Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Friday column is off Pitt’s rather thorough hind-end-kicking of South Florida at Heinz Field, and I mean in all facets. Ray Graham was just relentless with the ball, left, right, up the middle, catching it … he’s starting to look like something special. The defense was far more aggressive and energetic.
But I focused on Tino Sunseri, as you’ll see. If he folds to all the criticism, not much of this takes place.
>> I don’t dwell that much on attendance, but is college football really that unpopular in Pittsburgh that only about 25,000 came out for the Big East Conference opener against a ranked team?
I’m not criticizing. In fact, I couldn’t care less how many people do or don’t show up to these games. I’m just wondering if we don’t all inflate the popularity of the sport in these parts.
>> If the Texans are healthy, you’d have to think they’re home favorites against the Steelers. I’m not sure that health is there, though. Arian Foster is a pretty big part of what they do, and we’re talking about a running back coming off a hamstring injury much more quickly than you usually hear about people coming off even minor hamstring injuries.
>> What I’ll be watching more than anything at Reliant Stadium is Andre Johnson vs. Ike Taylor. If this goes Ike’s way, he won’t be able to complain about not getting much “pub” anymore.
>> This received almost no attention, but the Pirates earlier this week fired two of Neal Huntington’s top lieutenants, special assistant Larry Corrigan and major-league scout Keith Champion. Just before that, longtime special assistant Pete Vuckovich took a job with the Mariners.
I’ve not heard particulars about these but, if I had to guess, I’d say either those three gentlemen didn’t see eye to eye with the GM, or all three at some point recommended a shortstop to Huntington.
If it was the latter, they had it coming.
>> Here’s our chat transcript from yesterday. Thanks to everyone who participated.