Upcoming Youth Football Camps

PITTSBURGH – The Steelers will host four youth football camps in Western Pennsylvania in the next month.

 

The camps will take place at California University of Pennsylvania (June 16-17), Slippery Rock University (June 26-27), Saint Vincent College (June 29-30) and West Allegheny High School (July 20-21), respectively.

 

Boys and girls between the ages of 6-14 will get to participate in offensive and defensive drills, learn skills from current and former Steelers, play NFL Flag games and get autographs.

 

The following is a schedule of media availability for the camps on Day 1 and Day 2 of each camp:

 

Day 1: June 16 (Cal U), June 26 (SRU), June 29 (Saint Vincent) and July 20 (West A)

9:45-11:10 a.m.                   Offensive/Defensive Drills

11:10 – 11:40 a.m.               Steelers Speakers (Life Lessons)

12:20-1:40 p.m.                   Offensive/Defensive Drills

 

Day 2: June 17 (Cal U), June 27 (SRU), June 30 (Saint Vincent) and July 21 (West A)

9:45 a.m.-12 p.m.                Steelers Skill Sessions/Autograph Sessions

12:30-1:30 p.m.                   Steelers NFL Flag Games

 

The youth football camp at California University of Pennsylvania (June 16-17) will take place at Roadman Park (next to Adamson Stadium). Steelers on-hand will be Jordan Dangerfield, Javon Hargrave, Chris Hubbard, Arthur Moats, Roosevelt Nix, and alumni Charlie Batch and Craig Wolfley.

High School: Now and Then

Last week I attended the inaugural graduation of the KIPP San Francisco College Prep High School one day after the 20th anniversary of my own high school graduation. I think it’s safe to say things have really changed. First, let me say that it does indeed feel like I’ve been out of high school for 20 years. When my best friend from high school recently reminded me of this historic occasion, I texted back:”Unlike the 10 and 15 yr anniversaries, this one feels realistic to me. Lol–like I feel young enough but I know my ass ain’t that young anymore.” Chalk that up to increasing joint tenderness and my ignorance of most artists to which “the children” as I call them, pledge their allegiance. Suffice it to say, there were many differences between my high school graduation and theirs. To name a few:

 

  1. These graduates did not have to wait 24 hours at best (if you were a big baller and you had the money and time to get overnight photo printing) to see the photos from their big day. Hell, I don’t even think my family owned a digital camera at the time, although I believe they existed in 1997. Last week’s show, hotel, and afterparty were Instagrammed, Facebook Lived, and Snapchatted within an inch of its life.

 

  1. SO. MUCH. SWAG. All that adorned my gown was honor cords and I was quite proud of those measly little strings. Not these kids nowadays. Hair was done, nails were done, everything BIG…including BIG HEADS! Yes, parents were waving HUGE face cut outs of their children on sticks! They also had legs for days–candy leis, flower leis, money leis (including one where the money was origami-ed into the shape of a weed plant), honor cords, ethnic stoles and sashes and huge individual letter balloons spelling out their names. I blame capitalism and the insidious rise of kindergarten and elementary school graduations for this. Years ago when I worked at another charter school in DC–this one an elementary school, I couldn’t wrap my head around the need for literal graduations for elementary school kids. Like Chris Rock said, “You’re SUPPOSED TO” finish elementary school!!! I was shocked to see independent “bruh-mans” pull up outside with carts of flowers and balloons then, but I could have never guessed how far it would eventually go.

 

  1. I love the new-ish trend of decorating your cap. It shows individuality in a ceremony that demands conformity. I shared a room with the art teacher and some of these kids definitely put more effort into their caps than any of their art projects. There was bedazzling, family tributes, Fifth Harmony lyrics, Star Wars references and even Ewok ears. During prom season, most of the boys cajoled one of their intended date’s friends to make prom-posal signs for them. I wondered how many of these caps were also outsourced.

 

  1. Speaking of decoration, I would have never been able to keep up with today’s performative requirements of femininity. False eyelashes, perfectly shaped, shaded or drawn-on eyebrows, nail art, weaves and pounds of paint masquerading as makeup. And how could I forget the shoes! I feel like shoes with heels over 3 inches would’ve been banned from my graduation although I honestly don’t think anyone would have even considered wearing them. Nowadays, it’s a heel fashion show–platform heels, stilettos, and gladiator stilettos. Between all their decorative accouterments weighing them down and their towering heels, I was afraid some girls wouldn’t make it across the stage. Luckily no ankles were harmed.

 

  1. Hands down my favorite thing about the students at KIPP SF are their close bonds. They truly are a family. They call each other sister and brother and their upper-class kin mother, father, grandma and grandpa and they mean it. Affectionate, heartfelt hugs are as ubiquitous in the school as hot Cheetos and chili lime chicken ramen noodles, and graduation day was no exception. My core group of high school friends dissolved by my first summer home from college. I don’t see that happening here. Then again, they have many more options to stay in touch. When I started college, I was one of the few people with my own cell phone (Thanks, Dad) and Facebook was still just under a decade away.

 

High school graduations are a special time, a modern cultural rite of passage. Despite the 20 year difference, what remained the same was the hope, excitement, and anticipation of freedom promised as a reward for one’s hard work. Congratulations Class of 2017–you did it! Welcome to the rest of your lives. Have fun and pay attention. 20 years will be gone before you know it.

Shanna K Houser Freelance writer

BS: Penn State-MA: Sofia University

Steps to take for a healthy heart

 

Think cardio when you think about cardiovascular health. It’s much more than getting on a treadmill or stationary bike. Our hearts beat over 100,000 times per day. If this were to cease, our lives would be over. But none of us really pay attention until our doctors mention high blood pressure or mention we’re at a higher risk for a heart attack. Why is that? If you want to better your heart health, try the steps below. They’re going to be a fantastic first step.

 

First and foremost, stop eating anything loaded in sugar, salt or fat. These foods work against your heart, making it work much harder to pump blood to your body. They store as fat within the body if you do not burn it off right away. This fat builds up in the arteries and around the heart, putting stress on the organ that doesn’t have to be there. Rather, eat a high protein diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Most of these foods are low in fat and low in sodium. On the contrary, they’re what’s called superfoods. So if you eat salmon, for instance, you’re getting healthy omega-3 fat that assists in lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of a heart attack.

 

Exercise is also important. If you have a gym membership, you have the opportunity to mix up your exercise routine. For instance, you may walk the treadmill and then do weights next time. If your gym has a track or pool, these are other great exercise options. Doing laps in the pool works every muscle in your body. It’s the equivalent of doing the rowing machine in the gym. But don’t keep up with the Joneses with your exercise. Just because your neighbor goes to the gym doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Maybe an exercise class is more your fit, where you work out with a group of people. Walking or running outdoors may also be your style. Or, home exercise (if you are self-motivated) may also be an option. It doesn’t matter how you put the shoe on, just do it.

 

Likewise, if you lead a stressful life, you must leave it behind. Stress is a leading factor in heart attack and strokes. And it’s easy to see why this is. When we yell and scream, our blood pressure rises. We feel our chest get tight and our heart beats fast; maybe it feels like it’s beating out of our chest. You are more at risk for heart disease or a heart attack in this moment then all the other times you stay calm. It’s vital that you find ways to keep stress under control. Maybe scream into a pillow or go outside for a walk. Get away from everyone and everything to think things over.

 

You should also stop focusing on the past. All of us have ghosts in our past. We think back to certain times, running scenarios of how we would have acted differently. But, unfortunately, time travel has not been invented yet. We cannot go back and change anything. So why put stress on your heart with excessive worrying? The past is gone; you can’t control or change it. So why are you anchoring yourself in it? Instead, move forward. Focus on the positive. Realize that you are in control of your future choices. Hold your head high and have confidence. Learn to laugh—every day. This is going to reduce your stress. And, maybe take life on a lighter note.

 

Finally, kick those bad habits to the curb. What destructive habits are putting you at risk for heart disease? Smoking is the leading cause of heart-related deaths, causing 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year. It not only attacks the heart but every organ within your body. Smoking too much will cause a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is where plaque builds up in the heart’s arteries. This not only puts you at risk for a heart attack but at a risk for coronary heart disease. Learn to take care of your heart and this vital organ is going to return the favor. After all, it controls when your flame burns out of the world.editor@urbanmediatoday.com

 

Steelers Announce Inaugural Charity Walk to Benefit The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research

Joe Greene and Garrett Webster to Serve as Honorary Co-Chairs

                                                

PITTSBURGH – The Steelers announced they will hold the inaugural Steelers Charity Walk to benefit The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research at Saint Vincent College on Saturday, July 29.

 

The honorary co-chairs for the walk will be former Steeler and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Joe Greene, and Garrett Webster, son of former Steeler and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Mike Webster.

 

Participants will hear Greene reflect on his memories of playing for Coach Noll at 8:30 a.m. at Chuck Noll Field. The walk will begin at 9 a.m. and will follow the Winnie Palmer Nature Trail on the Saint Vincent campus. After the walk, participants will be able to watch the Steelers’ morning practice.

 

Registration is available at www.steelers.com/charitywalk. The cost is $25 per registration and includes a commemorative t-shirt.

The Steelers launched The Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research in November of 2016 to support continued research and education regarding brain injuries and treatment of sports-related concussions. The Foundation will fund research that it believes is the most promising in the area of sports-related concussions and related conditions. To help best evaluate which research programs to fund, some of the most renowned neurosurgeons in the country will serve on a national medical advisory panel.

Under Noll’s leadership during his 23-year coaching career, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls. Noll’s commitment to the well-being of his players ultimately led to the development of the ImPACT test (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) used by NFL team doctors since 2007, and now internationally used to help monitor concussions for athletes at all levels. The FDA recently recognized ImPACT and ImPACT Pediatric as safe and effective, and are the only FDA-approved tests to assess cognitive function for suspected brain injury in patients ages 5-to-60. To date, more than 12-million athletes and patients have been baselined with these tests.

UMT Sports Update

 

Here’s the latest of what’s happening in the world of sports….

National Basketball League

 

  1. Warriors Become NBA Champions after beating Cavaliers-For the 2nd time in 3 years, the Golden State Warriors are kings of the NBA World after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 to win the Best-of-Seven NBA Finals 4-1. It’s the 5th NBA Title for the Warriors as they have also won in 1947, 1956 and 1975.
  2. Durant Named NBA Finals MVP-He left Oklahoma City to join Golden State to win a ring, but Kevin Durant wanted it so bad that he dominated the NBA Finals after averaging 35.2 points in those 5 games. And for his efforts, he was named Finals MVP. His only other Finals appearance with OKC when they lost to LeBron James’ Miami Heat in 2012.
  3. LeBron Loses 5th Finals-He’s now 3-5 in 8 NBA Finals appearance, but it doesn’t tarnish Cavs F LeBron James legacy as he truly left it on the court in this recent loss to the Warriors. King James averaged a triple-double (33.6 points, 12.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists) in 5 games. He’s the first NBA Player to accomplish this feat.
  4. Warriors Championship Parade Set for Thursday-The Warriors won the NBA Championship at home and the party will continue Thursday as they will have their victory parade in downtown Oakland.

 

 

National Football League

 

  1. Steelers RB Bell not at mini-camp-It was rumored, and now it’s reality. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell didn’t show up to the team’s Mandatory Mini-Camp Tuesday and the speculation is that it’s over not receiving a new contract. Bell was tendered the Franchise Tag of $12.1 million, but because he has not signed it, he is unable to participate in camp.
  2. Tomlin ‘indifferent’ towards Bell’s Absence-The Steelers Head Coach had this to say about Bell, who wasn’t in Mini-camp- It’s a waste of my time to focus on the guys that are not available to me, whether it’s injury or otherwise, I tend to focus on the guys that are here and working. I think that’s appropriate when you are in my position.”
  3. Steelers T Villanueva is in Mini-camp-Although Bell isn’t in Mini-camp, Steelers T Alejandro Villanueva is in Mini-camp after missing Organized Team Activities (OTAs) which aren’t mandatory. However, the Steelers T Still hasn’t signed his exclusive-rights Tender.
  4. Giants Beckham is in Mini-camp-In a surprising move, NY Giants All-Pro WR Odell Beckham Jr is in Mandatory Mini-camp despite his contract situation that kept him out of OTAs. The WR stated that his contract situation “Is not for me to discuss.”
  5. Ravens sign former Chiefs WR-The KC Chiefs made a move to shore up their receiving corps by agreeing with WR Jeremy Maclin on a 2-year deal. The veteran WR chose the Ravens over the Buffalo Bills and the Philadelphia Eagles, who drafted him #1 in 2009.

 

 

                   Major League Baseball

 

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates-They are still in last place, but this team is only a few games out of first place in the lethargic NL Central Division. But the Pirates have been showing signs of life of late after taking 2 of 3 from the Miami Marlins and the first game vs. the red-hot Colorado Rockies.
  2. Pirates Draft pitcher in the first round of MLB Draft-With the 12th overall pick in the MLB Draft, the Pirates selected P Shane Baz from Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball, TX. The Scouting Report on Baz is that his fastball tends to sit in the low 90’s with tailing action, touching 95. He attacks while commanding to the corners with it, and elevates to change the eye level.
  3. Aaron Judge-As the young NY Yankees Slugger continues to destroy AL pitching, there are many already comparing the 6-7 282-pound outfielder to Babe Ruth. Judge is now hitting .347 with 22 HR and 49 RBI and it’s only June.

 

 

                                                  National Hockey League

 

  1. Penguins Win Stanley Cup 2nd year in a Row-After beating the Nashville Predators 2-0 to clinch the NHL Finals Best of Seven Series 4-2, the Pittsburgh Penguins become the first NHL Team since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. C Sidney Crosby wins the Conn Smythe Award (Playoff MVP) for the 2nd straight year.
  2. Pens Parade Set for Wednesday-The Penguins Championship Parade is set for Wednesday for the 2nd straight season through downtown Pittsburgh.
  3. G Fluery Waives No Movement Clause-Penguins veteran G Marc-Andre Fluery waived his No-Movement Clause, allowing the Penguins to leave him unprotected in the Expansion Draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights who are reportedly interested in the goalie. Fluery was the Pens overall #1 draft pick in 2003 and has earned 3 rings with the team. He was replaced by G Matt Murray in the past 2 Stanley Cup victories.

 

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

 

Sources: www.PittsburghSteelers.com, www.espn.com, www.BucsDugout.com

 

Steelers Sign Third-Round Pick Cameron Sutton

                                                        

PITTSBURGH – The Steelers have signed their first of two third-round selections, cornerback Cameron Sutton, from the 2017 NFL Draft. Financial terms of the four-year deal were not disclosed.

 

Sutton (5-11, 188), who was the 94th overall pick, played collegiately at the University of Tennessee. He started all 45 games in his Tennessee career, notching 127 tackles, 13.0 tackles for losses, seven interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Sutton’s 30 career pass breakups are a school record. He also returned 45 punts for 657 yards with three touchdowns.

 

Sutton is the seventh of the Steelers’ eight selections from the 2017 NFL Draft to sign with the team.

NBA: Golden State is Golden !

The Golden State Warriors are the NBA Champions after completing a record run through the 2017 post season with a 129-120 game five win over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The win was the fourth for the Warriors in the best of seven finals series as Golden State finished their postseason with a record of 16 wins and only one loss.The Warriors were the first team in NBA Finals history to start the post season with 15 straight wins.

 

Monday night the new kid on the block forward Kevin Durant (Who after becoming a free agent at the end of last season, signed with Golden State) led the Warriors with 39 points while knocking down all but six of his 20 shots from the floor and connecting on 5 of his 8 shots from beyond the three-point line. Durant provided Golden State with what they needed throughout the Finals as he averaged 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists while playing 39 minutes per game. “KD”  was scoring at a clip of almost a point for every minute he was on the court. In game Five that proved to be true as Durant dropped in all of his points while playing in all but 8 of the 48-minute contest. Durant and Steph Curry played 40 minutes in the game that clinched the title and the only other person that played more minutes was Draymond Green who was on the court for 43 minutes.Both  Green and Curry made the most of their time on the court as well; Green finished with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds while Curry orchestrated his own double-double of 34 points and 10 assists.

 

Now Cleveland, on the other hand, gave the Warriors a valiant fight, but it was too little too late. Lebron James finished with 41 points and 13 rebounds in a losing cause. James who teamed up with guard Kyrie Irving as part of the scoring punch for the Cavaliers became the first player in NBA Playoffs history to average a  triple-double throughout the Finals. King James averaged an exhausting 42 minutes per game and averaged 33 points per game as well as dishing 10 assists, grabbing  12 rebounds while only turning the ball over four times per game. Irving was a force as well for the Cavaliers as he added 26 points in the game five loss and J.R. Smith caught fire knocking down 7 three-pointers and finishing with 25 points. Cleveland Center Tristan Thompson also showed some spirit scoring 15 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in the Cavs final game of the season after only scoring a total of 13 points in games 1 through 4 combined.

 

This title is the second in three years for the Golden State Warriors and one that is well deserved, to be the champion you have to beat the champion. Golden State who was at the top of the NBA in 2014 fell in 2015 to Cleveland and have now ascended to the mountain top of the NBA again in 2016. The Warriors are the undisputed champions again and with the young legs of Curry, Durant, Green and Klay Thompson Golden State may hold on to that title for a couple of years. My question is this Cleveland and Golden State are now rivals after meeting in the NBA Finals for three straight years. Will there be a ” Cavs-Warriors IV”?

Trevin A  Jones

Follow me on Twitter: @UMTSportsreport

Reach out with questions or comments at New@UrbanMediaToday.com

Best alternatives to college for students not planning on attending college

These words are hard for any parent to hear: “Mom…dad—I don’t want to attend college.” You spend eighteen years raising your child with good values and ready to send them off into the world, but we often forget the world has changed since we were their age. The opportunities have changed. The requirements for jobs have changed. I could go on, but you get the point. Do your child a favor. Hear them out when they say the statement. Let them defend why they don’t want to go and then mention the following alternatives to them.

 

First and foremost, suggest they attend trade school. In light of misrepresentation, trade school is not college. In college, your mind is expanded and stretched in all different topics and theories. The cost is higher and it takes much longer to get your degree. But, in trade school, you pay a third of the cost and get out in the world much quicker. You’re learning a trade or skill that is applicable to a specific job, such as sewing, plumbing skills or how to become an electrician. It’s more hands on and the classes are usually smaller. And, you have a much higher chance of getting a salaried job versus working for minimum wage.

 

Another alternative is to start your own business. Let’s say you play the piano and several other instruments. You could charge each student $10 a lesson. If you have 15 students a week, that’s $150. That’s just about $600 each month from lessons alone. Of course, you could vary that price with each instrument or charge the student for mileage if you have to travel to their home. You could have a blog where you sell products that relate to your business. Maybe you made an album of your own piano music and you put it up on Youtube. Or you have a podcast in which you talk to experts in the music industry. Nobody is going to ask if you have a master’s degree in music education. They couldn’t care less. What matters is that you teach the instrument well and effectively teach it to each student.

 

Another option is to sell your products online. This is especially useful for photographers or artists. If you paint or take photographs, it’s essential that you have your own website where people can purchase your prints. Make it available in all sizes, as small as wallet size to as big as canvas or poster size. You could work as an at-home photographer taking portrait photographs, food photographs or wedding photographs. And let’s not forget about art shows. Take your photographs or artwork to art shows all around your state—or even the nation. Have prints in all sizes. Print your photographs on mugs, t-shirts, book covers and anything else. You would be surprised what brings in a profit.

 

You must also be willing to take any job. It may be flipping burgers; the job may be in your industry. When the power bill comes due, you want to make sure that you can pay it. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made and you have to work odd jobs to pay the bills. This doesn’t mean that you have you have to stay in the 9-5 grind. Rather, look at this as a temporary job. While you’re bringing in the money, pay off bills and put money in the bank. This way you can quit your job while you are still young. You can work at home and do the job that you are fulfilled to do. Is it going to be easy? Not by a long shot, but it’s going to be worth it.

 

Finally, you have to take classes somewhere. If college isn’t your thing, search the Internet. Check out sites like teachable.com and skillshare.com. There are thousands of free (and paid) classes right at your fingertips. You can interact with teachers and students from all around the world. You don’t have to worry about the commute or even getting dressed out of your pajamas. There are no expensive textbooks to buy; everything is provided for you. There are simple classes that explain the basic concepts and excelled classes that explain more difficult concepts. You don’t have to take classes that don’t appeal to you but take classes that will further your knowledge.

 

While college was once the normal milestone, it’s not the right fit for everyone. Listen to your child and hear them out about why they don’t want to go. Engage in a conversation about their career and what the options may be. They may be able to get a decent job without the college debt.  editor@urbanmediatoday.com

Penguins Repeat as Stanley Cup Champions

In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first Super Bowl and were in a good position to become the 3rd NFL team to repeat (Green Bay and Miami were the only other teams) at that time. I don’t remember when he said it (to be honest, I was only 3 years old) but Steelers Head Coach made told his team “Whatever it takes” when it comes to winning. That became their slogan and they went on to beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl 10. They would also repeat in 1978 & ’79.

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins then took over in the late 1990’s and joined the Steelers as repeat champs in the city. I was fortunate to witness Mario Lemieux, Kevin Stevens, Tom Barasso and a young Jaromir Jagr win in 1990-91 & 1992-93. When the year of their repeat, they lost their head coach Bob Johnson to cancer and traded popular Paul Coffey and Mark Recchi and they ended up winning the Cup. Why? Because they did whatever it took to win.

 

Fast-forward to the new millennium and this current team of Penguins are looking like those Steelers and Penguins teams of old. Led by Sidney Crosby and Evangi Malkin, they won in 2009 and the won again last season and were faced with the daunting task of becoming the first team to repeating as Stanley Cup Champions since those great Detroit Red Wings teams in 1997-98.

 

And the Pens got it done. The Penguins are Stanley Cup Champions again after beating the Nashville Predators 2-0…in Nashville, mind you.

 

Winger Patric Hornquist’s goal with 1:35 left in the 3rd period broke a 0-0 tie and then Carl Hagelin’s empty-netter sealed it for a Penguins team that fought tooth-and-nail to once again stand alone on the NHL hill. For the second-straight year, Crosby wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Playoff (not finals, boys, and girls)Most Valuable Player. His presence was felt in this series and at times, he looked like Magic Johnson out there, especially when he was piling up those assists as he set up scores for his teammates. Crosby’s only the 6th NHL player to win consecutive Conn-Smythe awards.

 

But like these NHL Playoffs, this game wasn’t easy for the Penguins as they fought through blood, sweat, and tears to raise the Stanley Cup for a 2nd-straigh year. 23-year old Goalie Matt Murray didn’t

just beat the Predators for the Cup, he shut them out in 2 straight games! In Game 5, he beat them 6-0 in Pittsburgh and then 2-0 in Nashville. He’s had 3 shutouts in 10 playoff games. I think he’s a pretty good goalie.

 

Murray finished the playoffs for the Penguins because of the one man who decided to go to him, and stick with him the rest of the way: Head Coach Mike Sullivan.

 

Sullivan was the Penguins HC in their AHL Affiliate before replacing Mike Johnston a year ago. He also bought up several minor-league players and one of them was Murray. If you’ve been watching the Penguins the last 10 years, then you know their #1 goalie was Marc-Andre Fleury, who won the Cup for the Pens in 2008-09. Fluery was injured in last season’s playoffs as was #2 Mark Zakoff. Enter Murray, who was the top goalie in those playoffs and despite being pulled for Fleury in the series vs. Tampa Bay, Sullivan went back to him. End result? Stanley Cup.

 

Enter this season. Although Murray was the #1 goalie, he was injured at the start of the playoffs and Fleury took over and led them to series wins over Columbus and Washington. But he struggled against Ottawa, and after a 5-2 loss to the Senators in Game 5, Sullivan did it again: He went back to Murray, despite media and fan backlash & he leads the Penguins to another Stanley Cup championship. Murray is Sullivan’s man and he didn’t let him down.

 

Sure there were other Penguins who were playoff Stars: Crosby, Malkin, rookie Jake Guentzel (who led the Pens in playoff goals) Fluery and of course, Murray, but it was Coach Sullivan who made the smart and hard decisions to lead the Penguins the Cup.

 

There were times in which it didn’t look like the Penguins were going to repeat. They started the playoffs without D Kris Letang due to injury.  They dealt with other injuries. They had their struggles vs. Washington and Ottawa, but they found a way to beat those teams, which is what they did vs. a surprising Nashville team who was unbeatable at home. After both home teams won their respective games on their ice, the Penguins knew that they needed to get a win in Nashville if they wanted to avoid another Game 7. And they got it done. They were great when they had to be.

 

An excellent example was in the Cup-clincher in Game 6. Both teams were unable to score a goal in 2 and a half periods. Murray was playing his game and Nashville G Pekka Rinne was playing his. In my heart of hearts, I was wondering if this game was going to overtime until Hornquist’s amazing goal bounced off Rinne for the game’s first goal. It went under review due to possible interference, but the goal stood. Then when Rinne was Pulled, Hagelin shut the door on the Predators when he scored the empty-netter. Ironically, Hagelin scored the empty-netter in 2016 as well. His nickname should be the doorman. Great teams aren’t always great, they’re just great, they’re just great when they have to be.

 

Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Letang, Chris Kunitz all have 3 rings. Murray has 2, owner Mario Lemieux has 5. This team has won 3 Stanley Cups since 2009. That sounds like a dynasty to me.

 

The Penguins road to the Stanley Cup wasn’t easy, but if you had a chance to interview this team, they would tell you that it was worth it. Champions always find a way to win the trophy. And the Penguins are just that. Whatever it takes. Congrats Penguins, 2016-17 Stanley Cup Champions.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Ray Jr. on Sports

  1. NBA Finals-I must admit I was surprised when the Golden State Warriors rebounded (no pun intended) from an 113-107 deficit to beat defending champ Cleveland 118-113 to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. Wow. I just knew the Cavs would win one at home. And I’m sure they thought that too.
  2. So what happened? Well, Kevin Durant ‘happened.’ As the member of the OKC Thunder, he couldn’t beat the Warriors last season, so he joined them and made them a Super Team, and he’s looked pretty superhuman against the Cavs, scoring 31 and hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game. Durant wants that ring and now he may be a win away from getting it.
  3. The Cavs-It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that this team is truly on life support right now as they face elimination. As we know, last season they were down 3-1 before performing one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history and beating the Warriors 4-3 to win it all. Can they do it again? I like the Cavs and I’m rooting for them, but even I admit it’s hard to say. Game 4 is Friday and the Cavs better have their ‘A’ Game or it’s over.
  4. LeBron James-He’s honestly doing all he can for his team, but he’s only one person. He was criticized for passing to G Kyle Korver (59% 3-point shooter) instead of driving to the basket with the Cavs leading by 2. James defends his decision because Korver was wide-open. I know he’s not John Paxton or Steve Kerr, but Korver has been proven to make that basket, but if I was LeBron, I would’ve driven to the basket.
  5. Series Prediction-Well, I don’t think there’s a need for one. Teams who are usually up 3-0 in the NBA Finals are usually 12-0 when it comes to closing it out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors made it 13-0, but the Cavs played them pretty tight in Game 3, which they should’ve won. So I’m pretty even. It could go either way. The Cavs could win Game 4 as well.
  6. The Issue with ‘Super Teams’-Folks continues to complain about great teams who add superstars. First, it was LeBron when he and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in 2010, and now it was Durant joining the Warriors. I honestly don’t see an issue here. Players can go wherever they want as Free Agents and teams can sign whomever they want. I have no issue with LeBron joining Miami (and then returning to Cleveland) and I have no issue with Durant joining the Warriors. My 2 cents on he matter.
  7. Lonzo Ball-Is it just me? Or has the Lonzo Ball talk gotten quiet? I say yes because his father Lavar Ball has stopped talking. Maybe he’s busy watching the NBA Finals, in which case I hope it goes the full 7 games (chuckle)but seriously, Lonzo continues to make news as the NBA Draft gets closer. He has recently worked out with the LA Lakers and according to ESPN, he wants to lead the team. I hope he ends up in a Lakers uniform. I’m curious to see what this kid can do.
  8. NBA MVP-I have not changed my pick: OKC’s Russell Westbrook. NBA Finals MVP? If the Warriors close it out, it’ll be Durant. If the Cavs pull off of another miracle? LeBron, of course.
  9. Steelers Alajandro Villenueva wants new contract-I agree that he deserves one, but why all the talk to the media? You know they love this stuff. The young offensive tackle and Armed Forces veteran has refused to sign his $615,000 exclusive-rights tender and may sit out Mini-Camp which begins in a few weeks, or at least it sounds like it. Memo to Villenueva: Don’t mess with the Rooneys. Their not fazed by this.
  10. Steelers Salary Cap-The Steelers are certainly in position to give Villenueva a long-term deal as they’re still $18 million under the salary cap, the most space they’ve had in years. The young tackle just needs to be patient. I can see him getting a new deal, along with DE Stepheon Tuitt and RB Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers are trying to take that extra step to the Super Bowl in 2017 and was one win short last year.
  11. Steelers Mini-Camp-This Mandatory Mini-Camp will take place June 13th-15th. And since it’s mandatory, I’m sure Bell and Villnueva will be there, right? Well we shall see.
  12. Odell Beckham Jr’s holdout-I hear this cat is holding out for a new deal too. Yeah, he can act like the Second Coming of Chad Johnson at times, but after seeing that he’s due to make only (in football terms) $1.8 million this season, I don’t blame him. He’s the 3rd best WR (behind the Steelers Antonio Brown & the Falcons Julio Jones) in the NFL and he’s averaged 1,300 yards in 3 seasons. The kid deserves it.
  13. Patriots ink WR Edelman to a new extension-The Champion New England Patriots signed a WR of their own, agreeing to a 4-year deal with WR Julian Edelman. He scored the winning TD in the Pats incredible comeback Super Bowl win vs. the Falcons. His 356 receptions are 5th best in the NFL from 2013 to 2016. He deserves it.
  14. Body of former Bills WR Found-Sad news. The body of former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy Thursday. He was 31 years old. Hardy was drafted by the Bills in 2008, appeared in 16 games (three starts) in his NFL career, catching 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Prayers and condolences to his family.
  15. Pittsburgh Pirates-In a season that’s pretty much lost in my opinion, it just got worse for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they lost 2 extra-inning games to the Baltimore Orioles after huge leads. On Tuesday, they led 5-2 before losing to 6-5 to the Orioles and Wednesday, they led 6-1 before falling 9-6. Pathetic.
  16. What’s the Pirates problem? Other than an owner with no vision? Pitching or in this case, relief pitching. Ever since they traded All-Star closer Mark Melancon last season I disagreed that Tony Watson should’ve been the new closer and now he’s proving me right. Watson has 5 blown saves including 2 in those losses to the Orioles. Yet manager Clint Hurdle continues to keep him as his closer. Sounds like the definition of insanity to me.
  17. Pirates vs. Marlins-Now the Pirates face the Marlins and 3 former Pirates pitchers. Thursday they face Edison Volquez who is fresh off a no-hitter, Friday they face Vance Worley and Sunday they face (drum roll please?) Jeff Locke. Should be interesting.
  18. Aaron Judge-Obviously this is my new favorite MLB Player. The NY Yankees young slugger continues to tear up MLB pitching as he leads his team in batting average (.321), Hrs (18) and RBI (41) He’s a definite all-star, but with the Yankees leading the AL East, Judge may be an early AL MVP candidate.
  19. Cameron Johnson-Now that he’s officially joined North Carolina, former Pitt basketball player Cam Johnson is now released by Pitt to play next season as a grad-transfer. It’ll certainly be interesting seeing him play at the Petersen Events Center in a different uniform.
  20. NHL Finals-As we come into the final stretch of this 7-game series, my question for the Penguins is: How Bad Do You Want It? I guess we’ll see this time next week.

  

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