Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> Heard from many, many readers, including in the comments right here about my Wednesday column on autographs. Appreciated all of them, but two really jumped out at me.
This one came from the actual manager of that Monroeville Thrift Drug store that I described from more than 20 years ago …
In your article, you talked about meeting Mario Lemieux at the Thrift Drug in Monroeville. I was the Pharmacist/Manager of the store at the time. And to this day, I think about meeting Mario when he was just a young kid, barely speaking any english,and cherishing a photo with him. He was exactly as you said–polite,smiling, just plain “down to earth.”
Also in your article, you mention Dan Bylsma thanking the fans, this is a common thread within the Penguins organization that just exudes class and respect. Last year, my family and I attended an open practice at Southpointe, and I bumped into Ray Shero. I said hi, shook his hand and thanked him for all he and his staff has done to create such a competitive team. He in turn thanked me for my support and appreciated the kind words.
And then there was the note from the guys at the Get To Our Game blog, who somehow dug up footage of the Lemieux goal I described from 1985 …
Awesome. Still breathtaking. Thanks again to everyone.
>> Will there be a sadder sight in all of Pittsburgh sports this year than Ray Graham in tears as he was helped off the field last night?
Pitt won the game, of course, but the loss was far larger. It seemed all the more painful that Graham was hurt right after a beautiful double-cutback run, the sort of thing that has people holding out high hopes for him beyond college.
>> Sounds like James Harrison’s eye injury nearly was much worse than it turned out. Either way, he’s still going to be out for quite a while.
That means it’s time for Jason Worilds to get onto the field and get Lawrence Timmons back to the inside. I haven’t said much about this because of the injury circumstances, but it’s not fair to Timmons or any player to bounce inside and outside in the Steelers’ scheme. As LaMarr Woodley told me the other day, there’s only one other person in all of football who plays the system I do, and that’s James.” He’s probably right. It’s a hybrid outside linebacker scheme that involves a lot more pass coverage than most seem to realize.
Timmons can handle it. But the Steelers are best with him on the inside.
>> We will chat today at noon, as always. You can submit entries as early as 6 a.m.