We have lost two legends
So many subjects, so little space:
* Losing legends: Last Saturday night, we had just put the first edition of the paper to bed when the stunning news came across the wire that former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll had died.
Naturally, we got as much of a story as is possible at that late hour in our final edition and marked it as breaking news on our website.
If you ask me to describe Noll in one word it would be winner. He knew how to win. How to will his team to victory. How to mold a group of men of different backgrounds and personalities into one unit with one purpose.
Noll was a low-key guy who seemed to instinctively do the right thing at the right time. His players loved him, respected him, would run through a wall for him.
He took a struggling franchise and turned it into the NFL’s best and most feared.
Chuck Noll deserves every accolade that will be written about him. He was one of the all-time NFL greats, if not, sorry Mr. Ali, The Greatest.
Then, on Monday, we learned we had lost Tony Gwynn.
Gwynn not only was one of the most feared hitters in baseball, but he also was one of its most popular players. Despite his lofty batting averages, there never was a hint of scandal surrounding him. He was as natural a hitter as God ever created. He would find a way to get on base, and then, if needed, he’d steal another.
He was a throwback to the days when men played the game the right way for the right reason.
Like Noll, he’s one of those rare people who we never will forget and always will admire.
* Feeling the Heat: Once one team establishes its total domination over all the others in any sports league, it becomes a target.
Growing up, I developed a dislike for the New York Yankees. Why? Because they seemed to always win the World Series and in doing so they would beat my team and all the others along the way.
That’s why so many people were rooting against the Miami Heat in the NBA finals.
They had won the last two titles and experts were starting to use the D word -dynasty – in describing LeBron James and Co.
But it was another D word -dismantling -that was executed to perfection by the San Antonio Spurs, who put on a basketball clinic and Deserved to win the championship.
* We’re No. 78: USA Today is in the process of counting down the nation’s college football teams.
West Virginia University fans didn’t have to wait long to see the writeup on their beloved Mountaineers, who came in at No. 78.
We must remember this is just one opinion, but it is sad to see WVU so poorly thought of by “the nation’s newspaper.”
It’s fun when your team is highly regarded and competing for championships, as WVU?has been many times in the past.
It’s not fun when you are so lightly-regarded you are No. 78.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org