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Sports world gets a little crazy at times

Commentary

November 24, 2013
John Mehno (jmehnocolumn@gmail.com) , The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Anna Benson, the scary ex-wife of former Pirates pitcher Kris Benson, has been interviewed by TV's Dr. Phil.

The show is scheduled to air on Wednesday.

Anna Benson refers to herself as the most famous sports wife since Marilyn Monroe, a claim Gisele Bundchen or Victoria Beckham might dispute.

Anna is a former exotic dancer who improbably married one of the quietest people on the planet, then used his fame to create her own notoriety. When Benson pitched for the Mets, she famously did some interviews on Howard Stern's radio show. She operated a personal website, where she offered racy photos and profanity-filled insults of those who didn't agree with her conservative political views.

Benson last pitched in the major leagues in 2010, and Anna has also faded away. She returned to the headlines in July when she showed up at Kris' home with a gun, hatchet, knives and a bulletproof vest.

Maybe Dr. Phil can write her a prescription.

Good read

It seems like every fall brings a new Steelers book or two.

One of this year's entries is "Tales From The Pittsburgh Steelers Sidelines," by Dale Grdnic (Sports Publishing, $19.95).

Grdnic, a regular on the Steelers beat and a Penn State graduate, traces franchise history informally with a lot of anecdotes shared by players and other team personnel from various eras.

The passage of time brings perspective, and there are some interesting takes on the Steelers' familiar story. For all the attention rightfully given to the phenomenally successful 1974 draft, former safety Mike Wagner maintains the Super Bowl Steelers were really built by 1972.

There's a great story where rookie defensive lineman Gary Dunn was dejected and left camp one day after a bad practice. Mike Webster flagged him down on the turnpike, and they pulled off the side of the highway to talk. They wound up doing one-on-one blocking drills as traffic flew past, and Dunn was convinced to return to camp. He wound up with a 12-year NFL career.

Roy Jefferson, a talented receiver, talks about how he immediately clashed with Chuck Noll and wound up being traded. Tim Worley, a disappointment as a No. 1 draft choice, candidly discusses the drug problems that undermined his career.

It's an interesting book that's worthy of a spot on any Steelers fan's shelf.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

 
 

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