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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Save the Brawl

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Wednesday column is a bit off the beaten path, but it was something I thought about a lot during the recent road trip: Why do so many prefer autographs to an actual personal interaction?

No, I’m not getting into the usual adults-as-children criticism. It’s much more about simply having a better, more memorable experience.

Quite interested in your feedback, especially experiences you might have had.

>> And next went West Virginia.

Good for the Mountaineers for finding a new home in the Big 12. It’s not a bad fit geographically, and it spares further embarrassment such as the apparently snub from the SEC. They weren’t going to have their choice of conferences, given the really small size of the West Virginia TV market, so this is about as good as it will get.

Now, let’s take the next step, now that Pitt and West Virginia both will be heading their separate ways: At least strike a handshake agreement to try to keep the Backyard Brawl. It could be played early if late doesn’t work. But it really should be played. It helps both schools financially, it maintains a great traditional rivalry that will help ease the transition for players and fans, and it’s feasible.

>> I know it was other guys who got the goals, but isn’t it amazing how different the entire Penguins team looks when Evgeni Malkin is flying around like he did last night on Long Island?

The truly great ones make a difference even when they don’t score.

>> If you have any tiny sliver of reservations about Pitt leaving the Big East, check out the atmosphere Heinz Field will hold tonight.

Yes, the Panthers have to become a better program to draw more fans. But they also need to create the sense of big-time college football being played around here, and that generally takes two.

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