Some Random Observations

I had a few things on my mind. None of them worthy of an entire blog, but worthy of comment.

John Challis. The courageous 18-year-old baseball and football player from Freedom High School finally succumbed to cancer. While we knew this day would eventually come, it makes it no easier. While we all have reason to be sad, John would want us to celebrate his life by following his simple equation: belief + courage = life. I bloggedabout him a few weeks ago and have little to add. My only regret was not meeting him.

A Deal for the Hill District. After much debate and discussion, the Hill district finally has its Community Benefits Agreement as part of the construction of the new Pens Arena. While it guarantees millions towards economic development and job creation in the Hill, it doesn’t guarantee the Hill will become a economically viable community. It’s just a second chance for an area that needs it. Now, it’s up to those who call the Hill home to squander this rare second opportunity.

A great round of golf.Spending a Monday at a charity golf outing is nothing new for me. I have emceed or hosted various outings for charitable organizations in the region. What made Monday’s Tito Francona golf outing for Heritage Valley Health Systems so different was that I was in attendance … as just another player. Norm Mitry, company CEO, invited me to just play and relax as a thanks for some of the events I have hosted in the past. It was so relaxing to just get up, not shave, play golf and even have a beer without worrying about my emcee duties afterwards.

Meet my foursome from Mondays outing at Olde Stonewall: Lori McAninch, Garry Hogan and Kathy Harley

Speaking of golf … I have played more than 50 rounds this year and my game has gotten worse, not better. So much so that I have decided to put the clubs away for a few weeks. While I still enjoy the game, I’m struggling and maybe pursuing some other endeavors will help me get my game back on track this fall.

Watching the Olympics. I seem to be the only person, according to the ratings, not watching the games every night for three hours. Frankly, I can’t. I usually get up before I go to work, flip on SportsCenter on ESPN and see the highlights. It’s not that I don’t care about the Olympics, but I’m not going to act as if swimming, gymnastics and water polo are must-see events. While we all love Michael Phelps, I don’t see anyone watching swimming on TV on a regular basis now that he has won eight gold medals.

Great line in this month’s GQ magazine. They have an article entitles “73 Reasons We Are Living in the Golden Age of Football”. It’s mostly tongue-and-cheek, including reason number 8: Because the Cowboys are America’s Team But The Steelers Are God’s Team. Page 294. Check it out.

And Finally … on Good Morning America, their daily water cooler discussion centered upon this year’s incoming class of college freshman. Folks, these 18-year-olds were born in 1990. That means they have no recollection of the 1980’s, the first Persian Gulf War or the last time the Pirates won a division title. That says to me either I’m “that” old or the Pirates have been “that” bad for “that” long.

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