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Idle Thoughts- A Turkey Day Sampler Of Sports Gibblets

I'm not one to share my opinion, but since you asked...

  • I plan on attending Friday's Pitt-West Virginia game, as I do believe it will be the last Backyard Brawl contested between the two schools. Given that the Mounties intend to defect to the Big 12 for next season and Pitt is off to greener pastures of the ACC, the end of this great football series is at hand. Some may argue it's a good thing given the bad blood between the fan bases, but isn't that what makes a rivalry?
  • Well I was wrong about Sidney Crosby's return and I'm man enough to admit it. I'm also man enough to admit I didn't think he would look so sharp in his 1st game back. It was a good choice to return against a team he has scored more points against in the Islanders. Here's to concussion free hockey for the kid the rest of his NHL career.
  • I am only going to say this once because I know some may think it's gloating, but this whole Jerry Sandusky/Penn State story isn't going away anytime soon.  For all of those 'Nits' out there who prided themselves with their 'We Are' chants and that attitude that they were better than the rest, I don't hear much from many of you these days.  That sting you feel as a Penn State fan is pride.  And pride is the mother of all the seven deadly sins.  As it turns out, your football program and your former head coach aren't so special after all.
  • I'm not a big NASCAR fan, but I do like Tony Stewart.  Smoke won his 3rd Sprint Cup title on Sunday, his 1st as an owner/driver.  He's gritty, uses bad language and has a surly attitude.  If there were a few more drivers like him, I might take more of an interest in the sport.
  • If I were Tom Bradly, I would not have taken the token role of interim head coach at Penn State.  What good does this purpose serve?  Everybody knows he won't be considered for the job after this season is done.  He's interviewed for several head coaching positions in the past and gotten zip from it.  This audition does little for him.  He will be lucky to land a coordinator position next year at any school.  In fact, how many of the current staff at Penn State will be working next year?  Maybe half?  Would you as an administrator hire anybody from this coaching staff given what's happened?
  • Tiger Woods is irrelevant and will never win another major golf title.
  • The timing of the news that Joe Paterno has a form of cancer seemed to be nothing more than a ploy for sympathy.  As it turns out, he deserves none.
  • There is nothing that will stop the BCS from getting LSU and Alabama to play a 2nd time.  I'm not saying they don't deserve a rematch, but for the so-called National Title of college football?  If Alabama doesn't play in their conference championship game and Oregon does, I think the Ducks should meet LSU once again.  Despite beating them to open the season, I think a rematch would be much closer and a lot more fun to watch.
  • I don't miss the NBA.  Do you?
  • Jamie Dixon and his young Panther's basketball team will go through some growing pains over the next few months, but come March, watch how good this team is.
  • If Crosby stays healthy and concussion free the rest of the season, the Pens will hoist Lord Stanley's cup in June.  Take that to the bank.
  • When the smoke clears, the Steelers will somehow win the AFC North without beating Baltimore this year.  How ironic will it be when those two teams meet for the AFC title at Heinz Field on January 22nd?  Mark your calendar for that one, as it will be the mother of all grudge matches.
  • Your WPIAL football champions will be North Allegheny in Quad-A, Montour in AAA, Aliquippa in AA and Clairton in A.  All four games will be knock-down, drag-out brawls, but the best of the bunch will be in AAA as Knoch is looking for it's 1st title since 1978, while the Spartans haven't won WPIAL gold since 1964.
  • I don't expect Joe Paterno to live past Sandusky going to trial.  He's about to turn 85.  His health is in decline.  Joe spoke of what happened to Bear Bryant when he retired, how he died a month after stepping down and how that scared him, hence why he hung on to coaching for so long.  Now that he's out and facing possible civil lawsuits, how can anybody expect him to survive this?
  • West Virginia will win the final Backyard Brawl, killing any hopes for the Panthers to share another watered down Big East title.  I said Pitt would be 6-6 at the end of this season and they have done nothing to change my mind about that finish.  Don't fret Panther fans, as 2012 will be a much better year under Todd Graham.

John Phillips is the author of this article and a secret member of the Galactic Empire.  When he's not chasing down Jedi across Ross Park Mall, he can be heard hosting talk-shows and anchoring sports updates on 93.7 The Fan.  Follow JP on Twitter at 

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