sports

  1. Pitt Football Sells out Pinstripe Bowl Ticket Allotment (Over 7,000 tickets): I’m impressed but not surprised. Therefore, the football team wanted this Bowl, because it’s only 6 hours away in New York, and it’s a Tier One Bowl, a step above last year’s Military Bowl. I like it because it’s at Yankee Stadium, the House of Legends.
  2. That brings up an interesting point about Yankee Stadium. If the first one (built in 1923) was labeled ‘The House that Babe Ruth Built” does that mean the 2009 is called ‘The House that Derek Jeter Built?” I think it’s justified.
  3. Anyway, back to Pitt Football. When the Panthers take on Northwestern December 28th, all eyes will be on Senior RB James Conner, who will play his final collegiate game before entering the NFL Draft. Conner announced that he was leaving in a classy letter Saturday December 10th. I wish him the best. He’s done all he can do at Pitt.
  4. The Bowl game will also feature 3 All-Americans: KR Quadree Henderson, DE Ejuan Price, and OL Dorian Johnson, but Henderson also received another prestigious honor: He earned Consensus All-American Status Henderson was named a first team All-America kick returner by three of those organizations (FWAA, Sporting News and Walter Camp). He was named a second-team all-purpose player by the AP and AFCA.
  5. Henderson is the first Pitt player to earn such status since wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in 2003. Other sophomore Panthers to earn Consensus All-America honors include receiver Antonio Bryant (2000) and defensive end Hugh Green (1978). He’s also the first since DT Aaron Donald (2013) to earn that honor. He’s in good company. Congrats to him.
  6. I may not be the first to say this, but I’m the first to say it on here: Quadrature Henderson for the 2017 Heisman Trophy! I think he deserves to be in the running. That’s what I think this award is for, not just to a QB and RB almost every year. The committee need to be more creative with their picks.
  7. Now the not-so Pitt news (depends on how you look at it) Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has accepted the same coordinator job at LSU. His offensive mind will be missed at Pitt, but who doesn’t want a promotion and greater opportunity, which is what House views this as. I wish him the best.
  8. And: Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes is reportedly leaning towards taking the same position at Oregon State. Barnes himself gave this statement: “I am aware of a report stating that I have accepted a position at Oregon State. That report is not true.” It’s been all over the news, Mr. AD. How could you miss it? Especially since it reportedly came from you. Oregon State isn’t a bunch of liars. Stay tuned on this one.
  9. Speaking of the Heisman Trophy, the committee chose their 2016 winner and it went to Louisville QB Lamar Jackson who was my pick for that prestigious award in late September. That’s how good he really was Congrats to the kid.
  10. At age 19, Jackson is the youngest to ever win the Heisman Trophy. The Sophomore passed for 3,390 yards, but the fact that he also rushed for 1,500 yards, is just Ok, Ok, that’s something unique for a Heisman Trophy winner. He deserves it.
  11. Now onto the NFL, where the Pittsburgh Steelers are now one of the NFL’s hottest teams after now winning 4 in a row right after losing 4 in a row. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: That loss against the Dallas Cowboys opened their eyes, that they can’t mess up this opportunity.
  12. With the Baltimore Ravens (7-6) losing to the New England Patriots Sunday, the Steelers are now all alone in first place in the AFC North at 8-5. Obviously, their goal is to win the division, but with the recent struggles of the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins (also 8-5), the Steelers could have a Wild Card Game to fall back on, but their focus is the division.
  13. So now the Steelers next opponent is against the 5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. It’s important that the Steelers beat this team to keep their streak going and to stay at least a game ahead of the Ravens. It would also help if the Philadelphia Eagles would beat the Ravens on Sunday as well, but the Steelers must do their part.
  14. It’s too early to talk about the Steelers playoff scenarios, but I read one report that said they will secure a spot if they won their last 3 games vs. the Bengals, Ravens and Cleveland Browns. So, that means if they can get some help from the Eagles, then the Steelers may have a shot at securing the division Christmas Day vs. those Ravens. We shall see.
  15. Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell wins AFC Offensive Player of the Week. That was a no-brainier as he ate up the Buffalo Bills defense with 236 yards (a new Steelers season record) and 3 touchdowns. He’s on fire right now and here’s hoping he keeps it going vs. the Bengals.
  16. One of the players that I think the Steelers should look at is return specialist Devin Hester, who was released by the Ravens on Tuesday after reportedly refusing to catch a punt in their loss to the Patriots.
  17. I mean, why not? He would be much better than the tandem of Fitzgerald Touissant and the still hurting Sammie Coates. And if the Patriots bought him in for a look, so why not? But alas, there are no reports that the Steelers are interested.
  18. As for the rest of the NFL, it’s hard to believe that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had to announce that they’re sticking with rookie QB Dak Prescott after the team lost to the NY Giants Sunday. Seriously? What about the 11 wins that the rookie has led the Cowboys to? Foolishness.
  19. Pitt basketball (8-2) will resume action Saturday at the Petersen Events Center when they take on Rice (8-2) The Panthers have won 2 straight since their debacle vs. Duquesne at the City Game. With that 8-2 Record, Rice is certainly no pushover. Pitt F Mike Young’s 23 points a game is 9th in the country. Impressive.
  20. Sorry to hear about the passing of legendary NBA broadcaster Craig Sager who passed away from cancer at 65. Sager was known for his flashy and interesting suit jackets, but he was also known for broadcasting other sports, such as calling MLB HOF Hank Aaron when he hit the HR that passed fellow HOF Ruth in 1974. Prayers and condolences to his family.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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