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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Pouncey’s lame apology

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>>Maurkice Pouncey apologized for the drivel he posted on Twitter Sunday, something I raised here on the blog yesterday morning.

Within the same hour, Pouncey retweeted a follower who recommended that he pay his critics no mind. In the days leading up to the game he now claims devastated him, while his teammates were preparing to play without him — again — he was hawking T-shirts on Twitter and Facebook. And within an hour of the end of that game he now claims devastated him … well, you know.

This guy’s a real piece of work, at least until he proves otherwise.

Wish him well at the Pro Bowl.

>> The remaining three-quarters of the Penguins will host the Senators tonight. Best advice: Shore it up defensively, get Steve Sullivan off the point, and protect Evgeni Malkin at all costs.

Malkin can get it done. I’m a believer. He’s supposed to skate between Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis, and those are two eminently capable, skilled wingers. Given Malkin’s traits of pretty much chasing the puck and creating offense on his own, there is no hard reason he shouldn’t continue producing points.

>> Paul Maholm is a Cub. Congrats to him, and thanks for years of professionalism. For those of you who are fans, Chicago’s first visit to PNC is May 25.

Most tenured player on the Pirates’ roster: Evan Meek.

I’ll bet even Meek isn’t aware of that.

>> The college football season ended last night with the only game of any consequence. Imagine what it would have been like to have two or three weeks of such games.

>> The Riverhounds will build a soccer stadium at Station Square. My skepticism about a soccer fan base aside, I have deep reservations about a) committing a critical, visible piece of riverfront property to anything that doesn’t meet excellent design standards and b) Forest City, owners of Station Square, is Cleveland-based and has hardly been a friend to the city or its sports scene, as some might recall.

If this is successful, great for the Riverhounds. But they’ll need to make sure it’s done right, and their choice of a partner is a lousy start.


  1. Leah Backus says:

    I’m trying not to fret. Assuming that Bylsma will start Johnson since tomorrow is against the Capitals. Except…he hasn’t been so great this year. Definitely not the rock-solid backup he was last year. I feel like I should just fasten my seat belt, because I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be a wild ride. I just hope the Pens can hang in there. OK, I lied…I’m fretting.

  2. BFFL says:

    Good Stuff, DK.

    Bet you are glad to be back in Pittsburgh. One of the horsemen was in Denver about a month ago, passing through the airport, and couldn’t believe the Tebow talk. I saw your tweet from the airport earlier, just amazing. Seems to me like very few in Denver think of the Broncos anymore, just Tebow. BTW – yesterday’s loss was probably the toughest for me, in my lifetime (I am 33).

    Sad stuff about Pouncey. I saw his tweets last night after the game. I hope that doesn’t fly very long with the Steelers brass. Seems to me, as an outsider, he should spend more time trying to stay healthy. The Steelers can’t afford him getting hurt every year. This could be a very interesting off-season for the Steelers. Do you think we’ll see some big changes with the roster?

    Not surprising Maholm is headed to Chicago. Chicago media has been talking about that for awhile, especially with the new regime. Seems like a fit for Theo and the gang. I hope he does well, but not too well!

  3. BFFL says:

    DK – one more thing…

    You speculated the Broncos may try a deep pass on their first drive of the game. Although that didn’t happen it did happen in OT. You were on to something. I wish the Steelers would have been ready for it.

    DK: Actually, Sam, if you’ll recall, it wasn’t really speculation on my part. I’d been hearing quite a bit of it at the Broncos’ camp through the week. Took a while, but that’s exactly the way they went.

  4. Jim says:

    I’m not too optimistic Forest City will build anything worthy of being on that plot of land. The company has a long history of promising big things and coming up short when it comes time to deliver. I lived in Brooklyn for a few years and I got to see the Forest City Ratner machine up close. They promised a first class Frank Gehry designed arena and brand new apartment buildings at Atlantic Yards, but they scaled back their plans significantly when it came time to build. It’s a long story, but do a Google search of Ratner and Atlantic Yards. You’ll get a pretty good idea of how Forest City does business.

    Of course the Riverhound’s field isn’t nearly as big as Atlantic Yards, but I wouldn’t expect Forest City to do anything right. I’m sure Forest City is still hurting over not getting the casino license for Station Square and they’re looking for any way to make their land more valuable down there.

    DK: Bingo. Take a look at the dock project they started, then stopped for no reason. They’ve let Station Square fall apart, and now they’re to be trusted to put a stadium on a hugely important piece of land?

  5. BFFL says:

    DK –

    Okay – maybe not speculation, but I heard it from you. I heard most of the radio interview with you but not all.

    I guess it made total sense at the time, they had run the ball 21/22 times on first down.

    Oh well, I still give you credit. Heard it from you first, that okay? lol

  6. Leefoo says:

    So………….they played the BCS title game last night. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Pouncey has lost my respect with those tweets. I truly had hoped he had been hacked.

    Long offseason. When do the Pirates start?

    Off to Philly this morn. See ya later.


  7. Amie Sinay says:

    I don’t doubt what you say about Forest City, but I have seen the Riverhounds recreate the Greentree Sportsplex. These men are really involved in the process from design through implementation. I have a son in their academy and am excited to see how this grows their organization.
    I’m cautiously optimistic about the fan base, but I think I read it is a multi-sport complex.

  8. ghostofjjdavis says:

    DK –

    Thanks for picking up on the Pouncey feed and info you’ve shared here and on your twitter feed. Your criticism of his account has been roundly deserved. To play devil’s advocate on one part of what you wrote this morning – does it matter what he tweeted (within reason) on the days leading up to the game? Would that have concerned you if they had won Sunday? Seems like he would have a ton of time on his hands and that wouldn’t be a distraction to teammates. That seems separate from the timing – and content – of what he wrote Sunday and beyond.

    And congrats to Maholm!

  9. JAL says:

    7 Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Spring Training Tracker


    8—Pirates Prospects

    Winter League Playoffs 1/9 — Hernandez And Moss Homer

    Minor League Depth — Outfield, Part 1

    9 Rumbunter

    How Does the Pirates Farm System Match Up in the NL Central?

    10 WHY GAVS

    ATTENTION PIRATE FANS: Please be nice to Andrew McCutchen’s girlfriend

  10. JAL says:


    11 Chicago Sun Times

    Retired baseball star Denny Neagle sues Northbrook-based financial adviser

    12 Chicago Tribune

    Cubs add Maholm to rotation–20120110,0,1228989.story

    13 Orange County Register

    Baseball’s odd contract clauses

    14 Miami Herald

    Miami Marlins’ Carlos Zambrano to leave his winter team in Venezuela

    15 Sporting News

    Owners face decision on expanded playoffs for 2012


    16 Fangraphs

    How Big Should the Hall of Fame Actually Be?

    17 PBC Site

    Inbox: Addressing the outfield and rotation

  11. Jandy says:

    Philly Foo ~ The answer to your question of when do the Pirates start….lies with Groat2M2S ;)

    I hope this Pouncey thing doesn’t indicate that there are more problems in the Steelers locker room. If there are, then someone has to come down fast and tough to put a stop to it. If Pouncey isn’t bright enough to use common sense, then some rules need to be applied to handle the situation. This embarrasses the whole organization.

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    -Behind the Steel Curtain

    Hines Ward Refutes Retirement Speculation: “Let me set the record straight: I have no plans on retiring right now.”

    Snake Bitten – Steelers 2011 Season Ends Abruptly in Denver

    Putting The Steelers’ 2011 Season To Music

    -Steelers Depot

    James Harrison Destroys Knees Legally Per Request of Roger Goodell

    -Steelers Gab

    Will Ward Walk Away with the Season Done and His Future in Doubt?

  13. JAL says:

    WVU Blogs

    Metro News

    Huskies Rally to Keep WVU Winless at UConn

    Coliseum Flavor From WVU-Georgetown

    WV Illustrated

    Men’s Basketball: West Virginia Falls to Connecticut in Close One



    Weathering the Storm- Mounting Injuries make playoffs an uphill battle

  14. JAL says:

    No JAL morning links tomorrow. Catching early train to NYC. Links back Thursday.

  15. Jandy says:

    JAL ~ The article about Harrison’s “clean” knee hit was priceless! Thank you :)

  16. 1BUCCOFAN says:

    Dejan: Cubs sign Paul( Cy Young) Maholm now odds on favor to break the curse. Good offense he’ll win what 8 games 9 if he can go on streak. My as well start printing playoff ticket now no sense in waiting.

  17. bdubb says:

    DK, you should have asked that as trivia question without people looking it up – the most tenured Pirate. Wow. And in 5 years the most tenured Pirate will be someone not currently on today’s roster

  18. Pattonbb says:

    Pouncey’s lame attempt at an apology is almost as sad as those dumb tweets. What a goof.

    Congrats to Maholm. He wins 13 games next year.

    Roll Tide Y’all!!!

  19. Dan1283 says:

    A soccer stadium at Station Square??? In Pittsburgh????

    Git ahtta tahn.

    Are we gonna have to start calling it the “South Shore”???

  20. chuck snow says:

    Great column yesterday Dejan. Just didn.t seem like a Steelers team. I think you hit the nail on the head, too old, too been there done that, and too hurt. I wonder how big the housecleaning will be?

  21. JAL says:


    I thought that was great headline too

  22. JohnS says:

    Maholm may have been a true professional but his performance ranks him as one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball. HIs ERA will be about .450. His WHIP will be about 1.4. He will pitch between 180 and 200 innings. Which I guess is ok for a #5 starter.

  23. CWalton_67 says:

    Interesting that Pouncey’s twitter is no longer @ProBowler53, but simply @MaurkicePouncey. Definitely not a guy in the mold of Mike Webster or Dermontti Dawson.

    Dejan, you mentioned that Sullivan needs to come off the point on Pens PP. Who do you think should be manning the point right now? Also agree that Malkin can carry this team, but you made no mention of MAF, who I think absolutely must step up his game. He’s done it in the past, but it seems to me that when the team is good, he is good. And when the team struggles, he’s been incapable of stealing games and leading for stretches. He stepped up big in a SCF game 6 once, now he must do it on a consistent basis for Pens to have any chance now.

    Expecting a good game from the Pens tonight. HCDB usually finds a way to get this team to play well when times are tough. Even if they don’t win, a solid performance will help morale. Can’t say I’m optimistic about this season, unless Crosby returns soon and plays injury free for the remainder. That said, the guy in the owners box is still #66. As long as that is the case, we can be confident of the future, even if it isn’t the immediate one.

  24. Karen22 says:

    THIS just reported on the Penguins’ Facebook page::
    ‎”I’m good to go. I’m ready to play tonight.”- James Neal, after this morning’s skate.

    Apparently, the “significantly” injured Craig Adams, too! Is it April Fools Day, or have the Pens totally lost credibility on ANYTHING they report concerning injuries??

  25. Jandy says:

    CWalton, well said. The Pens sorely miss Tanger on the point for the PP. That said, I like Michalek there, he’s done well in the past.
    You are correct in that MAF is the key to this team’s making the playoffs. If he struggles, we are done. You are also correct in that as long as #66 is the owner, the future will be just fine.
    I’m not getting my hopes up for this year’s playoffs. Unless Crosby comes back, our offense is limited. Of course, the WBS call ups can prove me wrong and I’ll be happy.
    I’ll be watching tonight and every game night, as always. This is still by team.

  26. Jandy says:

    Karen, WOW! I’m amazed and going right to the web site!

  27. Jandy says:

    Josh Yohe says Neal’s foot isn’t broken as originally thought…and that the Xray showed what was a previous injury. His foot is badly bruised, but he says he will play thru the pain. Yikes!

  28. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    DK-always on top of these things…….Love how you call out the players that need it. Also, your take on hockey really helps this non-hockey dude out……..a lot, even though some of what you say is Greek to me, I enjoy reading it.

  29. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    I guess with football season over, except in these parts, I should do some homework on the Pens…..Don’t see many of their games though.

  30. Jandy says:

    Ryan, so when are you moving to Pittsburgh? ;)

  31. January 10

    39 days until Pirate Spring Training

  32. Ryan(Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    @Jandy-Not anytime soon….too cold in them there parts

  33. Drew71 says:

    Ok, how many of you checked the early versions of the Mock NFL Draft today?

    And how many read this and say, Oh Yeah, and run off to do it now?

    Fess up.

  34. CWalton_67 says:

    @Jandy–completely agree on Letang. His is sorely missed on that PP and on the ice in general. I don’t mind seeing Michalek out there when Letang isn’t. Still wondering where DK would put Sully on the PP?

    DK: Nowhere, Chris. He’s just not making plays right now. I’d rather see Lovejoy and Niskanen at the points, especially Niskanen.

  35. TS says:

    Maholm is gonna get shelled at homerun-happy Wrigley Field.

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