Sports & Outdoors

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 …

The Unlikely Factors That Led to the Steelers Surge Read More »

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 …

The Home Team Wins—Everywhere Read More »

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 …

All Smiles in Steel City Read More »

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. …

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

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 …

Flying High: Duck Hodges Victorious in Debut Read More »

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 …

Memoirs of a Quehanna Chief Read More »

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 …

NFL Dilemma: Replay vs. Slow Play Read More »

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, …

Hunting Ginseng Read More »

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 …

Steelers Declaw Bengals; League Taking Stance on Safety Read More »

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 …

The Lost Pulitzer Read More »

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. …

NFL Week Three: No Fantasy for the AFC North Read More »

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 …

Our Glacial Heritage—Moraine State Park Read More »

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 …

The Great Migration Begins Read More »

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 …

NFL Week Two: Quarterbacks Under Siege Read More »

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 …

Your Fantasy Football Guide to Week One Read More »

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 …

The NFL: Week One Report Read More »

For the Joy of It

I recently read that the audience for baseball is shrinking. The author did not cite any particular franchises or cities where there were fewer fans in the stands, nor did he cite any reasons or statistics. As someone who loves baseball, I wondered what prompted the article. Could the author have seen the proliferation of …

For the Joy of It Read More »

Moment in the Sun

One hundred years ago, Pittsburgh native son S. Davidson Herron defied expectations that rising young superstar Bobby Jones was too much for him and won the prestigious National Amateur championship at Oakmont Country Club, shocking the golf world in the process. The 1919 National Amateur was the first since 1916 due to World War I. …

Moment in the Sun Read More »

The Price of Nature’s Beauty

Second in a three-part series: Even modest exploration of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests reveals their gifts: hidden waterfalls that appear along hiking trails, imposing rock formations bolted with anchors for climbing, lakes created by dams for swimming and boating on warm summer days, and rivers and streams stocked with fish for the catching. Some …

The Price of Nature’s Beauty Read More »

King of the Woodpeckers

The pileated woodpecker burst out of nowhere just as I thought my students’ field exam was over. As soon as we were aware of it materializing from the canopy of a tree on a green at the Pittsburgh Field Club, it flew like a black bolt into denser woods and disappeared again. A great last …

King of the Woodpeckers Read More »

Catching Critters

The second floor office window of my home looks out over a lovely rural valley 25 miles east of Pittsburgh. Immediately below my window is a field that slopes away to a line of trees about 50 yards away. From my perch, fauna appear intermittently and behave as if I’m not there, as if I’m …

Catching Critters Read More »

The Fly Fisherman’s Workout

Big-woods trout fishing takes the fisherman to spectacular natural places. Wild brook trout, in particular, demand we hike deep into the forest, improving our physical and mental health by walking long distances, relaxing our minds and feasting our eyes on one beautiful vision after another. The sun’s morning rays angling down through dark green hemlock …

The Fly Fisherman’s Workout Read More »

Top