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Not time to quit on Bucs

September 4, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

No, the Pirates are not done. You cannot stick a fork in them yet.

But, they sure are slow-roasting their way to another sub-.500 finish and a huge collapse since being a season-best 16 games over .500 at 58-42 on July 28 after a 4-3 win at Houston.

That night, the Pirates won their 30th game after trailing and had their third consecutive winning month, something any Pirates team had not done since 1991.

Since that day, however, Pittsburgh has gone 12-22, including Monday afternoon's 5-1 loss to the pathetic Astros.

In those 34 games, Clint Hurdle's crew is 1-5 vs. Milwaukee and San Diego, 0-2 vs. Houston and 4-2 vs. St. Louis.

The Astros, by the way, are 51 games under .500.

The Pirares are 2 out in the wild card chace and have the next five games against Houston and Chicago.

That, right there, is a feast waiting to happen and one would think the organization is more than hungry enough to devour the opportunity.

Be your best every day, but you don't have to tell everyone you are at your best.

Others do not create our spirit, they only reveal it.

There is a reason why fruit is at the end of a branch.

That Ohio State T-shirt that is making the rounds comparing itself, in a terrible way to Penn State, is utterly disgusting.

The Red Sox need to fire Bobby Valentine and start all over. Purge the place.

Oh good, now we are talking about a 9-year-old tennis prodigy.

Never been or will be the biggest Serena Williams fan, but she is just whipping people at the U.S. Open. How she is the No. 4 seed is beyond me. I guess no one watched Wimbledon or the Olympics.

The latest report is the NCAA is investing the UCLA men's basketball program. Oh, good.

Did you see any high school football score's in Sunday's newspaper from around Ohio and West Virginia. Nope? Neither did I and it was all my fault.

Tiger Woods has 73 wins with 14 majors and has just past $100 million in earnings. Jack Nicklaus has 73 wins with 19 majors and has just over $5 million in earnings. Thanks, Steve Elkington.

Alabama's whipping of Michigan just states how really good the Crimson Tide is and just how good the Wolverines are not yet. But, it won't be long.

The Boise State football team opened Saturday at Michigan State, in 2011 at Georgia, 2010 against Virginia Tech, 2009 Oregon, 2008 visited the Ducks in Week 4, and will open next year at Washington. I see the Broncos are not playing teams like Youngstown State. Ooops. Oh, wait.

The only reason any PGA Tour member cares about the FedEx Cup is because of the $10 million payday at the end. Other than that, this weekly "playoff" format is nothing more than another week.

Not saying how many majors he will win, but Rory McIlroy is really good.

Still liked Philip Seymour Hoffman in Patch.

Kinda thinking that Mike Holmgren is done in Cleveland.

Cristiana Ronaldo still flops more than Vlade Divac.

That is why I prefer to watch Lionel Messi. Stud.

And I had Savannah State plus 83.

Rich Donnelly once told me that if you have told them 5,000 times and they still don't get it, tell them 5,001 and then 5,002.

Is the motivitation "What's in it for me?" or "To put others first?"

I am not sure parents really understand how much influence we have on our kids - both good and bad.

I remember my dad whistling for me to come in and if I didn't move toward the house within about 10 seconds, some mom would come out of a house and say, "Michael, if I heard your dad, so did you. Go home."

When the street light came on, it was time to go home.

Kick the can was best played at night.

Are our attitudes different waking up on Monday mornings compared to Friday mornings?

I am guessing it is for high school football coaches and players.

I really wish college football would not be played on Friday nights.

Erin DiMeglio became the first female quarterback in Florida varsity football history on Friday night when she went in for two snaps to close South Plantation High's 31-14 win.

"God bless her," South Plantation High coach Doug Gatewood told the press in a story by Cameron Smith on "She handles it better than anybody else. When she goes on the field, she's single-minded focus, but it's crazy. Great publicity for the school - it's a positive thing - but at the end of the day it's not why we did it. We did it because she's a legitimate third-string quarterback."

Good for her, the coach and the program.

Nice start by Notre Dame.

WVU has averaged 69 1/2 points in its last two games and has two weeks to prepare for James Madison. Hello, Savannah State?

I think Ohio State's year will be predicated on its defense and you have to like Luke Fickell in that position.

Kids are far more resilient than adults.

We tend to forget just how blessed we are.

Not all fourth-and-1 plays work. Sometimes the defense is just better on that play.

We choose our attitude every day and that's a wonderful thing.

Sunday's tragic car accident in Chester is another reminder of just how fragile life is - please pray for the families.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at and can be followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike).

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