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Saturday September 20 2014
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Get Your Ink On

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This being PSR’s annual NHL Preview, we’ll dedicate this space to hockey – sort of. Not to say the hockey and the New York Islanders are one and the same. Forget about the beat-down with the Penguins last season that was close to being celebrated by the Islanders this offseason. We’re way, way past that.

We’re on to tattoos.

Here’s the deal with me and tattoos, recognizing there are a lot of fine people who wear them: I thought of it, but then I grew beyond that phase.

Not to be judgmental or anything.

Speaking of judgment, the Islanders—who have had theirs questioned on and off the ice for years (read above for recent examples)—have basically decided they just don’t care about traditionalists like you and me. Which, naturally, takes us back to tattoos.

If you’re having trouble following along, maybe this will help – be prepared to read about the end of the world.

Indeed, the End Times are now firmly stationed on the Island, where the NHL inhabitants have announced an agreement to designate a company by the name of “Tattoo Lou’s” as something called its official tattoo shop.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

Nor could I make up the part where the organization says it is “thrilled: to bring another Long Island institution to home games, where you will find as part of this—oh, man—“strategic partnership,” a tattooing and body-piercing station for ten home games this season.

You know, just like the circus.

I told you to be ready to read about the end of the world.

The president of the tat company sees this as a victory of sorts for the increasingly mainstream industry. Hey, who could blame him if he and his fellow artists can make some money because the Islanders allow them in the front door? Good for him – bad for the Islanders.

Seriously, if you’re a fan of this team, how do you keep a straight face? How don’t you question whether anything will ever get right on the ice when you have the guys in the front office thinking it’s a good idea to work out strategic relationships with tattoo partners? Or those front office guys working on that instead of fixing what ails the team?

Yeah, a ‘victory’ is one way to look at it. Another is an organizational cry for help.

I understand developing new and younger demographics, but piercing eyes, noses, tongues and whatever else – at NHL games?

Oh, more good news if you’re a Penguins fan. Pittsburgh appears on this promotion twice. So maybe if you get up there you can be seen by one of the two tattoo artists or one professional body piercer between periods. And, get this: the tat company describes the artists as “super versatile.”

I bet. Just get there before the world ends.
 

I spent three days late last month visiting 18 high schools across the WPIAL. I drove 533 miles, took hundreds of photographs, shook hands with dozens of coaches, athletic directors and principals and climbed way too many stadium steps. I loved every minute of it, of course.
Editor's DeskFeature OneHigh School
On the heels of two straight wins, the Franklin Regional Panthers are looking to improve to 3-1 Friday night as welcome the Indiana Little Indians (2-1) to Panther Stadium.
Feature TwoHSCOGOS2014Press Room
Belle Vernon will battle Hollidaysburg in a WPIAL Triple-A clash Friday night with both teams looking for their third win on the season.
Feature ThreeHSUSS2014Press Room
The Steelers traditional powerhouse defense has set a yearly standard for fans and pundits for decades. But an aging Pittsburgh defense has had a rocky time the last couple of seasons.
Feature FourPure Steel
PSR VIDEO
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Twenty-two WPIAL football teams will have new coaches pacing the sidelines this season, including a few that will be featured in the CoGo's Feature Matchup this season.
Custom 1HSCOGOS2014
Several of the most coveted recruits throughout the WPIAL have already made their college decisions, most notably Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin. Others, like Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, are still being recruited.
Custom 2High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
Bill Cherpak misses the way it used to be. Back in the 80’s, when the current Thomas Jefferson High School coach was a player at Steel Valley, the recruiting process wasn’t publicized. It was low-key compared to the present.
Custom 3High School
The Mon-Valley has put plenty of athletes on Division 1 football teams over the years, including several who made it to the NFL. There are a few Mon-Valley natives playing D-1 ball this season.
Custom 4HSUSS2014