that he’s being greedy since that would make him the highest paid player in the league.

He deserves it.

Wilson’s a quarterback and the NFL is all about quarterbacks surveyed bookmakers in Las Vegas a couple of years ago and the professional handicappers told them that an elite quarterback is worth a touchdown a game.

In August of 2013, the Patriots were 10-1 favorites to win the Super Bowl. The bookies told Grantland that, if Tom Brady were to go out for the season, the odds would change to 100-1.

Two years ago, the bookies put Wilson’s value at 3 points per game. He’s been to two Super Bowls since then and he has the highest winning percentage in history for a quarterback in his first three seasons.

Over a 16 game season, $25 million is about $1.6 million per game. The Seahawks will make $6 million per game in media money. They have the highest average ticket price at $452.34 per game.

So, it takes about 3,500 people per home game to cover Wilson’s $1.6 million. A couple thousand more on the road.

Pay the man.

He’s a steal at $25 million a year.