Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 17, 1990 · Page 15
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 15

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Monday, September 17, 1990
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Page 15
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dazettc j£mi =*=ffii—ii— -sssm KSsa'Kir—iSassStaa Classifieds inside Thursday, September 18,2003 — Page 15 S 'P lr Giants wrap up another NL West title. Page 17 Hurricane rearranges sports world Steve Wilstein Challenge creates champs Gym walls offer sappy platitudes: "Make It Happen." "Never Give Up." Motivational posters accompanied by pithy quotations. They could get rid of the words and just show a photograph of Neil Parry in his San Jose State football uniform, his prosthetic lower right leg exposed before he dons socks, pads and cleats. Or a photo of him fully dressed, looking the same as all his teammates in his first game back tonight at home against Nevada. That's all he ever wanted, to be one of the guys again. To be the athlete he was before an ugly break and ensuing infection led to an amputation below his knee three years and 25 operations ago. Walking wasn't good enough. Not even running, hunting, fishing, playing golf and basketball. He had to play football, hit and be hit, the way he once did. He was a walk-on safety and has a spot now on special teams, holding nothing back. It's the same way with Alex Zanardi, an Italian race car driver who lost both legs and barely escaped death in a crash two years ago. He wanted to lead "a normal life" again. He's done that and more. Now he runs, swims, skis, and says that, in one month, in a specially designed BMW 320i fitted with an accelerator and clutch on the steering wheel, "I will complete my vision and compete in a race again." There are paraplegics who scale Half Dome in Ypsemite, women ''' who overcome breast cancer and climb Mount Everest, men who run marathons after heart attacks. Everyone knows the story of Lance Armstrong, the five-time Tour de France champion who beat testicular cancer that had spread to his brain. They aren't medical miracles so much as miracles of die human spirit. They are the posters come to life. They made it happen, never gave up, achieved things nobody thought possible. Scoundrels in sports grab headlines; these athletes grab our hearts. They did it with sweat more than with slogans. Maybe they needed an encouraging word here and there from a trainer or a friend. • Maybe the words on the walls helped. But mostly it came from inside, a conviction that wouldn't die, die belief mat they would be whole again and do something big. "Ever since he said he wanted to come back, he's never changed his mind," Parry's father, Nick, said. "He has incredible dedication." Parry needed every bit of that dedication and he got plenty of support from his family, teammates, coaches, the public — even former President Clinton, who dropped by for a visit. Parry watched "Rocky" and "Rudy" for inspiration more times than he can count, but he needed technology, too. A foot built for sprinting didn't give him the movement required for football. His new leg, the kind his trainer's friend is using for wakeboarding, is light and tight, held on by suction and a knee brace. He moves quickly and with agility. "This is not a charity gesture," San Jose State coach Fitz Hill said. "If he can't get the job done, he'll be replaced like anyone else. But I have confidence in him and his desire to play again." Parry is a fifth-year senior, hoping to be a small part of the Spartans' run at a WAG title before he leaves . school. When he's suiting up and running on the field, his teammates don't need posters to pump them up. Hard-boiled critics might complain that Parry shouldn't push his luck by playing football again and that Zanardi poses a risk to himself and other drivers. These are tough, unforgiving sports, football and auto racing, and injuries come with the territory. Are the gambles worth it? They're worth it to Parry and Zanardi and others like them who thrive on challenges. They are athletes, and athletes compete. Everyone else can feel lucky to watch and maybe look a litde differently next time at those posters in the gym. By The Associated Press Amid predictions that Hurricane Isabel could hit the state with soaking rains and heavy- gusts of winds, the Pittsburgh Penguins have delayed a preseason game with the Washington Capitals. The game in Wilkes-Barre has been pushed back from Thursday night to Sunday. The Penguins still are scheduled to play the New York Islanders on Friday night in Wheeling, W.Va. But the hockey schedule isn't the only one effected by the weather. Locally, many scholastic football games will be played tonight rather than Friday. And the Pirates' game against the Cincinnati Reds was moved from 7:05 tonight to 12:35 p.m. Among other changes in response to the threat of Hurricane Isabel: • Thursday night games at Baltimore and Philadelphia were changed to day games. The Orioles play the Yankees at 12:35 p.m., the Phillies play the Marlins at 1:05 p.m. Some of the Yankees questioned the logic of even at- tempting to play the game. "Even if we play this game, can we safely get out of here on an airplane?" asked pitcher Mike Mussina, the Yankees' union representative. Oriole manager Mike Hargrove appeared indifferent. "I don't care one way or another. It makes sense given the forecast," he said. • The Baltimore Ravens departed Wednesday for San Diego — two days early — for their game with the Chargers. The team has no indoor practice facility. • The NBA champion San An- tonio Spurs postponed Thursday's visit to the White House. • Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner declared a state of emergency, prompting officials to cancel on-track activities at Dover International Speedway on Thursday and Friday. • Virginia Tech expects to play tonight's game against Texas A&M unless Hurricane Isabel veers farther west dian expected. Forecasts for Blacksburg, Va., call for scattered showers with winds remaining well east of the campus. • Women's World Cup organizers were looking for indoor practice sites for Friday for all teams in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. areas. The United States team is considering canceling practice Friday if it can't work out indoors. • The SAS Championship's pro-am event in Gary, N.C. was cut from IB holes to nine and moved up to this morning. • Football coaches at Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State in the Research Triangle Park area, a 2%-hour drive from Wilmington, N.C., plan to move practice time to Thursday morning in anticipation of poor weather later in the day. HAVING A BLAST Indiana's Michael Ryan continued his torrid late-season stretch with a 416-foot blast off Chicago's Jon Garland in the third inning of Minnesota's 4-2 win Wednesday at the Metrodome. The Twins have a 2!/2 game lead on the White Sox in the race for the American League Central Division title. Baseball roundup on page 17. (AP photo) Steelers: Run key to success run PGA event could get messy By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer FARMINGTON — The entry deadline for the 84 Lumber Classic was last week. That doesn't mean a late-arriving participant might not have a say in who wins or loses or how the tournament is played. Someone by the name of Isabel. If the hurricane travels a projected path from North Carolina's Outer Banks through western Pennsylvania late tonight and into Friday morning, play at the PGA Tour stop could be disrupted. Rains are projected to be at their heaviest Fri- day morning, right before the second round is scheduled to start. "We're watching the storm carefully," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchcm said. "We're looking at all options, just like we would during a normal week." Of course, a normal week on the PGA Tour this year often contains weadier delays. Twenty-two of the 39 events involving PGA Tour pros this year have been delayed, including last weekend's John Deere Classic in Silvis, 111. The tournament, won by Vijay Singh, finished Monday, a day later than scheduled. Continued on page 16 By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer PITTSBURGH — Two games into their season, it's easy to figure out what's working for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Namely, their passing game. No surprise there, as it's been clear since the end of last season that their offense was being built around Tommy Maddox's throwing. It's also easy to figure out what's not working. Namely, everything else. That is a surprise, because the Steel- ers (1-1) have been visibly deficient in two areas they usually are strong — running the ball and stopping the run. They've also had problems in special teams, where they were much improved last season. That's why quarterback Tommy Maddox said Wednesday they can't wait any longer to get back to doing what they always do — complement their throwing with their running. And what better place to start than in Cincinnati, facing an opponent that allowed 367 yards rushing against them in two Steelers victories last season? "We need to run the football and I think we will," Maddox said. "It just takes a little bit here and there and, all of a sudden, we're running the ball very well. I think every week we go into it wanting to have that balance." Of course, they're also accustomed to going into a season with one of the most reliable runners in NFL history to build around. But Jerome Bettis, No. 10 in NFL career rushing, hasn't been a factor, with 21 yards on eight carries, and starter Amos Zereoue is averaging 52 yards. The question is whether the Steelers are simply off to a slow start or whether they are showing the first signs of what might become a trouble spot. Their offensive line is considered one of the NFL's best, yet We need to the football and I think we will. It just takes a little bit here and there and, all of a sudden, we're running the ball very well." — Tommy Maddox they haven't rushed for 100 yards as a team in five of their last six games. They've also had only one 100-yard rusher in 11 games dating to last season. "But I've got a lot of confidence in those guys," wide receiver Plaxico Burress said. "I know we're going to run the ball." Once the Chiefs detected early in their 41-20 victory Sunday that the Steelers couldn't run effectively, it allowed them to blitz Maddox more often and more effectively than teams did last season. Maddox was sacked four times and threw three interceptions even while passing for 336 yards. "That's something we have to be prepared for, to see the blitz and see a lot more pressure," coach Bill Cowher said. "If they feel like it is affecting you and your timing, rhythm and efficiency, then you are going to keep getting it until you show an ability to beat it." Stopping the run remains a . concern, too. A week after the Chiefs' Priest Holmes ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, the Steelers go against Corey Dilion, who has a career's worth of big games against them. The Steelers are counting on All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter's return following a two-week layoff with a gunshot injury to shore up what was the NFL's top defense against the run the last two seasons. "But it really doesn't get that much easier for us," linebacker Jason Gildon said. "It's a good back every week." Look for some changes, too, on special teams after the Chiefs' Dante Hall had a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 45- yard punt return that set up another score. "We have a lot of guys from defense on special teams, so we have to pick it up," linebacker James Farrior said. "I think we need more of a sense of urgency. I think (playing) special teams is all attitude." Bicentennial Moment September 18,1945 Mandoiene battles Sugar Ray Robinson before losing by TKO This is another installment in a yearlong series that pays tribute to Indiana County's bicentennial by re-visiting historic moments from the area's sports past. Jimmy Mandoiene fought 42 times during his professional boxing career and won his share of bouts. The iroriic twist is that he's best remembered for a defeat. Mandoiene staggered the-great .Sugar Ray Robinson with a paralyzing punch during their showdown at Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium, bringing 4,500 screaming fans from their seats; Robinson ultimately pre' vailed, but Mahdolene —'who boxed under the name Jimmy Mandell— earned wi^e- spread acclaim for his stirring stand against an overwhelming favorite. "A lot of guys at that time weren't lasting through the first round with Sugar Ray," "Mandoiene recalled years later. ''I was determined that he wouldn't knock me out like those other guys" : ;^ His valiant performance in Buffalo was such a high point in Mandolene's life that when he died last March, the bout with Robinson was mentioned in his obituary. Maridotene lived most of his £6 years in Indiana County, though he was employed .as 1 ,a steelworker in Buffalo when,,, he .squared off against Robinson..Mandoiene later returned to Indiana, where he mined coal for R&P and operated a Christmas tree farm. He was inducted into the Indiana County Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, more than half a century after proving a more formidable foe than Robinson had any right to expect. The bout seemed, on the surface, a mismatch. After all, many boxers were reluctant to even step into the ring with Robinson. Frank Wakefield of the Buffalo Evening News called him "one of the best fighters of this or any other day." Indeed, Robinson was destined for a place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame. "There were a lot of good fighters at that time, but he was realiy tough," Mandotene recalled. "Everybody was sidestepping Sugar Ray." Is it any wonder? Robinson, then an up- and-coming 24-year-old, was-punishing all challengers. He would begin a five-year reign as world welterweight champion in 1946, hold trie middleweight crown on five different occasions between 1951 and 1960 and wind up with a 174-19-6 record. Opponents entered the ring with trepidation when Robinson stood in the opposite corner. All except Mandoiene, it seems. He blithely shrugged off the long odds against him. . , • ' > , , "For a so-called,condefnned man, Buffa 1 , lo's Jimmy Mandell certainty is going about his training".chores in a cheerfully confident manner these nights in ^ineo's Gymnast- urn as he prepares for 'his* scheduled 10-. round bout with Ray (Sugar) Robinson," Wakefield wrote in the Evening News. "The rugged steel plant worker laughs off suggestions that he carry a catcher's mask and baseball bat into the ring with him." • Fans anticipating a quick resolution were stunned when the 28-year-old Mandoiene matched Robinson blow-for-blow through the first three rounds. In the .fourth, Robinson caught Mandoiene with a left hook to the chin, knocking him to the canvas, but he scrambled to his feet in time to beat the 10- count of referee Lou Scozza. Mandoiene responded by rocking Robinson with a sharp left to the jaw. That punch served as a wake-up call of sorts for the favorite,-who didn't seem to realize the precariousness of his situation until that mo• ment:' Robinson quickly regrouped, then went on the attack. He delivered a fusillade of punches in the fifth round to settle matters. "Robinson fiddled around, then shot over a pulverizing right to the jaw that had a delayed-action effect," Wakefield wrote: "Jimmy remained upright for a few seconds, but obviously was hurt, a couple of . light puncr]€s later dropping him when obviously the,first right had turned the trick." , Scozza'stopped the bout at 1:31 'of |he',, ,frfth and ^declared, Robinson the winner by a TKC).,-The. underdog was Weeding too profusely ,10 continue. • ,* , : Mandotene won many fights in the years JIMMY MANDOLENE after his 'matchup with Robinson, but none of his victories were as celebrated as that single defeat. He had dared step into the ring.with perhaps the most renpwned boxer of his era, stood toe-to-toe with Robinson and connected enough times that the soon- to-be champion knew he'd been in a scrap. Said boxing promoter Torn Stanley years later, "I saw MandeH'fight Sugar Ray that night in Buffalo. He was in the fight until it was stopped due to that cut. He was irt that fight." —BobFulion

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