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hawaiiansteel
05-23-2011, 03:58 PM
Starkey: Noll, Dorsett deserve statues

By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, May 22, 2011


What kind of sports world are we living in when Danny Wuerffel has a statue and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not?

Nick Saban has a statue. Bill Russell does not.

Clearly, we need some sort of federal statue statute, mandating a sports figure be legendary in order to have his larger than life-sized likeness sculpted into immortality.

There is no need to define legendary. No need to think about it, even. One just knows. Michael Jordan gets a statue and has one, outside United Center in Chicago. Joe Paterno gets a statue (has one, at Beaver Stadium). Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux get statues. Gretzky has two one in L.A., one in Edmonton. Mario will have one soon enough, at Consol Energy Center.

Danny freakin' Wuerffel?

Winning the Heisman Trophy, as Wuerffel did at Florida, does not qualify one for legend-hood. Do you see any statues of Chris Weinke, Rashaan Salaam or Gino Torretta?

Actually, you might soon, given what has transpired over the past month: Sports statues are popping up faster than Pittsburgh parking garages.

On April 16, Alabama unveiled a 9-foot bronze likeness of Saban who has won all of 43 games there right near one of Bear Bryant, who won 232.

Six days before the Saban ceremony, Florida dedicated statues of Heisman winners Wuerffel, Tim Tebow and Steve Spurrier. It will not build one for Cam Newton the sculptor couldn't decide where to put the stolen laptop that led to Newton's transfer but Auburn will.

Yes, Auburn has commissioned a 1,900-pound statue of a quarterback who played 14 career games, several amid questions of eligibility. There is no truth to the rumor it will cost $180,000 (if you don't get that reference, google 'newton cam father cash').

Meanwhile, Jabbar, who scored approximately 3 billion points in helping the Lakers win five championships, wondered aloud last week why he doesn't have a statue outside Staples Center when a broadcaster albeit an iconic one in Chick Hearn and a boxer (Oscar De La Hoya) already do.

Good question. And it leads to another: Who gets the next statue in these parts, after Lemieux?

Art Rooney "The Chief" deservedly has one at Heinz Field. Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Honus Wagner and Bill Mazeroski are memorialized at PNC Park. Mazeroski's statue, I would argue, is mostly about commemorating a moment, as is the Franco Harris figure at the airport, which really shouldn't count as a statue.

So, who's next?

The question arose on my radio show last month. Phone lines lit up faster than Jim Leyland, who might be in line for a statue of his own if Barry Bonds hadn't choked every fall (imagine a Bonds statue with a head the size of Mellon Arena's roof). Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Myron Cope, Jaromir Jagr, Bruno Sammartino, Josh Gibson and Dan Rooney were among the many mentioned.

From this vantage point, two make the cut: Chuck Noll and Tony Dorsett.

Noll, chief architect of the Steelers dynasty, might be the most under-appreciated great coach in sports history. He is the only one with four Super Bowl titles.

He would be positively mortified at the notion of a statue, of course, but that wouldn't make it wrong. Picture a massive carving of Noll in his Steelers windbreaker, hair tousled, headset on, standing emperor-like at the gates of Heinz Field.

Dorsett, meanwhile, belongs in any discussion of the greatest college football players of all-time. Like Noll, he was at the center of a historic turnaround, helping Pitt go from also-ran to national champion. He left the school as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher with 6,082 yards.

Had he played at Alabama or Tennessee, Dorsett would have been nominated for sainthood decades ago. At Florida, they'd have built him a museum, nine statues and a cathedral by now.

Here, he merely has a street named after him, five miles from where he played.

That's not good enough, even if he did wind up in Dallas. Give us Dorsett, larger than life in that beautiful Pitt script helmet, making a dramatic low-to-the ground cut on his way to another touchdown.

Start building it the minute you're done with Chuck Noll.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1NCRr5LlX (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_738356.html#ixzz1NCRr5LlX)

papillon
05-23-2011, 07:33 PM
I was a freshman when Dorsett was a senior and didn't miss a game. I hadn't missed any from the time he walked on to the campus as a freshman, my parents bought season tickets and we went and watched Tony run. It was one of the most beautiful athletic events to see. No one has run like Dorsett before him or after him, he ran so low to the ground until he was clear and then the jets. He rarely took a solid a hit and his vision has not been duplicated, ever. The game must have been so slow for him compared to others, he made cuts that just made you shake your head and wonder how he knew where to go.

I can still close my eyes and see him running at Pitt stadium for what seemed like 100 yards every game. I was fortunate to have seen him play in college and won't ever forget those Saturday afternoons.

I can still see Chuck Noll standing on the sidelines with his arms folded and headset in place. It seemed he was saying, "I've taught you what you need to win this game, now go and do it." I'm sure he coached during a game, but it almost seemed as if he thought to himself, "I've prepared the team during the week, they don't need me today, I get to watch,"

Of couirse, Jerry Glanville drew his wrath, so you know the fire burned, but he rarely let it be seen in public. You don't wuin 4 super bowls without being an outstanding coach, even with HOF talent. He had to draft the talent and mold it into a team and he did that better than anyone prior or since.

They both deserve statues in Pittsburgh, Nolls at Heinz Field and Dorsett's on the campus of the University. Both men are indeed legendary.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
05-23-2011, 08:52 PM
The Chief statue is perfect. Nothing more is needed. I especially like when you see it from an angle where PPG Place is positioned right behind him so the top of the building looks like a crown (couldn't find the exact picture online, but this should give you an idea.

http://static.flickr.com/87/234196816_30acb0fc63_z.jpg

Djfan
05-24-2011, 01:09 AM
I built one to honor Goodell right after that gas station burrito I had.

Maybe a bit over the edge? IDK. You decide.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-24-2011, 08:58 AM
I built one to honor Goodell right after that gas station burrito I had.

Maybe a bit over the edge? IDK. You decide.

Hope you gave it a sudden and well-deserved flush.

Eich
05-24-2011, 12:23 PM
How about a statue of Bill Cowher screaming, "LET'S GO" with a water fountain spraying from his mouth ?

RuthlessBurgher
05-24-2011, 01:12 PM
How about a statue of Bill Cowher screaming, "LET'S GO" with a water fountain spraying from his mouth ?

:lol:

Or how about a statue/fountain of Matt Spaeth peeing in the bushes while Jeff Reed tries to be a tough guy toward the Pittsburgh Police.

ikestops85
05-24-2011, 05:31 PM
I was a freshman when Dorsett was a senior and didn't miss a game. I hadn't missed any from the time he walked on to the campus as a freshman, my parents bought season tickets and we went and watched Tony run. It was one of the most beautiful athletic events to see. No one has run like Dorsett before him or after him, he ran so low to the ground until he was clear and then the jets. He rarely took a solid a hit and his vision has not been duplicated, ever. The game must have been so slow for him compared to others, he made cuts that just made you shake your head and wonder how he knew where to go.

I can still close my eyes and see him running at Pitt stadium for what seemed like 100 yards every game. I was fortunate to have seen him play in college and won't ever forget those Saturday afternoons.
Pappy
Hey Pappy. I was also a freshman at Pitt (Johnstown campus) when Dorsett was a senior. I remember studying for finals one Sunday evening and decided to take a break. Of course I turned on a football game. It was a game being played in San Diego. All of a sudden I hear the announcers saying they had a special guest in the booth. Sure enough it was Tony Dorsett in sunny San Diego just killing time.

There I was in frozen central PA studying my arse off and a guy who goes to the same school that I do is chillin in CA. As I went back to studying I remember thinking how right my Dad was about life not being fair.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-24-2011, 07:49 PM
True greatness is not measured by whether a person has a statue made of them.

As far as I'm concerned, there need never be another statue made of anyone.

papillon
05-24-2011, 11:08 PM
True greatness is not measured by whether a person has a statue made of them.

As far as I'm concerned, there need never be another statue made of anyone.

Sometimes people need as remionder...When I think of what tony Dorsett did for the University of Pittsburgh football program in 4 short years and where he left it after he left I can't help but think the University needs to honor him.

The football program existed, but it hadn't challenged for anything in decades. TD came to the campus and pumped life into the student body, nobody wanted to miss a game, because you never know what you might miss. They won a National Championship and the program was top 10 for years after TD left. I think a statue would be proper tribute to the player that put the program back on the map. Unfortunately, Pitt doesn't have a stadium of its own or a proper place to honor him and that's too bad.

Statue or no statue it doesn't matter to me, but if you're making one, he deserves it.

Pappy