Kunitz's 2nd PP goal gives Pens OT win over Isles
Written by Associated Press
Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, second from left, assists Pascal Dupuis (9), right, in his goal past New York Islanders' Lubomir Visnovsky, second from right, during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series on May 5, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
by Ira Podell
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins bounced back from their home disappointment and dished out their fair share to the suddenly shocked New York Islanders.
All it took was Sidney Crosby and a very powerful power play to do the trick.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 18:00
Black jockey eyes top prize at Kentucky Derby
Written by NNPA News Service
Jockey Kevin Krigger talks about his Kentucky Derby mount, Goldencents, outside Barn 45 at Churchill Downs, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
Goldencents, Kevin Krigger up, races to win the Grade I $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Benoit Photo, File)
by Zachary Lester
(NNPA)--Kevin Krigger always wanted to be a jockey.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 16:25
Written by Bill Neal
:10 As you know, I am always talking to you about “Old School.” Why? Cause I’m old, that’s why! Yeah, I know. I look good for my age. People tell me that all the time …and you know what, they’re right. Anyway, back to something way more important than me. If you want that good old school feeling…I mean that early Sunday morning biscuits and gravy, grits in the deep pot, ham, bacon and sausage, hot cakes, scrambled eggs and coffee old school feeling, then all you have to do next Sunday is get your lazy butt out of the bed and walk through the warm beautiful, historic and welcoming doors of St. James AME Church on Lincoln Avenue. The Champions’ staff were invited guests to the churchmember, renown Pittsburgh actress and model Rita Gregory. The word was powerful, inspirational and yes…quick…(smile). The church family was warm and Ms. Hazel’s Kitchen is all that. Chicken, poke salad, greens, corn bread…oh lord, let me stop! And how about this, all the food is served by young people. You know, the kind of young good folks we’re proud of who far outweigh the bad. I’m talking about the kind we celebrate on the 6 p.m. evening news, not the ones we close the gate on the 11 p.m. news. You’ve heard enough. Visit St. James. Do it now…because I said so…and oh yeah, God says so too!
:9 All I said was the Lakers would make the playoffs. That’s all I said…no, shut up.
:8 You might as well get on the band wagon now. Your Pittsburgh Pirates are for real. Not only are they legit, but now the word comes that we got depth…back up baby. LET’S – GO – BUCS!
:7 Here’s an “Overtime” sports bulletin for ya. And remember, you heard it here first. The Pittsburgh Old Timers won the National Championship yet again. Tom “Bum” Coates added to his legend by bringing home MVP honors…word is he hit 4—3s in a row to bring home the title…some say he’s still dropping 3s and the game has been over for two weeks. More info and a team photo next week.
:6 Now look and listen, and trust me, this comes from the heart mmmaaannn. It’s possible you may have had a smarter coach in the Connie Hawkins Summer Basketball League, but none smarter than Richard Allen. And you may have more dedicated coaches, but none more so than Karen Hall. And it’s possible you may have had someone more committed to winning than Ringo Saunders, but I doubt it. And I guess you could have had a better dressed coach than Roland Slade, but you would have to look far and wide. And, if you’re going to try and tell me there was a better organized and fully equipped coach in the league than me…aka Bill Neal…forget about it. But, if you want to identify the one coach that brought all these attributes to the court…then that would be…yeah, you know it—LaVaughn “Meatball” Johnson. Stand up and be applauded! (Alright man, I told ya I would hook you up. Now quit calling me). Hey everybody, you know “ball” can’t see all that good so here’s the truth, but don’t tell him I told you. We all know the man who wears all those crowns is the godfather Eddie Jeffries “The King of the Gangsters” …the Rankin Gangsters that is, wore a shirt and tie—on—the—sidelines. C’mon man!!!
:5 The Pens are in. Let’s get ready to RRRUUUMMMBBBLLLEEE!
:4 All you need to know is the Steelers met all their needs. Linebacker, wide receiver, running back and safety…now we have to see if them dogs can hunt!
:3 I’m just sayin’, what about O.J.?
:2 Movie Review Time. Oh, shut up will ya! You wanna have some fun, go see The Big Wedding, a Simmi chick flick, but De Niro makes it man friendly I give it 3 ***. And if you got the guts to see Pain & Gain with the Rock and Mark Wahlberg, funny, intense, brutal, bloody and yes boys and girls, a true story. Now that didn’t hurt did it?
:1 Hey, if you’re looking for a wonderful thing to do for Mothers’ Day, call Rita Gregory. No, I mean a Mothers’ Day good time. She’s hosting the Mothers Day / Celebrity Women’s Awards Luncheon and Fashion Show on Saturday, May 11, at St. James Church, 2 p.m. Tickets are only $30, honoring “20” of Pittsburgh’s outstanding women, and the special treat, the M.C. for the event is the legendary Debbie Norrell. Call the Champions at 412- 628-4856 to get a ticket while we still have them…fame—fashion—food and fun. It doesn’t get any better than that. And you know you can take that to the bank!
:00 Kevin Cameron…I can’t hear you mmmaaannn!!!
~ GAME OVER ~
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 May 2013 10:08
Pittsburgh ICE brings hockey to youth
Written by Genea Webb
Arn Criswell and Isaac Eubanks eat, sleep and breathe the game of ice hockey.
“I wanted to play hockey because I saw Sidney Crosby on television and he scored a goal and I said ‘I can do that. I want to score a goal,’” said Criswell a 14-year-old Propel School ninth grader who lives in the Hill District. “As a goalie you’re always a leader.”
Criswell currently serves as a goal tender for the Castle Shannon-based Pittsburgh Predators ice hockey team.
The first year that the Pittsburgh Penguins went to the Winter Classic, Eubanks knew he wanted to take that same journey one day.
“I took my brother’s skates and we were playing street hockey. It was a lot of fun and I thought it was more fun than any other sport and I started asking my parents to buy hockey equipment,” said Eubanks, a 14-year old Propel Junior High School eighth grader who resides in Whittaker. He currently serves as center defenseman/forward on the Pittsburgh Predators team along with Criswell.
Both boys learned the ins and outs of hockey from the Pittsburgh ICE (Inclusion Creates Equality) hockey team.
According to Kimberly L. Slater-Wood, director of outreach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, “Pittsburgh ICE falls under the Pittsburgh Penguins youth hockey program and is supported through the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Additionally, Pittsburgh ICE is included under the NHL Diversity program Hockey is for Everyone.”
Pittsburgh ICE was created in 2000 with the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins and its alumni association. It provides boys and girls the chance to learn the game. Pittsburgh ICE is one of more than 40 Hockey is for everyone programs in the United States. Used equipment is donated to the program reducing the cost for players to $40, which covers registration.
“By deepening its footprint, particularly in the urban communities, more African-American children between the ages of 5-18 will have an opportunity to learn to play the great game of ice hockey under the direction of coach Howard Smith and his staff,” Slater-Wood said.
Both Criswell and Eubanks have learned invaluable lessons about ice hockey and life under the tutelage of Smith.
“What I saw special in Arn and Isaac is what I saw in myself years ago,” said Smith who has coached Criswell for five years on the Pittsburgh ICE hockey team and Eubanks for four years. “I saw two individuals who were really dedicated to the game of hockey. As these guys progress, the sky is the limit. I really hope Arn and Isaac take hockey to the next level and play at the college level. They are both good role models and mentors to the other kids on the team.”
Slater-Wood concurs with Smith.
“Arn and Isaac are skilled youth hockey players and stellar young men. They are among several trailblazers in a sport that is primarily homogenous when it comes to race. These young men are focused, diligent and love to play the game of ice hockey. Their athleticism in youth hockey began with the introduction and exposure to an untraditional sport for most African-Americans. Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in ice hockey and Arn and Isaac are carrying the torch,” Slater-Wood said.
Both Eubanks and Criswell believe that if more Black kids were exposed to ice hockey, they would want to play the sport.
Despite the low number of African-Americans, Criswell and Eubanks are like brothers when on the ice whether it be with the Pittsburgh Predators or Pittsburgh ICE.
“We work hard and motivate each other,” both boys said.
In addition to learning how to skate on the ice and the basics of hockey, the members of Pittsburgh ICE are taught commitment, perseverance and teamwork.
“It teaches them to respect authority and how to negotiate and that carries over into adulthood,” said Criswell’s mother, Lereeta Payne about the Pittsburgh ICE program. “They travel to places like Penn State, Detroit, Washington, D.C. Pittsburgh ICE allows Arn to see other parts of the world. We are very proud of him.”
The Eubanks family agree.
“We’re very proud of Isaac. We’re proud of how he’s learned the sport of hockey. He’s not aggressive, he’s patient. He knows that you’re going to either win or lose,” said his mother, Elnora and father, Isaac, Sr.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 13:34
The power of one
Written by Aubrey Bruce
Every year at the beginning of the season I rush into a phone booth, any phone booth and exit those cramped quarters as I leap skyward with the letters E.O. stamped proudly on my chest cape flapping in the wind as I fly through the sometimes cloud covered campaign better known as the Pittsburgh Pirates season.
This year I was not just whistling Dixie as I passed the bone orchard at midnight, no boys and girls there is really is, as the great rock n’ roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis might say, “some shakin’ going on.” When I traveled to Bradenton, Fla., to observe the Pirates wind down their “grapefruit league” campaign, I was silently optimistic about their chances even in light of their management and personnel teams’ decision to ship the Bucs’ young and talented reliever Josh Hanrahan off to “Beantown.” But uh, maybe just maybe they have found a new formula that “mad scientists” Clint Hurdle and Neil Huntington haven’t let us in on as of yet. Now don’t go getting all “giddy” because as of Pirates 9-0 thrashing of the Cardinals last Sunday at Busch Stadium. At that point the Pirates were only one game in front of the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League Central Division. Oh, by the way, check and see how many World Series the Pirates have competed in or won in the last ten years, then check the record of the Cardinals during that same time period. I really don’t think that the “Cards” are losing a whole lot of sleep worrying about the Pirates, especially since the Pirates have over 135 games left to play in the 2013 season. But hold up. If the Pirates win 15 out of 25 games the remainder of the season they are poised to win over ninety six games for the season. In 2012 the Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central Division with a 97-65 record.
The team that finished second in the division was the St. Louis Cardinals with a 88-74 record. In 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers won the division with a 96-66 record with the Cardinals finishing second with a 90-72 record. In 2010, the Reds won the division with a 91-71 record, the “Cards finished 86-76. In 2009, Cardinals 91-71 the Cubs were 83-78. In 2008, the Cubs won the division 97-64 while the Brewers took home the consolation prize with a 90-72 record. 2007 was a bit closer as the Cubs again took won the NL Central “championship” with an 85-77 record with the Brewers breathing down their necks finishing the season 83-79. During that same period, the Pirates have hovered around or finished in last place in their division. I am not too concerned about the Pirates play during pre-All Star break competition. It is their post All Star game finishes that worry me. My point is until the Pirates convince themselves that they can win, the competition will certainly not be convinced, nor will their opponents become apprehensive at the thought of facing the Pirates. One of the elements that bodes well for the Bucs’ is the fact that players that dreaded coming here in the past now look forward to helping the team establish, restore and maintain a new baseball winning tradition in the “steel city.”
While I was in Bradenton, I spoke with Jeff Locke after a rough outing against the Baltimore Orioles and although on that day his performance was less than stellar he still had this to say: “I think after I came over here since the trade [from the Braves] everything has been better from my conditioning to my routines, to my work ethic. Maybe it was because I was younger over there. I definitely have matured more since I have been here. Everyone in this clubhouse expects the best from each other when we go out there.” It appears as if the Pirates might remain competitive during the 2013 campaign, but the jury is still out. Why?
Well because there are many unanswered questions regarding the long brutal haul of the baseball summer. How much will the Pirates miss the strong, steady, deadly fastball of Josh Hanrahan during the hellish days of August and during the final stretch of September? Will the Pittsburgh offense complement the Pirates pitching to provide enough balance for the team to win 95 plus games? Trust me boys and girls, it is going to take over 95 games for the Pirates or any of their Central Division foes to win the division comfortably and have enough steam to do some damage in the MLB playoffs. See, when a team, has to eke out victories day after day, week after week, month after month, that team will not, and should not be viewed as true victors. Most of the time that band of competitors will be looked upon as lucky scavengers with a penchant for relying on charms and spells Every individual athlete on the Pirates roster has to convince himself that he is a winner. See boys’ and girls’ we are not entitled to anything because “champions are made not born.”
Buc Bits: The Pirates took the NL Central lead for the first time since last July and reached 15 wins in April for the first time since 1992.
Winning is contagious and so is good pitching.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:00
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