Pittsburgh's own Professional Wrestling icon, Bruno Sammartino, died yesterday at age 82. In Pittsburgh, he is HUGE, and this sad news renders the death of Ms. Bush almost unnoticed. Honestly, in the Pittsburgh Pantheon of sports-related people, he is right up there with Bill Mazeroski, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, and Mario Lemieux. As a PERSON, Bruno always conducted himself with dignity and class, and he made countless appearances for various charities and schools over the years. He somehow managed to avoid the grotesque showmanship of Professional Wrestling, while holding some of its most prominent "championships" for many, many years. He was always a humble man, respectful of his immigrant Italian roots, living in a normal middle-class neighborhood and always willing to stop what he was doing and spend some time talking to whoever happened by and wanted to speak with the Great Man. My father-in-law - also an Italian immigrant - lived across from Bruno, and they developed a great friendship over the years, with Bruno appreciative of my father's companionship and home-made wine, and he thrilled to speak with the guy he cheered on every Saturday evening for those many years on "Studio Wrestling." But what is the meaning of this? Professional wrestling is not actually a "sport," in the sense that the combatants are trying to hurt or defeat the other; it's merely an exhibition of athletic strength and pretense, wrapped up in a silly morality play where hero's and "heels" compete for audience support. A great guy has died. A great entertainer, analogous to a, say, Gary Cooper or Bobby Vinton. We shall ignore the fact that it was all kind of a joke/fraud, eh? RIP Bruno.