Sports & Outdoors

Call Them Crazy

Tony Modzelewski can’t explain why he jumped off the Fort Pitt Bridge in January 1975, but modern psychology has him covered. Modzelewski was 17 years old, celebrating the Steelers’ first Super Bowl victory, and the group of revelers he was with decided to walk across the bridge. “I don’t know how we got started. There were …

Call Them Crazy Read More »

Row Your Boat

You should see Pittsburgh from down here, with nothing but a shell of wood and a few threads of spandex between you and the Allegheny, the water slapping at your elbows and the skyscrapers jutting like exclamation points at the end of the river. Pittsburgh is a city more often looked down onto, as from …

Row Your Boat Read More »

A Tall Tail

It might be on the desolate plains of North Dakota, a lowland plantation in South Carolina or a rolling field in Pennsylvania. Wherever, it doesn’t take a first-time bird hunter long to realize the majesty and value of a good English pointer. The indefatigable dog zigzags in a euphoric trance through fields of high stubble, …

A Tall Tail Read More »

Farewell to a Summer Love

August afternoons resemble the blazing passion of new love: intense and torrid. August evenings are the antithesis: gentle and serene. They are a mature experience that is like a long, tender embrace. On August walks I avoid the blistering, high-sky sun of midday and seek shelter in shaded, cool, stream-cut ravines. The forest umbrella blocks the …

Farewell to a Summer Love Read More »

The Tracy Method

On the afternoon of Sept. 21, 1980, a rookie outfielder for the Chicago Cubs cracked his first major league home run over the centerfield wall at Wrigley Field. Four days later, he hit his second homer, and two days after that, a third. “I was on pace,” said Jim Tracy, laughing the knowing baseball laugh …

The Tracy Method Read More »

Pittsburgh’s Claim to Fame

In honor of the midsummer classic’s July reappearance in Pittsburgh, I pulled out some interviews I did years ago with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Dan Fitzpatrick got many new ones of great National Leaguers of the past and their recollections of the Pirates and Pittsburgh. Many remember the eccentricities of old Forbes Field. Some recall …

Pittsburgh’s Claim to Fame Read More »

Last of the Romantics

Maybe there never was anything even remotely innocent about football, and to be clear, that’s just an introductory reflection, not a lament on any recent spasm of cheerleader high jinks, or low jinks as the case may be. But if football ever had an age of innocence, it’s ancient enough to have ended prior to …

Last of the Romantics Read More »

Get the Message?

When President George W. Bush tossed the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener of the Washington Nationals in April, it marked the return of Major League Baseball to the nation’s capital after a 34-year hiatus. It also gave a newcomer from Pittsburgh millions of reasons to cheer for a team that plays against the …

Get the Message? Read More »

The Dead of Winter

I have often tried to find the beauty in a frigid day. I have frequently searched for loveliness in a meadow swept bare and brown by icy winds. I have repeatedly tried to uncover elegance in snow-wrapped woodlands. My pursuits have always failed. I will always no more than tolerate winter. Each time I make …

The Dead of Winter Read More »

Top