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Shoes and sports

December 17, 2008 - John Mehno

I was watching the 11 o'clock news Sunday night and they had a clip of someone throwing shoes at a guy who was standing at a podium. I didn't pay a lot of attention and figured it must have been one those clips from overseas.

Well, it was. But it was an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at George W. Bush, President of the United States. It's not the sort of thing you see that often. Yet the station I was watching didn't get to that story until 18 minutes after the newscast started. It was more important to recap the Steelers game, complete with a report from a North Side saloon that told me Steelers fans were nervous throughout the close game, but jubilant when the Steelers won.

That was bigger than someone firing shoes at the President. It's a funny world.

--I'm no athlete and never claimed to be. But I'm really quick out of the blocks when I hear the first notes of that "Christmas Shoes" song. I can dash across a room in record time to turn off a radio when I hear that song.

--The NFL commercial where the guy suffers a paper cut and bleeds Packers green and gold? Just creepy.

--On the other hand, the Coors commercial that uses actual sideline footage of Brian Billick to pitch the beer is a hoot.

--You wonder how many of those Jack Wilson trade rumors were hooey planted either by the Pirates or an agent. Doesn't look like anybody is really hot to trade for an $8 million, light-hitting shortstop.

--Some good news for the holiday season. Former Pirates pitcher and broadcaster Nellie King is feeling much better after a series of major medical problems. He attended the Pirates' Alumni Christmas party last week. Other attendees report Nellie was stronger and, as usual, telling his great stories. Former pitcher Dave Giusti has been an absolute saint in looking after Nellie and making sure he gets out now and then.

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