November 2013

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions staged a seesaw battle at Heinz Field with the Steelers eventually prevailing 37-27. The Steelers raced out to a 17-3 lead, then allowed the Lions to move up and down the field to the tune of 27 points in the second quarter. At the half, the Lions led 27-20 and Calvin Johnson already had 6 catches for 179 yards and 2 TD’s. However, in the second half, Dick LeBeau’s defense made some adjustments and the Steelers held Johnson without a catch and held the Lions without a point.

Behind Big Ben, Pittsburgh scored 17 second half points to take the lead and win going away. For the game, Roethlisberger was 29 of 45 for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns without throwing an interception. He powered the offense as the Steelers only managed 40 yards rushing on the day. Despite the fashion faux pas that are the Steelers’ throwback jerseys, they prevailed to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Tyler Gaffney, Oregon at Stanford

The high-flying Oregon Ducks landed with a thud in Palo Alto as they faced off against their PAC-12 rival, the Stanford Cardinal. Just as it did last year, Stanford used tough defense and a grind-it-out offense to ground the Ducks and ruin their chances of a National Championship. For Oregon, it was a heartbreaking loss — the Ducks only had the ball for 17:26 while the Cardinal bled the play clock on every snap playing “keep away” to the tune of 42:34 minutes of possession. Heisman candidate Marcus Mariota was unsettled for the entire game and Stanford took a 26-0 lead, then held on as Oregon made a comeback, but fell short and lost 26-20.

At the nexus of the Cardinal offense was senior tailback Tyler Gaffney, who toted the rock an incredible 45 times for 157 yards and a touchdown. As a team, Stanford had 66 rushing plays for 266 yards. And when the offense got into trouble, QB Kevin Hogan bailed them out with timely completions on third down or quick scrambles to keep drives alive. Oregon could not generate any rhythm or momentum during the brief times they had the ball and now will have to wait another year to try and make it to college football’s ultimate contest.

Pencil on Strathmore 400 Series 140lb Multimedia Board. Click on the image for a larger version.

ZZ Top Ottawa 2013

The Little Ol’ Band From Texas rocked the Canadian Tire Centre Monday night as Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard put on a show featuring a healthy dose of ZZ Top classics mixed with some newer material from their current album, “La Futura”. Gibbons is a master and one of the best blues guitar players in history — he creates sounds out his instrument with the ease of someone dailing a phone…effortlessly. His command of artificial harmonics was in full display as he squawked out the solos on “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, “Legs”, “Pincushion” and others that feature this difficult technique.

The crowd was older and more subdued than normal — and sparse. Even though the band played in the smaller “bowl” configuration of the arena, it was clearly too large a venue and this seemed to take some of the energy out of the performance. However, the “Eliminator” anthems and a cover of Gibbons’ pal Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxey Lady” were the highlights of the evening, ending with the raunchy slide guitar on “Tush”.


Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin’ for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Gimme All Your Lovin’
I Gotsta Get Paid
Flyin’ High
Certified Blues
Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)
My Head’s in Mississippi
Sharp Dressed Man

La Grange / Sloppy Drunk Jam

Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions watercolor

The Dallas Cowboys visited the Detroit Lions and the two teams put on quite a show with the big star being Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson. As the teams went back and forth, Matthew Stafford of the Lions kept looking for and finding his favorite receiver to the tune of 14 catches for a near-record 329 yards. Only Flipper Anderson’s 336 yards in a 1989 Rams-Saints game eclipsed what Johnson accomplished on this afternoon. The Lions eventually prevailed as Stafford executed a trick QB sneak with seconds left for a 31-30 win.

Johnson proved to be too much receiver for the Cowboys to handle. He muscled his way past defenders and outraced them after catching the ball, showing his great speed. He scored one touchdown and set up the game winning score with a 22-yard reception. The Lions are a different team when “Megatron” is in the lineup and could contend for the NFC North if Green Bay stumbles.

Pencils and Watercolor on Strathmore Watercolor paper. Click on the images for a larger version.

Calvin Johnson pencils