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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.


  1. Drew71 says:

    A fond and sad farewell to Dan Wheldon, Formula One racer and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who died today at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

    Class act. One of the good guys on the tour…very popular racer.

    Though born in what was called England about 500 years ago, he has lived for several years in St Petersburg, FL. Got to see him in action with something that really matters. When his mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, he called the local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association that I volunteer for and said How Can I Help? Not the reverse; HE called US.

    About four months ago we held a fundraiser that he, his wife and young son attended. (He also has an infant daughter.) He was outgoing and gracious, reaching out to everyone, letting anyone take pics, smiling, friendly, and talking up our cause to anyone who would listen.

    He leaves a wife, two children and a lot of friends and fans.

    The link and some quotes from the ESPN.COM article:

    – “Officials decided to call the race, but the drivers, many sobbing openly, did a five-lap tribute to Wheldon.”
    – “When drivers returned to the track for the tribute laps, Wheldon’s No. 77 was the only one on the towering scoreboard. Franchitti sobbed uncontrollably as he got back into his car for the memorial ride. The sound of “Danny Boy” echoed around the track, followed by “Amazing Grace.” Hundreds of crew workers from each team stood at attention in honor of Wheldon.”
    – “What can you say? We’re going to miss him,” Ganassi said. “Everybody in IndyCar died a little today.”

  2. Dan says:

    For sure the Steelers’ offense didn’t play as well in the second half. Ben took several shots down field and probably now realizes that, unlike Mike Wallace, you CAN overthrow Emmanuel Sanders. But if they hit on one of those, the game was over. Maybe Ben should have just been looking for first downs to run the clock, but I do like trying for the kill shot too…

  3. JAL says:

    JAL’s The Waiting Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3- 2011-12 Pirates Prospects Off-Season Calendar

  4. JAL says:

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Brad Lincoln, Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens Not Worth Clearing Space For

    6 Rumbunter

    Video: Joel Hanrahan on MLB Network
    Pirates Owner Bob Nutting Wants Us to Believe

    Talking Pittsburgh Pirates with “DK” on the Rumbunter Podcast

    7 McEffect

    Something to Get You Through the Week

    8 Why Gavs

    BBA: Goose Gossage Award

  5. JAL says:

    11 Dallas Morning News

    Rangers know their foe: Cardinals final obstacle between Rangers and title

    12 Fort Worth Star Telegram

    Rangers rest as Cardinals bash way into World Series

    Rangers Young repays Washington’s faith

    Road to Fall Classic was a stormy drive

    13 New York Baseball Digest

    “Pelotero” Displays Need for Change

  6. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    14 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Mendenhall Shows Why He is the Top Dog in the Steelers’ Backfield with Impressive Game Against the Jaguars

    15 Steeler Depot

    Steelers Escape Jaguars 17-13

    16 Steelers Gab

    Tomlin Talks About the Four-Point Win Over the Jaguars

  7. JAL says:

    WVU Blogs

    19 Mountaineer Sports Net

    Jed’s Midseason Grades: Special Teams

    20 WV Illustrated

    Mountaineers Debut at 15 in First BCS Poll

    WVU Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins Expects a lot from his Returning Players


    21 Pensburgh

    Not quite enough juice: Sabres 3, Pens 2

  8. leefoo says:

    Drew………my wife is a racing fan. She got it from her dad.

    She was watching that Indy race and was visibly shook up at both the crash and the death.


    As for the Steelers and the Nittany Lions. You’ve been beating up on the lesser teams (barely). Your time is gonna come when the good teams come a-callin’. I hate that I wrote that, but it appears to be a truism.

    PSU and BnG Foo


  9. Drew71 says:

    Foo – Another way to look at it is that despite the angst of their two frightened fan bases (Steelers and Nittany Lions), they are reasonably good but not great teams.

    Reasonably good: They beat the teams they are SUPPOSED to beat

    Not great: They lose (and will lose) to the very good and great teams

    Maybe it’s nothing more than that. They are good. But they are JUST good, nothing more.

  10. TheSaltyRogue says:

    Wonder if the Brewers could use a hug this morning? Someone get Braun a tissue.

    Well played Cardinals, now Go Rangers.

  11. 1buccofan says:

    A half hearted congradulation to the Cardinals and larussa,but actually unless Carpenter pitches well should be swept 4 straight actually couldn’t happen more deserving manager. If the Pirates would have picked up Paul Maholm’s option he an average or below average pitcher but since they won’t Dejan you and all other Pittsburgh media types have decided we’ve let CY YOUNG leave for free agency GO FIGUIRE!

    DK: Dude, relax.

  12. MarkV says:

    Drew – thanks for the comment on Dan Wheldon. A great racer and even better person. Ganassi is right. We all died a little yesterday.

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