On July 27, 2008, Mike Tomlin set the tone for the entire season.
Displeased by Casey Hampton showing up to training camp overweight and out of shape, Tomlin promptly placed Hampton on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
Hampton was only permitted to work out with the team, but was not permitted to practice.
Tomlin said, ''he's not in any kind of shape to play football."
When Tomlin was asked if he was concerned that Hampton would not be ready for the start of the season, he emphatically answered with, ''yes, I am."
It was then that the team realized that they must respect the second-year head coach. Tomlin was not afraid to discipline the three-time Pro Bowler ... or anyone else.
Defensive captain James Farrior said of the incident, ''Doing this to a player of Casey's stature sends a message to everyone else - nobody is safe.''
Hines Ward said, "It doesn't surprise me with Tomlin. It doesn't matter who you are with him. You have to perform."
Tomlin finished by saying, ''I don't send messages, I take action."
Tomlin promptly earned the respect of the team, even the veteran leaders. The Pittsburgh Steelers want to play hard for Tomlin as well. Through all of his discipline and his tough demeanor, Tomlin was voted one of the top five NFL coaches to play for by the players.
His leadership and the positive effect he has on the players is more evident than ever.
I believe Tomlin deserves a lot of credit for the Steelers having the opportunity to try to win their sixth Super Bowl.
His discipline is the key ingredient for what elevated the team to its full potential. Tomlin built this foundation in training camp and he hasn't looked back since.
(Check out Dunio's blog, "blackandgoldreview")
Holmes is a bad choice
How sad it is for the Mirror to begin its "Men of Steel'' poster series with a poster of Santonio Holmes.
To glorify such a morally bankrupt individual speaks volumes about the priorities of today's society.
Multiple illegitimate children, domestic abuse, drug use - who cares? He can catch a football and run with it.
As I write this, the other ''Men of Steel'' are not known. However, I am confident James Harrison, another purveyor of domestic abuse, will be featured as well. And why not? He sure can tackle, can't he?
Gee, if Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl, maybe Holmes and Harrison will be co-MVPs. What a proud moment that would be for the media, the organization and the fans.
Paul A. Dillon
Dish Network frustrating
Anyone with Dish Network will not be seeing the Super Bowl in HD, and Dish Network doesn't care.
I've made several calls to Dish Network asking about when we would be getting the locals in HD.
First I was told that our locals do not have any agreements with Dish. I contacted WTAJ and was told that they do have an agreement in place, and that Dish Network doesn't have the equipment in place for us to receive HD locally.
I called Dish Network back and told them what I was told. Their reply was that the locals for the zip code of 16602 are not even on their 2009 list of locals to be updated to HD. Since it is Dish Network's fault that we don't have the locals in HD, I told them that I'd wait awhile.
But if we don't get the locals in HD soon, I'll be cancelling my contract and don't want to be penalized for early cancellation.
Dish Network does not care about that and said I will have fees for early cancellation. Maybe if all you Dish Network customers in the 16602 area call and complain, Dish Network will put more priority on getting our local in HD.
Eager for another good memory
I collect memories. They represent a part of our past that we can't bear to let slip away. Memories, they're the soul of every collector.
Football and the Steelers are my favorite team. I have some 2,500 games on tape, audio and video, and some 300 Steeler games from 1970 to 2009.
I have all the playoff and Super Bowl games that the Steelers won; I only collect wins.
In July 1994, the Altoona Mirror did a story on my collection. I had my kids read it every night before they went to bed. I stopped that a couple weeks ago.
It's not a matter of life and death with me that the Steelers win. It's more.
Steelers 23, Arizona 14.
I hoping for one more win for my collection.
Better transportation needed
I am a parent of an Altoona Area High School basketball player.
I am getting very frustrated with the fact that these kids are having to take school buses on away trips. I understand the trips locally (State College, Hollidaysburg, etc.) but trips like to Hazelton and McKeesport (in a snowstorm) is just a little crazy.
We are talking about 80 to 160 miles on a school bus one way. My son didn't get home until almost 1 a.m. after the McKeesport game, and he had two benchmark tests the following day.
He had no way of studying for these tests due to the fact that there were no lights on the bus to do so. If they would have taken a Fullington bus, the kids would have had lights to study.
The kids told the parents after the trip, that they were scraping ice off of the windows - from the inside. The kids were freezing due to the lack of heat on the school bus.
I just feel that when the kids have a longer away trips they should be able to ride comfortably and have the ability to study so that they may keep their grades up.