First call: Cameron Heyward’s practical view on Acrisure Stadium’s name change; Pirates go to Colorado

Friday’s “First Call” has a hot bid from Steelers captain Cameron Heyward for the new name for Heinz Field. A former Penn State star is running out of time to avoid the franchise brand. The Pirates will miss meeting a former teammate at Coors Field.

And Jaromir Jagr wants the NHL teams to know he’s still playing.


Heyward at Heinz

Former Offensive captain Ben Roethlisberger issued an emotional response after the Steelers this week sold the naming rights to Heinz Field to Acrisure.

On his new ESPN podcast “Not Just Football”, defensive captain Cameron Heyward had a more pragmatic response to the news.

“I don’t put very much into it,” Heyward said. “Because as much as I have loved calling it ‘Heinz Field’, Heinz Field was not created by a name. It was made because of the memories. It was made because you saw Ben (Roethlisberger) for AB ( Antonio Brown). The Immaculate Extension. It was made of watching such amazing plays.… The memories and the plays are what made Heinz Field. Not the real Heinz Field. “

Heyward said fans in time will not be preoccupied with the name on the outside of the stadium.

“I’m sure there will be some kind of nickname, they will give Acrisure Stadium where it’s like ‘Sure Stadium’ or something. Or there will be a catchy way of saying it,” Heyward continued. is not like we’re playing somewhere else. It’s still where you always go to watch a match. We’re still going to thump. You’ll still hear ‘Renegade.’ You will still get out of your seats and get excited in December in January. Those things do not change. That’s a name, boys. ”

Heyward instructed fans to avoid letting go just because they don’t like the company’s sponsorship.

“I understand, ‘Oh, it would be really cool to (still) call it Heinz Field, and we’re going to miss the big ketchup bottles that dump down on a touchdown.’ But Acrisure would rather come up with that fire, because we want to make sure we do our job too, ”said Heyward.

I could not agree more, Cam. The Steelers ‘first regular-season Test at “The’ Sure” will be on September 18 against the New England Patriots.


Un-Kuhl

Right now, the Pirates are not scheduled to meet former teammate Chad Kuhl during their upcoming three-game trip to Denver.

The Colorado Rockies right-hander struck in the fifth inning during Wednesday’s 10-6 win over the San Diego Padres. He allowed seven hits, three deserved runs and four walks, while hitting only two batteries.

Kuhl’s ERA has risen to 4.11. At the beginning of May, he was at 1.86. Even in early June, it was still only 3.17. But Kuhl has only struck into the sixth inning twice in his last eight starts.

Instead, the Rockies will start the series by pitching German Marquez (5-6, 5.66 ERA) on Friday. Jose Urena (0-1, 2.66) gets the call on Saturday. The Pirates will counter with Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.59) and Mitch Keller (3-6, 4.88) respectively.

According to MLB.com, neither team has a starter listed for Sunday’s match yet.


Ready to rock

The notice for Monday night’s MLB Home Run Derby in Los Angeles is set. New York Mets swallow Pete Alonso (23 homeruns) is the No. 2 seed as he seeks a third crown in a row. The back-to-back Derby champion will face No. 7 seed Ronald Acuna Jr. (eight homeruns). It will be a rematch of their showdown in the second round of the 2019 Home Run Derby. Alonso hit a buzzing homer to eliminate Acuna on his way to the first of his Derby victories.

National League home race leader Kyle Schwarber (28 homers) is the No. 1 seed at the event and will face future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. He is the No. 8 seed. Pujols has only six homeruns this season. But it’s probably his last year in MLB, and this is more of a career recognition than anything else for the longtime St. Louis Cardinals star.

Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (21 homers) and Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez (15 homers) made it 3-6. The 4-5 showdown is between Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto (19 homers) and Cleveland Guardians All-Star Jose Ramirez (17 homers).


Roof! You are it

The deadline for players with NFL franchise tags to sign long-term deals with their current teams is July 15th. It does not look like an agreement between Dolphins and regular Mike Gesicki is going to happen.

The former Penn State Nittany Lion is set to earn $ 10.9 million under the brand’s terms. He set career highs in receptions (73) and yards (780) last season.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, things are not looking good for a revised expansion.

The same fate is expected for Cowboys tight-end Dalton Schultz, who will also play on the franchise brand. Meanwhile, Cleveland Brown’s tight-end David Njoku signed a four-year deal worth $ 56.75 million in May to avoid playing on the brand.


Jagr has jokes!

I saw this tweet earlier this week from former penguin Jaromir Jagr and thought it was a great way to end our last “First Call” before a longer vacation.

It looks like the 50-year-old goal-scoring phenomenon would like to throw his hat in the NHL’s free agency ring.

Jagr still plays for HC Kladno. It is the Czech Extraliga franchise that he also owns. And if he’s looking for a defender, the Penguins currently have nine on their roster. Maybe he and Ron Hextall can make a deal.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise stated.

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