I won't be able to quantify this in any way, but it's been beautiful to witness over the past year the extent to which our community of Steelers fans has risen to some other level.
Yeah, most everyone's angry these days, as I callously pointed out in the column yesterday, but that's everywhere. Also, and more important, it's a powerful indicator that the fans here are passionate ones, not the casual ones who just flick on the TV on Sundays. And that's good. There'll never be a complaint from this corner on that count.
This took a while. I won't lie. When this venture launched, even though I'd always covered everything and continued to do that, a lot of people labeled us 'a hockey site.' Used to hear that a lot. But it's to the credit of Dale Lolley, Christopher Carter, Matt Sunday and, more recently, Hunter Homistek that we've got engagement on football like never before. It's not just the number of comments that's way up. It's the quality, the knowledge, the diversity of opinion.
Thanks to everyone involved.
• John Perrotto has Grind today from Bradenton, Fla.
• Here's today's Java, rinkside from Buffalo, N.Y.:
• The Penguins blew out the Sabres last night in Buffalo. Matt Sunday and Chris Bradford were there. The team will practice today, noon, in Cranberry. Taylor Haase will cover. All our hockey coverage can be found on our team page.
• The Pirates enter Day 33of spring training, and they're back in action tonight against the Rays in Bradenton. John will be there. All our baseball coverage can be found on our team page.
• The Steelers signed a couple of prominent free agents, then introduced them at the Rooney Complex. Dale and Hunter were there. All our football coverage can be found on our team page.
• We'd set a goal of 1,000 new app installations in 2019 by the March 28 opening of the Major League Baseball season. We tracked 17 new installations yesterday. Current figure for the year: 1,181
• Our advertising kit has all the info to show why our business is right for your business.