Another apology. I have been absent for a long time–sick as as dog. They call it URI–upper respiratory infection. But those Z-Paks work like a charm. I don’t know why I was so stubborn about waiting to take them. But just didn’t feel like typing.. If I could write blogs, I would be more diligent with them. I am such a terrible typist, even though I took it in summer school in high school. A lot happening the last ten days, so I will probably post several over the week-end. Several! Perish the thought.

A belated congratulations to the Pens.I know how disappointed they must be,but how proud we all are. One of the biggest turnarounds from one season to the next in the history of the league. The league’s top scorer, top rookie, and two great veterans who I hope will be around next year–Recchi and Roberts–our own R & R . And Therrien–class act.

I had the special opportunity to sit on the dais at the Dapper Dan. I was asked for the second year in a row to stand by to be a sub if a player didn’t show up, or had to cancel, and Max Starks couldn’t make it. So I sat next to Ike Taylor. Ike adores Dan Rooney, and told me he could not have missed the event at which Mr. Rooney was given the Life-Time Achievement award. Ike calls him Pops!

Sidney Crosby was there, getting Male Athlete of the Year, and Swin Cash, star of the WNBA and Mckeesport’s own, was Female Athlete of the Year. She is stunningly gorgeous, but guys, she is already taken. But you should have seen the men fluttering around her! Her beau, and whole family where there. She is a grateful, spiritual person, and incredibly well-spoken..She is an analyst at ESPN now for the NBA! You go girl! (See, a boomer is making some lame attempts at being current-hahaha)

But what is so exciting about being on the dais is you are all herded into a room, and you get to meet, or chat, with these incredible athletes and notables, past and present. I finally met Joe Greene , and I was on cloud nine. And as we stood in line waiting to be introduced (is that a joke–that is the part I hate–who the heck am I? just a seat filler, so you kinda want to slink up there), we got to chat with MIke Tomlin, MIchel Therrien, and Sidney. Sidney is mind-blowing in his maturity and graciousness, and receives every compliment about the team, and his play, as if it were the first.

Therrien and Tomlin were telling me about how they ended up living where they now live in the area, real estate agents, and how many times they have moved. Therrien is a single parent, with full custody of his kids, who are Tweeners, I think.
Coach Tomlin’s wife was there, and she is so petite. She is one of those people who will be eternally youthful. You would have never guessed she has had three children–6, 5, and ten months.

Coach Tomlin told me he loves living in the city, and he takes his boys on walks. I looked a little surprised, and he said he was determined to be able to live a normal life here, and so far people were respecting that. He added that the only thing is the boys don’t understand why everybody knows him. I would have never thought of that, but it must be disconcerting for children.

By the way, the woman in the picture with us is the legendary Carol Semple Thompson. One of the greatest amateurs ever in women’s golf. I remember standing with Andrew Stockey on the 18th at Fox Chapel Golf Club during the Curtis Cup ( the amateur contest between the US and Great Britain and Ireland) back in 2002, and watching her sink a 27 foot putt to win her match. The place went crazy…And she was surrounded by all these 20-something teammates, hugging her and congratulating her ..She’s was my age… and she is still competing !

Final note on the Tomlin conversation. I told him Tony Dungy had been at the Mel Blount roast of Lynn Swann , and I remarked about how funny he was. He said that Tony has a great sense of humor..Remember, Tomlin was an assistant under Tony in Tampa Bay. He then remarked that he could not put into words what Tony meant to him. It was said with such reverence and respect, I almost started to cry.

I think Tomlin is going to be just great….Kevin Colbert was also there that night, so here’s wishing them luck in Saturday’s draft.
More on that, and Tony and the roast next blog.

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