NFL

Following aggravated assault and child abuse charges within the National Football League, Americans are now more skeptical than ever when it comes to professional sports teams and player misconduct, according to the Robert Morris University Polling Institute.

Of the 1,004 people polled across the country, 82.4 percent believe sports teams and their owners hide reports of scandalous player behavior to protect a team’s image.

Steelers Slammed 30-17 by Ravens in Wild Card

Jan 4, 2015
AP Photo/Gene Puskar

Ben Roethlisberger was helped to his feet and walked slowly to the sideline, trying to clear his head from a hard hit and a night that didn't go his way.

Postseasons don't usually end at Heinz Field. Not like this. Not to hated Baltimore.

Without injured All-Pro back Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers were one-dimensional on offense and didn't do nearly enough to stop the Ravens, who snapped a three-game playoff losing streak against their bitter rivals with a 30-17 victory Saturday night in the AFC wild-card game.

"This is going to sting for a while," Roethlisberger said.

News from the World of College and Pro Football

Dec 12, 2014
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.

Does the NFL Have a Culture of Violence?

Sep 23, 2014
Keith Allison / Flickr

Former NFL quarterback Don McPherson joins us to discuss domestic violence issues involving NFL players including Baltimore's Ray Rice and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will get its house in order, the question is how. McPherson regularly speaks on college campuses as a critic of gender roles, saying they contribute to incidents of domestic violence, stalking and rape.   

Of Rice and Men: Raising the Standards Set for Athletes

Sep 15, 2014
Keith Allison / Flickr

In her latest column our guest, Nafari Vanaski of the Tribune Review, takes the NFL to task for its handling of the Ray Rice assault case. She also poses the question of why athletic organizations don’t hold players to higher standards of conduct when they’re involved in wrongdoing. 

The NFL Takes a Stronger Stance on Domestic Violence

Sep 5, 2014

Post-Gazette Sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' regular season opener as well as the possible outcome for two Steelers players who were stopped for marijuana possession. Also, the NFL takes a stronger stance on domestic violence.

Former Atlanta Falcon Tim Green Weighs in on New NFL Penalty

Mar 5, 2014
Laura Lilly

Former star linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons Tim Green discussed his latest baseball novel New Kid.

He also weighed in on the NFL's proposal to institute a 15-yard penalty for using racial slurs on the field, and how Missouri defensive end Michael Sam will be accepted after announcing he is gay.  

Study: Pittsburgh Steelers Fans Take a Loss the Hardest

Dec 16, 2013
Drew Allen / flickr

According to a recent study done by Emory University, Steelers fans take losses harder than any other fan base in the NFL.

Manish Tripathi, assistant professor of Marketing at Emory University focused the research on fans' emotional responses and found out why it's more than just a game to Steelers faithful.

He says he used instantaneous social networking strategies to gauge the mood of fans after winning or losing.

Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

When a blockbuster films appears on television, the actors receive royalties for their appearances, the same goes for TV show reruns.

One would think the same goes for former football players who appear in NFL films. Video clips of the “Immaculate Reception,” have run countless times on television, yet Franco Harris and John Fuqua have never seen payment for the replays.

Steelers Fall to Titans; Pouncy, Foote out for Season

Sep 8, 2013
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.

Sports Talk With Bob Dvorchak

May 19, 2013
Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak discusses the death of Uniontown native and NFL great Chuck Muncie of heart failure at age 60, concussions in the NFL and the strange case of hockey player Derek Boogaard

Jack Butler Pro Football Hall Of Fame / Facebook

Listen to the Essential Pittsburgh interview with Jack Butler from July 2012

The voice on the other end of the telephone was husky and polite. It belonged to an octogenarian and one of the greatest defensive backs ever to play pro football, Jack Butler. It was the middle of last summer and Mr. Butler was getting a lot of attention because at the age of 84, he was finally going to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I was hoping he would be able to come in to our studios to be a guest on Essential Pittsburgh. Mine was but the latest in a long line of requests.

Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  Every major business in the U.S. has an anti-distrimination policy when it comes to hiring. That includes the National Football League. But what about reports of loaded personal questions for players trying out for the draft? Sports Contributor Bob Dvorchak talks about how athletes are tested at the NFL scouting combine and where the league stands on the discrimination claims.