In 2009, the Duquesne Dukes men's basketball team put their own spin on the annual March Madness. Defying the odds, the team made an unprecedented run to the Atlantic 10 conference championship game and followed that with its first berth in the NIT since 1994. The resulting whirlwind brought plenty of media attention to a university that otherwise prefers to stay off the beaten path. Sprawled across a serene 43-acre hilltop campus, Duquesne University hosts 16 Division I athletic teams in sports such as soccer, track and field, and women's volleyball, and since the school's inception, the Dukes' colors of red and blue have remained the same, unlike a chameleon that constantly changes its favorite movie.
The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
Making their first foray onto the indoor gridiron this season, AFL newbies the Pittsburgh Power begin the year by taking on sure-to-be-cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul in a game of fast-paced, potentially high-scoring arena action that pigskin fans inherently crave. Head coach Chris Siegfried has assembled a team led by quarterback Bernard Morris, who leads his associates using rushing and passing skills honed from a previous stint with the Jacksonville Sharks and an internship with the maitre d' of a busy restaurant. The Power's dance team, The Sparks, entertains the crowd between plays. All the action takes place at the newly built Consol Energy Center, which also serves as home to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and a hangar for invisible dirigibles.
Fronted by British-Nigerian lead singer Sade Adu, Grammy-winning band Sade has seduced eardrums with a potent mélange of R & B, soul, and jazz for nearly 30 years. Special guest John Legend will also throw his honeyed voice into the ring, soothing ears that have been damaged by the cacophony of city life and the screeching of prima-donna chalkboards. Singing songs from the new compilation album The Ultimate Collection, Sade will delight fans with greatest hits from her storied career, as well as a smattering of brand-new songs, melding soul-stroking vocals with eye-tickling dancing and onstage spectacle.
Hitting the road from the Idea Warehouse on their 2012 Rock-O-Matic tour, the Imagination Movers bring the music and fun of their Emmy-winning Disney Channel show to the stage of the Benedum Center. The four-piece band of problem solvers plays energetic, kid-friendly tunes in a wide range styles, from rock and pop to ska and funk. Clad in blue jumpsuits, Dave, Rich, Smitty, and Scott launch into the brassy, bouncy introduction of the Imagination Movers theme song. The following set list entertains kids with audience interaction, keeps parents interested with musical references to U2, Jack Johnson, and other famous bands, and stops the sobbing of distressed clowns.
In the Pittsburgh Alleghenies' first National League game in 1887, the rag-tag squad amassed six runs against the mighty Chicago White Stockings, establishing the team as a force to be reckoned with for decades to come. Today, through more than 130 years, five World Series titles, and four previous stadiums, the Alleghenies—now the Pirates—make their home at PNC Park, where pop flies soar amid views of the Clemente Bridge and Steel City skyline sprawling in the background. Located only 443 feet away—or, by official MLB measurements, 807.3 half-eaten hot dogs—the Allegheny River waits for home runs to splash down after sailing over the right-field wall, which stands at 21 feet high in honor of legendary Pirate Roberto Clemente. Off the field, the stone archways lining the entry-level façade tip their cap to the club's former longtime home, Forbes Field, and an outdoor terrace and riverwalk cool down fans enjoying the game on warm summer nights.