It's two weeks into NASCAR's Championship Chase, and we find Tony Stewart 2-for-2 in checkered flags. His only wins of the 2011 season have come at the most opportune of times, putting the Office Depot Chevrolet in first place in the Sprint Cup standings.
It's the first time Stewart has led the field during the Chase since he won the championship in 2005. But this time around, the Cup would mean even more to Stewart, who now has dual responsibilities as driver and owner. The move to management seems to have mellowed and matured the former hothead, who no longer seems to need anger management classes.
Danica tweets Gould
Race car driver Danica Patrick tweeted about a visit to Soldier Field on Sunday: "Great time at the Bears game today. Robbie Gould said hello, awesome!"
The former Penn State kicker's Cinderella NFL story continues. He was working construction in Clinton County in 2005 after being waived by Baltimore. Then the Bears came calling, and the rest is history.
Gould has become the most accurate kicker in Chicago history, and one of the highest-paid kickers in the NFL. He was even recently mentioned on the Lifetime Television series "Against the Wall," whose lead character, a Chicago Police Internal Affairs Detective, is an avid Bears fan.
Pirates make strides
As September comes to a close, so will the major league baseball season, with the Pirates still below the .500 mark. Still, this season showed us that the Bucs certainly have potential, and reminded us what it was like to have the home team in the thick of the divisional race.
It's hard to imagine the Pirates ever truly being able to compete when their budget can't come close to most of baseball's perennial powers. The new movie "Moneyball" provides an interesting perspective of picking players based on things like on-base percentage rather than the instincts of scouts and making lower-budget teams competitive. But in the meantime, go Phillies!
College basketball doesn't hit the hardwood for another month, but the Penn State women already have something to celebrate. The Sporting News has tabbed the Nittany Lions 12th in its pre-season poll. It's the highest ranking of any Big Ten women's team.
Penn State has four of last year's five starters back, including preseason third team All-American Maggie Lucas. It looks like it will be a fun winter in Happy Valley.
Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Kellie@BedfordCountyChamebr.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.