WHERE WERE YOU?

I know where I was a little after three o’clock in the afternoon on October 13th, 1960. Even though I was only 12, I was smart enough to know that the school bus wasn’t going to get me home in time to see the Pirates bat in the ninth inning.

We were listening to the game on the radio and I made the decision to get off the bus at the shopping center near my house because I knew that all the businesses would have TVs tuned to the game.

I was in the Thrift Drug store and  had just bought a 5 cent vanilla phosphate and a 5 cent bag of Snyder’s potato chips when Bill Mazeroski hit the greatest homerun in baseball history and created Pittsburgh’s greatest sports moment.

I jumped off my stool, threw the chips on the ground and started jumping up and down on them. Adults were jumping up and down, screaming and hugging. I think I even got a hug from the lady behind the counter.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I have the memory of seeing it instead of hearing it on the radio. That was a smart move that I made.

Maz was my favorite player at the time. I was a second baseman and I used to stuff 10 pieces of bubble gum into my mouth when I played so I could look like him with his huge chaw of tobacco.

What a day that was. What a time that was. Imagine the greatest World Series game ever being played in the sunshine instead of the middle of the night when most 12 year olds are in bed.

YEAH, HE’S A SOCIALIST.

If you refer to Barack Obama as a socialist, you stand a really good chance of being called a moron, a radical, or a racist. Probably all three.

Stanley Kurtz is an author and a contributor to National Review. He’s also an investigative reporter.

If what he knew about Obama had been made public by the mainstream media in 2008, Obama would have lost in a landslide.

But the media were too busy sniffing around Wasilla, Alaska to find out the relationship between Sarah Palin and her librarian.

I had Kurtz on my radio show a few times. He is not a knuckle-dragging stereotypical right wing, bomb throwing birther.

I brought him on my KDKA radio show to talk about the roadblocks that were being put in his way as he tried to investigate Obama’s record in Chicago politics. Compare the number of stories you saw or heard about Kristol Palin’s baby compared to the number of stories done on the Annenberg Challenge.

Never heard of if? Kurtz wrote about it a lot during the 2008 campaign and had trouble finding anybody who didn’t work for Fox News to listen to him.

Kurtz has a new book that is a result of two years of research into Obama’s past and his serious socialist sympathies.

I said on the radio in the Summer of 2008 that there was no way that Barack Obama could be elected president. I made the mistake of assuming that the media would actually take a serious look at his background. They never did because they were in the tank for him at hello.

The piece in National Review has enough damaging evidence to make it impossible for Obama to be re-elected but, unless the dinosaur media let him tell his story, he’ll just be preaching to the choir.

Obama has been secretive and dishonest about his past. He’s the closest thing that we’ve ever had to a Manchurian Candidate and….yeah..he is a socialist.

With a capital “S”.

NO MORE MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING

Even though it’s Tuesday, I just finished reading Monday Morning Quarterback, the excellent blog on the NFL by Peter King of Sports Illustrated.

There can’t be an NFL beat guy who works harder than King does from Sunday morning until early Monday morning.

After I read this week’s installment, I sent a note to King telling him that it had occurred to me that a huge number of his readers probably don’t really understand the reference to monday morning quarterbacking because there really is no such thing anymore.

The expression comes from the days when quarterbacks called their own plays and they were not only critiqued on their execution but on their play selection.

Imagine the criticism that quarterbacks are already subject to and then add the ability to second guess their play calling to the mix.

If Ben Roethloisberger throws an interception, he can be criticized for missing an open receiver and throwing to the wrong guy or just making a bad throw. Imagine if he throws an interception on third and one and everybody knows that he made the call.

I can remember talking after a game about what a great game the quarterback had called.

When you watch highlights of the ’70s Steelers, how often do you consider that the touchdown pass that was caught by Stallworth or Swann was a result of a play that was called by Terry Bradshaw?

I can remember Swann and Stallworth joking about who Bradshaw liked best and one jokingly accusing the other of trying to butter Bradshaw up.

I can remember watching Chuck Noll chewing out Bradshaw as he came off the field and you knew he was second guessing the play that Bradshaw had called.

In any comparison of great quarterbacks, I always make a point to mention the fact that Bradshaw called his own plays. I think, because it’s been so long since quarterbacks made those decisions, that people have forgotten what a huge part of being a quarterback that aspect of the game was.

Call me crazy –or old–but I think the game was a lot more interesting when the quarterbacks were field generals. Now they’re more like drones–electronically controlled from the sideline with that stupid radio receiver in their helmets.

Fantasy football for me would be seeing one more game in which both quarterbacks had to call all of their own plays.

RELAX

The Penguins are 0-2. They should be 1-1 and you can blame the loss to Montreal in Game 2 on Marc Andre Fleury.

There are 80 games left.

There’s a really good chance that, after their game today, the Penguins will be 0-3.

They’re playing in New Jersey and the Devils have their number.

Dan Bylsma is shuffling the lines and he may give Brent Johnson his first start in goal.

Those were two pretty good teams that beat the Penguins last week and it’s not like they were blown out.

I have a feeling the Penguins will straighten things out some time in the next eight months but that’s not to say that these early games don’t matter. A lot of teams found out last season that slow starts in October kept them out of the playoffs.

The four points they didn’t get could very well look huge in April.

One thing is pretty clear from the first two games. They miss Sergei Gonchar. Not his skating–his shooting.

Teams used to fear his shot from outside and they had to come out and challenge him. Until one of the Penguins’ defensemen starts putting hard shots on net consistently, teams are going to pack it in around the crease.

That reduces the chances of a shot from the perimeter going in.

I like the way the Penguins used their defensemen the first two games. They were aggressive and not afraid to jump up on the play. They have a lot of good, mobile guys back there and it’s nice to see that Bylsma is taking advantage of it.

Mark Andre Fleury needs a big game today– assuming he plays.

E-BOOK ON SALE NOW

If you take a look at the column on the right side of this page you will see that the “E” version of Just Watch The Game is available.

The print version of the book should be available in book stores early next month.

Some things you should know about the book:

It’s not an autobiography or even a “memoir.”

It’s just a lot of stories and opinions accumulated by a guy who has spent 40 years covering sports as a journalist and almost 60 years watching them as a fan.

There’s a beginning and an end, but you don’t have to read the chapters in order. Each chapter stands on its own.

I think it’ll make a really good bathroom book.

I’m looking forward to sifting through the movie offers.

PITT STINKS

Pitt stinks.

That’s right,  s t i n k s……………stinks.

If you are 0-3, you stink. That’s Pitt’s record right now. I don’t care about the two wins that came against teams that should never be on the schedule.

The Utah, Miami and Notre Dame games were going to be the games where Pitt showed that the program had gone beyond second tier status.

Instead, it’s beginning to look –again– like Pitt belongs in th Mid-America conference.

Quarterback was a big problem again yesterday and I know that Tino Sunseri is in his first year as a starter, but the problem has been the same since Dave Wannstedt has been the head coach. The quarterback has been able to lose games for him but not win them.

I had no problem with the fake punt that didn’t work. It came at a time when you wouldn’t expect a fake punt. That’s exactly why I don’t have a problem with it.

I think the worst decision he made was on Pitt’s first possession. After a long, impressive drive, Wannstedt went for a chip shot field goal instead of going for it on fourth and short.

I know all the arguments for going for three points there, but when I saw him settle for three, even though I was watching the game by myself, secluded in my cottage on Lake Erie, I almost said it out loud, “That’s it. There’s no way they’re going to win this game.”

I would love to see some stats on the won-loss records of teams that go on long drives to start a game and then settle for field goals. I’ll bet therr are a lot more losses than wins.

Instead of being a confidence booster for the Pitt offense, it was a win for the Notre Dame defense. A stop on fourth down would have been a win for the ND defense, too, but Pitt would have had a major field position advantage.

A month ago I was looking forward to an interesting local college football season.

Not anymore.

It stinks.