Guest Columns

Coach memorable for right reasons

I am probably the last person on earth who should be writing a sports column. My first Little League game was an abject failure. We lost 33-0, long before mercy rules were introduced. That team did not win a single game. Three years later, when playing in the “majors” — at least the ...

Dog scared neighbor, Joe Namath

By Byron Lasser In 1970, my wife, Ronna, and I were living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the home of the University of Alabama. One night we let our little dachshund, “Peaches,” outside to relieve herself. Within a few minutes, she was barking up a storm so I went outside to see what the ...

‘Get up’ needs holiday to polish act

It was early the morning of July 4, and ESPN’s Michelle Beadle, live on the air, asked a probably bigger-than-she-intended question: “Why are we here?” It was not a philosophical or religious query, and it really did not sound like a complaint, but with Beadle and co-hosts Mike ...

Steratore should handle transition

There’s a best time to buy just about everything, from airline tickets to mattresses and outdoor grills — and even on-air rules analysts for NFL games. The time for the last product was the past few weeks, with every network securing a recently retired official to hopefully provide ...

Steelers’ time has got to be now

Over the past several years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been considered one of the NFL’s elite teams. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are arguably the best quarterback, wide receiver and running back combination, and the defense is composed of young, talented ...

Barkley’s body of work just starting

So far Saquon Barkley has embraced, and seemingly thrived in, the media spotlight provided by his presence on the New York Giants’ roster. This week the former Penn State standout appeared in ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue,” with those images also available online. He was also ...

US Open golfers are fan-friendly

What if the Super Bowl was played on a 150-yard field with hills and valleys or the NBA Finals was held on an outside court with 30-mph winds? The U.S. Open, one of golf’s four majors, is considered the national championship of golf, but the course conditions are so unlike the course on ...

Memories of dad will never fade away

Today is Father’s Day. It’s a chance to tell your favorite guy thanks for all he’s been and done for you over the years. It’s usually celebrated with a small gift, perhaps a shirt or tie or wallet. In many cases, few words are expressed. And that’s a shame. I wrote this ...

Brown carrying Pirates’ banner well

With basketball season now ­over and the first regular season NFL game 88 days away, it’s now clearly baseball season for slow adopters like me, and it’s going to be fun to enjoy it for a few weeks until the Pirates slip out of contention. In fairness, they’re not really in contention, ...

Game 7 brings memorable experience(s)

“Game 7” has been called the most exciting two words in sports. The last time the NBA had two conference final series reach a Game 7 was 1979 (when Seattle won the title). This week both Boston and Houston hosted a Game 7 on Sunday and Monday, and I was fortunate enough to be one of ...

WWE, UFC gaining national traction

Whether it’s “sports entertainment” (WWE) or mixed martial arts (UFC), it’s apparently a good time to be making deals with broadcast partners. In the past week or so, Fox agreed to pay WWE about $1 billion for five years beginning in October 2019 to carry “Smackdown Live.” In ...

Payne’s legacy goes beyond golf

By Paul Newberry The Associated Press ATHENS, Ga. — Billy Payne is pondering the next chapter in his life. No, it won’t be anything close to organizing an Olympics. Or guiding one of the world’s most famous golf tournaments. “It could be as simple as going fishing every day,” ...

NFL draft covers all of its bases

The NFL Draft wrapped up Saturday, and despite complaints by some purists, it remains fairly interesting TV programming. And, no matter your level of interest, it was hard to escape draft coverage this year. Along with ESPN and the NFL Network, ABC and Fox aired the event as well. They took ...

USA sports continue to go global

An NFL team in London? Count on it. An NBA franchise in Mexico City? Yep, that’s coming too. What was once a pipe dream — major-league teams based in cities outside the United States and Canada — is now just a matter of time. The aforementioned cities are the ones most likely to break ...

New ESPN shows are underwhelming

You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and for some sports-talk fans in our region the absence of any compelling national programming on weekday mornings remains a problem — even though more options than ever exist. At one time, for nearly two decades actually, ESPN Radio ...

Tiger has sports world by the tail, again

The Masters, which begins on Thursday, is the most anticipated event on the calendar for most golf fans. However, this year it really is a can’t miss event for any sports fan. For the first time in five years, Tiger Woods is competing with a legitimate chance to win his fifth green ...

Greenberg starts his new venture

He’s back, and we’ll find out if he’s better than ever. “We’re back and better than ever” was a longtime catchphrase for ESPN’s Mike Greenberg during his nearly two-decade run as co-host of “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN Radio. The show, which was simulcast on ESPN2 ...

Big Ten jumps gun for marketing

After a dozen games over the past four days, the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament concludes at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon with its championship game on CBS Sports. The Sunday afternoon game time continues a tradition for the conference, but this season the game is being contested a week ...

ESPN expands A-Rod’s platform

While Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens did not get voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January (at least in part because of their connections to performance-enhancing drugs), another former MLB player connected with “the Steroid Era,” and one who lost a year of his playing career because ...

Game doesn’t need bells and whistles

PITTSBURGH — OK, what exactly is it that bothers you about the New England Patriots? Is it the beady-eyed coach, who vandalizes those officially-licensed hoodies by chopping off the sleeves for added comfort? Even if he’s not up to something illegal, he looks guilty. Is it the ...