Thank goodness for Tom Brady. I actually beat the Mayor in our Fantasy match-up this week..But I do have to thank Trib sports guru, Jerry DiPaolo, for drafting him–and my initial team–in my stead(I was warned not to let the computer do it..I “had to” play in a charity golf tournament). I promise, I won’t bring up Fantasy Football in every blog. It’s just so exciting.

Steelers. Offensive lines. They are such interesting players to interview and when they play well, they often go unnoticed. But when they don’t click, tongues wag. A lot. Call me eternally optimistic, but I believe they will be back on track this week-end against Denver. Max Starks’ mother told me recently that when Ben gets sacked or is pressured, she is pretty tough on her son about doing a better job the next time.. And I know she is in town this week. What a courageous lady–a breast cancer survivor, and Chunky Soup football mom.

Back in town this past week-end, another great football mom. This is Gladys Bettis in the photo with her husband, John, and their friends from Detroit, Debra and Toni. Gladys was here for Good Taste Pittsburgh, cooking Sweet Potato Pie. Yummy, Yummy. She sometimes calls me Maggie, and since my mother was a Margaret, who didn’t want to be a Maggie, we laugh about it. Life for her and John continues to be a whirlwind. Meeting Tiger Woods, flying to the Winter Olympics, watching their son start a new job–on network TV. Gladys said when Jerome made his pronouncement about Cowher leaving after this year, she was shocked. She said she wondered, “Where did he get that?” She was a great cook on stage–and she admits she would love to do a cooking show!!!

Talk about another great lady inextricably linked to football. Pat Rooney came out once again for the Allegheny’s Promise Youth Summit. The Steelers have been very generous to the organization that encourages young people to volunteer to help other, less fortunate children . Heinz Field was once again the site for the event. Allegheny’s Promise is part of Colin Powell’s America’s Promise, and is located at Robert Morris University. By the way, Mrs. Rooney has been teaching there for years. I was honored to emcee again, and the speakers were inspirational, while coming at the kids from very different perspectives–Former Steeler Craig Wolfley was a hoot, talking about flattening Former Jet and reknowned Bad Boy, Mark Gastineau. On the football field, of course. County Executive Dan Onorato was there, and Mayor Ravenstahl told the high school kids that he went to several different colleges before he knew what he really wanted to do.Think about it—he is not much older than his audience. The Mayor paused for this photo after a young university student, Erica, interviewed him about Allegheny’s Promise and the importance of volunteering.

It is a delight to see all these teenagers, getting deeply involved in their community. We can only hope that they choose to stay here, and that there are the jobs to attract them—because, looking at the Mayor, with the West End Bridge towering in the background, and the hills behind—-it made you appreciate how special this region is.

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