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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: The missing goal

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Wednesday column wonders how much longer James Harrison can LOL at the NFL.

>> This isn’t the first time it’s happened, but Root Sports missed Detroit’s winning goal last night against the Penguins. I was at Consol, so I only noticed it on the press box monitors, which always are on an eight-second delay. It was later that I started hearing from readers and had it confirmed.

How does that happen?

How does a station/director/robot/whatever watch a commercial playing while it would be clear on another monitor that action has resumed?

I tried late last night to contact Root for an explanation, but understandably they didn’t get back right away at that hour. If I do hear back, I promise to share their side.

>> Speaking of bad broadcasting, check out this video news report on

Notice anything strange?

How about the part where Mike Tomlin’s comment yesterday about Chris Kemoeatu needing to change his ways was superimposed into Tomlin’s comments about Harrison. Makes it sound like Tomlin is talking about Harrison the whole way through.

If that isn’t bad enough, they later put up a Harrison quote next to Harrison’s picture … except Harrison never said it. It was Jerome Bettis’ version of what Harrison told him in a one-on-one unrecorded talk.


>> This is almost as bad.

>> Why did Evgeni Malkin miss the morning skate yesterday but look great last night?

Here’s a hint as to what I heard: Look down on your keyboard and find the letter that is the lowest and most toward the left side. Then, hold it down and let it run all the way across your screen.

>> Chris Pronger of the Flyers will be in town today to be examined by Pittsburgh concussion specialists. Another Philadelphia player, NHL leading scorer Claude Giroux, was just felled by a concussion.

It’s not just happening in our part of the world, or even our half of the commonwealth.

Something has to be done.

>> Stuff like this is a good start.


  1. Leah Backus says:

    And yet, all the protocols in the world won’t save macho idiots like Sheldon Brown with his posturing about “pain tolerance” and “helping the team.” When I read stuff like that it makes me wonder how many guys out there just play through and don’t reveal that they’re suffering from things like headaches, etc. It seems like a very odd thing to say, but I hope hockey players are smarter than that. They need to understand, as Sid seems to, that it’s not about proving your manhood. It’s about attaining and *maintaining* peak performance; something you can’t do when you can’t even see straight. Ugh…men. It makes me want to smack the crap out of them. Or it would if I didn’t want to contribute to further head injuries.

  2. Leah Backus says:

    Oh…and…I guess Geno’s beyond receiving the “Tyler Seguin” treatment at this stage of his career, hmm?

  3. Pensfan says:

    If, as you imply, Malkin slept thru practice time, and was still allowed to play, then shame on the Pens, Bylsma and Shero. Winning is important, but so are standards of conduct. Allowing a player such as Malkin to ‘cut practice’ is the slippery Ovechkin Slope to failure, poor team discipline, and trouble in the locker room.

    Even if the Pens lost, Bylsma should have sat Malkin on principle.

  4. leefoo says:

    DK…….totally agree with you on Harrison. I still think he could’ve just tackled McCoy hard vice the way he did it.



  5. @suckmeter says:

    What sucked worse than last night’s missed goal was what they did for Crosby’s first game back. ROOT Sports stayed too long with Bylsma’s boring locker room talk that was taped and missed the opening faceoff. Then continued to run the audio over about the first 10 seconds of the game so you couldn’t hear the fan reaction.

  6. Jandy says:

    @ Leah ~ I am totally with you on that feeling of issuing a few backhanders, but holding them back ;)

    Malkin was sleeping? He should have sat out the game then. This sets a bad example. I wonder if HCDB or anyone will make a statement addressing this? Interesting.

    DK the best part of your article on Harrison is the part that says about the future. I’m betting no one else gets a suspension this season. Let’s see how it pans out.

  7. @suckmeter says:

    As for Harrison, I didn’t think he should be suspended, but then I changed my mind after his “LOL” tweet. Sucks he doesn’t get it. When he kills or paralyzes someone he might understand. Now that he’s hurting the team maybe he will change his ways, although he already has said he will not. Stupid is as stupid does.

  8. Eric Majeski says:

    Root Sports has been subpar for a while and there’s no real motivation for them to do anything about it. If you are a Penguin fan and you want to watch the games, you have to watch their product. Period. I’m pretty sure they know that. Then their GM spouts off over the summer about Hockey Night in Canada not necessarily being the standard and how they think the Pens ‘younger, tech-savvy’ fanbase will like their broadcast. Let the CBC broadcast a Pens game in the Pittsburgh market and I know which one I’d watch and I know I wouldn’t be alone.

    It’s not hard. Show the game and call the action on the ice. And stop trying to sell me on the team and Crosby; I’m already a fan of both.

  9. Sam Strohm says:


    Wondering if you had heard any feedback as to why Seymor has not been suspended for multiple punching infractions. Do you think Ngata will be suspended if he gets another roughing the passer penalty?

    Oct 2009 – fined $5,000 for hit on Tom Brady
    Nov 2010 – fined $10,000 for hit on Chad Henne
    Dec 2010 – fined $15,000 for hit on Ben Roethlisberger
    Oct 2011 – fined $15,000 for hit on Mark Sanchez

    Interesting that all of those fines are 15K and not escalating.

  10. stan capper says:

    If Geno did, indeed, miss the morning skate due to sleeping in and then was allowed to play, well….good luck trying to discipline, motivate or threaten the rest of the team with “accountability” talk.

  11. Milo Hamilton says:


  12. djininwestpa says:

    My question on Malkin is: Was it a mandatory skate? If not, what’s the difference. If it were, I’m sure DB handled it in a private manner and it will not be a recurring problem. It’s not like Geno is a malcontent who is constantly causing trouble in the room. From what I have heard, this is a mature, close team, and if his sleeping in is a problem/distraction, his teammates will discuss it with him and correct the situation.

    I was at the game last night, and Geno was the best player on the ice. Maybe he should sleep in every day.

  13. CWalton_67 says:

    Review the tape 30 times, or 300–the thing that sticks out to me is that Harrison had no reason to hit McCoy helmet to helmet. He could have easily stuck a shoulder pad in McCoy’s mid-section, but didn’t. End of story. I have no problems with the suspension.

    More important tha Malkin sleeping in is the rest of this Pens team, from the owner on down, sleeping during the power-play. Either they get it figured out, or this group will look back on multiple years of failed expectations as opposed to multiple Stanley Cups.

  14. dcpinpgh says:

    The way Malkin is handled is the same reason Bylsma cannot coach a power play. He cannot/does not offend(coach) his stars. In 24/7 he asked his son who would he have used in the shoot out. The kid replyed, X,Y, and Z. Then Dan replied something like “not Geno” and the kid said no. Then Dan can of shrugged and said “Geno wanted to do it” and so Geno was in the shoot out.

  15. Kevin says:


    Great article on Harrison this morning. Totally agree with the suspension. The NFL is clearly using James’ past history to determine his one game suspension and they indicated that this is his fifth illegal hit on a qb. I recall that there was a hit against the Raiders that was really questionable. If these are going to be accumulative penalties do they take into account questionable penalties?
    Your parallel with Matt Cooke in todays piece is a good one. He seems took have learned his lesson but Harrison has not.

    Keep k the great work.

  16. Kevin says:


    Great article on Harrison this morning. Totally agree with the suspension. The NFL is clearly using James’ past history to determine his one game suspension and they indicated that this is his fifth illegal hit on a qb. I recall that there was a hit against the Raiders that was really questionable. If these are going to be accumulative penalties do they take into account questionable penalties?

    Your parallel with Matt Cooke in todays piece is a good one. He seems took have learned his lesson but Harrison has not.

    Keep up the great work.

  17. JohnS says:

    I see the McCoy hit as many of JH’s hits. He doesn’t really lead with the crown as many say. What he does is plant his face mask high on the chest. The motion of the hit leads to the crown striking the facemask of the person he is tackling. All JH needs to do is lower his target to the center of the chest. He doesn’t need to change his style of tackling just slightly adjust his target zone.

    As to Malkin as a coach you have to treat players fairly but not equal. Joe Vitale is never going to get the same treatment as Malkin or Crosby. I don’t see once as a very big deal.

  18. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    When does James Harrison become a liability?

    BTW, I had a hard time listening to the NFL Network’s video because of the reporter’s ears…good lord did anybody notice this? This guy needs to be on radio!!!

  19. dickyp23 says:

    I was at the game too and Geno was def the best player on the ice. In the recent PIttsburgh Magazine Article on Malkin, Sarge Gonchar states that he likes to sleep in…no big deal to me. An NHL season is such a grind that a morning off the ice is a good thing. Maybe his body was telling him no.

    Also, give Disco Dan a break. This isn’t High School or even College where the stars need a reality check. Sid and Geno both want to play the max minutes in each and every game. Reprimanding him for a morning skate miss would be a joke. Anyone who says sit him clearly for a 1 time offense has never played an even moderately high level of sports.

  20. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    USA Football has selected Pittsburgh Steelers tight end HEATH MILLER to its third annual USA Football All-Fundamentals Team, which honors 26 NFL players – 11 offense, 11 defense, four special teams – who exhibit exemplary football techniques for youth players to emulate.

    What, no James Harrison??? !!!

  21. Vote4Pedro says:

    He was on radio, Andrew Siciliano was on Fox Sports Radio for quite a while until they decided to get rid of all of their good hosts.
    Did anyone see the NFL post game show last Thursday, they were clueless about the Steelers depth chart. Talking about how Leftwhich will have to lead the team if Ben is out. I couldn’t believe the lack of preparation, shouldn’t a producer have let Deon or M Irvin know that Leftwhich is on IR and Batch would be the man.

  22. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I tend not to listen to anything Deon or Irvin say……….

  23. I really am starting to get concerned about Sidney Crosby. I’ve heard that Don Cherry criticized Crosby for coming back and resuming his physical style straight away, which naturally put him at greater risk for re-injury. In some respects Cherry has a point, but you cannot avoid contact in the NHL. Now, Sid was very careful to ensure that he was 100% capable of playing “his game” before he returned to the ice the first time. Despite that, it only took eight games for him to re-injure himself on a fairly routine play.

    I am wondering if we’re approaching a crossroads with Sid. If this is more than just a minor setback, is it realistic to expect Sid to remove the physical element of his game to minimize the chance of injury? Would he be willing to do it? Would he still be as effective? And, most importantly, would it really make that much of a difference?

  24. Jandy says:

    @Relentless, no way do I ever take anything Cherry says as pertinent. The man (I use the term loosely) is an idiot. That said (and at the end of the day) we still don’t know what’s up with Sid at this point. If he is indeed suffereing a major setback, he may have to consider leaving the game he loves so much. [Man, it really hurt to type that :( ]

  25. Chris says:

    Todd Graham has left Pitt to become the head coach at Arizona State!!

  26. dcpinpgh says:

    Todd Graham to Arizona State….

  27. Bizrow says:

    Graham is leaving???

  28. Drew71 says:

    I had some questions about Graham. But that aside, I cannot imagine any spin to this that isn’t a negative reflection on the University of Pittsburgh.

  29. Milo Hamilton says:

    Steve Pederson should have been let go after last year’s debacle. I’d like to hear him explain himself now.

  30. Bizrow says:

    A tweet from Colin Dunlap said Graham sent a text message to the Director of Football Ops to then forward to his players, didn’t even notify them himself.

    You can’t make this stuff up

  31. Drew71 says:

    You would THINK that an interview would not have occurred if ASU hadn’t first asked and RECEIVED permission from Pederson.

    Which is also interesting to contemplate.

  32. Drew71 says:

    So which program is in worse shape? Pitt or Penn State?

    (And some might now ask, Arizona State?)

  33. Drew71 says:

    I wonder what Walt Harris is doing now?

    And in case you are wondering:

    – In February 2009 he joined the University of Akron coaching staff as quarterback’s coach/passing game coordinator, but the team struggled and the coaching staff lost their jobs at the end of the year.
    – In April 2010, Harris became the offensive coordinator at Division II California University of Pennsylvania. He was replaced after one season.

  34. TheSaltyRogue says:

    So to answer your question Drew… not much.

  35. Drew71 says:

    Dejan is going after Graham and Pederson on the radio

    (So are many Pitt players on twitter)

    Good listening…

  36. Drew71 says:

    At least Steigy knows how to pronounce Day-John’s name.

  37. Nate says:

    Tear him apart, Dejan!

  38. Drew71 says:

    Dejan just suggested Dave Wannstedt as AD and Greg Gattuso as head coach.

  39. Drew71 says:

    Wannstedt: I first thought, huh?!?

    Then I thought, instant credibility, an adult, a Burgher, a guy who was unable to win the big game as coach but this is not a coaching job. INSTANT STABILITY.

    Very interesting proposal, even if it is at first a bit jarring.

  40. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m assuming that Steve Pederson’s letter of resignation is currently on Chancellor Nordenberg’s desk.

  41. Bizrow says:

    Re- You would THINK that an interview would not have occurred if ASU hadn’t first asked and RECEIVED permission from Pederson.

    Good point, time for Stevie to say adios

    What about Tom Bradley for the new coach?

  42. Bizrow says:

    I wonder what impact this will have on Pitt recruits, they have a couple of good ones, Shell is from where I currently live, Hopewell
    and there is a pretty good QB signed from Tennessee (I think)

  43. TheSaltyRogue says:

    The “Wannstedt for AD” camp needs to pump their brakes immediately. Yeah, he knows a thing or two about a football program and team – but what does he know about womens b-ball, or swimming, or wrestling, or cross country, etc.. IMO he would be an unmitigated disaster of an AD.

  44. Drew71 says:

    I was just about to post that. I love Bradley for that job for a lot of reasons.

    I don’t think there’s a chance. But I would consider it to be a great move.

  45. Milo Hamilton says:

    And I had grown so fond of Penni.

  46. Bizrow says:

    Bradley, IMO, should already be at Pitt, should have gotten the job the last time.

    Didn’t Wannstedt recently burn his bridge to Pitt?

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Tom Bradley thing is very interesting. I thought he should have gotten the job last winter. But this Sandusky situation has long, ugly, tentacles. I don’t know what Bradley knew or when he knew it. But considering the circumstances, can Pitt afford to take that chance ? Can the program survive yet another coaching disaster ?

    When is the press conference announcing Pederson’s resignation ? Anyone know ?

  48. Bizrow says:

    New post up on this

  49. TS says:

    “Here’s a hint as to what I heard”

    To me that says maybe it’s true, maybe not. Did Evgeni oversleep? Was he just being a bum and laying in bed? Or did he not feel good when he woke up and asked to skip the morning skate? Who’s your source? A player? Dan Byslma?

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, yet the larger picture to me is that it’s things like this type of speculation/rumor/hot scoop that gets people criticizing (and sometimes saying downright nasty things) about an athlete (actor, public citizen, etc.) which to me, stinks. Tell me if I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but I feel like there’s more and more of this all the time in the media… calling someone out based on hearsay.

  50. TS says:

    …that in the end, can tarnish a reputation or worse.

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