Sports Columns

Important to look to future

Nostalgia is very nice. I, for one, listen to nothing but 1980s music and still dress like it’s 1996, so I know plenty about getting stuck in the past. The rivalry with Pitt is a huge part of Penn State’s past. And for a legion of Nittany Lion fans — older ones who grew up with the ...

Pitt series never will be matched

Ohio State is now a bigger game than Pitt, of course, and always will be unless the Panthers someday enter the Big Ten, and that ship has probably sailed for our lifetime. But that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are a bigger rival, especially among the fans who make rivalries what they ...

Pirates make correct call on extensions

PITTSBURGH — The Pirates handed out a couple of long-term contracts on Tuesday, and the celebration seems to be limited to the men who received them. Manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington both got new four-year deals. Based on a quick scan of talk radio and a few ...

Skipper, GM sign 4-year contract extensions

PITTSBURGH — Now that the Pirates have their management team in place for the next four years, they can get to work on the big task. They have to figure out how to reach the level of success they did in 2013-15 when they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card. It’s not easy, but ...

Several things observed on Labor Day

Some general observations while bidding an unofficial farewell to summer… For many, Labor Day offers a final chance for camping and cookouts as the school year and fall sports kick into high gear. It’s the last weekend before NFL games start to count, and the height of the US Open Tennis ...

CB Haden worth the risk for Steelers

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Steelers made the splash of the week by signing cornerback Joe Haden shortly after the Cleveland Browns released him. There are a couple of ways to look at this. 1. The Steelers were able to acquire a quality player to beef up their iffy secondary. 2. The ...

Lions answer call for faster start

UNIVERSITY PARK — Of all the things that far exceeded expectations during Penn State’s stunning march to the 2016 Big Ten championship, the Nittany Lions’ ability to start games quickly wasn’t one of them. In fact, their 11-3 record came despite repeated late alarms. The Lions ...

Too much for first Steelers HOF

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Now we know who the Steelers will induct into their new Hall of Honor. Just about everybody. The inaugural class was announced Tuesday, and there were 27 names — 23 Hall of Fame members and four others. It says here that was a mistake. The first class ...

Fishertown’s Godissart paves way for women officials

Friday nights are special for Annette Godissart of Fishertown. Each week, she makes her way to a high school football field, not to watch from the bleachers or work the concession stand, but to put on her black and white uniform and referee the game. “I love football … it’s just a ...

After holdout, Bell better be ready

Commentary PITTSBURGH — There’s no mystery about what Le’Veon Bell’s end game is. He wants to be paid a lot of money. He’s not wrong about that, either. If he’s not the best running back in the NFL, it wouldn’t take long to list the ones who are ahead of him. He’s cornered ...

US Amateur ends in dramatic fashion

Even for hardcore golf fans, the U.S. Amateur Championship can hardly be considered a must-see TV event. With that said, I had enough free time to watch Fox Sports’ coverage of the championship’s final match last Sunday and found it thoroughly enjoyable. By definition, the U.S. Amateur ...

Conner’s debut good enough

PITTSBURGH — James Conner’s preseason debut with the Steelers last Sunday served its purpose. It gave him a chance to get on the field after missing a lot of training camp with a shoulder injury. It gave him a chance to work out any jitters or anxiousness he had at playing pro football ...

Sportsmanship reminders from the Little Leaguers

This year’s Little League World Series in Williamsport had an extremely cool added twist: a Major League baseball game for the tournament teams and lots of time with some of their big league idols from the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. The youth tournament is one of the most ...

Younger breed exudes sportsmanship

I really enjoyed watching last week’s PGA Championship and seeing many of the best PGA pros struggling to finish on a surprisingly difficult Quail Hollow golf course that was re-designed just last year. It was also enjoyable to see young star Justin Thomas play well under pressure and win ...

Mega-fight gets another selling point

LAS VEGAS — It’s only 2 ounces of foam, 4 if you count both hands. Still, it was enough to make Conor McGregor quite happy. Floyd Mayweather Jr., too, because it likely means more sales for what could be the richest fight ever. Nevada boxing regulators went out of their way to give a ...

Conveniently, ‘Cobra’ leaves out important details

PITTSBURGH — AT&T SportsNet has a relatively new one-hour special (“Cobra”) on former Pirates outfielder Dave Parker. Parker is 66 now, and his life has taken a sad turn. He has Parkinson’s Disease, and the program shows what a fight it is. The player who was once the most ...

Larson gives glimpse of NASCAR future

Just last week, former NASCAR Cup champion Kevin Harvick speculated that stock car racing’s failure to draw more fans in recent years was due in part to the fact that the “sport’s most popular driver is not their most successful driver.” While Dale Earnhardt Jr. reportedly called ...

Dodgers enjoying amazing run

LOS ANGELES — The hottest team in the land had yet to get a runner to first base as the third inning came to a close at Dodger Stadium, where 46,128 had come to watch a slice of history on a sunbaked Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers trailed the Padres 2-0, but not many seemed terribly ...

Rooney Sr. needs to go in first

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are an organization with an abundance of history they’ve largely ignored. That is changing with the creation of a team Hall of Honor. The first inductees will be revealed on Aug. 29. These kinds of things are great for debate and can kill hours on ...

No matter what, Pirates finding building blocks

PITTSBURGH — The odds are against the Pirates winning the National League Central, but who knows? No matter what happens, some good will come out of this season. The progressive improvement of starters Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams has been a very positive development for the Pirates this ...