PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>> My Wednesday column offers almost unmitigated love for the NHL realignment, the new playoff structure, pretty much everything. Though I must admit, it’s oddly uncomfortable to feel this positive about anything this league does.
>> Quebec Nordiques? Mais oui!
>> New rule: No complaining about Nate McLouth’s impending return if you were among those many, many fans who were furious about his trade. In all seriousness, I know McLouth was devastated to leave. Not upset. Devastated. Even weeks later, he seemed more focused on having been traded than on the challenge he’d face in Atlanta.
It would be crazy stupid to suggest that’s why he fared so badly with the Braves, but it sure made for a lousy start. I also know he loves proving people wrong. We’ll see if he can do it twice.
>> Also, for crying out loud, he’s not coming to bump Alex Presley. He’s Presley insurance. Look at him as taking Xavier Paul’s place.
>> The Steelers have every right to be looking to get Hines Ward to 1,000 catches. It’s an eminently attainable goal — just 10 more, with four games left — and it’s doing nothing to hurt the team.
Really, this is the best fuss we can kick up over a 9-3 team?
>> If I write that Robert Morris has the area’s second-best college basketball program, you can’t laugh.