Sports Columns

Annual game helps Penn State market itself

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Blue-White Game is Penn State football’s best commercial. The game itself isn’t usually much to watch, let alone evaluate, and Saturday was no exception as the Blue continued its recent domination and cruised to a 21-10 victory. Unless you want to go back to the ...

Mehno: Flyer fans love to hate Crosby

PITTSBURGH — If you root, root, root for the home team, does that mean you have to hate the guys on the other team? That question is relevant as the Penguins’ Stanley Cup playoff series against the Flyers returns to Philadelphia this afternoon for a sixth game. They don’t think much ...

Vegas breaks expansion template

Dan Bouchard can appreciate, better than most, the Miracle in the Desert. He was a goalie for the expansion Atlanta Flames back in the 1970s, so he knows how difficult it is to build a competitive team from scratch. “It’s astonishing what they’ve done in Vegas,” said Bouchard, who ...

Wrestling fans adored one of the Steel City’s biggest stars

PITTSBURGH — He was one of those one-name performers. Bruno. One name suffices. Roberto. Franco. Mario. Bruno. Back in the day, there was a wrestling show every month at the Civic Arena. On those Friday nights, the phones in the Post-Gazette sports department would ring constantly from ...

Being up 3-1 will be huge for Pens

PITTSBURGH — The Penguins can’t clinch their playoff series tonight, but they can essentially put away the Philadelphia Flyers. Winning tonight would give the Penguins a 3-1 edge in games, and the Flyers won’t be able to come back from that. So while winning tonight’s game won’t ...

Pirates open doors to community

Some observations while wondering why the April showers are still coming in the form of snowflakes … n The Pittsburgh Pirates have put together some unique experiences giving young players the chance to play ball at PNC Park. Youth teams and high school squads sell tickets to Pirate games ...

Bucs’ Hurdle walking a fine line

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle has gray hair, two artificial hips and a fondness for 1970s rock anthems like Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band.” But he never seemed older than he did the other day when he invoked the unwritten “respect for the game” statute against the Chicago ...

Mehno: Path to Cup not easy for Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — The 82-game, 185-day play-in round is finally over. The Stanley Cup playoffs begin tonight with the Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Philadelphia Flyers at PPG Paints Arena. Some thoughts on the match-up: n The Penguins swept the four games in the season series, but that ...

Spring sports getting raw deal

The first day of spring was exactly three weeks ago, but it still feels like winter on the athletic fields of central Pennsylvania. With cancelations of everything from junior high sports to Major League Baseball, it has seemed at times like spring will never truly arrive. This is just one ...

Tomlin knows what battles to fight

PITTSBURGH — You know how angry you get when the Pittsburgh Steelers have those silly pre-planned touchdown celebrations? Turns out Mike Tomlin shares your feelings. That must have come as a shock to those who figured that Tomlin was on board with the high-stepping, preening and booty ...

McIlroy hopes to solve course

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The early returns are in for Rory McIlroy at the Masters, and so far all is good. The swing is fine, and so are the ribs. Perhaps more importantly, all seems well in the space between his ears. Now comes the real test, with a rare career Grand Slam there for the ...

Plenty of factors have led to sustained success

By any measure, the Curve have been a huge success story for two decades, but what can get lost in the big picture are the important details that were handled perfectly back in the late 1990s that helped ensure the franchise’s long-term stability. It was a long shot that Altoona, a small ...

Shades of old Tiger resurfacing during Augusta practice

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The new, more social, Tiger Woods was only occasionally seen Wednesday as he made his way around the front nine of Augusta National in the final tune up for a Masters green jacket that suddenly seems very much in reach. There weren’t many trips down memory lane with playing ...

Trust Hurdle on no-hitter debates

PITTSBURGH — “But he had a no-hitter.” There was a lot of social media consternation Sunday afternoon when Pirates starter Trevor Williams was removed from his start in Detroit after six innings. Williams hadn’t allowed a hit. Clint Hurdle thought the pitch count (85) was more ...

NASCAR thoughts while awaiting Texas race

The Monster Cup field heads to Texas after a week off, with Kevin Harvick looking for his fourth win of the season. Harvick has been a headline-maker, posting four top-five finishes through the month of March, but stands in just seventh place overall. The stage format for races, instituted ...

Mehno: MLB teams at mercy of nature

PITTSBURGH — It’s a cruel April Fool joke that’s being played on the Pirates. They get extra time in Detroit. Two of their first three scheduled games had to be postponed because of weather, including the Thursday opener and Saturday’s matinee. So at 6:10 p.m. this evening — about ...

Capel hiring checks off many of Panthers’ boxes

PITTSBURGH — It took a while for Pitt to find a new basketball coach, but it looks like a solid hire for a program that needs a lot of help. Duke assistant Jeff Capel is expected to be introduced at a news conference today. Then he has to get busy —hire a staff, establish a recruiting ...

Talk of the tournament: Campbell lives up to billing for Bellwood-Antis

HERSHEY — Hershey’s Giant Center was buzzing with a common theme around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. Bellwood-Antis sophomore Alli Campbell is extremely talented. From media row to West Catholic fans that traveled from Philadelphia and even an on-looking security guard, everyone was talking ...

Goodman Shaffer: ‘One Shining Moment’ is always a lot of fun

I love the NCAA basketball tournament. From the crazy upsets to the crazy fans, the Big Dance is one of the big joys of American sports. Everyone can participate — and everyone does. From morning show hosts, to past presidents, everyone shares their brackets; even preschoolers and puppies ...

Pirates good? Just watch the pitchers

PITTSBURGH — You can slice and dice baseball statistics many ways, but this holds up as a basic truth: a team’s success will be determined in large part by the quality of its starting pitching. The Pirates enter the 2018 season with a lot of promise in their rotation, but not a lot of ...