Sports Columns

Teenager’s passion started as youngster

At first glance, Jared Turner of Bedford seems to be your typical teenager. The only child of Kevin and Jamie Turner, he celebrated his 15th birthday on Easter Sunday, and enjoys multiple sports in his spare time, including baseball and golf; but his greatest passion is bowling. “When he ...

Sports fans lose with ESPN moves

ESPN dropped the hammer on a bunch of its best sports journalists last week, and whether you realize it yet or not, fans are going to lose out in a big way because of it. We are going to lose out on some great reporting and insightful storytelling from experts who are on the ground, actually ...

Connor drafted because he can contribute

PITTSBURGH — Many decades ago the Steelers would have drafted a player from Pitt with the idea of appeasing the fans, getting some publicity and ultimately selling some tickets. Those days are long gone. Theirs is not an organization that leans on sentiment or panders heavily to ticket ...

‘Palming’ claim is Hoiberg grasping for straws

We pause in a postseason packed with great press-conference performances to award a gold star to Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg for his “get-off-my-lawn” rant against Celtics’ guard Isaiah Thomas. For starters, it’s so-o-o-o last century. Granted, there’s still a rule on the books ...

Steelers should spice up ‘D’

The Steelers won their last seven games of the regular season in 2016 to finish 11-5 and win the AFC North Division. They then went on to post two playoff victories. Most people would consider that a successful season. Yet, the lingering images that remain from the 2016 season are Tom Brady ...

Some sports observations from Spring

Some springtime observations while marveling at the ever-increasing pomp and pageantry of the NFL draft. Now a prime-time weeknight event, highlights from drafts of decades gone by and even a mock draft have been broadcast for days on ESPN. Just like the NCAA tournament bracket-busters, the ...

PSU building solid pipeline to Blair County

Commentary Blair County is already well represented on the Penn State football team, and that could only continue to grow in the coming years. Altoona’s Kevin Givens gets a lot of the attention, and rightfully so, as the redshirt sophomore defensive tackle appears to be on a path to having ...

Time will only tell with Art II

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II has been running the Steelers for a while now, so there’s no official change in leadership with the team. The difference is he can no longer walk down the hall and tap into the knowledge his father accumulated over a lifetime in the game. Dan ...

Mindless move could torpedo Bucs’ season

Notes and observations from the first month of the Major League Baseball season: Division championships are finalized in September, but the foundation for the success or failure of any given season is sometimes firmly established in April. And it’s not always done with play on the ...

Pirates hurt themselves

PITTSBURGH — Turns out the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals aren’t the Pirates’ most formidable enemy. Instead that distinction applies to the recklessness of their own players. Tuesday brought the shocking news that Starling Marte is suspended for 80 games, the second half of a ...

On the upswing: Hitters changing with the times

Baseball is changing right before our eyes, and will continue to do so, as more and more hitters begin to understand that a once-seemingly dumb idea is now the smart way to go. Hit the ball in the air. Don’t swing down or necessarily even level, as we were all taught when we first picked ...

Blue-White weekend more than football

Blue-White weekend in Happy Valley has become far more than a football game. And while more than 65,000 fans could file through the gates of Beaver Stadium for the Nittany Lions’ final spring football practice, the gridiron scrimmage is just the beginning of the offerings for Penn State ...

NFL needs to update view on Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Sometimes the bumbling bozos in charge of the NFL just can’t help themselves. Or maybe they’ve been so afraid of Las Vegas for so long that they automatically start hyperventilating every time a player buys a plane ticket to this gambling town. Blame it on their outdated ...

Dan Rooney was a humble, genuine football man

PITTSBURGH — Of all the things to remember about Dan Rooney, the one that comes to mind immediately is the hot dog line. The Steelers put out a couple of pans of hot dogs in the press room at halftime of games at Heinz Field. Because the hot dogs are free, the line is long, and Dan Rooney ...

Reid’s void anything but secondary

Some random thoughts while welcoming spring: n The loss of Penn State cornerback John Reid to a knee injury that could possibly sideline him for the entire season cannot be underestimated given that Reid was the Nittany Lions’ best pass defender last season and by far their top punt ...

It’s tough to repeat in the NHL

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and the Columbus Blue Jackets don’t. That should be the difference in their Stanley Cup playoff series, which begins tonight. It won’t be easy, and will probably go six games. The odds are against the Penguins repeating as ...

Checking in on new NASCAR point system

It’s a holiday weekend for the racing world as stock cars take a break from the action this Sunday, a chance for some to celebrate their strong start, and for others to make some adjustments. NASCAR’s premier series is seven races into the 2017 season, and it’s still hard to make the ...

Spaniard gets his break

AUGUSTA, Ga. — He couldn’t catch a break. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday. He always had an alibi ready. Bunkers that weren’t raked until after he played out of them. Putts that curled around the ...

Bucs’ Hurdle on hot seat? Vegas says yes

PITTSBURGH — Clint Hurdle’s future as Pirates manager seems to have suddenly become a topic for conversation. Last week a Las Vegas betting site established odds on the first manager to be fired this season. It had Hurdle as the favorite. That seems to make no sense. The Pirates had one ...

Espinal overlooked, valuable

HARRISBURG — The start of any minor league baseball season includes frequent — and quite often meaningless — discussions about where so and so falls on a list of prospect rankings. Those are important, and can be a starting point to determine which players to watch for. But in a lot of ...