This week's word came about from a lot of reflection on what it means to be a "fan" of a team.
It was a rough week for hockey fans of the Pittsburgh variety, as our beloved Penguins pulled off an epic collapse to exit the playoffs far too early yet again. And so, as a fan, I started to focus on the word.
I heard all sorts of things about fans in Pittsburgh â€” we're too harsh; we're too focused on winning; we are poor sports â€” thrown around on the Internet and on a few talk radio shows.
"Are you still interested in interviewing for the position? Let me know, and we can set something up"
That was the end of an Email that I received on July 17, 2013, from The Punxsutawney Spirit's editor, Zak Lantz.
Two days later, I was offered the job of sports reporter at The Spirit, and since Aug. 5, 2013, I've made the daily drive up Interstate 80 and Route 36 from Clarion to Punxsutawney.
I was asked Thursday by a co-worker if I'm sad to leave them today, and I said yes.
They joked, saying they could tell I was being nice, but in all honesty, I will miss Punxsutawney a lot.
I think that we, as a collective society, have a problem with self-awareness.
Now, it's hard to make such an individualistic claim about a society as a whole and a problem that's so self-centered, but I really feel like it's a trait that's evolved into part of our character.
We â€” and this we is definitely inclusive, as I'm part of this problem â€” don't seem to be very aware of ourselves or our role in the game called life, and just as troubling to me is the fact that we seem to have become experts on others-awareness.
Editor's Note: This monthly installment of movie reviews by Spirit employees Matt Triponey and Dan Long rates Transcendence.
Plot: With her computer scientist husband, Will (Johnny Depp), facing imminent death, Dr. Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) copies his mind into cyberspace. The end result brings great advancement to the world but also poses a tremendous threat to humanity.
"Well, that was stupid,â€ť was my first thought whenever the credits finally rolled on Transcendence.
Punxsutawney's governmental outline took on a new look last January with the inauguration of its first new mayor in 12 years.
Richard Alexander came abroad, as he says, to make a difference in Punxsutawney as well as the local police department. In Pennsylvania, a mayor is the highest-ranking municipal officer, who serves as a borough's chief executive.
Although Borough Council does the hiring and firing, it is the mayor who also has the task of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the law enforcement segment of the borough.
By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit
In the past 27 years, I've walked through the gates of Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park more than an estimated 450 times.
There's nothing like handing the smiling usher your ticket, getting your program and taking in the view of the freshly-cut field as you go to your seats.
Unfortunately, on Saturday, I may have taken that in for the very last time.
Yes, the rumors are true.
Come May 10, I'll no longer be at The Punxsutawney Spirit.
On May 13th, I'll no longer be in the state of Pennsylvania.
Of The Spirit
By now, you've seen the replays of the Brewers extra-inning victory over the Pirates.
While losing three of four to Milwaukee is a big storyline, the even bigger one is the bench-clearing brawl that took place in the third inning.
You know the culprits by now â€” Carlos Gomez, Gerrit Cole, Martin Maldonado and Travis Snider â€” but all I've seen is people wanting to place all of the blame on Gomez and Maldonado, while giving Cole and Snider a free pass.
Since we are in Pirates' country, this doesn't come as a huge shock.
This weekend, we will celebrate what may just be one of my favorite holidays in Easter.
This week, we asked the children at Mapleview Elementary School what their favorite Easter tradition was, and so many of them had fun answers â€” from egg hunts to hunting real rabbits to planting jellybeans.
While planting jellybeans was not a tradition I grew up with â€” I love how much we learn from these Questions For Kids pieces â€” many of the other traditions that the children enjoyed were familiar to me and were ones that I grew up with.
This past week, I entered the world of the third graders to ask what their favorite Easter traditions are.
I took the long trek to double school Mapleview in the Punxsutawney Area School District on Route 536.
The kids had a blast and came up again with some cute and funny answers.
Some of the answers involved Easter dinner, Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with candy, Easter candy, coloring eggs and eating ham, just to name a few.
I remember that growing up as a kid, coloring Easter eggs was an exciting event.
By Michael Waterloo
Of The Spirit
Any athlete knows the risk of stepping on to the playing surface.
It is, after all, why many fans say they don't feel sorry when an athlete gets hurt, because they know the risks, and they get paid handsomely for it.
But this past year, the injuries seem to be coming at an alarming rate, especially when it comes to the NFL and MLB.
In 2013 alone, there were 61 recorded ACL tears in the NFL.
Joan Niesen of The Denver Post, calculated that 2,589 players appeared in at least one preseason or regular-season NFL game this past year.