Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> Can we please dispense with even the minimal amount of hype given to the “City Game?”
Until Duquesne takes its commitment to athletics more seriously than it has for, oh, four decades now, there’s just another Pitt exhibition in which a couple extra thousand Dukes fans help make a non-sellout crowd at a venue that’s a block removed from the Bluff.
I went to Duquesne, and I’ve seen generations of lousy teams come and go. There have been spurts, and there have been good, dedicated coaches such as Greg Gattuso in football, Suzie McConnell-Serio in women’s basketball and now Ron Everhart on the men’s side. But there never has been much of an appetite for athletics from Old Main, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
All you need to know about last night is that the Dukes’ one outstanding player, T.J. McConnell, was outstanding, but Pitt committed 26 turnovers, and the Dukes still lost by 11. That’s an old, old story. Almost as old as all those Norm Nixon photos the school still digs up to discuss glory days.
>> Penn State is strongly hinting it will name a new football coach before it plays in a bowl game.
>> ESPN and a Syracuse newspaper sat on the now-famous Bernie Fine scandal type for the better part of a decade, we now know. There are all kinds of ethical and journalistic debates in there. For example, a newspaper is expected to be a watchdog of police, not an entity that passes along charges its own reporters couldn’t substantiate.
But I can say definitively that it stinks on a lot of levels that ESPN dedicated about three minutes to the Penn State scandal on “SportsCenter” last night, compared to about 11 seconds for Syracuse. On some days, that might be appropriate, but there actually was more news on the Syracuse front yesterday.
>> I like how the Steelers handled Troy Polamalu on the field Sunday night. When the athletic trainers saw him looking woozy, even though he rose to his feet after that head-to-knee collision, they were out there immediately and pulled him off and kept him off.
I’m not comparably wild about Mike Tomlin announcing to the world that Polamalu likely will play in the same breath that he said Polamalu still has to have “a battery of tests” for concussion symptoms.
How about waiting until the test results come in before a prognosis?
>> We will chat today at noon, as always.