Football

John Bazemore / AP

NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at addressing the firestorm over national anthem protests sparked by Colin Kaepernick and polarized by President Trump, permitting players to stay in the locker room during the "The Star-Spangled Banner" but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

Scott Dalton / AP

Fly, Dick's Sporting Goods, fly.

The unlikely win for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl LII match up could be a windfall for the sporting goods retailer, despite a headquarters squarely placed in Steeler Nation.

The same sales bump took place after the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in more than a century.

Analysts with J.P. Morgan wrote Wednesday, "From a similarities perspective, both the Cubs and Eagles have rabid fans that have been starved for a championship for decades."

Eagles Get Hero's Welcome After Winning First Ever Super Bowl Title

Feb 5, 2018
Julia Cortez / AP

Fresh off their first Super Bowl title, the Philadelphia Eagles arrived home to a hero's welcome Monday afternoon, hours after overjoyed fans mobbed the streets in a sometimes unruly victory celebration nearly 60 years in the making.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is going home.

Shazier was released from the hospital on Thursday, nearly two months after suffering a spinal injury in a victory over Cincinnati. The Pro Bowler underwent spine stabilization on Dec. 6 and while he was able to travel a bit, including visiting team practices and making appearances at Heinz Field for games, he returned to the hospital each evening.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says Shazier will transition to an outpatient therapy program.

Pennsylvania Treasury Department / AP

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department is taking the occasion of the Philadelphia Eagles' appearance this week in the Super Bowl to remind people the state is holding unclaimed property that includes an array of Eagles' memorabilia.

The agency said Monday that anyone can search online to see if anything belongs to them, and while they're looking they can make a wider search for any abandoned property in their name.

Winslow Townson / AP

Pennsylvania's governor plans to travel to Minneapolis this weekend to watch the Philadelphia Eagles take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday he'll be paying for his own transportation, tickets and lodging to attend the Sunday night game.

The Eagles' most recent Super Bowl appearance was 13 years ago, a 24-21 loss to the Patriots.

Jaguars Surging, Steelers Wary In High-Stakes Rematch

Jan 14, 2018
Pittsburgh Steelers

At the time the score looked like a misprint.

Jacksonville 30. Pittsburgh 9.

On the road.

A result so stunningly one-sided Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stood in the locker room on that gray October afternoon only half-jokingly wondered if he still had "it."

Throwing five interceptions, two of which the Jaguars returned for momentum-swinging, confidence-sapping touchdowns, will do that.

Frank Victores / 1988

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been a busy investor this season, thanks to a presumed Steel City fan making changes to Google results.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Parents, side by side, held signs calling for Superintendent Toni Shute to resign.

“Give Shute the boot,” they chanted outside of a packed Oct. 9 Brooke County School District board meeting in Wellsburg, W.Va.

Sheila May-Stein / Twitter

Brandon Sears, 15, started playing soccer for Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy this fall. It didn’t take long for an opposing player to call him the n-word.

Keith Srakocic / AP

NFL veterans Drew Brees, Joe Thomas, Von Miller and Luke Kuechly are among the 32 nominees announced Tuesday for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Fred Vuich / AP

Concussions and head-related trauma have become a major concern for football players, from the National Football League to pee-wee games.

Ed Riecker / AP Images for Dairy Queen

Pittsburgh Steelers' running back Le'Veon Bell jokingly tweeted during his preseason contract holdout that he might have to apply for a job at Dairy Queen.

On Tuesday, Dairy Queen obliged.

Bell spent some time at the chain's New Kensington store — about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh — learning how to make Blizzards and other treats.

Bell says his one-day gig was "harder than I thought it was going to be" and that he doesn't think "this job is any easier than my job, and I don't think my job is any easier than their job."

Don Wright / AP

Pittsburgh Steelers star Antonio Brown is ready to bust a move.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Five local football players have been chosen for the All-American National Team, which is playing against the American Team this weekend as part of the Women’s Football Alliance Championship.

All the players are members of the Pittsburgh Passion football team, which is celebrating 15 years as a league. The All-American players were voted on as the best of the WFA’s 65 teams.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Penn State plans extensive renovations to Beaver Stadium that would reduce its capacity but still keep seating over 100,000.

The university announced Monday those changes include more chairback seating, new concession locations, new restrooms, wider concourses and more premium-seating options.

It's all part of the university's Master Plan, a 20-year project creating new facilities and improving others. Projects include new indoor tennis and swimming facilities, and renovating Jeffrey Field, where the school's men's and women's soccer teams play.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A former West Mifflin Area High School football player who suffered a concussion in 2009 is suing the school district, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Lawyers for Shane Skillpa, 23, said his helmet and the helmet of another student broke during a drill that required the boys to run headlong into each other. The incident occurred during a summer practice between Skillpa's freshman and sophomore years.

David J. Phillip / AP

Though the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't make it to this year's Super Bowl, Heinz is offering its employees a dollop of joy to look forward to this weekend. It's giving workers a day off on the Monday following the Super Bowl. 

 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Like any former steel town in western Pennsylvania, Aliquippa has struggled since the industry collapsed in the 1980s. But in a town known for its football superstars, Mayor Dwan Walker, now in his second term, wants to prove that his city is ready and eager for revitalization. 

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh is home to many sports firsts: the Pittsburgh Pirates participated in the first Major League World Series, the city was the first to have a retractable dome stadium and the Steelers were the first to win six Super Bowls.

Keith Srakocic / AP

University of Pittsburgh Athletic Director Scott Barnes said traditional rivalries like the one between Pitt and Penn State University are an essential part of college football. On the eve of the first gridiron clash between the Panthers and Nittany Lions in 16 years, Barnes sat down with 90.5 WESA’s Paul Guggenheimer to discuss Saturday's sold out game at Heinz Field and what the future holds for a rivalry that dates back to 1893.

Their conversation has been edited for length and clarity

__________________

Paul Hirschberger

Tonight the JFilm Festival is screening "Touchdown Israel," an exploration of the fast growing sport of American tackle football in Israel. The screening features a post film conversation with former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke. Hoke joins us to talk about his reaction to seeing American football catching on in Israel and whether it can truly become a global game.. Also, taking part in the conversation is Kathryn Spitz Cohan, Executive Director of JFilm.

The Unique Experience Of A Football Placekicker

Nov 6, 2015
Pete Madia / University of Pittsburgh Athletics

The life of long-distance football placekicker is unusual.  Although he only gets in for a few plays per game, he has the potential to be the most criticized.  University of Pittsburgh placekicker Chris Blewitt knows this all too well.

“You could say that it’s fair or unfair, but I mean, there are always eleven guys on the field at a time, so everyone’s working together.  Everyone could share and take part and credit for the game.”

Pride In Players Key To CMU Football Coaching Success

Nov 6, 2015
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

With 193 victories over his 40 years with the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, head football coach Rich Lackner has more than demonstrated his ability to create and maintain winning teams.  His success earned him the title of 5th most winning coach in Division III football. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer caught up with the coach to talk about his long-standing career.

“The level of intensity that I display during a football game is incredible, and I love to win,” Lackner said.

Mike Richards / 90.5 WESA

Defending champions the Pittsburgh Passion head to Mansion Park in Altoona on Saturday to face the Carolina Phoenix in the hopes of continuing their 20-game win streak and advancing to another league title.

The Eastern Conference Championship kicks off at 7 p.m.

In the twelfth day of public debate over whether or not a man or a group of men purposely released air from footballs, a CMU mechanical engineering graduate student traveled to Phoenix to join the discussion.

Thomas Healy said the deflated footballs the New England Patriots used during the first half of its defeat of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game January 18 could be a result of atmospheric pressure and not foul play.

He is presenting his detailed experimental data to several organizations this weekend before Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Is This Year's Super Bowl Worth Watching Just for the Ads?

Jan 30, 2015
ThisIsNotApril / Flickr

This year a 30-second Super Bowl spot sells for $4.5 million dollars.

With so much money on the line, which advertising strategies are the most effective? How are advertisers changing tactics to get people's attention? And who are they targeting?

We discuss this with Bob Gilbert, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Pittsburgh's Katz School of Business.

Throughout the segment, Professor Gilbert provides insight on the goals of branding and the tactics used in Super Bowl advertising.

“What we are trying to do is find the right combination of generating awareness and attention, but also generating comprehension… that’s hard to do at the same time. I think Super Bowl advertisers have therefore aired on the side of attention. If you look at a lot of Super Bowl events you’ll find that there’s not as much information about the brand as much as it is a statement about the character about the brand .”

Also be sure to listen out for Gilbert's opinion of the latest controversial commercial from the internet domain registrar company, GoDaddy.com. The ad was originally intended for this year's Super Bowl, but pulled in response to the social media backlash.

Deflate-Gate: A Footall Who Done It

Jan 30, 2015
Keith Allison / Flickr

Did the New England Patriots make it to the Super Bowl by taking air out of footballs in the AFC Championship game?

Are NFL executives dragging out the investigation to avoid having anything come out during Super Bowl week? Have the Steelers ever cheated? We'll put these questions and more to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak. 

Dvorchak offers light-hearted commentary about all of the media attention for the deflate-gate scandal.

"When the national discussion for the last two weeks is the air pressure inside a football, I think we’ve turned the corner as far as our priorities of a nation go.” 

Michael B. / Flickr

In case you haven’t heard, the Super Bowl will be played this Sunday. 

While area football fans may have little interest in a game that doesn’t feature the Steelers our guest, Ronald Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University, offers some reasons for tuning in to the big game.

According to Dick, viewers often tune in for reasons other than the actual game.

A recent national poll found that support is on the rise for banning youth from playing contact football before they reach high school.

Robert Morris University Polling Institute and the Center for Research and Public Policy conducted the same poll in 2013 and 2014, asking participants if they would support or oppose a ban on youth playing contact football.

Pages