Sports Columns

Blass entertains boosters

BRADENTON, Fla. — Spring training baseball is just around the corner. Pitchers and catchers report to Pirate City on Feb. 12 and 13 and the full squad will be in camp Feb. 17 and 18 to begin workouts for the opening of Grapefruit League play Feb. 23. The Bucs open Saturday, Feb. 23 ...

NBA filled with plenty of drama

The latest episode of “Survivor: NBA” was quite a cliffhanger. All kinds of intrigue. A hefty dose of griping. Some thoroughly unexpected plot twists. Now that’s a reality show worth watching. “They always catch me by surprise,” said Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, whose team ...

Mehno: Pick your 6: Steelers or Pats better?

PITTSBURGH — The score is tied 6-6, and we’re supposed to declare a winner? The New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl, matching the Steelers’ total and spurring plenty of debate. Who’s better? The Steelers won their first four in six years. Six great years of drafting ...

Super and not-so-super observations

Some general observations from the biggest football game of the year, which was far less interesting than many of the commercials: n Overnight television ratings for Super Bowl LIII came in as the lowest in a decade (when the Steelers defeated Arizona in 2009.) Some pundits attribute the ...

Ugliness overshadows Patriots’ sixth title

ATLANTA — The NFL should’ve ended the season two weeks ago. This Super Bowl was a hot mess, really no better than a sloppy preseason game. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots captured their sixth championship Sunday night, an amazing accomplishment that was overshadowed by the ugly ...

District 6 Class 2A girls playoff field filled with talent

Tonight marks the start of the final week in which teams can accumulate points toward the playoffs. There are some interesting scenarios and plenty of the brackets should provide some dramatic finishes, but the tournament a lot of people will be focusing on across the state will be the ...

Ex-Pirates leading MLB fantasy camp

BRADENTON, Fla. — Greetings from Florida where the weather obviously is much better than Altoona. We made our annual 17-hour trek south on the Amtrak Auto Train from Lorton, VA. last Sunday afternoon, arriving in Sanford, FL. on Monday morning. The temperature was in the 50’s for most ...

Romo showing uncommon foresight

The Super Bowl provides the biggest stage to date for NFL analyst turned media darling Tony Romo, and the CBS Sports color commentator seems poised to maintain the success he has enjoyed during his first two seasons on the job and, especially, during the AFC Championship Game. Romo, the ...

Mehno: Brown saga baffling on all accounts

PITTSBURGH — Bill Cowher suggested the whole Antonio Brown mess could be settled with a meeting. Put Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger and Brown in a room and let them talk things out, Cowher said. That presumes Brown is still based on planet Earth, which is not a safe bet based on his ...

Mehno: Sorry doesn’t cut it for Saints fans

PITTSBURGH — Whoops! Sorry about that. That’s the sort of thing you might say when you accidentally bump someone’s cart while you’re checking the price of the Ritz crackers in the supermarket. No harm, no big deal. Those words don’t seem adequate when stakes are higher. No ...

‘Feed me’ gesture stokes fire of growing rivalry

The growing rivalry between Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy and Everett’s Garret Cornell really didn’t need much added to it to it. The anticipation of their Thomas Chevrolet Tournament bout was pretty high. Both are state placers — Cornell finished third last season while Cassidy was third ...

Guaranteed money should be goal

There should be one word on the minds of every NFL player and the union that represents them. Guaranteed. It’s way past time for those who play America’s most popular — and physically demanding — sport to be paid what they’re worth. The most obvious starting point would be to ...

Brown not worth all the drama

PITTSBURGH — It was another mildly interesting week in the mysterious life of Antonio Brown. Several teammates chimed in to say they would be willing to welcome Brown back to the Steelers. If Brown has any interest in that scenario, it’s not evident. Posting a photo of himself in a San ...

Mehno: NFL has terrific weekend

PITTSBURGH — If you can pardon the mixed metaphor, the NFL hit it out of the park with Conference Championship weekend. In other words, it was a real slam dunk. The games were fabulous, the drama was compelling, the outcomes were in doubt until overtime, and there was even some ...

Gearing up as NASCAR season looms

It’s hard to believe that the Daytona 500 is less than a month away. It seems like just yesterday Joey Logano was celebrating his unlikely Homestead victory and Monster Energy Cup Championship. Now in the heart of winter, it’s kind of nice to think about the teams’ return to Florida for ...

Niebauer’s move to CC as coach was inevitable

Matt Niebauer was with his brother, Todd, as an assistant coach at Penn Cambria so long he lost track of how long he was there. Through most of Todd’s 16 previous years as head coach, Matt was there in dual meets, regular season tournaments and postseason tournaments. But in the spring, ...

Ridge girls’ win one of several surprises so far

A recent basketball score resulted in a couple of calls to the office asking if the Mirror may have had the score reversed when the Chestnut Ridge girls defeated Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic, 52-51, on Jan. 9. The score was correct and is just one of many surprises so far this basketball season ...

Transfers big part of changing times in college FB

One of my favorite shows growing up was the spectacular “Quantum Leap.” In fact, give me pretty much any TV show or movie that centers on alternate reality, and I’m instantly hooked. We get used to the world we live in and the way things are, so it’s cool to see how the world could be ...

Steelers’ issues much deeper than they say

PITTSBURGH — Art Rooney II spent a good part of last week evading questions about the suddenly tumultuous Steelers. He’s his father’s son, so he comes by that skill naturally. It was further sharpened when he studied law and learned that expansive candor is rarely a conduit to anything ...

Dissecting NFL final four voices

Four teams take the field for two NFL conference championship games this afternoon, but the best team working might be in the broadcast booth — specifically the Fox Sports booth. Play-by-play man Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman have put together their busiest and best season. This ...