Sports Columns

Pittsburgh can win today if …

Commentary PITTSBURGH — Can the Steelers win in New England today? Of course they can. Will they? Probably not likely. This evening’s game is something of a Super Bowl unto itself, a clash of powers worthy of its own spotlight without those NFC infidels serving as the opening ...

Planting native trees and shrubs helps wildlife

Last week, I discussed here some warnings about not putting out food for wildlife in the wintertime. Having grown up in the country myself, I know how satisfying it can be to see wild birds and mammals literally in your backyard, so the temptation to attract them with offerings of food is easy ...

Deer Management group offers up tidbits for hunters

Recently I sat in on a presentation by Jack Sorber — or the Quality Deer Management Association — and he unloaded a few tidbits on us. This organization has always been about management of land and habitat. He emphasized a fact that we all know —  if you don’t have good habitat, ...

Mehno: Locker room video stunt just plain silly

PITTSBURGH — Keep an eye on Facebook this week. Maybe Antonio Brown will post the Steelers’ game plan for the AFC championship game at New England. It’s hard to know what was going through Brown’s mind when he decided to go live via Facebook from the locker room after the Steelers ...

Success must be visualized

“Act like you’ve been there before.” That famous quote from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi reminded his players to show class when they made it to the end zone. That advice remains sound today, when we’ve seen everything from taunting dances to the signing of autographs ...

Tyrone’s Tate facing roster challenges in first year

Tyrone’s Terry Tate was one of the best wrestlers in the Golden Eagles’ storied history, winning a Class 2A state title as a senior at 275 pounds in 2005, posting a 47-0 record that year, and amassing a 149-24 record. Now he’s the head coach of the Golden Eagles, who have been ...

Winning at Patriots will be much tougher

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are headed to Foxborough this Sunday, but that trip to Kansas City was awfully bumpy. The Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 Sunday night to advance to the AFC championship game. That’s Tom Brady against Big Ben, and another confrontation with the ...

Mehno: Big Ben has improved off the field

PITTSBURGH — Your opinion of Ben Roethlisberger probably hinges on how he plays tonight in Kansas City. If he plays well and leads the Steelers to the AFC Championship game, he’s the greatest. If the Steelers lose, his approval rating will fall accordingly. That’s how it goes with ...

Grenoble: Baity knows her stuff when it comes to coyotes

I tried to sneak quietly into the back of the room because I was a few minutes late arriving. I noticed at once that the audience was enthralled with the speaker, who was speaking confidently, obviously knew the subject well and how to communicate it. I also was thrown back in my mind about ...

Decisions by Steelers coaches spoil big day

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers were having a fine day Sunday. That was right up until the time their franchise quarterback started clomping around in a walking boot, just hours before one of their assistant coaches wound up in police custody. Talk about quickly changing the narrative after an ...

State parks ring in New Year with winter recreation

Commentary Author John Burroughs wrote: “He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.” With the holidays behind us, winter has truly set in, and our state parks are hoping we do anything but take a long nap. Across ...

Pittsburgh expected to beat Miami

Commentary PITTSBURGH — The temperature won’t even approach the freezing mark today at Heinz Field, yet the heat is on the Steelers. They’ve won exactly one playoff game in the last five seasons, and that only happened because the Cincinnati Bengals saved their most knuckleheaded ...

Handing out yearly NFL All-Pro picks with a twist

The Associated Press All Pro team has long been what NFL careers are measured by. That won’t change on Friday when this year’s squad is announced. What has changed is some of the positions. The AP doesn’t let me vote, but here are my picks. FULLBACK: Don’t even bother; the position ...

Rose Bowl memorable, disappointing

LOS ANGELES — If you’re a sports fan, it would be nearly impossible not to have been enormously entertained by the thrilling Rose Bowl game between Penn State and USC. However, if you’re a Nittany Lion fan, you probably fall into one of the following two categories: 1. The game was so ...

Stability hard to find in NFL

PITTSBURGH — This is the time of year that a lot of football coaches start packing up their offices and seeking a new opportunity. A bunch of coaches are getting bad news. In the case of Denver’s Gary Kubiak, he left the job on his own. Kubiak walked away because the high-stress existence ...

Saban taking chance by cutting ties with Kiffin prior to title game

You can only poke the bear so much. Lane Kiffin kept running his mouth, and it may have cost him a chance to stay at Alabama for one more week. But Nick Saban is taking a real gamble here, even more than the onside kick that helped turn the tide in last year’s national championship ...

Loss can’t take shine off season

PASADENA, Calif. — The effort and the finality moved James Franklin to tears. After the Nittany Lions wound up one stop and a field goal short of beating Southern Cal on Monday in the highest scoring Rose Bowl of all time, losing 52-49 as time ran out, Franklin didn’t mask his ...

Paying tribute to Madera native

Commentary Some general observations while bidding farewell to 2016 and welcoming the New Year. n Saddened but honored to have attended the Celebration of Life Memorial for Madera native Ray Raffin, who passed away shortly before Christmas after a courageous battle against cancer. The ...

Nittany Lions are playing for more than themselves

LOS ANGELES — Bowl games are generally viewed as either a cap to a great regular season or a springboard toward next year. With the gorgeous Rose Bowl as tonight’s backdrop, Penn State actually finds itself in both scenarios. The No. 5 Nittany Lions’ glamour matchup with No. 9 USC ...

Mehno: Pittsburgh manages best of both worlds

PITTSBURGH — If we didn’t know this before, we do know: The Steelers can beat the Cleveland Browns without really trying. It wasn’t easy, Sunday’s 27-24 victory in overtime, but it was still a familiar outcome. The Steelers are 15-1 against the Browns at Heinz Field. Ben ...