5:03 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Poll: Support Rising for Ban on Pre-High School Contact Football

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.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

News from the World of College and Pro Football

Credit Parker Anderson / Flickr

NFL owners have voted unanimously to adopt six game minimum suspensions for domestic or sexual violence and other crimes.

The changes come after the NFL was criticized for its handling of alleged off-field violence by high profile players. But will the players go along? 

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State, offers his assessment and also talks about the upcoming departure of Pitt football coach Paul Chryst for Wisconsin.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:01 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Could a Pitt and Penn State Face-Off Be in the Works?

The University of Pittsburgh's first road win against the Miami Hurricanes in more than half a century has made the Panthers bowl eligible.

Some are speculating that it could lead to the first football game between Pitt and Penn State since 2000.

Veteran AP sports editor and journalist John Affleck, who was appointed in 2013 as Knight Chair at Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, joins us to sort out the potential bowl game scenarios.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:41 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

James Harrison's Return to the NFL Brings Controversy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to talk about the controversy over the return of James Harrison to the Steelers. And now that the Pirates have returned to the post-season for the second consecutive year, what are their chances of reaching the World Series?

Essential Pittsburgh
5:50 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Penn State Football Heads to Ireland for First International Game

Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland hosts Penn State and the University of Central Florida this Saturday for their season opener.
Credit Florian Christoph / Flickr

The Penn State University football team plays its season opener this Saturday against the University of Central Florida, with a unique spin. The big game is scheduled to be played at the Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Croke Park officials expect the game to bring $30 million into the Irish economy, thanks to an expected 16,000 visitors from the US.

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism at Penn State is in Dublin with a group of student reporters. He says the success of previous American college football games held in Dublin caused Irish officials to take notice.

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3:19 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Feeling Hungry, Steelers Fans? Heinz Field to Debut New Grub on Saturday

The Emperor Burger features a beef patty with shaved kielbasa, onion bacon kraut, a fried egg and Heinz Field Secret Sauce on a brioche bun.
Liz Reid 90.5 WESA

Heinz Field’s new executive chef John DiMartini has only been on staff for three months, but he’s ready to roll out 10 new house-made menu items in time for the Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season home opener Saturday.

Available to all fans in the concession areas is the Emperor Burger, named for late Steelers head coach Chuck Noll: a beef patty with shaved kielbasa, onion bacon kraut and Heinz Field Secret Sauce on a brioche bun. Also new to concession stands this season are 8-inch personal cheese and pepperoni pizzas from Fox’s Pizza Den, based in Murrysville.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

AFL Quarterback Tommy Grady: A Real "Power" Player

Pittsburgh Power quarterback Tommy Grady is leading the team to its best season in recent years.
Credit Jeffrey Gamza / Pittsburgh Power

The Pittsburgh Power, the city’s professional arena football team, are having their best season, ever. They’re undefeated at home at Consol Energy Center and just clinched their first-ever playoff berth. While they don’t get as much recognition as the Steelers, what is life like for the men who play in the arena league?

Tommy Grady is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Power and says the differences between the two leagues are vast.

“The game of arena football is a lot quicker, the field’s about half the size. We play on that hard turf, which is pretty hard on our bodies. The biggest thing is the speed and quickness of the game. A lot of guys have played in the NFL before, and it’s hard to adjust to the game.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Weather Likely to Impact the Spectacle of Super Bowl XLVIII, But Not the Game

Credit Broken Sphere / Wikipedia

This Sunday, Super Bowl XLVIII pairs the AFC champion, the Denver Broncos with the NFC champion, the Seattle Seahawks.

For the first time, the big game is being played in the cold weather of a northern city, outdoors. This means there may be some snow, and temperatures are likely hover around freezing. How is the weather likely to change the game?

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Super Bowl Viewers to Order 1.23 Billion Chicken Wings

MetLife Stadium prepares for Super Bowl XLVIII
Credit Anthony Quintano / flickr

While the beloved Steelers won’t be playing in this year’s Super Bowl, residents of the City of Champions still enjoy watching the annual football game.

As one of the largest watched TV broadcasts each year, the economic impact of the football game reaches all facets of the tradition.

Super Bowl revenue includes everything from commercial payments to transportation and restaurant packages. This year the game will be played on February 2nd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Rebecca Harris, business contributor and Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University explains that this game will be a first for shared hosting by New Jersey and New York, as well as the first time the game will be played outdoors in cold weather conditions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:55 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

When Clubhouse Culture Goes Too Far

While “boys will be boys” may seem a likely excuse for some, in the wake of hazing allegations against Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, many fans believe the teasing of Jonathan Martin crossed the line into inappropriate bullying.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sports Writer Emeritus Bob Dvorchak says the NFL does exist in a “culture of hazing,” but usually the tasks forced on rookie players are not so cruel.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:02 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Night Football Returns To Its Place of Origin

The 1892 Mansfield football team hosted the first night game.
Credit Mansfield University Blog

One hundred and twenty-one years ago the first night football game was played in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. The game was between Mansfield University formerly known as Mansfield State and Wyoming Seminary.

The teams played with the help of a new promotional lighting device from General Electric, the light bulb. The setup involved a string of lights wrapped around a wooden pole placed in the middle of the field.

Steve McCloskey, Director of Athletic Operations and Sports Information, says the lighting post “proved to be a detriment” to the game, as multiple “players ran face first into the pole because they had trouble seeing it, or it just kind of snuck up on them.”

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6:12 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

Steelers Fall to Titans; Pouncy, Foote out for Season

The Titans' Zach Brown forces Pittsburgh's Isaaac Redman to cough up the ball late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers 16-9 loss.
Mark Nootbaar 90.5 WESA

The Tennessee Titans opened the season in reverse. The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, appear to be the ones backing up.

Chris Johnson ran for 70 clock-chewing yards and the Titans overcame an embarrassing early flub to shut down the Steelers 16-9 on Sunday.

Jackie Battle ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals for the Titans. Tennessee's revamped defense did the rest.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:18 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Steelers Former Offensive Linemen Speaks Out About Stigma of Epilepsy

Alan Faneca was an All-Pro Guard for the Steelers
Credit Steel City Hobbies / Wikipedia

Former Steelers offensive lineman and all-pro guard, Alan Faneca returns to Pittsburgh this week, as honorary chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and Western Pennsylvania’s 25th Family Fun Run and Walk, taking place Saturday.

Faneca was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager in Texas. And despite the condition, he played 13 seasons in the NFL, 10 of which with the Steelers, including a victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

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