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Starkey: 2013 resolutions, Pittsburgh-style

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 11:04 p.m.
Pitt's Steven Adams scores past Delaware State's Marus Oliver in the second half Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review)
Christopher Horner
Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley returns an interception past the Bengals' Andre Smith during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Steelers' 24-17 marked their first road victory of the season. (Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)
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The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez prepares to bat during the third inning against the Giants on Saturday, July 7, 2012. (AP)

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 jraystarkey@gmail.com.

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