Sports

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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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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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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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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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 …

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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. …

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Best Stadium in Baseball

It was a bone chilling January afternoon when Kevin McClatchy climbed to the top of Three Rivers Stadium in 1996. McClatchy, the new owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, posed for some magazine photographs with the cavernous soup-bowl-shaped stadium that within two years would become rubble. He smiled frequently, shivering in the cold wind as he …

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Is It Okay for My Growing Son to Lift Weights?

Question: “My son will be entering his freshman year of high school in September. He plays sports and is interested in getting stronger. What are your thoughts on lifting weights for a teenage child who is still growing? I’ve heard it is dangerous. Should he simply wait until he is older?” A controversial issue among …

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The Flying Dutchman Once More

It all began when my car caught fire. I smelled something burning as I approached the intersection of Penn and North Negley Avenue. I scanned my surroundings to see which building was ablaze. Nothing. Just then, it dawned on me the smoke was inside my car while all the windows were closed. A few days …

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Painting Pittsburgh’s Ice

This is how it all begins: a man, a stencil, a crayon, and of course a bed of ice. Total time for the crew to paint the ice: about 8 hours. Follow the mesmerizing process of decorating the ice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s …

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Ageless Wisdom: Dick Groat, 87

Dick Groat, 87, shares his path to becoming a professional athlete, golf course operator and broadcaster. My family made me whatever I might be. I had great parents and two sisters that were school teachers and two brothers who were athletes at Pitt. I was a very fortunate person to have grown up, as the …

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Know when to hold ’em: Le’Veon Bell stares down the Steelers

In poker, a player holding cards that he or she knows cannot be beaten is deemed to have “the nuts.” It’s the best possible position—without question, you cannot lose. You can, however, not win—an opponent may be holding equivalent cards to yours. Both the Steelers’ front office and their star running back Le’Veon Bell find …

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Hits and Hugs: The Evolution of Roller Derby

Cheswick, May 12, 2018: It happens about 10 minutes into the first half of the game between the Steel Hurtin’—the A-team of the Steel City Roller Derby—and the Chattanooga Roller Girls. Three big Chattanooga blockers, arms locked firmly together, are just about to smack Zorra, the tall jammer for the Steel Hurtin’, when she makes …

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Steelers Start Your Engines

As summer moves along, the big NFL machine quietly starts its engine. Training camps kick off across the league this week, with the Steelers setting up shop for their 53rd season at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. Most starting positions on the offense are set, but there are a few intriguing competitions worth monitoring. Planning …

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Play Ball! Faster Please

Major League Baseball’s department of Faster Play, fearing that people will think the game has become sluggish and dull and will quit watching, has devised yet another new rule to perk things up, as Pirates fans might note this season. This one’s about mound visits. Like when the catcher goes out to the pitcher and …

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Steelers Add Key Players Who Should See Playing Time

The 2018 NFL draft is in the books. The league again elected to feature a number of former NFL players to make team selections, perhaps to quell the booing of Commissioner Roger Goodell. It didn’t make a difference. It did, however, produce a very emotional draft moment. To a roaring crowd, linebacker Ryan Shazier walked …

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Our Changing Pastime

On a snowy night, I’m tossing winter batting practice in a gym to nine-year-old boys who play for Steel City Select, an elite Pittsburgh travel baseball club. We’re getting ready for the 2018 season, another chapter in the history of a game invented by Americans almost two centuries ago, and which has deep roots in …

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