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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Off to Manitoba, Minnesota

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Monday column is off the Steelers’ game, of course, and it does deep investigative work — OK, I was just especially annoying in asking a lot of questions — as to how Rashard Mendenhall really felt about all of us criticizing him before he ran up 146 yards.

>> The Steelers had a weird game, obviously, looking thoroughly effective in the first half, thoroughly blah in the second. It didn’t take much to see which of those two lingered with Ben Roethlisberger, visibly displeased in his postgame gathering.

“It’s frustrating because my expectations for this offense are high,” he said. “I’m going to be a little frustrated for about another half-hour, and then I’m going to be happy that we won the game.”

Sounds about right.

Jacksonville is 1-5, and they played as badly as Seattle in the first half, but the Jaguars also came in with the 10th-ranked defense. As Roethlisberger pointed out, “They’re no pushovers.”

>> I’m off very early this morning for Winnipeg, and I’d be lying through my chattering teeth if I didn’t tell you how excited I am about that.

On April 28, 1996, I covered the Jets’ final game at old Winnipeg Arena, and it was unlike any sporting event I’d ever attended in any capacity. I had become somewhat taken by the Jets story in the months ahead of that and sought to go up and document it. I wish like crazy I could link to the story, but the fact is it doesn’t exist on the Internet, at least not to my knowledge. It’s one of my favorite pieces.

Anyway, I similarly asked if I could go up for this return, to experience the reverse emotion, and I’ll write something about that for you from up there.

>> I’ll stay on the trip with the Penguins to Minnesota the next night, then get set for the Steelers’ game later in the week in Phoenix.

>> I won’t be able to make my weekly TribLIVE Radio appearance this morning because of travel. We’ll hook up later in the week.

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