Sports & Outdoors

Duck Delivers

Two teams have separated from the pack through 13 weeks; the Saints and the Ravens have established comfortable three-game advantages. The rest is completely up for grabs. With only four weeks to go, five division leaders are separated by a single game. The stakes are a little higher when December rolls around. With New England’s …

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Back to Quack—Steelers Soar in Comeback Win

What a strange year it has been. In a season they’ve been down at halftime to two separate winless opponents, the Steelers currently occupy a playoff spot. Their quarterback is an undrafted rookie, their most valuable player a safety that wasn’t on the opening roster. Sunday’s 16 – 10 victory wasn’t without its struggles. Then …

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Pathway to Pain

I’ve always been enchanted by the idea of a days-long hike—to head off into the woods with nothing but a pack and the possibility of adventure, much like Bill Bryson in my favorite book, “A Walk in the Woods.” But with two kids and crazy soccer schedules, I really can’t afford to take six months …

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The Urban Deerhunter

Every July, along deer trails in pockets of forest in and around the city of Pittsburgh, Dan Krivanek and his buddies hang a bevy of camouflaged infrared LED hunting cameras in the crooks of trees. They also strew cut up apples and feed corn. Then, back in his Bridgeville borough home a few miles away, …

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Where Nature and History Collide

Here are a few state parks in Pennsylvania that offer nature at its most dramatic and some history of what life was like long before barcodes, internet and smart phones. McConnells Mill The park wraps around a restored 19th century gristmill that ground buckwheat, oats and corn with the force of the wild stretch of …

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The Steelers, the Browns and the Uglies

Yeah, that happened. Week 11 had its fair share of quality football, but all eyes were on the helmet swinging fiasco in Cleveland. The Browns took down the Steelers 21 – 7 on Thursday night. Ultimately, it’s hard to see how anyone came away as winners. Steelers Corner By now, it’s been discussed and dissected …

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The Unlikely Factors That Led to the Steelers Surge

Six teams got the week off on a Sunday full of whacky results. NFL parity was in full effect in week 10, as three different teams got nipped by one-win bottom dwellers. Baltimore embarrassed the hapless Bengals in Cincinnati to stay atop the AFC North. Over their bye week, the Bengals announced they would be …

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The Home Team Wins—Everywhere

An undefeated was defeated, a winless got a win, and the Steelers kept the dream alive in week nine. Aside from the Chargers’ stymying of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, there weren’t many surprises on a day in which every home team emerged victorious. Despite a slow start to the game, the Steelers squeaked out …

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All Smiles in Steel City

We’ve eclipsed the halfway mark, but nothing is quite set in stone. Only two teams maintain a three win advantage within their division (Saints and Patriots), while another four divisions have one win or less of separation. One underlying story that’s beginning to take shape is the race for the #1 overall pick in the …

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Controversy Waiting in the Wings? Steelers Bye and a Look Around the League

Week seven is in the books. Injuries piled up, and a few rainy cities produced some sloppy results. The 49ers trudged through the mud in Landover to remain perfect against Washington while the Falcons continued their free-fall in Atlanta against the Rams. The Steelers were off, but are now heading into their Monday night tilt. …

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Flying High: Duck Hodges Victorious in Debut

A mix of ho-hum performances sprinkled in with a few eyebrow raisers made up the week six slate. The unbeaten 49ers and Patriots took care of business, the Saints kept marching on, and the Cowboys’ spiral continues. Even Washington got a win, albeit to the Dolphins. One thing is for sure: nothing is set in …

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Memoirs of a Quehanna Chief

“Wanted: Young men, college graduates, comfortable outdoors.” ­—Uniontown Evening Standard I was enthralled by a classified ad that appeared in late March 1976. To work in some way conserving the outdoors where I’d grown up fishing, hunting and foraging wild plants was how I’d always envisioned my life. But what job could this be? The …

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NFL Dilemma: Replay vs. Slow Play

The NFL has a unique problem on its hands. While other sports are coming up with clever ways to speed up their games, the NFL has managed to make their product slower. Some of it is for the better; referees should be empowered to make the correct call and replay allows them to get it …

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Hunting Ginseng

“In passing through the mountains, I met a number of persons and pack horses going over the mountain with ginseng.” —George Washington’s Diary, 1784 I am grateful for the locals who taught me so much about rural life. Our mail carrier showed me morels, our babysitter taught me about “onion snow,” and last fall, Gary, …

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Steelers Declaw Bengals; League Taking Stance on Safety

The league’s stance on safety was made loud and clear this week: recklessness will absolutely not be tolerated. While the Eagles await the fine sure to be levied against DE Derek Barnett for an unnecessary, violent hit on Packers RB Jamaal Williams, the Raiders have already been informed of their own. Less than 24 hours …

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The Lost Pulitzer

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has won five Pulitzer Prizes. It should have been six. The Post-Gazette won No. 5 in April for its coverage of the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue, but it should have won one 55 years ago for Morrie Berman’s photo of New York Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle, beaten to his …

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NFL Week Three: No Fantasy for the AFC North

Close football games made for some exciting headlines after the week three Sunday slate. For the second week in a row, nine games were decided by one score or less, with a handful coming down to the final minute. More important, the quarterback carnage seems to have leveled off—all starters made it through Sunday unscathed. …

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Our Glacial Heritage—Moraine State Park

One of the largest and most popular parks in Pennsylvania is Moraine State Park in Butler County, an easy drive north of Pittsburgh. The park offers 28 miles of trails, boating, swimming, fishing, ice-fishing, hunting, horseback riding, cycling and educational programs. Overnight accommodations include both campsites and lakeside cabins. The story of the park begins …

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The Great Migration Begins

Across the sky, everything is moving. Fall migration actually begins in August when the first waves of long-distance travelers begin to push south. Warblers, hummingbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and hawks begin southward journeys. Some have nested and fledged chicks over the summer in sight of the Point, Flagstaff Hill, the Highland Park Bridge, the furnace chimneys …

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NFL Week Two: Quarterbacks Under Siege

There are a number of variables that play into the Super Bowl equation. You have to win the close games—a win’s a win whether by 30 points or by 3. You have to be lucky—moments that happen in the blink of an eye can decide the fate of entire football games. Above all, you have …

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Your Fantasy Football Guide to Week One

So you played John Ross over Davante Adams, and benched Aaron Rodgers for Lamar Jackson’s five touchdown performance? Me neither. Week one showcased a lot of favorable performances, many of which were left on your bench or waiver wire. The trick is in deciding whether or not these are indicative of a trend or a …

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The NFL: Week One Report

It’s hard not to think of a horse race during NFL opening week. With all the analytics in the world at our disposal, there are still underdogs who come out of nowhere and overwhelming favorites who stumble right out of the gate. And then there are the Patriots. A lot happened in week one of …

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