Bill Fralic—a great man on the field, a greater man off the field (Dec. 19)


:10—It is with great respect, regret and sympathy that I mention the passing of the legendary Bill Fralic…quite possibly the greatest and most accomplished athlete in Penn Hills history. Mr. Fralic passed away this past week after succumbing to a yearlong battle with cancer. I could write 10 pages from this point and it would still fall short of truly recognizing this giant of a man and his accomplishments. As a high school sophomore, he stood 6’5” and weighed about 275 pounds. Literally undefeated as a high school wrestler and his on-the-field prowess is what legends are made of. High school All-American, Pitt All-American, inducted in the college football Hall of Fame, No. 2 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1985 NFL draft and four-time Pro-Bowl selection. With all that said, he was twice the gentleman and Penn Hills Guy! As a Penn Hills alumni and former player, I had the great pleasure of being in Bill’s company numerous times, one of which was when we honored him at the Willie Stargell MVP Awards Banquet some years ago. As was his humble manner, as he was leaving, he thanked me for the honor and as he shook my hand, left an unsolicited $500 donated check in my hand with a simple nod of his head. Rest in Peace #79.

:09—#1. I am at the game. #2. Don’t ask where I am sitting; it’s none of your business. #3. I am not getting wet sitting in the rain—there’s your hint! #4. As you know, I don’t back off of my picks. Steelers win by 10…as you know by now, the Steelers won by 7, 17-10! So, I was close! Closer than you had it! #5. Moving forward, we lose to New Orleans on Dec. 23 and beat Cincinnati on Dec. 30 and all is right in the world.
:08—This just in. If you’re looking for help from Tampa Bay to take out the Ravens, someone will have to slip the Tampa staff a note. “Lamar Jackson the quarterback for the Ravens can run the ball.” Who knew? Apparently not them. Jackson ran for 95 yards in yet another Ravens win. The Ravens are 8-6, the Steelers are a half-game ahead in the AFC North at 8-5-1.
:07—I guess you all picked up on the irony of Penn Hills and Aliquippa both winning State titles…the Penn Hills Coach Jon LeDonne played for the Quips. Small World.
:06—No need to rush James Conner back. You’ll need him more later for the playoffs than now.
:05—BTW, those of you…”Trump Supporters”…still trying to get Coach Tomlin fired, please try something other than “because he didn’t use a timeout”…please!
:04—As you know, I’ve reluctantly moved into the LeBron camp now that he’s a Laker and right on time because the Lakers are alive and well. So much so that Stephen A. Smith predicts they go to the Western Conference finals. I don’t know about that, but they’ll be in the mix!
:03—Now look, don’t get me wrong…everybody that knows me knows I am an equal opportunity brother…I mean I really am. (Big Smile) But, with all the brothers in the league with blazing speed and exceptional moves why do we have a non-Black guy returning kickoffs for the Steelers? I am just saying! (Hey, I said that as PC as I could). Oh come on, you were thinking the same thing, you must have wanted me to say it. Ryan Switzer hasn’t run the ball back past the 40-yard line all season!
:02—If you were at the Savoy on Thursday for the “Champions Live” Sports Talk Show and we weren’t there, you’re not paying attention. I told ya we’re off for the holiday. We’ll be back for the Super Bowl. I’ll keep you posted.
:01—The Connie Hawkins League welcomed legendary players Barnett Harris and Mark Pinnix to the Hall of Fame. They, along with 10 others, were honored at the 44th Annual Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Awards this past weekend. Photos and story coming your way in a future Courier edition.
Like us at
Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter


From the Web