Paul Long-Pittsburgh News Man-Part I

It was a tossup on KDKA concerning Bill Burns and Paul Long over who was the better newsman.  Both men were on KDKA at the beginning of television and on the expansion of radio broadcasting.  Burns and Long shared a passion for the news in straight reporting, traveling around the metropolitan area to where an event took place, or on the panel for the Sunday Afternoon news show.  I remember the Pennsylvania News Conference which had reporters from both KYW Philadelphia and KDKA Pittsburgh interview some VIP.  Until 1994, the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company owned both stations.

While both newsman were excellent, their styles and physical appearance were very different.   Never ostentatious, Burns was one of the best dressed personalities in the city.  Bill Burns was handsome and marvelously photogenic. Paul Long, an the other hand, wore suits straight out of Robert Hall.  His jackets had smoke holes in them and were either grey or black.   There was no imagination at all to his dress.  Paul Long was bald with the usual hair on the side.  His nose came to a point and there was a scar on the ride side of his face.

What Paul Long had though was a beautiful flowing baritone voice.  Long frequently extended the last word of a sentence for emphasis; and you not likely to forget what he said.  One area newsman called Paul Long the “Voice of God”. While Burns was only on television, Paul Long was on radio and TV.

On radio:

–Long was the anchorman for the  one hour news broadcast 60 to 6, Monday through Saturday.  This was the best news program in the city. Many preferred this to television.  Paul Long on various times did the hourly five minute news breaks.

–A fixture for me was the Sunday News at Noon.  It was good hearing this quarter-hour summary of news before listening to the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers.   Paul Long plugged in commercials beautifully.  With your “….steammm iron use steammm aide.”

However, the Jones Brewing Company of Smithtown, Pa, brewers of Stoney’s Beer, was the best sponsor for the Sunday News at Noon.  There’s allot in a name sometimes even if it’s very common.  Shirley Jones owned the now defunct  Jones Brewing Company.  Their song went as follows:

Roll out  Stoney’s, fetch me my beer, pour out the Stoney’s, that’s why I’m here.  After the corny song,  Paul Long delivered the best line ever for any beer.  “Order Stoney’s from your favorite beer distributor.  And if he doesn’t have Stoney’s, how come he’s your favorite? “

On television:

–Paul Long and Tom Bender had supporting roles for Bill Burns for the 11:00 news Monday through Friday. Burns had the center stage reporting the news with the other two giving good support.  At the end of the news, Burns stated “Good Night, Good Luck, and Good News Tomorrow.”

–Each Sunday at 6:30, Channel 2 telecasted “Three Star News”.  Al McDowell reported the News.  Paul Long showed  how a specific news story might effect you.  Long relished this type of reporting.  It called for in depth analysis of the news.  He seemed able to relate the news to various levels of academic  study.  That was his gift.  TBC






Some New Look at 2017

There is almost nothing to complain about in the Eagles Post Season last year.  So I will try to offer something to think about.

Most fans wanted the NFC Title Game over quickly after the two minute warning. Coach Doug Pederson  put Nate Sudfelt in at Quarterback who knelt after getting the snaps from center to end the game.  I will say again that the Eagles missed a chance to give young Sudfelt some needed experience .  No one can accuse the Eagles of running up the score as long as our guys do it using the second or third string.

A few years ago a reporter used the term Pete’s Parody.  This referred to the late Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s efforts to keep the overall talent in teams closer though certainly not equal.  The games would be closer with fans less likely to turn the game off.   There will be more pacing the floors and yelling at the television.  I prefer to win by a big margin.

There are ways to minimize the differences in teams and to make it more difficult for the same teams to get to the Super Bowl and  Conference Title games every year.  This has been in practice for many years.  Nevertheless it has not hampered teams like the New England Patriots and in past years with the Dallas Cowboys, the Denver Broncos, and the San Francisco 49ers

1} The draft from college players has the worst team picking first and Super Bowl winner last.

2} Teams from one division in one conference play the same team from one division the other conference.  I think you will find an example shows this better than an explanation.  e.g. Last year everyone in the NFC East played one game against teams from the AFC West. Each team has 4 games here.  This does not favor a mediocre team over a good or great team.

3} Each team has two games against teams within their division.  Each team has 6 games here. This does not favor a mediocre team over a good or great team.

4} This is the clincher and is difficult to calculate.  The worst teams play each other and the best teams play each other.  Each team has 6 games.   This favors a mediocre team over a good or great team.

Here is the issue.  With parity there is almost no chance to play the reserves in any consistent way.   We all remember the Miracle of the Meadowlands in 2010.  With seven minutes remaining Philadelphia was behind New York Giants 31 to 10.  Fans were looking for the Giants to pull the first string but the Eagles scored four touchdowns to win 38 to 31.  Coaches will remember this game just like the Herman Edwards fumble return

Coaches should pull the first string when it is almost impossible to lose; and let the second team try to move the ball and score.  Make the most of any opportunity that will pay off in the future.