sports

 

  1. The University of Pittsburgh Athletics made news Wednesday evening as they’ve announced that they’ve officially returned to using the Pitt ‘Script’ as their logo, something they hadn’t officially used since 1996. (Although football returned to it in 2014)
  2. At a special news conference, each sports team & cheerleader squad modeled their new uniforms with the script on it, with football team bringing up the rear. Every uniform looked pretty sharp, especially the football team as they’ve added a blue helmet for their away uniform for the first time in school history (although they wore a blue helmet as part of a Nike Pro Combat Helmet campaign in 2010), but they will interchange each uniform, as usual.
  3. I was pretty surprised that the football team didn’t model the rumored alternate uniform, which is a throwback to their 1976 National Championship threads, but it’s no surprise that they’re saving them for a special occasion. And the basketball team didn’t model their gold and black uniforms either. But we’ll eventually see them. And didn’t the football team have a gold uniform too?
  4. Although some fans complained (because you just can’t please everybody) but there were a lot of fans that didn’t just love the uniforms, but the main reason of it all: The script. It’s a reminder of the successful days of Pitt sports and its tradition. It had been on Pitt’s helmets since 1973 and it’s a reminder of the days of Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino and Hugh Green. And the script was in place when I attended Pitt in the early 90’s. It defines Pitt.
  5. Pitt football also made other news as they announced their kickoff times for their first 3 home games of the 2016 season. They open against Villanova Sept 3 at 1:30pm, and then they welcome back Penn State Sept 10th for a nationally televised game at noon (ESPN or ABC), and they will play another nationally televised game vs. Virginia Tech Thursday October 27th. (ESPN)
  6. Speaking of that Penn State game, it’s an understatement that it will be huge as they play their oldest rival for the first time since 2000, when they shut the Nittany Lions out 12-0 at Three Rivers Stadium. Most feel like they will wear their throwbacks for that game, but we shall see.
  7. And even more Pitt football news: They have announced that offensive lineman Alex Officer has been named to the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy, annually presented to the most outstanding center in college football. A great honor for a great and versatile player.
  8. Officer started at center in 2014 before moving to right guard last season. The 6-foot-4, 335-pound junior is slated to move back to center for the 2016 campaign. He paved the way for two 1,000 yard rushers in James Conner (2014) and Quadree Ollison (2015). He may pave the way for two 1,000 yard rushers in the same season.
  9. To no surprise, there’s nothing else going on with College Football except they’ve also announced their 2016 Kickoff schedule with a tripleheader s on ESPN and ABC.
  10. Here are some of the games: Defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama facing No. 12 USC (8 p.m. ET, ABC) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The first college football Saturday of the season begins in Dublin, Ireland, when Georgia Tech plays Boston College (7:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) at Aviva Stadium. No. 6 LSU will face Wisconsin (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) from Lambeau Field, the historic venue’s first college game in more than 30 years.
  11. Now onto the NBA as they’re getting closer to the NBA Finals. At least on the Eastern Conference as the Cleveland Cavaliers has basically destroyed the Toronto Raptors in the Conference Finals thus far. I honestly don’t think the Raptors don’t have a chance against LeBron James & Co, because they truly look like they’re zoned in. But it’s not over yet.
  12. As for the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors and OKC Thunder are tied at a game apiece. Despite winning Game 1, there’s no way the Thunder will beat the Warriors who are now whole again with the return of NBA MVP Steph Curry. But once again, that is why they play the game.
  13. Congrats to the Philadelphia 76ers on winning the #1 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Now the question is, what will they do with that pick? At 10-72, the Sixers were the worst team in the NBA & they need someone whom they can build a team around. Those poor fan deserve it.
  14. The LA Lakers get the #2 overall pick, followed by the Boston Celtics at #3 (From Brooklyn), Phoenix Suns at #4, and Minnesota at #5. And it’s also mentioned that the Sixers and Lakers my listen to trade offers, which I think is a bad idea. These once-proud franchises need all the help they can get-to be proud again.
  15. And in NBA Coaching news, the NY Knicks announced that they’ve hired former Phoenix HC Jeff Hornacek as their next Coach. The former NBA player coached 3 years with the Suns but was fired in February. I hope he’s ready to coach in that circus.
  16. Apparently former Indiana Pacers HC Frank Vogel fooled everyone (including me) just when it was announced that he was on his way to Memphis, Vogel has now agreed to become the next head man at Orlando. Congrats to him. The Magic need a true coach that can turn the team around.
  17. The Houston Rockets apparently can’t make up their minds on a new HC as they will interview Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas (son of former Cavs HC Paul Silas) again. I still think they shouldn’t have fired Kevin McHale just 11 games into the season.
  18. As for the Major League Baseball, what is going on with OF Jose Batista? The former Pittsburgh Pirate and current Toronto Blue Jay is in a slump and the team has now put him back in the lineup spot for the first time since 2010. He’s currently hitting just .222 with 7 Home Runs and 28 RBI.
  19. And then there’s another former Pirate and current Blue Jay in C Russel Martin, I can’t believe how bad he’s struggling. One year after signing that $72 million deal and his first All-Star appearance, Martin is hitting just .170 with zero HRs and 8 RBI. Wow. Here’s hoping he’ll turn it around.
  20. Nothing much to say about the NFL (Surprised? So am I) except that Steelers WR Antonio Brown is now ready for off-season drills since he’s not eliminated from Dancing with the Stars Competition. The All-Pro just ought to be.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

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