Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
FASHION STATEMENT-- In this April 26, 2012 photo, quarterback Robert Griffin III, right, poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the second pick overall by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the NFL football draft in New York. Fashionistas surely will be tracking the expensive, colorful designer suits, hairstyles (think dreadlocks) and even socks of the draftees as they take the stage after being selected. (Think Robert Griffin III, the Redskins' top pick in 2012, who wore a baby blue jacket, checkered-patterned shirt, purplish tie with horizontal stripes, and burgundy and gold socks. Fashion is one of the things to watch for during the three-day NFL draft beginning Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)
by Richard Rosenblatt
NEW YORK (AP) — Since 1936, the NFL has picked the best of college football to join the pro league. From the very first pick — Jay Berwanger, who also was the first bust, never playing a down in the NFL — to last year's No. 1, Andrew Luck, the draft has always offered plenty of intrigue for teams and fans.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 16:37
Category: Sports Written by Genea Webb
SENIORS—The departing seniors with some of the coaches. (Photos by J. L. Martello)
Many members of the Clairton Bears team have been playing some form of football together since they were kids.
Those years of playing together mixed with the shear determination and desire to win led the team to accumulate some amazing statistics: 42 consecutive conference wins, 613 all-time wins, 335 shut outs in four years, four consecutive PIAA titles, nine WPIAL titles, and four PA state titles.
All of these accolades have given the Bears the best four-year record in the state and the number one all time wins in Allegheny County.
“The team chemistry is why we are so good," said Robert Boatright, a senior defensive end/fullback that has been on the team for three years. "Other teams have to recruit and we don't have to do that. We know everyone's personality and we're like brothers.”
“It's a real blessing to have such wonderful players. It's amazing what these guys have done. This couldn't have been done without the players," said Clairton Bears head coach Tom Nola. "All of the 17 seniors are going to college or joining the military upon graduation.”
The team was recently honored for its astonishing season through the annual PIAA/WPIAL championship banquet. There the players were honored with championships rings to commemorate it. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was scheduled as the keynote speaker but was a no show.
“We work so hard each year and we don't want to lose the winning streak. Ever since we were young playing together we were told we were winners. I'll never play with these guys again and I love Clairton and will never forget where I am from," said senior Vincent Moody who held the team's running back position for three years.
Senior and defensive back Titus Howard, who'll be joining several of his teammates at the University of Pittsburgh next year, agrees with Moody.
“I enjoy all of this It's a great feeling to have four rings," Howard said, sweeping his arms around the Georgetown Centre ballroom during the banquet and flashing his newest ring. "But I want to show that there's something better coming out of Clairton than what people see. A lot of people don't see a lot of good coming out of Clairton. People should never give up and keep fighting. We have faced adversity but we kept fighting. “
Clairton was created at the turn of the 20th century when Crucible Steel Company purchased a large piece of land along the western side of the Monongahela River in the 1930's. Not long after, U.S. Steel erected one of the world's largest steel mill and coke production facilities there. In its heyday, Clairton had a strong and thriving business district and educational system. The City of Prayer peaked in the 1950's with a population of almost 25,000.
When the steel industry decreased in the 1980's, so did Clairton. Currently there are about 7,000 residents there. More than half are White while only two of the 40 bears football players are Caucasian.
“It's a lot going on in the streets of Clairton," said senior center/nose guard Damond Flowers. "People are fighting, but every Friday they came together as a big happy family. We bought everyone together through football.”
The underclassmen on the team plan on continuing the Bears winning streak next season.
“I don't feel any pressure," said first-year player junior Brandon Murphy. "I'm excited. Hard work and dedication is what’s needed. I think we can go all the way next year. We've stuck together and we don't talk down to each other.”
Like the team, assistant coach Remondo Williams, Sr. is ready for next year which will see three freshmen, two juniors and several sophomores returning to the Bears line up.
“You can never count Clairton kids out. I can see them all doing well academically, with sports and giving back to the community," Williams said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:25
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
BIG THREE--In this April 17 photo, from left, Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner, Chicago Sky's Elena Delle Donne and Tulsa Shock's Skylar Diggins pose together following an interview with The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
by Doug Feinberg
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Before they were college basketball stars and the future of the WNBA, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne had something else in common: They were all bullied when they were kids.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 07:41
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
H’mm, let me see. The last time that I checked the word par meant equal and the word value meant worth. Okay equal worth or as the French might say, equipoise or something similar. Now let’s take the case of the city of Pittsburgh sports franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Now I know the rules, Pittsburgh like many of the “blue collar” Eurocentric cities across America was founded on the principles of hard work, ya know an equal day of blood sweat and tears for a mythical day of so-called equal pay. Now, now, now, that being said let’s get busy. The Steelers recently signed Steve McLendon D-lineman/Nose tackle to a three-year contract. The deal was reportedly worth $7.25 million with $1.67 million of that in a signing bonus. McLendon is truly a product of the Steelers “homegrown system” joining the team as a rookie in 2009. According to a report by Ed Bouchette, “McLendon, projected to replace Casey Hampton as their starting nose tackle, was a restricted free agent who [recently] paid a visit to the Green Bay Packers.”
Why in the hell do the Pittsburgh Steelers seem to have a problem or some sort of macabre fetish in regards to signing players that they know are vital to their continued success. Pittsburgh knew that two years ago Casey “Big Snack” Hampton was on his way out. They should have then “snuck” in the back door and signed McLendon to a five or six year a few seasons ago. The deal should have been back loaded with performance and health clauses along with a signing bonus that could have stipulated that the “dough” be distributed in such a way that it would have little or no effect on the “cap.” It seems to me that the Steelers management rolls into the negotiating table like a bull in a china shop armed with a few cans of Vienna sausage, along with a couple pieces of Swiss cheese with a few soda crackers on the side. Hey whatever happened to the filet mignon, caviar, champagne and a bit of schmoozing? Nowadays the allure of placing a few more zeroes in the coffers of Bank of America holds a little more juice for the Pittsburgh Steelers players than strolling past six Lombardi trophies on their way to work. Why in the hell do other teams have to put bonfires under the asses of the Steelers management by riding into the Steel City on white horses armed with fat checkbooks and ink pens dripping with promise in courting the Steelers players who only have a desire to play for the Black and Gold and only wish to call the city of Steel home. I don’t understand why the management team of the Black and Gold seem to almost always get caught with their pants down or more often than not experience the “ostrich syndrome.” Oh, you say that you don’t know what the “ostrich syndrome” is? Well it means putting your head in the sand before figuring out that you cannot inhale earth, fire or water and continue to inhabit the earth; well, only with the exception of becoming part of the landscape.
Pittsburgh knew about the promise of departed wide receiver Mike Wallace. They knew that the “slew-footed” wide receiver could out run the nearest “speeding” bullet and a ten yard gain could be a reasonable yards per reception stat being as though most defensive backs played at least ten yards off of the line of scrimmage when they were faced with single coverage of Monsieur Wallace. Did Mike Wallace “dog it” and preserve himself for unrestricted free agency so that he could get paid? He most possibly could have. Did the Steelers “dog it” by calling his number less, and having him involved less and less attempting to dilute his value all the while making it appear that his less than productive year was based on his lack of effort. They most possibly could have. Wallace is just one of the latest examples of the Steelers planting the seed and nurturing the tree only to have another franchise have sweet nectar running down their chin. Now back to the desert. The Steelers allowing ex-first round running back Rashard Mendenhall to depart for the less humid desert oasis of the Arizona Cardinals after Mr. Mendenhall experienced a “less than stellar” 2012 campaign including a short term lease in the doghouse and another holiday weekend or two in the outhouse of one Mike Tomlin. What were the violations of Rashard? Well from what I can see and the snippets of conversations that I have been privy to; he was just Rashard, being Rashard, selfish, questionable work ethic, semi hands of stone. When Mendenhall was drafted along with reciever Limas “please don’t send me across the middle Boss” Sweed, I could not figure out why the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears (who were in the same market where Mendenhall played his college ball) passed on Rashard. See folks unless your name is Roethlisberger or Polomalu your chance at getting some serious dough in Pittsburgh is slim and none.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:35
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
GAME CHANGER--In this image provided by author Michael Lenehan, the cover of his book "Ramblers" is shown. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Michael Lenehan)
by Jim Litke
AP Sports Columnist
ATLANTA (AP) — If you tuned into the start of the 1963 NCAA championship between little Loyola of Chicago and mighty Cincinnati, it looked like few, if any, of the college basketball games you'd ever watched before.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 10:27
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