Starkey: 2013 resolutions, Pittsburgh-style
By Joe Starkey
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 11:04 p.m.
I can't keep a New Year's resolution, but I can certainly make them for others to try.
Speaking for various local sports figures, theirs would look like this:
• Ben Roethlisberger and Marc-Andre Fleury: “We will become big-game, big-moment players again instead of repeatedly failing at those junctures.”
• Steven Adams: “I will demand the basketball in the low post.”
• All other Pitt basketball players: “We promise to throw it to him there … at least once.”
• Keenan Lewis: “I will take a hometown discount.”
• Mike Wallace: “I won't.”
• Dan Bylsma: “I will not relegate Sidney Crosby to the second power play or to the right point ever again. Rather, I will do what a good coach should: maximize the talents of two elite players when my team has the extra man. Oh, and I will not say ‘get north' or ‘Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey' anymore.”
• Mike Tomlin: “I will fire Amos Jones. I also will reveal some of the special two-point plays I've been keeping in my back pocket. Maybe some of the fake-punt-prevent plays, too.”
• Pirates pitchers: “We will at least pretend to be interested in holding runners on base.”
• Pirates catchers: “We will pretend to throw them out.”
• Sidney Crosby: “I will cede the power-play half-boards to Gino and do my work along the goal line. I also will threaten the 100-point mark even if we play only 48 games.”
• Gerrit Cole: “I will beat Charlie Morton into the rotation.”
• Kevin Colbert: “I will break recent tradition and find a real, live defensive playmaker in the draft. I'll also keep one of the two — Keenan Lewis or Mike Wallace — and inject some youth into our backup quarterback situation.”
• Clint Hurdle: “I will give up gum.”
• Jamie Dixon: “I will find more playing time for J.J. Moore — even if it means wing time at the expense of Trey Zeigler.”
• Ray Shero: “I will not accept or rationalize another early playoff flameout.”
• Mario Lemieux: “Neither will I.”
• Steve Pederson: “I will correct my greatest failure and generate palpable interest in our football program.”
• Kyle Stark: “Hoka Hey!”
• Evgeni Malkin/Kris Letang: “We will let our talent do the talking come playoff time (assuming there is a hockey season). We will take command of big games and not get sucked into silly frustration plays.”
• Neal Huntington: “I will not insult our fans.”
• Paul Chryst: “I will contact John Russell for advice on how to spice up my press conferences.”
• Clint Barmes: “I will shrink my strike zone; it'll only be from head to toe.”
• Rushel Shell: “I will be Pitt's next great running back.”
• Franco Harris: “I will not appear in a public place with a life-sized cardboard cutout of another person.”
• Pedro Alvarez: “I will open up and let Pittsburgh get to know me.”
• Penguins' prime-seat season-ticket holders: “We will support our team despite the missed games — and some of us might even stay in our seats for the whole third period.”
• LaMarr Woodley: “I will skip dessert.”
• Andrew McCutchen: “I will keep doing what I'm doing — mindful that it's more about how you finish than how you start.”
• The rest of the Pirates: “Next time somebody drills our star player in the skull, we will avenge the insult at the first opportunity, no matter the consequences.”
• Rashard Mendenhall: “I will show up, wherever I am.”
• Jose Tabata: “I will try.”
• Antonio Brown: “I will run only forward.”
• James Neal: “I will not, under any circumstance, throw bareknuckle punches at the helmet of an undersized defenseman just before the playoffs.”
• Steelers fans: “We will realize how lucky we are, even after a season like this … and we'll get back to our seats before the second-half kickoff.”
• Bob Nutting: “My resolution is just like last year's and all the years before that: We will finish in the back. I mean black.”
Joe Starkey co-hosts a show 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays on 93.7 “The Fan.” His columns appear Thursdays and Sundays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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