Hot enough for you? Yeah, I thought so. Everyone is feeling the heat. Adrian Peterson got so warm and thirsty this past weekend that he ended up fighting four policemen over his request for one last bottle of water. Atta boy, AP! The Steelers have done a stellar job at avoiding the heat both figuratively and literally. The players have heeded Mike Tomlin’s order to “Stay out of the papers” in the classic definition of that phrase. The Home Team has avoided the actual heat as well. Training camp doesn’t get under way for another two weeks and although Latrobe will still be baking under the summer sun, the evenings should be cooler.
Our beloved Steelers have also been the benefactors of another heat wave in that there have been other hot topics in Pittsburgh sports. The NHL draft was held in Pittsburgh on June, 22 – 23. Hockey’s future stars and fans from all over the world filled the Steel City for a beautiful weekend. Media coverage was intense (hockey intense, not football intense) and the Penguins courted much of the attention. Sidney Crosby was getting the finishing touches fitted into his restructured contract and Jordan Staal was proving the old adage that blood is thicker than water by jilting Pittsburgh for Carolina. Staal will get to play alongside his brother and be nearer to the relocated Staal parents. I guess winters in Carolina are milder than Thunder Bay. Go figure. Oh, and the furry convention was in town too!
And how ‘bout those Buccos! Captain Jack Sparrow has never raised his Jolly Roger as often as these Pirates! I went to PNC Park last week to witness the Bucs torch the SorryAstros and it was great to see the fan base so energized. Fans were in full voice all night and it appeared I was the only soul in attendance not dressed to the nines in Pirates regalia. A winning record, first place in the division, two all star players (one being an early MVP candidate), and a cushy second half schedule will monopolize a heap of bandwidth and ink. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sunday edition published a front page spread on pitcher A.J. Burnett this week. Not front page of the Sports Section. Front page, you know, on the front section!
Thanks to the Pirates, Penguins, and furries, The Pittsburgh Steelers have been able to beat the heat and enjoy a real off season for a change. I know that no new progress has been made on The Wallace Situation. I know that questions loom large in the backfield. I’m bummed that so many familiar faces are gone. But I am next to ecstatic to be in a region that has balance (however temporary) in its sporting choices. “Staying out of the papers” is much easier when you aren’t the only story in town.
Stay cool everyone! It’s good to be back!!
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