LONDON is not a regular stop for Pittsburgh sports fans, but Madison Square Garden in New York City is. It's where University of Pittsburgh basketball fans go to watch the Big East Tournament every year. As the Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo reported, this is Pitt's final season in the Big East before joining the Atlantic Coast Conference next year, and last Wednesday coach Jamie Dixon and four of his players attended Pitt's last media conference there. Mr. Dixon was in a nostalgic, bittersweet mood. He said he didn't wish ill on the Big East. "We are leaving a great place to go to a great place," he said, suggesting that this was the way of college athletics and every other team would have done the same thing, even if they may not say it. Pitt's first regular season game will be played at home against Mount St. Mary's on Nov. 9. Its first Big East conference game, again at home, will be Dec. 31 against Cincinnati.
WITH JUST a few weeks until the presidential election, the news has been dominated by politics, and by now voters can be forgiven for thinking all politicians are clowns (British elections are more sedate). At Phillips Elementary School on the South Side last week, two real clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey debated about who should fill the position of Boss Clown. Although a whoopee cushion tooted and unicycle whirled out of control, it was really a serious civics lesson for the kids as well as a promotion for the circus. And the lesson they learned about the political process? "That it could be funny," third-grader Emmett Harris told the Post-Gazette's Anya Sostek. Maybe that's how Jon Stewart got started.