A Town Meeting with Mike Tomlin

Written by Dan Gigler on .

steeler-nation-in-a-frenzy originalIt may seem self-evident, but why do sports create agony and ecstasy for fans?

In his 1992 memior, Fever Pitch, Britsh author Nick Hornby wrote of his irrational lifelong obsession with soccer: "I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.”

That same kind of blind love, which often ends in heartbreak, flows from sports fans from Pittsburgh to Perth and at 6 p.m. on July 22 a panel of experts, including Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, will gather at the Heinz History Center and endeavor to explore why sports elicit such emotions.

"Sports: Why do we care so much" a panel discussion in the Post-Gazette's Town Meeting series will feature Tomlin, Penguins CEO David Morehouse, racing mogul Chip Ganassi, UPMC Sports Medicine orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright, former Pirate Don Schwall and will be moderated by the paper's executive editor, David Shribman. 

"There is no more intriguing question in sports than why we care so much about them," Shribman said. "They're so much a part of our lives, a mysterious presence for so many of us. Why do I care if my college hockey team wins? My childhood baseball team? The Steelers? One of the reasons I organized this session was to explore this question. I have an idea I'm not the only one who is wondering." 

Sponsored by PNC, admission is free, but pre-registration is required by calling 412-263-3850 or visiting

Other stuff: 

*** Two weeks until training camp and can you feel the buzz? Me neither. Not sure if its a result of last year's lackluster 8-8 finish, the departure of multiple starters and veterans or maybe even the pleasantly good season the Pirates are having, but Latrobe enthusiasm seems a bit more muted this year than in year's past. 

*** If Shamarko Thomas is a hit at safety, can his nickname be the Shamark-nado? And can I trademark that?

(Answer: apparently not. See below.)


*** Rob Gronkowski said at a book signing that he will not discuss the Aaron Hernandez case. In other news, Rob Gronkowski has a book? No doubt this is a literary opus on par with the writings of Nicole Polizzi. 

*** An excellent primer for Steelers fans on hating the Bengals, by Mike Batista of Bleacher Report. 

*** The Steelers are suddenly one of the less-experienced teams in the NFL according to the National Football Post. 

*** The loneliest man in Nashville. Someone should write a country song about this guy.

*** Jags owner becomes the third NFL owner to buy an EPL team.

*** CBS Sports' 12-team mock fantasy draft

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