West Texas is hard scrabble, boy, but the roads are well kept and the speed limit is 80, so we were able to knock off the toughest part of the journey in one day.
That didn't help me get any quality work done, though, so today's the day I get back to my interviews. I'm heading out to Arizona State to talk to Marvel Smith's college position coach and will also talk with a scout about the guy who's anchoring the Steelers' line. Then it's off to talk to a Phoenix resident who's had Steelers season tickets since 1970, and then a hard-core Cowboys fan, a hard-core Raiders fan, a bar owner who has the audacity to drape his place in a "You're in Steelers Country" banner, and then I'll place a few out-of-town calls, including one to the "gatekeeper" in Chapel Hill. As Dale Lolley wrote, Willie Parker has to be considered among the elite NFL running backs these days, so he should be honored in Chapel Hill. I'll find out if that's been changed since I've been there.
The Phoenix area is one of the strongholds for the Burgh Diaspora. The new stadium and some emerging stars have enticed many more residents to take an interest in the Cardinals, but I expect an impressive showing of Steelers Nation at the game.